Wednesday, January 21, 2009

To 2D or to 3D CAD, That is the Question

Have you made the migration to 3D CAD? How crucial is it that you do?

Diane posting today…Here at J.W. Winco, we’ve been offering free 3D CAD models for almost all our parts on our Web site for several years. Nevertheless, we also offer 2D, and we know many of our customers still work in 2D. What’s holding up the migration?

An article in the January 2009 NASA Tech Briefs discusses this issue. A lot of the problem is classic fear of change. 3D is a whole different animal, and requires more than simply mastering different software: the engineer must think in a different way. A lot of companies recognize that making the transition will take time, and they don’t want to lose productivity.

Fortunately, easing this problem is a task that is being addressed by CAD software companies. After all, it’s in their best interest to make their products more desirable. So the goal is to make 3D CAD products easier to install, learn, and use. Some CAD software developers are taking another look at the outdated concepts that were the foundation of CAD technology and revamping them for the needs of today’s users. It’s possible that product you rejected two years ago may now be able to serve your modeling needs much more effectively.

But for some users, the problem continues to be cost. Before your company springs for 3D, they need to know how crucial it is to have. For some businesses, 2D continues to be sufficient for their limited needs. But for others, the tight economy is weeding out businesses that have lost their competitive edge, and now may well be the time to invest in the upgrade to 3D.

I can tell you that the vast majority of CAD downloads from our Web site are 3D. And I can also tell you that our customers tell us the ability to download 3D CAD has been a huge boon in the design process.

So if you haven’t added that extra dimension to your CAD modeling, don’t let the economy deter you from considering taking the step in 2009.

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