Can Internet Change CAD?

The future of CAD as well as many other great technological products can be impacted by major technological trends. Undoubtedly, one of the most influential technological trends of the last decade is the Internet. Web technologies have changed the behavior of the people – the way they think and work. This comes from technological companies by introducing new services and products and also comes from social spaces. This weekend, while visiting friends, I looked at how some kids aged ten to eleven were using the Internet. I was amazed to see how Google Search is natural in their Web behavior. For many of us, coming from the desktop world, find it very natural to split between desktop and web. We tend to look for information on the Web and keep it on our virtual desks for future use. This is something that is going to change – web is becoming so transparent that we don’t need to keep information on our desktops anymore.

How is this related to CAD? I’d like to discuss two main areas where CAD will be impacted – CAD Data Management Transparency and Open CAD representation format:

1. CAD Data Management Transparency: I’d like to discuss the idea of “invisible” data management. It would start from our ability to use remote/cloud storage to keep our design data. In the beginning we will be able just keep our designs files (and the word for files itself might actually get changed) there, but within time, this storage will support basic data management capabilities that will have global behavior. No more local unique identifiers – data management technology will improve and rely on new Web capabilities.

2. Open CAD representation format. CAD format plays a very significant role in our lives today. We are taking care about this “holy cow” which trails lots of very complex questions that you can discover in every CAD-related community. This issue called Interoperability. My prediction is that CAD representation formats will be immersive with CAD SOA capabilities. We will not produce <files>, but we will produce design associated with specific design (CAD) software. This (CAD) software will use embedded representation services that will allows us to “deliver” design model to the specific device, product, context or other service, and make it available for usage.

I was reading Jeff Ray’s blog post “Predicting of CAD Future” early this week and found a few of Jeff’s thoughts corresponding very much my “internet-technological” thinking. Obsolescence of data management and design anywhere-anytime is something that definitely can be enabled by the broad introduction of Internet technologies in our space.

I’d be interested to hear your voices and churns on this topic.


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