Tag Archives: Dave Shook

Solid Edge ST8 Is RTM and CW4SE Is Kaput Again

Much to my delight and amazement I received my license file on Saturday. Of course out here in cloud never never land the 4+GB file takes me about a day to finish but there it was finally and off I went. I have not had much time to play with it but walking through it this release seems to me to be primarily about fine tuning capabilities that are already there. Now I know there is some hoopla about working with Microsoft Surface pro’s and from what I gather this is considered perhaps the biggest “new” deal this year. I don’t plan on owning bitty screens and compromised power in the field so this is of absolutely no interest to me. Even at the age of 61 somehow I can still subject myself to the extreme burden of being a pack mule with 6 or 7 pounds of gear in tow. It’s tough to carry all that weight and I amaze myself with my never ending endurance. I get about seven hours in the field with my 15″ workstation laptop and can do anything I want. The extra battery is proof against no electricity but in practical experience it is rare that I can’t plug in if I wish.

I know the theory is about how convenient it may be for the uber small eviscerated CPU guys to show stuff to prospective clients but my customers and I somehow manage to get along. And quite frankly there are a lot of us who young and old have to wear glasses and don’t need the convenience of eyestrain compounding future problems.

But anyway on to ST8. I am in two worlds right now and the design is almost completely in SE and machining is totally Inventor Pro HSM. My old data from years of work is in SE and Inventor of all the major CAD programs has elected not to have a direct import of SE file types so bringing it all over would be a lot of work. I only work in Synchronous though and I intend to work VIA direct editing for the rest of my career. And of course as a half job shop and half design build entity there has to be a good way to deal with imported geometry. The very best way I know is with SE in hand. I hope for the day Inventor will step up to the plate in this area but until then I stay where work is most efficient. As of Inventor 2016 I still can’t import geometry and do basic things like assign driving and notational dimensions on imports from my parts. It is completely true with SE that what I bring in I can work on as though it were a native part with little loss of intelligence and that primarily in hole data.

My initial impression is that there are a lot of little things that are going to improve work flow based upon what I have read, been told and see in person with my cursory examination to date. SE is for this shop the very best MCAD program available. I very rarely get into complex surfacing and like the majority of shops around here will never see a fru-fru coffee pot or car tail light housing. So complex surfacing is something I have never and probably will never need to know and I am the wrong guy to give input on this. I will say though that I checked out “T-Slines” the other day in a video and the power there reminded me of some of the stuff I have seen in NX. Of course “T-Splines” along with other strategic buys is part and parcel of forward looking management at Autodesk in assembling in Inventor what will in time be the best mid range MCAD suite out there. I went to the app store touted by Siemens SE and just shook my head. SE guys don’t go to Autodesk or SW’s app sites unless you want a bad case of app program envy.

Autodesk is a forward looking company and T-Splines is now a part of Inventor. I have to say the pace of improvement with Inventor is greater than SE right now and looks to be for some time. I don’t expect to have these import problems in the somewhat near future and I figure Autodesk is working overtime to improve Inventor. You see the owner of Inventor wants things right and better whereas Siemens would kind of like the Red Headed step child to just go away. As Scott said buy the company. I trust the direction of Autodesk and I do not trust Siemens one bit to consider my future unless I buy into NX.

I will probably not do anything in the area of how to’s or videos for SE ST8. I will tell you my opinion and that is it as I refuse to spend time helping to promote such an inept group as Siemens and sadly they are the overlords of SE.

Well as you all know I have left CAMWorks for Solid Edge because of a boat load of problems. The 2015 SP1 release was I think their best yet since the involvement with SE. Sadly by this point in time I had moved on to the far greater simplicities and efficiencies found in Inventor HSM. Note to software companies. You make your customer mad enough to look elsewhere you better fear what they may find. So anyway after Geometric gets forced (Never forget they were forced into this. They had no concerns about product quality until a big public stink was made and it is their long time corporate management philosophy towards customers as far as I can tell.) into getting their act somewhat together I get the thrill of about a month and a half’s potential use out of it. Had trouble getting ST8 to work initially and one of the problems was— you guessed it—CW4SE.

CW4SE time to fail again

We could not get SE to run until this little jewel popped up and once the license server for CW4SE was shut down SE worked just fine. I am SHOCKED and sitting here in stunned disbelief that this could happen. Perhaps in a few months Geometric will get up and running for ST8 but I wont be there. Inventor Pro HSM 2016 in comparison worked from day one as an integrated program. My maintenance is up at the end of June and this headache is history. These will be my last comments about this most aggravating Geometric CW4SE saga and my cost per part cut with wasted time and the expense of the program and the inherent inefficiencies here far exceeded any rational performance expectations any business owner I know would have. I have no idea how bad sales for CW4SE are but Geometric deserves to sleep in the bed they have made for themselves. Check out the frenetic most recent post CW4SE user activity at Geometrics closed forum.

HaHa program smarter machine faster

The SW side of things there is pretty bleak too considering that this was the first integrated CAM program for SW and I don’t know what their market size is. I can tell you that HSM has been a topic of discussion over there too with users who vent extreme frustration over problems that never stop looking elsewhere. Geometric is pretty tone deaf and some of these fed up SW guys are begging them to get their act together or lose them. A situation very familiar to me.

Buy SE ST8 for the efficiencies it can bring to your in-house and imported parts and family of parts designs. I think even big SW and Inventor shops should have one seat as a secret weapon back there somewhere. Avoid SE because Siemens does not care if market share in seats will ever get you work or trained individuals to hire. Buy Autodesk for the future and for todays economic savings as inventor Pro HSM is by far the best deal out there right now and you won’t have to train anyone with a ready and available labor market. For the same $1,500.00 I will have to send Siemens to renew SE only I get Inventor PRO HSM everything and I like my money in MY pocket. HSM just works and CW4SE just fails again and again and again.

