Direct CAD News & Views from Kubotek USA

Wright Flight & Kubotek USA

Posted by Chelsea Gammon on Mon, Oct 04, 2010

This past Saturday morning, I took a beautiful autumnal drive (attention leaf-peepers: you are bottlenecking the Mass Pike) about 2 hours west to Westfield Massachusetts. My destination was Barnes Airport, home to the Massachusetts chapter of the Wright Flight program. This wonderful program's mission is to use the inherent motivational power of aviation as a stimulus for students to set and achieve higher goals in their educational and personal development. Wright Flight partners with local schools to give students the opportunity to learn about aviation careers through an extensive academic program and orientation flight.

This Saturday was an important day for the program's Aviation II class, consisting of 9 high school students who aspire to be pilots and engineers in the future.

Bill Coughlen and Don Nicoletti of Wright Flight approached Kubotek USA several months ago, asking if we could make a special presentation to the students on the importance of CAD in aviation and in the aircraft design process. I jumped at the chance to work with the students and constructed an informative yet dynamic and eye-catching PowerPoint for the kids. The cool pens, pencils and bowl of Hershey's chocolate items never hurts either... I included some video footage I personally took at this past summer's EAA AirVenture air show up in Oshkosh Wisconsin. After my presentation, I let the students play around in KeyCreator themselves, which I had on three laptops I brought with me.IMG 1853 resized 600

I have a soft spot for aircraft, air shows and airports because my father is a pilot. I am no stranger to the truly lovely smell of aircraft fuel and large components of homebuilts in my basement.

Despite the fact that attention spans of high school students certainly rival that of a fruit fly, I was very pleased to see that these guys (and one lovely young gal) were quite interested, their eyes glued to the screen. There were multiple questions asked throughout the morning, including how exactly a 3D printer works, how to turn the 'spaghetti' (several long cylindrical extrusions I made during a live KeyCreator demonstration for them) green, how to put purple spaghetti sauce on them, how to rotate individual models on the screen and how I got my job here at Kubotek USA in the first place. I was happy to admit that it had nothing to do with my skills in the pasta-cooking department, although I had in fact eaten Kraft macaroni and cheese for dinner the night before.

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Ultimately, it was a success and I think the students' eyes were opened to the limitless possibilities inherent with CAD software and a future in engineering.

The maraschino cherry on top of the pumpkin cream cupcake for ME, though, was an invitation for a quick flight in an aerobatic Decathlon plane after the presentation. Bob Cipolli, an aerobatic pilot who works for Hamilton Sunstrand and is a volunteer for the Wright Flight program, had the Decathlon sitting around the back of Barnes Airport, nestled between a hangar and a few other aircraft. Across the runway, an F-15 jet was visible; Barnes is also a U.S. Air Force Base.

My bonus flight was great. This was my first experience in an aerobatic power plane, although I have had time in an aerobatic glider at Sterling Airport. After donning a parachute and running through some pre-flight tasks, we flew about 17 miles away from the airport, a requirement in order to do any aerobatic maneuvers. I requested Bob to put me under several G's, enough to get an adrenalin rush and very sparkly vision. Mission completed, we returned to Barnes and safely landed. Chelsea in Parachute resized 600

I am heavily considering returning for a follow up flight or two, to attack a few loops or rolls (though no stalls).

Topics: 3D Direct Modeling, 3D Direct CAD, KeyCreator Training, 3D Software, 3D CAD, 3D CAD Training, Easy CAD, 3D solid modeling

CADKEY to KeyCreator: Past and Present

Posted by Jason Bassi on Mon, Sep 14, 2009

My experience at Kubotek does not date back to CADKEY, but in fact it is hard to ignore the history.  Even Dr. Kubo himself has a long history with CADKEY as a former dealer and now CEO.  I am often told by our current dealers and customers that the history of CADKEY is very important to the future of KeyCreator.  I am amazed at the loyal customer base that will start a conversation by stating when it was they first started using CADKEY.  Yes, of course there were some rocky roads and users and former users alike will have no problem telling you when they were and yet here we still are preaching the benefits of direct, explicit, hybrid  modeling.  We resisted the move to parametric modeling with the one belief that one CAD paradigm does not fit all and after all these years it is obvious the rest of the industry agrees. 


My point to this blog is not to start another argument of direct vs constrained modeling, but instead to embrace the history of CADKEY and to thank our long time passionate, dedicated users and to pass on our excitement for the future.  Yes, we are now Kubotek and yes KeyCreator made some significant changes, but just like the 1996 world champion New York Yankees looks different than the power house 2009 New York Yankees, there are links to the past that help us understand the tradition.  I wanted to end with two requests that came through our website that links the past to the future.  I removed names to protect the innocent.  I think this sums it up.  Past and present!  We value it all. 


“I was one of the first partners with CADKEY(back in the late 1980’s). I wrote the external DXF to CADL bidirectional translator for the early CADKEY bundles. I do some personal designing and would like a quote (email is sufficient) on the current prices of KeyCreator. Thanks, glad to see you have survived as well as you have. I know back when I was working with you things were just getting off the ground. “                          (By the way Thomas, we will contact you to get you a copy.  I would love your feedback).


“During my Junior and Senior years at Unnamed High school, I took a year-long Pre Engineering and Architectural design class In the Patricia A. Hannaford Career Center with a Mr. Rick Unnamed. I became very proficient in the use of KeyCreator and enjoyed how easy it was to pick up. I am now enrolled in the Mechanical Engineering program at Unnamed College and am trying to learn on Sold Works, with little success. I’d like to download your trial and hopefully convince my professor how simple it is to use and how ridiculously complex and un-necessary some of the things we go through on our current program are.”


Thank you to our long time loyal customers and also to our new customers. We look forward to serving you for the next 25 years!



Topics: KeyCreator, Kubotek, Explicit CAD, Direct CAD, Easy CAD, CADKEY