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6 Feb 2012

NURBS, BIM, or Revolution: which topics are most attractive for the readership?

David Levin, Editor-in-Chief of, LEDAS Chairman

Since its founding in 2004, web-portal has become the most popular Russian-language Internet publication about CAD/PLM, which I consider a substantial achievement of the LEDAS team. According to visiting statistics, our web-site does not compete with those forums that discuss technical features of a particular operation with a particular design tool. The most important for our editorial board, however, is how influential is among professionals and the largest CAD-companies working on the Russian and CIS markets. Today the click stream on has reached half a million per year and every year increases two- or threefold, which undoubtedly encourages Autodesk, ASCON, Bentley Systems, Dassault Systemes, NVIDIA, PTC, Siemens PLM, Top Systems and others to more and more actively publish information on our portal. One can easily verify this casting a glance at the front page of, where the leading market players present their information blocks, which concisely accumulate all main news and achievements of each company, particularly, messages in all major social networks.

Along with blocks of vendors and large distributors, on a regular basis and, of course, free-of-charge, presents similar blocks of news from the leading Russian-language magazines on CAD (CAD/CAM/CAE Observer, CAD and Graphics, PCWeek RE…) and a popular British magazine DEVELOP3D that in 2010 became our partner.

For Russian-speaking readership, reports major news from the global and domestic markets. Instead of relaying an enormous flow of all news, we try to focus on the most significant (in the opinion of our editors) events and phenomena. We endeavor to not only present the news as promptly as possible and also give our comments but also systematically accumulate the main news in our monthly and annual reviews. has a humble “little brother” –; its concept is to publish for the foreign readership principal information about CAD/PLM market in Russia and the CIS (including quarterly reviews), as well as articles of general, extra-geographic interest – first of all, discussing various technological questions. Recent years formed a practice – probably unique - of almost simultaneous publication of a Russian-language original on and its English translation on On the other hand, regularly publishes translations of prominent English-language publications, in particular, by such reputable authors and experts as Martyn Day, Al Dean, Deelip Menezes, Ralph Grabowski, Oleg Shilovitsky, Roopinder Tara, and others … works together with the leading consulting firms in the world – CIMdata and Cyon Research, in particular, regularly publishing Russian-language versions of reviews, surveys and other materials prepared by these organizations.

The isicad project was heavily influenced by international isicad Forums that took place in Novosibirsk in 2004, 2006, and 2008 , where several hundred visitors were able to meet at the same venue almost all main vendors operating on the market of engineering software. Other events in this series included a seminar in Moscow in 2009 with active involvement of Ralph Grabowski (who later visited St Petersburg and Novosibirsk) and a joint isicad - COFES seminar in Moscow in 2010, where the decisive role was played by Brad Holtz, the President of Cyon Research and COFES.

To make the picture complete, I must mention another element of isicad project – a Russian-language electronic encyclopedia PLMpedia . Today this resource contains over 1600 articles covering all major categories on the subject of engineering software, combined under the following sections: “Terms and Concepts”, “Vendors and Products”, “All Product Categories”, “Media and Analysts”, “Public Organizations”, “Exhibitions and Conferences”, and “Personas”.

Roughly speaking, the content of is broken down into large topic sections: MCAD, AEC/BIM, PLM/PDM/ERP. CAE, Hardware, Clouds, Geometric Modeling, and Marketing & Finances (that from time to time we adjust in line with the major market interests):







Geometric Modeling


under which we publish news, press-releases and articles. According to the concept, and based upon strong readers’ reactions, the most interest is generated by articles (about new products and solutions, reviews, reputable experts, etc.): presented by vendors as well as written by reputable experts including the authors of

