There is a new kid in the block of cloud-based CAD tools. My attention was caught by LEDAS press release – LEDAS to Offer a Software Platform for Building Cloud CAD Apps. LEDAS is a software outfit from Russia with long time record of custom CAD development. In the past LEDAS developed some CAD technology for Dassault Systemes. Also, LEDAS in the past sold CAD technologies to Bricsys NV.
Here is a passage I captured from the press release:
“In recent years we have seen a fast-growing demand across many our customers for creating cloud-hosted 3D CAD/BIM applications,” says Nikolay Snytnikov, LEDAS COO. “We have already developed a number of such applications from scratch and accumulated profound expertise in resource-demanding client-server applications. It makes sense for us to generalize the store of experience in a stack of 3D & Web technologies, and offer a licensable cloud platform that can be used for custom development by our customers’ in-house software engineers, or outsourced to the highly professional LEDAS team.”
LEDAS Cloud Platform is most beneficial for those companies, that want their own cloud-based 3D modelling software to be installed in a private or public cloud but prefer to avoid licensing and technological restrictions of the existing cloud CAD. A variety of applications can be built on this platform ranging from MCAD to AEC, including architectural visualization and BIM data management.
LEDAS news reminded me another press release about C3D kernel. Read Graphic Speak article from 2013 – Does the CAD world need another geometry kernel? Here is Kathleen Maher’s opinion about new 3D kernel:
The evolution of modelers from Russia portends a new generation of design tools. Although the Russian developers would like to see their engines adopted worldwide, the primary goal seems to be to enable Russian companies to build world-class products for their growing domestic market. It’s going to take time for the new kernels to see wide acceptance, if ever. Ken Versprille points out companies have to be convinced technology providers will be around for the long haul before they commit. However, Ascon has been growing rapidly and gaining respect, thanks to the development of its Kompas 3D and additional tools. Ascon has ambitions to build new products for BIM and PLM as well. There is considerably more information available on Russian development for geometry kernels and design tools at the IsiCAD portal.
Fast forward four years and check latest slide deck with C3D customers here. You can see few interesting use cases there.
Going back to LEDAS news… How many companies in the world want to have their own “cloud-based” software? This is an interesting question. I guess users interested in cloud-based technologies are mostly looking how to optimize their IT spending. Who might be interested to host cloud-based CAD platform? In my view, it can be a large OEM, re-seller or another CAD vendor. Few screenshots shared in press release, demonstrating some 3D view capabilities in project-oriented environment, which might be a demo use case if a platform is targeting for developers.
What is my conclusion? How many companies are looking to use modern cloud-based technologies, but hesitate to use cloud software from mainstream established CAD vendors? This is a good question. I don’t know the answer. But if the number is at least few dozen, LEDAS might have a use case. However, LEDAS press release can be also just a marketing for a future technology project LEDAS is looking for. In any case watch it. Just my thoughts…
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Disclaimer: I’m co-founder and CEO of openBoM developing cloud based bill of materials and inventory management tool for manufacturing companies, hardware startups and supply chain. My opinion can be unintentionally biased.