3D Print ‘Farm’ Launching in Texas

February 12, 2015 Leave a comment

What is a 3D printing farm? For now, nobody is completely sure. It does involve growing plants, but it is yet unclear how. It also involves a lot of 3D printers. So far, the farm has a FlashForge and Type A Machines printers, with an Ultimaker 2 and Lulzbot Mini (just released) to follow soon. Farm owner Mike Adams, who calls himself the Health Ranger, plans to choose which of these printers works best and then invest in more of those to complete his farm. He fully expects that he will not be able to generate enough of the parts he’s developing at his Austin, Texas farm to meet demands, and will make the object files available via free download on the website, FoodRising.org.

What the Farm Promises

 

3D Print

The 3D printing farm promises that people can grow their own plant-based medicines.

 

The best guess is that “farm” refers to both the fact that it is set up to manufacture food (or at least parts to help people grow their own food), as well as the fact that it’s stocked with a farm of 3D printers. The actual methods are still a mystery. The website’s creator promises that with this new method, using mostly parts that are 3D printable, people can grow their own food, plant-based medicines and mineral supplements. The parts not 3D printable will be inexpensive and readily available, such as paper clips and pencil erasers.

The promises include that the method will allow people all over the world to grow food without soil, electricity, or other technologies, using one-twentieth the amount of water normally required to grow foods. Adams claims that 200 percent more food can be grown in a given space, making it cheap and easy to produce food in inner city apartments, third world countries where no power or clean water is available, and other places that typically can’t produce adequate amounts of food. Shockingly, Adams states that this food will feature 500 percent of the nutritional value of traditionally grown foods.

The Health Ranger has publicized his mission statement: “empower consumers with factual information about the synthetic chemicals, heavy metals, hormone disruptors and other chemicals found in foods, medicines, personal care products, children’s toys and other items.”

What’s in It for You

 

3D Print

FoodRising.org claims that food grown by this method can be produced for pennies on the dollar compared to normal grocery prices.

 

If Adams’ promises prove true, he is working out all of the kinks in his process so that those who choose to take advantage of his methods won’t take long to begin producing their own foods and medicines. He is honing details like what filaments work best, which bed adhesion materials are most effective, the right print speeds and temperatures, etc.

Adams plans to share all of this information, along with the object files, online. For those who do not own their own 3D printers, Adams will be selling the parts needed to produce foods with his method on the website. However, since the point of the endeavor is to empower others to do it themselves, he encourages more people to download and print their own parts.

How and When to Get More Information

Initially, FoodRising.org was scheduled to be up and running by mid-February. Now the rollout has been delayed until the end of the month. For those involved in digital manufacturing, 3D printing, and CAD systems, it will be interesting to see what develops on this farm. Ingenious new development? Another probable marketing disaster? At this point, it’s anyone’s guess.

For CAD users, Cadalyst is the brand of CAD information provider that offers the most complete and up-to-date information about CAD. Visit Cadalyst today for more exciting news in the fields of digital manufacturing, CAD, 3D printing and more.

Categories: Printers Tags:

Expert Interview with Ron Brys About Optimal Workflows

February 8, 2015 Leave a comment

Ron Brys of EnvisionCAD understands what it takes for IT professionals to make the most out of their CAD workstations.

Here, Brys talks about how Envision CAD works with clients on consulting, custom programming, software solutions and everything else in between.

How can those in CAD IT maintain optimal workflows? 

Solutions to optimize workflows starts with understanding the current hardware and software configurations, workflows and procedures, and range of user experience levels. CAD IT professionals empowered with industry best-practices can then plan and implement workflow optimization strategies.

Standard CAD configurations with appropriate hardware upgrades help get the most out of the software. Training users to a similar experience level will help optimize workflows when introducing new standards. Procedures and/or automated software scripts can provide additional improvements.

Best-practice CAD standards and workflows streamline repetitive or complex tasks and reduce errors. Custom training for new standards and workflows helps ensure uniformity. Open communication between CAD managers and CAD users facilitates proactive adaptation of productivity improvement opportunities. Last but not least, quality and timely user support is very important.

