Sitting here and thinking today about the world of manufacturing software and coming to some sad conclusions. It is not limited to this sector exclusively either as basic things like Email and Microsoft Win 10 OS problems are growing. I think there is a cycle of innovation and periodically it waxes and wanes. Today we are in wane mode. Thinking of Microsoft trying to create the equivalent to the Apple walled garden where in time they can force users to do what they want as their main new innovation. Their goal I believe is to force all who go there to rent all software each and every month rather than buy an OS and use it for years as is done now. Their innovations will head in this direction and so you see chaotic Win10 stuff and all the IT people whom I trust say don’t leave Win7 if you don’t have to. These companies really resent you buying something once and using it for years and it is at the top of their to do list to end this.
There are problems that accompany this effort for users. I can’t surf the web anymore with either Firefox or IE 11 without recurring problems that never existed so frequently before. Sometimes Firefox works better and then sometimes IE works better. Sometimes site functions work right and other times it is 404 city. Check in later and it works. Software is becoming to complex and companies to cheap to hire sufficient talent to correct the problems so they grow. If indeed it is possible to correct and that assumes the current model is correct. What I believe is that it is like the Joint Strike fighter from L0ckheed that does not work right and will probably never work right until a firm decision is made to limit what this wonder craft is actually supposed to do.
To many chiefs and an incompetent in charge at Lockheed a bit to worried over social justice corporate policies and affirmative action over ability and making promises to government officials they can’t keep. And get rid of the “expensive” old dudes who know what they are doing so they can be replaced with young ones who don’t. But hey, it keeps the bucks rolling in and for the lobbyist expenses to keep the crony stuff happening it is wildly profitable. Short term that is.
But like the software programs where promises are made and insufficient staff and to many promises made to fulfill them by things grind slowly into various states of disarray and poor functioning. The customer gets it in the end of course.
What is really new in the last four or five years in CAD CAM? I mean revolutionary in its new found efficiencies and productivity for the end-user? The last thing I really got excited about was Synchronous Tech with Solid Edge but there to it is now refinements and not leaps forward as it once was. I really like using HSM and since I am not a four axis plus nor a turning center shop its shortfalls do not concern me at all. It is the best high-speed machining algorithm out there but once again how many years ago was the break through and nothing nearly as profound since.
As an aside here about HSM. I have met some of the developers behind this program. They are brilliant. I can only conclude in observations and dot connecting that the long time shortfalls in this program are because Autodesk has as it’s most important CAM goal the creation of a Fusion 360 robust enough to eventually force the vast majority of all who want to use Autodesk CAM products there. So that is where the time and money apparently is going. Autodesk has the money and ability to solve HSM problems quickly if they wished to and the existence of problems going back four and five years indicates decisions being made regarding priorities. This is my opinion and not something I have been told is their direction.
Today’s corporate version of new and improved is just that. Corporate BS meant to use buzz words and glossy promos to people who either don’t understand the ramifications or even worse don’t seem to care. Like millennials who want to own nothing and have no ownership responsibilities and cant grok the future they are making for themselves as permanent chattel. Of course this refers to this cloud garbage whose sole intent is to increase profit for the authors. Fusion360 is what really started me thinking about this only “new innovative” technology out there according to the shills. I was very interested until I found out you HAD to save and edit parts with a mandatory online link to a remote server and with subscription only software to boot.
Now the price of admittance is dirt cheap. Just like the unlimited data cell phone plans were until they got enough people in and then expenses jump. One of the future ways I believe Fusion is going to gouge you is already in the works. You can get rendering done on Autodesk’s cloud with cloud credits you purchase. I have no idea what you get for this and don’t intend to ever ask since I am not going there. But in the near future you will see data caps for online storage amounts and it will I believe include data transferred to edit and update files online and then data caps on the amount that is archived online. This level will over time drop until they find the sweet spot where they start losing customers and then they will back up a bit from there.
Nothing is free and by then for all who go there leaving your captivity will be hard.
So the only “new” thing for the last few years is a big fat negative for forward-looking users. Onshape and Fusion 360 and any other program that demands online to work is tailor-made for suckers who do not care to research the past where mainframe compute problems gave rise to the freedom of power at your fingertips with desktops and precise control over expenses and outgo.
As far as I can tell the only technology push this coming year will be to figure out ways to make your existing customers captive. Cheap to start and then when you can never leave the price to play will magically grow onerous. Funny how that works isn’t it?