A mix of utilities and CAD and automation tools characterizes our first roundup of engineering applications for the iPad.
In searching Apple's App Store, it's obvious that there's a lot of low-hanging technical fruit. Most notable is the plethora of engineering unit conversion programs. We've included a few we found of particular interest to mechanical and industrial engineers. There are also many apps of value only to captive users of a particular vendor's products; we've included some with widespread user bases.
Click the image below to view our slideshow of useful engineering apps:
This native viewer for the ubiquitous DWG CAD file format supports both 2D and 3D renditions. Usability features include pan and zoom. Files can be accessed via ftp or Dropbox. $3.99. Go here.
Clearly, our starter list isn't comprehensive. Still, we believe it's a good beginning. We're also interested in your favorites for a followup gallery. Please send your picks to me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
For those of us that like nostalgia, I'd add one: Virtual Slide Rule, from the Interrobang Group. An excellent electronic representation of the Pickett N3-ES, with instructions. Brings back great memories and helps keep math history alive!
Tablets are not, as most of us know. I have one from the mid 90's, it runs an 386, and another that s running a P3. They were pretty much a niche market before. But technology is always upping, so bashing old tech is pointless, 10 yrs from now what we use now will be laughed at.
I thing as a CAD/CAM user we use what is best for our needs at the point in time that it's best solution. If it makes my job more productive, I don't care who makes it. It will be outdated next year anyway, and I will using something else by then.
These apps in the article could be useful given the right need.
Thanks for the info on current Tech/software.
Correct me if I'm wrong, but aren't most, if not all of these apps available for a laptop and smart phone? I think if I must carry something other my smart phone, it will be a laptop with an I3 processor (or better) that I can dock to a 24-inch monitor for efficient CAD work at my place of destination. I3 laptops are now going for $400 - less costly than a smaller tablet and yet much more versatile.
Very impressed with iPocket Draw. I quickly work with a client on a spontanelus idea or, particularly good, is to draw up a full CAD and walk through making moderate changes. Later we go back through the changes and verify on the 'big screen'.
Franckb- I agree with you that the Psion was a great product. I'd also like to mention the original Toshiba Libretto, circa 1996. This wasn't a tablet, but a true, downsized mini, right down to the chiclet-sized keys. I remember when I took it on airplanes, the flight atttendants always wanted to check it out.
Dear Alexander, I have to correct, the only credit I would give to Microsoft is to not have been able to propose any good solution to that market need. My credits are first for the “Psion” founders (David Potter, .. ; ref :http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/business/1434369.stm) who pushed since the 80’s for a solution for handheld computer, and created an advanced solution for the time (the Psion 3, 5, revo, netbook). And second for Apple (Steve Jobs) who broke the total inertia (Microsoft based-solutions) existing in that product line, proposed an innovative product (iphone, ipad) and did a superb work in proposing value for non-technical users. For the small story again, to remind the NON-support of Microsoft for those technologies, please listen to Steve Ballmer on Iphone (2007, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eywi0h_Y5_U&feature=youtube_gdata_player ). This is going a little out of topic, but history of technology is one of my subject of interest.
A make-your-own Star Wars Sith Lightsaber hilt is heftier and better-looking than most others out there, according to its maker, Sean Charlesworth. You can 3D print it from free source files, and there's even a hardware kit available -- not free -- so you can build one just in time for Halloween.
Focus on Fundamentals consists of 45-minute on-line classes that cover a host of technologies.
You learn without leaving the comfort of your desk. All classes are taught by subject-matter experts and all are archived.
So if you can't attend live, attend at your convenience.