MCAD Vendors Assist Displaced Workers
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MCAD Vendors Assist Displaced Workers

It’s certainly no secret that the state of the economy is at a low point, in fact, the lowest point in many, many years. The only time like the present that I can remember was the early 1980s, but this is different because it’s so far reaching into virtually every economic sector, including not just manufacturing, but design and engineering, as well.

Although the MCAD software companies are also feeling the effects of the current and continuing economic downturn, many, including SolidWorks and Autodesk (discussed below), are providing excellent opportunities for the MCAD community to retool and reinvent itself through a sense of community, education, and generous software offers.

If you find yourself in a situation where you feel your skills and knowledge are outmoded, I would heartily recommend you take full advantage of the programs presented by the MCAD vendors and look at this time as an opportunity to reinvent, reeducate, and retool for the future. I know I’m certainly going to take advantage of this time as I look ahead and move forward.

Also, check out the site as we have a number of resources for you to help in overcoming the current state of economic affairs. We have several forums for technical and advisory discussions with your colleagues, networking and job opportunities, technical information, and product reviews that will assist in your reeducation process, as well as to assure you that you are not alone in today’s challenging economic times. We’re all in this together and we will emerge from this temporary setback smarter and better prepared for the future on many different levels.

DS SolidWorks Unveils ‘Engineering Stimulus Package’ for Displaced Workers

Extending a hand to waves of displaced designers and engineers, Dassault Systèmes SolidWorks Corp. (DS SolidWorks) today activated a program to give these potential employees a chance to learn valuable new career skills in 3D computer-aided design.

Called the SolidWorks Engineering Stimulus Package and first announced at SolidWorks World 2009 in February, the program gives free SolidWorks 3D CAD software licenses, training videos and tutorials, networking, certification, and potential job leads to any job seeker living in the United States or Canada. It will help them retool their skills at a time when unemployment is at 8.5 percent (a 25-year high), 3.3 million jobs have been lost in the last five months, and manufacturing employment fell by 161,000 in March.

Reid Bader operated his own heating and mechanical systems construction business until December of 2008, when lack of work forced him to lay off his employees and close his business. He will download the SolidWorks Engineering Stimulus Package this morning. “While researching online job postings, it has become apparent that 3D CAD modeling and simulation skills are in demand,” he said. “It also has become apparent that SolidWorks is the platform that has critical momentum. When I found out that SolidWorks had an Engineering Stimulus Package for engineers who have been challenged by the hard economic times, I was very excited. I plan on enrolling in the program and becoming a certified expert on the SolidWorks platform.”

Any US or Canadian resident is eligible for the SolidWorks Engineering Stimulus Package, which includes:

DS SolidWorks will also expand this program to other geographical regions in coming months.

SolidWorks is ideal software for a retraining program because of its position as the most widely used 3D CAD software in the world. SolidWorks is the single most requested 3D CAD technology experience on employment sites such as and Aerotek. Individuals will be able to achieve basic proficiency within 90 days and have a fair opportunity to pass a CSWA test. DS SolidWorks offered a similar retraining program in from 2002 to 2007, which attracted more than 16,000 users. To support the new offering, more than half of SolidWorks’ North American VARs have agreed to offer hands-on test drives, and many of them will offer advanced training options as well.

DS SolidWorks CEO Jeff Ray hopes thousands more in Bader’s position take advantage of the program. “Actively developing high-demand skills can help transform your outlook, instill hope, and qualify you for well-paying careers,” Ray said. “Designers and engineers have placed their trust in DS SolidWorks for the last decade, and this is one way we’re doing our part and giving back.”

To participate in or learn more about the SolidWorks Engineering Stimulus Package, visit

Autodesk Assistance Program Offers Help to Displaced Workers

Recognizing the impact of today's economic challenges, Autodesk is launching the Autodesk Assistance Program. The Autodesk Assistance Program will provide Autodesk customers and partners with design software tools, education and resources that will help them to enhance, maintain and develop their 3D design technology skills and remain competitive in the marketplace. The program will offer free* student software term licenses, free online training and a path to certification to unemployed architects, designers and engineers in all industries.

"Everyone has been touched by the economic downturn," said Steve Blum, senior vice president, Autodesk Americas sales. "Autodesk has a tradition of supporting the needs of its customers and partners. The Autodesk Assistance Program is a fast-tracked way for our customers to improve their productivity and competitiveness during this challenging and volatile time by accessing the multiple resources we offer them to best position themselves for the future."

