Project Frog Partners with Autodesk, Dassault Acquires No Magic, and More

Updated Oct 4, 2023
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Welcome to World of CAD, Scan2CAD’s monthly roundup of CAD-related news. There’s plenty of exciting news to sink your teeth into in our October 2017 edition. For starters, we’ll be looking at the new collaboration between Project Frog and Autodesk which aims to improve the workflow in prefabricated manufacturing processes. Next, we’ll take a look at a cool new autonomous CNC cutting robot: Goliath CNC.

We’ll also examine Dassault Systèmes‘ takeover of its partner company, systems engineering leader No Magic. Finally, we’ll cover the HP ZBook x2, the world’s first detachable workstation, which marries serious power with portability and a sharp touch screen. Ready to get all the best of this month’s news? Read on!

Project Frog teams up with Autodesk to improve prefabrication

Project Frog and Autodesk logos

Few industries rely on CAD to quite the same extent as the architectural industry. Over recent decades, CAD has sparked a total revolution in the way we design buildings and structures. However, the industry is still facing some serious problems. With a shortage of labor and ever-increasing demand, the construction industry is under serious pressure. One way to tackle this issue is through greater use of prefabrication. Unfortunately, the prefabrication process itself can also be fraught with difficulties and communication issues.

Now, Autodesk have announced that they will begin collaborating with Project Frog in order to help make that process run much more smoothly. The two companies will work together to create an innovative, cloud-based data environment. This environment will allow all stakeholders in a project to access up-to-date data, meaning less churn between different departments.

Professionals across a wide range of disciplines will be able to collaborate on projects much more easily thanks to the new data environment. This is because it will bring together disparate workflows, such as those of architects, structural engineers, and contractors. By enabling these diverse teams to work together, users will be able to view and edit designs without needing to manually update their data. In turn, teams will be able to complete their projects more quickly, with fewer errors. All in all, the data environment will help companies to save both time and money.

Project Frog is already a member of the Autodesk Forge community, and already uses cloud technology to integrate its own web tools and Autodesk software such as Revit and Fusion. In fact, the Autodesk Forge Fund will also be financing the project. With Autodesk’s existing background in both cloud-based software and BIM, they make a natural partner for Project Frog. And with both companies’ strengths put to good use, this is definitely something worth keeping an eye on. For more info, check out the Project Frog and Autodesk websites.

Meet Goliath, the autonomous CNC cutting machine

Goliath robot with logo

Turn big ideas into real projects with Goliath. Image source: Goliath CNC.

For many of our users, one of the key benefits of Scan2CAD is the ability to turn a paper drawing into a machined part or product. It’s a crucial step in taking an idea from design to CNC (though if you’d like a shortcut, we also offer cut-ready designs). That’s why we always look forward to seeing the latest developments in CNC machining. We’ve already covered some of the latest and greatest innovations in CNC. Now, we have a new machine that would be right at home on that list.

The machine in question is Goliath CNC. Goliath launched on Kickstarter earlier this month. At the time of writing, it has already smashed past its goal, being 962% funded. So, what’s attracting the backers? Plenty of things. You see, Goliath is no ordinary CNC mill. Instead, it’s an autonomous, robotic machine tool that enables makers to turn their ideas into reality—no matter how big.

Goliath uses a unique sensor system, which allows it to triangulate its position. It can do this with incredible accuracy of just 0.1 mm (0.004″). And, as Goliath is a robot, rather than a mill, you won’t need to worry about being constrained by the size of your workspace. Goliath is able to move freely across a work surface. This also means that you can place your drawing wherever you like on your surface, allowing you to save on material. Better still, Goliath is portable, meaning your workshop can move around with you.

With Goliath, it’s easy to machine through materials as diverse as wood, copper, plastic and sheet metal, helping you create like a pro. So, if you have larger-than-life ideas, and are looking for a way to create them, then look no further than Goliath CNC. You can still grab a few of the last remaining available kits, but hurry—they’re going fast! To check out Goliath in action, watch the video below, or head over to the project’s Kickstarter.

Dassault Systèmes acquires No Magic

MagicDraw screenshot

Screenshot of MagicDraw, NoMagic’s flagship software. Image source: alternativeTo.

If you’re a regular reader of the Scan2CAD blog, you’ll be aware of the wide range of software from Dassault Systèmes. Over the years, the company has expanded from its roots in aviation to cover a variety of design and engineering-related fields. This month, the company is seeking to deepen its presence within one of those fields, systems engineering, by acquiring one of its partner companies: No Magic.

It’s easy to see why Dassault have moved to take over No Magic, as the latter company has over two decades’ worth of experience within the field of systems engineering. Amongst No Magic’s existing solutions are its flagship product MagicDraw, a tool for business processes, architecture, software and system modeling which includes teamwork support. MagicDraw forms part of the company’s Cameo Suite, which also includes specialized software for enterprise architecture, business modeling, and collaboration, amongst a wide range of other fields.

No Magic have a long list of high-profile clients, including businesses such as NASA, Boeing, Ford and Sony. These clients will be able to continue using the company’s software as it becomes a part of Dassault Systèmes. However, Dassault will also begin to integrate No Magic’s solutions into its 3DEXPERIENCE platform. The aim is to provide users with a “single source of truth” that all users within a company can access. Using this, they will be able to implement continuous 3D digital processes and to address all lifecycle aspects of an experience.

Read more about the acquisition at the Dassault Systèmes newsroom—or read our article on everything you need to know about Dassault Systèmes.

HP ZBook x2


Most professionals who use CAD in their day-to-day work will typically use a workstation. The benefits of this are obvious: vastly improved graphics performance, more memory, and faster processing. We even put together a guide on the Scan2CAD blog covering how to build the ultimate CAD PC. However, workstations aren’t perfect. Typically, workstations exist as desktop PCs, meaning that they’re pretty static. Meanwhile, you’ll have to design with a mouse and keyboard. Though many designers master this skill, it’s never quite as intuitive as drawing with a pencil and paper. What if you could combine serious CAD power with a portable, sketch-friendly device?

Thanks to HP, it’s now possible. That’s because October saw HP release their new ZBook x2, the world’s first detachable workstation. With the ability to use the touch screen and stylus independently from the keyboard, the machine will act as a direct competitor to Microsoft’s Surface Pro. It will, similarly, be aimed at creative professionals, with a specific focus on users of Adobe’s creative cloud. However, its serious technical chops make it well worth a look for CAD professionals too.

The ZBook x2’s top-range stats include a 4.2GHz Intel Core i7 processor, 32GB of RAM, and an NVIDIA Quadro M620 GPU. There are also two 4K screen options with antiglare, and the machine can also include up to 2TB of storage. You’ll also get battery life of up to 10 hours, with the ability to charge up to 50% in just half an hour.

If you work within digital art or any field requiring CAD, there’s a lot to get excited about with the HP ZBook x2. Visit the official HP site to learn more.

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