Sadly SE ST8 will be a release of a tremendously capable CAD program smothered by ex UGS people at Siemens and destined once again to be the best software you won’t hear much about. Sure do miss you Karsten and Don and the hope and plans and excitement that lived here for the future with you. I have yet to hear anything from the mouth of Miller whats-his-face who is supposed to be in charge and it has been over a half-year now. No plans no direction no user interaction AT ALL! I find the attitude of Siemens/UGS management towards SE to be the single largest reason to never buy into SE and it just should not be this way.

6-14-15 Update.
I had mentioned above that I would not be discussing CW4SE anymore. I went to Geometric’s site today in the faint hopes that they would have an update for ST8 out. You see I would still like to use their constant step over tool path at times but I am not willing to stay a year behind with SE to do so. Much to my amusement/disgust I read about current SW CAMWorks user problems with the Tech Data Base which is in combination with Feature Recognition the only differentiator for CAMWorks. This being the whole basis for their grossly exaggerated motto of “Program Smarter Machine Faster”. So I retract my never talk about them again statement as I will be talking about them again at least once more.

New Direction

Obviously there has been a shift in my loyalties in the last couple of years. With Solid Edge it has been a ride from ST1 until now with very few regrets regarding the software. Direct editing is what I came here for and while the first two versions were really rough the rest has been nothing but a validation of how correct this choice was. My principal complaint about SE has always been Siemens and UGS not caring if we make it or not.

What I mean by that is except for a period of time under Newbury and Cooper Siemens/UGS could care less whether SE’s market share grew or not. The ramifications to buyers ARE serious. From not having work from others who demand you be on the same page as in same software. Then not having a resource of institutions to train potential employees which of course leads to a lack of trained people. The lack of trained people stems from having few companies that use the program and since the job boards have few SE listings students do not ask their prospective educators for SE training. They look to SW and Autodesk courses because the job boards say they can find work with that training. So you as an employer have to find someone and then train them and then suffer under the other Siemens imposed handicaps to. Most just go on by and purchase SW and Autodesk whatever because these programs come equipped with better market/work presence and trained at no cost to you people to hire.

With the CAMWorks for Solid Edge debacle in combination with Siemens running off people who wanted the same things I did, namely for SE to thrive and acquire market share, has finally worn out my desire to even promote SE beyond saying it is the best mid range MCAD program out there. No more time with videos or how to’s or examples. Really I quit this some time back as I refuse to help those who have hamstrung my favorite CAD program. The Geometric CW4SE forum has not had a post in four months now and it is another sign of user fatigue over Siemens imposed problems. Yes that is right. I do believe all things go back to Siemens and the UGS people who have poisoned the well there for SE. It is a pervasive and under current management irreversible problem. Geometric has a lousy philosophy towards users but if Siemens had really cared about SE and CW4SE customers they would have kicked Geometric and kept kicking to make things right and in a timely fashion. Siemens/UGS has clout but zero desire to help SE in any way.

So I have changed the blog title to more accurately reflect my own personal direction. SE is and will be my principle modeler for some time I think. My maintenance will take me just over into ST8 and I have no intention at this time of ever renewing past this. I don’t believe in rewarding bad management that does not consider my needs with my money. Even the pace of improvements is dropping fast with SE. The very idea that they are touting as a major new ST8 deal the sparsely populated App store boggles my mind. You have to be a dofuss Siemens marketing dude grasping at straws and trying to turn a pigs ear into a silk purse to even put something like this out. last year it was all those partner products until someone went there and mentioned publicly how few there were and most certainly way short of claimed numbers. Of course marketing with Siemens is run by idiots so no surprise there but don’t you know if great things were happening they would at least talk about it? They aren’t so they can’t.

This takes me to Autodesk and what I see going on there and it is the only exciting place out there for future oriented people who are looking for a software company that believes in them too and wants them as partners and not chattel. Even as clunky as Inventor is compared to SE I fully intend to cut Siemens off and keep Autodesk. Siemens has malign intent towards SE and it’s users and Autodesk wants their users to succeed. Even to the point of donating free software to start-ups and trusting you to become a customer when you get past that point. And you bet most will and Siemens will never see any of these as customers. I had use of Surfcam 2 axis machining for free in 2002 and as a result when they finally did go cash only I bought from them. Autodesk has run free stuff far longer than anyone out there I have ever heard of. They believe in what they have enough to let you determine just how good they are for free. Who else is doing this at the same level? Who else is planting seeds for the future along with fertilizer and nurturing. Who else is confident enough in what they are doing to earn customers and their loyalties to do this?

Inventor Pro HSM everything both programs at $10,000.00 and $1,500.00 per year after. And I can tell you that if you are someone with a ton of money wrapped up into a program you have grown to hate they will probably take that into consideration when you negotiate for a final cost. Ask, all they can do is say no and you just might be really surprised. SE and CW4SE on the other hand for the same equivalent stuff would be well in access of $20,000.00 and well north of $4,000.00 each year after. Inventor HSM is right now producing about one update a week you can download if you wish. CW4SE had garbage until about seven MONTHS after the release of ST7 and have had one update they were forced into doing. These HSM guys want you to have tools in hands and work hard to get them there. Yes CW4SE has some capabilities beyond HSM right now. But the darned thing is so cumbersome to use and has been so buggy that why would you bother to try unless you were trapped there? The few shortcomings I see in HSM I happen to know they are aware of but more importantly they do intend to fix them and they don’t have to be forced to do so. I would crawl across nails before I would rely on CW4SE as my main CAM program ever again in the current state it is in.

