For us, Project Butterfly is more than a tech preview. It is a vision in which us, designers, should spend more time being creative and designing, and spend less time handling software quirks. We shouldn’t be chasing old emails, and we shouldn’t be keeping dozens of files for the same design.
The team in Autodesk that works around the clock to produce the best online CAD experience is a relatively small group of people in Tel Aviv, Israel. Until recently we were a start-up company. We consist of 20 dedicated people, mostly software engineers, and just a little over a year ago we were only 8 people.
The idea behind Project Butterfly was conceived circa 2006 by Iris Shoor, an architect at the time. She was troubled by the fact that there wasn’t a fluent way to collaborate on CAD drawings, in a business where collaboration and communication is a very important element.
The world of software and the Web was changing. Productivity software was migrating to the web in the form of Google Docs, YouTube, and other socially-able websites. Iris recognized the potential and the possibility of editing and collaborating on CAD drawings on the Web.
She gathered two of her former colleagues, Jonathan Seroussi and Tal Weiss, who both have also had knowledge and experience in software development and the GIS industry. Together they launched the company that would later produce Project Butterfly, despite all the pessimism and discouragement they received from key figures in the industry.
Since that point in time, with over 2 years of constant development, the Butterfly team has created a patented technology, based on analyzing and rendering over 10,000 different DWGs. We are very happy to spread our passion of technology and CAD throughout the CAD community with the help of the Autodesk community of users.
Written in retrospect by Asaf Sagi, a product manager in the team.