Autodesk Assistance Program tools and resources will be made available through an online portal, where users can access:

Partners who participate in the Autodesk Assistance Program will be designated as official Autodesk Assistance Program members on the program's website. Offers for certification and classroom training will vary depending on each ATC. Locate an Autodesk ATC in your area for details.

The Autodesk Assistance Program is being launched in North America. The company hopes to roll the program out in other countries over the next few months.

Autodesk currently provides training and online resources to end users through Autodesk University Online (AU Online), Autodesk User Group International (AUGI), various online industry communities and the Autodesk YouTube Channel.

For more information about the Autodesk Assistance Program, please contact your local reseller, or contact Autodesk directly at Email Contact or visit

Commentary By Jeffrey Rowe, Editor

Autodesk Manufacturing Tech Day

A couple weeks ago we ventured to Lake Oswego, Oregon to Autodesk’s manufacturing software headquarters to learn more about the 2010 manufacturing software product lines. It was a full day, but provided good insight into how the various products fit and work together from conceptual design to simulation and analysis to tooling design to manufacturing.

Like many of its competitors, Autodesk is investing heavily in the consumer product design market, with tools such as Alias, Moldflow, and Inventor Tooling – all aimed at designing plastic parts and tooling.

Autodesk also admits that CAE is still too difficult to use, and is working hard to integrate acquired CAE technologies from Algor, Plassotech, and Solid Dynamics into inventor. The company is also striving to demonstrate and prove that simulation and design are not separate tasks, but processes that should be run in parallel.

The conceptual stage of the design process got considerable attention with the new Alias products. There is better fit with these industrial design products in terms of UI, look, feel, and behavior with some other Autodesk products, as well as price reductions, availability on the Mac platform, and support of DWF. These are all welcome changes and proof that Autodesk is serious about industrial design and its place in the company’s manufacturing design product mix.

Inventor 2010 was demonstrated in the context of its historical strongest market, industrial machinery. The top-down workflow was emphasized (layout
-subassemblies-detailed parts), as well as new sheet metal capabilities, and working with large assemblies (levels of detail/simplified representations). Inventor was also discussed working with architecture and buildings through the AEC Exchange for using BOMs and BIMs between different Autodesk software applications.

Somewhat surprisingly, AutoCAD, especially AutoCAD Mechanical was openly discussed during the Tech Day as still important and vital to the manufacturing community. This session proved something I continue to contend, 2D is not dead.

There are now four versions of Autodesk Vault (one of the versions, Vault Manufacturing, replaces Productstream) for managing data and dealing with the three main PDM problems – ERP integration, BOMs, and engineering change management. All of the PDM products appeal to a diverse range of users – the engineering/CAD manager, product designer, and downstream consumer. This time around PDM might make more sense for more prospective users.

Moldflow was shown in the context of three different applications areas and users that made sense – Moldflow Adviser for the part designer, Inventor Tooling for the mold designer, and Moldflow Insight for the engineering analyst/specialist.

Finally, Navisworks Manufacturing 2010 was demonstrated for processing point clouds of factory laser scans. The resulting visual data can then be used for clash/collision detection within a factory. Its Time Liner capability can also be used with scheduling software, such as Microsoft Project, for installing equipment in a factory in the correct sequence.

So, it was a full day but provided us with a better understanding of where Autodesk is today and where it might be heading in the future with regard to mechanical design, engineering, and manufacturing. The day also provided insight and a sense of what Autodesk’s Digital Prototyping initiative is all about.

The Week’s Top 5

At MCADCafé we track many things, including the stories that have attracted the most interest from our subscribers. Below are the five news items that were the most viewed during last week.