One of the indicators of the level of popularity of – broad discussions that periodically arise in the comments to some articles. As always, the most fierce and continuous discussions are stirred by the articles that have either clear or implicit polemical nature. An example of an obvious dispute is a well-known article of Martyn Day “The Death of SolidWorks” whose Russian translation thanks to the kind cooperation of DEVELOP3D was published at earlier than the original and generated a near-record number of readers’ comments on Overall, statistics shows that “SolidWorks” is perhaps the most popular word in Russian publications about CAD. (A micro-post in my blog “16 Gimmicks in SolidWorks 2012”, written simply to attract attention to a matching article on, is during many months among the most visited posts in my Russian-language blog ). Implicitly polemic articles, in my opinion, include, for instance, publications analyzing conservative technologies (that won’t set Thames on fire, looks with pragmatic skepticism at innovations, and pretends to be the best wide solutions for today) or, on the contrary, innovative technologies (that recognize their temporary shortcomings but confident in their full and ultimate victory). Typical examples of tentatively conservative articles: an article by a very experienced user V.Yampolsky “Revolutions in Design” and an article of ASCON guys “MinD (Model in Drawing): Reasonable Solution for Real Life” that offers 2D and 2.5D solutions, to a certain extent (carefully) opposed to 3D and BIM. These articles are record-breaking on both click stream and the debate level, generating several hundred striking comments. On the other hand, articles that discuss direct modeling and its various implementations are very popular and cause vigorous discussions.

Compare the tables of top 10 most visited articles for all the lifetime correspondingly at and (in Russian):

1. MinD (Model in Drawing) Technology. Reasonable solution for real life D.Povarnitsyn, D.Voltchkov (both – ASCON)   August 2011
2. Technology of designing a constructive model of a building from drawings V.Yampolsky March 2011
3. The Death of SolidWorks Martyn Day December 2010
4. 3D becomes really popular together with AutoCAD 2011 Ilya Tatarnikov (LEDAS) March 2010
5. What Affects BIM Implementation in Russia V.Talapov October 2010
6. CAD Revolution: Inevitable and Already Started V.Malukh (LEDAS) January 2011
7. BIM: What people usually mean by this? V.Talapov November 2010
8. How to calculate foundations in APM Civil Engineering A.Alyekhin, V.Prokopov (both APM Center)   August 2010
9. Testing performance of NVIDIA video cards when working with SolidWorks V.Malukh January 2010
10. BIM in Russia: the New Building of Mariinsky Theater V.Talapov February 2011 (in English):

1. How to Express Design Intent in Rhino 3D D.Ushakov November 2009
2. NURBS and CAD: 30 Years Together D.Ushakov December 2011
3. “The Future of MCAD” Roundtable Organized by isicad and upFront.eZine   September 2009
4. New Armor for Rhino D.Ushakov July 2010
5. The prodigal son of Autodesk D.Ushakov May 2009
6. Direct Modeling - Who and Why Needs It? A Review of Competitive Technologies D.Ushakov November 2011
7. Synchronous Technology: The Third Attempt D.Ushakov October 2010
8. CIMdata evaluates PLM-market in 2010 and gives optimistic forecasts V.Malukh April 2011
9. A brief interview with Steffen Buchwald (Siemens PLM Software)   June 2009
10. Variational Direct Modeling: How to Keep Design Intent in History-Free CAD D.Ushakov October 2008

Another ten popular publications in English, some of which still can later enter Top 10 list:

11. CAD Revolution: Inevitable and Already Started V.Malukh January 2011
12. Which PLM Are Used in Russian Automotive Industry? V.Malukh May 2011
13. Space & CAD in Russia: 50 Years since Gagarin Flight V.Malukh April 2011
14. Bricscad Enters 3D Solid Modeling for Mechanical Design Market D.Ushakov January 2011
15. Bentley RM Bridge solves bridge design and analysis problems V.Malukh September 2011
16. From the Prague Spring to a Siberian summer (The history of JetCAM) D.Ushakov August 2011
17. A More or Less Optimistic Update on BIM A.Bausk November 2010
18. Top Systems Introduces T-FLEX CAD 11 Press-release November 2007
19. Road to CATIA V6 and SolidWorks sales through Facebook Interview with top managers of DS October 2010
20. About AutoCAD for Mac, Linux, clouds and competitors Interview with Miikka Arala (Autodesk) October 2010

