Tag Archives: NX

My How Time Flies!

I was reading the Novedge aggregation today and was reminded how things can change. It is hard to imagine that at this time four years ago when SW World 2012 was going on it was with amusement I regarded SW user futures. Idiots with Dassault were frothing about the cloud and producing vaporware after vaporware and boasting of those achievements. It was quite amusing. Over on the SE side of things we had rapid product improvements of tremendous utilitarian value. Leadership committed to positive changes and the Universities looked like they were going to grow to big events in short order.

At that time Autodesk was not on my radar and quite frankly I did not seek much information on them. I had seen a few examples of Inventor work and users. Without fail when I took their models and edited them in front of them with SE easier and faster than they could and the old eyes bugging out thing invariably happened. To me Autodesk was a company that did not much register and the chief competitor to #1 which I believed SE deserved was SW not Inventor.

As an aside here. Inventor does not offend me as much as it used to. But I still find way to many complications to simple part creation compared to the purely Synchronous editing and part creation I by choice have been using for some time now. With SE for instance I can draw a circle on the end of a cylinder and when I click on it extrude remove on either side of the circle and darned if I could find a way to do it in Inventor this weekend. It may be there but even if it is why are the methods of doing so hard to find or convoluted? In SE you click on it and straight forward simple intuitive commands pop up. Some of the issue is me not spending the time to learn Inventor and some of it is the weird or counter intuitive way Inventor wants me to work that prevents my desire to want to learn. I have yet to decide which is the bigger problem. HSM which was not configured by the people who decided how Inventor was to work is so well thought out and logical it reminds me of SE on steroids. So I lean towards some cubical guys who wrote code for a living and did not design parts for a living being the problem and not me. Anyway.

So SW World 2016 is here and hardly any bloggers talk about it. The few that do most are employed in one way or another by either Dassault or VAR’s selling Dassault and most of the true independent bloggers who were there because they loved what they used to earn a living with are long gone. People like Devon Sowell and Matt Lombard who were passionate and independent have either quit in disgust or been subsumed into the belly of one beast or another. SW has alienated most of those with passion and love of the product who were willing to talk well of them or indeed at all. SEU comes and goes and the same thing. You who have been readers for years think back about how it used to be and Novedge was cluttered with commentaries from “fanbois”.

Autodesk as far as I can tell is the same and the blogs I have run across so far most are all affiliated with VAR’s or Autodesk. By the way, any blogger who is not or even if you are I guess send me a link to your site and I will have a look. I am searching for sites of interest to provide links to. But my main point is that the whole CAD industry has largely alienated itself from users who were willing to spend uncompensated time on their own to talk about something they felt passionately about. Through stupid things like Dassaults desire to kill this SW thing they can’t quite figure out how to stab to death yet without causing undue harm to themselves. Through the stupidity of Siemens UGS taking SE a killer design product with a future and instead of making it so smashing it into obscurity once again because some political back stabbers from UGS just don’t happen to like it.

Now we have Autodesk trying to force users to be chattel subscribers only and long time passionate CAD CAM users hate that kind of corporate money-grubbing suppression and so this great forward-looking thing Autodesk was a short time ago becomes just another neccessary evil to people who don’t have permanent seats but still have to use these tools to earn a living with. Of the three major software companies out there I ever run into I still hold out hope for Autodesk to change its mind as being the last great hope for forward-looking design build software that would acknowledge that the success of its users is just as important as the authoring company. ProE who? No comment as I just never run into anyone or any file from them. I know they are out there and that is it.

Quite frankly I think the whole face of CAD CAM is changing and not for the better. My last big hope is that somehow Autodesk recants from their book-keeper chattel model and goes back to offering seats and subs for whomever and letting the buyer be the chooser as to what is picked.

Is it not amazing the difference between SW and SE? One company driven by a visionary multi-year plan dedicated to the idea of growth and community and utilizing the two to work together toward a common goal of market domination. Look at SE which has been around just as long and as far as I am concerned is superior for 90%+ of all MCAD over SW. Relegated to sucking hind teat forever by capital venture company flipping people or ignorant individuals afraid of competition who happen to work however for the same corporation. Siemens is too bureaucratically ossified to be able to fight counter productive things so these guys who sabotage overall corporate profitability get away with it. But look at SW! In spite of internal Dassault interference it still reigns supreme and it is a huge testimony to those who drove SW for so long before Parisians decide to “improve” upon it.

Hats off to SW today for the legacy it has. They have earned it and I wish the users the best and hope it all works out to their benefit.

Update today 2-1-16
Entering into the first full week of the end of new permanent seats for Inventor Pro HSM we have an announcement from Dassault SWW 2016 today that there will be no end to permanent seats for SW. I have no idea how this is going to work with HSMWorks for new customers. At this time Delcam products still offer permanent seats and talking to a sales rep last week Autodesk has no intention of ending this. Solid Edge of course is offering permanent seats along with rental, you choose.