What are some of the biggest tips EnvisionCAD can offer CAD users?

Train. Train. Train. Continuous learning is needed, given the increasing complexity of CAD software. You should access online resources, attend classes and use custom training materials. Stay current on new software versions. Learn from others by talking to other CAD users and CAD managers.

Configure your implementation. While CAD software will work out-of-the box, it’s not how the most successful organizations utilize it. Based on various client, department or utilization needs, custom environments can be implemented to streamline the user experience and present the correct standards, workflows and tools to the users; thereby reducing errors and reworks and increasing productivity

When it comes to CAD workstations, what aspects make the most user-friendly experiences? Please describe how CAD software/workstations impact what CAD users can accomplish. 

Workstation hardware configurations should be at or above the software’s recommended requirements. Utilizing multi-monitor setups makes work much easier. It’s also important to remain flexible to accommodate different user requirements, and also implement upgrades when practical; users are only limited by their training, software configuration and hardware.

How does EnvisionCAD help change the scope of the CAD landscape?

EnvisionCAD unlocks the unrealized productivity gains in a CAD enterprise. Our custom Best-Practice Solutions add value in resource configuration, targeted learning, process improvement, user/system support, CAD management strategies and more. We develop training materials and provide services for users in North America and internationally. We also work directly with software vendors and provide feedback to improve their products.

What makes EnvisionCAD different from similar websites or businesses?

First of all, I’d say the fact that EnvisionCAD is an independent firm makes us unique. We are not a reseller or otherwise tied to a particular software vendor, which allows us to provide unbiased solutions. Additionally, our professional CAD managers have hands-on experience with over 400 different CAD enterprises. From this extensive experience, EnvisionCAD can customize productivity improvements, CAD related tools, learning, and technologies. Being experts in both Bentley and Autodesk platforms gives us a huge advantage in the marketplace, as most organizations utilize both vendors. We provide a full range of CAD management support services.

Our services range from consulting on specific issues to planning, implementation, custom programming, live and online training, help desk support, and more.

How does Autodesk and Bentley software benefit CAD users? What makes it different from other software solutions?

CAD software has evolved from being a one-function tool. Autodesk and Bentley offer complete packages and software suites tailored for many different disciplines. Both companies develop quality software that is used worldwide. A large user-base and industry specific solutions are what make these companies stand out.

What trends do you see happening in the CAD industry? How does EnvisionCAD approach these trends?

CAD software is not just a drafting and publishing tool anymore. 3D modeling capability, visualization and engineering analysis are now built into most CAD software packages. EnvisionCAD staff are published professionals that keep current with new software products. We develop our own training materials to educate users about these ever-expanding functionalities.

We develop productivity-focused workflows to utilize new functionality. We invest in research and development to create exclusive productivity tools and technologies. EnvisionCAD has a strong network with other professionals for continued idea sharing.

Please share anything additional you would like readers to know about EnvisionCAD. 

Since 1996, EnvisionCAD has been a nationally recognized leader in the configuration, customization, and implementation of CAD software solutions. Our individualized approach has benefited private engineering firms, utilities, municipalities, DOTs, federal agencies and others. Basic or advanced, we help others get the most from their CAD enterprises.

Follow EnvisionCAD on Facebook and Twitter.

Categories: Workstations Tags: ,

Expert Interview with Josh Mings on CAD Workstations

February 6, 2015 Leave a comment

CAD workstations

Josh Mings of SolidSmack understands the ins and outs of technology, especially when it comes to CAD. He says his site is dedicated to helping those in the industry – no matter if they’re just starting out or have been in the game for years – get the most out of their technology process.

Mings shares more of what SolidSmack offers engineers, designers, and everyone else in between in this interview.

SolidSmack offers a wealth of information about 3D CAD, technology, design and more. What does the SolidSmack team strive for to keep current with the latest in CAD technology?