Once again we see intent with Autodesk in HSM. Buy great tools and gain complete control over them and then use them. I don’t say much about Delcam products because I just don’t know much about them other than by reputation and peer comments. Bass bought them to though and they are part of the forward-looking plans. Carl Bass is the only big wheel out there that can program and cut on five axis manufacturing equipment and he gets the maker things from A to Z. The other guys talk about it but he does it and the programs he is assembling into the Autodesk fold prove his intent and hands on knowledge. Outside of NX CAM and maybe some CATIA stuff Autodesk now controls best high-end CAM with Delcam and it was no accident that HSM was bought before them. HSM is going to be vastly improved over the next year or so and really hard to beat for general CAM usage.

Why in the world would I not want to be here? So you see in the new header and name the beginning of a progression away from a combination of deliberately smothered great CAD and a duplicitously managed over priced CAM program made by people who don’t care if your days are ruined with SE and CW4SE to a company that is doing it all right. Yes there are problems with the programs but at this time I completely believe they will fix the problems. There is a lot on their plate right now and I know that. But they have not lied or give evasive excuses/answers to me and I have run across no-show stoppers yet. They just get in there and solve the issues in order of importance one after the other.

Perhaps some day this will be an Inventor Pro HSM blog only. For now though with my workaday feet in two worlds my blogging shoes will be to.

Inventor Pro HSM Development Updates Available

One of the things I envied for years when I was on the outside looking in was the speed with which HSM has made updates available. Besides the year updates there are two other types. The latest official version is the one that has been vetted by means I do not know of right now for QA. The other is developmental which comes with the admonishment “not for production use”. In practical experience though if there is something you really need in one of these all it means is to go slow the first few times and make sure it works right for you would be my opinion. There are some turning things I want to try so I intend to grab this one.

Inventor Pro HSM update

While there were things that did not get into the official 2015 release it is HSM’s intention to as quick as possible work on getting the new turning and the Hole Wizard done ASAP. Turning by the way is supposed to be a complete revamp which would be good since turning has been a big weak spot in an otherwise powerful program. My guess would be that these will first appear here in the development side so early adopters keep an eye out. The philosophy that HSM has had for some time now is to have regular updates figuring that it was more beneficial to the customer to get working tools in hand rather than making us wait for an annual or semi-annual update that made a big old impressive looking list but also delayed significantly the improvements put into users hands.

HSMWorks for example had at least seven official versions for 2014 so if this is a typical average every other month will see new tools or bug fixes in your hands. There have also been thirty-seven developmental releases for HSMWorks for 2015 so far so there have been many things made available to users if they need them before the aggregate official versions get out. The pace of the official versions for HSMWorks has slowed down a bit for 2015 but these guys have had a ton of stuff on their plates with the integration with Autodesk so I can understand. Considering the world of CAMWorks which I came from the update rate here is amazing and quite frankly the idea that we users are important to HSM is a big breath of fresh air. It is HSM’s intent that some time this year the SW and Inventor and online programs will achieve near parity in features and be handled the same from then on.

By the way http://cam.autodesk.com/inventor-hsm-experimental/ will take you to the developmental I-HSM page where there are links to all the other flavors to. It is worthwhile to have a look and see what people who want you to succeed think is the right way to bring new features and bug fixes quickly to you. It is one of the things that influenced me when I was shopping some years back and still does.

Solidedging and Solid Edge and the Future

This will be a long post today and is an accumulation of thoughts and conclusions I have been having for some time now.

I went to Matt Lombards site “On The Edge” this morning and I see now that a link to my blog has been removed. While I am not at all surprised it did get me to thinking about the last few years and where I want to spend my time in the blogosphere.

Regarding Siemens it is funny how the question of why someone who was such a fan of SE has had this change of heart is never asked. But then asking in sincerity would mean a desire for SE to succeed and this does not exist inside of Siemens corporate where the decisions are really made regarding SE’s future. This is all I have ever wanted and as I have said many times and will again today SE is the very best mid range MCAD program. I see articles on direct editing in SE and picture my head nodding up and down in agreement. It is so powerful and all my major work is still done here. I wanted for SE to take by merit of capabilities it’s rightful place in the CAD world. Such was not to be.

It is hard to take the future of SolidEdge as a positive when so much is going wrong. The pace of improvements is slowing down and I hear nothing about any revolutionary new stuff. Only tinkering around the edges and improvements that are merely moderately evolutionary based on what is already there. Don’t look for any breath-taking announcements for ST8 would be my guess.

No I don’t think SE is going away. I remember thinking that SW would when it was clear Dassault corporate had determined SW was not the real future. It is still there and I guess will be until they can figure out how to keep their customer base intact while eliminating the program they came there for. Like Dassault Siemens is stuck with something that they can’t sell and don’t want and is not any part of their desired plans for the future. So the future is auto pilot but do not sell and don’t waste money on it either. SE represents income already paid for though so at least they see this and will keep it going to some degree. It will however remain the adopted red-headed step child that seems to be SE’s fate in life. Overseen by stupid people who do not want or desire for SE to have the success it technically merits for whatever reason. The idea that North American Siemens Software, and by extension I mean Chuck Grindstaff directly since he is in charge of it all has cast aside SE is plain silly. All because of a perceived threat to the sales of NX. The UGS people never did have much use for SE. I was there in person to see the love they had for SE in 2009 in Nashville,TN PLM World where SE user attendance was down to 37 people. You can lie with words but actions trump these and this was proof of the regard UGS etal had for SE and users responded likewise.

Just like this current user behind the SolidEdgeing blog is responding. Really don’t look for much in the way of hope for SE anymore. Follow me as I assembly bread crumb trails that make me think like I do. I still know a lot of people associated with SE from Europe to Huntsville. They know I was and am a huge fan of SE. They also in most cases share my discouragement over the plight of SE’s future. So let us go through some random dot connecting here.

I knew Don Cooper and Karsten Newbury fairly well. They were wholly dedicated to the idea that SE was the best and should take its place as number one. They lived and breathed this idea and worked for it. When Karsten left he still had about three years if I remember right on a five-year contract. I don’t know what Don’s status was. But the idea they left or were run off is the important thing here. It heralded I believe edicts from Siemens Corp to deliberately stifle SE and I figure that after a while Don and Karsten just quit fighting. After all why should eminently qualified people stay where their success is artificially limited by those who have no desire to see SE succeed.

I remember standing in a circle with Karsten and Tony Affuso and myself at the first SEU in Huntsville. Karsten insisted I come over there and meet him and I was really hesitant to do so after some of the things I had written. It was kind of strange and no one came to join the huddle so it was just the three of us for quite some time. Tony made clear his desire to beat the pants off of Dassault. He also made mention in reply to a comment Karsten made that the budget he had was his to spend as he saw fit. I left with a different opinion of Tony Affuso. I also noticed that with the changing of the guard to Grindstaff that the desire for SE to beat the pants off anyone was gone from Siemens.

We now have John Miller as head of SE in Karstens old spot. I don’t believe he has contacted a single user. There have been two posts by him at the SE Siemens BBS since he acquired this job. Well let me rephrase that. There have been two posts written for him. No one talks that way and I have been around long enough to see deception as blatant as those were. So the new guy could care less and has not evinced one iota of interest in SE’s users or future. He is a place holder by his very actions as far as I am concerned and this is not the sign of a company that wants SE to thrive.

Absolutely no mention of SE in any of the major Siemens Software grants I can see. I have asked for breakdowns of some of them and no one will provide them. I do see lots of high dollar Siemens NX and PLM Teamcenter related things though. Is SE in there? Who knows but for sure Siemens does not care to say so if it is. WHY?

SE has a custom car building kit thing of some sort. No it is not Local Motors it is a purely academic thing. The link evades me right now and I am not going to bother to look it up. I think however it is mainly the result of caring people inside of SE’s educational branch doing what little they can as they can. Siemens has not and wont be getting behind this in any major way I believe. Think about it. When was the last time you saw any pervasive long-term acted upon marketing strategy for SE? That’s right there has been none and this is solely because UGS and then Siemens do not want to allocate funds to something not important. You would not believe the fights that went on over stupid turf things with UGS and Siemens people where rational profit seeking corporate decisions were out the window. It is not like SE sells into the same market but try to tell the UGS and Siemens dudes this. Back to UGS veterans don’t like SE and until they go or have a change of heart forget it.

I admire the stance Carl Bass has taken with Autodesk. He has made long-term plans and bought control of key pieces for this and looks I believe decades into the future for the seeds he plants today. Siemens plants no seeds for SE and makes no acqusitions to bolster it and can’t even be bothered to vet the only major manufacturing integrated app SE has ever had. I am talking about CAMWorks of course. I don’t care about rendering and all that stuff I make parts. All design software has to make parts at some time to have a reason to exist. When Karsten left and SE was in Siemens loving hands CAMWorks went to crap. I to this day don’t know how much of the problem with CW4SE 2015 was with lack of co-operation from Siemens SE. But I do know that development budgets for SE are not what they should be and some top talent has been taken from them and put on the Siemens side to boot. So we see here intent by Siemens. Take good people away and make funding problems and do not pursue an integrated family of aps for SE. So just how does this indicate concern for SE’s future and yours to if you are a user might I ask?

There has never been a real aggressive marketing campaign for SE since ST1. I came on board just as ST1 was released for $3,000.00 and that bought one years maintenance and SE Classic. The main reason was to get SW users but if you really dug they would take any equivalent design package for this. This has not happened since then. I knew some people who wanted to do this but their hands were tied. Why when SW was doing all they could to give sales to SE for a few years did Siemens not take advantage of this? Perhaps what is going on in places in Europe right now might be a clue. SE can’t I guess discount beyond a certain price. I would imagine there are corporate hoops to jump through to do this. NX however is discounting to whatever level is necessary to clinch sales from, you guessed it, SE. Is this the hallmark of a company that might care about the future of SE or is it part of a plan to slowly subsume SE users into the NX side of things? In any case is there any sound fiscal reason to do this to part of your corporate body that could be making a lot more money for you? I don’t believe or subscribe to the idea that SE and NX serve the same basic markets. There is a place for both and not a whole lot of overlap. But for seven years now SE has not and never will do what was done for ST1 and I believe it is a deliberate choice by Siemens to not allow SE to thrive like it should. But apparently it can be allowable for NX. Why? I still remember the post by a major US VAR Saratech touting how easy it was to learn NX over SE https://solidedging.wordpress.com/2014/06/05/is-siemens-retarded-or-just-anti-solid-edge/ How did this bit of insanity ever even see the light of day except for the culture Siemens and UGS have created for SE to reside in. Funny thing about this post. It has been read more than any other past posts the last couple of weeks and I wonder why?

I remember sitting in an office in Huntsville talking to one of the marketing dudes who now works for Siemens and not SE. He belongs there to as far as I am concerned. I asked him why there were no spots made for bloggers and people who might give them favorable publicity at the SE Universities. I would have like to get a free pass for myself to no doubt but my main reason for asking was to try to get them to bring in bloggers that would give them press. His response was that this was too expensive to do. A short time SE employee sat there and heard this with me. We left and the comment made by the employee was that was just so wrong on many ways.
“You should NEVER tell a customer to their face they are not worth it”. I just shook my head sadly and said you see what we have had to deal with? This employee did not stay there long and left because it was clear Siemens did not intend to see SE thrive. Why stay at a dead-end? Subsequently that same year over fifty percent of the attendees were Siemens employees who were not going to write any press releases, not publish one blog post nor in any way do the good some free passes to bloggers would have done. Vacations for result free Siemens Employees however were dollars well spent. Is this the way an outfit that cares about the future is run?