Siemens PLM Software Recognized as a PLM Leader According to CIMdata
Siemens PLM Software announced that in the recently released market analysis, PLM industry consulting and research firm CIMdata, Inc. recognized Siemens PLM Software as a PLM leader and as the vendor with the top market presence in the collaborative Product Definition management (cPDm) and Digital Manufacturing market segment, which, according to CIMdata, are important sub-segments within the PLM industry. Based on market estimates, the CIMdata analysis ranked Siemens PLM Software number one in terms of market presence for both cPDm and Digital Manufacturing among the PLM Mindshare Leaders in 2008 (the fourth year in a row). According to CIMdata, cPDm is forecast to continue being the fastest-growing segment of the PLM market with an 8.6 percent compound annual growth rate (CAGR) to exceed $12 billion in 2013 – leading both the Tools and Digital Manufacturing segments in growth. CIMdata estimates that the Comprehensive PLM market as a whole will grow at a CAGR of 6.3 percent to approximately $35 billion by 2013.

I-Cubed Releases Solid Edge Integration for PTC Windchill
Integrated Industrial Information, Inc. (I-Cubed) announced the release of the I-Cubed Solid Edge CAD Integration for Windchill. The I-Cubed Solid Edge CAD Integration for Windchill enables engineers to create CAD documents and drawings in Solid Edge and then manage those files in Windchill without leaving the Solid Edge user interface. The Solid Edge CAD Integration allows users to capture, track, and control essential part and manufacturing data throughout the product lifecycle.The I-Cubed Solid Edge CAD Integration is currently available and supports Solid Edge V19 and V20 on Windchill 8.0 and higher. For more information visit I-Cubed's website at

SpaceClaim Secures $7 Million in New Funding
SpaceClaim announced that it has secured an additional $7 million in funding to support ongoing R&D in product innovations, and to drive sales and marketing expansion as the demand for direct modelers increases for the performance of conceptual design, engineering analysis, and simulation-driven design. The round is co-led by existing investors including Borealis Ventures, Kodiak Venture Partners, Needham Capital Partners, and North Bridge Venture Partners. SpaceClaim recently announced the fourth release of the company's products, SpaceClaim Engineer and SpaceClaim Style and have experienced momentum in the marketplace.

Autodesk Launches Online Site to For Millions of AutoCAD Users to Interact and Learn from Each Other
Autodesk announced the AutoCAD Exchange, an online destination for AutoCAD users to connect and learn from experts, provide feedback to the product developers, and access professional tools that can help them do their jobs better. The launch of AutoCAD Exchange coincides with the availability of the Autodesk 2010 design software product line. The online community is rich with original multimedia content, including a video series, eLearning tools and aggregated CAD information from Web-based resources. Visitors can also create profiles to personalize their experience and share their own tips, scripts and applications, projects and experiences with the global community of AutoCAD users. AutoCAD Exchange is a comprehensive online portal for AutoCAD users, bringing together a wide-ranging assortment of multi-media resources and content sharing tools for designers, including: 111 Teams Get Green Light to Advance in Multimillion Dollar Progressive Insurance Automotive X PRIZE Competition
The Progressive Insurance Automotive X PRIZE, a multimillion dollar competition designed to inspire a new generation of viable, super fuel-efficient vehicles, announced its official list of 111 Registered Teams. Having passed this first wave of judging, these teams now move one step closer to competing for their share of a $10 million prize purse that will be awarded to teams that win a rigorous long-distance stage competition and can exceed 100 MPG equivalent fuel economy (MPGe). The teams, which collectively represent 136 vehicle entries with 14 different fuel sources, include diverse groups from 25 U.S. states and 11 countries. Established automakers, emerging start-ups, universities and inventors are among those represented. Six of the registered teams remain confidential. In the coming months, registered teams will undergo design judging based on a detailed data submission package, which will provide information on their vehicle's features, production capability, safety and business plans. Those that pass design judging will move into the performance testing phase and partake in a series of competition events that will begin as early as May 2010. Winners will be announced in 2010. The competition start date, the number of venues, and the geographic distribution of venues will be determined prior to July 2009. Winners will be selected from two classes in the competition division -- Mainstream and Alternative. A complete list of Registered Teams, listed by the category in which they will compete and their proposed fuel type is available at

Jeffrey Rowe is the editor of MCADCafé and MCAD Weekly Review. He can be reached at Email Contact or 408.850.9230.

