D3DLive 2013! Were you there?


When I am old and in my dotage, I will listen to the young CADlets that gather at my knee;

‘Gee grand-pops’ they will say – ‘were you really there?’

‘Yes!’ I will say. ‘I was at D3DLive 2013!’

D3D Live 2013

 D3D Magazine takes to the road

D3D Magazine specialises in telling interesting stories, from interesting Designers and Engineers, including the digital tools that support their workflow. D3D Live brings these interesting people to you so that you can hear their interesting stories first hand.

What is unique and special about the event that the D3D team have created, is that they have captured the enthusiasm of the CAD industry as a whole. Those of us that use CAD tools, and those of us that make them.

It is remarkable, that Al Dean and Martyn Day (Chief agitators at D3D) aren’t always even nice to the CAD vendors. However their passion for digital design and engineering comes across as admonishing – rather than criticizing of the CAD companies;

Come on [Insert CAD Vendor of your choice], We know you can do better!

With 932 attendees out of the 1,400 registered, this years D3D conference, held at Warwick University in the heart of the UK, has certainly grown from he D3D team’s first tentative steps into live events last year.

D3DLive! 2013 was streamed into six tracks – product design and engineering, sustainable design,design visualization, 3D printing and prototyping, simulation & workstation technology.

Unfortunately for me I didn’t get to attend any of these classes, I was far to excited by what was going on in the keynote speeches on the main stage.

Big Hitters

It is testament to the D3D teams enthusiasm and hard work that they managed to get such a great line up on the main stage, including Ping Fu – Vice president of 3D systems/Geomagic, Chris Randles – President of Spaceclaim, Gian Paolo Bassi – Vice President Research and Development Solidworks,  Jon Hirschtick – Founder of Solidworks and ‘Uncle’ Carl Bass – CEO of Autodesk.

The big scoop for the D3D team came via Carl Bass, who used his presentation to announce the pricing structure of Autodesk cloud based products.

The Autodesk range of Cloud based CAD Products

So – what did we learn?

Well – desk top CAD isn’t dead. But the the current license model is on its way out. The general feel from all the CAD vendors is that the future of CAD is Mobile (You can access your data from wherever you are, whatever kind of Desktop/Laptop/Tablet/Phone you are using), Social (you can collaborate from wherever you are, with whomever you need to) and cloud based (scalable, one CPU core in the cloud for 100 seconds is the same cost as 100 cores in the cloud for 1 second).

There was a strong feeling from the CAD vendors that propriety CAD file formats are inhibitive, and while they won’t suddenly be all agreeing to using a single format, most of the CAD vendors have swapped file libraries – meaning that files from many different products will be opened natively in future.

The future of CAD is subscription based. You won’t own a CAD license in the future. You will negotiate the usage of the software for a limited amount of time (the more time you buy – the better the rate you will get). Additional features for your CAD software, such as rendering or simulation will be ‘Unlocked’ and made available to you for an additional fee.

This will create a new source of direct income for the CAD vendors, and will provide interesting times for the CAD resellers. ‘Pushing boxes’ is no longer an option.

The highlight to all this speculation was the panel discussion with Rhino, Autodesk, Belmont, Siemens, Geomagic and Spaceclaim all represented to answer your questions.

D3D Live 2013 panel discussion

Bob McNeel – Rhino, Kevin Schneider – Autodesk Fusion 360, Jon Hirschtick – Belmont technology, Paul Brown Siemens PLM, Ping Fu Geomagic, Chris Randles – Spaclaim sharing the platform for the panel discussion

 In other news…

Despite my excitement about the presence of all those CAD industry heavy weights – it was interesting to note what a varied crowd the event brought in. The fact that the event was free, and held on a college campus meant that there were inevitably a lot of students attending.

The big surprise for me was the number of families with young children that  I saw – I heard that the draw was the demonstrations of 3D printing. I really hope that this event captured the imagination of the Designers and engineers of D3D 2063!

So – were you there?

I really think that we will look back at this event in the future with a sense of awe and wonder that a little UK based CAD industry magazine managed to pull of such a great event. But I don’t think that the Develop 3D team will stop here. Keep your eyes peeled on the D3Dlive site for Videos of the presentations, and make the effort to attend next year – before everyone hears about it ;)

A word from our sponsors.

 A final word of thanks goes out to the sponsors of the event who keep it FREE (Our favourite price!).

D3D Live 2013 sponsers

Comments are closed.