Made the decision Saturday morning to remove all vestiges of past woes from my life. CAMWorks for Solid Edge has been completely removed and will not be re-installed. Sorry for those of you who were interested in me doing direct comparisons between Volumill and HSM Adaptive but HSM has won every contest so far and I don’t see the point in scraping old wounds open again by inflicting CW4SE upon myself to help you out. Do it yourself if you wish.
It is time for a status report on CW4SE and CAMWorks and HSM. CW4SE and CAMWorks still have strategies for turning and wire and laser cutting that HSM does not have. In truth there are more capabilities with CAMWorks than with HSM. How good they are I don’t know as I only cut parts in milling. I had lathe but if you have followed my story you know Geometric never provided a post for what I had paid for. Never trust Geometric to do what they promise and get everything in writing so you can force Geometric and your VAR to live up to what they said. HSM is in use at a shop close by. They have a lathe with a live axis and do not use HSM for turning. They swear by HSM for milling as I do but use their old seat of OneCNC for turning. Burning and wire and worthwhile turning are still yet to come for HSM but I believe that these are on the way. In the mean time on the SW side of HSM there is grumbling about how long some promises have lingered undone and the Inventor side wants what the SW side has already. On the big plus side for CAMWorks if you can get it to function right is permanent seats now and for the forseeable future to new customers. On the big negative side for HSM is the end of permanent seats coming up within a few months. This is a big deal as far as I am concerned and If I was not the possessor of a permanent seat now I would make darned sure I was before the deadline. You don’t want to make your business’s core functions rely on anyone for pay to play for a ton of reasons.
There is not one single CAM program out there that does not have shortcomings.Some are really serious and pervasive others are irritating. Being a relative Newby to Inventor HSM I have not yet learned to get mad over promises not kept because I came here knowing it was a work in progress. These guys have had a lot on their plate as the integration with Inventor and stuff going on with Fusion and Delcam products has made their days very complex. But I see progress and I believe they will deliver and what is there simply works well and without any big problems. Of course I can remember the halcyon days of CW4SE and smile today at how easy life has become. The HSM guys are closed mouthed about what is coming. From what I see though the indications from various places tells me we are right around the corner from a lot of good changes. In the mean time I make more money per hour and spend less to get the program that does so compared to CW4SE. Fieldweld is a CW4SE free stress relieved profit enhanced job shop now and this is good.
There is a huge philosophical difference between Geometric and HSM too and it is worthy to note it one last time. I know some of the guys at HSM now and they are dead serious about their product and making it right. I have known some of them for years prior to becoming an actual user and their stance on HSM has never varied. Sometimes things go slower than we all wish but they have serious intent and desire to make HSM the very best. HSM Adapative is right now the single best high-speed machining program out there. I base my statement on real life research between current versions of Volumill and Adaptive and Volumill has never won. Compared to Geometric and CAMWorks where they have been around a lot longer and have perfected the arts of stonewalling customer solutions and misrepresenting their products and had to hire an external source for high-speed machining. With intent to save money while charging more and to see just how much they can get away with not doing. Geometric is run by short-sighted individuals whose sole desire in life is to charge as much as they can and spend as little as they can to do it. Your profits and efficiencies are not of great concern to them.
Sometimes going to the Geometric CAMWorks site is funny and at other times seriously aggravating. Since I don’t have to rely on them for anything now it is mostly funny now and then sometimes puzzling. Puzzling because I just don’t understand how a concept that could be so good if implemented right is buried by a company that has no desire and or no technical ability to see it succeed. The Tech Data base is a case in point and the complaints and problems predate Geometrics purchase of ProCam now CAMWorks. To add to it from what I gather reading the SW guys complaints there are changes that take the broken TDB which yields daily problems anyway that are added to with new versions. New versions that apparently require you re-do your TDB once again. And again and again and again. This is not trivial and is terribly time-consuming. It is the basis for which the program is supposed to work from and it fails all the time. You can’t read these things unless you have permission to access the closed forums for a reason. They do not want potential customers to read this stuff.
Going to the Recent Topics post section 10-3-15 shows 17 posts the last two months for CAMWorks. Three are Tech Data Base related and seven are post problems. Geometrics web site is particularly amusing today regarding the posts on the forum.
“Complete Post Processor Support” as a claim by Geometric has such a tenuous relationship to the truth that the kindest thing I could label it would be willful misrepresentation of customer reality. What else can you call what I am showing here today? 41% of the last two months posts are post processor problems where users struggle to help each other on what should be a mature product. Where not one time do you see anyone from Geometric show up and help. Part of the “Complete Post Processor Support” claim made in the splash page I suppose. Geometric has no shame where outright misrepresentations of their products are concerned and will tell you whoppers all day long to get into your cash. Go to http://camforum.autodesk.com/ and see what real support looks like for post processors which are free and support which is real and free. Geometric makes the claim but Autodesk HSM of the two is the only one who lives up to it. Check out the last few months and see for yourself.
Here is a resounding endorsement of Geometric’s commitment to customers. Regarding CW4SE and Solid Edge they were given the chance to be the first true integrated CAM program with SE. Unknown to the SE guys myself included we had no idea that Geometric had such a terrible philosophy towards delivering a capable qualified product. The failure here is partly to blame I believe on the Siemens UGS kill the SE red headed stepchild group who had no desire to see things work well but based upon the sorry track record with SW I have to believe the majority of the issues are solely due to Geometric’s disdain for customers. Lets have a look at the SE CW4SE forum shall we.
Clearly there are numerous happy customers here. Don’t you wish you could be one to?
For a shop that cuts parts for a living what you choose can make you or break you. If a Geometric sales rep or VAR shows up the best thing you can do is say show me from A to Z how to set up the TDB on my complex parts and assembly part I am providing you now and not ahead of time. Show me how to then cut the part and don’t you make it a simple one either. Demand in writing a working to YOUR satisfaction post processor for every machine you own and intend to use with CAMWorks and the functions they want to sell you prior to your maintenance time beginning. Load the trial on my workstation and do this TDB work here and show me the proof in MY environment. Then see a real life rendition of a fish out of water gasping for air as the sales dude hits the door protesting your unreasonable demands.
If the HSM dudes show up expect to cut parts and be happy with the caveat of course that there are some capabilities like wire and laser missing. If you need these today you will have to go elsewhere.