Before I get into this post I want to pose a question primarily to SW readers who may be stopping in. Actual users of other programs with integrated cad and cam are welcome to chime in here too and please do so. Of what value to you is the ecosystem surrounding SW? Specifically I am asking here about CAM integrated with SW. Did you look for software integrated with cam before you bought? Is it even important to you to have cam integrated with your cad program? Would lack of integrated CAM be a serious consideration for your place of business as to what you would buy?
Now on to the rest of the of this post.
Between various business ventures and the headaches of getting things going I haven’t written much about SE for some time. There is a reason for this as it just does everything I want in cad and then some. In a spirit of community I suppose I should have produced more in the way of videos and how to’s but time just goes quickly in a one man shop and when your tool set works well you tend to not make the time to talk about things. Lets face it, a lot of times when the topic of software comes up it is either how do you do this or a complaint about bugs or features or lack thereof. Like today.
On the way to creating an invoice for a finished part some amusing detours are encountered here. I am reminded every time I use ZW3D for my cam plans of the solid benefits of integration with cad and cam. As it is now of course I take my part file over to this wretched ZW mess, where I am surely reminded of the true value of great direct editing every time, and proceed painfully to cut a part. Clunky and cumbersome as a way to do things and a constant reminder of why I am in the process of changing software to, well, I don’t really know because you see nothing is truly integrated with SE. So I have the best mid range MCAD program out there with no cam sad to say.
So today in my in box I get this from Desktop Engineering and I quote in part.
“Interesting things are happening in the world of CAM software. For example, right at the end of November, Geometric introduced CAMWorksXpress at the EuroMold show. Next week, this 2.5-axis CAM system makes its North American debut at SolidWorks World in San Diego. Here’s why I found this package interesting.
CAMWorksXpress is the smaller sibling to CAMWorks, the company’s full-featured CAM system. Smaller, however, does not mean weakling. It means right-sized for many many, many shops. Like its big brother, CAMWorksXpress works inside of SolidWorks and has things like a CNC tool database, simulation step-throughs, and functions for operations like roughing, contour and face milling, holes, and what have you. It has interactive feature recognition, and it automatically recognizes holes. Changes made to a SolidWorks design propagate to the toolpaths automatically.
What it’s missing — and I use “missing” advisedly — is the high-end stuff like 5-axis milling, automatic electrode creation, machine simulation, and floating licenses that are often unused, but paid for, functionality for many CAM users. This has two quick benefits. First, you can equip yourself or the kid in the shop with a CAM tool that matches the job you want done, reserving the high-end functionality for your gunslinger. Two, if you’re thinking of getting into some machining, CAMWorksXpress gives you a cost-effective path to try out your wings since, as of this writing, it’s priced at $595”
Another cam company that will have their integrated cam at SWW. Has anyone with Siemens asked yet how these cam companies work with SW to get integrated and what each side brings to the table to get it going? I know I have personally mentioned interest in this topic to Featurecam and TopSolid reps in the last month but what I am told in reply really boils down to this. I do not represent Siemens or SE and it is nice that I am telling them there is interest but only Siemens or SE can call them and MAKE them know there is interest. I sent these companies for instance a screen capture of this thread count (this was posted in part on the Siemens BBS SE forum and this reference is to a screen capture I took of the thread count) to show interest and that is as powerful a statement as I, a user only, can make. What precisely has been done if anything in this area? Guys, cam for SE is not going to happen by osmosis and let me tell you something. If you are signing up new customers, and they have to buy cam elsewhere that you are not involved in, your’s is the opportunity missed.
I get really angry over all this when I think that the premise for SE is to create things for manufacture and here we are reading about good stuff at SWW. I bet there will not be one cam company at Nashville with the exception of Cam Express which has been soundly rejected by us. Not really expecting an answer here as much as I am blowing off steam over a really egregious lack of planing for users and the user ecosystem that goes back for years. You better get something going quickly here before Dassault forces the SW users to leave with the advent of the big upcoming double whammy change of the kernal and to the cloud because time does not last forever for your convenience to do things in. You are going to lose, I think, a lot of sales potential because you have not spent the time to create an end to end manufacturing ecosystem and time is not on your side.