Thursday, June 19th, 2014
Along with over 2,000 other attendees, we just returned from the PTC Live Global 2014 conference and exhibition in Boston. It was a very good show at a very good venue — the Boston Convention Center.
The two biggest things we noted at the conference were PTC’s involvment and commitment to the Internet of Things (IoT) and the introduction of PTC Creo 3.0. We also noted a more upbeat crowd attending the show this year than in years past. The attendees we spoke with said the lighter attitude was due to PTC’s announcements, PTC’s corporate direction, and an economy that continues to slowly improve.
PTC Technology Update – PTC Live Global 2014 Keynote
Friday, June 13th, 2014
Editor’s Note: This is the third installment of a series of four evaluation articles of CAD/PDM systems for SMBs.
Siemens’s Teamcenter Rapid Start is a product data management (PDM) solution that is preconfigured, yet extensible. As a preconfigured deployment option of Teamcenter, it is intended to address the most common PDM needs of SMBs. With its “simplified” installation process, Teamcenter Rapid Start applies preconfigured best practices to common engineering tasks and processes for SMBs.
In a stand-alone environment, all server and all client applications are installed on each machine. In a shared environment, server applications are installed on a single server. Each machine has network access to the server and has only the client applications installed.
The video that follows shows how to get started with Teamcenter Rapid Start PDM, and includes demos on CAD data management, document management, and process management.
Teamcenter Rapid Start
Wednesday, June 11th, 2014
I’m in Detroit this week attending the RAPID Conference & Exhibition produced by the Society of Manufacturing Engineers (SME). The RAPID conference was co-located as part of a bigger event called the Big M — Manufacturing Convergence. The overall theme of the manufacturing event is “Shaping the Future of Manufacturing.” This theme was especially appropriate for RAPID and its focus on 3D printing and scanning.
This is the best attended RAPID event ever with well over 2,500 attendees from 27 countries.
I’ve seen a number of interesting things on the exhibit floor, but have been most intrigued by a new emerging class of hybrid 3D printers that employ both additive manufacturing (AM) and subtractive (conventional machining) methods. Some of the hybrid 3D printers included the following:
Hybrid (Additive & Subtractive Manufacturing) Machine by DMG Mori
Wednesday, June 4th, 2014
Last week I attended the 11th 3D Collaboration & Interoperability Congress (3DCIC) 2014 as one of the event’s media sponsors. It focused on promoting and improving collaboration and data interoperability throughout the product lifecycle.
Ted Hall, the presenter of the Day 1 3DCIC Keynote Speech is also the inventor of ShopBot desktop CNC machine
Monday, June 2nd, 2014
Last week I attended the 11th 3D Collaboration & Interoperability Congress (3DCIC) in Colorado Springs, CO as one of the event’s media sponsors. The three-day event focused on promoting and improving collaboration and data interoperability throughout the product lifecycle — from concept through retirement.
For the first time this year, NAFEMS (the international association of the engineering modeling, analysis, and simulation community) held its fourth NAFEMS Americas conference, co-locating and coinciding with 3DCIC 2014.
CIC distinguishes itself by being a vendor-neutral event that addresses collaboration and interoperability across several industries for product development, simulation/analysis, manufacturing, and overall business purposes.
The theme of 3DCIC 2014, which attracted more than 250 attendees, was “Driving Product Development with Collaboration, Simulation, and Integration.” Progressive organizations have realized that the integration of design, analysis/simulation, manufacturing, downstream processes, and the supply chain are vital components for keeping them competitive and profitable. It’s really the underlying basis of the sought-after nirvana of PLM. This was also the focus of 3DCIC 2014 – the notion that collaboration is totally dependent on interoperability between disparate groups and processes.
Although it was challenging to carve away time during the conference, I was able to sit down with David Prawel, Founder and President of Longview Advisors and 3DCIC for his take on the conference, as well as the current state of collaboration and interoperability.
David Prawel, Founder and President of 3DCIC
Thursday, May 29th, 2014
Editor’s Note: This is the second installment of a series of four evaluation articles of CAD/PDM systems for SMBs.
SolidWorks Enterprise PDM is one of two PDM products offered by DS SolidWorks and is a separate purchase. SolidWorks Workgroup PDM is available integrated inside of SolidWorks Premium and Professional.
Data cards are crucial elements for managing design data with EPDM because they contain metadata about the files, folders, items, and templates in the vault database. Data card information is stored centrally, so users can search and locate information about files, folders, items, and templates without needing local copies.
By adding controls such as text fields, list boxes, check boxes, and tabs, data cards are used for managing the design process.
Thursday, May 22nd, 2014
An organization that we know quite well, Wohlers Associates, Inc., recently released the Wohlers Report 2014, the company’s annual detailed analysis of additive manufacturing (AM) and 3D printing worldwide. According to the Report, in 2014, interest in 3D printing reached an unprecedented level and exceeded the $3 billion milestone. The phenomenal attention to AM began in 2012, and it was sudden. As Greg Morris of GE Aviation said, “It was like someone flipped a switch.” Governments, major corporations, investors, and the mainstream media developed an insatiable appetite for additive manufacturing, and it occurred quickly.
