Tech Soft 3D Blog

Is “Web or Native” the Wrong Question for Engineering Applications?

Posted by Gavin Bridgeman on Feb 13, 2017 3:47:57 PM

What platform should I build my next-generation engineering application (app) on–web (HTML & JavaScript) or native (C++)? This is a question I hear over and over from development managers looking to their next-generation applications.

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Topics: Web Applications, Native Applications, Engineering Software

Do you Zip files? You should 3D PDF them instead for better, structured communication. Listen to the new Beyond 3D Podcast!

Posted by Dave Opsahl on Jan 31, 2017 3:17:30 PM

There are millions of 3D PDFs used in different manufacturing workflows every day, across the globe.  So why are there still so many misconceptions about how 3D PDFs can be used? How versatile they are, how much better they are than Zipping a ton files together and hoping the recipient can figure out how to view them all. The 3D PDF Consortium was founded for exactly this purpose – to provide education and awareness to the market about 3D PDFs.  We talk with Jerry McFeeters, the Executive Director, and Phil Spreier, Technical Director to dispel some of the bigger myths when it comes to 3D PDF creation and use.

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Topics: 3D PDF

Beyond 3D Podcast with AMC Bridge - Services and component technologies take the complexity out of dealing with today's tech trends

Posted by Tyler Barnes on Dec 16, 2016 4:14:59 PM

In this episode of Beyond 3D we talk about services for the first time.  And who better to talk about services for the engineering world other than AMC Bridge, one of the largest engineering service providers in the world.

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Topics: Cloud, mobile, CAD, ISV, Manufacturing, IoT, Engineering Services, PLM, Product Lifecycle Management, Component Technologies, Services, Service Providers, Software Development

Beyond 3D Podcast with Chris Jones of Actify – Having a digital strategy for big data is critical, and both small and large manufacturers can do it.

Posted by Tyler Barnes on Dec 5, 2016 5:13:39 PM

In our third episode of Beyond 3D, we talk with Chris Jones, CEO of Actify, about why it is critical for manufacturers of all sizes to have a digital strategy to consume, visualize and act on the quintillions of bytes being generated every day. It’s not a question of “should I do this” but rather “when and how will I do this?” Relational databases just don’t cut it anymore – the massive amounts of data being generated need to be able to be mined for specific things, visualized and acted upon quickly and easily. The technology is getting there, and is more accessible to manufacturers of all sizes – yes, even the small guys.

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Topics: Manufacturing, Discreet Manufacturing, Big Data, 3D, IoT, Connected Devices, Database, SMB

Happy 20th Birthday, Tech Soft 3D

Posted by Ron Fritz on Nov 15, 2016 2:15:17 PM

4 Dudes-1.pngIn 1996, it would have been impossible to imagine that 20 years later I would be sitting here writing this particular blog.  At the time, when Gavin, Yanick, Rob and I spun the HOOPS Visualize technology out of Autodesk, we could hardly have been a more scrappy, scruffy start-up. We had no funding, were squatting in Autodesk offices, had no clear idea of how to run a company and certainly no clear idea of how we would grow over the long-term.  We did know that there were customers relying on the HOOPS technology and we were determined to take care of them as job #1. Beyond that, I suppose like any start-up, we were hoping to survive long enough to not only support those partners, but also to eventually fuel innovation for many more development teams.

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Topics: Culture

Culture Costume

Posted by Ron Fritz on Oct 31, 2016 1:22:02 PM

I feel like talking about culture. Well, not culture exactly, but more about the stuff that often passes for culture these days.

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Topics: Culture

Productivity is the Key to Maintaining the American Manufacturing Resurgence

Posted by Ron Fritz on Oct 19, 2016 4:26:39 PM

Over the next decade, nearly 3.5 million manufacturing jobs will likely be needed in the United Statesand 2 million of those jobs are expected to go unfilled due to a skills gap.   

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Topics: Manufacturing

Beyond 3D Podcast with David Ewing of Aras - 3D PDF is a Home Run, and Any Company of Any Size Can Afford to Implement It

Posted by Tyler Barnes on Oct 10, 2016 11:18:08 AM

In this episode of the Beyond 3D podcast, David Ewing from the Aras Corporation talks about how he and his team implemented a 3D PDF strategy for a project while he was at B/E Aerospace that ended up saving hundreds of hours, and hundreds of thousands of dollars.  And it was so simple and effective, that using 3D PDF has now become the standard on nearly every project.

