Will History Be History?

Of late I have been working 48 hours a day to get Print3D up and running. Now that I have some time to breathe I can finally get back to blogging. I have been reading the recent posts from Roopinder Tara, Matt Lombard and Kenneth Wong on Synchronous Technology and would like offer my $0.02.

Some time ago I took the time to figure out Synchronous Technology and wrote a series about it. Since I had to piece things together and speculate how this techology worked, I was glad when people from Siemens let me know that I had got most of it right. I am done analysing the technology. I know the technology is good. It solves far more problems than it creates. But all said and done, what I am most interested to know is whether the time for this technology has come. This is more of a business question, and less of a technical one.

I believe it’s time has come. Here is why. The CAD industry has its limits. CAD vendors are spending too much marketing money in trying to eat into each other’s market share. Roopinder rightly mentioned that changing religion may be easier than switching over to a different CAD system. As I see it, the easiest way to increase revenue is to increase the market itself. And you just cannot do that with strict parametric modeling system. You need to dumb it down so that it can be used by people who do not have the patience, skill or IQ to create or figure out a convoluted feature tree.

Look what SketchUp did to the ordinary computer user. People of all sorts of shapes, sizes and ages are populating Google Earth with buildings. People, who till recently used MS Paint to come up with anything creative on a computer.

History will testify that things start out complicated and then get simplified in time. I started out in DOS and first programmed in Turbo C. I cannot tell you how much pain and code was required just to display the mouse cursor (basically a block character) on the screen. Then came Windows and life became much easier. We left Windows to handle the mouse and were only bothered with what our program should do when someone clicked it. My point is that in the days of DOS, you and your code needed to be wired up correctly to be able to come up with any worthwhile program. With Windows, the operating system handled the user interface stuff and you were left with the job of adding functionality to the program, which was why you started writing the program in the first place. So in a way, programming became dumber and many more people started programming. But even though programming became dumber, the programs didn’t. These new programmers who had a fraction of patience, skill or IQ as compared to the DOS programmers came up software far superior than their DOS counterparts. To emphasize my point, the reason why everybody cannot be a rocket scientist today is because designing rockets is still a very difficult to do.

If you are sailing a boat you had better know which side the wind is blowing. I believe the smart CAD vendors like SpaceClaim, Siemens and the like know the direction of the wind. The others will watch them and say, “Crap!! That’s the direction. OK, now lets play catch up”.

Yes, history will be history.