Personally speaking I think someone(s) somewhere inside of Autodesk started a policy that will backfire. One has to remember though something I learned first hand when I knew Karsten Newbury. The person in charge does not have free will to just do whatever they want. There are conflicting opinions and agendas and back stabbers and people of authority who will oppose you for whatever reason. I am certain the same is true for Carl Bass. What I am hoping is that this has been allowed to go on because opposing it would have meant fighting a big chunk of mercenary upper management that does not understand buyers can and will buy from others if you force them to. You do NOT own them. This whole chattel serfdom thing is not the same philosophy I perceive as coming from Bass who has spent so much time assembling a manufacturing ecosphere and is himself a chip maker. I think a turf war was big enough that he was forced into saying OK. But my hope is that he is standing there with a pink slip in hand once these plantation owners are proven wrong and out the door they do. Gonna be real hard to make this stick when your major opposition is going to shoot you down through the concept of customers are first.

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.

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.

Discouraging Addition to the Semi Annual Marketing and Publicity Update

I have no idea what is in the water people in corporate boardrooms drink. No idea how they formulate ideas that are supposed to appeal to people like me who use their software. No idea why a cohesive multi-year organized effort to promote SE or a vibrant ecosystem or user community does not ever happen. No idea what salient features and promo campaigns they think are useful to grow market share because none ever survive long enough to even have results to judge by.

So today this is posted. http://community.plm.automation.siemens.com/t5/Solid-Edge-Blog/Interview-with-John-Miller-Senior-VP-of-Mainstream-Engineering/ba-p/288511

There has been a hiatus of driven and focused leadership for a while now with the Cooper Newbury team finally giving up before the Siemens corporate have meetings and do nothing culture. Seemingly obsessed with protecting make work jobs for those who could not produce real and meaningful results if their lives depended upon it and protecting NX et al at all costs SE has languished and continues to languish. So I read what this new guy has to say and I think empty words. Yet another Marketing PR guy with no real vision and no clue and no road map for success. I read what he has to say and think here we go with buzz words and catchy phrases that mean things only to the select group of psyco-babble market-speak cloistered company dudes. How many times do these guys think they can wrap up the same tired old promises and mantras and expect to be believed?

OK John you like the word passion. I used to have one for Solid Edge but nonsense like this empty rhetoric you bring to the table has killed it. All I see here is same old stuff new suit and SE is going nowhere. Yeah yeah synchronous. The best single thing to come down the pike for CAD and Siemens SE has been so inept at convincing users of its value that it’s power as a sales tool has been completely squandered. I sit in user group meetings where I am the only one who uses ST and the students who are supposed to be part of the future for SE are not even taught ST at the University of Alabama Huntsville. I don’t know which is worse. Teachers who are so lazy they can’t be bothered to put this powerful tool in student hands or the dumb company that gives software away and then never follows up to enforce what is done with it. Or VAR’s that should be showing the value of ST to customers who would then adopt it. Really, they don’t go out and prove this so customers think they have no time to learn new things when in reality if they did learn this new thing their time savings from then on would dwarf this supposed “expense” to switch over. But one thing is for sure we don’t have to worry about “passions” running amuck with you Siemens UGS SE guys and planing for and demanding results with cohesive long-term pervasive strategies. The market has been there to seize and Dassault did their level best to give market share to you all but corporate backstabbing and NX UGS turf protection stopped the only guys who wanted to deliver this.

Another year, no summits, no user organizing, best software you’ve never heard of campaign still going strong and no growing ecosystem to speak of to contend with SW’s large and established one. Big whoop, finally got rendering. Last one to do so. Finally get integrated CAM which then falls flat on its face because you don’t care enough about what is associated with your products to police your partners. Further more you have no established method for doing so and the belated chasing after Geometric to do right was started by disgruntled users because you guys failed to do your jobs. But meetings. Oh those wonderful meetings that go nowhere and do nothing were quite prolific and lots of wages were earned with them while staving off the dreaded specter of concrete positive results.

Or the ecosystem being assembled with bought outright superior tools by Carl Bass who does have a plan and desire and the ability to make it happen which is coming your way to make life even more difficult. I quite frankly can’t see Siemens or you ever coming up with any kind of strategy to beat SW or the giant billy club Autodesk is going to hold over your head later this year. You guys have no clue what you are facing although we little people here in the trenches that you would like to have as customers are certainly paying attention. I am completely thrilled that you are going to have meetings and conferences to jump-start your new way. Oh goody I can’t wait. Another SEU where over half the people in a rather small crowd are employees of Siemens one way or another or VAR types because you guys have totally failed to convince the world there is a reason to attend. And conferences too and all this nonsense that leaves convincing people to become your customers as an afterthought while you professionals talk to each other and mirrors.

I read this interview today and just shook my head. Not in disbelief anymore but rather with a sense of resignation to the idea that SE is never going to amount too much in the world of MCAD. We have come full circle back to the sad days of Bruce Boes Velocity Series genius I fear. I hope I am proven wrong about my suspicions. I would like for SE to have it’s technically deserved place in the world. I will however go to sleep tonight convinced this will never be. Whether it is Siemens culture or outright UGS veteran hatred of SE does not matter. The results are going to be the same.

It is a sad contrast to what I am seeing with Autodesk Inventor HSM after you guys forced a loyal customer into looking elsewhere with the Geometric CW4SE debacle.

Update 1-23-15

Yoo Hoo John new leader guy looky over here.

Anyone but Solid Edge

I figure you don’t mean any of the PR babble-speak emitted and I figure you are just there because there is a position that has to be filled. Even though the job description is to keep SE under the radar for the majority of potential customers so it can’t grow or possibly threaten any precious NX seat sales there still has to be a warm body there so why not you eh? Siemens will not take the chance of putting an effective person in this position again because, well you know why. You took the job and have your instructions so you do know. Be their rubber stamp take your pay and don’t rock the boat. Have all the meetings you want but don’t make progress OK. Here you go John, enjoy. The sublime irony of a job title like VP Mainstream Engineering when the function is Forgotten Pond Engineering.

Question for the day. Is there any particular mid range or high end MCAD program missing from the Dell list? If there is would there be any particular reason why?

The Builders Philosophy

I have considered for some time that there is a philosophy that directs how programs are focused and who determines or how this is determined. You have people who are convinced that the design of something is paramount and all that happens around after and before is just what follows this most singularly important event. Then there are the guys on the shop floor who know that if it does not work well there it can impact the bottom line of a company far more than the design ever did. Then there are the PLM types that figure it all hinges on them and rather than making the collator organizer type thing PLM is supposed to be they make it the chief entity and all other programs have to be shoehorned into it. Then you have the customer who judges the end result and finds themselves wondering on occasion what genius came up with this mess. Most of the people contacted through my business fall primarily into one category with perhaps another as ancillary to the primary. They may design for instance and they may walk out onto the shop floor and look at parts being cut or talk to the machinist so they have some knowledge of what goes on there but no real knowledge like they have for designing.

I remember about four years ago starting an argument with the SE guys about thread data that would go with a part file. My complaint was the only reason for SE to exist was so someone could manufacture something from it and in order to do this efficiently the right manufacturing data had to be in there. It was not until last year that SE began to fix this so that manufacturing data would be reflected in the actual dimensions on the CAD file. Prior to this point in time for instance none of your surface data could be used in the part. For instance a 1/4 20 thread would not show a .2010 drill hole size but rather a silly .25 hole size. Decisions made by programmers who just could not understand why this was a big deal. Had they been made to deal with the problems this created on a shop floor or CAM program they might have had a better appreciation for the thought that no software meant for any part of the manufacturing process truly is an island by itself. By the way ST7 finally has this fixed right for the first time ever in the history of SE. Why did this take so long? I wonder if it was because they finally decided to consider manufacturing or whether it was the fact that the US military will soon require all correct and actual part conditions and tolerances to be incorporated in the actual part files in design software used for things they consume. But this is a perfect example to me of the divide perpetuated by management and coders that see themselves as the primary entity and not as a part of an integrated system which as an aggregate is in reality the primary entity.

I find very few individuals who have the knowledge that I have and an appreciation for the how it all must work together. When something is done here I design the part, go and program the CAM paths and cut the part, weld the sanitary tubing or sheet metal assemblies. Assemble the product to the degree required and then deliver this and make sure the customer is happy. Every single aspect of the complete manufacturing process I have hands on experience with. I go to the SE Universities and am in awe of the skill level there with some of these guys. They are so far ahead of me in design abilities and I never expect to be their equal in that area. But I am an expert in shop floor procedures and I am good enough at design to create all I produce. I actually create the idea build it and guarantee it and so I have to deal with every aspect of the part. Very few people do. This leads me to the idea of what philosophy determines the content and capabilities of the software that you use.

I have a builders philosophy. I just want what I use to work well and competently with all the other aspects of building real things so I can, well uhh so, well so I can build real things and my living depends on ALL of it working together. This is one of the things that really excited me about Karsten Newbury being in charge of SE. He had an industrial degree and he grokked the importance of how it all must work together. Miss you Karsten and hope you come back some day and they give you the free rein you and the SE customers deserve. It is this world view of software I find missing so often from people who work with software programming who have a tunnel vision and everything else is below them in the “real” world they live in. So these types of people build little compartments where each thing is separate and the manufacturing ecosystem has to go from room to room to work with dividing walls everywhere hindering efficiencies. And heaven forbid the upper management of these companies getting this in most cases.

Last February Autodesk ran an ad during the Superbowl. Well yes it really was an ad but so cleverly done. The dynamics of air flow around a football and showing how it was done. I was floored with the originality of this presentation and it started the wheels spinning. For some time Autodesk was #2 bad boy after Dassault in my view based on my utter loathing, which I still have by the way, for being forced to work on the cloud. Carl Bass had been accumulating essential and best in class components for A to Z manufacturing for a while by then and it dawned on me what he was doing. He was assembling a comprehensive integrated manufacturing ecosystem. He was also laying the foundation to create interest in design/building/engineering amongst the future and existing workforce. Those who just might be inspired by this and end up using Autodesk products while learning in schools and universities and expect to afterwards to when they were in the private sector as employees. So here I was as an SE user watching Siemens cut SE off at the knees and looking over the fence at Autodesk who had a plan and was implementing it. I wondered then and still do wonder if the companies that compete against Autodesk have any idea of the peril they are in with small to medium or perhaps even larger manufacturing ecosystems? I just have this idea of a juggernaut that was being assembled as people watched in shock apparently incapable of reacting in any meaningful way. The really good CAM bits left on the market get snapped up by Autodesk as part of a plan while others who could have done something elected to relegate the idea of complete manufacturing ecospheres as secondary. I was in admiration of Carl Basses plan at that time and said so. Still not convinced though that the cloud was unavoidable with them. But he and they had my attention and I ask questions.