Siemens promoted Dan Staples to be above the day-to-day management of SE he used to be in. Dan is brilliant as far as I am concerned but he is not a trench warfare fighter for SE who will battle corporate like Newbury and Cooper did. When Siemens promoted him they took this guy who was responsible for so many good things at SE and pulled him out of the real hands on loop. I hope he is making a lot more money now but as an SE user I have to say that I miss him in his old spot like I miss Newbury and Cooper for the same reasons. There is a dynamism certain teams have that can’t be easily replaced. They can however be easily dismantled by corporations that do not care. Like Siemens. I figure like Karsten and Don Dan will get fed up with seeing the thing he loves dearly wrecked by Siemens and he to will leave one day. Or acquire a trench warfare mentality and be told to leave because SE is not a part of the plan. How would you like to be in his spot with this great thing and then see it hidden under a rock?

CAMWorks for SE. Before I burned my bridges there with Geometric’s US guys I remember a conversation I had with a big wheel. He wondered why I had stopped blogging about SE and had started complaining about corporate and marketing. I told him exactly why and this was shortly after Don Cooper left. I explained to him what my suspicions were about corporate sabotage of SE and he said that could well explain why they were having trouble getting co-operation from SE. Like I told him Siemens NX people would rather we just buy Cam Express even though it was not truly integrated. I have to wonder how much of the 2015 CW4SE debacle blame should be allocated to which side. For sure Siemens is partly to blame and is this the action of a company that cares about what the SE users have to make a living with?

Speaking with some attendees from last years SEU in Atlanta. The general consensus was that Chuck Grindstaff did not want to really be there. Considering what is going on with SE I think these guys are spot on. You do not have to be present in a room where decisions are made to be able to discern what decisions have been made. The actions corporate officials take in so many ways telegraph what is going to be. I tend to think this was another indicator and since this was followed up with the appointment of John “Place Holder” Miller and the loss of Karsten do you have any doubts here about the veracity of the SE users observations regarding Grindstaff’s apparent disconnect? I don’t.

Marketing and Publicity. Where should I start regarding this mess? Or is it really a mess or is it by design? Siemens is eaten alive by rules and regulations and don’t even sneeze without running it by legal first. So we have this aspect of Siemens and it is a worrisome one. The paralysis created by meetings that do nothing and never reach a result is unbelievable. For this alone I fear for SE. Once a policy of neglect and or outright suppression is reached you are not going to change it. Once it has been DECIDED it is carved in stone. When the UGS people poisoned the well for SE I am afraid it will be so for many years. But above and beyond that does a company that wants a division of theirs to succeed spend some money and make a plan to do so? I think so. By the absence of a plan they also indicate their desires. You can go all the way back to the stupid days of Bruce Boes Velocity junk and continue to this day and see an unbroken string of marketing and publicity failure for SE. The reasons are two-fold. One, the UGS guys don’t want SE to make it and 2, Siemens corporate suffers from self-inflicted paralysis and they literally also do not have the ability to formulate and implement a marketing strategy. Thus you see Siemens but not Siemens what in advertising such as it is. Bold generic say nothing about anything but have generalities and say Siemens somewhere in there and you are done. WHOO-HOO!

I was sent a link to a video some time back and the premise of the author was that when a company that is big becomes old to there is a paralysis of bureaucracy that sets in and it stifles innovation. One of the methods to fight this by CEO’s who see this but can’t prevail against it is to buy competitiveness. Buy a lean mean going somewhere outfit and bring it in-house to improve your company with an end run around the killer culture of old, tired and bureaucratic. I have always felt that Siemens bought UGS to improve manufacturing efficiencies and to do so with something they would have sole control over. But now as it is subsumed into the monster what happens to it? Now decisions are in the hands of those who make a living by perpetuating layers of inefficient bureaucracy and they are not ever going to make or allow to be made decisions that might in any way reflect back upon them. And in this culture they are rewarded with weekly checks and almost guaranteed jobs irregardless of performance so in essence they are being trained that this stifling stupidity is right. SE is never going to have a bright future with this paradigm.

I could go on but I think you get the idea. Quite frankly my interest in this whole SE thing has been killed by Siemens and this debacle with Geometrics CW4SE was just the icing on the cake. I use SE now and regard it as my main design tool but since manufacturing is far more important in my shop now CAM must and does come first. Is it not ironic that I find myself in this spot with software bought by a manufacturing giant to improve their manufacturing? That I have to leave them and go to Autodesk and get Inventor HSM Pro to achieve manufacturing efficiencies in my shop? I am going to keep this SolidEdging site for some years yet as I believe in what I say and think it should have life on-line. But the desire and excitement all belong to Autodesk now and I will probably startup another blog for that. Hopefully Inventor will be improved enough soon so I can just quit the whole Siemens induced disaster for SE. For now though it is with real mixed feelings I still use SE. I have pretty much decided that I will not be renewing SE as there are just no new exciting things on the horizon worthy of more money above what I already have and I don’t believe in rewarding mediocre corporations with my hard-earned money so Siemens is OUT. I can use SE for years to come after all.

I may very well attend SEU in Cincy this year. It is the best bargain in annual cad conventions and this year it is cheaper yet. If they really end up having it. I will not be going because I am excited nor to make waves but rather it will be to see friends I have made over the years once again before I close the SE chapter of my life.

Thanks a lot you crap heads for doing this to a product I really had high regard for. Pardon my French but it is the way I feel about all this today.

Autodesk Inventor Pro HSM 2016 On Track For Frequent Updates

One of the things that has intrigued me with HSMWorks is the idea that if an update to a problem was done why not just get it into user hands? Why wait for some point in time where a “major” update would be done and roll the accumulated fixes in at that time? Perhaps for most companies it is just convenient to have a few updates per year. But HSM took the idea that customers have value a bit more seriously and they have for years maintained a regular update regimen.

