Today's guest blog is from Scott Harmon, Z Corporation's Vice President of Business Development.
I have personally heard estimates that range from 1 mm to 5 mm seats. Of course, these estimates are based primarily on professional CAD packages like Solidworks, CATIA, PTC, Invento, and the emerging Spaceclaim, etc. Most of the experts I have spoken to think that the approximate number of real, active seats of 3D CAD is around 1million. Not a small number, but there are 6 billion or so people on the planet. 1mm seats of 3D CAD would suggest that the penetration of CAD seats in the world is somewhat akin to the percentage of communists in Texas. Not zero, but not exactly ready for mass adoption.
Now obviously this is a bit misleading. There are a lot of ways to make 3D data that don't require real professional 3D CAD. There is a wide array of what could be referred to as 3D visualization tools available. These range from professional tools for animation and architecture like Maya, 3ds Max, FormZ, Mudbox to free tools like Blender and Google Sketch Up.
So yes, anyone with a computer and an Internet connection can acquire software that allows them to create 3D items. Some people clearly do. I suspect that most do not.
I know many of you are engineers and architects. So what do you think? How many seats of engineering 3D CAD do you think there are in the world? How many seats of other CAD do you think exist?
I am responsible for leading 3D Systems content creation and capture activities and, in partnership with business and functional leaders, developing new opportunities for the company. I have held a variety of leadership positions in marketing and business development and most recently ran a $150MM division of Church & Dwight, a leading consumer goods company. Prior to receiving my M.B.A from Harvard Business School, I was an Explosive Ordnance Disposal company commander for the U.S. Army. I graduated from the United States Military Academy at West Point with a B.S. in Electrical Engineering.
- ▼ April (4)