One of the remarkable things I have since found out is that unlike any other CEO or major corporate officer of any other design software company I know of Carl Bass personally owns CNC machinery himself. He makes things and he writes the programs to do this and I have concluded that out of all the corporate executives out there in design software land he is the only one with a builders philosophy. I am completely fascinated with this and regard Autodesk today as the most singularly exciting place there is because the builders concept is being put into place there by a builder.

So far unlike some past acquisitions by Autodesk things are now being handled in exemplary fashion. The fears the HSM users had have never come to pass and they were treated with respect and courtesy and I don’t know anyone who has left. Not that I know many but of those none complain or leave. Delcam is being integrated but not subsumed and don’t hear squat for complaints on the web from Delcam users about all this now. What I am saying is that by all the information I can dig up there have been no stumbles and no duplicitous garbage forthcoming from all this. I was for some time quite angry over the cloud issue and the lack of information about how the future was to be shaped regarding it but this fear has left for me now and I am today a customer. I am seeing a company that is the most transparent about what they are doing amongst their peers and making prices right to be a player with small to medium-sized and above companies who make or design things.

For me with a builders philosophy I am certain you can find singular programs outside of Autodesk that are much better like SE is compared to Inventor. But for the driving philosophy behind what is being implemented and the future roadmap being planned there is nothing else that touches the potential of what I see unfolding today at Autodesk.

The Leveling of the Playing Field for USERS

First go here http://www.upfrontezine.com/2014/upf-833.htm and read the theory of CAD commoditization Ralph brings forth. I have to admit to having similar thoughts for some time now and think the handwriting is on the wall for over priced CAD and CAM.

The exception to this will be those who have been sucked into the PLM world and the psuedopods of the Hydra so firmly wrapped around their stuff that there is no escape. At a certain level of manufacturing complexity this is necessary and an evil inflicted upon using companies by vendors that make it so difficult to use that not only do you have to buy the product you have to buy gobs of very expensive tech support. Mainly from people like Dassault and Siemens who are the chief culprits of complexity for their own benefit but others like PTC fit the bill to.

But for the rest of us who use midrange MCAD there is a revolution coming. Remember what the prices for rudimentary CAD was when it all got started? I read of things like $150,000.00+ for one seat along with the custom computer for crude stuff by today’s standards. With the exception of Synchronous Tech which I believe sets Solid Edge above the rest the similarities of all cad programs and their capabilities are sufficient for what you need to make. How easy it is to get there differs which is why all mid range CAD programs will end up having Direct editing if they want to survive with decent market share.

Let us use what I currently employ as an example of a business model which will be under serious attack by the end of this year. CAMWorks for Solid Edge with 3 axis milling, Volumill 3 axis, 2 axis turning and adding 4th axis milling adds up to over $15,000.00 and right at $3,000.00 per year for what ever they decide to put in there and tech support which most use rarely after the first year or so with most programs. Then we have Solid Edge Classic at around $6.900.00 and $1,500.00 per year. Grand total of $21,900.00 up front and add to that another $4,500.00 and your first years expenditure is $26,400.00 and $4,500.00 per year after that. Similar costs abound with most combinations out there for SW and SE with the exception of HSMWorks and SW which can as a package be significantly cheaper than others.

Yes, HSMWorks which brings me to the company that is going to break the back of overpriced CAD CAM. http://cam.autodesk.com/inventor-hsm is the current page for Inventor and HSMWorks. Look at these prices!! Yes I know that Inventor is clunky compared to SE and SW but they are working on it. Seriously working on it. Now how quickly they fix things remains to be seen but for most of us out there based upon the work I see being done with Inventor it is more than capable. I have used HSMWorks and while CAMWorks has some powerful things HSM does not CAMWorks is also far more complex to use and set up. The reality is that if you are a job shop with gobs of differing parts and small runs at the end of the year I think CW and HSM both will consume about the same amount of time to generate plans with ease of use to implement going to HSM as the hands down winner. Unless there is a significant improvement for SE in a revolutionary way and not just the incremental way the last two years have been I will more than likely not ever renew again. I can use SE as it is for the next six or seven years and all the capabilities I need are there. CAMWorks is just overpriced like Featurecam and Mastercam and Surfcam and many others with price tags way up there.

