April 20, 2009
MCAD Vendors Assist Displaced Workers
Please note that contributed articles, blog entries, and comments posted on MCADcafe.com are the views and opinion of the author and do not necessarily represent the views and opinions of the management and staff of Internet Business Systems and its subsidiary web-sites.
Jeff Rowe - Managing Editor

by Jeff Rowe - Contributing Editor
Each MCAD Weekly Review delivers to its readers news concerning the latest developments in the MCAD industry, MCAD product and company news, featured downloads, customer wins, and coming events, along with a selection of other articles that we feel you might find interesting. Brought to you by MCADCafe.com. If we miss a story or subject that you feel deserves to be included, or you just want to suggest a future topic, please contact us! Questions? Feedback? Click here. Thank you!

The conceptual stage of the design process got considerable attention with the new Alias products. There is better fit with these industrial design products in terms of UI, look, feel, and behavior with some other Autodesk products, as well as price reductions, availability on the Mac platform, and support of DWF. These are all welcome changes and proof that Autodesk is serious about industrial design and its place in the company’s manufacturing design product mix.

Inventor 2010 was demonstrated in the context of its historical strongest market, industrial machinery. The top-down workflow was emphasized (layout
subassemblies-detailed parts), as well as new sheet metal capabilities, and working with large assemblies (levels of detail/simplified representations). Inventor was also discussed working with architecture and buildings through the AEC Exchange for using BOMs and BIMs between different Autodesk software applications.

Somewhat surprisingly, AutoCAD, especially AutoCAD Mechanical was openly discussed during the Tech Day as still important and vital to the manufacturing community. This session proved something I continue to contend, 2D is not dead.

There are now four versions of Autodesk Vault (one of the versions, Vault Manufacturing, replaces Productstream) for managing data and dealing with the three main PDM problems – ERP integration, BOMs, and engineering change management. All of the PDM products appeal to a diverse range of users – the engineering/CAD manager, product designer, and downstream consumer. This time around PDM might make more sense for more prospective users.

Moldflow was shown in the context of three different applications areas and users that made sense – Moldflow Adviser for the part designer, Inventor Tooling for the mold designer, and Moldflow Insight for the engineering analyst/specialist.

Finally, Navisworks Manufacturing 2010 was demonstrated for processing point clouds of factory laser scans. The resulting visual data can then be used for clash/collision detection within a factory. Its Time Liner capability can also be used with scheduling software, such as Microsoft Project, for installing equipment in a factory in the correct sequence.

So, it was a full day but provided us with a better understanding of where Autodesk is today and where it might be heading in the future with regard to mechanical design, engineering, and manufacturing. The day also provided insight and a sense of what Autodesk’s Digital Prototyping initiative is all about.

The Week’s Top 5

At MCADCafé we track many things, including the stories that have attracted the most interest from our subscribers. Below are the five news items that were the most viewed during last week.

Siemens PLM Software announced that in the recently released market analysis, PLM industry consulting and research firm CIMdata, Inc. recognized Siemens PLM Software as a PLM leader and as the vendor with the top market presence in the collaborative Product Definition management (cPDm) and Digital Manufacturing market segment, which, according to CIMdata, are important sub-segments within the PLM industry. Based on market estimates, the CIMdata analysis ranked Siemens PLM Software number one in terms of market presence for both cPDm and Digital Manufacturing among the PLM Mindshare Leaders in 2008 (the fourth year in a row). According to CIMdata, cPDm is forecast to continue being the
fastest-growing segment of the PLM market with an 8.6 percent compound annual growth rate (CAGR) to exceed $12 billion in 2013 – leading both the Tools and Digital Manufacturing segments in growth. CIMdata estimates that the Comprehensive PLM market as a whole will grow at a CAGR of 6.3 percent to approximately $35 billion by 2013.

