In the end of 1990s, CAD/PLM community was excited about development of Boeing 777 jet. The Boeing 777 is the first aircraft to be fully digitally designed using 3D computer graphics eliminating the need for costly full-scale mock-ups. Here is the quote from Aviation Explorer:
The 777 was also the first commercial aircraft to be designed 100% by computer. No paper drawings were ever produced; everything was created on a 3D CAD software system known as CATIA. This allowed a virtual 777 to be assembled in cyberspace, allowing engineers to examine for interferences, and to test if the many thousands of parts would fit together properly before costly physical prototypes were manufactured.
Now, let make a fast forward in 2010. Did we make a compatible achievement in 3D / CAD / PLM technologies over the last 10 years? 3D CAD technologies went to mainstream. Price of 3D CAD system dropped significantly. However, PLM didn’t proliferate downstream. People in the engineering, manufacturing and supply chains are still struggling to get latest information about product and exchange data using USB memory sticks. Sounds like a painful question… What do you think?