One of the most popular authors of – Vladimir Talapov, PhD in Mathematics, a professor of Novosibirsk Academy of Architecture and Construction, a leading Russian expert on BIM. In the past two years Vladimir published around 20 articles on that give a powerful description of BIM and illustrate its diverse application. Beyond those mentioned above, here are more articles written by Mr. Talapov:

BIM Implementation: Conservatism and Common Sense;
Applying BIM to the Existing Buildings ;
BIM and American Bureaucrats ;
Solutions of Bentley Systems Create a Feeling of Pride for Success of the Mankind (Impressions from the Amsterdam Conference).

These days when I prepare my publication, Vladimir’s new article What prevents the spread of BIM in Russia initiated an unprecedented activity of comments… We should at last start translating such articles in English…

Thanks to a solid engineering background, unique knowledge of most modern CAD tools and active involvement in developing his own CAD – bCAD, Vladimir Malukh, LEDAS Director on Engineering Consulting, is justly considered the leading expert on the Russian market on analysis of global and domestic trends in developing CAD/PLM, comparative analysis of solutions and problems associated with their implementation. That’s why our readers pay great attention to monthly isicad-reviews of events on the global and Russian markets, prepared by Vladimir, as well as his regular articles and comments on the most pressing topics. Some examples of publications by Vladimir Malukh: reviews as well as special articles and notes (beyond those mentioned above):

How Not to Go Mad Working in Several CAD?;
Intergraph Becomes a European Company; ;
CAD in Military Service ;
PLM and BIM: Twins or Multiples?;
PLM Data Migration: Problems and Solutions;
Pads and CAD – Fashion or Expediency?;
2011: Events that Changed the CAD World

Even student and post-graduate papers of Dmitry Ushakov were devoted to advance technological issues – first of all – original aspects of constraint programming. It’s not a coincidence that about ten years ago top-management of Dassault Systemes thought very highly of Dmitry’s role in DS cooperation with LEDAS and offered Dmitry a permanent position with this remarkable company. Nevertheless, Dmitry chose a carrier in LEDAS, which turned out to be quite productive – at the level of CTO and CEO. Recently Dmitry was appointed CEO of Bricsys Technology Russia, at the same time remaining on LEDAS Board of Directors and Deputy Chief Editor of isicad. It is on the basis of his professional level that Dmitry with good reason positions himself in Twitter as a visionary. I think that he is one of the most thoughtful international engineering analysts and web-journalists specializing on technologies. Naturally, Dmitry’s publications always hold the highest rating among Russian- and English-language publications on and, which one can expect simply judging by the titles of his articles: most of them are mentioned above but here are some more:

On a Kernel ;
Get back! (Personal Impressions from COFES-2011);

and three articles/interview related to Autodesk-2011 Forum in Moscow:
Are there many errors in AutoCAD? (eng);
Innovator’s dilemma of AutoCAD WS: interview with Tal Weiss (eng);
Autodesk turns to PLM and demonstrates its leadership in cloud/mobile technologies (eng).

It will be in future interesting to compare popularity of Russian and English articles at Some of my prompt impressions are as follows:

  • English-speaking readers are much more attracted to the words like NURBS or direct modeling, than words like revolution:),more seriously: technology is very respectable domain in Russia but, compared to economical and organizational aspects, still not so much influencing,
  • Rhino, Bricscad, Bentley, and CIMdata are much more known in the West than in Russia,
  • Application of PLM in Russian industry is still more interesting for the West (=Western business) than for Russian industry,
  • Teaching of CAD/PLM is a very hot topic in Russia (generation change in industries is a key point),
  • BIM became the most discussed issue in Russia (which by the way relates also to general problems of economics and even politics)…

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