Integrated Industrial Information, Inc. (I-Cubed) announced the release of the I-Cubed Solid Edge CAD Integration for Windchill. The I-Cubed Solid Edge CAD Integration for Windchill enables engineers to create CAD documents and drawings in Solid Edge and then manage those files in Windchill without leaving the Solid Edge user interface. The Solid Edge CAD Integration allows users to capture, track, and control essential part and manufacturing data throughout the product lifecycle.The I-Cubed Solid Edge CAD Integration is currently available and supports Solid Edge V19 and V20 on Windchill 8.0 and higher. For more information visit I-Cubed's website at

SpaceClaim announced that it has secured an additional $7 million in funding to support ongoing R&D in product innovations, and to drive sales and marketing expansion as the demand for direct modelers increases for the performance of conceptual design, engineering analysis, and simulation-driven design. The round is co-led by existing investors including Borealis Ventures, Kodiak Venture Partners, Needham Capital Partners, and North Bridge Venture Partners. SpaceClaim recently announced the fourth release of the company's products, SpaceClaim Engineer and SpaceClaim Style and have experienced momentum in the marketplace.

Autodesk announced the AutoCAD Exchange, an online destination for AutoCAD users to connect and learn from experts, provide feedback to the product developers, and access professional tools that can help them do their jobs better. The launch of AutoCAD Exchange coincides with the availability of the Autodesk 2010 design software product line. The online community is rich with original multimedia content, including a video series, eLearning tools and aggregated CAD information from Web-based resources. Visitors can also create profiles to personalize their experience and share their own tips, scripts and applications, projects and experiences with the global community of AutoCAD users. AutoCAD Exchange is a comprehensive online portal for AutoCAD users, bringing together a wide-ranging assortment of multi-media resources and content sharing tools for designers, including:
  • AutoCAD Tips - AutoCAD Exchange provides users with an opportunity to hear directly from the product development team to garner tips and tricks from technical marketing experts for all AutoCAD-based products, leveraging video demonstrations for greater impact.
  • User Collaboration - Users can upload their work and gather instant feedback from their peers with commenting capabilities in the showcase.
  • CAD Resources - Users have access to a wide variety of resources on the AutoCAD Exchange site,
    including eLearning curriculum, and Autodesk University courses, among others. Additionally, a robust Google-based search engine makes it easy to find information from Autodesk and across the Web.
  • Daily Blog Feed - A blog role provides users with the latest in CAD news, featuring posts in a daily feed from CAD industry bloggers, as well as Autodesk bloggers, including Shaan Hurley, Heidi Hewitt, and Lynn Allen.
  • Online Help - Previously only available within the AutoCAD application, users can now get answers to their questions quickly with online help for AutoCAD 2010.

The Progressive Insurance Automotive X PRIZE, a multimillion dollar competition designed to inspire a new generation of viable, super fuel-efficient vehicles, announced its official list of 111 Registered Teams. Having passed this first wave of judging, these teams now move one step closer to competing for their share of a $10 million prize purse that will be awarded to teams that win a rigorous long-distance stage competition and can exceed 100 MPG equivalent fuel economy (MPGe). The teams, which collectively represent 136 vehicle entries with 14 different fuel sources, include diverse groups from 25 U.S. states and 11 countries. Established automakers, emerging start-ups, universities and inventors are among those represented. Six of the registered teams remain confidential. In the coming months, registered teams will undergo design judging based on a detailed data submission package, which will provide information on their vehicle's features, production capability, safety and business plans. Those that pass design judging will move into the performance testing phase and partake in a series of competition events that will begin as early as May 2010. Winners will be announced in 2010. The competition start date, the number of venues, and the geographic distribution of venues will be determined prior to July 2009. Winners will be selected from two classes in the
competition division -- Mainstream and Alternative. A complete list of Registered Teams, listed by the category in which they will compete and their proposed fuel type is available at

Jeffrey Rowe is the editor of
MCADCafé and MCAD Weekly Review. He can be reached at
Email Contact or 408.850.9230.

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-- Jeff Rowe, MCADCafe.com Contributing Editor.


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