Mind share



It’s been pretty exciting the last week or so in the CAD blogosphere. There’s been a lot of discussion, online and off, about Franco Folini’s rankings of CAD blogs.

Whatever your opinion (and I certainly hope you make yours known), one thing we can all probably agree upon is that this discussion has become an excellent example of the way online communities work. Franco’s original post generated comments from other bloggers, email conversations and further comment, bringing us all together in an effective and open way.

But I do want to respond to Franco’s comments about what makes a blog “independent” because I think it raises a question that’s at the core of the power of the blogosphere.

Franco writes:

“The distinction I find more challenging is the one between independent and non indepen...

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Seemage your iPod #11: “Airplane 1”


This week, we are posting into the podcast feed the first of two animations of airplane engines.

Usually, I attempt to inject a little humor into the weekly podcast posts. This week’s (and next week’s) animations are, as always, visually interesting. But they also make a serious point about how leveraging CAD data for critical processes like maintenance can have major impacts on all of us.

Consider, if you will, the value of this animation as instruction to the service mechanic. Showing the mechanic the exact sequence and the precise parts removal process is certainly something I believe every airline should be doing. Don’t you agree?

So, not only can you load this très cool animation onto your iPod or view it here on this site, you can also ponder a better world brought about by produc...

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2007 sera un cru d’exception, parole de Seemage


Tout d’abord, tous mes vœux pour cette nouvelle année qui commence, pour Seemage, sur les chapeaux de roue, avec deux évènements majeurs pour le mois de janvier : notre participation au lancement de Vista et la sortie de la nouvelle version 4.0 qui fait déjà trembler la concurrence et sur laquelle nous reviendrons bientôt.

Dans notre volonté de démocratiser toujours plus l’utilisation de la 3D, nous avons en effet travaillé d’arrache-pied avec Microsoft pour développer des solutions capables de s’intégrer à Windows Vista et permettre de créer et de visualiser des animations 3D interactives avec un gain de réalisme et de temps significatif.
Vous pourrez ainsi, grâce à Vista, visualiser les animations 3D interactives...

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Yo, we made the list!



One of the very cool things about writing a blog is that, sooner or later, a super-community forms among the blogs to which it links and the people reading them. That’s why the Googlebot loves links more than anything else.

Through reading and thinking about others’ viewpoints, it’s possible to expand not just personal thinking, but the thinking of everyone reading your blog and those you link to. It’s the very definition of online community.

Many of these relationships are cyber-only, conducted via email, trackbacks and comments. But they’re very real. All you have to do is read and listen (in the case of podcasts) to how self-referential these communities become over time. They may form electronically, but are as palpable as sitting in a coffee-shop discussion.

Over the last couple of w...

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The right way


I think everyone would agree, hopefully, that there’s a right way and and wrong way to do almost anything. Music, no matter the key or modality, must be played in tune — must be delivered with full fidelity, even if the design of the piece is itself atonal.

If you play an atonal piece badly — with the wrong time signature or with instruments tuned incorrectly — it’s just bad. The audience may not like atonal music and maybe even cannot tell that the piece is being badly played, but the simple fact is that the piece isn’t as intended.

Likewise, to deliver 3D design data outside engineering for the overall benefit of the business there’s a right way and a wrong way.

The right way (and who would be surprised that it’s the way we do it at Seemage?) is to use a data-oriented metaphor for makin...

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Seemage your iPod #10: “The cyborg”


Our first podcast animation of 2007 might seem to be a scary way to launch the new year.

But for me it’s a message to all of us: 2007 is the year you should think hard about delivering desktop productivity (“desktop PLM”) to your users…or else.

I know…I know…you could see that one coming from a mile away.

And I know how propagandistic this sounds. But over the last two or three weeks, I’ve repeatedly seen the magic light go on in important people’s minds in meetings where Seemage has been presented to industry analysts and prospective partners.

After 20 to 30 minutes the cumulative effect of Seemage’s ease of use, openness and capabilities combines with the sheer “rightness” of finally doing something to deliver productivity to long-suffering PLM end-user victims to make it as obvious as s...

