Response to GrabCAD blog
Totaly agree I have never seen a CAD system purchased on reserching all options and selecting the best for a particular task and value for money. When a company purchases new machines and equipment this look at all options and selecting the best option is taken. I have seen expensive CAD systems purchased by management who have never seen one in action, only because they knew the local salesman when the where children. The CAD package often used a few days per month.
Whe I needed a CAD package to produce designs and drawings for a freind who was starting a new buisiness, after much reserch I selected Alibre, now called Geomagic, as it was the only affordable software suitable for the task. When first asked to look into providing a CAD sevice, I did not know Alibre existed, but all of the packages I have used were either too expensive or did not have the required fetures for the task
A Good article - thank you. Working as an aerospace and emchanical engineers for 30 years, I should let all know that CAD purchasing decisions are based on two factors:
1- the number of skilled CAD technicians and Engineers for the package intended
2- How persistent is the CAD vendor / how well he lies about his product.
The result is that many organizations buy CAD packages that they don't need, or buy packages that are not adequate.
Examples are SolidWorks, a good overall CAD package. It's success is merely because it's available to college kids through torrent sites, not it's marketing team. Kids all over the world download and use it, they develop skills and provide a steady supply of future engineers with SolidWorks skills.
Autodesk or ProEngineer (whatever is their name this year) use their persistent and well entrenched sales force to overcome the buyers. Who cares if it's a match :)
We have Alibre or Solid Edge which are superb for small, medium and even large organizations, yet they have non-existent sales teams - hence small market shares.