Solidedge Ecosphere, Now is the time to get in for CAM partners.

Sometimes I wonder if readers get tired of reading about the same topic. In this case CAM for SE. Bear with me readers as the one most weary of this topic is the author. It is baffling to me how myopic companies can be towards the future and I found myself today at the HSMWorks forums reading and pondering.

I have looked at HSMWorks and CAMWorks this past month. When you have to earn a living and try to evaluate two programs at the same time what you really achieve is nothing more than a cursory examination. I always get a kick out of sales guys that act like a month is sufficient time and they just don’t understand why you can’t or wont make a decision at the end of thirty days

They both have their pluses and minuses and one in particular has yearly fees way out of line with industry standards. One is simpler to use out of the box and the other has I think better potential tool paths but it will take you longer to get there in programing time. Simpler really is better assuming that you still have a good cut path when you are doing small runs or one-offs. HSMWorks seems to get better user reviews on a more consistent basis and some shops right around me use it and say very good things. I have been refered to a couple of shops that use CamWorks by the VAR but I am always suspicious of VAR referrals for obvious reasons and have found no local Camworks users on my own yet. So off I go today again looking to see what is up on the forums.

The following is in large part what I had to say there today RE HSM and SE but I think it applies to any prospective CAM partner. The first into a partnership with SE stands to gain a lot over time and since SE has stated publicly they are looking it is just a matter of time.

It is a self-limiting viewpoint to say that SW is the only thing worthwhile in the CAD world. Look, Solidworks is not going to go away but they are going to be relegated to the same place ProE is. A once great company that lost their direction and now relies on legacy seats to preserve income. Not much growth there. Solidworks is in the same boat. Going on three years now with little improvement and an effort to port the program to the cloud which has not gone well in implementation or with user perceptions. Declining sub rates demonstrate this as fed up users sit on the sidelines. And of course we have the kernal problem. You guys are sticking your heads in the sand here if you think you aren’t going to have some serious rework to do to port to the “Catia” CGM kernal which is going to be the new SW way. Development for SW with parasolids is dead and I believe all money is going to the CGM stuff. Why is this? Parasolids is developed by Siemens/UGS. In the parasolids kernal are a number of things that make direct editing, or Synchronous Tech in its SE iteration, work well and it is not for sale to competitors. This is straight from a conversation I had with Dan Staples. So we have the technological red-headed step child SW stuck into a kernal that will not allow for direct editing in the comprehensive and capable way SE and NX have implemented. Direct editing is the way of the future and it is starting to eat into Dassaults market share in a big way. Yeah, I know blah-blah-blah 1.8 million seats of SW but what they don’t ever split out is how many of those are professional paying customers and how many are all the rest. Real paying customers have begun the migration away. Check out Matt Lombard’s blog Dezignstuff and see the anger for yourselves at the biggest SW blog out there. Check out ANY blog for SW that is not from corporate or a VAR and tell me what you read. You really want to rely on SW for your stable and hopefully growing income future?

OK, back to the kernal. You already have developed for the parasolid kernal. You are way over half the way there to implementing HSM into SE I would imagine. It is the proven world leader in cad kernals and as a big plus has the best direct editing capabilities. It is foolish to ignore the company with the fastest growth in real paying customers. One that is beating the pants off Dassault this last year and a half. And I know for a fact that SE is willing to partner. They have publicly stated their desire to develop working relationships and you can bet someone will walk through that door. It could be you.

There is no logical reason not to begin a liaison with SE. I can see there is some comfort in living in the current world of SW as it is what you know. Perhaps there is fear of upsetting your ONLY customer. I can see how that might be a bit frightening as all of your eggs are in that troublesome basket. But that is your biggest danger too isn’t it? You are wholly reliant upon a company that has no fears when it comes to doing things their SW customers are screaming and hollering about and don’t want. You are wholly reliant upon a company that really has contempt for its SW customer base and is not listening so just what regard do you think they will have for you guys?

I am truly baffled by this adamant refusal to join with the hottest thing going for mid range MCAD. Perhaps your competitors will see things differently. If they do that window of cooperation from SE will dwindle for fence sitters as after all, once it gets going and people are beating a path to their door, they won’t feel so compelled to be so helpful will they.

So what exactly and really are the reasons for HSM Edge not to be on the front burner right now? Just a thought here. When the SW user base is confronted with the translation problems that will exist in the change of kernals ( I think done in large part to implement direct editing on a kernal they own) and users are slammed with being beta program crash test dummies for years on end until the direct edit and translation problems are worked out just how many will drop out of this pending inevitable mess? This does not even get into the cloud balloon these nuts keep floating and if this technologically impossible to deliver upon thing happens in conjunction with the rest you will be sorry you have elected to rely solely upon the Dassault products to float your boat.

I always did like the Jeff “Death RAY” Ray story. I think he was the most honest of them all. I think he was serious with his “when the pain is great enough they will change statement” Has there been any indication this is not the Dassault corporate direction for users since that time?   So I pose this question for any CAM authoring company  employee who may read this. Would it not be prudent to make a move from moribund to morexciting and morepotential?

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