Direct CAD News & Views from Kubotek USA

Contract Manufacturing Adopts Direct CAD?

Posted by Matt Carr on Mon, Apr 07, 2014

Are contract manufacturers adopting Direct CAD?  You bet your boots they are.  And that means good things, especially for companies that need to gain speed and agility to remain competitive. Longtime users of history-based CAD are no longer willing to accept complex, inefficient and inflexible software.   Sticking with the status quo just isn’t cutting it anymore...

But why?

There are many factors that drive company and user decisions: comfort in the popular names, comfort in numbers, fear of dropping the status quo, basic fear of change, etc.  Even though we are 2nd and 3rd generation users, perhaps we simply cannot imagine there is a better way to do things.  After all, the tools are being produced by the financially successful vendors – how could it be wrong? But no matter, the collective blinders of the past are coming down – and users are changing in spite of the 25 years (talk about history!) of being sold variations of the same approach over and over.

Pain & Relief…Pink Piggy Bank

While they may have not realized it, many customers are in pain, sometime seriously so, and it is affecting their bottom line and viability.  For these users, particularly in the ranks of manufacturing, there is a clear frustration with the status quo, and rising concerns about stability, poor performance, lack of support, and perhaps most important - difficulty, or inability to reuse product data from customers, or even legacy files!  Thus, the motivation to seek alternatives continues to grow.   And what they are finding is there are new tools – ones that dramatically improve their overall performance!  So as they test the waters of Direct CAD more they are finding relief and the word is spreading…

Due to ever increasing competitive pressures, contract manufacturers are showing more resilience and willingness to seek alternatives.  When they evaluate solutions like KeyCreator Direct CAD, and assess the tasks they truly need to perform, they see the simplicity of Direct CAD in a new light.  They are starting to recognize how flexible direct, non-history methods are compared to tools of the past…

Making it meaningful

There are many issues all CAD developers face when they try to switch paradigms to address both direct and history methods well.  A key issue is that they simply are resisting unlocking the strangle-holds they have on their customers.  Instead of solving the data openness and usability issues many customers need, they give lip service or disguise their motives with schemes such as ‘members only’ cloud communities.   

Mature products also are larger programs with more complex code.  Their stability and overall reliability become rarer commodities.  Another issue with mature CAD products is the loss of focus on core competency; trying to ‘do it all’ often leads to average, less productive solutions over time… the bells and whistles become both smaller and less loud– and certainly less meaningful! 

The relatively recent progress of the simpler, less complex CAD products such as KeyCreator Direct CAD are proving to be a boon to certain industries - especially resourceful contract manufacturers..  Smaller CAD companies  understand the benefits of this approach, meaning they are making their design tools more accessible, not less so, which means users aren’t stuck with unnecessary complex operations (that truly only benefit software companies). 

In summary, we are seeing more and more ‘users embracing a simpler, more efficient and direct way to get this done.  By using Direct CAD to accomplish their tasks,   I hope users continue to drive all software vendors to rethink how (or if) they can better serve the end users while still being successful.  Sound too altruistic?   Perhaps, but you have to have a dream…

Topics: 3D Direct CAD, Job Shop, CAD for Manufacturing, contract manufacturing