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...
Most of the new 3D printers and 3D printing technologies in this crop are breaking some boundaries, whether it's build volume-per-dollar ratios, multimaterials printing techniques, or new materials types.
Independent science safety company Underwriters Laboratories is providing new guidance for manufacturers about how to follow the latest IEC standards for implementing safety features in programmable logic controllers.
Automakers are adding greater digital capabilities to their design and engineering activities to promote collaboration among staff and suppliers, input consumer feedback, shorten product development cycles, and meet evolving end-use needs.
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