Take 2015 for instance. Solid Works 2015 was released on 9-9-14 and on 10-9-14 HSMWorks 2015 was released. The update history since then will be a bit of a shock to many CAM customers. Regarding the poor souls waiting for a working version of CAMWorks for Solid Edge ST7 for the last 33 weeks it will be quite sobering to see how a real CAM company works. The CAMWorks people might want to have a look too as there are still major problems with their 2015 release if the forum comments are anything to go by.

Check this out. 35 Development Version updates to HSMWorks 2015 to date. Go there and count them yourself and read some of the update release notes. http://cam.autodesk.com/download/hsmworks/ This same capability is going to occur with I-HSM although probably not with quite the same degree of regularity for now. The idea that your CAM vendor actually cares ought to be a part of the equation when you make your choice to buy. Or when as in my case I leave CAMWorks for Solid Edge in utter disgust looking for a CAM author that gives a flip if I succeed and make money expeditiously. In my observation over the last three plus years the release/update philosophy at HSM has been consistent both before and after the Autodesk buyout. I don’t think it was by serendipitous whim HSM was acquired first by Carl Bass to initiate his manufacturing ecosystem steam roller. I think he saw value and made it his before it had any chance of going away.

On a side note here. If you have followed me for some time you know my negative opinion of the cloud for CAM or CAD. It is impossible for me and tons of others due to all that lovely infrastructure these cloud wonders can’t control. (We wont talk about cloud insecurity today hehe.) My downloads get about 80 KBS at best and the 2016 Inventor Pro HSM download will take at least 14 hours for me. Autodesk has a download updater thingy that installs with your program that really excited me at one time. I was seeing 300 to 400+ KBS and that was so huge I could not believe my eyes. I thought wow, maybe Autodesk has solved some major throughput problems here. But the sad reality soon ended my brief reconsideration of cloud throughput when I discovered that somehow the download would break and break and break. After starting over numerous times I just gave up trying for anything of significant size.

Can you imagine the insanity for many of us that cloud backups of complete systems or large files represent? I get a big kick out of the wonderful sounding cloud bliss places like Carbonite extol with complete easy simple secure and FAST backups. At 130+GB useage on my C drive with my capacity of 80 KBS it would take 451 hours to do a system image presuming uploads were as “fast” as downloads. Sorry guys, not ready for prime time and probably won’t be in the next ten years or so if ever. Yes the internet will get faster but even faster than that will be the increased data amounts the average person will generate every year.

Behind every cloud though there is a ray of sunshine and it shines brightly on your autonomous permanent seat of software on your very own desktop PC and your $120 one time purchase 5GB backup hard drive. Buy two and have your very own redundancy just like the big guys do and finish your system backups in less than an hour. I can find something to do while my backup runs for an hour but 451 hours seems a tad excessive to me to have to find other things to do. Know what I mean Vern šŸ™‚

In any case though the 2016 goodies are finally here and you can’t go wrong checking it out if you are not already on board. I will also say this. If you are fleeing a bad situation with a CAM product that has failed you and you can prove this you might be surprised at what you could work out with HSM towards getting a program that DOES work. Talk to an HSM VAR and see what might be possible. It has been my personal experience that these people want you as customers and also want you to be a successful customer.

CAMWorks for Solid Edge ST7, 32 Weeks Now And Still Waiting.

It bothers me that my favorite CAD program has turned their backs upon CW4SE users. It is the little things I see that make me think so.

Dan Staples and CW4SE

Here is another little bit of evidence that leads to me thinking this way. Note that Dan Staples is on the forum just a bit up from the CAMWorks post. Proof he does know of the problem and chooses to ignore it at least as far as the CW4SE users are concerned because he too has yet to communicate with us about our woes. Would it be to hard for him to just write a post and say here is where we are and what is being done? He has time to go there and respond to other things. Dan Staples is in many ways responsible for Synchronous Technology and I think he is brilliant. But he is also a bit of a tunnel vision guy and his true passion was and I presume still is for SE ST. The idea of CAM was not well received by him and during some of my talks with him phrases like “your Karsten” in reference was an indicator to me of lack of interest in intregrated CAM.

Before I severed ties with Geometric after I determined reasoning with them about what was going on was fruitless I had an interesting conversation. One of the Geometric big wheels and I were talking about the animosity the UGS people had towards the SE side of the coin and he made mention that he wondered why they were getting so little help. (Above and beyond Siemens reticence to help but in Siemens defense I don’t think Geometric is capable of identifying API problems and most certainly not capable of doing so in time to get fixes in for yearly releases with “partners”. If the Siemens partner was so inclined to help even then.) It was our conclusion that this was so. This was prior to Karsten Newbury, now these are my words and not his OK, getting run off and a few months after Don Cooper quit or was run off. I would not be at all surprised if orders had been given from on high that no help was to be given to Geometric where ever possible. The total lack of communication from Siemens SE about this in part drives this suspicion in my mind. Actions speak louder than words and much louder than no words or results at all.

Question for you Siemens SE guys. Question for Dan Staples too. If you want to just kill off CW4SE why don’t you just pull the plug and do so. Refund our CAM money and stop the idle dream we might still entertain about true integrated CAM for SE. I don’t see how this can be profitable for you over the long run when potential customers can see the way they can expect to be treated and make decisions to not buy from you based upon this sorry never ending episode. Geometric CW4SE is now still born and you know it. It will never be right and it is egg on your face too by allowing this to go on.

It has now been 36 weeks since Geometric has communicated with us.
It has now been 13 weeks since an SE CW4SE user post at Geometrics SE forum.
It has now been 32 weeks since SE ST7 was released and still no viable release for CW4SE.

By the way, what ever happened to the rumor of an SP1 release March first that would fix a bunch of this stuff hmmmm? On time and on track for quality once again eh.

