Mechanical Computer Aided Design (MCAD)

3D CAD Model Rotor and Housing

Is Feature-Based Modeling Now Obsolete?

Gone off the rails have I? Well, even if you think I am crazy, I still think its a fair question to ponder. Even if only for a moment. Hear me out and you might even agree.Over the past three months here at, I’ve hosted three separate webinars on design topics. Back on March 19th, we kicked things off with Clean Sheet Design where we looked at how CAD did or didn’t support new design efforts. On April 16th, we looked at how CAD supports Desig…

What is Mechanical Computer Aided Manufacturing (MCAM)?

Features or Direct Modeling: Which is Better for Mold and Tool Design?

Do you remember when 3D solid modeling hit the market? I guess it started a little over 15 years ago. You had parameters that would drive changes in features that would, in turn, manipulate product geometry. Drawings updated automatically. It was pretty amazing at the time. Now, do you remember when the movement came to mold and tool design? The picture painted back then was equally amazing. Apply some global shrinkage or other tweaks, subtract the product geometry to create the cavity and crack that mold. Presto: you were done.
Guest post hosted by Siemens PLM.

A 3D wireframe CAD model of a car with an engine and suspension

When Imported Geometry Problems Occur, Things Get Personal

Do you enjoy research? No, I’m not talking about the dry make-you-fall-asleep stuff that are published by professors from universities. I’m talking about research that’s relevant to your work life. Statistics and facts that describe what your peers are doing on a day-to-day basis. Well, I admit it. I do. I find that nothing cuts through the opinions, positions and debates like some hard facts. That one of the reasons that I’m currently running the 3D Collaboration and Interoperability study. I’ll use the findings to publish an infographic-based market report at the end of May. Most of the time, I enjoy uncovering some best practices and progress made in the industry. But every study carries some ugly realities with it. And, unfortunately, that’s the case with the 3D Collaboration and Interoperability study. Ready for a couple ugly early findings?

Dealing with Geometry: The Machinist’s Cost of Doing Business?

Deal with it. Are there any other words that cause so much muttering disdain? There are times in product development when you just have to buckle down and find a way around the problem. Yes, your manager admits, it’s probably a waste of your talents. No, your manager says, we can’t return it back to sender.

Clarifying the Confusing Terminology of Drawingless Initiatives

In this industry, terminology is a bear. There are special acronyms and terms with subtle differences that can actually have big implications. And unfortunately, there isn’t a good place to get definitions for them all. A few weeks ago, I launched survey that looks at design data interoperability, model-based enterprise initiatives and the use of 3D outside engineering. Statistics and findings from that survey will be used to publish The State of 3D Collaboration and Interoperability Market Report in May. You can take the survey here to get a complimentary copy of the report. But the exercise of carefully developing the survey made me tease apart the definitions of various terms related to drawingless efforts.

Technology Concept Cloud Digital

The PDM Revolution is Upon Us, Brought to you by CAD in the Cloud

I think we can all recognize that one of the most recent wave of disruptions to the CAD industry started with when a number of modeling approaches converged. Direct and Feature-based approaches merged. 3D modeling and 2D sketching got mashed up as well. Today, we have single apps or suites of integrated apps that do it all. And in my opinion, I think there have been significant benefits associated with those changes.

Solidworks Mechanical Conceptual: App-ing the Process

Walking into the Monday morning general session at Solidworks World 2013 in Orlando FL, I admit that I was expecting something. After the openly discussing the move of Solidworks to the cloud years earlier, and the subsequent backtracking and sidestepping because of customer outrage, rumors had it that this was the year. This was the time when Solidworks would unveil something big. Ultimately, I think the announcement of Solidworks Mechanical Conceptual falls into that category. I think that it just wasn’t what people were expecting.

3D CAD Model Small Engine

Fusion 360: Autodesk Wins the Race to Put CAD in the Cloud

Surprise! When Carl Bass announced that Autodesk had launched a reinvented version of their Fusion CAD product for the cloud, it did certainly feel like a surprise. For all the angst, anger and concern over CAD in the cloud over the past couple of years, Autodesk dropped a bomb this last Tuesday. In this post, we’ll take a look at the background of the announcement, the capabilities of the Fusion 360 product and my own commentary and analysis. Strap in, because this is a big deal.

In the 3DEXPERIENCE Forum, Vision Takes Center Stage

Well, regardless of whatever else you have to say about Dassault Systèmes, you have to admit: they have vision. Last week, Dassault Systèmes invited their customers as well as many media and analyst folks down to Orlando for something called the 3DEXPERIENCE Forum. There are a few really well written summaries of the event and the message from DS, but in short, it was this: an experience is what occurs during the development of a product. And that experience needs to be supported across many different software systems and applications like ENOVIA, CATIA, SIMULIA and the like.