I’m going to Develop3D Live. This one day event is organized by Develop3D magazine and will take place in Warwick, UK next Tuesday. DEVELOP3D is a monthly print and digital design journal read by tens of thousands of product designers, covering essential technologies used throughout the entire product development process, including, CAD, CAM and digital fabrication.
If you are interested in modern design and fabrication technologies you must check Develop3D. In the world of CAD, I found it surprisingly cool and refreshing. Develop3D Live is busy event with multiple tracks and lot of presentation. I’d say too many for one day 9am-5pm program. You can check it here. You can see place for big vendors and startups. I found all large CAD vendors presenting as well as many cool new companies.
You can ask me – what is there for PLM twisted mind people? If you check Develop3D and Develop3D live web site, you won’t find much information about PLM and related disciplines. And you can rarely hear Al Dean, Editor in chief of Develop3D speaks about PLM. So, what is there? After coming to this event few times in Warwick UK and Boston, US I can say that Develop 3D Live for me is about two things – cool tools and democratization of technologies.
I’m very happy that Develop3D Live decided to devote a special session to Data Management. Announced as new approaches in data management, it brings together, Joe McBurnie (CSI Europe), myself (OpenBOM), Mike Payne (Kenesto) and Neil Cooke (Onshape).
While I’m looking forward to listen to all presentations, I wanted to bring a passage from Develop3D article about OpenBOM which speaks exactly about point of simplification and democratization in data management, PDM and PLM technologies. Check the full article here.
Let’s consider the tools that design and engineering departments use on a daily basis. Not just the fancy pants 3D CAD, high-end visualisation or CNC programming tools, but those more mundane tools. I’d place good money on the fact that, amongst the mix of Word, Outlook and Powerpoint, there’s a good smattering of Excel in there too. BOM management is something that many are involved in and to do that with a higher-level of integration with your 3D design system means the adoption of a fuller-scale PDM system.
The reality is that for many smaller organisations this is overkill, which is why they turn to the next best thing — Microsoft Excel — and, as we’ve established, it isn’t the best tool for the job at hand.This is where OpenBOM sits. It provides an eminently accessible set of tools for BOM management, integrates well with common 3D design systems (and the level of that integration is maturing nicely) and removes much of the clutter you’d get from trying to do this in Excel.By adopting this type of simple, nimble and highly focussed approach, openBOM gives you BOM management mixed with some cloud smarts and greater shareability and accessibility.
What is my conclusion? There are too many complex tools in PLM world. Engineers and manufacturing companies are desperately looking for simple things. How to make things simpler. How to streamline process. How to democratize tools that before were available only elites. I’m going to search for answers at Develo3D Live next week and report back.
I hope I’ve made you curious about Develop3D Live. If you didn’t buy tickets to London yet, you can still attend all Develop3D Live keynote via Live stream. Register here. Simple things are hard. And it is time to think about how to make complex stuff simple in engineering and manufacturing. Just my thoughts…
Want to learn more about PLM? Check out my new PLM Book website.
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.