Ralph Grabowski

Spatial continues to expand on a ‘kernel’ of an idea

There is a group of companies and organizations that operate largely under the radar, and if it were not for them, we would not have the kind of progress in CAD software we have seen over the decades. These companies have names like Spatial (a division of Dassault Systemes), Open Design Alliance, C3D Labs (Ascon), and Siemens; they write the … Read more

Graebert steps-up to BIM

There are nearly three dozen CAD programs on the market that work like AutoCAD, but there is only one that comes close to AutoCAD's market size. Autodesk executives speak of 10–12 million versions of AutoCAD in use, of which 3/4 are, they suggest, pirated ones. So it may come as a surprise to learn that German software developer Graebert claims … Read more

Hexagon squares the circle

Hexagon is best known as a sensor company, making 3D laser scanners and articulated-arm sensors that check the fit of finished products. After a car comes off the assembly line, for instance, robotic sensors scan the exterior, looking for deviations from tolerances. Other sensors reverse engineer parts or create point clouds of buildings. The sensor industry prefers we speak of … Read more

Graphisoft’s plan to be #1

Graphisoft is the Hungarian software company that began in 1984 when Gábor Bojár thought of designing buildings virtually in 3D. As a result, ArchiCAD became the earliest version of BIM (building information modeling) software. In fact, it was so 3D oriented that generating 2D plans was an afterthought. This year, Graphisoft will release ArchiCAD 23.  Graphisoft is still headquartered in … Read more

The AutoCAD workalike market in 2019

  AutoCAD is targeted by many workalike software vendors precisely because it is the most successful general 2D/3D CAD program of all time. With four, six, eight, twelve million users of the 35-year-old software, entrepreneurs figure that there has to be a certain percentage of users who want something that costs less, even if it does less. AutoCAD is priced … Read more

Open Design Alliance Powers Along Beyond DWG

Why not Prague? Cultures come together and sometimes clash in Eastern Europe. The ODA is all about finding common ground. (Source: Ralph Grabowski)   The Open Design Alliance has transformed the CAD universe with the development of standardized formats for content exchange. This year they held their annual conference in Prague and CEO Neil Peterson unveiled his latest plans to … Read more

Siemens PLM Connection Americas 2018

PLM Connection is a worldwide conference series for customers of Siemens PLM Software run by the PLM World user group.  I was at the Americas version in 108F-degree Phoenix, where 2,000 attended; weeks earlier, the event was in Russia (1,000 attendees) and China (5,000). Next year, the conference is changing hands as Siemens takes over, and the user group organization … Read more