I love being here in the Hawaiian-like city of Wollongong, and my enjoyment was doubled by the arrival of one press release in particular. As an aside, the RTC organizers of this event put in a fab WiFi for us, with remarkable speeds, and so I am keeping in touch triply -- with my notebook computer, Android smartphone, and new Android tablet. But I digress...
The view from my hotel room window this morning at 6:30am.
...back to the story. The headline that landed in my email inbox yesterday read:
$10B CAD industry disrupted for the 1st time in 30 years
No kidding. Either you ROTFL or you are intriqued. I was both. With my nearly 25 years experience in this biz, I know such headlines are good for eyeroll-inducing chuckles and that companies making such claims don't last much beyond the initial hype. Remember Xitron's XCAD? It was going to be the first $1 billion-a-year MCAD company. More readers may remember TriSpectives' 3D/eye, software that actually was revolutionary, but eventually split itself, some to Autodesk and the rest becoming IronCAD.
Thing is, what Sunglass is doing is no longer unique. It may just be coincidence, but soon after Sunglass made its announcement yesterday from the Techcrunch Disrupt event, Jim Foster of Blackthorn Design posted a working version of his company's until-now-somewhat-secretive WebGL-based CAD package:
A Visual Hands-On Preview of To3D:
CAD in the Cloud
(You can try it out at http://www.to3dnow.com/to3d-visual-preview.aspx , if you have the right Web browser. It worked in Google Chrome running on my laptop computer, but not with the Chrome browser on my Android 4.0 smartphone.)
Back to Sunglass. It has these features:
- CAD on the cloud (meaning, running WebGL in a Web browser)
- 40 file formats supported (don't know the full list, but if it includes Catia and NX, then very useful)
- Collaboration between designers: "sharing 3-D files as easy as dragging [from Dropbox] and dropping a model in any file format into the Sunglass Stage"
There's more info at http://techcrunch.com/2012/05/22/cad-users-rejoice-sunglass-brings-slick-3d-modeling-to-the-browser/. For some background, try these links:
I'm intrigued enough that I've got an interview lined up for next week with Sunglass. Suddenl, AutoCAD WS has competition. I wonder how many other young bucks this will challenge the aging stag.