CAMWorks for Solid Edge 2015 3-30-15 Update

It has now been twelve weeks since the last CW4SE user post at the Geometric forums. It has now been 31 weeks since SE ST7 was released and we have yet to see a usable release. It has been 35 weeks since the last word was given to CW4SE users as to what is going on with CW4SEĀ  other than the release of CW4SE 2015 which does not work right. I figure like myself the other CW4SE users have put it on the shelf while we wait for something we can use.

If you are looking at CW4SE you need to know this is how you are regarded by Siemens and Geometric. We current customers are not worth their time to give any sort of updates.Ā  We are not valuable enough to them to have a competent working product some 31 weeks after the release of ST7.

In my opinion if you buy CW4SE knowing the conditions current customers labor under you are crazy. On the other hand if you wish to enroll in the Geometric CW4SE Masochist Society your money will be well spent and quite productive. You can get beaten up every single day.

“If you thrive on black and blue Geometric is for you”

There you go Geometric. For free out of the kindness of my heart a new marketing slogan. Not copy written you have my full permission to use as you see fit.

Regarding CAMWorks for Solid Edge

As I am waiting of news for download links for Inventor HSM Pro 2016 today I also was waiting for news of a different sort. I am sure there are those who wish I would quit flogging the dead horse of CW4SE but you never know who is reading for the first time what actual users have experienced with this sad situation.Ā  If there was any way I could cause a potential buyer of CW4SE to stop look and listen before stepping in front of the train it is my intent to do so. I am going to post a short update each Monday until Geometric and SiemensĀ  SE get their act together.

 

Speaking of delays still waiting to hear much of anything from what’s his face that replaced the capable and concerned guidance SE had under Karsten Newbury. Best VP of Manufacturing, the new guy that is, that you never hear from talks about the best software you wont hear of. In a conference and press release you wont ever see either. On a sad note there are good people slowly being picked off from SE and put into the Siemens NX etal side. As far as I am concerned it is a harbinger of things to come.Ā  It saddens me to write this but actions speak louder than empty or non-existant words.

 

In any case it has now been eleven weeks since a comment by any SE user at the closed to the public Geometric CW4SE forum where hope no longer dwells. It has been since 8-8-14 when ST7 was released and still no word on a competently working CW4SE ST7 product.

Here is the only comment given by Geometric regarding this ST7 release. Not one single comment since then and not one tiny expression of concern fromĀ Geometric about us anywhere. Nishant and the chief developer Vivak have time however to go to trade shows and talk about CAMWorks new machine verification this last couple of weeks. Buy us out Geometric. Refund our money and just shut it down. It is clear you don’t know what you are doing and furthermore don’t care. Your actions speak far louder than your lack of words. I had to laugh a bit as Nishant said below that they had to wait for the official release of ST7 before they could do serious work. This backs up my idea that there is no proper communication going on as Geometric should have been involved all along and working with SE as ST7 was being developed. The word incompetent for some reason is in my mind right now.

Empty words and promises

 

Can you afford to risk your company’s future with a situation like this? Buyer beware. You believe the glossy canned CW4SE demos and slick company and VAR basedĀ  publicity comments you will get what you deserve. If ever things turn around I will talk about that to and be happy to do so. Geometric, I know you guys in India read this because I can follow the bread crumbs. If you wanted to you have been invited to comment here but by your choice not to you reveal your lack of concern. I read all this crap about some wonderful new machine verification $$$ add on and think to myself nice. Wonder how that one works and wonder why CW4SE does not. Just how do you people make decisions on what is important anyway? I want to know.

Adaptive Clearing, The Secret Weapon of Autodesk HSMWorks and Inventor HSM

Well it is not really a secret for those of us who use it but for everyone else I am sure there is a lot they don’t know. In my last post I talked about the idea of software quality control. In that train of thought there were some pretty amazing results achieved by Helical in testing with HSM’s Adaptive that was something I could not talk about until today. But there are a number of things that go on under the radar with Autodesk HSM (A-HSM) that are parts of an ongoing quest to improve the program. To make sure that what is there works and then also steadily improves.

First though a bit of background for HSM Adaptive from my experience. Roughly three years ago I tried both CAMWorks and HSMWorks. Cutting “Jaws of Life” blades out of S-7 tool steel was the test at that time and Volumill in CAMWorks cut a more consistent chip load especially around the pivot hole where HSM spiked pretty badly in tool load. HSM was good but Volumill was a bit better. Fast forward to today when I was forced to look past Volumill due to Geometric’s failure with Camworks for Solid Edge and it is a different story. On same parts and work holding and cutters today I find that not only does HSM Adaptive find all levels better it almost always does so with quicker cut times when compared to Volumill and with chip loads at least as good at worst and better in most cases.

Today over at a post on Helical end mills http://camforum.autodesk.com/index.php?topic=6490.0 some interesting things come out. Volumill has used Helical as their benchmark endmills for the Milling Advisor speeds and feeds calculator available on their site. Keep this in mind as we delve into this thread. http://www.1helical.com/index.php/latest-news/8-latest-news/51-helical-autodesk will take you to the post referenced there and I want you to go there now and check it out. Especially the recorded speeds and feeds.

Using the Volumill Milling Advisor the closest I can come to the testing at Pier 9 was this. Don’t take my word for this download it and see for yourself!
Volumill Helical

I have not achieved this kind of dramatic end mill engagement improvement over Volumill in my shop but then I would never have tried something like this to begin with. My biggest improvements have been in the total number of inches of travel to cut a part. Since I use the Volumill derived Machining Advisor to guide me on speeds and feeds who would have guessed HSM Adaptive had such potential?

Judging by this comment from Helical in the Autodesk CAM forum post—

“Again, we achieved some impressive cutting parameters with Autodesk’s adaptive toolpath strategy conducted at Pier 9 and now are in the process of training our tool application engineering staff so that we can help mutual Autodesk/Helical Solutions customers at anytime. I must say that their pier 9 facility was very impressive and we anticipate more great advancements with Autodesk & Helical Solutions in the near future!”

