Unlike most other user meetings, the CoCreate user meeting did not start until 11:30. I took the opportunity to get in a morning run through Sindelfingen, Germany, past a beer garden, through the quaint old town center, with shops, bakeries with pretzels, cafes and then to its outskirts past Daimler-Benz' largest manufacturing plant. Mercedes, headquartered in nearby Stuttgart, spreads its factories and offices around Sindelfingen as well, and I am told is also the town's biggest employer. However, the town does not seem to suffer too much from its industry, as do American cities. In fact, only once did I hear the clanging of metal. Certainly, my lungs appreciated the crisp, clean air.
I asked if Daimler-Benz was a CoCreate customer? Not even one seat, said Dr. Thomas Roser, CoCreate's Europe Marketing Manager and the emcee to the one-day user meeting. "Not our type of customer." CoCreate's niche is high tech electronics firms, a specialty that harkens back to its birth, when it was an in-house tool of Hewlett Packard. But even within such firms, CoCreate counts most of its 11,500 customers (and over 100,000 seats) in Europe and Japan. Though CoCreate maintains a small office in Ft. Collins, Colorado, the US market is still one that needs to be cracked. Only 15% of its users are in the western hemisphere, compared to 47% are in Europe, and 27% in Asia
Consequently, its user meetings are held only in Japan (650 attended the last one) and in Germany, where on this day over 360 were present.
If CoCreate had a company face, it would be grinning ear to ear. Recent media coverage has been favoring history-less solid modeling (the chief practitioners being CoCreate, who calls it "dynamic modeling," and Kubotek) and quotes from well known industry writers lit up the big screen. Customer presentations were also on message as customers extolled the "flexibility" CoCreate gives them and the ability to quickly change existing designs. One customer (Xenon) explained how designing a new assembly machine from an existing design made them ever so thankful of having CoCreate to do it with, as opposed to the (far more common and way less flexible) history-based solid modelers.