After 20 years of covering the CAD industry, I’ve seen many changes and advances in the technology offered in the various systems. One thing that has remained constant, however, is that CAD is expensive. For many years, even so-called “mid-range” CAD systems would set an engineer back $5,000, and that’s just to get started and doesn’t include any associated hardware, training or support costs. To rectify this cost barrier, a growing number of CAD vendors are offering their software on a monthly subscription basis. This fits rather well with the needs of smaller companies and those whose business is cyclical in nature, meaning they don’t use the CAD tool on a daily basis.
Following in this trend, Siemens began offering its Solid Edge 3D CAD software by subscription in August. Yesterday, Siemens announced that it is now offering a new monthly subscription option as well as a free 45-day trial for its 3DSync software, a 3D editing tool based on the company’s proprietary synchronous technology, which is offered in both of its CAD applications, NX and Solid Edge. The company reports that the tool has been shown to increase the productivity by a factor of ten or more when working with imported CAD data, a common activity for engineers in today’s multi-CAD world. The new subscription option is initially available online in the US, Canada, UK, and Ireland. The free 45-day trial is available globally.
The 3DSync software is a much-needed tool in today’s product development environment in which engineers must collaborate among multiple companies (suppliers, partners, and customers). Inconsistent data formats among the various CAD systems create headaches, bottlenecks, errors and often time-consuming rework. The design intent built into CAD models created in parametric CAD systems is often lost during the translation process, making the resulting model difficult to work with and often requires the engineer to fix, or worse, recreate it. Synchronous technology enables users to interrogate imported 3D models, recognize design intent, and automatically apply appropriate design parameters. Using a tool like 3DSync will extend these benefits to users of any commercially available CAD system. Certainly a step in the right direction towards eliminating the headaches engineers suffer as a result of having to work with imported CAD models.
To sign up to receive 3DSynch on a monthly basis, go to: http://store.plm.automation.siemens.com/store/siplm1/en_US/pd/productID.288669500.
Or give the tool a free 45-day test drive by signing up here: