This article discusses that computer-based technologies have greatly influenced the way design engineers work. The first technological innovation was the use of high-powered personal computers. With PCs, engineers had access to high-speed applications of computer-aided design software right at their own desks. Personal computers took the place of rulers and pencils. The second innovation, he said, is the advancing capability of PCs to function as supercomputers, crunching numbers much faster than formerly possible. By taking advantage of this technology, engineers untrained in a mathematical application such as finite element analysis can run an FEA software program that performs calculations automatically and will shave weeks off the design process. Hothouse uses the Spatial technology to repair CAD models brought in from outside sources and to translate CAD files the company sends to its suppliers, collaborators, and clients. Before Hothouse began sending CAD files to the online service, company employees spent days repairing or rebuilding files on their own. Sometimes suppliers or clients that received Hothouse CAD files had to do similar work on their end.

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