Why is CAD hard?

From: Marshall Burns (Marshall@Ennex.com)
Date: Sat Apr 24 1999 - 03:07:49 EEST

From: rjensen@parker.com <rjensen@parker.com>
Subject: Re: Confused
>Excellent reply, Larry. As another engineer, I agree completely. Of course
>is hard, but it's because engineering is hard, not the other way around.

    Okay, I'll jump in here. CAD is hard, but not just because engineering
is hard. Here is what I wrote on the subject in my book (page 195). This was
written before the appearance of TriSpectives (IronCAD), SolidWorks, and
Rhino, and it still applies in spades today.

    "... Today’s CAD programs are not easy to use, are not easy to learn how
to use, and usually have substantial limitations as to what can and cannot
be designed on them.

    "It may be helpful to put the difficulty of using CAD into perspective.
Modern word processing programs are said to be easy to use. However, this
statement makes the rather bold assumption that the prospective user knows
how to type. Typing is a highly specialized skill that requires considerable
manual dexterity and at least several months of practice to acquire. When
the typewriter was first introduced in 1873, its operation was considered a
tremendous talent; today it is mundane. Thus the difficulty of CAD arises
not only from inside the programs themselves, but from the unfamiliarity of
the required tasks to the great majority of people. CAD will become easier
not only due to improvements in the interface hardware and software but also
through increased proliferation and use in the workplace.

    "On the technology side of this issue, CAD systems in the next century
will probably replace the monitor with some type of 3-dimensional display
and replace the keyboard and mouse with a combination of voice recognition
and 3-dimensional tactile input. These future systems may also replace the
computer and CAD program with a special purpose neural network. ..."

    By the way, it was great to see the faces of so many of the RP-ML
participants at the special meeting at the conference on Wednesday. E-mail
is great, but a little old-fashioned face-to-face is good too. It was
especially good to see so many people attending from all over the world.
Thank you to the people who organized and sponsored that meeting.

Best regards,
Marshall Burns

Marshall Burns, President
Ennex(TM) Corporation
Fabbing the Future(TM)
10911 Weyburn Avenue, Suite 332, Los Angeles, U.S.A. 90024
Phone: +1 (310) 824-8700. Fax: +1 (310) 824-5185
E-mail: fabbers@Ennex.com. Web site: http://www.Ennex.com
***** Copyright (c) 1999, Ennex Corporation

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