11 Feb 2009
AutoCAD 2010 goes parametric. At last ...
By the end of last week Autodesk lifted the veil from the new features introduced in its flagship products - AutoCAD and Inventor. Quite impressive, I must say.
First of all, by finally adding
geometry parameterization to AutoCAD drawing, Autodesk has made a significant step forward, which can become a giant leap for the CAD community.
A multi-million army of AutoCAD users will now get an insight into variational technologies in geometry modeling based on geometric and dimensional constrains, which are long-established standards in high- and mid-class MCAD systems.
It is obvious that Autodesk is narrowing the technological gap between AutoCAD and Inventor. Although the difference is still significant, many of the existing AutoCAD users have second thoughts about moving to Inventor and Revit. It can be a good short-term solution in the time of recession, but its longer prospects are uncertain.
No doubt, this is a good blow to AutoCAD competitors in the 2D drafting market, especially cheap AutoCAD clones that lack parameterization. In such a situation producers of clones should think seriously about implementing similar functionalities in their systems.
And, lastly – there’s no way to do not mention
. It’s just amazing how quickly Autodesk responded to technological challenge Siemens PLM technology claimed last year with its Synchronous Technology, pretending to monopolize such functionality for years. So far, symbiosis of power of parametric, history-based modeling with the ease of use and productivity advantages of direct, history-free modeling now becomes “must be” feature in MCAD world. I suppose all other key-players in that market should be in hurry with their response.
We, at LEDAS, would only welcome the Autodesk initiative, because it promotes the variational approach to the wide range of CAD users and, therefore helps our business too. LEDAS has developed and provided software tools for variation modeling since the company was founded ten year ago. It successfully marketed the LGS family of geometric solvers for independent vendors. Last autumn LEDAS released the first of its end-user applications – Driving Dimensions plug-in for SketchUp, which adds parametric capabilities to the popular 3D modeling tool. The company plans to implement similar add-ons for other CAD packages, which currently lack parametric capabilities.
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