Category CAD reuse

Wow…what a reaction

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cupoverflowing1

It’s been a very fulfilling and exciting 24 hours for everyone in Seemage since our acquisition by Dassault was announced.

First, I want to give a shout-out and thank-you to some of the more authentic bloggers in the community, people like Robin Capper (post here), Chris Kelley (here) and Josh Mings (here), for noting our big news and for encouraging us to continue the blog. We will.

We wouldn’t be true-to-form, however, if we didn’t have a response to the “traditional” CAD press, as expressed in their blog posts on the acquisition (Ralph Grabowski’s comment here and Randall Newton’s here).

Trust me, we don’t give a whit for Autodesk’s “tags” (whatever that’s supposed to be)...

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Innovation is a Full-Company Experience

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innovation

A recent Boston Globe Magazine article (here; registration may be required) talks about a new generation of entrepreneurs who have the stamina to persist in building new businesses because they are, essentially, narcissists. The article asserts that this is necessary to overcome the challenges in building a business.

It’s bull.

Clearly, entrepreneurs need a great idea…but they also need the ability to get others to believe it and participate in the building of it. It’s about creating an ever-expanding community of interest in the idea: developers, marketers, salespeople, customers, and on and on.

That’s been the real success of Seemage. Eric and James had a searingly clear vision: product information everyware...

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Seemage your iPod #46: “Seemage XML-driven styles”

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Seemage podcast for CAD and PLM users, episode 46, Seemage XML-driven styles 

This week’s episode is, as they say in the movies, a blockbuster.

Jonathan Riondet’s topic this week is deceptively simple: applying styles to Seemage content. You will be impressed with the ease and flexibility Seemage styles offer.

But then, about 2 minutes into this episode, things get very interesting: You witness the power of the XML-based architecture of Seemage as Jonathan changes the display language of the graphical image via modification of the external XML style information.

Consider the importance of this: automatic display of content in local language based, for example, on the language in use on the desktop. Being able to programmatically add languages whenever necessary. Elimination of reams of printed versions of product documentation.

This episode is an extraordina...

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Talking heads or product showcase…you decide

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Seemage’s approach to marketing couldn’t be more different from Right Hemisphere’s

Last week, I watched a replay of Right Hemisphere’s recent webinar and then, for comparison, I watched the replay of our most recent webinar.

You couldn’t find a more different approach in the way the companies choose to present themselves and their technology. Our competitor chose to present an hour of discussion on the future of PLM. We chose to present our product in a live demonstration, using real customer data, in what we believe is a real-life example of typical problems people face creating rich product documentation.

I am astonished that in the 56 minutes of Right Hemisphere’s webinar they showed no product demo at all. By contrast, we begin to demonstrate Seemage as quickly as possible...

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Seemage your iPod #45: “Cloning geometry”

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Seemage podcast for CAD and PLM users, episode 45, Cloning geometry

This week Jonathan Riondet elaborates on one of the features that users consistently tell us makes Seemage so useful: the ability to substantially reduce the size of files. In this example, Jonathan shows how to take an already-small Seemage file and by cloning geometry in the file, reduce the size of the Seemage file even more.

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PTC to technical service writers: “One size — XXXL– fits all”

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PTC to technical service writers: one size — ginormous — fits all

Many of you may remember the rock band called Talking Heads. And you may also remember their famous movie, Stop Making Sense, in which lead singer David Bryne appears onstage in an ill-fitting “big suit.”

Both the title of the film and the fit of the clothes pretty aptly describe what we think of Parametric Technology’s announcement of a “comprehensive, out-of-the-box solution for creating, publishing and delivering technical service manuals.”

We wonder why you need four separate applications – none of which are widely-deployed standards – to author content. Will tech writers prefer Microsoft® Word® or Arbortext® Editortm? How eager do you think users are to learn a new text editing tool? PTC’s press release says, “The success of any new solution hinges on an organizationâ€...

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Seemage your iPod #44: “Animating movement in Seemage”

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Seemage podcast for CAD and PLM users, episode 44, Animating movement in Seemage

This week, our podcast episode demonstrates Seemage’s technological superiority in creating animations directly from 3D data. This episode, recorded by Franck Soulier (thank you, Franck!), shows how to create movement in Seemage animations.

