Struggling with what to get your favorite engineer this holiday season? Well, if your engineer is an avid CAD or design tool user, you're in luck. A plethora of new products have come out this year that can greatly enhance the CAD jockey's work routine and appeal to his innate love of high-tech gadgetry.
We're not talking about mainstream electronics fare like 3D TVs or robotics devices that make all of the mainstream gadget gift-giving guides. Rather, we're talking serious, bread-and-butter hardware and software that can help these guys get their work done more efficiently and more effectively, yet, at the same time, spark some fun.
Check out the following slideshow to get the low-down on gift ideas for CAD users, from cool input devices that use holograms and 3D technologies, to a more powerful breed of mobile and desktop workstations.
Click the image below to see a slideshow of our picks for the perfect gift for the CAD jockey in your life:
The $299 SpaceMouse Pro pairs 3Dconnexion’s patented six-degrees-of-freedom sensor for precise 3D navigation along with an advanced ergonomic design and an on-screen display to deliver improved comfort and a simpler, more productive workflow.
That's a great way to frame out the security issue, Rob. I think increasingly companies are feeling more comfortable and confident in the cloud as a safe harbor for corporate data, financial or product-related. In fact, in many ways, I don't see IT as the stumbling block to design tools in the cloud--they've already made the leap with other core business systems like ERP and CRM.
More likely, it's engineering management that probably less familar and has less experience with this new delivery model, thus has more concerns. Also, performance is a huge issue when there is so much intensive graphics processing work to do. Doing it on a local system in many ways is still a better option than offloading tasks to the cloud and having to deal with limited bandwidth for data transmission.
Yes, that's what a figured. Some aspects of processing and storage would naturally go into the cloud as in-house servers have difficulty keeping up with processing and memory. And from following your stories in this area it looks like digital opportunities are growing in every direction.
I know security is always a concern at first, especially when it comes to the IT folks who might get nervous when the design staff starts talking about storing company IT on somebody else's server.
The question that usually ends the conversation is this: Where is your financial data safer, on your bank's computer or on your own? Followed by: How many times have you lost email archives through your own disc crashes, and how many times have you lost email archives on your providers system?
Good question, Rob. I wouldn't say cloud has entered this world in a big way--yet! But we definitely saw some significant signs that it will be a factor. Both Dassault and Autodesk, big players in the CAD/PLM/design tool space, unveiled their cloud strategies this year.
As with the whole mobile app scenario, we're not likely to see traditional desktop CAD translated to the cloud platform, mostly because the heavy-duty graphics and 3D rendering might see performance degragation in the cloud. CAE has a lot of potential in the cloud--being able to offload heavy-duty simulation processing to servers somewhere freeing up the desktop for other work or enabling far more complex simulations. Some of the lifecycle components of PLM, quality management functionality, requirements functionality, service and support functionality, those are good candidates for the cloud as opposed to the core product data repository or PDM information, which companies are likely hesitant to put outside of their own IT infrastructures.
With these complex tools that require substantial processing horsepower, I would imagine there is some really opportunity to shift some of the complexity, and processing to the cloud. Has cloud computing entered this world in a big way yet?
I think it's more a matter of complexity of technology. Having a platform that is well tuned to process and visualize highly complex 3D modeling data requires a whole lot of processing horsepower and top-of-the-line viewing capabilities, all of which have come down in price, but are still no where near commodity levels. And obviously for this slide, we had to highlight some of the more expensive, unique items.
They also have very expensive tastes. I would imagine the high cost of these products is in part because they go to a specialized audience -- a small one -- and thus the technology will not get commoditized. Or maybe it's simple because of the complexity of the technology.
Don't CAD users have discriminating tastes? I think the zSpace platform is pretty cool as well and really has the potential to change the way CAD users interact with 3D models. If money is no object, the Planar 3D monitor is also pretty exciting in terms of adding a new dimension to how CAD users interact with models.
For industrial control applications, or even a simple assembly line, that machine can go almost 24/7 without a break. But what happens when the task is a little more complex? That’s where the “smart” machine would come in. The smart machine is one that has some simple (or complex in some cases) processing capability to be able to adapt to changing conditions. Such machines are suited for a host of applications, including automotive, aerospace, defense, medical, computers and electronics, telecommunications, consumer goods, and so on. This discussion will examine what’s possible with smart machines, and what tradeoffs need to be made to implement such a solution.