Wohlers Report 2014
As it has from the beginning, Wohlers Report 2014 covers virtually every aspect of additive manufacturing, including its history, applications, underlying technologies, processes, manufacturers, and materials. It documents significant developments that have occurred in the past year, R&D and collaboration activities in government, academia, industry, and summarizes the worldwide state of the industry. This edition is the report’s 19th consecutive year of publication.
Wohlers Associates believes the industry will continue strong growth over the next several years. It will be fueled by sales of under $5,000 “personal” 3D printers, as well as the expanded use of the technology for the production of parts, especially metal, that go into final products. “The industry is experiencing change that we have not seen in 20+ years of tracking it,” stated Tim Caffrey, senior consultant at the company and one of two principal authors of the new report. He added, “What’s most exciting is that we have barely scratched the surface of what’s possible.”
Friday, May 16th, 2014
Editor’s Note: This is the first installment of a series of four evaluation articles of CAD/PDM systems for SMBs.
Autodesk Vault Profession is one of three levels available from the company. Also available are Vault Basic and Vault Workgroup.
Vault Professional is a standalone application providing access to vault data. Integrated add-in clients for CAD and non-CAD applications are used to manage data. When working on files managed by any vault-type system, it is important to note that copies of files that are stored in the vault are checked out. Files are never directly edited in the vault; these files are read-only until they are checked out. In effect, copies of files are checked out of the vault for editing. In a vaulting scheme, a file can be checked out only by one user at a time. Changes made to checked out files are sent back to the server when a file is checked in.
Wednesday, May 7th, 2014
I just returned from the Arizona desert and COFES 2014. The annual event (in its fifteenth year), also known as the Congress on the Future of Engineering Software (COFES), is more than just an event featuring technology as its central theme for technology’s sake. It’s actually more of an immersive educational experience that brings together many of the best minds in the technical realms of engineering software, hardware, education, and architecture, among many others.
COFES is recognized as a think-tank event that gathers vendors, users, press, and analysts together to discuss the many important issues facing both customers and providers of diverse technologies. The three-day event provides a relaxed and informal atmosphere designed to foster genuine conversation.
According to Cyon Research, the organization behind it, COFES is:
- A think tank where great minds come together to discuss best practices and to share ideas for managing change
- A technology summit that promotes discussion and problem-solving among industry thought-leaders, analysts and customers
- A business event that delivers practical strategies for achieving financial success in the engineering and design technology sector
- An informal environment where business leaders and technology providers can meet to identify and address key industry issues and challenges
Having been to a few COFES events myself, it is certainly those things, but also a lot more.
The theme for COFES 2014 was “Correcting 2020 Vision,” that forces our attention to look further down the road to a six-year horizon. Many of the discussions centered on the non-linear nature of the future beyond a two-year horizon. The stated goal at COFES 2014 was to help attendees achieve this clearer vision – one that better reflects the business realities we will all face by 2020.
Until the second day of the conference, I couldn’t discern if the 2020 reference was just the year and/or a reference to visual acuity. As it turns out, it was some of both. Although no one can predict the future with absolute certainty, the year 2020 provides a good vision and timeline for what might be on the horizon. The trick is now that the horizon has been set, how do we build the vision?
The format of the Congress encourages active (and sometimes very spirited) exchanges and interactions on everything ranging from PLM to 3D printing to STEM to coding to engineering search engines. The keys are the discussions, dialogs between individuals and not just corporate entities. Discussions take place at all meals, around the pool, outdoors between formal sessions, and around moderated roundtables. Companies, some you’ve heard of and some you haven’t, sponsor briefings in dedicated technology suites. These provide a good opportunity to learn what new and established companies are planning. In any case, all of the discussions point to the value of disagreement, diversity, and respect, as well as rethinking rejected ideas. (more…)
Thursday, May 1st, 2014
Well, another CAD company is snapped up, and the technical software consolidation train continues to roll on. That in itself is not too surprising. What is, though, is that a CAE company has acquired a CAD company.
ANSYS announced earlier today that it has acquired SpaceClaim Corp. for a purchase price of $85 million in cash, plus retention and an adjustment for working capital. The transaction closed on April 30, 2014.
ANSYS SpaceClaim Overview
From the beginning, SpaceClaim said it offered a 3D modeling tool that could be used by more than just CAD experts during the product development process (and this is a key point to the acquisition). According to SpaceClaim, this is made possible because of a process, called “direct modeling,” that differs dramatically from traditional CAD software, which is used by a relatively small percentage of engineers – typically late in the development process, to document the detailed design. While direct modeling itself is not unique, SpaceClaims implementation of it is. (more…)