Insights into the Future from Engineering Sofware Users

A quick peek into some research on … the priorities, plans, views, and economic outlooks of companies that use engineering software. The survey-based study, published last night by Cyon Research, paints a very interesting picture of how manufacturers plan to invest and leverage engineering software (and related hardware) in the near future. I have had the opportunity to review and comment on the report during its development, and one thing that continuously struck me is not just how useful the published insights on the future of engineering software are, but the richness and depth of the information that the Cyon team couldn’t fit into the report.

Is the PLM Ecosystem Ready for PLM? Razorleaf Is

I had the chance to talk with … Razorleaf during a research project earlier this year. Razorleaf helps manufacturers leverage PLM, Design Automation, and other enterprise technologies to improve product development and engineering processes. During the conversation, it was clear that they really understand how enterprise technology can be applied in an engineering environment. They are ready to step in and deliver the enterprise services required to implement PLM. But how much of the “PLM” ecosystem is really ready and capable to implement PLM? In my experience, too few.

SpaceClaim’s Unique Role in Engineering Software Ecosystem

I had the chance to talk with … Chris Randles and Blake Courter of SpaceClaim recently to better understand their role in the broader engineering software market. SpaceClaim hase certainly managed to shake things up, from their initial introduction to the market with direct modeling, their tongue in cheek Twitter plugin, and now their demonstration of the potential use of multitouch manipulation in 3D modeling. This is a company that is clearly set out to change the status quo, and has succeeded in doing so. Other than shaking things up, though, where is the unique value that SpaceClaim offers, and why do they believe there is room in a consolidating CAD market for a new entrant?

Multitouch CAD – Are you Serious!?

What I learned this week … came from a Youtube video by direct modeling (3D CAD) company SpaceClaim. The video is cool from the music to the product, but after their hilarious April Fool’s joke – how serious is this really? Let’s put aside that question – and the question of how ready this technology may be – until I have a chance to talk with them a bit. In the meantime, what I want to discuss is “why we would care if multitouch came to CAD?”

What I Learned: Viewing PLM as a “Triad” of Solutions

What I learned this week … came from a presentation given by Jim Heppelmann and Brian Shepherd of PTC and this week’s PTCUser conference. The presentation gave a view into some of the interesting things that PTC is working on in their solution set, and a peek into their vision for the future of PLM systems. More accurately, what Jim and Brian said the future for their Product Development System as opposed to “PLM,” which is an important differentiation for them.

One-to-One: Search is Shaping Up with ShapeSpace

I had the chance to talk with … Drew Sherlock of ShapeSpace a while back, and then had the opportunity to meet him in person at COFES. We talked about the importance of search in in engineering and product development, and how searching by shape is adding another way for companies to find (and hopefully easily reuse) parts. Search has received a lot of attention over the years – particularly as companies are trying to consolidate search across multiple data sources using enterprise search. In design and engineering, search has evolved to include parametric search (search based on attributes, typically on metadata that describes a part) to complement more basic text search techniques. But can a company have too many ways to search? Given the potential benefits of reuse – and the tendency for most people to reinvent the wheel when they can’t readily find a good starting point – I will say “not yet.”