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...
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.
The 3D printing revolution seems to have a knack for quickly moving technology ahead by way of collaborative effort and even a little friendly competition -- all of course in the name of scientific advancement.
Advantech has launched a new series of motion-control I/O modules to meet the increased demands that come with more distributed industrial systems that require control of a growing number of axes and devices.
A quick look into the merger of two powerhouse 3D printing OEMs and the new leader in rapid prototyping solutions, Stratasys. The industrial revolution is now led by 3D printing and engineers are given the opportunity to fully maximize their design capabilities, reduce their time-to-market and functionally test prototypes cheaper, faster and easier. Bruce Bradshaw, Director of Marketing in North America, will explore the large product offering and variety of materials that will help CAD designers articulate their product design with actual, physical prototypes. This broadcast will dive deep into technical information including application specific stories from real world customers and their experiences with 3D printing. 3D Printing is