This Week

Lead Story

DS SolidWorks Unveils ‘Engineering Stimulus Package’ for Displaced Workers
Autodesk Assistance Program Offers Help to Displaced Workers

Product and Company News

iBASEt Releases New Integrated Engineering to Inspection Planning and Manufacturing Operations Management Solution

TopSolid’Cam 2009 Launched

FISHER/UNITECH Announces “No Engineer Left Behind” Extension and SolidWorks Engineering Stimulus Program

SolidWorks Reseller, Computer Aided Technology, Inc., Offers Free SolidWorks Training to Engineering Stimulus Program Participants

Autodesk Helps Inspire Student Designers at FIRST Robotics Competition

Baoding Tianwei Wind Power Blade Standardizes on PTC Pro/Engineer for Its Design Platform

Cimatron User Named Toolmaker of the Year

Scansystems SRL becomes Rapidform 3D Scanning Software Partner

Dassault Systemes Announces New Solution to Improve Reliability of Welded Joints

Creaform Expands 3D Engineering Services Offer

Guess, Inc. Expands Deployment of Dassault Systèmes’ PLM Solutions to Manage Its Global Sourcing Operation

Spatial Delivers PMI with CAD Translation to Automotive and Aerospace Software Supplier

Schott Systeme Enhance Freeform CAM Feature Recognition

Cad Communities Partner with 3D Digital Parts Site

IHI Corporation Selects ANSYS Quality Assurance Services for Development of Nuclear Equipment

WorkXPlore 3D, Sescoi’s high speed 3D viewer, wins top trophy in France

Longview Advisors Zeros in on PDM Migration

Planit's New Manufacturing Control Solutions Division Helps Users to Maximise Production Efficiency

LEDAS Announces Availability of its Variational Geometric Solver LGS for the Mac

ModuleWorks Announces New Release

Autodesk Extends Reach to Worldwide Partners and Resellers with Partner Portal

MSC.Software's MD Solutions Honored in China with Prestigious Awards

Siemens PLM Software-Sponsored Race Teams Dominate, Winning Five of Six NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Points Races

Roland Announces New AdvancedJET i Series Grand-Format Printers Featuring Roland Intelligent Pass Control and EcoXtreme i Ink

ESPRIT CAM by DP Technology receives Autodesk Inventor 2010 certification

Delcam's PowerINSPECT gives a clear competitive advantage

Leading Indian Retailer Trent Ltd. Selects Dassault Systemes PLM for Fast Fashion

Sign makers see clear direction with JETCAM

New Metris Articulated Arms Make Handheld Scanning Easy and Provide Accurate Data Everywhere

EOS Laser-Sintering for Dental Crowns and Bridges

PTC Delivers Enterprise PLM Solution to Force Protection, Inc. for Faster Product Innovation

Annual contest of KOMPAS-3D professionals continues

KUKA Systems Applies Dassault Systèmes DELMIA Automation to Plant Engineering

ZWCAD 2009 – now in 8 different languages, with more to come!

Premium AEROTEC Selects VISTAGY's FiberSIM to Engineer Composite Fuselage Sections

Energy Innovations to Drive Down the Cost of Solar Energy with Realistic Simulation from Dassault Systèmes

IDES Launches New Version of Prospector Plastics Search Engine

RedEye On Demand is First Digital Manufacturing Service Provider to Offer ULTEM Product

American Wave Machines Inc. Uses PTC CoCreate to Design the World’s First Standing Wave Surf Machine

Quickparts Now Offers a USP Class VI Approved Stereolithography Material for Rapid Prototyping

VX CAD/CAM and TraceParts partner to deliver over 100 million free 3D native models to VX user community.

New Fortus Support Material Helps Make FDM Prototypes and Production Parts Faster

ICEM Surf 4.8.1 Now Available

Siemens PLM Software Technology Helps Automakers Meet New Fuel Economy Standards

Tata Technologies Brand Launches Internationally

ZWSOFT Announces Winners of ZWCAD CAD Design Contest

Inditex Group Selects PTC Windchill To Accelerate Interior Design Of Its Retail Network

ESI Group and the PPE Research Center Partner to Further Develop Composite Materials Design and Simulation

Visual Components Release of 2009 Service Pack 2

Empowered by VX, Modern Industries helps machinists boost productivity

Right Hemisphere Software Enables 3D Product Visualization for Dental Equipment Manufacturer A-dec

LEDAS Celebrates its 10th Anniversary

DP Technology Corp, developer of leading ESPRIT CAM Software, gears up in Europe

Gibbs-Mazak Collaboration Extends to Exhibits

Delcam adds DM Solutions to FeatureCAM reseller network

Dassault Systèmes’ Commitment to Footwear Industry Strengthened by Recent Partnership

