economics ate my 3dI read Matt Lombard’s interview over at NOVEdge and agree with just about everything he said, but I do think there’s more than economics being a reason for the slow transition to 3D. Maybe it’s the industry I’m in, but the main issue in all the companies I’ve seen is the insistency to make SolidWorks work like they’re use to doing things. Come to think of it though, it’s not just my industry I’ve seen this in.

Economics is easy to point at
And it’s a valid argument, but it doesn’t necessarily mean that is what is going to drive a decision to choose 2D over 3D. If you’re hungry you’re gonna find a way to eat. So, what I’m getting at is when it comes down to giving someone something they want, you do what is necessary to provide that. Which if you did apply it to economics, would be more like economic incentive… I wanna get paid…a lot. It’s based more on making money than saving money.

do it or elseMake those drawings look like Autocad or do it in Autocad
Proving cost savings doesn’t seem to make difference when the product (paper) doesn’t work. Think of a time you’ve used a fancy new program, but it didn’t work like you were use to and it took you longer to try doing stuff because you didn’t know how to use it. It was easier to go back to the old way of doing it, than learn it. We all think that way from time to time. For example, I’d rather use SolidWorks over Catia to develop a new car design, even though some of the surfacing components in Catia may be beneficial for me.

Out with the old?
I do think management will start forcing a change though. Why? Well, to answer the question of why it’s taking so long for 3D to replace 2D, I could say, it’s taking a long time for old management to die off, but in actuality, I believe there is going to be such a shift in technology that competition will force the adaptation to 3D technology.

Think of the cartoon industryanime
Yeah, tv cartoons are still using the traditional cel animation process, the Japanese animation market is phenomenal at pushing the envelope in this area, but what is bringing in the bucks at the box office is the demand for 3D animation. Pixar rolled into town and forced giants like Disney and Sony to adapt to the new technology.

To hit this home, I’ll ask a question and hopefully get some response. What if the customer, and I’m talking about the guy buying the exercise machine or the drill or the cubicle wall, got the electronic 3D Illustration or Assembly instructions along with the product. Like an eDrawing or 3D PDF? What affect would this now have on how more companies move to 3D?


Josh is founder and editor at, founder at Aimsift Inc., and co-founder of EvD Media. He is involved in engineering, design, visualization, the technology making it happen, and the content developed around it. He is a SolidWorks Certified Professional and excels at falling awkwardly.