CAD tools as part of broader PLM suites are exactly what you say, Alex: End-to-end product design and prototyping systems. As a result, for every function and bell and whistle that gets added to the CAD program, there are broader concerns, as you well point out, about interoperability, security, and perhaps, most importantly, integration with other key design platforms in functional areas beyond mechanical design.
One can't escape the thought that CAD tools are starting to become so broad-based and capable that they're no longer just CAD tools anymore. They're end-to-end product design and prototyping systems. This is not necessarily a bad thing. What it means, though, is that we have to stop treating them like pieces of licensed software, and starting treating them more like mission-critical apps, with all that that entails...like worrying about vendor lock in, data portability, security, etc...
Fifty-six-year-old Pasquale Russo has been doing metalwork for more than 30 years in a tiny southern Italy village. Many craftsmen like him brought with them fabrication skills when they came from the Old World to America.
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