Ten years strong

19 June 2018

To celebrate the 100th edition of DEVELOP3D, Al Dean takes a look at four of the best issues over the last decade to find out what we got right and what we got wrong

Issue #1: June 2008

Cover story: We went inside Italian car design firm Pininfarina, to talk to its head of design about a new idea for taking advantage of the personalisation potential of additive manufacturing.

Big news story of the month: Following the modernisation of its product portfolio in V5, Dassault Systèmes continued to build on these foundations with the launch of its V6 platform.

Revviews and technology trends:We took a look at the first release of Siemens PLM’s Synchronous Technology inside Solid Edge, as well as one of the last releases with the name Pro/Engineer (Wildfire 4). Synchronous, along with SpaceClaim, went on to change how we look at direct modelling tools, which have now become more widely accessible as a result, even if they are still not widely used.

What we got right:With Autodesk’s launch of its ‘Digital Prototyping’ idea, we predicted that the company would acquire a CFD company.

What we got wrong: Autodesk didn’t buy Flomerics (which eventually ended up with Siemens a decade later), but instead plumped for Blue Ridge Numerics.


Issue #25: December 2010

Cover story: A true British legend featured on our cover, as we told the story of the rebirth of Norton Motorcycles. It’s a story we would revisit eight years later, when we caught up with Simon Skinner and his team.

Big news story of the month: The big news this month was Daimler moving from Dassault Catia V5 to Siemens PLM’s NX and Teamcenter.

Reviews and technology trends:This month, we asked a question that we’ve asked again and again since: What is going on with SolidWorks and its next-generation platform of products?

Today, we’re still not entirely sure. We also ran a three-page tutorial on how topology optimisation could be integrated into a surface modelling workflow – and that’s proved a recurring theme, too. In fact, we’re still talking about this most months, even in 2018.

What we got right: We predicted that Dassault Systèmes would take its time moving to its next-generation SolidWorks products and getting those tools into the market.

What we got wrong: We didn’t think it would take this bloody long.

The combination of Siemens releasing Synchronous Technology (in both Solid Edge and NX) saw direct modelling truly become a standard part of most systems’ workflows


Issue #51: July/August 2013

Cover story:Diversity has always been a passion for DEVELOP3D and while our super-pink Women in Engineering cover ruffled a few feathers (mostly due to the colour), we remain as committed to progress as ever.

Big news story of the month: The 3D printing revoution was well underway, but the acquisition of Makerbot by Stratasys for a hefty half-billion dollars still came as a surprise.

Reviews and technology trends:This was the first time that Autodesk’s Fusion 360 system had seen the light of day. Many dismissed the rise of the cloud back then, but we’re seeing former naysayers finally jumping on the bandwagon in more recent times. This was just a few months before cloud rival Onshape launched.

What we got right: We talked about how buying more locally manufactured goods might cost you a fair bit more, but argued that the extra outlay would be worth it in the end – and sure enough, the travel bags we bought at the time are still going strong.

What we got wrong: When talking about software partnerships between big vendors and third-party developers, we felt the cloud would enable a new market to emerge. So far, that has yet to happen to any great extent.


Issue #75: February 2016

Cover story:Cover star Phillip Norman is not just a builder of robots, but also a children’s author, artist and all-round renaissance man, as our profile of this popular DEVELOP3D Live keynoter explained.

Big news story of the month: Onshape joined Fusion 360 on the cloud – and the use of this delivery model as a way for companies to access design and engineering tools became a real market.

Reviews and technology trends: Onshape got its first commercial release following a year of beta. With the founding team from SolidWorks on board, the company promised a different approach, something that’s becoming clearer all the time from the innovative ways in which Onshape helps customers tackle their design and data management challenges.

What we got right: Onshape claimed that its new system was production-ready. We disagreed at the time – but today, we’re finally starting to see some meaningful traction for the cloud-based engineering system.

What we got wrong: Onshape’s App Store still hasn’t really grown a great deal since an initial flurry of activity following its launch.

Fusion 360 grew out of Autodesk’s direct modelling experiments and became the future of the company’s mechanical engineering product line

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