At $0 to $49 per user per month, GrabCAD Workbench, a cloud-hosted collaboration and file-sharing service, must have sounded like April Fools’ joke to some, but it was not. Since it came online in April, the product has picked up 15,000 users. Last week, GrabCAD decided to boost its functionality with added features to join the desktop and the cloud repository. Continue reading
Dassault Systemes 3D Experience Forum 2013: “Taking the Cloud Back to the Enterprise, Not the Other Way Around.”
It’s an interesting exercise to study the evolving vocabulary at tech conference keynotes. About five or six years ago, speakers went out of their way to hail PLM. Today many prefer to keep PLM references to a minimum. Instead, they pepper their talks with “social,” “community,” “apps,” and “cloud.” It’s a reflection of tech consumers’ changing attitude. They want easily deployable, social media-inspired solutions with an always-on connection to the web and a cancel-anytime option. Continue reading
If the transition of 3D design capabilities to the cloud has been a series of measured steps, think of Autodesk’s latest move as a leap for CAD.
Autodesk, which has been the most aggressive of the CAD vendors to embrace the new software delivery paradigm, has announced a technology preview of full-fledged versions of its 3D design, engineering, and entertainment tools running in a Web browser for the first time. These browser-based versions of Autodesk Inventor, Revit, Maya, and 3ds Max provide access to the bulk of functionality in the traditional desktop versions on any Internet-connected system or device without requiring a full license of the program, and without keeping the user tied to any specific PC. Continue reading
Another bridge just went up in the collaboration space. This one is called Share3D. It’s built by QuadriSpace, which offers a series of CAD-to-3D PDF publishing packages. The Share3D app, available for both iPhone and iPad for free, is designed to work in conjunction with the company’s cloud-hosted offerings and the desktop product.
Several products from the Share3D line — the iPad app, the cloud services, and the desktop client — come together to form a collaborative environment for project team members working on different devices, in different places. This is the model driven by what some are calling the BYOD (bring your own device) policy now gaining acceptance in the design and engineering professions. Other vendors like GrabCAD and CadFaster are also banking on this trend. (GrabCAD skips the desktop client but allows desktop machines to communicate with online content and iPad through standard browsers.) Continue reading
Google Docs brought us word-processing in the cloud. Adobe Creative Cloud is pushing us toward photo-editing in the cloud. Dropbox taught us to manage files and folders in the cloud. It’s inevitable, then, that sooner or later simulation would head to the cloud.
Most computer-aided engineering (CAE) software vendors are bidding their time, observing the trend on the sideline. They support private cloud — dedicated servers installed at clients’ sites to run simulation — but are reluctant to dive into the public cloud. That’s understandable. Their codes and licensing practices are driven, for the most part, by users devoted to desktop workstations and clusters. Continue reading