One thing we also need to consider from a mobile computing perspective is consumption versus authoring. We don't get much real estate on most hand-held devices to do any propductive geometry creation work; however, we could do things that relate to metadata/config managment and the like. Even with tablets, we would still need additional computing resources in the device to make authoring realistic, although tablets are much better suited to consumption than are hand-helds. Hopefully, CAD technology providers will also embrace the multi-touch displays used on mobile devices such that we can have a reliable alternative to a mouse interface.
Mobile apps and the cloud. Two huge new delivery models and you're right, Alex, early stirrings in the CAD world. It will be exciting to see how far the vendors push these models this year and how it will impact their revenue streams. CAD and PLM vendors are used to very pricey programs and lots of consulting services work. Mobile changes that, although the cloud, not so much.
Rob, I agree, this does relate to the design reuse issue. It's sort of like the recycling "reduce, reuse, recycle" mantra. It also makes me think of all the attempts in chip design to reuse various circuit designs as IP, some of which worked.
This is of a piece with today's (Jan. 3) story from Beth on mobile Android app uptake. In 2011, we saw the stirrings of new licensing and delivery models in the CAD space. The interesting dynamic here, as opposed to the general IT space, is that the vendors seem to be a little bit more proactive in terms of protecting their revenue base by covering all the possibilities -- regular, per seat licenses, cloud delivery, mobile, lower-end monthly use fees. That's a smart strategy.
I agree, Beth. I makes a lot of sense to re-use designs that are already proven. Not only economic sense, but time-to-market sense. Component suppliers and distributors have been helping out for years with reference designs so brand owners can plug and play basic chunks of the product that are well-proven.
Naperlou's point about simulation and optimization plays into this whole notion of refining and evolving products to make them more efficient and cost effective as opposed to starting from scratch to develop new ones. I suppose efficiency is what it is all about in this tight economic climate.
I think William's question is a good one, and echoes a theme I kept hearing over the last couple of years in machine vision: refurbish, tweak, redesign, optimize, streamline, etc. In other words, do almost anything to an existing system or product except build or buy a new one, whatever it is.
I agree with you William. I don't think I was referring to the fact that all development and additional CAD spending is slated towards new products, but rather like you mention, towards a concerted effort to retune product lines for efficiencies and to take cost out of the equation. As you well note, all goals that are quite achieveable with CAD tools.
In talking to design shops, I see further use of and comfort with CAD tools, especially simulation tools. Simulation helps shorten design cycles and makes physical prototyping, which is generally deferred, more effective. The tighter integration between these tools and traditional CAD tools seems to be a driver. In addition, PLM tools might be making an impact. These are not as widely used, it seems, and this adds room for growth.
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