We’re dedicated to covering the process, whether that’s how tech is used, ninja-like fab skills, or the blood, sweat, paper cuts and aluminum shavings it takes to bring about their idea. There’s news, of course – tech and design that affects the process for engineers and designers – so we mix that in with general interest topics, occasional arts and crafts, apps, robots or ninjas, and there you have your SolidSmack.

What elements go into creating the ideal CAD workstation?

Well, there are two routes you can go: building your own or buying from an OEM. But most will rely on their company to choose, so it’s important to woo the decision maker and bend them to your will. You have to consider what software you’re running, whether it’s CPU or GPU intensive, if it’s dedicated to only CAD software or running other programs which may require more RAM, and if you’re going to be mobile or not – which limits some factors and increases price, but you will have more options with mobile workstations here in the future.

Describe some of the courses cadjunkie offers. How do these benefit those using CAD no matter what their skill level may be?

Cadjunkie offers cad-ninja honing beginner to advanced courses, primarily for SolidWorks and modo. It’s the fastest way to get up to speed on either. Adam O’Hern provides the instruction based on real world experience with different products, and also has a voice that isn’t annoying.

How does SolidSmack help those using CAD to better their skill in 3D modeling?

Butter, lots of butter. It’s our hope that the stories and courses we publish provide more insight into technologies and using the software, while staying up to date on how the design and engineering landscape is changing.

How have CAD workstations changed over the years? How has SolidSmack addressed these changes?

I don’t think anyone would argue that they are now smaller and more powerful. I remember using “Lunchbox” computers and hauling around desktop monitors to demo SolidWorks. Now, people run 3D software on tablets with more power in mobile workstations than ever before. We’ll review these workstations occasionally to show how capabilities are improving.

What are the top three aspects of SolidSmack that make it stand out?

The content, the depth, the attitude.

How do all of the aspects of SolidSmack integrate with each other to facilitate a complete experience for CAD users?

They provide deeper insight, across a broader range of content, with any additionally necessary hyperbole, sarcasm or wit to make it just slightly more palatable than stale bread.

How big of a role does design play in the lives of everyday people?

They cannot escape it. The design affects them more than gingivitis or a bad hair day could ever hope to. Now, if you’re referring to the design process, most are only involved with that indirectly with the designers WHO WATCH THEIR EVERY MOVE.

Please share anything additional you would like readers to know about SolidSmack.

We’re always interested to hear from people about what they would like to see more of, story suggestions, if they’re interested in writing for us or have a favorite dessert recipe.

Follow SolidSmack on Facebook and Twitter.

The 5 Most Popular CAD-Related Blog Posts of 2014

February 3, 2015 Leave a comment

How was your 2014? Cadalyst had an awesome one! Lots of articles and posts got tons of attention from readers. CAD is a busy industry, with frequent changes and hurdles to overcome. Fortunately, a lot of progress was made over the past year, and plenty more is expected in the year to come. Here are some of your favorite CAD related blog posts from 2014.

1. Give It for Free and They Will Come

CAD

Hearing that someone likes your stuff is pretty cool!

 

Free stuff always generates lots of excitement, especially when it’s something really valuable. One of the top posts last year was the “Free MicroStation & CAD Tutorials at Cadalyst.” The article ran on the Infinite Skills Blog back in April of 2014, and featured a recap of lots of great information, news, resources, and downloads available at Cadalyst, including the free MicroStation, software tutorials, BIM tutorials, and AutoCAD training available. You can read the post in its entirety here.

2. Open Letters Get ‘Em Every Time

One of the popular posts that ran on Cadalyst was the “Open Letter to CAD Software Companies.” The post/letter listed a number of things that CAD workers truly wish software developers would get, such as the idea of developing software and features that the users are asking for, not just the ones that developers think look cool. The post also mentions the over use of buzzwords. Users just want developers to “get real” about things and stop trying to make everything sound so cutesy. If it works, users will like it. If it’s useless, well… The post goes on to call for more speed and utility in software applications, along with easier to use functions. It closes with a call to help users convince their boss to fork out for the products they really need in the workplace. Did developers read and take heart? Perhaps 2015 will tell.