Matrix Joins Arena Partner Community as Exclusive Reseller for Oceania

Delcam appoints FeatureCAM Representative for Oklahoma

Related MCAD News

ModernTech Mechanical Announces Layoff Payoff Program

M Force to Participate in ModernTech Mechanical’s Layoff Payoff Program

HP-35 Scientific Calculator Awarded IEEE Milestone

Mentor Graphics Introduces Next-Generation VeSys Electrical Design Software

EDA Consortium Reports Industry Revenue Down in Fourth Quarter 2008

Ball Aerospace Wins Ares Flight Computer Contract

Machinists Union Calls for Second Stimulus for Manufacturing Sector

New Dell Precision Workstations Shatter Performance Metrics

Mentor Graphics Unveils Advanced Low Power Features in Its Olympus-SoC Place-and-Route Platform

NetXen 10 Gigabit Ethernet Adapters Now Available From HP

Alvand Technologies Selects Berkeley Design Automation AFS Nano™

Oracle Introduces Oracle’s Agile Product Lifecycle Management Integration to SAP

Ball to Cease Manufacturing Operations at Two PET Bottle Packaging Plants

Surface Mount Technology (SMT) Equipment Market in the Electronics Manufacturing Process on the Rise, Notes Frost & Sullivan

Achieve Maximum Value from your IP AssetsManage your IP as you would manage all your valuable assets 

PPG Aerospace ‘Green’ Paint System Inhibits Corrosion, Promotes Adhesion

Lockheed Martin Aeronautics Extends Use of Open Text

Open Text Acquires Vizible Corporation

HP Enhances Automation Software to Reduce Cost of Managing Virtualization Technology

Worldwide Energy and Manufacturing Reports Full Year Results for 2008

Corporate Moves

CAD Society Announces Bill McClure and Dan Staples of Siemens PLM Software as joint winners of the 2009 CAD Society Leadership Award

CAD Society Announces Richard Doyle of SolidWorks as the winner of the 2009 CAD Society Community Award

CAD Society Announces Richard Sowar as the winner of the 2009 CAD Society Lifetime Achievement Award

Autodesk Appoints Mark Hawkins Chief Financial Officer

RAND Worldwide Announces Marc L. Dulude as President and Chief Executive Officer

Sescoi Relocates and Further Expands its Indian Office

IBM’s Dr. David Kung Named Chair of the IEEE Design Automation Technical Committee

Industry Events

Participate in a live, interactive video broadcast from COFES 2009 (April 17, 2009 - 1PM PDT)

Latest GibbsCAM MTM Multi-Task Machining Enhancements Featured at PMTS 2009

Dassault Systèmes Illustrates the Real-Life Benefits of Virtual Reality Training for Capital Projects and the Energy Industry at FIATECH 2009

Vero USA to Launch Visi Flow 17 at NPE 2009

EOS To Exhibit Laser sintering At RAPID 2009

CD-Adapco Announces Expanded STAR American Conference Program

Mastercam Showcasing Major New Developments at Eastec 2009

3D Printer Buyer's Guide Webcasts - Lessons from Top Manufacturers – Register Now

Delcam to show faster design and machining at NPE/Moldmaking Expo

Dassault Systèmes Co-Sponsors SAE 2009 World Congress Opening Ceremonies

Autodesk Holds Annual Investor Day Meeting

Cimatron to Display Dental CAD/CAM Capabilities at MEDTEC

COADE Discovery Tour Scheduled for April 23rd in Barcelona, Spain, to Feature CADWorx Plant Design Suite

Delcam offers head-to-toe CADCAM solutions at MEDTEC France

Concepts NREC’s David Japikse to Present on Turbo-performance Modeling at SAE 2009 World Congress

VEX Robotics Teams ‘Battle of the Bots’ at the Inaugural Championship of the Americas in Omaha, Nebraska on April 2-4, 2009

Luxology Hosts modo 401 Roadshow Across Germany

Corporate Newsletters and White Papers

Metris E-NEWS - March/April 2009

TopSolid Newsletter -- Issue #40, March 2009

VIEWPOINT - A Quarterly Newsletter from Vistagy, Inc. - April 2009

DASSAULT AVIATION : Quarterly Information as of March 31, 2009