You are right. They often hear their customers complaining about but they do not listen – meaning they seldom convert those heard requirements into actions. I think it is all boil down to where is the money? Perhaps, it is not very lucrative (for business reason only) to add such a “multi-CAD” capability. On one hand, it would become easier for customers to use multiple CAD systems (from competitors), which most CAD vendors don’t like or want. Most PLM vendors prefer their customers to be the user of a single system and exclusively of their own. But, most of us in industries, who has to deal with multiple suppliers and vendors for collaborative product development, find it difficult, if not impossible, to deal with only one system. I do not think there is an easy solution to this problem – which has been lingering for many years. I do not know if we will ever be able to get it resolved?
Until our users of PLM products apply pressures, it is more likely that we will continue to waste our time converting models after models and translating models after models with no relief on sight.
It's funny. The CAD vendors keep talking about how they hear their customers and now fully recognize their plight, thus are evolving the CAD tools to address the challenges. Yet customers still say there's significant work to be done. Maybe when the next-generation of these next-generation CAD tools emerge, the problem will be mitigated. Until then, what's the best solution to this on-going problem?
As David Prawel, rightly said, today we spend a lot of highly paid talent spending valuable time doing relative grunt work in data conversions and translations across models. In the modern time like today, every gadgets, we use are getting intelligent and smarter, why cannot our PLM vendors make our PLM (aka CAD/CAM) tool more intelligent s so that it recognizes the differences across two or more mathematical representations in such a way that one CAD model in one system can convert itself easily into another model?
Until then I am afraid we will continue to do grunt work and waste our precious time doing unproductive conversion over and over again.
Spot on, Alex. Yes, many of the CAD providers are now adding analytics-type functionality to their core tool sets to provide visual dashboard-like alerts. These are used to showcase everything from part interference in assemblies or even to address sustainability in design in terms of material choices, for example. I'm sure we're going to be hearing a lot more about this as the capabilities evolve and as visualization and product analytics capabilities become more sophisticated.
Appreciate your feedback and insight. Have you tried any the data healing or data conversion tools? How much time do you estimate designers and engineers spend retooling CAD files to make them useful and is that something that all CAD users have to contend with or is there a special person or team assigned to that work?
Hi Beth. We suffer many problems with interoperability, being a consultancy means we work with different customers systems. The biggest problem is the data when transferred by IGES or STEP usually has errors and corrupt data which takes a lot of time to sort out. Or it simply fails to transfer and we have to go through the whole process again, which can casue delays if its accross time zones.
Location of common coordinate systems is also an issue for easy assembly.
Reverse engineering from scanned data is a nightmare.
As for resolutions we have none, other than hard work to put models right and make them usable in the real world.
The interoperability about which you've written is an important driver for more usable CAD. Another trend I've been hearing about is advances in visualization. Not just visualization tools, but improved ways to crunch through data sets and visual them. True, this is not CAD-specific, but I'm wondering if some of these visualization advances will feed back into improvements in CAD tools. Is this something on your radar, Beth?
While the community at large reports some improvement in CAD interoperability, the true test is in the field. What kind of problems is your company still dealing with? We want to hear about them and more importantly, how you're resolving them.
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