3. Throw in Some Robots and Nature Stuff, and It’s Bound to Be a Hit

Another post that received attention explained how engineers were using nature to develop realistic and well-working robotics. Robotics got a lot of attention this year, particularly involving advancements in robots for the manufacturing sector. This blog post discussed biometric robots and how engineers modeled the robots after fish, birds, and other wildlife from the natural world. As of yet, the tuna robot featured in the post is not done testing, but initial results look promising and the mechanical fish can definitely swim.

4. Everything You Need to Know, All in a Nice Wrapper

Some of the posts that got a lot of attention on the Cadalyst website were breakdowns of other blogs. For instance, companies that roll out regular posts, such as SOLIDWORKS, sometimes get ahead of readers. If a particularly busy week comes along, or you take a week of vacation, that RSS feed gets out of control. Readers can get all the high points without having to delve into hours of reading at Cadalyst’s wrap up posts like the SOLIDWORKS monthly wrap ups.

5. Paying Tribute

CAD

All bright people have bright ideas. But not all bright people share their ideas to help others become brighter people.

 

Unfortunately, one of the best posts of the year was also the saddest. Long-time contributor to Cadalyst Leonid “Len” Nemirovsky lost his battle with cancer in May. Len had contributed countless use tips to the AutoCAD and AutoLISP sections of Cadalyst. At least 150 are credited to his name. His goal wasn’t to get attention, but to help others. Len left his boyhood-dream-job of teaching history to pursue a fulfilling career in CAD, and perhaps helped more people learn and grow in this field than he would have teaching.

For CAD users, Cadalyst is the brand of CAD information provider that offers the most complete and up-to-date information about CAD.

Categories: Workstations Tags:

Expert Interview with Oleg Shilovitsky Of Beyond PLM on Engineering And Manufacturing Innovations

February 2, 2015 1 comment

Engineering and ManufacturingThe CAD industry has grown a lot since 2008, and Oleg Shilovitsky has grown right alongside it.

Shilovitsky started the website Beyond PLM

as a way to keep tabs on a variety of tech fields and share that information with the world. Beginning as a blog about Product Lifecycle Management (PLM), he quickly reached the limits of that topic, and expanded to become Beyond PLM.

Shilovitsky took a moment to tell us about his website and some of the many changes he’s watched unfurl in the world of CAD workstations.

How did Beyond PLM get started? What made you decide to start the site? Who is your main audience?

I started this blog in 2008. At the time, blogging was just coming to enterprise and professional spaces such as CAD/PLM. The domain was (and still is) very competitive, and I felt that the industry was missing a place where information and opinion can be shared in a vendor-neutral way online. It took me about 6-7 months before I started to find “my voice.”

After several trials, I came to the idea to share one “discussion topic” every day. The original name of the blog was PLM Daily Think Tank (the mirror of the blog is still available online on www.plmtwine.com). The initial audience was mostly industry people that I knew back in 2009; I was CTO of SmarTeam, a subsidiary of Dassault System in Israel.

In time, the reading audience grew; and today, it combines industry analysts, vendors, partners and customers. I know many people that use Beyond PLM resources as references for their university study about PLM and as an idea generator. So, I have been running it daily for the last six years. It helps me to think about what I do, and I hope it brings value to my readers.

Vendor neutrality is one of the fundamental principles in my blogging. The second one is probably to write short articles that you can read in 5 minutes. The last one is to answer all comments posted on the blog and social networks and respect other people’s opinions.

For people who don’t know, what is PLM software? What are its merits? Any down sides?

PLM stands for “Product Lifecycle Management.” It is a combination of business strategy, software and technologies that used to design and manage information and processes about product development, engineering and manufacturing.

What makes the site “beyond PLM”?

