“Start slow to finish fast!”
Rafael Lima, Chief Marketing Officer at SolidFace, shared a lesson learned from his experience developing SolidFace’s 3D CAD software.
SolidFace, a longtime provider of 2D CAD software, was ready to make the leap to 3D CAD software. As is typical when starting a new project, there was a lot of excitement to begin the software development.
One of the first tasks was to choose a CAD kernel. (A CAD kernel is basically a library of algorithms for geometric modeling and is the core of CAD software.) There are numerous CAD Kernels available for license, including Granite, Parasolid, ACIS, and Open Cascade.
In their enthusiasm to start, SolidFace choose the ACIS Kernel from Dassault Systems. Initially, everyone believed ACIS fulfilled their requirements and they began creating new code and integrating their legacy code to operate with the ACIS kernel.
After 3 months of coding, the frustrations mounted. The ACIS Kernel did not integrate well with their legacy code. Code was rewritten and scrapped numerous times. After 3.5 months, the teams limits had been reached and they stopped everything. The decided to reevaluate their approach.
The team reevaluated their kernel options. After listing the viable options, the team performed a SWOT (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats) analysis. A SWOT analysis is a rectangle divided into four quadrants and the various kernels are compared relative to one another. This provided a good visual by which they could compare the various kernels.
After a thorough SWOT analysis, the team realized that the ACIS core definitely not the best option. Instead, they choose Parasolid which the SWOT analysis indicated would integrate much better with their legacy software.
The frustrations Raphael and his team experienced left a lasting impression. It is better to spend time up front to make sure sufficient due diligence is done to be certain the best approach is selected, rather than suffer the frustration and lost time of having to stop, reevaluate, and start over. It is better to “start slow to finish fast”.
Rafael Lima is the Co-founder and CEO at SolidFace Technology.
SolidFace Technology creates innovative 3D design software allowing designers and engineers to efficiently design in 3D. SolidFace unleashes productivity by fostering and simplifying collaboration among the product design team.
The SolidFace Design Solution uses Cloud Technology to enhance the communication among product development team members, including engineering, manufacturing, marketing, partners and strategic vendors. SolidFace automates the product development lifecycle with automated version control and intuitive access control to documentation. The streamlined communication and automated lifecycle management shortens the design lifecycle and reduces the time to market.
© 2016 Soul of Design