28 October 2008

Busting Four Myths of 2D and 3D CAD Software Marketing

"Should my business be using 3D CAD software?"
Maybe the better question is "how exactly would using 3D CAD get my job done better?" Let's explore four myths about using CAD today.

Myth: everyone uses CAD already
42% of builders surveyed in 2006 still don't use any CAD program at all
according to one survey. Should they be using CAD? Probably, and many are changing over. But statistics like this sometimes help us see through the "don't get left behind" marketing hype and be more realistic about our requirements.

Myth: CAD software is too hard for me to learn
That's only true if you choose the wrong CAD software for your needs. 3D CAD software might be exactly what you need, or exactly what you don't need. A successful CAD migration involves three steps: 1) identify your business requirements 2) identify CAD systems meeting those requirements 3) identify which vendors offer the support you need for the system you choose. When possible, try to buy a CAD system from a vendor that offers direct support for the system you choose. They should also be able to help you identify your requirements before you buy. Your vendor choice alone can make a big difference in the success of your CAD system. To help new CAD users, CADDIT has published a free CAD e-book.

Myth: 3D is always better
If you are working for a customer who wants a 2D drawing, give them a 2D drawing. According to a recent marketing report by the Aberdeen Group, there are several reasons people use 2D CAD in the first place, including demand for increased quality/reliability, shortened product development schedules, accelerating product commoditization and marketspace competition. The main reason that seems to prevent 2D CAD users from migrating to 3D CAD is "The current process using 2D works, no need to make a change (40% of surveyed)".

progeCAD is an example of robust 2D/limited 3D CAD that is helping thousands of businesses meet their mainly-2D design needs successfully. Many surveyors, builders, electricians and engineers have no real need for 3D CAD at this time.

Myth: Everyone is going to use 3D CAD soon
"Most CAD users still work in 2D, while 3D design is rapidly moving to the forefront.." - Business Wire, Nov 14, 1995 article "AccelGraphics announces first entry-level workstation-class 3D graphics accelerator; new board delivers high-performance 3D graphics for price-sensitive MCAD users". More that 10 years later, CAD software marketing is still warning the world about an impending obsolescence of 2D CAD. The reality is that designers have far more freedom of choice than ever before in finding a design package that fits their needs and budget.

The key is knowing the right CAD for the right job at the right price. A certain flexibility to adapt one's self to learning several systems is therefore practical, but we don't need to learn them all. Technology is just a tool that we create to help us get a job done. It should never become a religion that ironically blinds us from seeing a better way of getting that job done. CADDIT has already helped hundreds of companies find the right CAD software. What has surprised many of our customers is that the best system for them is often not the most expensive or complex system we support.

CADDIT is a professional CAD and CAM software consulting company based in Sydney Australia. The full version of this article can be found here.

No comments: