Well, it’s happening, when you wonder what the future of CAD is going to be, who is pushing development and innovation, you can mark this day. First there was the eDrawings compatibility with Sketchup around this time last year. Now, SolidWorks has co-founded a program with Google, along with Graphisoft and the Discovery Channel, that recently acquired HowStuffWorks.com, to promote study and generate interest within the CAD related field of engineering and architecture.
It’s currently set up as a reseller model with groups ranging from SolidWorks Resellers to Technical Colleges. There’s plenty more space available, so this is another way for businesses and institutes to grow their offerings and bottom line. Currently there is a handful of curriculum overviews going on that are shown in the site’s event calendar.
Compatibility with eDrawings is one thing. The other CAD companies have that. What this does is place those solutions in the same genre and marketplace and introduces technology savvy learners to the possibilities of future advancement in those areas. In other words, little Johnny engineer says, I use SolidWorks and Sketchup, why not mix it up? I do everything on the web except my blueprints and cost estimation, why not suck this into the Google API or vice versa?
I’ve actually been wondering when something like this was going to happen, although I thought it would more of an alliance, like back and forth compatibility between Google SketchUp and SolidWorks. That would just about kill the competition in my opinion. This is just the first move toward eliminating other 3D engineering programs. Why? Ask why Inventor, Pro/E, SolidEdge, or SpaceClaim were not selected. Maybe you start off with a strong foundation with some core products and add the rest. But with SolidWorks as the co-founder and Google as an allied and innovative progenitor of web technology I highly doubt that is going to happen.
It may seem like a minor business move, especially since it’s just education right? It all starts somewhere. I see this moving how we use CAD right along.
The site has the most information in the Solutions section of the site. There you can see videos and view PDF’s on the curriculum and what makes it unique.