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Topics: 3D PDF

Beyond 3D Pilot Episode with TJ McCue – If 3D Data is So Valuable, Why Isn't Everyone Using It?

Posted by Tyler Barnes on Sep 13, 2016 12:07:58 PM

In this first pilot episode of the Beyond 3D podcast, we talk about the most common topics and challenges that come up in conversations with customers, partners and industry influencers – everything from complexity and process challenges, to how to deal with tech trends such as cloud and mobile.

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Topics: 3D PDF, CAD, CAM, , 3D CAD, ISV, Engineering

If the Shoe (Doesn't Fit...)

Posted by Ron Fritz on Mar 15, 2016 3:33:57 PM

No, this blog isn’t about shoes, but I do think they provide a useful metaphor. This blog is about ‘fit’.

Whether or not someone is a ‘cultural fit’ is often talked about as being important. Those who say that are wrong. It’s not important. It’s absolutely vital!

So where do the shoes come in? Stick with me.

Shoes = person
Feet = your company culture.

When we interview someone for a position, it’s like going to a shoe store and trying on shoes. I’m looking for some dress shoes with particular qualities (resume review process), so I can walk right past the sandals, running shoes and snow boots. OK, I’m now looking at the dress shoes and find a style I like, discovering they only have a few options in my particular size (I’ve now winnowed it down to the serious interviewees). I then try on a couple of pairs and walk around the store for a few minutes (the interview process). The shoes address my needs and seem to fit fine, so I buy the pair I like best and walk out (they’re hired).

When I wear the shoes to work for the first time they hurt a bit at first, but I figure they’ll break in. However, I quickly discover that I need to wear those shoes every week for 40+ hours, so the little bit of tightness that seemed OK walking up and down the aisle in the store is causing me all sorts of pain – blisters, squished toes, etc.

But it’s not just me. In a sense, everyone working with those shoes is walking around in them all day, every day. Then to make matters worse, sometimes things get intense at work – so you have to run a mile or so in those shoes. Ouch! You try all sort of things to make the shoes fit better to reduce the pain, but no amount of lotion, band-aids or changing socks is going to make those shoes fit. Just admit it. These shoes don’t fit.

I suspect very few people stop to think about this story from the shoe’s perspective. If the shoe doesn’t fit your feet, you can bet your feet don’t fit that shoe. The poor shoe, who started out its life with you with such good intentions and high hopes, is trying its best to change shape. It knows it’s causing you blisters and it’s suffering too. It’s trying to stop the rubbing, but to no avail. To be clear, there’s nothing wrong with the shoes. They’re a good, quality brand and on the right set of feet, they’d be fantastic. But for your particular feet they can’t help it. They just rub and squeeze and scrape and it’s as painful for the shoes as it is for your feet.

In the end all you can do is stop wearing those shoes. Your feet aren’t going to change shape and neither are the shoes. The sooner you accept that, the better.

A clever metaphor, perhaps, but what to do about it?

First, take a longer walk in those shoes before you swipe your credit card, tuck the box under your arm and congratulate yourself for getting that shoe-shopping task scratched off of your to-do list. You’ll be living with those shoes a long time, so the more chance you give your feet to decide if those shoes fit, the better. Walk as long as the store manager will let you – around the block. Up a hill. Up and down the stairs. Try to work through something with the candidate. If at all possible, have them do a project for you on a consulting basis. Basically, if the store will allow it, try renting the shoes for a little while before committing to buy.

Second, know that what seems like just a little bit of a poor fit during your walk around the store will inevitably magnify into incredibly painful feet later. Don't delude yourself into thinking that with a little bit of stretching the shoes will be ‘broken in’ and eventually conform to your feet. They won’t. It will only get worse, so if you feel they may not fit when you are in the store, put them back on the shelf and keep looking.

And in the end, know there is no value judgment for shoes that don’t fit. Your feet don't fit those shoes just as much as those shoes don’t fit your feet. Those shoes will eventually find the feet that are just right for them and you should keep searching for the shoes that are just right for you.

Happy shopping!

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Topics: Our culture, Corporate Culture

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