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Remember Personal Designer Cad?

RMS1

New member
Does anyone remember personal designer from around 1990? What ever became of them? and what company developed it? The reason I ask is that it was the first cad package that I learned and it had icons when nobody else did as far as I know.....anyways then I had AutoCAD and I did not like it at first, but know I do enjoy it. Now I am learning SolidWorks and the parametric cad stuff is all new to me.
 

RMS1

New member
fletchtim said:
Actually its not dead, its alive and is a free down load at


http://www.4dgraphics.net/index.htm


I never did really warm up to that software.....all ican rember is the term "put modelspace" whatever the heck that means....LOL
Wow very cool, that program back in 1990 ish kick AutoCADs butt !

It was tough at first to learn but then again so was AutoCAD, but I did like Personal Designer!
 

slh300z

New member
In a nutshell -- The Personal Designer product materialized from some programmers at Boeing who were using CADDS 3, and saw the potential for CAD on the new IBM Personal Computer platform, circa 1981,'82. These programmers became 4D Graphics. Some visionaries atComputervision also noticed the potential for PC-based CAD, and bought the rights from 4D to market what became "Personal Designer", circa 1984.


By the early 1990sPersonal Designer was becoming too successful for the likings of those at CV who were marketingthe CADDS 4X/5workstation CAD product.So PD was killed from withinby poor marketing strategies, waiting to long to lower prices from $5k to $3k per license, and forcing the use of hardware lock "dongles" to copy protect the software.


The main competition, AutoCAD, lacked the full 3D features that PD had, but it wasn't hardware locked, and the (illegal) proliferation of AutoCAD actually helped boost its usage, as so many people became familiar with it. A former Autodesk employee told me once that they were just waiting for CV to lower the price of PD and market it aggressively. If that had happened, CV may have become the dominant PC CAD vendor today. But it didn't happen.


In the fall of 1994 CV made the brilliant announcement that PD would be replaced by a new PC CAD product (Pelorus). The problem with this strategy is they didn't have the Pelorus product ready at the time of the announcement, therefore hundreds of existing and potential customers jumped-ship to other CAD vendors. Thus, CV killed its ownPC based CAD market with a mistake that any "Marketing 101" student would have known not to do.


PTC acquired Computevision in late 1997, and made the announcement in 1999 that PD would be discontinued. This was just in time to relieve themselves of potential Y2K problems in the DOS-based Personal Designer product.At this time 4D graphics got back the rights to their software, re-labeled it as "4Design" and offered it as a free product.


PD still has an almost"cult" following.Believe it or not,there are still companies large and small that still use it as their main CAD system today. Their number are dwindling, but it is a testiment to the power of the PD product. We had hoped that maybe 4D Graphics would port PD from DOS to Windows, but it never happened. The free 4Design product is basically Personal Designer 6.7, wihtout the surfacing package. Surfacing had been developed at CV, and PTC did not want to give that code back.


How do I know all of this? Well in 1988 my business partner and I noticed how well the Cyco AutoManager viewer was selling for AutoCAD. There was no such product for Personal Designer, so we developed a view, print and markup tool for PD called DraftView, and released it in 1989. We had a good business relationship with CV, but after the PTC takeover, most CV 3rd party developers were "hung out to dry". However, we are one of the few that have survived, and we still sellthe DraftView products for Personal Designer andCADDS 4X/5.


If you need a way to view, print or DXF your old PD or CADDS drawings,try a DraftView demo at: www.draftware.com


-Steve Huffman
 

RMS1

New member
Hi Steve, thanks for that info and I agree that it was a great cad package during that time period. Sounds like poor management helped AutoCAD become rich! Though I think AutoCAD has worked hard to get where they are and deserve their own due.
 

GLEN20

New member
Wow...... all this time I thought PTC bought PD so that they can leave their extension at .DRW :)


I almost wanted to look for my old disks that had 3d typewriters, fax machines,printers andlabelersto see them converted to DXF's.
 

RMS1

New member
GLEN20 said:
Wow...... all this time I thought PTC bought PD so that they can leave their extension at .DRW :)


I almost wanted to look for my old disks that had 3d typewriters, fax machines,printers andlabelersto see them converted to DXF's.
hUH?
 

MalamuteMan

New member
Does anyone remember personal designer from around 1990? What ever became of them? and what company developed it? The reason I ask is that it was the first cad package that I learned and it had icons when nobody else did as far as I know.....anyways then I had AutoCAD and I did not like it at first, but know I do enjoy it. Now I am learning SolidWorks and the parametric cad stuff is all new to me.
Yes... I do.
I, Steve Ford, created PD in 1983. Initially working alone, between January 1, 1983 and April 16, 1983 I developed the initial version. I did all of this initial development in my spare time while also working a full shift at Boeing. I modeled the interface after Computervision CADDS-3, which I used at Boeing between 1978-ish and November 1983 when I left Boeing to try marketing PD myself. Early in 1984 I struck a deal with Computervision. Around that time, Norman Case joined 4D and we carried on the development together. Also, CV started developing the surface modeling features. The account provided by slh300z is accurate.
 

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