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History of Computer Aided Design

Marian Bozdoc, Auckland NZ


The Chronology of this paper is based on Marian Bozdoc's material. Periodically this information will be renewed with information from him or elsewhere.
The original site however is dead: URL: http://www.mbdesign.net. Another site is now displaying his material too: http://mbinfo.digitalrice.com/CAD-History.htm



What word processing is for a writer and an office worker, CAD is that for engineers. It's the electronic drawingboard. And belongs typically to the High Tech world.

CAD is known to only a relatively small group of professionals, who are using it to translate the ideas, sketches, or scribbles on a piece of paper into designs on a computer(screen). The program then creates workplans, manufacturing specifications etcetera, that can be used in the workshops to make the object.

In other words Computer Aided Design is software that enables draughtsmen, constructors, engineers and the like to create their drawings on a computer.


Drawings for houses are now only made with CAD.
Do you want the architect to change a door or replace a window? Use different wood, have a bigger terrace, make the house one meter higher, larger? Or even one extra floor? No problem. The program will automatically change measures, conduits, piping and the bill of material for you. No big deal.

But it has been a long and difficult process creating the software before the engineer could do that so easy.

And it must be also not too surprising that there are only a few players in the field. Yes to make a program for CAD is very, very complicated and cost a lot of effort and thus money. Therefor the program is expensive.

The overall costs are high though.
An engineer needs extensive continuous training, a high powered computer and peripherals, and frequent updates of the software.

The one who has to pay for that is YOU, the customer.

Just remember this when you want to have the engineer, or your architect, change something. It might seem easy and just costs a few minutes to realize that, but the overhead and development costs are high.


CAD started as a very simple drawing program, enabling the user to draw straight lines, make curves, create a picture on the screen and print that.
But the drawing program rapidly evolved into an object oriented environment using Lisp and C as programming tools. Soon supported by libaries of pre-drawn (pre-feb) objects that could be resized to fit the design.

Auto tracing is another feature that gives CAD advantage over the honest manual work.
Say you want to draw the piping scheme for your central heating. In CAD you only have to indicate the beginning and end points and CAD draws the lines, connectors, and valves from beginning to end. No more figuring out where to lay a pipe, drill a hole, bend a form and calculate the optimum path. CAD does that for you.

Again some years later 3D modeling was the next development that pushed this technology. Design time and development of new machines, planes, common utensils, household goods drasticaly went down. The user can now see real objects on the screen in 3D that can be turned around to get a better impression.

When the programming tools were introduced the CAD system could be used for additional work. Now it was possible to calculate strength, pressure and torsion stress, and even windshear, weather and earthquake simulations could be programmed. Thanks to this new techniques a lot of material could be saved. And more complex constructions made. If you compare between the constructions of the Eiffel tower and the Tokyo financial skyscraper there is a vast difference in the sheer size, thickness and choice of material and complexity. Or the planes from the 1960's and now? A Boeing 767 could not have been build without the help of CAD.

In the 21st century almost everything is designed and manufactured with CAD and systems derived from it: CAM - computer aided manufacturing.






The first graphic system was in mid 1950 the US Air Force's SAGE (Semi Automatic Ground Environment) air defense system. The system was developed at Massachusetts Institute of Technology's Lincoln Laboratory.
The system involved the use of CTR displays to show computer-processed radar data and other information.

Dr. Patrick J. Hanratty known as "the Father of CADD/CAM" for his pioneering contributions to the field of computer-aided design and manufacturing, developed in 1957 PRONTO, the first commercial numerical-control programming system.



In 1959 the CalComp company is founded.



In 1960, Ivan Sutherland used TX-2 computer produced at MIT's Lincoln Laboratory to produce a project called SKETCHPAD, which is considered the first step to CAD industry.

Bill Barnes established in his garage in Denver on 15 January 1962, Auto-trol and manufactureed the first product, a digitizer. Mr. Barnes named the company Auto-trol as a shortened version of automated control, which he had given to a product he developed in the 1950s.

Parallel projects were developed at ITEK and General Motors.
The ITEK project was called The Electronic Drafting Machine and used a PDP-1 computer from Digital Equipment Corp., a vector -refresh display and a large disk memory device used to refresh the graphic display. Inputs commands were done with an electronic light pen.
While at General Motors Research Laboratories in the 1960s, Dr. Hanratty was a co-designer of DAC (Design Automated by Computer), the first production interactive graphics manufacturing system.

In 1960 McDonnell Douglas Automation Company (McAuto) founded. It will play a major role on CAD developments with the introduction of CADD program.

The first Computer-Aided Design programs used simple algorithms to display patterns of lines at first in two dimensions, and then in 3-D.
Early work in this direction had been produced by Prof. Charles Eastman at Carnegie-Mellon University, the Building Description System is a library of several hundred thousands architectural elements, which can be assembled and drawn on screen into a complete design concept.

In 1962, SLS Environectics in Chicago began development of the Man-Mac machine, intended to draft plans for interior office space.

In mid 1960 large computers characterized the period, vector display terminals and software development done in assembly language.

The only significant attempt to create a commercially CAD system was Control Data Corporation's Digigraphics division, a successor to the previously mentioned ITEK.
The system costs half million dollars and were sold in few units.

In March 1965 Donald Welbourn heard a lecture to the Engineering Society by Strachey of the Mathematical Laboratory (now the Department of Computer Science) on the early work at MIT on Computer Aided Design (CAD).
He was so fascinated by this that the following morning he caught the Head of the Cambridge University Engineering Department, Prof. J.F.Baker (later the Lord Baker of Trumpington) in the tea-room, told him about it, and said that we must get started in this field.
Baker was enthusiastic, and by the end of the year, the Science Research Council had awarded Baker and Welbourn a grant of £65,000 with which to start work on CAD.
Initially work was done on the PDP11 graphics computer and a joint team was formed under the leadership of C.A.Lang.
The first research student was A.R.Forrest, who tackled the problem of how to define the blended intersection of two cylinders.
The conceptual breakthrough of defining objects in terms of 3D reference lines, analogous to the draughtsman's centre line, together with cross-sections normal to them, was produced by S.Matthews, seconded by the Ford Motor Co.

1967 Dr. Jason R Lemon founds SDRC in Cincinnati.

In 1968 Donald Welbourn, now the Director in Industrial Co-Operation at Cambridge University, had the vision to see the possibility of using computers to assist pattern makers to solve the problems of modelling difficult 3D shapes.
Today we take for granted 3D modelling, in 1968 only crude 2D drawing systems were available using terminals linked to large main frame computers.
Initial work was sponsored by Ford but finding money to support the development was a constant problem for Donald Welbourn.
Only six years later he managed to obtain sponsorship from Control Data in Germany, and Delta Engineering Group. Control Data offered DUCT initially as a bureau services, especially to two of its largest German customers Volkswagen and Daimler Benz.

David Evans and Ivan Sutherland founded in 1968 Evans and Sutherland.

Dr. Hanratty founded United Computing in 1969. In the same year MAGI company is founded and releases Syntha Vision considered by many to be the first commercial solid modeler program.

In 1969 were founding Computervision and Applicon companies.
Computervision was created to produce systems for production drafting and in the same year it sold the first commercial CAD system to Xerox.


Several other companies began to offer automated design/drafting systems in early 70s.
Applicon was more a research-oriented company. In the mid 80s it was acquired by Schlumberger and then merged with MDSI which Schlumberger had acquired earlier.

Colma was originally a manufacturer of digitizer used in mapping and integrated circuit manufacturing, and starts to move to the graphic industry at the same time.
In mid 80s Colma was acquired by General Electric and then sold to Prime Computer.

M&S Computing founded (later becomes Intergraph). At the beggining it was a consulting firm that supported government agencies in using digital technology. Among these technologies were application-oriented user interfaces that communicated with users in the language of their applications, rather than in programming terminology.
The first Intergraph computer graphics system to apply these innovative computing concepts was used by the federal government for designing printed circuit boards.