Back in 2010, I felt that the blog went much beyond my original idea of a “PLM discussion topic every day.” So, I decided to change the name to “Beyond PLM,” which in my view better reflected the wider scope of topics covered in blog articles.

Do you have any experience with CAD workstations, and if so, which ones have you used?

I have a background in engineering; and back in 1989/90, I was using AutoCAD, CADKEY and DataCAD for development of engineering applications. I started with AutoCAD 9 many years ago. As a software developer, I was dealing with different CAD software like AutoCAD, SolidWorks, SolidEdge, Inventor, CATIA, Pro-E. Most of the time, I was a software engineer and product developer, not a professional engineer.

What are some reasons a CAD engineer might want to consider integrating a workstation into their workflow?

I guess nobody is designing anything with draft tables these days. CAD workstations are an essential tool for every engineer these days.

You wrote a post recently about the manufacturing BOM dilemma. Can you briefly describe this dilemma, and how does it affect a CAD engineer?

This is a very good question, since it demonstrates a significant change that is happening these days in the industry. Traditionally, engineers would make a design and then hand it over (essentially engineering BOM documenting CAD design) to manufacturing.

Manufacturing engineers prepared Manufacturing BOM, which was a foundation for material order and manufacturing process planning. In such ways, designers and manufacturing are working in silos, which prevents the creation of a product with optimal manufacturability.

Modern manufacturing requires better collaboration between engineering and manufacturing. Sometimes, small design changes can lead to significant improvements in manufacturability of products and product cost. Traditional EBOM handover does very little to support collaboration between engineering and manufacturing departments. MBOM (Manufacturing BOM) is a key element to enable this collaboration. The core problem and dilemma is ownership conflict between engineering (PLM) and manufacturing (ERP), which leads to a lot of organizational discussion about how to manage both engineering and manufacturing BOMs.

You’ve also written about the difference between mobile and social PLM, noting that the hype around mobile seemed to be dwindling. In your opinion and experience, why is this? What are some things that CAD engineers can do to better integrate mobile into their workflow?

I’d like to discuss social and mobile separately.

Social: Vendors are trying to copycat Facebook. But adoption of such “enterprise social tools” is not good. The fundamental reason why people are using Facebook is different from why people would like to use social systems at work. I think the latter has not been discovered yet. You can read some of my additional thoughts about social here.

Mobile: The interest in mobile technologies is huge. But thus far, most vendors have practiced so-called “mobile too”. It means replicating existing products into mobile devices. This is the wrong approach. We need to enable new workflows that will be amplified by the power of mobile devices. Some of my thoughts on mobile devices can be found in this article on the innovation continuum.

What kind of resources can a firm expect to save by running at peak efficiency? Why is this important right now?

The modern manufacturing environment is very connected and interdependent. Manufacturing firms are running into complexity of products and complexity of manufacturing processes. Distribution, global environment, competition and cost pressure are the main reasons why companies want to operate at peak efficiency. Most of the processes are optimized in silos. To leapfrog, companies need to design better collaboration and overall process efficiency.

What are some of the opportunities that remote access to a workstation open up?

Distributed environment is a reality of every manufacturing company today, from a small hardware startup of 5-7 people up to large aero/auto OEM. To work remotely and collaborate is the only option.

Beyond PLM posts news, info, and updates on the expanding field of CAD software every day. You’re bound to see and hear a lot. What are a few of the most exciting innovations in the world of engineering software, and how can an engineer or a firm best take advantage of them?

Cloud, mobile and new data management are the top three technology and trends that are leading to a lot of new innovative development. Unfortunately, engineering and manufacturing is a very conservative place. Innovation in PLM is competing with the “status quo” and existing software. The cost of replacement is a significant factor. But we will see lots of new tech in enterprise software in the coming 5-7 years, including CAD/PLM.

For more updates from Beyond PLM, like them on Facebook, connect with them on LinkedIn, and follow them on Twitter.

