2D CAD: Old School or Indispensible Tool?

Almost 10 years ago, I talked to a computer programmer who had worked on one of the early commercial 2D CAD packages. “When we developed it,” he said, “we figured it would be marketable for just a few years. 3D was on the horizon and we thought everyone would switch over to the new technology–once it had a chance to mature.”

Today, that 2D software is more than 25 years old and still in wide use (after several name changes and updates, of course).

So what happened? In a world of disruptive innovation, why hasn’t 2D gone the way of the Betamax and the cathode ray tube?

The truth is that product developers still get a lot of value from their drawing tools. And rather than discard 2D, many use it in concert with their 3D modeling process. The 2D software can be useful in concept design, diagramming, communicating with various vendors, etc.

And so it is that the CAD world has come to understand that there will long be a role for 2D in modern product development.  Unfortunately, not everyone agrees on exactly what that role will be. Just ask Chad Jackson and Jim Brown, two analysts from two companies and with two different perspectives on not a few issues concerning product development and technology.

In a new online video series, The Tech4PD Show, they chew over several of these topics, including the question of where 2D belongs in a 3D product development process.

Watch the 11 minutes of debate on if CAD is for design or documentation.

Who’s right? If you have time, listen to their arguments and decide for yourself. It’s important, and PTC Creo is versatile enough that you can go whichever way suits you and your best development efforts.

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