New Year’s resolutions are always in vogue: Go to the gym. Eat better. Finally take that trip you’ve dreamed about.
The CAD industry is no different. We resolve to do better work. Improve our productivity. Develop and experiment with new technology. Most important, we resolve to improve lives and businesses with our creations.
On that last note, we think 2016 is going to be the best year yet. There are several CAD trends on the horizon that will impact business as usual this year. And each one presents a new opportunity to change the world with CAD.
Check out our predictions below. Do you agree? What did we miss? Let us know in the comments!
1. Internet of Things
The Internet of Things (IoT) refers to billions of internet-connected devices. These devices talk to one another from homes, factories, cars and wrists. You already see them in smart thermostats, self-driving cars and wearable fitness bands.
But this is just the advance party. Cisco estimates over 50 billion devices will come online by 2020. This includes devices in industrial factories and sites.
That has massive implications for work, play and everything between. But it will likely affect engineers more than most. Once factories and facilities come online, massive new efficiencies come online, too. But new threats and challenges also appear. Cybersecurity is one of the primary dangers: when everything's connected, everything is vulnerable.
These considerations will change how engineers work on-site. Machines they use and build will need to speak to one another, opening up new performance and diagnostic capabilities. And the full IoT transition will take time. But not that much time. We bet 2016 ends with the revolution in full swing.
2. 3D Printed Buildings
We paid attention when we learned that a 3D printer could create an entire building. In fact, they're used to construct entire apartment blocks. The method prints buildings fast, cheap and more eco-friendly than some traditional methods.
There's a big need for big 3D printers. They make housing easier to build in high-population areas clamoring for lodging. This need isn't going away, which makes us bullish on 3D printed construction. Could 2016 be the year construction firms catch on?
3. Upstart Tech
CAD software is changing. Established companies have released cutting-edge cloud and collaborative solutions. But innovation isn't coming only from the big CAD players.
Startups are trying to disrupt how CAD works and how we work with CAD. The most exciting one is Onshape, the only full-cloud CAD solution available. It's just one of many upstarts. But it's founded and backed by former SOLIDWORKS alumni.
That kind of support indicates that even industry vets think CAD needs an update. We agree with them. And in 2016, we think CAD will finally get the updates it deserves.
Prepare Your CAD Career for 2016
Our free ebook will boost your CAD productivity and output with 30+ pages of tips and tools. Get it today.
Image Credt: Wikimedia Commons