Categories: Workstations Tags: ,

Expert Interview with Ian Nichols on CAD

February 1, 2015 Leave a comment

CADAutodesk Revit is a powerful design suite specifically created to take advantage of Building Information Modeling (BIM), a new way of documenting projects with revolutionary implications in several industries.

Ian Nichols, the author of the Revit Zone, is passionate about this new software and its abilities. The Revit Zone is where he shares that passion and years of knowledge and experience. He also shares extensive knowledge of BIM at the website BIM Scape.

He took a moment to tell us about Revit, Building Information Modeling, and their potential with CAD Workstations.

Can you introduce us to Revit Zone? Where are you based? When did you get started? What differentiates you from other CAD sites out there?

I started the Revit Zone website way back in 2007. The idea was to share my enthusiasm and knowledge of Autodesk Revit with fellow professionals and students alike. At that time, there were very few websites and blogs dedicated to Revit. It just seemed a good idea to me to share my experience of learning and using the software.

Who are your main clientele, and what do they stand to learn at Revit Zone?

Many different design professionals visit Revit Zone. These include architects, tecnhologists, MEP engineers, surveyors, contractors and some clients too! Over the last few years, I’ve started to see a lot of students visiting the site as Revit becomes the standard software tool to learn within universities and colleges.

The description of Revit Zone states simply, “passionate about Autodesk Revit.” What is about that software that you are so passionate about?

When I discovered Revit way back in 2004, it totally revolutionied the way I worked as an architect. It liberated me from the process of “drawing” and allowed me to start “modelling” my designs. This meant I could spend much more of my time thinking about the scheme itself rather than worrying about how I was going to put it down on paper. For me, this way of working just ‘clicked’ and seemed very natural and intuitive. Obviously, the software has come a long way in those 10 years, but the fundamental principles of what makes it so good were there right from the start. This passion eventually led me to start my own BIM conpany, BIMscape Ltd.

In the introduction to your website, you said that it quickly became apparent for you that BIM was the way forward for CAD software. For people that don’t know, can you briefly explain what BIM is and why you feel like it’s so useful?

BIM is an acronym for “Building Information Modelling”. In essence, it’s all about building a virtual model of the design, authored by various members of the design team. The virtual model can then be analyzed, integrated and tested in a vast variety of ways (coordination, aesthetics, cost, buildability, etc) before it ever gets to site. Consequently, the entire Project Team can be a lot more confident about what is required, how it will perform, what it will look like, and how much it will cost to build, run and maintain; all before the first brick is laid. This is a quantum leap forward from the days of drawing lines on tracing paper by hand!

Do you use CAD Workstations in the office, and if so, which ones?

I personally use a Dell M3800 Mobile Workstation. It’s a fantastic mixture of power and portability.

What are the advantages for an engineer using a CAD workstation?

CAD workstations are configured for the job at hand. CAD and BIM software are evolving all the time. These packages can be very demanding on hardware, particularly when they are handling a large design proposal. It makes sense to have the right tool for the job.

A recent study by David S. Cohn Consulting showed that a software and hardware upgrade resulted in productivity nearly doubling. Why is an efficient workflow and setup so essential for maximum productivity, and what are some things that people can do, to optimize their own setup?

Software and training for CAD and BIM platforms can be very expensive. So it is short-sighted to cut corners on the hardware. Repeated crashes and data loss for an inadequately-spec’ed workstation can result in many hours lost or even deadlines missed. It is always wise to refer to the software vendor’s recommendation with regard to the specification of hardware required to practically run the platform.

If people are thinking of getting a CAD workstation for the first time, what are some specs that you recommend? How much RAM should they be looking for? What kind of processor? What are some things people should consider when looking to upgrade their setup?

For Autodesk Revit, an i7 Quad Core processor is ideal. I would suggest 16GB of RAM for the production and manipulation of average size models. A workstation-grade graphics card is also highly recommended.

You talk a lot about architectural design at Revit Zone, but CAD software can be used for a lot of different engineering situations. Have you worked in industries outside of architecture, and if so, which ones? What are some specific challenges that face engineers working in other fields? What are some ways that Autodesk Revit is good for those challenges?

