Earlier this week Oleg and I met to discuss CAD collaboration and the cloud in an Engineering.com webinar. We weren't able to get to all of the questions during the live event, so here are the ones we missed!
CAD Collaboration and the Cloud, Q&A Continued
Q: Is the assembly or finished end items drawing package (hardcopy) is no longer has no value. only Solid model is taking over, but what about component drawing (casting or molding)?
I think there’s a lot of excitement about the “end of drawings”, but I think it may be over-stated. Almost all of our customers still use drawings. There are a few who are looking at moving to solid models throughout the manufacturing process, sometimes by using tablets on the shop floor. But that will require a major shift in both the operator training and the process of preparing the models.
In terms of component drawings, as long as everyone has access to the latest model it doesn’t matter that much if it is in 2D or 3D. Presuming, of course, that the 3D version is annotated with the relevant information that the manufacturer needs.
People got excited by “3D only” concept about 15 years ago. However, it is still not happening. Not because 3D is bad, but because 2D always works. So, 3D only as a good trend, but it will probably take another 10-15 years to get there.
Q: What are the required steps to become a centric CAD team?
I’m not exactly what you mean, but maybe the question is, “how do I get non-CAD users on my team engaged with the CAD models?”. In that case, one answer would be to use a good viewer so non-CAD users can easily view and comment on the CAD model without buying an expensive CAD seat.
Q: eCAD+mCAD are offered by several different software tools. But you might have strong eCAD but not real robust mCAD and vise versa. Are collaborations not powerful?
I think multi-domain CAD collaboration is important. Today nothing is “pure mechanical” or “pure electronic”. Today, design is combined from mechanical, electro-mechanical, software and other pieces. To combine all together is important and not many vendors can do that today.
Q: Do we need to install any desktop-software to be able to save directly from Catia to Cload? Or only a Plugin for Catia suffice?
GrabCAD Workbench offers plugins for a number of CAD systems that allow you to save directly to a cloud-based Workbench project. Unfortunately Catia isn’t one of them yet. Catia users can download our desktop application, which synchronizes any CAD file on their desktop with the cloud-based Workbench project.
Q: I think you can both agree, that we're at an intersection of a number of new technologies in the CAD space. We're witnessing reduction of barriers for sharing of CAD assets across both national borders and company boundaries combined with the increased accessibility of additive manufacturing. Does this combination present a clear and present danger for intellectual property, either through malicious or accidental disclosure? How do you address this possibility?
Every advance in communicating technology represents a new challenge for the protection of intellectual property, but somehow the owners of the IP have always managed to survive. I’m not sure how the growth of 3D printing will play out, but I’m optimistic that companies who create great designs will find a way to get compensated. Sorry I don’t have a more specific answer - check back with me in 20 years!
I believe similar questions were asked when people first time discovered Xerox copy machine. The ability easy copy drawing was considered as IP danger. Then we had digital CAD tools, USB sticks, internet, 3D printing, etc. I can continue the list…
What questions do YOU have?