See here is the thing I am looking at. What have YOU MR CAD CAM company done for me lately? Just what is it you think I should spend MY money on? Remember, it IS my money. This thing you are supposed to compete to get not collude to fix prices at an artificially high level. You want me to keep forking out the dough when I rarely need tech support you have to offer genuine improvements that rate buyer loyalty. It is a thing that works both ways you know and what have you done for me that I should reward you with loyalty and money each year is a question most developers would rather you never ask yourself. Now if you don’t already own SE it is worth looking into to buy for at least a year just to get the Synchronous goodies. Like many SW users are discovering as their Dassault sells them down the river you can work many years without being current. Money in your pocket where it needs to be.

I expect that I will soon be buying into the Autodesk HSM Inventor world where I can replace most of what I need for $7,500.00 and $1,250.00 per year after that. For just the cost of two years maintenance with SE and CW4SE I have a new program that will save me at least $3,000.00 per year afterwards. Heck if I need only 2.5 axis HSM is FREE. That is like $4,500.00+ at CW4SE and Surfcam and Mastercam etal. It has been free for some time now and I expect it will be for some time to come. THIS is the commoditization that is going to happen and Autodesk is going to kick the prices down across the board and eat their competitors alive.

The next generation of pricing is right around the corner. HEY you UGS/Siemens SE haters don’t worry about losing sales of NX to SE but rather maybe you ought to think about will SE even keep most of its market share in the coming onslaught. If you care of course. So Nero fiddles for SE at Siemens and the lunatics run the assylum at Dassault and PTC Who is over there while a guy who is really hungry and commited with a vision and the will and power to make it happen plans your demise. I never used to think much about Carl Bass but this is certainly changing for the better as I watch what is happening under his direction.

Update for CAMWorks for SE and SE ST7

Pleased to say that progress is being made for CW4SE behind the scenes. The beta for integration with ST7 will be out this week and if typical patterns are followed the official release will be within a month. Also the work continues on the new Tech Data Base that will allow for real world tools and I presume in time the importing of tool libraries from manufacturers. Of course along with this rework the out of the box tool path strategies will be improved so look for great things in the next year.

I know, next year? Why so long? While Geometric is a pretty decent sized software developer there is a limit to how much manpower they have to delegate to stuff like this and sadly real life things like trade shows and work for others like SW has to be done to. Lets face it here, while the population of CW4SE users is growing it is nothing at all like other specific programs in the size of the user base and they can’t drop everything just to make the new kid on the block happy. This is real life here but I can say with confidence that, and this includes the SW users of CAMWorks to, there is continued development of the new way and as far as I can tell they are quite serious and do not intend to stop. They are aware of how dated some aspects of the program are. Indeed with the work and super competitive pricing Autodesk is bringing to the world with the combination of HSMWorks and Inventor and others are also doing with integrating tool management and libraries and cutting strategies they know things have to advance. I find myself going back to ZW3D on occasion for really simple 2D tool paths. Is it not strange that of all cutting that simple 2D seems to be fraught with more problems than 3D? Strange but true and it is so with most CAM programs out there. ZD does these pretty well or I just happen to know it well enough to make it seem easy. But NOTHING beats the combination of Volumill and Constant Stepover with CW4SE as far as I am concerned. Cut some more dough extrusion dies this week and I just love it when customers call up and marvel over how nice the work is. Keep in mind I did not have to do ANY polishing after the fact to get these up to food grade.

Now we have ST7 to play with also and it is a very good release. Nothing remarkable that I have seen but improvements in how easy it is to do daily clicks and picks. Sometimes I would far rather see these things happen. Dimensioning and picking reference points for example are far easier and how many times a day does this kind of stuff affect you? I have not played with 3D points nor have I made much headway with Keyshot in the brief time I have given to it. Really not all that interested in things outside of my little work world and what is specific to my products. I can say without reservation though that if you are a developer or manufacturer of machinery for food products manufacturing this is where you need to be.

The caveat to this and it is a serious one is that there sadly dwells withing the Siemens Ecosystem a particular individual who will remain un-named who has considerable authority to compromise the future of SE. He is an old time UGS guy and he despises SE. Quite frankly he sees SE as a threat to the giant cash cow NX etal represents to Siemens/UGS and while SE was good enough to develop Synchronous Tech which NX had no clue about it is not good enough to be fairly represented and promoted by Siemens in this mans eyes. For years I had heard this was the case but until I was informed by those who truly know I did not believe it. So SE is once again and still the red headed bastard step child that just wont go away and leave the UGS guys alone. Bet that dude and his friends in high places just hate it.

I know it takes just one rotten apple in the right place to destroy more than you can imagine and the efforts of top flight people like Dan Staples and Karsten Newbury. These guys are the best in the industry and are over the best mid range MCAD program in the industry that has not lived up to it’s potential as far as I can find out solely because Siemens has been convinced it is a threat to NX sales. Heaven forbid that! I guess these people figure that losing all the sales they were virtually guaranteed by Dassault idiocies was not worth losing a few NX sales. Penny wise and pound foolish and all to satisfy the ego of Mr NX who just happens to be an SE hater.

