Is the Debate Over History Based CAD Over?

By MarkBurhop

After the last few years of debate in the CAD community between history based technologies and history free technology (Synchronous Technology in Siemens case), 2010 is likely the year the debate shifted from “Is history free technology needed?” to “where is the older history based technology STILL needed?” (you might check out Matt Lombard blog for this – I don’t know if he’d frame the debate this way but you can tell he is thinking about the subject).

There have been a few smaller companies with history free CAD solutions but among the larger mainstream companies, Siemens PLM had led the way with Synchronous Technology. Since then, Autodesk has invested in their Fusion technology and last week we heard about PTC’ s Creo which, among other things, also tries to end this debate (just use the technology you want). The folks at SolidWorks haven’t said much but I doubt they are burying their heads in the sand hoping this “fad” disappears. We are all pretty sensitive to customer’s cries for more efficient design tools.

So with almost everyone now investing in new ways to do  CAD, the new question is what will happen to traditional parametric history based CAD?Will it be replaced? Will it live on as just another technology option? Will it be merged or morph to work with new techniques? IMHO, this is the debate we will see going forward. What do you think will happen?

P.S. In my next post, I’ll show an example of using both Synchronous Technology (history free) and ordered geometry in the same part and why you would want to do this.

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This article first appeared on the Siemens Digital Industries Software blog at