Just some random comments today derived from the Huntsville SEU I attended on 10-17-17.
One of the things I have pondered for years is why the user community for SE is so small. One of the larger CAD bloggers and I have discussed this and he say’s that SE’s market share is far smaller than they want to admit to. Who knows since getting a straight answer on many things from a software company is an exercise in futility and if you do get a real answer often you are forbidden to talk about it.
As I was leaving yesterday I thought about this and for the first time I think I have a partial answer to tiny community size. I like many SE customers came here on a search for capable software. Unlike SW where there was a huge community of advocates willing to sway you SE had to draw the attention of serious lookers purely by capabilities. Yes SW is of course capable. But for me when I was shopping I went to two SW events here in Nashville to kick their tires. Both times it just seemed clunky and counter intuitive to me and the sales team was offensive. Big room full of people both times though. I ran across SE while searching for best in class sheet metal and kept running across comments about SE. They would say things like not well-known or not as popular as SW but had a great sheet metal reputation.
So in spite of all the cajoling to adopt the market share leader and adopt the program with the most employment possibilities I was looking for what would best benefit this one man basically closed ecosystem shop. What would work the best and the easiest for what I did was my question. This is a common thread with many SE users. We investigated and made software choices independently and not from outside influence’s like peer pressure and aggressive sales shmucks. We came here not because of community but because of capabilities and therefore community was not important.
UGS and Siemens have not helped in this area much and the proof this worked for SW did not mean anything to them since they did not care much what SE did as long as it never threatened to many NX sales. Therefore no community for SE to speak of today because it has to start with an aggressive corporate plan that is adhered to for the requisite number of sustained multiple years of effort and effective planning and promotion. Never has happened although a serious attempt at this was made under Karsten Newbury and Don Cooper and subsequently shot down by the UGS cabal.
Out of 32 attendees in Huntsville I asked the question once again of how many were using Synchronous Tech. Only seven held up their hands. To me this is just mind-boggling and the single greatest differentiator between SE and the other major MCAD programs IS ST. I did not bother to ask why because I have heard this before and the answers basically boiled down to we did not have time to learn to use it. Did not have time to learn once something that would save you time from then on is how I see it but what do I know? To me the very first time I saw Synchronous in use it was like a whole new world of freedom opened up right before my eyes. I hated the shackles of traditional history based modeling and ST was like hey, I can throw away the ball and chain now and start walking without dragging this huge weight behind me. I had no idea this capability existed but when I saw it I knew it was for me.
When I first started in with CNC milling I found out quickly you needed a CAM program. You then needed a way to feed the CAM program. The choice was working off of 2D like many were doing around here or embrace the future right away with a 3D modeller and a CAM program working off of surfaces or edges. To me it was a no brainer and I went straight into 3D modeling and never did anything like Autocad. I regard the power of ST that resides inside of SE to be just as fundamentally empowering as that choice for 3D for CAM was. I for the life of me can’t grasp why anyone would not adopt ST for at least a significant portion of their work. This is a failure of SE and UGS and Siemens to clearly demonstrate and educate users to the power of ST to existing customers which then in turn become ST advocates and create new customers for SE, UGS and Siemens.
I guess that my curiosity level is far higher than the average employed user. They do not want to be bothered adding yet another bit of work to the mix that they will not get paid extra for I suppose and so they stay with the familiar and don’t learn the new. I can kind of understand this mindset since production still has to be met and learning new things can initially be quite time-consuming. Owner’s or employers see work is still done according to traditional expected levels of productivity never understanding how much better it could be. Siemens UGS etal have not bothered to demonstrate this in any compelling way so they might become interested and so the single most powerful productivity tool remains in the bottom of the tool box where it never sees the light of day. Here we are some four years after I first asked this question of a group of users and nothing has changed.
Anyway have a good one everybody.
I have used SE since ST3 on a couple dozen product designs and have never used anything but Synchronous. I am primarily an Electronics designer that also has to do mechanical/encosure design and don’t have the time to become an expert in conventional 3D CAD techniques. The downside is that I get the 3D work done quickly and don’t get to charge a lot of billable hours.
That has been my experience too and I will work no other way.