I will say this too. I see these NX camp guys pushing CAM Express for SE like it was a fully integrated program. I am telling anyone who wants to listen this is misrepresentation by them and yes there is a nice CE icon on your SE toolbar but then you have to bring it into NX cad and THEN you get to use CE with it. With CW4SE you have true integration and it works inside of SE with native files and updates and you NEVER leave the SE environment. I get so tired of NX people claiming true integration when it is not. But I expect this from that side of the aisle and from the Siemens SE killers.

Apparently all the user summits and roll-outs that usually accompany new SE releases regionally will not happen this year. I suppose this falls under the don’t want to sell too many SE seats category and I would imagine it has been starved deliberately for funds like so many other things that would have ably promoted dramatic sales increases for SE.

Folks, buy SE and CW4SE because they work well. Don’t buy them because you expect Siemens to aggressively acquire market share you can benefit from with the increased work it would represent. Under the current regime there is no interest in this. It is why the crap publicity and promotion happens year after year. And until this is changed at levels above Newbury and Staples where the real power to determine outcomes resides this is SE’s fate in life. It is indeed “The Best Software Siemens Does Not Want You To Hear Of” and not as folklore has it “The Best Software You’ve Never heard Of”.

Autodesk May Be Off My Hate You List

Just a short post on this today. All the publicity I have seen for some time for Autodesk has been strictly cloud promotion oriented. I have been having some rather lengthy conversations with Anthony Graves about CAM and Autodesk things in general this last week. He expressed some surprise that I thought Autodesk was going to just the cloud. He was quick to point out that this is not so and some prices over at the Autodesk site seemed to bear this out.

I have been told that in the near future publicity for Autodesk will not overlook this desktop paradigm and indeed it is not in their plans at all to phase this out. Seeing will be believing and they have to publicly start making mention of this as official policy with time frames for it to be real to me. I am impressed with Anthony and not only is he a first-rate eloquent and knowledgeable advocate for HSMWorks he is also one for Autodesk. He tells me it has never been the intent by Autodesk to go purely cloud for the foreseeable future.

Software authoring companies might want to consider something here. All of you. What is the message you are really giving to readers and seekers of knowledge? Do you wonder why your plans and intents are not being accurately perceived by the public? I have looked a lot for info RE Autodesk and the cloud and honestly this is all I hear about and it is the only future way of operating I hear about so just what am I to conclude? And if you mean you think the cloud will be ubiquitous and technical problems all solved in ten or twenty years but not now why not say it that way? And I am most certainly not alone in this impression. And then in addition nothing ever comes out from Autodesk to correct this idea many of us have. So if you persist in half messages I am going to persist in comments based upon half reality because you made it so.

Sorry Dassault, I am not talking about you today as I think you guys are truly wacko and sold out to some sort of social media group think CADCAM thing. This thing you hope will sell to enough of those kids with iWhatever tunnel vision blinders surgically attached to their ears and lives to the exclusion of reality around them. An alternate universe that will go Nova when their batteries fail. I can see the sweaty palms as panic sets in. Thumbs futilely twitching the device as fear of having to actually talk to someone sets in. You know these people as the ones at the restaurant enjoying their night out as each sits there in silence never looking or talking to each other with their eyes glued to their iThings. The Dassault future world as far as I can see.

In this day of the internet what you say and what you don’t say carry equal weight. Your poor message or lack of messages can sink your future just as surely as poor technical capabilities can and word WILL get out for better or worse. This word can be negatively and severely exacerbated by your lack of product improvements or your lack of correct or corrective information.

This of course assumes that you have a marketing department of quality to begin with to do these things.

The Autodesk Juggernaut Starts Rolling

One of the things that started my sojourn into blogging was interest in CAD and CAM in general. This of course means interest in topics besides my CAD CAM flavors of personal choice and I have always watched what others are doing. The cloud has in many ways been tied for equal interest with software as it may have such a profound effect upon how we do business in the future for those who foolishly go there. The other side of the coin which was alarming to me and the single largest reason I have had for posting bad things about Autodesk and Dassault’s Solid Works was the idea that they were going to try to force the cloud upon users whether they wanted it or not. I believe that if this paradigm were to be proven successful that other companies would probably follow this path to if vendor and cloud lock in with forced subscription only models for these two companies proves to be successful. Other than that the software from these two is what it is and if they dump this cloud garbage I would not have a whole lot to say about them because at that time they would not represent a potential threat to my future anymore.

Today just for the heck of it I went to this Autodesk site. http://cam.autodesk.com/pricing

Autodesk Juggernaut

Now I have to admit that this is the first real evidence I have found that the cloud is not inevitable here contrary to the statements made by Carl Bass. It would serve him well I think to clarify just what really is going to happen here. But at least at this current time cloud and not cloud are available. But what most impressed me were the we want you as customers prices. And per comments from Autodesk regarding a question from Al Dean the other day that Delcams PowerShape had technology in it including Direct Editing that would be incorporated into future versions of Inventor.