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In 2007, “scout’s honor,” we promise as an industry to…



Like many other bloggers, I am using my first post of 2007 (happy new year to all of you!) to reflect on the promise of the new year and, hopefully, to encourage you to do so as well.

Here’s my suggestion for a New Year’s resolution for the CAD/PLM industry: stop treating your documentation and service people like afterthoughts. Give them the access to 3D information they need, along with the tools to produce their deliverables. Worry less about PLM “infrastructure” and more about personal productivity. Get a PLM goal you can actually achieve.

Is this a patently Seemage-oriented view of what the industry needs in 2007? Absolutely. Is it valuable and appropriate for customers? Indisputably.

During the holiday week, Chris, Garth and I had the pleasure of briefing a noted industry analyst...

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Seemage your iPod #9: “Disassemble”


Well, it’s Friday again…and that means time for another Seemage animation.

Once again, Garth was busy on his vacation finding cool animations and converting them to iPod format. He’s found enough cool animations to keep us going for some time in 2007.

Once again, thanks to Garth and the others in Seemage who have shared not just product documentation, but what I think is a form of industrial art with us. Apparently you all think it’s art, too, since the number of downloads of these animation continues to grow.

Finally, since this our last post of 2006, on behalf of Seemage I want to thank our readers for their time spent on this blog. We hope we have found a unique (bilingual!) combination of news, views and content about which to engage with you...

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Me love 3D long time



I’ve been enjoying very much Franco Folini’s posts on the NOVEDGE blog. This one about the never-ending transition from 2D to 3D really caught my eye. In it, Folini seems to suggest that the 3D revolution has been undermined — or at least delayed — by a sort of personal neo-Luddism among designers for whom missteps and mistakes can be hidden in the “dumb” lines of 2D drawings but which are patently obvious to any educated observer in 3D systems.

While I understand the powerful urge to avoid professional embarrassment, I don’t think this is the underlying reason for the delay, if in fact there is a delay as contrasted to late-adopter syndrome.

Allow me to suggest another possibility.

Could it be that in many manufacturers (AEC’s resistance to 3D is another topic completely) that 3D hasn’t ...

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The Ultimate Cat and Mouse Computer Game


I was reading readers’ comments about Autodesk vs. the ODA in episode 500 of upfront.eZine (congratulations, Ralph!) and came across this comment from Ralph in response to a reader’s letter:

“Universal file formats always fail, because CAD is too complex. The solution is to document each proprietary format…”

I am not sure I agree that complexity is the challenge.

If you look at other “formats” for comparison like the SQL language (which can express an unlimited number and type of queries from a very simple syntax), you a reflection what’s going on in the CAD business. There’s no “universal” SQL syntax because the database vendors don’t want there to be a universal SQL syntax.

Whatever the market demands, the market gets...

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Seemage au cœur des environnements Seveso


Associé à de prestigieux partenaires (l’Université Technologique de Compiègne, le CNRS, le CEA-LIST, le LEI de l’Université de Paris V, l’INERIS, l’INRS, les sociétés Total et EB Trans), Seemage a répondu à l’appel à projet 2006 du réseau national des technologies logicielles du Ministère de la Recherche.
Nous sommes désormais fiers de vous annoncer que le projet présenté – V3S ou Virtual reality for Safe Seveso Substractors (réalité virtuelle pour la sûreté de la sous-traitance sur les sites Seveso) – a été accepté et validé.
Ce projet très sensible consiste à développer des simulations des risques et dangers potentiels dans les environnements industriels classés Seveso à des fins d’entraînements e...

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Place your bet – ERP or PLM vendor



It seems IBM is ready to spur on the fight between traditional ERP and PLM vendors. What is very amazing in this article (Article in Datamation: Clash of the PLM and ERP titans) is the comment that ERP and PLM have co-existed well in the past… This simply is not true. The reason it is not true is the BOM is at the center of the battle. The PLM players have tried and tried to control the manufacturing and service BOM. Well try as they will this is owned by the ERP guys and rightfully so. While the PLM players have done a better job managing CAD data then the ERP players, they have not won the important BOM fight and will not.

