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CADVille post for April Fools day


Yesterday for April fool's day, I released a blog post about a fictitious product called CADVille. This was a running joke within the CAD community on Twitter and I thought this might be a fun post. I sent out a tweet asking some of the CAD bloggers if they wanted to participate and got a few replies.

The joke quickly got a life of its own catching both me and my company by surprise. It was still early in the morning so after bouncing a few emails around, I pulled the post. I also notified those people who knew ahead of time that I was doing this and in one case, I asked one of the bloggers, as a favor to me, to pull his post. In retrospect, we should have kept these live and just dealt with issues that arose.

So below is my original post (Siemens PLM is not censoring me!) What do you think? Did I cross the line? What are the best April Fool's jokes you saw yesterday?


Social gaming is becoming a hot topic in 2010. If you have a Facebook account its likely you or one of your friends or family members is playing Farmville. You may have also gotten emails or tweets from your friends trying to recruit you for Mafia Wars. It is big business right now.

Those of us in the PLM industry think this social media fad might just catch on. Our experts searched the Internet for the best of both CAD and social media. After much research, I’m pleased to announce our social media development team is ready to launch its first product, “CADVille”.


 CADVillle is the first in a line of cloud based Social Product Games  where you can design with your friends. Each player is given a 12x12x12 volume of space in which to set up his or her design studio and create products to sell or trade. Over time, you can further expand and improve your design space.

You begin with a fixed number of primitives such as cubes, spheres and cylinders. As you advance in the game, you can “unlock” new tools (e.g. “Boolean subtract”) and new primitives (e.g. swept surfaces). Your friends can add their own studios next to you and you are able to use the arrow keys to walk over and see their work. You can even give them gifts like exotic rounds, champers, and threaded holes. Or, you can trade your products at the community market.

We are now taking signups for a limited beta. If you think you are CADVille material, sign up here!


1.) Will my friends be able to track my progress? Yes, we plan for CADVille to have a Facebook, Linkedin and Twitter interface so as you build, trade, get or receive a gift, or unlock new tools, a steady stream of updates will go to everyone in your network. We will also periodically invite them to join you on CADVille giving you more time to immerse yourself in CADVille.

2.) Does CAD Ville work with my Design system? We are providing an API called CADVilleOpen . If your CAD system does not yet support CADVille, please call them right now and tell them “I want CADVille Support!”

3.) I do FEA. What about me? We are currently expanding the CADVille API to support the creation and trading of elements, nodes, and Solver tokens (good for 1 minute of solve time). Each “FEA analyst” starts with over a dozen nodes and elements!

4.) My company does not allow me to participate in social media or gaming while at work. Will I be able to use CADVille? Yes. When we charge your credit card, it will be listed under “Collaboration Tool”.

5.) Is MY Data Secure? We take advantage of the latest Cloud technology. We relieve you of all the burdens of data ownership by owning all your data for you. Your data is never lost as you no longer own it.

6.) Will this run on my iPhone? Yes. Simply bump your iphone against your monitor to being the download process.

7.) My design tool only does 2D. Can I play too? Really? 2D? I guess we will let you play too but good luck selling your lines and circles and title blocks.

8.) This is really cool! Do you have any other product planned? Yes, we have several products under development. Watch for CADSquare, CADLife, CAD Wars, and World of CADCraft.

9.) This is a joke right? Yes. Many people are unaware of the April Fools tradition and we felt it necessary to include this in the FAQ as well as all product documentation.

Need more information? visit our Facebook Fan page, follow us on twitter, and see what people are saying about it right now!

Valued Contributor

Very good Mark and a most amusing reflection on social media. My wife is a Farmville and Farkle addict and it is a source of fascination to me to watch the daily and relentless pursuit of the mindless entertainment this stuff provides.

  My proposal for next years April Fools day joke. “New totaly secure cloud cad applications”

Not applicable

Hey, your .jpg-based registration form won’t let me play! I think it’s a conspiracy! At least let me read the “privacy polcy.”

If nothing else, at least you solved the data ownership dilemma.  tongue wink

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No Mark, you did not cross the line.  It was a funny joke and I think everyone took it as such.  Not sure why there was such a broohaha.

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Mark, this was brilliant! I’m so glad you brought it back and explained the circumstances.

Randall Newton, VEKTORRUM Executive Report

Gears Phenom

Even if this wasn’t an April Fools Day joke, this is one of the areas of social media that should be allowed to play out.  It exemplifies the personality behind the people we deal with every day.  It builds a true sense of community.  It shows that there are real people behind the corporate wall that think and feel much like we do.

I don’t expect to see a real CADVille application get developed.  I think that would be an incredible waste of corporate resources.  But I do think that a blog post like this should be allowed to remain online any time of the year.  It has intangible benefits. Remember the SE game?

Not applicable

Perhaps you could expand on this statement: “It was still early in the morning so after bouncing a few emails around, I pulled the post.”

It’s very unclear to me what the time of day has to do with anything, who was bouncing emails around to who, what the nature of those emails were, and why these emails would lead to you pulling the post and asking Deelip to do the same.

I’m now more mystified about the reasons for pulling the post than I was before reading your explanation, and I’d appreciate you clearing this up.


Sure Steve,

The emails were just within my company. You are right that time of day probably doesn’t matter since it’s all relative on the internet. However, most of our blog traffic is when both Europe and the US are awake (which is early in the day for me).

Not applicable
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My first time logging into the community for a looong time, not sure how I stumbled upon this post but I'm glad I did!  


It seems like an excellent joke, full of great ideas and a lot of potential!   I suppose truly successful April Fools jokes are those that do temporarily fool some people... and reading between the lines it sounds like your CADVille joke did fool people (if I'd sen the original post I think I would have been in the 'fooled' category Smiley Happy


Sooo did you pull it because people were trying to sue you for damages to their iPhones and monitor screens? Smiley Wink