I would have to say it was an eye opener for them too.

Movin on over Volumill, the big dawgs coming in!

Are You COMMITTED To Your Customers ?

As SW World winds down this year I look at the lack of involvement by users and Dassault. Yes there were a lot of people there but I wonder what the real reasons were? I wonder where all the hub-bub that used to accompany this event has gone to? I know if I go to SEU 2015 it will be principally to see my peers again and not because I expect to learn a lot there I could not elsewhere for free. I have to believe that outside of people in direct employ of those who intend to make money like Dassault or vendors SWW is mainly a re-union of peers. Then I look at Dassault and they trot out stuff no one wants and if you buy into your profits will diminish Dassaults will increase. Strange thing its that as far as I can see you wont get as a buyer anything you really need beyond what you have now for far less $$$$$. So users show up to see each other and Dassault shows up to talk to themselves about stuff that is overpriced and users don’t want. Here is an excellent article on just this thing. http://www.solidsmack.com/cad/pricing-next-gen-cad-dassault-systemes-lost-plot-3dexperience/ I find with great interest they also mention Autodesk. Autodesk is transparent about what they do. They have the best prices for what is offered. Autodesk is serious about gaining new customers and unlike Dassault and Siemens apparently does not believe your primary reason for existance as a company is to be a cash cow for others. I fully expect in this tough market to get new sales generated and where your best source of new customers is your competing software peers that over time this combination of leading best prices and transparency and features of the programs from Autodesk will erode the base of Dassault and Siemens. Autodesk, get busy and fix Inventor and you will get much more attention.

But there is another aspect of this and it is are you committed to your customers. Do you listen to what they want beyond the top ten things to be fixed or do you take your subs money and devise products they don’t want or will run up expenses needlessly or both? How about do you take integration seriously and spend time to make sure your “Gold Partners” so to speak are delivering what they promised? Once again I see the huge contrast between Autodesk and Dassault and Siemens where everything Autodesk does or intends to do is an open book with lengthy beta periods where they give users free use of a product to make sure it is what they want or if it will even work. And they are doing so at prices that businesses will appreciate. (It looks to me like Autodesk wants to be your partner and not your overseer unlike others that come to mind.) Thinking of all the vaporware Dassault has come up with over the years here. Thinking of Siemens where you have to inflict sales drones upon yourself to even get a price. And in particular thinking of Solid Edge where this wretched mess of CAMWorks for Solid Edge has been allowed to fester and only after some real public user anger did Siemens decide to look into it. I have no idea if it will go any further than this because Siemens is so bureaucratic that they could not decide on a plan of action in a reasonable time frame if their lives depended on it. CW4SE has had serious problems from day one and I am convinced that Geometric had no intention of fixing it. Indeed a comment to one of the users about problems that plagued him their reply was this was “intended behavior”. I kid you not. Then after the big stink starts and the heat is on they want to fix it. Does this kind of reaction inspire any confidence in you as a potential customer?

What it says to me is that both Siemens/SE and Geometric will not do the right thing unless pressure is applied. What is also tells me is that a company like Siemens/SE has had no interest in what their integrated partners do and therefore no method of policing them for quality. At this time I can only say that by association and by their actions with CW4SE I would not trust a darned thing they have partnered with unless I first did extensive testing. They recently appointed some poor guy, that’s right one, to be in charge of this but I can tell you that in my experience with the gargantuan bureaucracy he will have to fight through this is meaningless. It is a see we are doing something now please go away action that will not affect the serious plight of every CW4SE buyer. So we will now have a barking dog on a chain who will be told when he will be allowed to do anything by those who have better things to do with their time than worry about their customers losing money with the garbage they produced.

In this day and time where people can verify statements of intent and the validity of promises made by software companies it becomes harder to fool them. What does a company do compared to what they say and what are the real life experiences of those who are users or buyers? Many years ago the automotive companies brought upon themselves the “Lemon Law”. It was a response to big-ticket items that were so fundamentally flawed they spent more time in repair than on the road. It was a legal response to companies who refused to honor the idea that customers had a right to expect a certain level of reliability in what they purchased. There remain whole industries that do not have protection of this sort for buyers and whose response seems to be too bad so sad. We have your money and if you don’t like it leave. You kept it past 30 days and now you are stuck with software that took you that long just to start figuring out you were had and the only lemon law here for you is the sour taste in your mouth.

Software in the business world is something that can make or break you. Remember some years back when K-Marts bought into that new whiz-bang inventory control system. The huge expense of this debacle is what tipped them over into bankruptcy and reorganization. The only recourse for the little guy is negative publicity primarily on the web where he can’t be shuffled to the side by excuse making corporate representatives. Most of the time this does not mean you get your money and wasted time back but you can prevent bad corporate entities from inflicting further harm on as many people as they would have otherwise. Over time when you hit their bottom line hard enough things can change for the better. I have two companies in mind here and one of them is duplicitous as far as I am concerned and the other is merely derelict in it”s responsibilities. Dassault and Siemens since you wanted to know.

Since this is the case and since we do not have a Lemon Law for CADCAM we will have to make do with user experiences. That word Dassault likes so much. Research carefully what other real users have to say and why. I have not seen one positive word about CW4SE for a long time online and this is for a reason.

Just like Dassault at SWW this year I have to sadly conclude that Siemens/SE is not committed to it’s customers. They have their own little worlds to live in and we are not decision making participants in it until we force them to listen by leaving and costing them potential business by warning prospective buyers off. Money, ours in their pockets and not ours by the improved bottom line for our pockets seems to be all they understand so here is some help. From a CW4SE victim buy SE because it is great even though Siemens will not work for you but put the ancillary products under a microscope before you buy and in any case DO NOT buy into CW4SE until (if ever) this mess is fixed.

Of the three big CAD dudes at this time Autodesk is the only one that looks like they care for the future of it’s existing and future customers.