Ease of Use
The relentless push to make Computer-Aided Engineering (CAE) software easier to learn and use is opening up the discipline to those previously excluded from the CAE party. Some view this as a bad thing, allowing novices to play with fire and make product design decisions. I'm sure the same was said when the car was in its infancy, the printing press and more recently the Internet.
Like all before and no doubt to follow, making something easier to use typically benefits many more than it harms. One obvious exception is military hardware, which conversely causes more harm the easier it is to use, but I digress.
The real issue is that the intelligent use of a software tool bounded by knowledge of its limitations, will distinguish successful users from those doomed to failure. Knowledgeable engineers know that a toolbox of analysis techniques is essential to tackle the problems faced during a product development process and doubly so for the concept design phase. If such techniques are easy to learn and use, all the better. Better still if a spectrum of techniques is offered within a single unified simulation environment.
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