Even for those trained to interpret them, 2-D drawings are a complicated way to communicate design information. Trying to send them electronically to others involved in a project, such as customers, vendors, purchasing agents, and managers, only adds to the dilemma. Between software incompatibilities and the infinite opportunities to misread the information, many designers resort to snail mail or faxes.
After an extensive survey found that its customers were frustrated with the process of sending, receiving, and understanding drawings, SolidWorks Corp. found a way to improve the situation. Last month, SolidWorks unveiled a package called eDrawings Publisher that promises to let engineers and designers create and send drawings over the Internet with a single mouse click. To overcome the incompatibility issue, eDrawing files include a self-contained viewer, which takes up a mere 250K, so that anyone receiving the file can read it immediately.
According to Rick Chin, manager of the eDrawings Initiative, the new package is free, and is compatible with SolidWorks, AutoCAD, and any CAD system that outputs a DXF or DWG file. ?An eDrawing file is about one-tenth the size of the original CAD file, so it can be uploaded and sent much faster. We?ve also included self-interpretation tools that help to eliminate errors,? he adds.
These tools are the intelligence behind eDrawings, and include the following features:
System requirements include Windows95, 98, 2000, or NT on a Pentium-based computer. To download the software or view a demonstration, check the website listed below.?Michelle Maniscalco