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.”