IBM clearly sees that customers want to integrate versus bet the farm on a single vendor solution...

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Seemage your iPod #8: “Motocross Jump”


We promised that this week’s animation would be good. Well, it’s so good, I simply couldn’t wait for Friday to post it.

Though the holidays begin this week, I know our hard-core “Seemage your iPod” subscribers would delay the start of their holidays just to get an updated feed this Friday (-:

But this animation just can’t wait that long. And I couldn’t stand the thought that this might get lost in the rush out the door Friday.

When you watch this, you will be amazed at some of the effects. Notice how the rider “revs” the engine with his right hand before the bike starts off. Be sure to catch him “peeling out” as the bike starts up and be careful that you don’t hurt yourself when you see the suspension flexing (both front and rear!) when the rider lands.

Nope…this video is way too cool to g...

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Seemage in the News



How’d ya’ll like this graphic for a clever pun? Get it? This is a post about Seemage in the news — we use 3D design information to produce superior product deliverables — and I’ve illustrated the post with an old illustration of an obsolete teletype machine.

OK…so it’s not nearly as clever as I might have hoped.

First, I would advise everyone to read Chris’s post below about “packaged PLM” (e.g. an appliance). He and Chris Kelley of UGS are having quite a discussion between them. My experience tells me that when you’ve got software in which all the wires are crossed — that is it suffers from horrendous lack of usability and monstrous complexity — you “hide” it in an appliance. I think Chris W. and I are on the same page: PLM is about improving end-user productivity...

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Noël avant l’heure pour Seemage


ivcs.jpgNous sommes particulièrement fiers de vous annoncer que, lors de la 10ème édition d’IVCS (International Venture Capital Summit), Seemage a reçu le prix IVCS pour la catégorie logiciels et multimédia.
C’est pour nous d’autant plus important que l’IVCS, sous les auspices du Conseil général des Alpes-Maritimes, capitalise sur la dimension résolument européenne de Sophia Antipolis (l’une des technopoles les plus actives en Europe avec 250 entreprises internationales représentant plus de 100 nationalités différentes).
Le prix a été remis à Eric Piccuezzu et à Valerie Guglielmetti par Emmanuel Libaudière , directeur de Mar-Tech & Finance en présence de Thomas Defaye, le directeur des développements et partenariats d...

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PLM Under The Christmas Tree


I’m amazed by all the web chatter this week about simplified PLM, PLM in a box, PLM on demand etc… Look at Chris Kelly defending the UG PLM Appliance. What is amazing about his post is he will have you beleive that by putting everything in a box with a bow, customers will no longer need to think about the soluton. If you read further you will see he will state this is great for the sales process as it will shorten it. So one must wonder who the PLM Appliance is looking to serve?

From my experience customers need to understand solutions as they only invest in things that create value.

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Bilingual 3D Mojo



When I was searching the ‘net for an image to illustrate this post, I came across the one you see here. It’s called “”bilingual brain.” And I think it conveys very precisely the point I want to make about why we are posting interchangeably in both French and English.

It’s no secret that Seemage started in France. The company’s success and presence in France is something we believe should be shared with as much accuracy as possible. We don’t want to limit the ability of people like Fabien and Eric to express themselves by forcing translations.

Further, we have a worldwide readership on this blog, and we now know from the success of the video in French that we put into the podcast feed that we have many French-reading visitors and subscribers.

Finally, who says there’s a rule that a blog ha...

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La vérité sort de la bouche des clients



Comment diffuser une maquette de 4 500 pièces sur des postes bureautiques par le biais d’un outil très simple tout en bénéficiant de gains de productivité substantiels ? La solution est Seemage bien sûr ! C’est Serge Viti, IT/Mechanical CAD Manager de la division Thales Systèmes Aéroportés, qui l’a expliqué lors d’une brillante intervention organisée par MICADO sur le travail collaboratif.

