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Interview: CadFaster of Finland talks to Architosh about BIM and Mobility

In this special feature interview, Tuomas Holma, Vice President of Sales and Marketing at CadFaster of Finland, talks to us about their company’s innovative cloud and mobile software products for CAD industries. We cover the company’s positioning, product history, Building Information Modeling (BIM) and Apple’s iPad among other things. And not to be forgotten, we ask about CadFaster Collaborate coming to the Mac.

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Understanding CadFaster in the Cloud

AFR: CadFaster is a cloud solution. Can you tell us more about CadFaster and the cloud in general terms? And how your company views the cloud going forward?

TH: First, we want to use the cloud in the same manner as Dropbox and Evernote or as many of the OS X/ iOS apps do; to enable real-time collaboration between people, and automated syncing between different devices. Second, we want to use the cloud to enable fast 3D on mobile devices that are much less powerful than desktop computers. For the end-user it should be seamless and effortless; they should not have to think about whether something happens in the cloud or not.

AFR: Those are good examples you cite above that reflect that experience philosophy. Are the comments being made during the session attached to each users’ device at the end of a saved session or are they getting stored up in the cloud? How does commenting exactly work?

TH: We don’t save comments on individual devices because that would jeopardize real-time collaboration. We push comments in real-time through a collaboration server to every participant. Comments are stored in the collaboration server in the cloud.

AFR: But just to be clear, the models themselves are pushed down to the devices and cached on the device, correct?

TH: If the model is in the cache it will be opened from the cache

AFR: Live Section is one of CadFaster’s coolest features. But it doesn’t appear on the iPad version.

TH: Live Section is not yet available on the iPad version. We will be bringing it there in the future so stay tuned.

AFR: On the desktop you also have the ability to do more things with control of layers…is this too also coming to the iPad at some point?

TH: Eventually, all desktop features are feasible on the iPad but we just need some time to introduce them. Section views and layer control are the biggest differences at the moment.

iPad: What Apple Needs to Do to Stay Ahead

AFR: It is clear Apple has competition in the mobile market, especially from Google. Yet, I am excited to hear you say that the iPad is the most exciting platform for design collaboration at the moment. That last part of your sentiment clearly shows that CadFaster is aware of Apple’s competition. So what does Apple need to do to keep the iPad and iOS the most exciting platform going forward? What does a future iPad have the ability to do that would make things more exciting and possible for the future of CadFaster?

TH: Form factor, specifications well suited for 3D graphics and popularity make [Apple’s] iPad such an exciting platform for CadFaster products. I am sure Apple has a fantastic roadmap for iPad. However, competition from Windows tablets may become harder in the corporate market soon. Hopefully, this strives Apple to introduce even more advanced products. These are exciting times for software developers and end users!

The Future of CadFaster

AFR: And talking about exciting times…where does CadFaster want to go? We have seen the new survey and have read it and there are lots of interesting questions. What are some of the few key things you can talk about that are coming from the industry side on a larger scale that will affect CadFaster over time?

TH:  3D, BIM, mobile, and the cloud are creating very interesting opportunities for us. We want to develop better and better products for the users. We want to partner with other companies and user communities to bring these products to the market. The future looks very bright but we don’t want to think too far; the best product idea might be just around the corner and we have to keep our mind open! Or maybe we already have it in MyCadbox…

AFR: Thanks for talking to us about CadFaster and its unique mobile and cloud-based CAD products.

TH: You are very welcome.

Learning More

Architosh will be publishing a review of CadFaster for iPad next week, as part of a special series on the iPad in architecture. In the meantime, you can learn more about CadFaster | Collaborate and MyCadbox here.

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