Category Technical illustration

Visualization is not enough



We have said this many times: visualization is not enough; viewing 3D geometry does not add any value to anybody, whatsoever!

That may sound like a provocative statement, but this humorous anecdote from is a great example that not only is visualization not enough, it can be downright confusing.

Humor aside, it is not enough to simply look at a model on the screen, you need to learn something about that model. That model needs to tell you a story. So what matters most is context. When you can add additional product information to support the geometry, and can convey what should be done with that part and the ones around it, then you can tell a story and you can provide real value...

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3DVIA your iPod #59: “Knocking out the competition”



You’ve heard us rant about the exceptional qualities of 3DVIA Composer, and how we make better reuse of CAD data than other competitive products such as Isodraw. I’ve shown 3DVIA Composer to people hundreds of times, and I never grow tired of the look of amazement on peoples’ faces when they see what we can do. But what really amazes me is how quickly our customers can go from purchasing our product to being productive and generating positive returns: it’s a tribute to our architecture and ease of use.

It’s why we win benchmark after benchmark, why customers continually choose 3DVIA Composer over other products, and why customers actually turn off those products in favor of 3DVIA Composer.

But don’t take it from me… take it directly from one of our newest customers, Miller Formless...

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Goin’ Gangbusters



When a smaller company is acquired by a larger one, one of the questions people ask (and one you hear most often from the press and analysts) is, “Will the passion surrounding the acquired product get diluted as the technology is integrated into the acquirer’s operations?”

It’s a fair question because we have all seen that happen with great technologies before: lots of traction in the marketplace leads to an acquisition after which the technology disappears.

That’s not about to happen to Seemage. I offer two data points to make my case.

First, FISHER/UNITECH announced a partnership yesterday with Seemage and is in the vanguard of SolidWorks partners who are literally clamoring to begin delivering the world’s most advanced system for product documentation to their customers...

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Wow…what a reaction



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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Dassault Systèmes acquires Seemage



It is with great pleasure that we announce today that Seemage has been acquired by Dassault Systèmes. The complete press release can be downloaded using the link below.

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Talking heads or product showcase…you decide


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


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


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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CAD file conversion misses the bus


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″


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″


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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Snecma Services Flies with Seemage


Seemage is pleased to announce that Snecma Services is using Seemage as a vital part of its training and educational services. Read the press release below.

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Seemage your iPod #40: “Seemage Collision Detection”


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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Seemage your iPod #35: “Seemage annotations”


The Seemage PLM and CAD podcast episode 35: Seemage annotations

When we talk with customers or present Seemage to new prospects, we consistently hear several things. One is the very high result-to-effort ratio. This week’s video podcast, once again courtesy of Jonathan Riondet, makes that point beautifully.

In less than three minutes, Jonathan shows how to annotate an assembly using many different sources and styles of annotations, including the ability to create annotations from data contained in PLM systems. As Jonathan says in the audio recording, this is a very important point.

Even more subtly, in this podcast, Jonathan is showing one of the underlying architectural reasons Seeemage is so fast, flexible and easy to learn and use. That underlying idea is that everything in Seemage — be it geometry, annotations or anything else — is just a set of p...

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‘Scuse us, but when it comes to PLM, Seemage told you so


When it comes to PLM, Seemage told you so

At the risk of sounding a little like your “CAD Mom,” (with Mother’s Day coming up this weekend in the US, how’s that for a double entendre AND a mixed metaphor…all in one?) and after reading the results of this Capgemini “PLM World Pulse Survey,” we just can’t help ourselves.

Forgive us for saying “we told you so” about this survey that confirms that PLM’s raison d’être is innovation (55% of respondants), not cost savings (30%). Interestingly, 35% cite reduced time-to-market as the most important PLM benefit. And tied at 40% each, processes and organization top the list of what manufacturers think needs the most attention in optimizing PLM.

In a nutshell, customers aren’t saying PLM is about heavy-duty infrastructures, servers and IT technologies...

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Seemage your iPod #23: “Control valve”

Seemage 3D animation podcastRead More

Hot off the press..get yer new Seemage 4.0 data sheet!



We’ve just published a new data sheet for Seemage 4.0. Naturally, we’ll make these available on our web site, but I also wanted to post the data sheet here as well as a convenience for our blog readers.

I want to thank Fabien for his very attractive design for the Seemage 4.0 data sheets. I hope you’ll agree that we’ve made it informative, attractive and easy to read.

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PTC declares 3D isn’t important


As readers of this blog may know, PTC recently acquired the 2D technical illustration company ITEDO. You may also know that Seemage is offering ITEDO users a trade-up to full 3D at

In an apparent response to this campaign, PTC has been emailing its customers a discussion about its acquisition of ITEDO and its opinion of Seemage.

Naturally, both Seemage and ITEDO customers have asked us to respond. What better place to do so than on our blog? And who better to respond than Seemage’s founder Eric Piccuezzu?

Here are PTC’s emailed comments, followed by Eric’s response:

PTC: Prior to the acquisition, ITEDO communicated 3D availability in the next version of the product...

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A special offer for ITEDO users


Seemage has announced an offer that puts money in your pocket and 3D product information at your fingertips.

In a nutshell, users of ITEDO products are eligible for a special discount on Seemage Publisher, Seemage MockUp and Seemage Viz through January 31, 2007.

We're believe that this offer makes great sense for users of 2D illustration products: with Seemage, you can add 3D to your capabilities quickly and easily.

The customers who have already done that are seeing impressive reductions in costs. Liebherr Aerospace talks about their success with ITEDO and Seemage in the PDF I've attached to this post.

Please visit this special page to register for the discount and to have Seemage contact you.

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Empower the people… free your CAD files


CAD and CAD Data has generated a cult like fetish. 
Everyday you hear people talking about viewer wars or how the CAD companies should unlock their data.  I'm amazed by the energy and focus people put into these conversations when it is clear why this data will stay locked in proprietary databases. 
The CAD user is in an exclusive club…
  • A complex catechism for skilled experts only
  • Expensive systems, expensive people
  • Total worship of making better products faster

Don't get me wrong, CAD applications and the skilled CAD user has created a massive corporate value.  I would even go as far as to say this value in many cases has gone un-noticed by many in the organization, as they have just taken the gains as something to be expected.

The problem is the exclusion of other value…

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Ceeping CAD Captive Causes Cost Creep, Cills Creativity


CAD prisoner

OK, so I had to work really had to come up with a string of C-based alliterations. (-:

But it's no joke.

Think about it: companies spend millions implementing sophisticated CAD systems and millions more improving product lifecycles with PDM/PLM solutions only to keep the resultant information bottled up in the engineering group.

What about sales? Marketing? Customer service? Aren't these fundamental business processes part of the product lifecycle? Don't they deserve to have the same level of rich access to product data as product development departments have?

In our thinking, "free you CAD files" is more than slogan, it's a business imperative. The question isn't "should it be done...

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