Meanwhile, in 1971, Donald Welbourn had become Director in Industrial Co-operation and Director of the Wolfson Cambridge Industrial Unit. He persuaded the Pye Foundation to support T.H.Gossling, a member of the Unit, in developing DUCT.
Control Data had also become interested in the work, seeing it as a front end for creating Finite Element meshes. As a result of this industrial support, Welbourn, had been able in 1974 to get a grant from it for Dr.R.B.Morris and Dr.J.Matthewman to continue developing DUCT.
The Science Research Council had said that this work was no longer research, while industry was saying that a lot more development was required.
Faced with a potential disaster vis-à-vis the DTI, Welbourn took the direction of the work back into his own hands. and started systematically to test the programs, and the instruction manuals.
This resulted in a quality of handbook which was partly responsible for VW and Daimler-Benz taking licenses for DUCT, since they said that they had never seen such clear instructions produced by any firm, let alone by a university.
Welbourn never did any of the programming in connection with the work, but made it his job to set targets for what needed to be done, to get money and to get able staff to do the work. In the early stages of the work, up to the oil crisis of 1973, he had got a dozen or so firms to second men to work with the team in Cambridge, thus enabling the firms to get experience of CAD without having to find the capital for a dedicated computer.

MCS was founded in 1971 by Dr. Patrick J. Hanratty. Since the day it was founded in 1971, MCS has enjoyed an enviable reputation for technological leadership in mechanical CADD/CAM software.
In addition to selling products under its own name, in its early years MCS also supplied the CADD/CAM software used by such companies as McDonnell Douglas (Unigraphics), Computervision (CADDS), AUTOTROL (AD380), and Control Data (CD-2000) as the core of their own products.
In fact, industry analysts have estimated that 70% of all the 3-D mechanical CADD/CAM systems available today trace their roots back to MCS's original code.

The company's first product, ADAM (Automated Drafting and Machining), was released in 1972, ran on 16-bit computers, and was one of the first commercially available mechanical design packages.

In 1972 the CUED was able to obtain two 3-axis n/c machine tools with a DTI grant to help the m/c tool industry, thus enabling the work in CAD to be expanded into CAM.
One of these, a Hayes milling machine, went onto the firm's stand at the Machine Tool Exhibition at Olympia that Autumn, and thanks to a sterling effort by P.J.Payne, a jug-like object, was cut on the stand.
This was probably the first ever public demonstration of 3-D CADCAM at a machine tool exhibition.

1972: The earliest Intergraph (M&S Computing) terminal was designed to create and display graphic information. Composed of unaltered stock parts from various vendors, the terminals consisted of a single-screen Tektronix 4014 display terminal with an attached keyboard and an 11-inch by 11-inch "menu" tablet that provided the operator with a selection of drawing commands.



the Hillman Trust purchased Auto-trol. That same year, Auto-trol emerged as a pioneer in the fledgling CAD industry by announcing Auto-Draft, one of the first turnkey graphics systems available. .

There was also a significant amount of internal development at major automotive and aerospace firms like General Motors, Ford, Chrysler and Lockheed, which work hard, on CADAM.


By the end of 1973 and the beginning of 1974 a number of firms had paid the WCIU to make simple tools for them. These were probably the first industrial tools, other than those for automobile bodies, to be made using CADCAM.
They were both programmed by T.H.Gossling, and made in the CUED workshop.



In 1974 the first commercial sale of an M&S system. The system - based on a PDP central processor from Digital Equipment Corporation - ran the first version of Intergraph's original core graphics software, the Interactive Graphics Design System (IGDS), and was used for mapping applications.



Electronic Data System Corporation (EDS) is founded in 1975

A major improvement was the new 19" display terminals from Tektronix in 1975, which allows to display larger drawings than the original 11" units.

In 1975 Avions Marcel Dassault (AMD) purchased CADAM (Computer-Augmented Drafting and Manufacturing) software equipment licenses from Lockheed thus becoming one of the very first CADAM customers.

Early solid modeling software first started showing up in the late 70s. Taking basic geometric objects such a sphere, block, cylinders and wedges and combining them using Boolean operations such a remove a cylinder from a block to create a hole.



In 1976, MCS introduced AD-2000, a design and manufacturing system for the first 32-bit computers.

In 1976 United Computing, developer of the Unigraphics CAD/CAM/CAE system, acquired by Mc Donnell Douglas company.



By 1977, Avions Marcel Dassault assigned its engineering team the goal of creating a three-dimensional, interactive program, the forerunner of CATIA (Computer-Aided Three-Dimensional Interactive Application).
Its major advance over CADAM was that all-important third dimension.
While CADAM automated the existing world of two-dimension engineering, essentially drafting and calculation with roots in descriptive plane geometry, CATIA lifted Dassault engineers into the world of 3-D modeling, removing the possibility of misinterpreting two-dimensional data and generating a host of immediate benefits.

In 1977 a new department called Delta Technical Services was formed at Cambridge University to continue research in CAD, but it remained difficult to justify the technology as computers were slow and expensive and the available software had few automatic features and was difficult to use.



In 1978, Computervision introduced the first CAD terminal using raster display technology.
In the late 70s, Computervision made a costly decision to build their own computer system.
Once the new 32-bit systems replaced the old systems, Computervision was no more on the first line and switched to Sun Microcomputers. Finally it was acquired by Prime.

In 1978 the Computer Graphics Newsletter, a 2 years old publication, change the owner and will become Computer Graphics World magazine.



In 1979, Auto-trol became the first company to market technical publishing applications to be used to produce the complex technical illustrations needed for service manuals, parts catalogs, and engineering documentation.

In 1979 Boeing, General Electric and NIST develops a neutral file format as a contract from Air Space called IGES (Initial Graphic Exchange Standard).
It will become the industry standard format and the most widely accepted format for transferring complex surface information, such as NURBS curves.

At the same time Cymap, an English company, starts developing HVAC and Electrical drawings software. Their major product will be CADLink.

At the end of 70s a typical CAD system was a 16-bit minicomputer with maximum of 512 Kb memory and 20 to 300 Mb disk storage at a price of 125,000 USD.



T&W Systems releases Versa CAD

Matra Datavision founded as part of Lagardene Group and starts producing CAD/CAM software.


Dassault Systems is created.

Computer graphics from Cornell University founded 3D/Eye Inc., a pioneered 3D and graphics technology.

Unigraphics introduced the first solid modeling system, UniSolid.
It was based on PADL-2, and was sold as a stand-alone product to Unigraphics.



CATIA Version 1 is announced as an add-on product for 3D design, surface modeling and NC programming.

Mini computers with much more power at less cost started to appear. This was a major step forward and by 1984 the technology began to be competitive with traditional methods.
For many years aircraft had of course been designed using computers, but now it was becoming possible to economically design saucepans and other domestic products with complex 3D shapes using a computer.

Autodesk was founded by sixteen people in April 1982 in California by initiative of John Walker in idea to create a CAD program for a price of $1000 to can run on PC. John Walker has been running Marinchip Systems for two years before. The first version of AutoCAD was based on a CAD program wrote in 1981 by Mike Riddle called MicroCAD, changed later in Interact.

A company called P-CAD released a CAD program called CADplan. Later the product was purchased by CalComp and renamed CADVANCE.

In November at COMDEX trade show in Las Vegas was demonstrated the first CAD program in the world that runs on PC. This was the initial release of AutoCAD and deliveries begun in December.


Unigraphics II introduced to market

Applicon introduces BRAVO! first 32-bit VAX based mechanical design/NC system

The first German and French versions of AutoCAD

The work has started for a new reliable and universal system of transferring data called STEP (Standard for the Exchange of Product model data). STEP can transfer CAD data, to include complete details of product modeling including materials and various design parameters.
The first generally available STEP translator was released in 1991 by EDS Unigraphics.

