After an enforced break from writing any editorial in the magazine in order to fully focus on his stint as conference director of DEVELOP3D Live, which was held in March, Martyn Day is glad to be back in the written world
Planning a conference takes up a lot of time, so I discovered. The good news is that loads of people came from all over Europe and we had a fantastic array of speakers covering many of today’s hot topics.
We were especially impressed with the designers that took time to come and talk about their experiences, both positive and negative in their day to day work. We did video all of the presentations and are in the process of seeking permission to put them online, so everyone can get a little DEVELOP3D Live experience.
However, when we were handed over a 2 Terabyte hard drive with the just the conference presentations, we realised that there was a major amount of work in editing and loading them up. I fear that the processor on Al Dean’s laptop generated all the monsoon type weather we have been having.
As we had such a brilliant time, we have decided to make DEVELOP3D Live an annual event
Now this work is almost completed and hopefully within the next month they will start to go live through www.develop3dlive.com and on the DEVELOP3D Vimeo channel. We will send out an email to everyone when this happens.
Apologies to those that came expecting to see Tom Kurke from Geomagic. Unfortunately, Tom cancelled his flight over two days before the event due to ‘unforeseen circumstances’, which we now realise were Geomagic’s negotiations to acquire Sensable 3D Design. Tom has promised to video record his talk on Intellectual Property theft and scanning for us to include online.
As we had such a brilliant time, we have decided to make DEVELOP3D Live an annual event and I’m happy to say that we already have the original sponsors, DELL Workstation and AMD back on board, supporting our 2013 event.
With a lot longer to plan and plenty of feedback we will make next year’s DEVELOP3D Live even better.
Despite the conference I have been still keeping abreast with the latest releases and shenanigans that our industry gets up to.
The first quarter of this year has provided plenty of news and new releases to get our teeth into.
SolidWorks World this year was especially interesting as Dassault Systèmes continues to have a greater impact in the day to day running of its ‘cherished love brand’. Over the last two years SolidWorks has stumbled to express its development plans from its existing Parasolid-based desktop version to a new Catia CGM-based newcomer.
Add to that a sprinkling of cloud messaging, relatively small updates and significant changes in long-serving personnel and this event really needed to solidify the messaging.
The good news is that update-wise SolidWorks is back on track with providing significant crowd-pleasing new versions based on the existing code. There was a promise to keep delivering additional functionality on this existing version for as long as customers use it.
Talking with the new VP at SolidWorks, Gian Paolo Bassini, the new product, called V6 will really push the boundaries of what is currently capable for modelling and collaborative working in the mid-price market. This dual strategy is the tough road to follow.
Siemens PLM took a simulator strategy with UGS and IDEAS, eventually combining them into NX. For now SolidWorks customers can be confident that their platform is safe and under development with a powerful alternative coming in the future.
While the cloud is a technology that will be heavily utilised in future development, there is less emphasis on that for now.
On the subject of ‘cloud’, Autodesk is a company that is probably the most commercially advanced with its online capabilities.
While customers aren’t really asking for it yet, Autodesk is in its second year of rolling out subscription benefits to customers, especially for rendering, hosting and analysis. With the company’s two footed leap into the PLM space, which is completely delivered as a hosted service.
This probably ignores the fact the cloudanything currently scares most customers. SolidWork’s experience is a case in point.
While showing SolidWorks on multiple target machines customers were wowed and then overcome with concerns at not having the software anymore. Autodesk has opted for services within applications as a start point which is less scary but nonetheless a sign that things are going to change.
The bottom line is that soon, maybe in as little as three years time, many design applications are going to be available as web sessions. Boxed installable product will become increasingly rare.
There is a technical Everest to overcome in ensuring customers don’t get a degraded experience but, take it from me, that every significant CAD vendor is now developing cloud-based alternatives. Even PTC, who told us that ‘people aren’t asking for it, announced at DEVELOP3D Live that perhaps there will be a web version of Creo available in the future.
What happens with the product development, implementation and business models as this transition is made will make or break design tool developers. Companies that are dominant now may not be in five years time because they made the wrong cloud technology decisions.
To some, it’s like the whole CAD industry has decided to go to the moon but doesn’t quite know how it’s going to get there yet. I guess as an observer this is the fun part but the question will be how all this experimentation will benefit you, the customers? DEVELOP3D will be watching.
Martyn Day reveals that we will be making DEVELOP3D Live an annual event