You’ve compared 2D CAD, 3D CAD/CAM and CAE to “three carriages”, which together drive ZWSOFT forwards by enhancing its overall competitiveness in the CAx field. How will these carriages work together?
In my point of view, essentially, they support and boost each other, instead of replacing or competing against each other, which means that if 2D business is doing well, 3D will also be influenced positively; alike, if 3D is doing well, 2D will also be promoted in return. There is a“1+1>2” effect between them. What’s more, all-in-one CAx will benefit our customers a lot, since a considerable part of our 2D customers will need 3D product, and most of our 3D customers cannot leave 2D tool either. The same goes for CAE.
There are two levels of meaning in “All-in-one”. The first is that we must have all of them, from “0” to “1”, including CAD, CAM and CAE. The second is that we integrate them together, forming a complete design process from upstream to downstream. So I hope to make their technologies and data flow freely and seamlessly in this process.
You can think this way – why Amazon sells all categories of products? Because customers definitely prefer to buy all the things they want from one platform, rather than visit several different websites to buy different things. It is a natural choice. I believe the same thing happens in the CAD industry. In the future, customers will tend to seek complete solutions from less, or even one supplier, just like they want to buy everything needed just from Amazon. For this, I have a mid to long-term goal, which is that everyone in ZWSOFT not only can handle 2D, but also 3D and even CAE. I regard it beneficial to our employees, to the company, and most importantly, to our clients.
What about the resource distribution between these different product lines? How do you balance it?
I don’t agree on the saying of distributing, or even fighting for resources. What really matters should be how to enable these product lines to share resources, and to prevent redundancy or waste. For example, our R&D management system and quality control system can actually learn from each other, and reuse some resources of each other.
As we know, every technology has its own lifecycle. Compared with 3D CAD and CAE, which are at the stage of rapid development, 2D CAD is relatively mature, or even, according to some sayings, it is the “sunset industry”. So, what do you think of the prospect of 2D CAD?
Actually, this question had been raised as early as in 2000, or 19 years ago. At that time, many analysists believed that the CAD industry would totally enter into 3D in 2005 or 2008. But, you know, it’s already 2019 now. My judgment is still the same as 19 years ago, which is, 2D CAD will continue to exist for a very long time. Even though not at a very fast pace, its market is actually constantly expanding, since 2D drawings are needed by all the industries to guide all kinds of productions. And thanks to its increasing extensibility, it has been applied to broader and broader fields with more and more applications ported to it. What’s more, the training of industrial workers takes two generations, which means that the iteration of CAD products is not that fast, but stable. ZWCAD has been restructured three times, and it is on the right track now. The most difficult period has passed, and we are confident to provide our customers with better and better 2D solutions.
Last year, Mark, President of ZWSOFT America has awarded you with a certificate called “Outstanding Leadership and Unfailing Faith in ZW3D”, on which there are signatures of all of the American colleagues. Looking back, it has been nine years since ZW3D was born. Do you still remember the feeling at that time? What does it mean to ZWSOFT?
This was actually something I’m pretty proud of. It is a crucial step to realize our dream of all-in-one CAx. Our business was not that big eight years ago. At that time, I told Mark that we might be able to do it for five years. Now, it has been nine years; we are getting better and better, the American team is getting larger and larger, and we have kept our reputation in North America. So I want to take this chance here to thank Mark and the American team! It was quite challenging to absorb and improve this technology at that time, but thankfully, we had the gut to make this decision and the perseverance to insist during those hard days, which has opened up a new world and a huge opportunity for us.
How’s ZW3D doing now?
ZW3D has been continuously growing for the past nine years, with the growth rate surpassing 30% every year. In the recent two years, the rate is even rocketing. These achievements owe to the increasing product quality and the expanding range of application. ZW3D can now handle the design of basic assembly and components like a duck to water. It has already had its own characteristics and fitted in very well with some industries. Moreover, we also cooperate with different technology suppliers around the world to improve the overall capacity and applicability of ZW3D. For example, Volumil, a CAM technology, was successfully integrated into ZW3D last year. We can do even more – we will ceaselessly strengthen the comprehensive capability of ZW3D, so that it can gradually enter into the core design departments and undertake core design tasks.
ZWSOFT just released its first CAE product ZWSim-EM, which is a simulation software for electromagnetic analysis. What does it mean to ZWSOFT? What about its role in ZWSOFT’s CAx blueprint?
There is one thing Mark and I always believe in, that is, the future of CAD is based on simulation and 3D modeling. In other words, a mathematical model, or a 3D model needs to be analyzed and refined through mechanical, thermal or fluid analysis in computers. ZWSOFT will provide a path into the inevitable future of simulation-driven product development. Digital analysis and simulation using CAE can increase innovation and improve product quality and performance. It can decrease the amount of expensive and time-consuming physical prototyping required to create products. Combining with smart sensors (IoT) and automatic controls, digital model of a product interacts with its physical twin, to improve performance, diagnose problems, avoid failure and optimize design.
Nowadays, electromagnetics can be seen everywhere in our daily life – from microwave components to antennas, from communication devices such as mobile phones to biomedical equipment. We hope that with its professionality in electromagnetic analysis, it can help design high-quality and safe electromagnetic products for people.
Also, just as we joined the 3D game with ZW3D nine years ago, the birth of ZWSim-EM marks that ZWSOFT has become a player in the CAE field. It is a big step towards All-in-one CAx. Moreover, I hope that CAD and CAE are seamless, just like ZWSim-EM’s combining with ZW3D’s exciting modeling capabilities, which helps automatically adjust the driving parameters of a model to optimize its shape based on electromagnetic constraints. At the beginning of 2020, there will also be some progress in the CAE solution of stress, and maybe part of thermal.
You could review other parts of this series here!
Part 3: All-in-one CAx (1)
Part 4: Cooperation > Competition