At the Nemetschek North America press event in Baltimore this weekend I had a chance to sit down with Dr. Biplab Sarkar, chief technology officer for the Vectorworks CAD/BIM developer. The company will officially announced Vectorworks 2009 this coming Monday and Siemens PLM Software Inc, will also announce news of their new partnership and latest licensee of Parasolid.
AFR: Dr. Sarkar, can you tell me how you went about making the decision on Parasolid, when did this take place?
BS: Back when I joined the company coming from PTC (Parametric Technology Corporation) my focus was on making Vectorworks strong in modeling. At that time we adopted geometric modeling kernel technology from SMLib. In 2002 Gary Crocker, a co-founder of SMLib, broke off from that group and formed IntegrityWare taking his solid modeling libraries with him. We continued to utilize these libraries until our decision a few years ago to look for a better modeling kernel technology.
AFR: So you were using both SMLib and Solids++?
BS: The technology stayed the same, just the companies changed.
AFR: Tell me how you and Sean Flaherty approached your superiors in Munich about the idea of adopting Parasolid. I’m assuming you needed some approval given the cost considerations, right?
BS: Yes…(laughs). Sean and myself went to Munich and broached the subject with the CEO who at that time was a real technology driven person. We didn’t go ask straight out, we brought it up. It turned out they were very interested with this idea.
AFR: So they said go for it….
BS: Absolutely. They are also interested with addressing the same issues we were having in Vectorworks with ALLPLAN.
AFR: So nearly two and a half years ago you did this. Who else was on your short-list…did you look at Spatial’s ACIS?
BS: We looked at ACIS but in the end we believed Parasolid was the better choice. Everyone uses it, it’s even used in ProE and CATIA.
AFR: Wait a minute, doesn’t ProE and CATIA use in-house kernels?