Autodesk is gearing up here for conquest. Look at the prices for just HSMWorks on this web page and it is the same as the prices will be for Inventor HSM. Except that HSMWorks will be + your full price seat of Solid Works and I would imagine two maintenance payments per year. If Autodesk really does a good job of integrating direct editing and other needed capabilities into Inventor and they make it the equal of Solid Edge or Solid Works and maintain this pricing it will be hands down the value leader in mid range MCAD and CAM combos.

I like HSMWorks. The Tech data base in Camworks IF you spent the time to implement all the stuff needed to make it work will get you quick toolpaths on most of your parts. As a matter of fact it is the best out there for Feature recognition but set up is a fairly involved process. Volumill is the very best HSM strategy out there right now and HSMWorks does not license it so plus another one for CAMWorks. HSMWorks does not offer these two things but I have to say that for those shops that just want good tool paths quick to learn and not cumbersome to set up HSMWorks is pretty darned good. They also have their own version of HSM which is capable. A friend of mine close by has one of those pressure cooker job shops and he swears by it and does a lot of different stuff each day. To be honest HSMWorks was my first choice for integration with SE back when I was asked to look at CAM programs for possible integration with SE.

In this day and time with each dollar counting more and more I believe that if Autodesk keeps permanent seats available this combination of Inventor HSM is going to be tough to beat as value leader. Now I presume that they intend to make Inventor into being more capable. But even if they don’t it is still way cheap and for that kind of money many will make the choice to just deal with a cam program that is not fully integrated with their CAD as long as Inventor handles imported parts well. Retail on SE and CW4SE up to 3 axis + Volumill 3 axis + turning is now right at $18,000.00 or $19,000.00 and there is not too much to be had in the deal zone off of that. My maintenance on this duo is going to be right at $4,000.00 per year and I bet yours will be to if you buy this. I don’t know what a full five axis and mill turn seat would cost from CW4SE but I suspect it would crowd you real close to $20,000.00 just like Mastercam would and probably be $4,000.00 per year on maintenance and with the additional maintenance from SE would add up to $5,500.00 or more per year. I also have no way of judging the relative capabilities of HSM versus CW4SE when you get into 4 and 5 axis and mill turn because I have never cut parts doing this. The labels however say these two can do it and I can say that after a trial of HSMWorks I did about two years ago if the capabilities of the rest of HSM are as good as the three axis stuff was it is more than capable.

That rumbling sound from down the road and just over the hill where you can’t quite see it yet just might be the Autodesk Jugernaught heading straight for you.

I have been told that the maintenance for the inventor and HSMWorks combo is 11 or 12% per year. This gets back to the idea of compelling potential customers to consider you and to keeping customers as customers with reasonable prices. Money is money and as a small business man my bottom line is more important to me than Siemens or Geometrics. So we have for new customers with SE and CW4SE to get what I have will be $18,000.00 plus $4,000.00 per year and a cam program I am getting increasingly irritated with. I don’t think I like this TDB and I would rather have templates if I were to be interested in automation at all. I am hoping someone shows me how to work the way I want to work with CW4SE and I will be all smiles soon. Then there is the $9,990.00 price above for cad and cam and only say $1,200.00 per year and I get a cam program that does things the way I want it to. I have to admit to sitting here and thinking real hard about where my future money will go because the payback with this HSM stuff is three years based on my recurring costs with SE CW4SE.Then I would have annual costs of one third what I will have if I continue the SE CW4SE path I am on. It is my money and it does have to be earned if you want some of it. I have a lot of thoughts wandering around in my mind right now that I never thought I would have three months ago. If Autodesk promises to maintain desktop permanent seats indefinitely and I feel I can trust them to do so I may just buy into it. Truthfully CAM is the most important part of my business in some ways because I may only design something once but make thousands of them afterwards. It is just as important for my CAM to work right as my CAD because I am a manufacturer and the recurring costs are a part of my profit picture. I have to admit that when my must pay maintenance jumped over 4G recently it was a wake up call that began to ask the question do you really want to be here.

Dell Shows Appreciation for Autodesk and Dassault Cloud Efforts

I like to look at workstations even if I am not in the market for one. You never know when some new deal will come out that compels you to reconsider. Like the new Dell M3800 and M4800 Laptops with available 15.6″ UltraSharp QHD+ (3200×1800) Wide View Anti-Glare LED-backlit screens. I think I would like to see one of these. But perusing the site today led to some other not so pleasant discoveries.

It is and has been my position for a few years now ever since Dassault began its drive to force users to the cloud plantation that the CAD CAM software authoring companies that do this are duplicitous and do not have a shred of moral concern for their customers. And of course add to this now the whole line of Autodesk products and the comments from Carl Bass regarding his goals of moving it all there for Autodesk products. I don’t know if Dassault is just so incompetent that they can’t produce more than they have to showcase their efforts at tyranny. To date what has really made it to the marketplace after years of effort? And coming up at the SWW 2014 End Of Life convention supposedly the new CAD utopia of Mechanical Conceptual will be revealed in all it’s glory. Late of course and no one has seen any previews of this wonder. I have images in my mind of Charles standing there on stage, just like another individual did at the COFFES conference a while back, and being subjected to software or cloud failure to perform as touted. This to an audience that did not ask for their yearly subscription monies to be abrogated to such a thing they neither asked for nor wanted. This has all been mentioned before but it bears repeating because it is a direct indicator of the competence of Dassault to create a new paradigm and it is also a multi-year indicator of their contempt for customers futures that they would be willing to put those who would continue to use Dassault products at risk.

