SolidChat – Workgroup Networked Interaction for 3DCAD

While working as part of medium sized engineering teams with geographic separations, I started thinking about how existing corporate assets and the then hot field of CIM(Corporate Instant messaging) could be applied to a group of engineers designing complex products and sharing files. The problem is familiar to anyone who has ever worked with shared files: having to request file write access while in the middle of a creative or productive mode. This can waste time and be unproductive, not to mention the ocassions where hard work is made useless by designers working on the same aspects of a design and then having to choose which revisions to keep.

A working prototype was developed and tested. The prototype was written using the SolidWorks 2007 SDK and VB.NET. The application took the form of a client/server program that easily ran on any windows network.


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