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10 Stand-Out Players to Watch in 2015
There was a lot of exciting action on numerous fronts in the CAD and 3D markets in 2014. These 10 companies and their products are things to look for as the new year unfolds.
- Sefaira — this company was awarded the Innovation category honors for 2014 AIA BEST of SHOW. We like to think that our BEST of SHOW honors will help identify companies that are likely to be acquired by larger companies. We can see Trimble acquiring Sefaira in 2015.
- Rhinoceros — we have not written much about Rhino lately, largely due to the slow pace of news regarding the OS X version of Rhino. Yet Rhino is a key tool in the AEC world, and due to shifts in the AEC software landscape due to news already mentioned, we could see this company being acquired as well. And even if they don’t—which is probably where the smart bet is—they will still be delivering interesting innovations.
- OTOY — Jules Urbach may be the most driven, talent-laden wiz kid (who is no longer a kid) in the technology world today, certainly in the CAD or 3D world. OTOY matters for a multitude of reasons by one important one is they are bringing apps to your browser in a big way, including Revit.
- formZ — AutoDesSys, Inc. needs a big hit. The once darling of the 3D world has been living in the shadow of SketchUp and Rhino for far too long. Word is a new native scripting language will turn formZ 8 into a Rhino+Grasshopper competitor and enable its devout customers to finally do the types of numerical, scriptable math-laden parametric modeling they want to do. Best of all, the company could be the first to do this on the Mac natively.
- Autodesk A360 Collaboration for Revit — Formerly the artist know as Project Skyscraper (don’t you just love code names?) 2015 will be an interesting year for this new collaboration tool, as the trending, we believe, will be for truly open online collaboration tools (more like Trimble Connect) that can work with a multitude of 3D models. It will be interesting to see if private walled BIM gardens rule the day or public gated BIM gardens rule the day.
- OnShape — this US based startup has an illustrious veteran team and some say their sights are squarely aimed at SolidWorks. OnShape intends to apply cloud, web and mobile technologies to CAD. If this product is done as well as Fusion 360 and offers the functionality and more of SolidWorks, it can be a big day for users on any platform.
- e-on software’s LumenRT — LumenRT is one of the coolest visualization applications in existence and it sprung forth from a trusted 3D software maker focused on the digital natural landscape. This is a company that we would not be surprised to see acquired by a larger player.
- solidThinking Inspire — This innovative tool brings FEM analysis technology to early stage design and focuses on creating lighter structures at any scale. Already used by advanced architectural engineers, we can see this company advancing this package nicely to make it more accessible to more architects.
- Pixar RenderMan — Pixar’s RenderMan is now at version 19 and the big news this year was the big updates and new licensing options including the new free license model. We see some real potential here for RenderMan to grow within the industry downstream from the big studios. Word of impending new RenderMan plugins for leading 3D suites is a promising sign.
- Morpholio LLC — this innovative company that brought you Morpholio Trace has developed two other truly gorgeous and useful apps in Exhibit and Board. And version 2.0 of Trace advances an already great app. While Autodesk has spent a small fortune developing dozens of iOS apps, some of which are great and others so-so, its rivals may choose to simply acquire standouts like this company.
It should be noted that these are just 10 chosen highlight companies and products. We could easily come up with 10 more. We hope in 2015 we are pleasantly surprised with new technologies and products from both old and new companies alike. Happy New Years!