Autodesk ships version 1.2 of AutoCAD in April, version 1.3 in August and version 1.4 in October.


CoCreate Software Inc., was established in 1984 as a division of Hewlett-Packard Company with the charter to expand the scope and focus for development of computer-aided design (CAD) and computer-aided manufacturing (CAM) software products.
In 1996, CoCreate became a wholly-owned subsidiary of Hewlett-Packard Co. and expanded its product offerings to include collaboration software solutions.

DUCT development continued at Cambridge together with the small team established at Delta in Birmingham.
By 1984 the Birmingham team was larger than that at Cambridge and the unique features of DUCT began to be recognised.
It was one of the very few systems developed from the beginning to design and machine products.
The equal emphasis on design and machining made it different to its competitors and this was appreciated by the users.
Most other systems had developed 2D draughting first, followed by 3D modelling with machining added later.

A Hungarian physicist, Gabor Bajor, smuggled two Macs into his country. At the time, ownership of personal computers was illegal under Communist rule. Using Pascal, he and a teenager, Tamas Hajas worked to write a 3D CAD program for the Mac which will be the beginning of Graphsoft Company.

Drafting capabilities are added to CATIA in 1984, enabling it to function independently of CADAM.

The first Autodesk Training Centre

In October AutoCAD version 2 (Release 5) with text improvements, DXFIN and DXFOUT commands, new Inquire commands, Object Snap, named views, Isometric capabilities and new Attribute features.


Keith Bentley founds Bentley Systems, Inc.

MicroStation provides advanced computer-aided design on PC. MicroStation began as a clone of another CAD package. Originally named PseudoStation, the software developed by Bentley Systems allowed users to view IGDS drawings files without needing Intergraph's software.
The next version of PseudoStation was renamed MicroStation and added the ability to edit IGDS files. After Intergraph purchased 50% of Bentley Systems, a new version of MicroStation added proprietary extensions to the IGDS and renamed it DNG.

CATIA Version 2 is announced with fully integrated drafting, solid and robotics functions.
CATIA becomes the aeronautical applications leader.

The first CAD Camp organized by Autodesk in San Rafael, California.

Autodesk sales were over $27 million this year.

Peter Smith and Livingston Davies found Micro-Control Systems and releases CADKEY, the first 3D PC CAP product

Diehl Graphsoft, Inc. is founded and the first version of MiniCAD is shipped in the same year. MiniCAD will become the best selling CAD program on the Macintosh.

Varimetrix founded.

AutoCAD version 2.1 in May with 3D capabilities and Polylines command.


On January 9, Deneba Software is officially incorporated. The company sets out to address the needs of Mac users with MacLightning - the first interactive spelling checker for Mac. It debuts at MacWorld Expo in San Francisco and is an instant hit. MacLightning 2.0 ships in August as does Voila - an outline processor desk accessory.

Version 2.18 of AutoCAD, launched in January, included the full AutoLISP programming language.

AutoLISP is an ASCII based language of interpreted type, originally derived from a shareware Lisp implementation called Xlisp.
AutoLISP extended the variables and expressions feature to let users write and store LISP programs that implement custom commands.

CADENCE magazine is established. Would become the world's largest independent CAD publication.

Richard Sowar founded Spatial Technology which will debut officially one year later.

MCS introduced ANVIL-5000, a 3-D mechanical CADD/CAM/CAE system that, for over a decade, was the most powerful, fully integrated CADD/CAM/CAE software available, running on all classes of engineering computers from high-end workstations to personal computers

Dassault acquires CADAM

American Small Business Company releases DesignCAD

AutoCAD reaches 50,000 copies sold world wide.

AutoCAD has won since 1986 "The Best CAD Product" award from PC World magazine every year for the next 10 years.

AutoSketch 1.0 entry level CAD program from Autodesk.

In June AutoCAD version 2.5 (Release 7) with more editing and dimensioning commands enhancements.

General Motors selects Unigraphics company as a Strategic Partner

Since 1987 certified national courses of study by City and Guilds of London Institute in AutoCAD has been conducted.

ISICAD purchased CADVANCE and developed it into the first Windows based CAD application on the market.

Deneba begins publishing its products under its own label. A software equivalent to 3M's Post-it notes, it integrates seamlessly with Excel, Word, MacWrite and most other programs. The first release of Canvas sets a new standard in graphic design by bringing together painting and drawing onto the same page for the first time ever.

Varimetrix introduces one of the first PC based B-rep solid modeler.

Version 2.6 of AutoCAD (in April) introduces a compiled LISP but it still required the interpreter to run it.

AutoCAD Release 9 in September is the first version of AutoCAD to require an 80x87 math processor in computers based on Intel 8086 processors. All files produced by this version made compatible among all supported computers.
Release 9 includes as well an Advanced User Interface incorporating a menu bar, pull-down menus, icon menus and dialog boxes.

ADS (AutoCAD Development System) was introduced with release 9 for OS/2 operating system and allowed C code to be used instead of ASCII based AutoLISP. To enable C code to access AutoCAD internal data, a set of application programming interfaces (APIs) are supplied with AutoCAD.
Internally AutoCAD sees an ADS application exactly the same as a LISP routine.


Shape Data Ltd. acquired by Unigraphics for solids modeling capabilities -- Parasolid -- the production-proven kernel modeling toolkit.
Shape Data was developer of Romulus, Romulus-D and Parasolid applications.
Parasolid is a very powerful B-rep solid modeling kernel that allows the joining of boundaries represented surfaces together as a solid.

MacLightning, from Deneba, is renamed and re-launched as Coach Professional 3.0 - a complete spelling, thesaurus, and definitions reference system. Memorandum from deneba Software, is renamed and re-launched as Comment 2.0. Canvas 2.0 ships and proves to be an potent force in the then nascent digital graphics world. This version introduced a host of innovations including: multi-point Bezier curves, unlimited layers, 32-bit color, drawing precision, color separations, auto-tracing and dozens more.

CATIA Version 3 is announced with AEC functionality. CATIA is ported to IBM's UNIX-based RISC System/6000 workstations. CATIA becomes the automotive applications leader

Martin Newell founded Ashlar Incorporation and release Ashlar Vellum CAD software.

John Walker retained from the chair to devote to full-time programming.

Surfware Inc., ships the first version of SurfCAM, a CAD/CAM program.

In October Autodesk ships AutoCAD Release 10, with 3D enhancements.

Autodesk ships AutoSolid an add-on application for AutoCAD.


Unigraphics announced commitment to UNIX and open system architecture.

Pratt & Whitney selects Unigraphics as its system of choice.

New, STEP-compatible Parasolid kernel modelers for 3-D modeling introduced.

Parasolid integrated into Unigraphics iMAN PIM system jointly developed with Kodak

Autodesk buy Generic Software and Generic CADD program.

There are over 600 add-on applications for AutoCAD.

Acecad Software (England) ships the first version of Strucad, a high-end structural CAD program.

Canvas 2.1 is released and receives the coveted Editor's Choice Award from MacUser Magazine. The first German and French versions of Canvas are released. Deneba releases UltraPaint - a powerful entry-level painting and drawing application for Macintosh. UltraPaint featured 256-color painting, the world's first vector and raster open plug-in architecture, color gradients, vector masking, image processing filters. Refinements of these technologies would all find their way into Canvas 3 some years later.

Graphisoft US was established to sell and support ArchiCAD products in the US and Canada.

Parametric Pro releases T-FLEX, the first parametric mechanical CAD program for PC. It uses a propietary 3D kernel, the Baranov kernel. Later will migrate to ACIS.

CSC ships MicroCADAM, a CAD/CAM program which will become the best selling CAD product in Japan.

Parametric Technology ships the first version of Pro/ENGINEER.


