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CAD/CAM Corner
Slideshow: Design Apps for the Mobile Engineer
3/15/2012

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Autodesk's SketchBook Mobile is a professional-grade paint and drawing application designed for the iPhone and iPod Touch.    (Source: Autodesk)
Autodesk's SketchBook Mobile is a professional-grade paint and drawing application designed for the iPhone and iPod Touch.
(Source: Autodesk)

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mrdon
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Re: DESIGN APPS
mrdon   5/6/2012 11:30:02 PM
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Beth, I really enjoyed the slideshow regarding the Design Apps for the Mobile Engineer. In addition to the wonderful mobile design tools for the iPhone and iPad there are quite a few apps for android devices as well. I currently have five design apps on my DroidX Android phone I use quite often. The "RealCalc and "Scientific Calculator" apps are powerful engineering calculators with functions equal to the TI 83 and 85 computing devices. Electroid is an mobile app that has such useful tools as calculating capacitve reactance, ohms law, voltage divider calculator, resistor and inductor color codes, filters, op-amps, and the LM317 voltage regulator tools just to name a few. Every circuit is a mobile simulator package for  analyzing digital and analog devices. The "NXP" and "NXP RF" Calculator provide access to the companies semiconductor, microcontroller, and rf product line datasheets and application notes in addition to radio frequency design equations.

bobjengr
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DESIGN APPS
bobjengr   5/5/2012 8:07:23 PM
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Beth, excellent article.  You're beginning to convince I really need an i-PAD, if for nothing else to save my eyesight.     It's really amazing the distance we have come with communication technology.    I'm one of those old guys who remembers wall-mounted crank-type telephones and party lines.  The advances are absolutely striking.   I certainly hope you will keep your readers informed as to developments in this fast moving field.  Again, great job with the slides.

jmiller
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Re: Deployment stats?
jmiller   3/31/2012 4:56:20 PM
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It's cool to see all of the new stuff that is coming out.  But I do wonder how small it too small.  And how much can one really get out of apps for small phones.  In the end still cool stuff though.

B2BMan
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Iron
Re: Deployment stats?
B2BMan   3/20/2012 5:37:23 PM
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We have been serving the design engineering community with interactive eCatalogs and eConfiguratiors embedded in component suppliers' websites, since 1998. Thinking it's time to offer the same capability in a 'mobile view', we released our Version 1.0 smart-phone eCatalog platform this month. 

Reading about 'eye-test' feedback in this discussion, I'd be curious and appreciative of any reactions provided by design engineers about the viability and usability of this app. It's a mobile view of a SaaS app that serves out multiple instances of custom eCatalogs designed to help engineers discover our customers' components to then acquire and build-in to their designs.

For those interested, please click on www.imark.com/demo to check it out.

Thank you,

Del Merenda, President

 

sensor pro
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Re: Deployment stats?
sensor pro   3/20/2012 3:43:01 PM
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I agree. I do feel that in general conversations between engineers or meetings at shows it is nice pull something on the phone and help in the conversation. Or quickly check is changes were made or something like that.

That is as far as i would use it.

Ann R. Thryft
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Re: Deployment stats?
Ann R. Thryft   3/20/2012 3:29:07 PM
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I damage my eyes sometimes just trying to decipher things on my laptop's 15-inch screen, even though I wear glasses. Making the type big doesn't work if a webpage has been designed to be too large to contain it all at a readable size. So I can't imagine looking at any of that on a smartphone screen, let alone detailed CAD drawings.



sensor pro
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Re: Deployment stats?
sensor pro   3/20/2012 10:51:05 AM
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I completely agree with you. To have an application like Autodesk on smartphone is a PR job. You will damage your eyes before making a change on a drawing. On the other side to have a possibility to show various format drawings and sketches and 3D is a plus.

JimT@Future-Product-Innovations
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Re: Deployment stats?
JimT@Future-Product-Innovations   3/20/2012 12:29:56 AM
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Ann, thanks- you are right.  By classifying into two distinct groups, I can acknowledge value in the small screen apps.  But I strongly reiterate the FLUFF effect that any major playerin the CAD industry  (ummm,,,AutoDesk) is trying to put their apps onto Smart phones.  It's a  ploy for PR at best.

Ann R. Thryft
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Re: Deployment stats?
Ann R. Thryft   3/19/2012 3:19:46 PM
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Jim, I think there are (at least) two things going on with mobile apps. One is the fact that mobile devices are great for calculators and other utilities, like the Wesgo Metals one I just wrote about:

http://www.designnews.com/document.asp?doc_id=240687

These let an engineer in the field quickly access various types of data and/or make calculations. 

But to your point, I also have a hard time understanding how anyone is going to really do full-blown design tool apps on such a tiny screen when the screen size has been getting larger and larger.


JimT@Future-Product-Innovations
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Re: Deployment stats?
JimT@Future-Product-Innovations   3/17/2012 12:05:28 AM
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Beth, we keep seeing more and more articles on small screen CAD apps.  I've posted  "objections" before, but obviously the tide is turning where people in all disciplines feel the need to have and to hold such capability on their mobile devices.   But I simply can't wrap my head around how they have any real value, as I've spent decades using full-scale CAD on increasingly larger and larger screens.  On the contrary, these all seem like the old Etch-A-Sketch joke. (Apologies to the Ohio Art Company!)

So, it's the perfect tool for the Dilbert Engineering Manager who truly doesn't understand design details but simply wants to "appear" to be enlightened by using  a showy  watchdog tool to keep tabs on real designers using full scale systems.

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