Market research firm Daratech defines a value-prices 3D mechanical CAD system as one from a company listed in the graph.

Market research firm Daratech defines a value-prices 3D mechanical CAD system as one from a company listed in the graph.


The market for value-priced solid modelers will top $401 million, up 9% from 2003, says market research firm Daratech, Cambridge, Mass. (daratech.com). The firm expects software sales from companies in the group to rise 11% annually through 2008. Growth will come in part from manufacturers that have gotten too little return on big-price-tag CAD investments and are seeking lower-cost alternatives. Also contributing will be 2D users looking for more efficient and cost-effective ways to create products.

Daratech says there are many 3D-modeling tools for manufacturers able to get by without the advanced capabilities found in high-cost products. Value-priced modelers were once billed as having 80% of advanced modeling capabilities at 20% of the cost. But the research firm says the software now offers closer to 90% of the capability and in most instances still only cost up to half of the high-priced products.

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