ACIS 1.0 ships

Bentley Systems announces that the installed base of MicroStation reaches 100,000.
MicroStation expands to range of products

McDonnell Douglas (now Boeing) chooses Unigraphics as the corporate standard for mechanical CAD/CAM/CAE

Autodesk ships Animator Pro, a 2D painting and animation program for DOS.
By 1993 over 15,000 copies have been sold worldwide.

Visionary Design Systems Inc. is founded as an industry pioneer in solid modeling technology.

Visio Corporation is founded and start producing graphics and drawings software.

Autodesk ships in October AutoCAD Release 11 with network support features which allow the installation of a single copy of AutoCAD on a network server. Release 11 comes with the largest list of enhancements to date. Paper Space is used for the first time.
ADS was added for use on most platforms. ADI (Autodesk Device Interface) version 4.1 was provided primarily to facilitate optimal usage of display drivers when using Paper Space facility.

Auto Shade version 2 from Autodesk is an add-on for AutoCAD 11 that allowed to shade 3D models produced with AME. Autodesk Renderman was an addition for AutoCAD 12.

Intergraph was ranked No. 1 supplier of computer-aided design, manufacturing, and engineering (CAD/CAM/CAE) systems in North America and No. 2 in the world

By the end of this year, Autodesk has sold 500,000 copies of AutoCAD, 300,000 copies of Generic CAD and 200,000 copies of Auto Sketch.
At the time the three products were the world's top three best selling CAD programs.

AutoCAD has won since 1990, "The Best CAD Product" awards from Byte magazine every year for the next 8 years. (Byte magazine started its award in 1990).


Since 1991, Microsoft developed Open GL for use with Windows NT. Open GL is an API procedural software interface for producing 3D graphics and includes approximate 120 commands to draw various primitives such as points, lines, and polygons.
Also includes support for shading, texture mapping, anti-aliasing, lighting and animation, atmospheric effects such as fogging and simulation of depth-of-field.
Open GL, developed by Silicon Graphics, is a standard for the 3D color graphics programming and rendering.

GE Aircraft Engine and GE Power Generation select Unigraphics as their CAD/CAM system

The Delta company, the developer of DUCT, was renamed Delcam International and changed it's status to plc (Public Limited Company).

EDS acquires the Unigraphics Division, renames the company Unigraphics Solutions UG/MX for CADAM to UG migration developed in strategic initiative with Fujitsu

The first Japanese version of UltraPaint ships. Canvas 3.0 is released concurrently with Apple's System 7 and takes the industry by storm. The long list of industry firsts include: support for all System 7 technologies including QuickTime, next-generation open architecture, font conversion to Bezier curves, object combinations, text on a curve, advanced typographic features, SmartMouse, SmartLines, vector gradients and much more. This quickly leads to numerous industry awards including Best Drawing program (MacUser) and Best Illustration Program (MacWeek). Canvas 3.0 goes international in a big way with the introduction of Japanese, Swedish, French, German, Italian and Spanish versions.

Varimetrix Corporation ships first version of its Varimetrix CAD/CAM product.

The first move of Autodesk to enter in architectural market with ArcCAD

Computervision acquires Promise. Inc.

Varimetrix develops a true hybrid geometric modeler and CAD system.

The first AutoCAD for SUN platforms.


Dassault Systems decides jointly with IBM to transfer the responsibility of CADAM to Dassault Systems of America, a company created in 1992 as a wholly owned subsidiary of Dassault Systems.
IBM agrees to acquire a minority interest in Dassault Systems. Since then, CATIA and CADAM are progressively unified by merging the best technological features of both systems.

First version of Visio Technical, an entry-level 2D drawing program from Visio Corporation.

AIA CAD Layering Guidelines, First Edition - The document turned out to be a best seller

Tri-Service CADD/GIS Technology Center Established - Based on a defense review to consolidate diverging DOD efforts

Autodesk ships 3D Studio version 2 for DOS.

Autodesk ships AutoCAD Release 12 for DOS in June. Includes AutoCAD SQL Extension (ASE)/Autodesk SQL Interface (ASI) that lets you establish links between AutoCAD and an SQL database.
Advanced Modeling Extension (AME) release 2.1 is supported by Release 12, with region modeling and new solid primitives. AutoCAD Render is included with AutoCAD.
Release 12 uses ADI version 4.2.

By the end of this year over 21,000 seats of Unigraphics worldwide installed.

Inc. Magazine names Deneba Software as one of America's fastest growing companies. Deneba ArtWorks succeeds UltraPaint as entry-level graphics app of choice. Canvas for Windows is introduced at Comdex in Las Vegas. The Japanese version of Deneba ArtWorks ships. Deneba takes advantage of Canvas 3.0's advanced open architecture technology and introduces three add-on products for Canvas 3 in the form of "ToolPaks." Years later, an entire industry would be created around this concept.



CAM specialist mbp UNC Software GmbH (Cologne) acquired by Unigraphics Solutions.

Unigraphics introduces hybrid modeling, featuring both advanced parametric and traditional constructive modeling technologies.

Company becomes founding member of ProSTEP.

Opel chooses Unigraphics as strategic CAD/CAM/CAE system.

CATIA-CADAM Solutions Version 4 is announced. It significantly improves product line, robustness, open architecture, performance and ease of use.
A new « solutions » approach repackages individual software products into ready-to-use, user-based configurations of related products.
The new CATIA software family enables a company to perform several operations concurrently, such as designing in three dimensions, creating engineering drawings, analyzing a product or assembly, viewing it as a rendered image and speeding up manufacturing processes.

A committee of 16 institutions and companies and SoftSource defined and developed SVF (Simple Vector Format) considered the most efficient method to work with vector based drawing files on the Internet.

EDS Corporation ships Unigraphics vers. 10 with the SpaceBall 3D positioning device.

Autodesk acquires MicroEngineering Solutions

Autodesk ships 3D Studio version 3 for DOS. Can be used to create sophisticated animation of AutoCAD drawings.

Canvas 3.5 for Windows ships.
Canvas 3.5 for Macintosh ships.

Secret work on a complete rewrite of Canvas begins.

John Kirschtick from Computervision founded a new CAD company called SolidWorks, Inc.

The first AutoCAD (Release 12) for Windows platforms. It required 8 MB RAM and 34 MB Hard Drive space for complete installation.
The Windows version of AutoCAD includes 36 icons toolbox, allows multiple AutoCAD sessions, separate Render window, support for Windows GUI, DDE and OLE, as well as Drag-and-Drop and Bird's Eye view capabilities.
The AutoCAD main menu has been eliminated; After initial configuration, AutoCAD displays the graphics screen.
AutoCAD 12 for Windows was one of the most successful CAD programs ever.

Autodesk delivers Design Expert, an Integrated Package of AutoCAD 12 and AutoSurf for SUN Sparc Station.

In December CINEMA 4D version 1 is released for Amiga with a resounding success troughout Europe.



Autodesk sales reach $465 million.

Autodesk ships 3D Studio version 4, the last version for DOS platforms.
It comes with Inverse Kinematics module which allows to work with linked objects in a realistic mode.

AusCAD/Cam version 10.

Visual CADD from Numerica Software. One year later the product is bought by Corel Corporation.

Design CAD 3D for DOS. One year later the Windows version hits the market.

DrafixCAD version 3 from Foresight Resources Co.

Micrografx Designer ver. 4.1 for Windows.

CADD Council Established - NIBS Board of Directors voted to start the council
MicroStation version 5.

MiniCAD version 5.

Hewlett Packard ships version 3.5 of PE/Solid Designer, its high end Solid Modeling.
50,000 seats installed to date.

Archigraph ships PowerDraw version 6 for Mac platforms.

Site Designer version 1 from Land CADD Int., a landscape CAD program.

