Can Internet Change CAD?

The future of CAD as well as many other great technological products can be impacted by major technological trends. Undoubtedly, one of the most influential technological trends of the last decade is the Internet. Web technologies have changed the behavior of the people – the way they think and work. This comes from technological companies by introducing new services and products and also comes from social spaces. This weekend, while visiting friends, I looked at how some kids aged ten to eleven were using the Internet. I was amazed to see how Google Search is natural in their Web behavior. For many of us, coming from the desktop world, find it very natural to split between desktop and web. We tend to look for information on the Web and keep it on our virtual desks for future use. This is something that is going to change – web is becoming so transparent that we don’t need to keep information on our desktops anymore.

How is this related to CAD? I’d like to discuss two main areas where CAD will be impacted – CAD Data Management Transparency and Open CAD representation format:

1. CAD Data Management Transparency: I’d like to discuss the idea of “invisible” data management. It would start from our ability to use remote/cloud storage to keep our design data. In the beginning we will be able just keep our designs files (and the word for files itself might actually get changed) there, but within time, this storage will support basic data management capabilities that will have global behavior. No more local unique identifiers – data management technology will improve and rely on new Web capabilities.

2. Open CAD representation format. CAD format plays a very significant role in our lives today. We are taking care about this “holy cow” which trails lots of very complex questions that you can discover in every CAD-related community. This issue called Interoperability. My prediction is that CAD representation formats will be immersive with CAD SOA capabilities. We will not produce <files>, but we will produce design associated with specific design (CAD) software. This (CAD) software will use embedded representation services that will allows us to “deliver” design model to the specific device, product, context or other service, and make it available for usage.

I was reading Jeff Ray’s blog post “Predicting of CAD Future” early this week and found a few of Jeff’s thoughts corresponding very much my “internet-technological” thinking. Obsolescence of data management and design anywhere-anytime is something that definitely can be enabled by the broad introduction of Internet technologies in our space.

I’d be interested to hear your voices and churns on this topic.

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4 Responses to Can Internet Change CAD?

  1. chris says:

    Are CAD formats really that big a deal? If they were then Profecency (how ever it is spelled) would not have failed… I’m not saying that it would be nice to have a universal CAD format. I’m just being practical and saying that it will never happen, as the CAD companies have no interest in it happening. Besides haven’t people just figured out how to deal with this issue? Let’s say you are an Inventor user and I am a Pro/ENGINEER user and we are working on a design of a machine together. We have defined clear interfaces and we have defined a way to manage space allocation, so why do we need to common format? We also must likely email back and forth some sort of simple images marked up… so again why do we need a common CAD format?

    What if the internet could allow us to capture our discussions within each of our CAD systems no matter what we used as a format? What if we were discussing say a mounting hole and you could see this discussion in Inventor and I could see this discussion in Pro/ENGINEER? Now we can both filter based on what we care about, the mounting hole. If people really care about a nuetral CAD format then wouldn’t it be cool if linked to this discussion was a SpaceClaim model of the combined assembly and linked to each reply of the discussion we were having was a 3D mockup of what we both wanted (geometry modified in SpaceClaim to define what was desired). This way each person could quickly define what they need, just push pull… Then the other person could respond and implement in the their design tool.

  2. Cris,Thanks for comment. I don’t think CAD format is a big deal, but nobody is interested to have it. But I think, that model transparency IS a big deal. Combined with data management transparency it can improve significantly capability to manage discussions you are talking about. My point was -increased data and model transparency combined with availability to improve CAD in the future, allows to engineers to focus more on design and less on translation and mails around CAD. -Oleg

  3. …and yes… solution like spaceclaim have certain option to help. this is big plus. but there is disadvantages to have mediator (like Spaceclaime). Will be better to have natively in all CAD systems. -Oleg

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