In my previous entry the migration of digital tools in general was discussed; in particular, advancements in both usability and collaborative capabilities. In this and a couple of follow-up entries, I want to apply those filters to 3D CAD applications.
The Inevitable Fall of the CAD Priesthood
With any difficult to master skill there usually arises a group of experts who, over a period of time, too often take themselves a bit too seriously. The CAD community has plenty of these priests. And they’re not especially interested in giving up their lofty positions. That’s why I’m not surprised to read some of what I find being posted online by old school CAD experts; a significant portion of which amounts to “this new-fangled stuff will never work, I tell you”.
Truth be told, I don’t believe there’s really much of an argument against the following proposition:
At some point when CAD interfaces align with average computer users’ skillsets, powerful 3D tools will become as commonplace as wordprocessors.
What might be a bit more contentious is that I also propose that we may see significant – as in paradigm-shifting, industry-rattling significant – improvement in user interfaces within the foreseeable future; and that increased adoption of such tools will have a wide-ranging impact.
We’re certainly not at the point now (and someone should really tell that to any companies believing they can casually start their own “3D Flickr”), however, consider just the following:
For those who recall SolidWork’s entry into the professional CAD market, imagine the next evolutionary step… or two, or three… occurring within an accelerated timeframe; perhaps catalyzed by the arrival of new business models.
For the past few decades, the Engineering Software Industry has been experiencing a consolidation like many other markets… the industry is ripe for a radical disruption. – Brain Seitz, COFES.com (Link)