CINEMA 4D version 2.0 for Amiga in November.
In November Autodesk ships AutoCAD Release 13.
The Windows interface consists of standard Windows user-interface components, similar to those used in other Windows programs.

Auto Surf 2.0 from Autodesk is an add-on for AutoCAD 12 which adds almost 50 commands to AutoCAD for creating primitive surfaces.
It supports DOS, HP-UNIX and SUN platforms.
AutoSurf was originally a program called Solution 3000 developed by Micro Engineering Solution.
Autodesk bought the company and renamed the program as Auto Surf version 1.

Canvas 3.5 for Windows receives the Win100 Award from Windows Magazine.
By the end of this year AutoCAD alone topped one million mark worldwide.
The next two CAD systems (outside Autodesk) were Cadkey (with 180,000 copies sold) and MicroStation (with 155,000 copies).


Bentley's MicroStation Advanced solid modeling for mechanical design ships.
Installed base reaches 200,000

3M selects Unigraphics Solutions for major software, services and consulting engagement

CINEMA 4D version 3.0 for Amiga
Delphi Interior & Lighting Systems chooses Unigraphics' iMAN product for enterprise-wide PIM integration worldwide

Motor Coach Industries selects both Unigraphics and iMAN to fulfill the company's goal of producing full managed virtual prototypes of its tour buses, including a 10,000-part plus virtual coach

Unigraphics on Microsoft Windows NT debuted

Unigraphics Solutions named Most Promising Company of the Future at Autofact Asia '95

CATIA-CADAM AEC Plant Solutions are announced.
This next generation object-oriented plant modeling system enables powerful knowledge-based engineering capabilities that can dramatically streamline the process of plant design, construction and operation. It brings the power of "smart" applications to the desktop with next generation object-oriented modeling.

Autodesk develops the WHIP driver.

Autodesk acquires Automated Methods Ltd., a GIS developer.

First Autodesk Web site www.autodesk.com

By end of 1995, Autodesk has sold 3 million software copies worldwide from which 1.3 million are AutoCAD (200,000 AutoCAD Rel.13), and 300,000 AutoCAD LT.

EDS Corporation announced that has an installed base of 35,000 seats of Unigraphics worldwide, including General Motors, McDonnell-Douglas, US Navy, Fujitsu, Apple Computers and Cannon.

Autodesk ships the first version of 3D Studio for NT platform, called 3D Studio MAX.

AutoCAD View from Autodesk is a CAD tool for viewing and redlining drawings. It can access more than 150 file formats.

FIT, Inc., purchased ISICAD and their product CADVANCE.

CADKEY version 7.

DrafixCAD version 4 from Foresight Resources Co., followed by Drafix Quick CAD.

Design Post version 1 from Computervision, based on PELOROS object oriented architecture.

Canvas 5 is announced to a stunned public at MacWorld Expo in Boston and then at Comdex Las Vegas. Where Canvas 3.5 integrated painting and drawing, Canvas 5 integrated image editing, vector illustration, advanced typography and desktop publishing into one seamless cross-platform environment.
Felix CAD version 2 from Felix CAT (Germany).

IDEAS Master Series version 2.1 from SDRC. Mazda Motors Corp. will install 2,400 seats of this product.

Medusa, a mechanical engineering, high-end CAD program from Computervision.

Computervision ships MicroDraft version 6.1, a 2D CAD program for DOS and UNIX platforms.

MicroStation 95 from Bentley includes a Basic programming tool and ODBC support. First delivered for Windows 95 platform. A Windows NT version available two years later.

MicroStation Modeler version 1, based on ACIS Kernel engine.

An entry-level architectural CAD program from Foresight Resources: PLANIX HOME.

Parametric Technology ships Pro/E version 15, the first parametric modeling CAD/CAM program and the first high-end 3D solid modeling package available on NT platforms.

Parametric Technology releases a cut-down version of its high-end product called Pro/Junior which runs on Windows 95.

Dassault Systems ships ProCADAM, a shorter version of CATIA for use on NT systems.

AutoSurf version 2.1 for use with AutoCAD 13, integrates precise NURBS technology and Advanced Surfacing. Bundled with AutoSurf was the AutoCAD IGES Translator which ensured data translation across many different CAD systems.

AutoCAD Designer release 1.2 from Autodesk, is a parametric solid modeling tool integrated with AutoCAD 12 and 13. It can import AME models and export models created with Designer into 3D Studio. It can calculate mass propriety and momentum of inertia.
By the end of 1995 over 40,000 copies has been sold worldwide.

Autodesk ships the first version of Mechanical Desktop, a design system for the mechanical workgroup integrated into AutoCAD 13. Includes AutoCAD Designer 3, Assembly Modeler 1.0, Auto Surf 3.0, Auto Vision and Part Spec library. Runs under Windows 95 and NT platforms.

Autodesk becomes the fifth largest software company in the world.

PTC is ranked the no. 1 supplier in Mechanical CAD/CAM/CAE industry.

By the end of the year over 350,000 users of Generic CAD worldwide.


Spatial Technology goes public.

Bentley's MicroStation Architectural modeling & plant engineering products ship

Bentley launches Geoengineering initiative and products

After a longer than expected development cycle, Canvas 5 ships simultaneously for Windows and Macintosh platforms in late 1996. Polaroid Japan is named as an exclusive distributor of Canvas to the Japanese market.
EDS splits off from GM, becoming an independent, publicly owned company, with stock traded on the New York Stock Exchange

Unigraphics introduces advanced assembly capabilities featuring interference checking, state-of-the-art CAM and industrial design capabilities for Class A surface modeling

General Motors signs largest CAD/CAM contract in history selecting Unigraphics as its single vehicle development software platform.

Parasolid rapidly gains widespread penetration into market as defacto standard for high-end, mid-range and commercial CAD/CAM/CAE development

CATIA-CADAM Solutions Version 4 are made available on Silicon Graphics, Hewlett Packard and Sun platforms.

In April Intergraph ships the first version of its 2D CAD program Imagineer Technical.

Bentley SELECT technology and service subscription program debuts

Solid Edge version 3 from Intergraph hits the market at the price of around USD 6000.

SolidWorks Co. ships Solid Works, an ambitious 3D package based on Parasolids modeling Kernel. It comes with a good complex surface modeling and a good graphical user interface.

3D/EYE Inc., ships Tri Spectives Technical version 2, a modeling, illustration and animation program for Windows platforms, at a very low price.

IMSI ships TurboCAD 2D/3D version 3 for DOS, Windows and Mac.
The 3D capabilities were available only for Mac platforms.

EDS Unigraphics version 11 with 4 new CAM modules.

EDS Corporation delivers Unigraphics/Creator, a cut-down version of Unigraphics for Windows NT platforms, full inter-useability with the full version.

Vasimetrix ships version 5 of its high-end CAD/CAM program. Varimetrix is based on the property Unified Parametric Geometry architecture. Used by companies such AT & T and British Aerospace.

Xitron Software Corp., ships XCAD version 3.1 for Windows platforms.

In August Autodesk ships Mechanical Desktop version 1.1

Lightscape version 3, a high-end rendering and animation package, comes with IES photo-metric data capabilities. IES (Illuminating Engineers Society) is the industry standard for describing the shape and intensity of light energy distribution froma light source, ray tracing, natural light according to location and orientation of the building.

In September CINEMA 4D v. 4 for Windows, Alpha NT and Mac was released with great success. Next month the first Multi-Processor version of program is made available.
Lightwave 3D version 5 and 5.5 from New Tek, a high-end rendering, modeling and animation program.

Visual Software ships the first version of Renderize Live, a rendering and animation program.

AutoCAD LT 95.

Diehl Graphsoft released MiniCAD 6 for Windows, the first cross-platform version of MiniCAD.

NIBS, AIA, CSI and Tri-Service CADD/GIS Technology Center sign a Memorandum of Understanding to develop the NCS
Camand version 11, a CAM product from SDRC.

