by Norman Roith of ING Network
Norman Roith is formerly with Genius, which was bought by Autodesk for its 2D mechanical software, now AutoCAD Mechanical. He asks the question, “Is 2D mechanical a dinosaur or a competitive advantage?” He shows us a hand-drawn sheetmetal drawing made 60 years ago.
(This talk is a lead up to a new product to be announced later this afternoon.)
Who Uses 2D CAD?
He asks, “Isn’t the world 3D?” Why do we use “stupid” 2D?
People from technical sales of industrial equipment, designers, and factory layout planners still use 2D. Technical sales guys start with sketches of concepts to make a sale, and to sketch out process flows for custom machinery – there is nothing out of the box.
For designers of industrial equipment, they often retrofit old products, which involves existing 2D drawings; same for servicing of the machinery. For example, when toast goes into and out of the slots of a toaster, the motion is 2D. Same for the motion of a car door opening: 2D.
For factory floor planners, they mostly manage data from manufacturers and other suppliers, none of which is associative. Mr Roith goes on to give many examples where 2D is still used, based on his experience consulting for automotive and other firms.
Of course, 3D models are still needed for people like in the purchasing department (who like pretty pictures). But engineers needs to see things in 2D and even 1D. Many designs consist of rectangles, and rectangles move instantly around 2D drawings.
(Miscellaneous thoughts: Sales people are given libraries so that they are forced to sell only what is available; without this restriction, sales people will sell anything! The goal in most designs is to use 70% of existing components.)
He gives the example of figuring out how to fit a headrest manufacturing line onto a truck for delivery. It took one designer a full day to work it out in 3D; doing the same job in 2D took two hours. “I don’t spend all day at it; I get it done in one or two hours.”
Drawbacks to using 2D: does not look “modern”; non-technical people have difficulty understanding 2D.