I especially like that the object being animated here is a relatively simple thing: a skate board. This allows you to focus on the steps Franck uses to make that simple thing do something that is fairly complex: rotate and flip in space.

The real beauty of Seemage is that getting results like these is well within the capabilities of most users: you do not need to be an engineer or designer. Simple actions, sequenced on a simple-to-understand time line, make creating Seemage animations fast and easy.

Franck’s demonstration is a good example of ...

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Are you still in the “darkroom” about CAD file formats?

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Using drawings to create product documentation is like using chemistry for photos instead of a digital camera

We’re back from a long holiday weekend here in the US, and I wanted to pick up the discussion thread started last week when we posted our assertion that the file translation problem has been solved.

Articulating that fact resulted in this comment from Deelip Menezes:

In the response to Scott Shepard, Alex says, “the manic focus on converting things obscures the need to do something with the info”. I could not agree more. I have a small question though. How the hell are you going to do something worthwhile with the info if you do not have the correct info to begin with?

With apologies to Deelip, I don’t want to get pulled into the sub-topic of file-format conversion accuracy, because that is, ahem, a religious war without solution.

Suffice it to say that I am happy to use a digital came...

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Seemage your iPod #42: “Path Planning”

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Seemage podcast for CAD and PLM users, episode 42, Seemage Path Planning

This week’s Seemage podcast episode is presented by Franck Soulier who demonstrates Seemage Path Planning. First, Franck shows how Seemage can solve an abstract problem very easily: the path a ball must take to get out of a maze. That alone would make this a gripping video to watch. But then Franck goes further to show us a real-life application: how to remove parts in a maintenance situation.

Don’t you wish the engineer who put spark plug #8 under the air intake in your car had used Seemage path planning? I certainly do.

Thanks so much to Franck for the great video, and as always, we welcome your comments on this podcast and our blog in general.

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A user’s perspective on Seemage

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Seemage is used to document Hyster forklifts

We are very pleased to post here an unabridged version of the article Gordon Benson of NACCO Materials wrote for Machine Design magazine.

As you read Gordon’s paper, we hope you will agree that the issues and challenges Gordon describes are universal no matter what CAD and/or PLM system your company uses, and that his approach to solving those problems in his company is applicable to your company as well.

Gordon places special emphasis on the ROI of better product documentation, something we believe is more and more evident inside manufacturing companies today. It’s the kind of thing you might expect software vendors to talk about. But it’s so much more authentic reading Gordon’s perspective than simply hearing it from us.

We want to thank Gordon for allowing us to post the original...

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CAD file conversion misses the bus

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Thinking about CAD file format conversion without content creation is like missing the bus

Here at Seemage, we marvel at the amount of time and energy people spend thinking about file format conversions. In a nutshell, we believe this is a solved problem…that people who want or need to convert file formats can and do, easily and accurately.

We think the real issue isn’t about conversion…it’s about content creation. Customers tell us they need technology to allow departments outside engineering and design to create useful, accurate product deliverables. Our customers’ real challenge is to make it possible for end-users to achieve this in a compatible, secure way. (Naturally, we think Seemage matches this customer need perfectly.)

So, it never ceases to amaze me when I read a review of a product whose entire purpose…its complete market aspiration…its raison d’être is ...

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Seemage your iPod #41: “Using Seemage with Solid Works, part 2″

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Seemage podcast for CAD and PLM users, episode 41, Using Seemage with Solid Works, part 2

This is the second of two posts demonstrating the new integration of Seemage with SolidWorks.

Of note in this video is Jonathan’s demonstration of the ability to access all the detailed user information that was originally in the SolidWorks model directly in Seemage.

Read our press release announcing the integration here. Sign up to attend our free webinar on Wednesday, August 29, 2007 showing SolidWorks and Seemage integration here.

To play the .avi file, you will need a TechSmith codec, available here.