Autodesk has come further in a much shorter time than Dassault based upon products that are actually out there and available for beta testers and pretty much whom so ever is interested can be one. Unlike the sworn to secrecy small group of beta selectees Dassault has. So Autodesk is making an honest effort to show beforehand what they are producing and how it will work. In addition they are purchasing relevant programs essential to CAD and CAM creation like HSMWorks and Delcam which may give them critical mass for forcing enough people into the cloud that they will succeed in this effort. I give kudos to Carl Bass and Autodesk for being upfront about their goals and transparent about what they are doing. Based upon this if I had to make a choice between Dassault and Autodesk for the cloud I would choose Autodesk in a heart beat. Their problem is that albatross Inventor which from all I hear is the bottom of the barrel in midrange MCAD.

But the two big things both of these companies are guilty of is A, they know what they propose to do to you can’t be made secure so no guarantees of security and no indemnification for you the buyer and B, they NEVER talk about all the additional costs you will incur here over time above what you are currently spending. I would also add that neither will guarantee you that you will never become data hostages to them. Neither have done so and they are not intending to do so. You have to become chattel for all this to pay off for them.

Dell is going to help establish the nature of the fraud of the cloud claims to cheaper better faster multi-unlimited core compute power no IT staff auto-updating cloud computing Nirvana. Dell has a new product suite out there for the cloud. I guess they figure either enough companies will be forced into the cloud by people like Dassault and Autodesk that there will be a market for cloud security. Maybe they figure that all this cloud junk is going to appeal to enough C-Suite types who figure it sounds good and all they have to do is wave a magic cloud wand at their computing infrastructure and all will be well as they fire tons of staff and save gobs of money. (As an aside here heaven only knows MBA CPA C-Suite types have not been known for prudent long-term planning beyond 90 day stock market manipulation time frames. Kind of like these idiots fire all their American workers and move jobs to China and then lobby Congress for illegals to be allowed to replace American citizen labor. And then they have the unmitigated gall to complain of dwindling sales here as people run out of money. Gosh, just when they thought they had invented a new way where actions would not produce negative reactions and now no one has money to buy their stuff. I have such utter contempt for these short-sighted idiots that it is hard for me to adequately describe it. Unless manufacturing is brought back to the USA by a different class of manager we will become has beens. You can’t be a prosperous large middle class world power without manufacturing. Something this guy Henry Ford understood so well and MBA CPA pillage and plunder morons have no clue of.) Dells new offering is called Sonic Wall.

Never let it be said that Dell marketing can’t speak tongue in cheek and my favorite of their new offerings is, I kid you not, the “SonicWALL NSA 220”. No double entendre implied intent there I am sure and the NSA stands for Network Security Appliance. http://www.dell.com/us/business/p/sonicwall-nsa-series/pd?oc=swnas220&model_id=sonicwall-nsa-series

Here is further info on this family of devices and services.

Dell is telling all of you who care to think about what is happening that the internet is fraught with danger and that companies like Dassault and Autodesk are perpetrating huge risks on you the more you have to use the web for critical data in your business. Not that you would ever be in jeapordy of losing irreplacable IP on-line right? Just ask to see the indemnification and guarantees of security from Dassault and Autodesk as proof of their confidence in their own products.

No costs added to you dear customer is our Dassault Autodesk cloud pledge. So lets see here. I want to buy a Dell Precision T3610 with decent ram and graphics that would cover most users. But look at the new options. This NSA whiz bang thing adds 60% to the cost of the workstation.

Sonic Wall Dell cost for t3610

Then you have another category of Dell Cloud Clients.

Dell Cloud clients

If you dear reader care to look around you will find a lot of evidence of ancillary costs that will be incurred in so many ways if you are ever foolish enough to relinquish your destiny and control to those who would demand you work on the cloud for your business. Specifically here I am addressing primarily CAD and CAM users. This class of individuals and companies who can never be made whole from security breaches unlike financial transactions where damage is finite and amounts provable and reimbursements occur. How do you calculate the damages from a product that you have spent three years developing only to see your IP being manufactured by a country like China before you released it yourself? I can see Dassault and Autodesk trotting out their weasel words lawyers who would then say things like “Your Honor, there is no proven track record of sales by Company X for them to base their claims of damages on” in a case like this. This is the degree of honesty I think cloud perpetrators bring to the table and then want you to sit still for it. “And further your Honor this company signed an agreement not to hold us liable for anything as a condition of use and we move for dismissal”. And it will be dismissed because the lawyer weasel words are there and you did sign on.

So as the SWW 2013 EOL convention nears I think it is appropriate to consider the honesty and integrity of Dassault and the individuals that will be presenting the future of Dassault and SW to the attendees. I expect a lot of people to leave there contemplating where they are going to go to avoid this thankless future that Charles is going to present to them.