Internet-based product design is hotter than ever, as witnessed by the Sept. 10 decision by Parametric Technology Corp. (PTC) to acquire InPart Design Inc., a maker of software for sharing three-dimensional computer aided design (CAD) models over the World Wide Web. InPart's Design Suite, launched in February, is the largest repository of 3D component data in the world, containing models and detailed specifications for more than 200,000 mechanical components and nearly three million technical details from leading suppliers. One of the leading CAD software firms, Parametric, based in Waltham, Mass., views the acquisition of InPart, headquartered in Saratoga, Calif., as a means for the company to gain not only a comprehensive 3D parts library, but also to add skills in Web-based software development. "DesignSuite is a valuable addition to Parametric's product line because it enables mechanical engineers to quickly and easily search for and obtain standard component data over the Internet," says Steven Walske, chairman an CEO at Parametric. "It also provides PTC with additional technical expertise in the area of Web-based applications software development."