CADCAMNet 2007 Interoperability Survey Reveals Interesting Trends in 3D CAD Data Use and Translation

Denver, CO. May 18, 2007—CADCAMNet magazine, the premier print and online journal for MCAD and PLM decision makers, today announced the initial results of its 2007 Interoperability Survey. The survey was conducted in partnership with David Prawel of Longview Advisors, a consulting firm specializing in engineering software.

The survey has been conducted across the last six weeks, among the readership of CADCAMNet; responses have come from CAD users in North America, South America, Europe, Middle East, Africa and Asia. These users represent companies across the range of manufacturing industries and engineering disciplines including engineering management, product designers, Engineering IT, Research & Development, and engineering systems.

Initial results show that all of OEM’s ultimately send out 3D CAD data to outsourced engineers or suppliers, and that only 13 percent complete all their engineering exclusively in-house before sending data out to other parties. It appears that outsourcing and globalization of engineering has indeed become the norm as an economic necessity for manufacturing.

On average, respondents only receive CAD data in their preferred formats 34 percent of the time. All respondents spend some time on interoperability every week. When a preferred format does not work, for whatever reason, they will accept STEP data as a suitable alternative.

“It appears from the initial data that both OEM and supply side engineers try and use their native, preferred, CAD format first, and when that doesn’t work, they turn to neutral formats such as STEP,” comments Randall Newton, Editor-in-Chief, CADCAMNet. “It seems that most manufacturing firms now have procedures in place to make interoperability manageable, although by no means perfect.”

It also appears that, while there has been much effort on CAD data exchange formats and technologies, missing data such as elements and surfaces that should have been there, are still regarded as ‘somewhat common’ or ‘very common’ with CAD data exchange, according to 66 percent of the responses. More than 30 percent believe that more attention needs to be given to interoperability of feature and history-based data.

“We found it interesting that currently there is less than a 40 percent market penetration of third-party interoperability products, based on our survey sample, which shows a continuing, persistent weakness in investment in interoperability solutions, despite clear, highly publicized evidence of the negative cost and productivity impacts,” comments Prawel of Longview Advisors. “However, there is an obvious, growing demand for the exchange of feature-based CAD data - an area that represents a good opportunity for investment in the near future. We will be tracking this with interest across the next twelve months.”

The entire results of the survey will be made available at CADCAMNet’s online publication at The survey in its entirety will be available to CADCAMNet subscribers, or to non-subscribers for a fee of $54.95. (To order, visit and click on the article headline. Follow the options to either subscribe or purchase the report.)
This paper will also be available on request for clients of Longview Advisors by contacting David Prawel at Email Contact.

Copies of the survey will be available at no charge for press, editors and journalists by request.

CADCAMNet is an authoritative MCAD and PLM publication serving thousands of readers in both print and online forms since 1988. Founded by L. Stephen Wolfe, P.E., who is now a contributing editor and analyst, the publication continues to deliver weekly and monthly editorial, reviews, analysis and understanding of the industry.
For more information, and for a Free Month Trial, visit and click ‘subscribe’.

About Longview Advisors
Longview Advisors is a global consulting firm focusing on 3D and CAD software in the manufacturing industry.
For more information please visit: or their blog at

Press Queries:
Jenee White
Email: Email Contact
Tel: (303) 482-2813


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