Two events last month provided a great deal of information that engineers can apply to their design work. They were National Manufacturing Week (March 16-19) and the Daratech CAD/CAM, CAE Strategy Workshops. If you missed them, don't worry: you'll be able to read reports on some of the announcements at both meetings in future issues of Design News. You may want to try to attend them next year.
National Manufacturing Week was, of course, the larger of the two events. There were about 2,000 exhibits of new products and more than 85,000 attendees inspecting them, as well as a host of seminars, conferences, and special events. The National Design Engineering Show, with more than 35,000 attendees, was by far the largest of the four technology shows during National Manufacturing Week. It would have been impossible to walk out of the exhibit hall without at least one new idea for improving the way you do your job. There is really no broad show like it anywhere in the U.S.
The Daratech Conference is also unique, but for a different reason. At these annual strategy workshops, the presidents of virtually all major vendors of computer-aided design and engineering products talk about their vision for their own products. At the most recent meeting, the leaders of Parametric Technology Corp., Autodesk, IBM Dassault, Unigraphics Solutions, SDRC, Bentley Systems, CoCreate, Matra Datavision, the MacNeal-Schwendler Corp., ANSYS, MCS, Spatial Technology, and SolidWorks, among others, took to the microphone to describe the future of CAD as they see it. Why would they talk about their own strategies in front of their competitors? Hard to say. Nevertheless, any users in the audience would have gotten a good feel for forthcoming product enhacements.
Another great source of engineering information is the World Wide Web. Recently, we've made some enhancements to www.designnews.com that you should check out.
First, there's a new look that makes it easier to navigate around the site. Second, we've added "Channels," specific buttons that get you to information from your own industry, such as automotive, aerospace, medical, and others, as well as technologies such as CAD, motion control, fluid power, and more. Come visit.