COFES-Russia/isiscad 2010 Seminar Roundtable Discussions

Now that I’m finally back home in India I have some time to write about the stuff that I missed at the COFES-Russia Seminar that I recently attended in Moscow. COFES is a unique event in the sense that it is tailored towards discussion and exchange of ideas, as opposed to selling stuff. The first half of the day was pretty much the exact opposite with CAD vendors taking the stage and making sales pitches. However, after lunch the round table discussions changed the atmosphere to something more like the COFES I know.

I moderated a round table discussion on Direct Modeling. That turned out to be quite a challenge because I needed to do that with the help of a Russian interpreter. I asked Vladimir Malukh of Ledas to help her with the technical terms.

The Direct Modeling round table discussion

I started the discussion by asking the question whether geometry was a solved problem. As it turns out nobody in the audience thought that it was. So then I started asking questions which were aimed at getting a sense of how big a problem it was. People started chiming in with their frustrations with history based parametric modeling, while at the same time mentioning the limitations of the current Direct Modeling approaches.

After a while, one of the attendees interrupted the discussion and told me that he had no idea of what Direct Modeling was and had decided to take part in the round table in the hope that he would  learn about it. So I gave the audience a very brief explanation of what Direct Modeling was and the different ways it was being implemented by history based parametric modeling vendors like Autodesk, Siemens PLM and Dassault Systemes. As I expected the discussion became a bit polarized with one side calling history based  parametric modeling too cumbersome, while the other calling Direct Modeling limited when it came to adding intelligence into the model. Eventually we ran out of time and I had to cut short the round table discussion with everyone pretty much wound up.

Bruno Chollat of SpaceClaim, Martyn Day of DEVELOP3D and I took the discussion outside during the coffee break

Next I attended another round table discussion on social media moderated by Elena Konvisar of Neolant and Oleg Shilovitsky of Beyond PLM. This was a kind of an eye opener for me. Apart from a few exceptions like  Anastasia Morozava of Autodesk Russia, the Russian CAD vendors and their resellers have a totally wrong view of social media, at least in my humble opinion. This stems from their overwhelming need to be able to control it. By that I mean, they want to be able to control what gets written and discussed about them, which I believe is nothing short of stupidity. I bluntly told them to basically stay away from social media if control was what they were looking for. I asked them to stick to press releases, white papers, magazine ads and other of conventional media that they have complete control on.

Martyn Day of DEVELOP3D basically gave them a piece of his mind as well, telling them exactly what he thought about press releases and the old fashioned way of doing things.

Martyn Day of DEVELOP3D

Brad Holtz (Cyon Research) and Oleg Shilovitsky tried their best to put our side  of the arguments in better prose. But frankly, I left the discussion with the impression that the other side didn’t learn much from us. Although, I’ll be very happy if I am wrong.

The pictures in this post were taken from the isicad 2010 photo gallery. You can visit it to see more pictures and information about the event.