Dassault Systemes sure isn’t afraid to launch a cool, new product… then hide in the back corner next to the prosthetic leg design for their cat. Thing is, it may not actually be ready for prime-time, even though it is part of the currently available CATIA V6R2012 release. CATIA Natural Sketch was announced at ECF2011, allowing 3D sketching, with your hand, directly on your 2D screen. Here’s a quick look at the screen-slanting joy of CATIA Natural Sketch and all the gritty details we were able to dig up.

YouTube video

The Spiel

From Dassault…

“This first-of-its-kind, lifelike creative experience helps designers to free up their creativity and share their ideas more rapidly and precisely. CATIA for creative Designers offers a Unified Industrial Design Workflow solution to Imagine, Create, Share and Experience.

We follow the Industrial Design workflow:

  • 3D Sketching with CATIA Natural Sketch
  • Concept modeling with a 3D new paradigm
  • Instant collaboration with Engineering
  • Surface refinement with both approach curve based and direct modeling
  • Choice of colors & materials with high quality real time visualization.

The Details

That’s all nice, but here are some more details.

  • CATIA Natural Sketch is not “I Love Sketch” and is not related to that technology.
  • You currently do need CATIA to use it, however…
  • It is part of the CATIA V6R2012 portfolio along with the CATIA Imagine & Shape products.
  • CATIA Natural Sketch is not a “cloud-based” product.
  • There is no trial version of the product.

A bit of conflict here. You don’t need CATIA, but it’s part of the portfolio. It’s not a cloud-based app, but the client-side V6 apps do tie into the ENOVIA V6 backend, which runs over a network connection. To date, there is still no word from Dassault on when or if trials or demos will be made available.

Via Dassault


Josh is founder and editor at SolidSmack.com, 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.