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Seemage your iPod #41: “Using Seemage with Solid Works, part 1″

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Seemage podcast for CAD and PLM users, episode 41, Using Seemage with Solid Works, part 1

This week we have a special two-part podcast. In this post and the next, Jonathan Riondet features our new integration with SolidWorks, which as you will see, is as easy to use as making a menu selection.

In this first part, Jonathan shows some animation capabilities using a SolidWorks model. In passing, he mentions something that I think is very important: that the Seemage file created by the free plug-in can be opened in any Seemage product, including the free Seemage Player.

We’re very excited about Seemage’s integration with SolidWorks. You can read our press release announcing the integration here. Also, on Wednesday, August 29, we are holding a free webinar that will demonstrate the integration between Seemage and SolidWorks. Attendees are eligible for a free copy of Seemage Viz...

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Seemage your iPod #40: “Seemage Collision Detection”

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Seemage Interactive Collision Detection

This week for our 40th episode (!!), Jonathan shows a capability in Seemage that we all know would lead to better product quality: the ability to detect serviceability issues. Seemage Interactive Clash makes it quick and easy for users who must document (and use!) service procedures to see exactly what will happen under various circumstances. We’ve all opened the hood of a car and wondered, “Sheesh….how would I remove spark plug #6?” With Seemage, you’d know. And this animation could be easily supplied on CD or a website to the service people at the dealership.

As impressive as clash detection is, note what Jonathan does after discovering the clash: he non-disruptively imports updated information into the scenario to resolve the issue...

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Choose one: text or animations for nuclear powerplant training

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Text is not the answer to better product documentation

I was reading the “Engineers without Fears” blog and came across this post in which Matt Moore describes some of the core issues that arise in documenting very complex products, especially their long lifespan and the need to transfer information from one person to another over multiple careers.

Matt summarizes the problem succinctly:

Powerplants and fighter planes tend to be expensive and have long lifespans (as long or longer than the career of individual). Given that a proper understanding of how a complicated product operates takes a long time to build (often 10 years minimum), knowing who knows what around a specific component or assembly is vital. And yet often it is not known.

We agree these are important issues...

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Seemage Integrates with SolidWorks, becomes SolidWorks Solution Partner

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Today, Seemage announced that it has integrated with SolidWorks and has become a SolidWorks Solution Partner.

Read the press release by clicking the links below.

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PLM’s silent majority

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PLM just isn’t connecting with the business

I was reading the PLM-oriented blog at http://www.plmsavvy.org/ (it’s not really a .org) and ran across this post about a CIMdata PLM survey.

Both the blogger (hey, you should sign your posts with a real name) and CIMdata miss what I think is the most imporant point.

Simply: over 60% of respondents did not say that “PLM was enabling business processes” (see CIMdata’s written analysis of the poll at the newsletter archive here). Instead, CIMdata adds together two minorities that answered different, unrelated questions to reach the conclusion that “This combined 60% reflect that PLM has become more than just an engineering solution – it is important to the entire business.”

The blogger at plmsavvy...

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Watch the Seemage webinar replay at your convenience

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Watch the Seemage webinar

On July 19, we held a live webinar session that was very well-received. I sent a link to watch the Flash recording of the webinar to those who’d signed up for the live presentation but who weren’t able to attend.

And an amazing thing happened: in addition to the people who got a chance to watch the webinar they’d missed, we noticed that people to whom we had not sent the invite were watching the replay — and forwarding the link along to others to watch it .

So, we’re going to do the obvious: put the link up here in our blog. Please consider this an invitation to register for the replay, even if you didn’t previously sign up to watch the live presentation...

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Seemage your iPod #37: “Measurements in Seemage 4.2″

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Seemage podcast for CAD and PLM users, episode 37: Measurements in Seemage 4.2

This week, Jonathan demonstrates (in less than 2 minutes!) how accurate and easy measurements are in Seemage. Pay special attention to the end of this podcast when Jonathan compares the Seemage measurements to the original measurements taken on the part in CATIA. As you would expect, they are identical. This demonstrates Seemage’s ability to accurately produce product deliverables in full fidelity to the original design.

Once again, there are two versions of this podcast: an AVI file (that requires the free TechSmith codec to play in Windows Media) and an iPod-formatted (and slightly smaller) version for our subscribers in iTunes.

