Tablet Engineering Tools:
This podcast covers a growing trend of tools available on the tablet to aid Engineers to do lightweight tasks while on the go. Topics covered:
CAD Tools (iPad):
- AutoCAD WS - open, edit, and share DWG (Free)
- iRhino 3D - Viewer for Rhino 3DM files ($3.99 USD)
- 3dvia Mobile HD - Viewer for model on 3dvia.com
- Inventor Publisher Mobile - Viewer for Tech pubs
- vueCAD - Universal 3D viewer and markup tool ($9.99 USD + $$$ per translator)
Current iPad App Announcements (not shipped):
- SolidWorks n!Fuze - Viewer, Browser and Comments
- DraftSight - View, Edit, Share (no elaborate details were shared)
- CADFaster - Collaborative Tools
- NEI Nastran Mobile FEA App - FEA Cloud Computing
- SolidWorks Live Buildings - View & collaborate?
- Post3D - Pull participation with chat and 3D avatar?
- eDrawings - something web-based and live clients for view and markup?
I have been wanting to do a show on a landscape of some of the applications available on the iPad for Engineering purposes. Due to the iPad really being the only mainstream tablet on the market I focused mostly on the apps available on this platform.
Although 2011 will probably be the year of the tablet with HP, Rim, Motorola, Samsung and Apple all having players in the market, I am probably going to stick with the iPad for now since that is the platform that gets the quickest access to new applications. What I would like to see is mobile clients built on HTML5 and other browser based technologies so the tablet platform is not as important. Choice is good but creates complexities when it comes to application support!
As more CAD companies begin to create experiences that fit the mobile platform, engineers are going to have more choice of how they perform certain duties. Pairing tablets with cloud based computing can deliver a "lean-back" options to certain aspects of the design process. Tablets will not replace the desktop but can definitely complement them for certain tasks. ~Lou