In October is founded DATACAD LLC by purchasing the rights for development, distribution and marketing for DataCAD product line from Micro Control Systems, Inc. DataCAD is a professional A/E/C CADD program for architectural design, photorealistic renderings and animation. By 2000 the company reports over 250,000 installations worldwide, the second most widely used CAD software by architects.

ACIS 2.1 is realized in October.

Corel Visual CADD version 2 (a 2D program) and CorelCAD ( a 3D version) from Corel.

Drafix CAD from Ditek Software.

Felix CAD version 3 is compatible with AutoCAD.

Hewlett Packard delivers version 8 of HP-ME10, their 2D package for DOS, UNIX, and Windows platforms.

Qick Draw System (AU) ships Qick Draw version 6.

Autodesk ships AutoVision an rendering add-on program for AutoCAD 13.

Matra Datavision ships Moldmaker, a 3D modeling package for UNIX platforms.

Pro/E version 17 with a new module which allows files to be exported into VRML file format for display on the Internet.

In December Bentley ships version 4 of MicroStation Modeler.

To the end of this year over 250,000 copies of AutoCAD LT sold.


AutoCAD LT 97

Autodesk provides World Creation Toolkit which is a collection of 500 MB of prebuilt objects, meshes, fonts and animation.

Autodesk ships 3D Studio MAX release 2 and a cut-down version called 3D Studio Viz.

Autodesk Walk Through 1.1, an animation program for AutoCAD modules.
Autodesk ships AEC Professional Suite 2, an integrated package of AutoCAD 14, AEC AutoCAD utilities, Autodesk Walk Through, Design Blocks, Autodesk View and 2000 architectural symbols.

Autodesk ships AutoCAD 13 Internet Publishing Kit, a program used for view, access and sharing drawings on the Internet. It compress the drawings in DWF (Drawing Web Format) a new compressed file format designed specifically for the Internet.

Bentley ships MicroStation Modeler version 5.5 (based on ACIS 2.1 modeling Kernel)

Bentley starts engineering back office and ModelServer product line. Daratech lists Bentley as fastest-growing in CAD/CAM/CAE

CAS.CADE is a new modeling Kernel developed in 1997 by Matra Datavision.

The Canvas 5 USA Tour kicks off. This coast-to-coast seminar series offers Canvas enthusiasts a chance to get up close and personal with their favorite graphics application and Deneba's in-house artists.
Deneba introduces Colada, a Java-based web sharing technology for Canvas 5.
Canvas is used to design many of the computer screen shots in Steven Spielberg's Hollywood blockbuster The Lost World.
NASA uses Canvas to illustrate the Mars Pathfinder.
DenebaCAD for Macintosh is introduced. Focusing on the needs of professional architects and engineers, the program integrates 2D drafting, 3D modeling, and photo-realistic rendering in one application.
Dassault Systems S.A. acquires Deneb, the recognized provider of leading digital manufacturing solutions.
Deneb and its subsidiaries, become a wholly owned subsidiary of Dassault Systems and operates as a separate entity under the brand name "Deneb", the digital manufacturing company of Dassault Systems.

Dassault Systems S.A. and SolidWorks Corporation announce in June the signing of a definitive agreement whereby the privately-held SolidWorks, a leading provider of mechanical design software products for Windows, is acquired by Dassault Systems in a stock transaction.

In July, Delcam plc was floated on the Alternative Investment Market (AIM). In preparation for this, Delcam UK was established to spearhead UK sales and customer support. Coinciding with the floatation, Delcam opened a northern sales office in Bolton, Lancashire. Overseas activities continued to develop, with strong emphasis on joint ventures, especially in the Americas, Europe and the Far East. Delcam now has more that seventy sales offices worldwide and has a wholly owned subsidiary in the USA, exploiting the country's massive complex manufacturing market.
In 1997, MCS took the next step forward by releasing the first CADD-through-CAM system for the 21st Century, ANVIL EXPRESS.
EDS introduces a number of new industry-leading capabilities with its new version of Unigraphics, including WAVE - which will enable the definition, control and evaluation of product templates - considered the most important new technology affecting the CAD/CAM/CAE industry in the next five years.

AIA CAD Layer Guidelines, Second Edition - Second edition published to improve on original version
CSI Uniform Drafting System (UDS) Modules 1-3, - Separate effort focused on drawing. Ultimately 8 modules
ISO 13567 - Standard for Structuring Layers in CABD - International effort to structure layer naming for translation between various languages and vendors
First version of IDEAS Artisan Series from SDRC, fully compatible with Master Series, priced at ~ USD 5,000.

Revit Technology Corporation is revolutionizing building design with Revit - the world's first parametric building modeler developed for the AEC industry.
Form Z, a solid and surface modeler, first available only for Mac platforms, debuts on Windows market.

Helix Design System from Cadcam System Company, version 4, based on DesignBase modeling Kernel with CAM facilities.

Imagineer Technical version 2, fully compatible with Microsoft Office and AutoCAD.

AutoCAD Release 14 for Windows is proved to be the best and more stabile version ever. It comes with a lot of improvements in both 2D and 3D. Includes ObjectARX 2.0, ActiveX Automation Interface which allows Visual Basic for Application to drive AutoCAD or to write a single application that integrates AutoCAD with other ActiveX Automation compliant application, AutoVision is included.

In October EDS and Intergraph announces plans to pool the assets of their CAD software (Unigraphics and Solid Edge) in a joint venture.

Matra Datavision ships Euclid Quantum version 1, based on CAS.CADE geometry modeling Kernel. Over 47,000 copies will be sold in one year.

Matra Datavision ships STRIM, a CAD/CAM package.

MiniCAD version 7 for Mac and Windows.

Parametric Technology ships PT/Modeler, a CAD/CAM package based on a proprietary modeling engine.

Pro/E version 18 with over 50 integrated modules. The price starts at 26,000 USD for 13 modules.

SoftSource ships V/Draft, a 2D CAD program for Windows with AutoCAD interface, support for Visual Basic, C++ and ActiveX programming.

Solid Works 97 with 65 new capabilities like support for Visual Basic for Applications, Visual C++ and HTML.

SurfCAM version 7 with support for AutoCAD and Mechanical Desktop files.

TurboCAD Professional version 4 from IMSI.

Unigraphics version 12 from EDS with over 30 integrated modules. Price started at USD 17,000.

In November Autodesk ships Mechanical Desktop version 2 integrated with AutoCAD 14. Uses the new ACIS 3.0 modeling Kernel, support AutoLisp and C languages and includes ANSYS Design Space 3.0 Stress Wizard.
VGX technology from SDRC provides intuitive interaction for the design and modification of parametric feature - based solids. It will be used first in I-DEAS Master Series 5.

Visionary Design Systems took over 3D Eye Systems.

XCAD version 4 and XCAD LT from Xitron Software Corporation.

CINEMA 4D XL version 5.0 launch in December.
40,000 copies of ArchiCAD sold worldwide to date.

Spatial Technology announced that it has over 350 licensees and an estimated 600,000 end-users of its ACIS modeling Kernel.

CAD/CAM market worldwide:

1 Parametric Technology
2 Dassault Systems
3 EDS/Intergraph
5 Autodesk

In 1997, AutoCAD pass 1.5 million copies sold worldwide and AutoCAD LT pass half million copies sold.

Intergraph announced that 6250 copies of its Solid Edge program has been sold worldwide.

Solid Works Corp. announced that has sold 3000 of its 3D solid model worldwide, including companies such AT & T, Boeing, General Motors, Sharp, Siemens and Mitsubishi.

IMSI announced that has been sold over 600,000 copies of TurboCAD to date.

Parametric Technology announces 105,000 seats installed of Pro/E


Spatial Technology acquires InterData Access, Inc.

