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August 30, 2006



"even though they might do very well, the potential downside of not winning made it not worthwhile to participate"

So rather than participate in a fair contest, just keep it a feature vs. feature paper wad war.

Evan Yares

I ran the Archimedes MCAD Competition.

It was interesting -- but not much fun. Companies such as SolidWorks pointed out that, even though they might do very well, the potential downside of not winning made it not worthwhile to participate. I didn't have a good counter-argument.

The reason I never ran the event again (other than having run myself ragged the first time) was that Joel Orr, Brad Holtz, and myself came up with an idea that we wanted to put our energy behind -- the Congress on the Future of Engineering Software.

By the way -- Carl Bass would likely beat John McEleney in a wrestling match, mostly because he's a lot bigger. Why not make it more interesting? They can have a road race, each driving a car designed with their respective products.

John Burrill

John, you moron! First your lead-off analogy leads no where. Then you insulted the Taoists! (What did Winnie the Pooh ever do to you?) and finally, you not only misspelled the name of Solidworks' CEO, you got the Autodesk CEO's last name completely wrong. It's Carl Bass, not Weiss. Carl Weiss is a production engineer where you work.
Why don't you-You know what? I can't even look at you. You're an embarrassment to the CAD proffession...AND YOU TALK TO YOURSELF IN PUBLIC!

John Burrill

Has anyone ever seen a Borland vs. Microsoft C++ challenge? How about Lotus Notes vs. Office, or Word Perfect vs. Word, or ANSYS vs Fluent?

You know why you don't see it? Because no one who takes their work seriously is going to pick a CAD package based on one of these contests.
Think of pitting philosophies and religions against each other.
"You have two minutes to explain the existence of the cosmos and why we're in it and there's a 5 point bonus if you can account for all of the extra space. Taoism, you're automatically disqualified since you consider the question irrelavant. You to just keep chasing each other."

I mean all of the really important questions can be answered without this kind of horsetrading:
1)Can I define a boundary patch with c2 curvature continuity to all of it's adjoining faces
2)How fast can it open, rebuild and save a thousand part assembly
3)will it support Vista, 64Bit OS, SLI video
4)how do I share and distribute my designs?

If CADDER's want to compete as entertainment, they should sponsor NASCAR designs or robot fighting or I'd pay for an upgrade just to see a greek wrestling match between Carl Weiss and John McElleny.


I agree with Mike. A CAD/BIM competition sounds good in theory but in reality I just don't see how it could be accomplished fairly. It's not like putting 6 races on a line and telling them to run 100 yards that way and whoever crosses the line first wins.

A CAD/BIM competition would need to consider end user needs (design, drafting, modeling, engineering, etc.) and differing industry needs (residential, commercial, industrial, government, etc.). The choices are too varied.

Now if you had a challenge that was for say residential programs and the goal was to complete a 3D model, construction documents, and bill of materials output on a 1-Story, 2,000 s.f. house then you might have a chance but how do you gauge who takes part and who gets to run each competitors program. A demo jock from each firm, a medium level user or a beginner? Again, too many variables to get an accurate end result.

I think in the CAD/BIM world it will remain up to the user to do their homework on if the sales person is blowing smoke up their skirt (just b/c its new doesn't mean its good) or is it the real deal and even if it is real is it a good fit for resolving their needs?


Cad challenges are hard because companies buy cad systems for different reasons. An ID company may be looking for good surfacing, A machne design company may want automation.
A competition needs to look at the things that each user encounters while using the Cad software.
I represented a couple of CAD companies in the past, and the most common problem encountered when asking customers was always related to Changes.
Now that i have this model how easy is it to change.
What features fail when i change it, and how much training do i need to understand how to fix it.
The industry has changed from expert CAD users to Casual users.
This is why so many mid range systems poped up, CAD users just dont sit behind the tube 8 hours a day anymore, they have many tasks to perform.
Customers should really challenge the CAD vendors to really examine the problems they have now and how the new CAD package can address it.

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