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Date : November 17, 2005 04:14
Title : Simply Yes
Body :Having been in this business for quite some time it continues to amaze me that any company is moving down this path. Sadly I believe it is lack of knowledge of the cost and complexity of CAD today. Unfortunately Engineering VPs continue to view CAD as drafting rather than an integral part of the product development system.
If you ask yourself is CAD in your critical path for product development the odds are the answer is yes. Therefore the easy answer is to get everyone to deliver data in my native format. However, the ultimate issue will be cost as outlined in the editorial above.
Until some large OEM drive their product development from a neutral file type, or even better, a light weight file format (U3D, JT, Product View, XVL3D, etc.) no one wins. Just as the industry went through a big change to solid modeling it now needs to go one step further and move to a neutral format.
Any knowledgeable person working with today's modern CAD tools knows working on someone else’s model can be painful. It requires highly technical skills in the tool of choice and more importantly an expert knowledge in that specific product. Do you want someone familiar with automotive frames/chassis making changes to a fuel tank model created by an expert in fuel tanks? I wrote an article a few years back which I had gotten a quote from a design house which said something to the effect (paraphrasing), “I told the OEM (Large Automotive Company) I could do the job twice as fast and at less cost in another tool and they ignored it and paid the higher price”. If you get a chance take a look at the article at http://www.mobiusid.com/publications/Imagine%20Digital%20Design.pdf (3.7MB PDF).
Innovation is not going to come from native CAD formats but rather from Companies with processes, methodologies, techniques, and most importantly expertise in their own product development.