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Benchmarking mid-range CAD tools in a diverse product environment: recommendations and results

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2 Author(s)
Bauernschub, R.A. ; AAI Corp., Hunt Valley, MD, USA ; King, D.E.

Processing power increases of recent years, coupled with decreasing costs of both hardware and software, have combined to dramatically improve product designers' access to CAD tools. Operations that were once only possible on expensive Unix-based workstations can now be performed on less expensive Windows-based personal computers. A new category of CAD tools (commonly described as “mid-range” tools) has emerged to exploit these trends. This paper outlines the process used to develop a custom benchmark test used to evaluate three mid-range CAD tools: Solid Edge v.6, Solid Works 98+, and Mechanical Desktop v.3. Specific objectives of the exercise were to compare the mid-range tools against the current Unix-based CAD tool in order to: (i) ascertain if significant “ease-of-use” could be realized, and (ii) determine what capabilities would be lost (if these tools replaced the current tool) or gained (if they were used to augment the current tool). Topics addressed include: identifying tool requirements, conducting initial screening, developing evaluation tests, specifying both objective and subjective scoring systems, performing the tests, and presenting the results to users and executive management. The effects of a diverse product line on the benchmarking activity are noted. Development of special requirements due to data transfer to and from other CAD and CAE tools is outlined

Published in:

Thermal and Thermomechanical Phenomena in Electronic Systems, 2000. ITHERM 2000. The Seventh Intersociety Conference on  (Volume:1 )

Date of Conference:

2000