Intitulée « Le Travail Collaboratif multi-métiers », cette conférence visait à démontrer l’intérêt de diffuser l’Information produit largement dans l’entreprise (une thématique familière ?).

L’enjeu de Thalès était d’améliorer la compréhension des conceptions et de réduire les div...

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Seemage your iPod #7: “Motocross”


A couple of days ago, I posted a promise that we would really go up a notch in the the animations we are posting to our podcast feed. (Have you noticed that you can subscribe to this feed in iTunes or via RSS by simply clicking on the icon in the sidebar?)

Today, I am very pleased to to have the first of these new animations. Garth Coleman found this killer animation of a motocross bike with all kinds of cool visuals. From telling you how to remove the gas cap…to cross sections…to my favorite image (and the one I took for the still): the spoke nuts exploding out of the rims, this is one of the best animations we found in the “vault.”

Garth was up late re-encoding this for iPods and uploading it to the site, so I want to thank him for that. We hope you enjoy this animation...

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Cadalyst Magazine: Product Data Publishing — Streamlined


Sara Ferris of Cadalyst Magazine takes a look at how Seemage can revolutionize manufacturers. Click here to read the full story.

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Seemage your iPod #6: “Windows Vista” (in English)


We had an astonishingly large response to the video we posted here about Seemage and Microsoft Vista in French. Now, we have another version of the video, this time with Bruno and Jean-Marcel speaking in English.

This is a special “bonus” podcast video for this week. We’ll be back on Friday with some ultra-cool Seemage-generated videos. Garth Coleman had me in his office today and showed me some amazing stuff that he’s promised to recode into iPod compatible format and which we’ll be putting into this feed over the next several weeks.

I am talking really cool: helicopters and dirt bikes and V8-engines.

But for now, enjoy this Windows Vista and Seemage video.

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The PLM diet, or why being lean isn’t enough



Today, I read another interesting article about PLM entitled Can PLM Make You Lean?

Although the article makes some excellent points, I think Ms. Rouse-Talley makes the same mistake everyone seems to these days with respect to PLM: adding two tons of infrastructure doesn’t make you lean.

But, suppose by some miracle it could…suppose there was a magic “PLM pill” (like the blue pill in The Matrix) which would allow an enterprise to install everything all at once and not suffer one iota of cost or struggle with re-engineered processes. In short, you’d wake up the next day and it would all magically have happened.

Would that make you lean?

In a word, no.

It wouldn’t because PLM today is still focused on a narrow set of problems: engineering and manufacturing...

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MCAD Online: Product Information Everyware


In this article in MCAD Online, Seemage CEO Chris Williams details the important benefits of making product information available throughout the manufacturing enterprise. Click here to read the full article.

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If turnkey was simple, wouldn’t we call it that?



Whenever there’s a post on a blog that talks about what technology was like in the 70s, I take notice. I was just starting out as a mainframe computer operator then, and I remember those (now pre-historic) days fondly. I loved big iron…and to some degree think that we have been struggling with the effects of the demise of big iron ever since the arrival of the PC.

But as Ralph Grabowski points out today, the term “turnkey” is back. And while a lot has changed since I first heard the term in the 1970’s, the obfuscation inherent in it hasn’t changed one bit. Most people think it means “everything you need to get a system up and running.” Really it means, “this thing is too complex and in too many pieces to leave you (the buyer) alone with it.”

It got me to thinking about what a “turnkey” p...

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Seemage your iPod #5: “The Arm Returns”


If it's Friday, it's time for another Seemage animation.

This week, I am pleased to offer for your iPod viewing pleasure the second installment of what I hope will become a series. (That all depends on what I can find on the server.) When we last left our Arm in episode #3, it was running alone on a track.

Today, I found on the server an animation which includes the arm on its track and some human forms processing its output. I especially like the way the "camera" swings up and over the assembly line to show the way the people are supposed to process the work.

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