It’s been an on-going discussion in engineering circles, at times become a raucous debate and now some of industry’s most respected veterans are gearing up to address the issue in what they’ve hyped as an “MCAD Smackdown.” In any event, the discourse over the virtues and downsides of parametric modeling vs. direct modeling for 3-D CAD users continues and is important for any one using (or in the market to be using) the tools to understand.
Today at 12pm ET, a handful of seasoned industry vets will host a panel to give their two cents on when, why and how people can use direct and/or parametric modeling to best support design needs and engineering practices. The moderator is Cadalyst contributing editor and CAD guru Bill Fane and the panel includes Mike Payne, co-founder of SpaceClaim, SolidWorks and PTC; Ben Eadie, blogger and SolidWorks instructor; Carl White, direct of digital design product management at Autodesk; John McCullough, vice president, product management, Kubotech; John Buchowski, vice president, product management, PTC; and Dan Staples, director of Solid Edge product development at Siemens PLM Software.
While the two types of CAD technology have been around for years, the debate has come front and center as a new generation of CAD tools debuted. While the newcomers pit what they say are more flexible direct modeling approaches against longstanding parametric CAD tools, the traditional parametric CAD vendors have fired back with totally revamped platforms that integrate many of the sought-after capabilities of direct modeling functionality with the traditional history-based approach-a blend that is sure to benefit engineering users. Some, like SpaceClaim, Kutobotek’s KeyCreator and Siemens PLM Software’s Synchronous Technology showcased in both NX and Solid Edge have evolved over the last couple of years and helped users achieve significant productivity gains. Others, like Autodesk’s Fusion and PTC’s newly reinvented Creo platform are still works in progress. Any way, should be interesting to hear what these industry experts are saying now that the tools are in use and it’s not just pure academic discourse.