Dassault Systems creates ENOVIA Corp., a wholly-owned company in charge of developing ENOVIA’s PDM II solutions. IBM creates two new worldwide organizations to sell and support ENOVIA products.

In February, Dassault Systems and IBM announce a new Strategic Alliance to address the Product Development Management II (PDM II) market.

Dassault Systems acquires Matra Datavision key software products in the fields of surface and free-form modeling, numerical control machining (NC) as well as complementary products dedicated to plastic injection simulation. The products concerned (EUCLID Styler, EUCLID Machinist, Strim and Strimflow) correspond approximately to the portfolio acquired by Matra Datavision at the time of the Cisigraph acquisition in 1994. The team in charge of those products (90 people) will join the Dassault Systems Group.

- Matra Datavision will become a service company providing support for the CATIA, CATweb, ENOVIA and Deneb products lines of Dassault Systems and the migration of EUCLID 3 to CATIA.

- Matra Datavision will be appointed an IBM International Business Partner to market, sell and support CATIA, CATweb, and ENOVIA as well as IBM's e-business Solutions.

Autodesk acquire Genius Software GmbH.

Unigraphics Solutions becomes a subsidiary of EDS, takes the name Unigraphics Solutions EDS

Unigraphics Solutions finalizes acquisition of Intergraph's Mechanical CAD/CAM Business - Solid Edge and EMS software

Maxon, the producer of CINEMA 4D animation and rendering program announced it will no longer support the Amiga platform.
CADD Council changes name to Facility Information Council - To represent a larger base of involvement, NCS Committee operates under this group
Unigraphics Solutions Becomes First CAD/CAM/CAE/PDM Organization to be Awarded ISO 9001/TickIT Certification

AutoCAD Mechanical is an integrated mechanical tool in AutoCAD 14.

Autodesk Architectural Desktop - integrated architectural solution based on AutoCAD 14.

First version of IronCAD for VDS market.

IntelliCAD 98 from Visio with support for Visual Basic for Application, AutoLisp and AutoCAD release 14 files.

Canvas 6 is released and takes the industry by surprise with the introduction of Deneba's Sprite technology. This amazing technology allows vector drawings, images, and text to be blended together with infinite control over transparency. In effect making it possible for regular folks to do sophisticated photo-compositing and graphics pros to do things they could only dream of - compositing vector illustrations with images. Canvas 6 garners a long list of awards and reviews around the world. DenebaCAD 1.5 is released.
Qick Draw System (AU) ships Qick Draw version 7.

Visual Lisp, an Object ARX application that runs inside AutoCAD 14. Consists of several modules that the developers use to create new applications.

Autodesk ships 3D Studio MAX version 2.5

Lightwave 3D version 5.6 from New Tek, comes with Procedural shades for snow, water and rust, Stereoscopic rendering, SkiTracer image warping for real time visualization of generated sky, and more.

Solid Edge version 3 from Intergraph with more than 150 new features.

Solid Works 98 adds 150 new capabilities.

TurboCAD Professional version 5 from IMSI.

During 1998, DUCT has gradually been replaced with a new incorporated range of products, which covers the full manufacturing cycle from design to manufacture. Delcam's new "Power" range of products, which combine the full functionality of the DUCT suite with the latest user interface technology offers users many new benefits.
Visio Corporation ships Visio Enterprise, a technical drawings and documentation program, and Visio Technical version 5. The company announced over 250,000 users to date.

Over 60,000 AMD copies installed worldwide. Customers: Hughes Aerospace, Lockheed Martin, Philips, Hyundai.

Upside Magazine names Bentley to the 1998 Hot 100 companies.

Listed as largest privately held software company on Softletter 100.

Installed base of MicroStation reaches 300,000 and that of Bentley SELECT reaches 200,000


Spatial Technology acquires Sven Technologies

Unigraphics Solutions Acquires German high-tech Company, dCADE.

Dassault Systems establishes Dassault Systems AG in Germany in March, as its reference site for development and consulting of new generation styling solutions.

March - Dassault Systems introduces CATIA Version 5 for native Windows NT and UNIX. CATIA V5 is based on:
- Next generation technologies (Native Windows implementation, powerful interface, Plug & Play extensibility, consistency with standards such as OLE)
- Windows Web metaphor to ensure a natural, productive and fun to use environment,
- Scalability to address all user profiles
- Capture and reuse of the company know-how
- Smooth transition to protect V4 investment.

In April 1999, Dassault Systems signs definitive agreement to acquire a majority interest in Smart Solutions Ltd. Smart Solutions has become the leading provider for the "TeamPDM" market, developing Web based Windows™ centric Product Data Management (PDM) and Workflow solutions for small and medium size enterprises (SMEs). These solutions complement ENOVIA Solutions, which address the needs of large enterprises and their supplier chain, the PDM II market space. Together, Smart Solutions Ltd. and ENOVIA Corp. will offer dedicated solutions for both market segments, thus meeting the needs of customers at all levels of product and process complexity.

- At the same time Dassault Systems creates Dassault Systems Provence for the development of advanced applications in the field of surface reconstruction, tooling design and 3-axis machining, as well as powerful surface algorithm components for CATIA Version 5

Dassault Systems acquired SAFEWORK. With this agreement, SAFEWORK becomes the Dassault Systems company in charge of providing an advanced human modeling infrastructure within the V5 architecture.
It will also become the leading Dassault Systems human modeling Competency Center for Dassault Systems' brands, CATIA, DENEB and ENOVIA. SAFEWORK can also provide turn-key solutions by complementing their software solution with consulting services for ergonomic processes in various industries.

Unigraphics Solutions signs five-year, $43 million contract with Boeing for CAD/CAM Software

Varimetrix ships VXVision version 1.74, a high-end CAD/CAM program based on VPG 2 modeling Kernel.

National CAD Standard (NCS) 1.0 released - First compendium and coordination of efforts
Lightwave 3D version 6 from New Tek.

Unigraphics ships Solid Edge version 6 with over 200 changes.

Think3 entry in the CAD market with thinkdesign, the first mechanical design software product to offer the power of parametric solids, advanced surfacing, wireframe and 2-D drafting on the desktop, all in one environment.

VectorWorks is released as a replace of MiniCAD.

Diehl Graphsoft, Inc. ships RenderWorks, a photorealistic rendering plug-in for VectorWorks.

The next generation of Sprite technology is unveiled in Canvas 7's SpriteEffects. For the first time, designers can apply any imaging filters - blurs, distortions, textures, plus third-party plug-ins - to any object, whether it's vector, bitmap, text, or even a group. Combined with SpriteLayer effects, SpriteEffects in Canvas yields unequaled power for graphic design. Like previous versions of Canvas, version 7 goes on to receive worldwide user and critical acclaim. Deneba makes it effortless to share graphics information online with the Deneba Internet Graphics Server (DIGS). By using a web browser, DIGS enables instant deployment of graphic files on the Internet. DenebaCAD 2 is released for Macintosh and Windows platforms.
In June Pro/E 2000i

Parametric Technology acquired Computervision and their product CADDS 5.

Autodesk announces 1 million users of LT and 100,000 users of 3D Studio MAX.

3D Studio MAX cumulus 29% of the entire 3D-animation market and 38% of the 3D PC markets.


Spatial ships ACIS v.6.0
CoCreate Software Inc., a subsidary of Hewlett Packard Company, announces release of Solid Designer 2000 with five new modules.

Nemetschek North America introduced in January the VectorWorks Industry Series with the launch of its first product, VectorWorks ARCHITECT. SPOTLIGHT and ARCHITECT will be joined shortly by VectorWorks LANDMARK, a landscape and site design package.

Eagle Point, the leading supplier of AEC applications software, announced the release of Eagle Point 2000
26 Ian - Parametric Technology Corp. announced that InPart Mechanical, the world's largest 3D CAD library, now exceeds 1 million parts.

