Dave Weisberg has released his history of CAD -- or, more correctly, history of (primarily) mechanical CAD. You can download a ZIP file that contains all chapters in PDF format here. I love reading history, and I am enjoying learning more of the roots of our industry.
- Computer-Aided Design Strong Roots at MIT
- Research in the Second Half of the 1960s
- Civil Engineering Software Development at MIT
- The First Commercial CAD System
- Autodesk and AutoCAD
- Auto-trol Technology
- Bentley Systems
- IBM/Lockheed/Dassault Systèmes
- Patrick Hanratty and Manufacturing & Consulting Services
- Parametric Technology Corporation
- Structural Dynamics Research Corporation
- Siemens PLM Software (UGS)
- Tom Lazear and VersaCAD
- Miscellaneous Companies
- Analysis Companies
The ebook is free. Mr Weisberg asks for a donation to the Cancer League of Colorado Foundation (via PayPal). Details here: www.cadhistory.net
Ralph, Thanks for the link to this material :) What a trip in the "way back machiine" - especially Chapter 20 on VersaCAD.
It was 1988 I do belive, we purchased VersaCAD 5.3, latter to become VersaCAD/386 (DOS Extender version). We ran this on what was then a bleeding-edge Compaq 386/20 (Yup, 20MHz) with a whole 1 meg of RAM, 20MB HD, all for $16,000 CDN. Also, was an Nth Engine (how many remember those?) graphica card, I recall at about 4-grand and an HP Draftmaster I pen plotter for about the samll dollar amount as the Computer itself.
It was great!!
Posted by: Jim Longley | Jul 23, 2008 at 08:11 AM
I can't wait to read it cover to cover!! Brings back great memories.
At my first "CAD" job in mid-1987 I sold VersaCAD on Intel 8086 based PC's with Houston Intrument plotters.
We got bought a couple months later by a larger company, and added Anvil 1000MD and AutoCAD to our product mix. At the time, Anvil could offset entities, but AutoCAD couldn't.
I became proficient at installing and supporting Nth Engine, Artist, Kurta and Calcomp digitizers, Verticom graphics cards, bulding custom plotter cables, configuring extended and expanded memory. Those were fun times.
If memory serves me, a single "turnkey" system was around $20K.
Houston Instruments had a cool scanner attachment that fit into the pen holder on a pen plotter. Using Image Systems CAD Overlay, you could scan a D size drawing (in about 1 hour) and trace over it in AutoCAD.
I learned all the AEC Architectural and Mechanical stuff, Cimlogic Toolbox, GTX RasterCAD, DCA and Softdesk AEC and Civil, Autodesk's ADE extension (became Softdesk's Facilities Mgmt. add-in).
Supported AutoCAD on IBM and MS-DOS, QDOS, Windows, Sun and HP Unix. Never got into SCO Xenix to AutoCAD, but did sell Sigma Design Arris on Xenix and Sun (really cool AEC software).
I have to admit I miss those days.
Posted by: John | Jul 23, 2008 at 01:52 PM