Autodesk Revit is focused on building design. Its tools facilitate the production of architectural components. In addition, it can also produce components related to mechanical, electrical and plumbing disciplines. These disciplines all share the same common set of issues; i.e., coordination, cost, maintenance and (in some cases) aesthetics.

Why is it important for an engineer or a firm to be as efficient as possible in this day and age? How much time and money stand to be saved by running at maximum efficiency?

The world of work is a very competitive place now. Software tools like Autodesk Revit allow designs to be conceived, developed, analyzed and built very quickly. This in turn raises client expectations and quickly sets the standard. Anyone not adapting, evolving and utilizing these state-of-the-art tools is (in my opinion) will very likely fall by the wayside.

For more updates from the Revit Zone, follow them on Twitter.

Expert Interview with Zaia Abraham on Buying CAD Software and Hardware

January 31, 2015 Leave a comment

CAD software and hardwareIf you need an example for how CAD has revolutionized industrial production, look under your hood, says Zaia Abraham, president of PROCAD.

“The level of quality in a car engine designed in the 90s compared to now is phenomenal,” he says. “Not only is the product superior, but it is also made less expensively thanks in part to the CAD data distribution to parts manufacturers.”

CAD will continue to offer more accurate designs and quick prototyping, and has resulted in a higher level of efficient manufacturing production.

Zaia recently checked in with us to talk about the solutions PROCAD offers and shares advice on buying a great CAD workstation. Read on:

Tell us about PROCAD … what software do you offer? Who should be using it?

For over two decades, PROCAD has offered a wide range of plant design software solutions for a customer base that includes multinational resource companies, owner-operators, engineering consultants and pipe fabricators.

PROCAD applications include piping and electrical design with a focus on the chemical and O&G industries. The piping applications include 3D, 2D, P&IDs and isometrics. PROCAD provides its software as an add-on to AutoCAD or as complete solutions with included CAD platforms (AutoCAD OEM).

PROCAD also serves the pipe fabrication industry with SpoolCAD. This application simplifies the creation of spool drawings ready for manufacture. It comes with reporting capabilities such as BOM generation, weld lists and fabrication cost codes for estimation and billing.

What sets you apart from other CAD solutions?

PROCAD applications are cost-effective and easy to deploy. From the time a customer chooses PROCAD software, our staff will help with installation, setup and training; which allows the user to be fully operational within a few days. With intuitive interfaces, robust modules, excellent technical support and timely upgrades, customers are provided with the necessary tools to get their projects done on-time and on-budget.

What do you think are the most important considerations to make or questions to ask when shopping for CAD software, no matter what your industry?

To make sure it answers their pain-point issues. The software selection process should be given full consideration to ensure the right solution is chosen. The most important factor in software choice is when you know you can live with it for a long time. Purchase of software is the easy part.

What advice can you offer on shopping for CAD workstations? What should every CAD workstation include?

Getting ample RAM and a reasonable graphic card if doing a lot of 3D.

What sorts of considerations should we make when shopping for a professional monitor for CAD?

Fast refresh rate, high resolution, good quality color, screen brightness, and visibility when viewed from different angles

How should these workstations be arranged to best suit the user?

Networked workstations are the most efficient way to setup a design office. By organizing data on sharable servers, the drawings created by the different designers use the same standards and specs for the project they’re involved in.

What are some of the most exciting innovations you’ve come across in CAD Hardware?

The fact that an average machine can run reasonably complex CAD drawings without the need for very expensive graphics cards.

What sort of regular maintenance should we be doing to ensure our CAD hardware and software is running optimally?

Get extended warranties for the hardware, and keep software on maintenance. It’s important to have the latest releases of software to ensure compatibility with the latest CAD platforms and Operation Systems.

Connect with Zaia and the PROCAD team on Twitter, Facebook and YouTube.

Categories: Hard Drive, Workstations Tags: ,
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