Anyone out there using online collaboration tools to good effect for design?
In the past I’ve used Timbuktu and a headset while sharing my Adobe Illustrator workspace with another designer. (Kinda like Extreme-Programming but for designers.) At Motorola we used Netmeeting with a conference call service for all meetings simply due to the distributed workforce. I loved the fact that I could join any conference from my home network–but it was also a curse when you consider that it makes you more accessible to places like China at dinnertime.
In the advertising world it’s becoming more common to use more advanced online tools for markup, version-tracking and asset management, but it hasn’t become pervasive yet…
I have been looking into the Engineering.com software. I have one word for it…WOW.
They claim it is aimed at Small to mid-sized companies, but I believe that is because PTC’s PLM software covers the larger companies fairly well, becuase they can afford to buy it.
Eng.com’s is a hosted solution providing all the bells and wistles a development firm would want. But you have to buy licenses for a 12 month period, and each client and vendor must have atleast a satellite license.
I found Trace Parts (http://www.traceparts.com/) to be a very interesting aspect of PLM. Different memberships allowing you too pull all kinds of parts in many different CAD file types.
I’m guessing that this is still pretty much in infancy, however the benefits for designers and engineers is great. Just pull electric motors, screws, gears, ports, etc and you got yerself a pretty accurate profile for the product’s size, layout, suppliers, cost, etc. Gravy, I think. Just Gravy.
Another PLM besides PTC is Dassault with applications for Catia and Solidworks.