Cad Software Industry Trends And Directions
1998 Annual Conference Proceedings
There is an interesting and unique relationship between technical industry and college level academic engineering and technology programs. This relationship is constantly evolving and redefining itself, reflecting both the accelerating level of technological change in industry, as well as the flexible and somewhat fickle focus of the industrial environment. In order to produce graduates that are well prepared for industry and that can be immediately productive in an industrial/technical
... college and university engineering and technology programs must be knowledgeable regarding the trends affecting industry and incorporate into their academic curricula the necessary and relevant material to meet those goals. The engineering design graphics field is especially subject to rapid technological change, due to fundamental changes in how industry views the design process, and the pace at which computer hardware and software improvements are introduced and incorporated into standard procedures. This paper reviews current trends in the computer aided design high-end software industry, with discussion regarding the direction and focus that CAD industry leaders are taking with their products, and the applications industry needs that are driving those developments. The impact of these changes and trends on academic programs is addressed, including recommendations as to what portion of these developments should be incorporated into the curriculum, and what college and university engineering graphics programs should do to prepare their students for these developments in industry. 2 soon as they emerge, we can be expected to be forward-thinking enough to focus our curricula on the direction we feel these developments will take within design departments, manufacturing companies, and entire industries, so that our students will be adequately prepared to be productive and successful as they move into their careers. Trends in the World of CAD -Past to Present At its beginning, CAD technology was primarily focused on automating the 2D drafting process and related functions, with varying degrees of success. There were several factors that affected the technology's effectiveness in these early days, including the availability and usability of computer hardware, efficiency and usefulness of the CAD programs, and the willingness of drafting personnel to embrace the technology, which was usually inconsistent and frustrating to use. As time progressed, improvements in the technology and its applications gradually allowed for a grudging acceptance of CAD in the workplace, followed by general usage, and finally, an enthusiastic welcoming of CAD as a needed productivity tool. This is especially true as progress has been made into new applications and focus areas, such as manufacturing, design, test, analysis, etc., and as the technology has evolved from 2D only into three dimension capability.