Thanks again to Jonathan and we hope you enjoy the podcast.

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Seemage your iPod #34: “Seemage filtering on keys”

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Filtering on keys in Seemage for CAD and PLM users

This week’s podcast episode features Jonathan Riondet showing some very important, but subtle, capabilities in Seemage that make creating service assembly and disassembly procedures a snap by reusing data already in your CAD and PLM systems.

I want to add an additional idea to what Jonathan is showing here: flexible animation creation as a source of additional deliverables. One of the things that makes Seemage so easy to use is that what you produce in the animation time line can also be the source of many other deliverables, for example line art and saved views can be created right from the animation time line.

What’s amazing about this is that the more you learn about creating animations in Seemage, the more powerful the other 2D and 3D deliverables become because they can be derived di...

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The not-so-secret sauce for collaboration in CAD and PLM

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Office is the secret sauce for PLM and CAD users who want to collaborate

So, now that Acrobat 3D has shipped and everyone is thinking about how they might use it, let’s separate the obvious uses from the not-as-clear applications.

It’s clear that Acrobat 3D offers great file translation capabilities. But we’ve consistently argued that this is, essentially, a utility function. As such, it’s not a strategic application. The addition of a new utility to the utility drawer, like the choice between WinRAR and WinZip, is always a good thing.

But file utilities are not the basis of entererprise collaboration infrastructures. Thinking about PDF (3D or not) as the ultimate collaboration unit-of-work misses the basic requirement for improving the use of 3D information throughout the enterprise: the ability to add value to that 3D design data.

I’m not talking about simpl...

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Does PLM make your business more creative?

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Does PLM make your business more creative?

In a word, no. But based on some of the promises you hear, you’d think PLM itself was the source of creativity in design and engineering. Let’s face it, at the end of the day PLM is just like any other IT system: fabulous at tracking information as long as everyone uses it to do so religiously.

Kenneth Wong’s recent article in Cadalyst makes this point extraordinarily well. Kenneth describes two different companies in which the PLM system is used as we would argue it should be: simply as the repository for product information.

What’s fascinating about Kenneth’s article is that PLM-mandated workflow isn’t the source of success for these two users. They’re simply using the system for what IT systems are good at: documenting everything.

What’s this have to do with Seemage? It’s another ex...

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Annoucing Seemage 4.2

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We are very pleased to announce the worldwide release of Seemage 4.2. The press release we issued today, linked to this post as a PDF, details the exciting new features available in Seemage 4.2.

We also invite you to a webinar featuring Seemage 4.2 which we are holding on Thursday, June 21 at 14:00 EDT, 11:00 PDT, 18:00 GMT. Click here to register.

And, if you want to try Seemage 4.2, just click the icon below to go to our download page.

seemage 4.2

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Hey, Ford, GM and Chrysler: want another 2% in manufacturing productivity?

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automanufacturing.jpg

We’ve mentioned our interest (OK, infatuation) with cars here many times before. But it’s not just driving them we’re interested in. It’s how they’re designed and manufactured that interests us as well.

So, we had a long look at the recently released summary of the Harbour Report on North American auto manufacturing. The press release contains a very interesting set of PowerPoint slides showing summaries of the various components that go into the Harbour Report’s calculations of “hours-per-vehicle.” HPV is the measure it uses to calculate the efficiency of North American auto plants.

In short, the report concludes that the Big Three (Ford, GM and Chrysler) are gaining in manufacturing efficiency on the Japanese companies that also produce cars in North America...

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Seemage your iPod #31: ProductGrabber

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Today, we have a real treat for you. For the first time ever, we have audio on our podcast. Jonathan Riondet shows us how you can mix and match saved views in Seemage to quickly view and analyze many different combinations. It only takes a minute and nine seconds to show this — a good example of how powerful and easy to use Seemage is.

And, if you look closely at the title bar, you’ll notice that what we are showing is in fact a sneak preview of a new release of Seemage. (Check back on the blog next week — hint hint — for more info about that.)

My thanks to Jonathan for recording this week’s episode and we hope you enjoy it.

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