We asked Cristiano Sacchi, our co founder and CEO, to share some thoughts for the end of the year. Cristiano loves to look ahead and decided to write about a wish he has had for many many years...
"Another year has gone by and for the design community it was a very interesting one indeed. The fast spreading of desktop 3D printing alone makes 2012 a year to remember.
As we look forward to an even more interesting 2013 I have my usual, still unfulfilled, wish for the software development wizards out there: Will we finally see a good initial stage design concept tool? As a matter of fact, the back of any envelope, or a napkin, still beats any software for very early stage concept design. Can we finally do better than pen and paper to help creativity at every stage?
Over the years we have seen great progress in the conceptual design software space. Products like bonzai3d, Moment of Inspiration (MoI), and SketchUp offer good early stage creativity tools to industrial designers, architects and engineers, but they have not replaced the napkin yet.
early-stage design tool would be something that you grab for an
impromptu brainstorming session instead of pen and paper when pen and
paper is readily available on your desk. If such a tool were
available, the benefits would be incredible: the resulting draft model
could be used downstream to create many things, such as accurate designs and 3D printouts. Early analysis tools (like like rendering and stress) and remote communication would
also be very easy (e.g., you could Skype in a colleague from a remote
location to have a quick opinion). And that would be just the start.
I have had this same wish for the past quarter of a century and one thing that gives me hope is that tablet computers have now gone mainstream. Will this new device finally inspire somebody to find a way to replace pen and paper for conceptual design? Maybe the lack of a proper device was the problem – as long as computers only sit on your desk and can only be operated with a keyboard and a mouse they might be intrinsically less appealing than pen and paper – and certainly you cannot bring them with you at breakfast or lunch when suddenly you start brainstorming about a new design idea. Will the tablet be the game changer?
So, will this be the year when I get my wish? Can I get my wish at all? Are napkins inherently better than today’s computers and software? What do you think?"