On end of February, Autodesk will be selling AutoCAD 2000 over the Internet. On-line price is $3,195 for AutoCAD 2000--that's 10%- 15% above the estimated street price. Upgrades from Release 14 are $545, and upgrades from Release 13 are $745. Price includes 60 days of direct support from Autodesk. Sales available US and Canada only.

16 Feb - CoCreate Software Inc., a subsidary of Hewleet Packard announced ME10 2000 the latest version of its popular 2D CAD software, ME10

Design Futures announced the release of IDRAW 2000 for Windows 95/98/NT, a design, drafting and illustration for all 2D design and illustration requirements.

18 Feb. - Diehl Graphsoft announced that Nemetschek AG of Germany had acquired it

REALVIZ S.A., a leader in image processing technology, announced the availability of its ImageModeler® photo-modeling software application for easy and realistic 3D model creation. Designed specifically for computer graphics professionals and animators, ImageModeler is the first high-end ``Image-Based Modeler'' that produces 3-D models from photo, video or cinematic still images. Eliminate the complications of building complex models from scratch, and let ImageModeler do the hard work. By selecting points on as few as four still photographs of an object, the revolutionary software application builds models that are amazingly photo-real.

7 March - IntelliCAD 2000

March 15, 2000--SensAble Technologies today made the revolution in digital modeling with the release of FreeForm(TM) Version 2. The FreeForm system allows users to model on the computer using their sense of touch, blending the intuitiveness and expressiveness of physical modeling with the power and productivity of digital modeling.

LightWork Design announced on 14 March that there are more than 500,000 active users of its flagship LightWorks renderer.

SDRC, a global supplier of e-business collaboration solutions for the product lifecycle, announced on March I-DEAS 8, a major software release to enable e-design automation

Alibre, Inc. announced the availability of its feature-based mechanical CAD software, Alibre Design which allows users to employ the internet as a collaborative platform for product design and development.

Dassault Systemes and announced the readiness of CATIA Solutions Version 5 Release 3(b) (V5R3) for Microsoft Windows 2000 operating platform.

Graphisoft paid around $2 million to acquire Drawbase Software, a facilities management software and services provider.
CoCreate Software Inc., a subsidiary of Hewlett Packard Co., announced on 12 April the release of OneSpace 5.0, a design-chain-integration solution that provides global teams a virtual conference room to interact in real time on mechanical designs.

Autodesk also launched Point A, a new portal serving designers and engineers, which can be found at http://pointA.autodesk.com. The goal of the site is to provide designers, engineers, and architects with a centralized online community and resource.

PTC announced on 24 April two major updates to its PTC i-Series of flexible engineering solutions: Pro/MECHANICA 2000i² and Pro/DESKTOP 2000i².

SDRC announced SDRC Imageware Version 10 (V10), a major software release enabling customers to design, build, and fully inspect high-quality, free-form shaped products in less time. Imageware is advanced 3D surface modeling and verification technology solution that allows users to realize and maintain the design intent from concept through manufacturing.

Unigraphics Solutions Inc. announces in may that its industry-leading kernel solid modeling product, Parasolid, exceeded 500,000 active end-users

Graphisoft offers a set of Web-based tool to help encourage the AEC CAD community to adopt its GDL (Geometric Description Language) as a file format. The GDL Object Web plug-in, for ArchiCAD users, delivers GDL objects via the Internet.

TurboCAD Professonal 6.5

Matra Datavision reports in June that more than 5,000 downloads of the latest version of its Open CASCADE open source library of 3D modeling components.

MicroStation/J v7.1

6 June Bentley Systems, Incorporated, announced a new visualization technology that provides photorealistic lighting solutions for large models created by architects, interior designers and plant designers. "Particle tracing" is a new, easy-to-use technology which requires relatively little memory and provides stunningly realistic lighting effects.

Spatial Inc. announced Release 6.2 of the ACIS 3D Toolkit and Husks, featuring performance enhancements and added functionality.
Will be the latest release of ACIS under Spatial name because the product will be aquired by Dassault Systems in a surprising deal which took the CAD world by surprise.

Mechanical Desktop Release 5 incorporates AutoCAD® 2000i software, with its more than 400 new or enhanced features and 24-percent gain in productivity over the previous release. The Power Pack adds 1.2 million predawn standard 2D and 3D parts, holes, features, and structural steel profiles, complete AutoCAD Mechanical 2000 functionality, and intelligent part placement and engineering calculations.

The Deneba Internet Graphics Server 2 (DIGS) is released and updated to take advantage of key new features and technologies available in Canvas 7.

On 14 July 2000 the new version of CATIA version 5 release 4, become available for Windows and Unix.
The new version of Parasolid (Version 12.0) incorporates improved Direct Modeling technology, which provides the function to enable CAD users to perform feature level edits to a model that has not been defined using a history based feature approach.

To date, July 2000, TurboCAD has shipped more than one million units.
Inventor Release 3. Most of the enhancements center around assemblies, as evidenced by the addition of motion constraints as well as predefined section cuts.

PTC has just announced a new version of CADDS 5i, called Release 11. According to the company, this new release offers increased integration with PTC solutions, such as Pro/ENGINEER, by using what the company calls the Associative Topology Bus (ATB).

DataCAD 9, 2D and 3D architectural package, the new version offers support for AutoCAD 2000 DXF and DWG files, can export in WMF and Adobe Acrobat PDF formats.
Unigraphics Solutions Inc. announced on 20th September Solid Edge Version 9, the latest release of the company's award-winning mechanical design software.

Caligari has released a new version of True Space, its 3D modeling and animation program.
ME10 2000+, the latest version of its CoCreate's 2-D CAD software, introduces new capabilities, such as a 2-D to 3-D accelerator kit, design management with Microsoft Windows-compatible user interface, a Windows user interface customization toolkit, and the ME10 macro suite, a free library of ME10 extensions.

Chief Architect 7.0 ($895) is a Windows-based architectural design program designed for builders, designers, and developers to create full working drawings and accurate 3D models.

Unigraphics Solutions Inc. (NYSE: UGS) announced in October Unigraphics Version 17, the latest release of its industry leading, high-end CAD/CAM/CAE software. With this release, UGS becomes the industry's first major vendor to ship a world-class MCAD software product containing a deeply imbedded knowledge based engineering (KBE) language. KDA consists of capturing and recycling knowledge that exists in many forms at every stage of the product life cycle, then re-using that knowledge to dramatically enhance the design, engineering and manufacturing process.

Dassault Systemes announced that it plans to integrate Microsoft's Visual BASIC for Applications into its products, including SolidWorks, CATIA, SmarTeam, ENOVIA, and DELMIA..

IBM and Dassault Systemes launched Version 5 Release 5 of CATIA, to be available for Windows and UNIX on November 17, 2000.

Autodesk released Inventor Release 4, on first week of December. Inventor costs $4,995, and upgrade pricing will be available. Release 4 contains more than 150 new features and enhancements, with particular attention paid to support for enterprise-wide collaboration.

CADKEY 19, a new version of its flagship product line available for Windows 95/98/00 and NT 4.x. CADKEY 19 assembles new customer-driven features for hybrid modeling and blending, 2D drawing and detailing, data translation, display and graphics. The software also includes six new CDE (CADKEY Dynamic Extensions)

AutoCAD Architectural Desktop passed the 100,000 mark worldwide.

Unigraphics Solutions Inc. announced on 21 December the release and immediate availability of Parasolid Version 12.1, its industry-leading kernel solid modeling product.

UGS was the vendor with the most rapidly growing computer aided manufacturing (CAM) software revenue in 2000.
31,290 CATIA seats were licensed in 2000

SolidWorks licensed 22,053 seats for the full year.

Delcam has been the world's leading specialist supplier of NC machining software and services during 2000. Second position is Hitachi Zosen followed by Cimatron.




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Last Updated on January 16, 2006
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Footnotes & References