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Slideshow: The Evolution of CAD 2.0
6/13/2013

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zSpace tablet and pen. The user wears special glasses to see the 3D image on the tablet's screen. The pen interface is how most of the interaction with the digital objects occurs.   (Source: Infinite z)
zSpace tablet and pen. The user wears special glasses to see the 3D image on the tablet’s screen. The pen interface is how most of the interaction with the digital objects occurs.
(Source: Infinite z)

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Rob Spiegel
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Early, early CAD
Rob Spiegel   6/13/2013 8:36:23 AM
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Nice slide show, Cabe. I especially liked that super early version of CAD. It looks like the console of a 1950s movie spacecraft. It probably is.

Charles Murray
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Re: Early, early CAD
Charles Murray   6/13/2013 7:23:33 PM
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I agree, Rob. It reminds of the 1949 prediction from Popular Science: "Computers in the future may weigh no more than 1.5 tons." Actually, they were right.

Rob Spiegel
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Re: Early, early CAD
Rob Spiegel   6/13/2013 9:35:24 PM
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Now that's a funny prediction. I just recently learned that the first programmable computers were developed by the military to break German wartime codes.

Charles Murray
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Re: Early, early CAD
Charles Murray   6/14/2013 3:38:20 PM
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Absolutely true about the wartime codes. Several books have been written about the codebreakers and I believe there was a show about it on the PBS.

Rob Spiegel
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Re: Early, early CAD
Rob Spiegel   6/14/2013 4:02:21 PM
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Yep, Chuck. But over the years they apparently found some other uses for computers. At one point they tried to used computers to predict the weather. That was back when a good portion of Americans still lived on farms, and the weather was critical -- as opposed to annoying for city folks. Good as computers may be, they were weak in predicting the weather.

mrdon
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Re: Early, early CAD
mrdon   6/16/2013 5:57:28 PM
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Charles,

The PBS special was titled "Mind of a Codebreaker". Alan Turing along with mathematicians, crossword puzzle hobbyists, and other super intellects were the brain power behind the Bletchely Park Code Breaker organization. Here's a link to the Mind of a Codebreaker PBS website.

 

http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/decoding/mind.html

Charles Murray
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Re: Early, early CAD
Charles Murray   6/17/2013 6:40:00 PM
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Thanks for the link, mrdon. I'll have to see if I can find that special on Netflix. I know there was a wartime codebreaking facility in Washington D.C., as well, codenamed CSAW (Communications Supplementary Activity - Washington (link below) that was responsible for tracking enemy subs in WWII.

http://www.businessweek.com/chapter/murray.htm

mrdon
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Re: Early, early CAD
mrdon   6/18/2013 6:17:17 PM
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Charles,

The CSAW sounds interesting. Thanks for providing the link: I'll definitely check it out!

RMenon
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Re: Early, early CAD
RMenon   6/14/2013 8:28:29 PM
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Rob, you are probably thinking of the Enigma machine used to decode the German encrypted messages.

benmlee
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Re: Early, early CAD
benmlee   6/14/2013 10:56:27 AM
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You slipped in that AutoCad Fusion 360 cloud computing with monthly payment is going to save money. Software rental has been a huge sore spot with photographers since Adobe Photoshop went monthly subscription this month. The fear is that other softwares will follow.

These powerful softwares are unlike a renting a car. It takes years to master a particular program, and know the best techniques for fast modeling. You will build a data base of standard parts. Designs are reused. With a small business, you are locked into a software. If is a monthly payment like cable TV, then once your are locked into a single supplier, fees goes up. For a professional, over time, you will be paying more.

 

Rob Spiegel
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Re: Early, early CAD
Rob Spiegel   6/14/2013 11:01:38 AM
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Good points, Benmlee. I've seen professionals get deeply locked into software. That's one of the software industry's big advantage. Strong competitors will often offer those who are trapped with a way out -- a similar system that is easy to transfer -- but not always.

mrdon
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Re: Early, early CAD
mrdon   6/16/2013 5:50:41 PM
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Rob,

I agree. It seems the Evolution of CAD 2.0 is based on how designers and modelers are interacting with their designs using Gesture control devices as shown in the slides. I found zSpace, I believe, to be intriguing because of the holographic approach to design thru HMI. Imagine, being totally immersed in the development of a product through 3D visualization. Talk it about having total ownership in your work! Very nice article, Cabe.

mrdon
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Re: Early, early CAD
mrdon   6/16/2013 6:20:44 PM
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Rob,

I agree. Its amazing how Ivan Sutherland was able to conceive such a tool to aid in designing products. I remember when I was introduced to Computer Aided Graphics in college, the CAD station seemed magical. I really dugged the light pen as a drawing tool as well as the control panel which had buttons with pre-programmed shapes like circles, lines, and squares. The CAD 2.0 slides in Cabe's article really show how far the technology has gone and the imagination of its developers.

Debera Harward
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CAD Software
Debera Harward   6/17/2013 4:29:49 AM
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Its quite interesting that technologies usually developed in early ages get advanced on and on and finally takes a new shape in future . CAD technology is no doubt example of this . CAD Software came into existance in early 1960 initially it was used in aerospace and automative industry only. Later on it became popular and is used in 2D and 3D printing currently there are different CAD softwaares in the market architecture cad software, home cad software and so on all these softwares helps to create 3D projects .

Cadman-LT
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Great article
Cadman-LT   6/17/2013 5:19:44 AM
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Great article Cabe. I really enjoyed it, I remember most of those beginnings. I had not heard of a few of the new ones though. I've been wanting a leap for some time.

Tool_maker
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I miss some of the old stuff
Tool_maker   6/18/2013 6:49:26 AM
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  Very interesting article and a small chance to go down memory lane. I do miss much about hand drawing on a board. Some draftsmen were truly artists and could make drawings that had depth and looked like you could reach in and grab it off the paper. I miss the mental gymnastics required in all the trig involved in complicated designs. (I miss that because I was very good at it.) I do not miss the lettering, which in my case was often refered to as "chicken scratching" no matter how much I practiced. I do not miss the erasures of alterations or correcting a design. The callus is gone from my middle finger and the pencil groove is also gone, so I seriously doubt I could draw for eight hours without a sore hand.

  I also miss standing while working and the walking back and forth on a large design on my 7' board. I have tried CAD while standing with very poor results. But what I miss most is being able to bury an error. When I erased a mistake, it was as if it never happend, but today that error might have been reproduced a dozen times in different views etc.

  Do not get me wrong, I do not want to go back, but articles like this allow my mind to wander back to the good old days.

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