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November 16, 2009



I saw a TED talk where they used a projector under a desk and motion tracking software to give you a "touch" screen. That couldbe scaled to drafting table size pretty easily.


Touchscreen interface (especially multi touch one) needs different user interface from mouse based interface.
From the photo above, SpaceClaim UI is still to mouse base with their small icon, etc.

If we want to make touch CAD, the software will have different way of logic, maybe it would be closer to actual clay modeling plus a little bit hand drawing.

The software itself should be able to predict what we want to do after we sketch on it, and present the possibility. This way, engineer would be able to develop model more natural, unlike todays 3D CAD.
Therefore the interface would become more simpler.

As hardware point of view, maybe 25 inch touchscreen at around 5degree angle (maybe) is OK. And it should strong enough to support our hand resting on top of it.

Afterall, i believe CAD will also to move to this direction. Can't wait for it.


I've long dreamed of this type of interface for brainstorming designs in CAD. It would permit rapid manipulation of on-screen data.

Microsoft is pushing hard for large-scale touch screen interfaces and trying to lure computer manufacturers to follow. They may beat Apple in the CAD arena.

And yes, the angle and height would need to be adjustable, just like the drawing boards. I’d love to spend part of my day standing while doing CAD work. It would be better for my muscle skeletal system.

Oleg Shilovitsky

I think vertical touch screen is not comfortable if you use it for long period of time during the day. Table will be better... Oleg


I loved the drafting table analogy. Too much of the gesture technology applied to CAD makes me think of hooking up my "dance dance revolution" mat to my CAD system.

But those of us old enough to remember the drafting tables know you can sit at one of those for long hours. The total surface area blows away even a large PC monitor. Smugging is still a problem but at least it won't be on your design, just your desk :-)


The problem comes in remembering all the finger moves -- analogous, I suppose, to remembering keyboard shortcuts.

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