Tag Archives: Proe

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.

Time Of Trouble For CAD CAM Customers Ahead



As we head into the end of another year it turns out that this one is a bad one. My favorite CAD program which has been relegated to pretty serious anonymity again probably will stay there for good this time. The pace of improvements has slowed down and the capabilities of the shrinking programmer developer group have dwindled. The VP over SE has promised some things at the annual convention but did not lay out how this would take place nor any time frames. I conclude that this means there is nothing. Look, common sense would say that a structure and framework for further community and sales expansion would require planning and time already into this effort by convention time. So you see they would have been able to lay out exact details then. I choose to believe it is smoke and mirrors once again and just words to fill a space that requires them. Not a promise of future actions they are committed to.

This is a real shame as first Dassault tries to give SE customers for years and nothing. Now Autodesk is going full steam into this wretched subscription only model. SE as of this time does not YET say they will go subscription only. Make no mistake here I consider the availability of permanent seats to be the primary consideration of any software and second to this the capabilities of the software. You have to be able to control how your program works and be able to financially hold a club over the head of the program author to make them respond to your needs. No auto updates, no forced updates, no mandatory cloud, no server space you will end up paying $$$$ for because this is where they are heading, and no forced migrations to a new version of Windows or your CAD CAM program. When you go subscription only you are screwed for life.

Solid Edge is a perfect example. I have been a dues paying customer for seven years now until last August when I decided that there were not enough new improvements for me to continue paying. I would have renewed for $750.00 but not $1,500.00. I can still use SE ST8 for the next six or seven years and be quite productive. I can export to a cad neutral format and if the past is a prediction of the future old files can be brought forward with no problems and old ones opened with new the same. At least with as much data as I need anyway. These guys forget that value is a two-way street and when I no longer need support and new features the new features better be good. The VAR pissed and moaned about how this was not giving them any income and my thought was it is always about them and not the customer. How about my value received? So they stagnate and if you are not a customer still represent a great value for now. Jump on board for a year or two and then let them go and use your permanent seat like I will. Sad future for SE though. I like Ralph Grabowski’s observation from SEU2015. For a company that claims to have 500,000 users why is their attendance so small especially considering that it is one-third the price of SW and Autodesks annual conventions. I don’t believe for one second SE’s claims of market size and numbers.

How would you like to be a customer of Dassault’s SW? They have lost more than they get in new users and don’t seem to care. They limp along with buggy programs whose chief claim to market size appears to be that their customers have tons of legacy data and don’t want to move away. As Dassault does the Catia Lite migration over time they will move anyway and move to more expense, just as many if not more translation problems and as a bonus become data hostages as the new stuff will only work with a current subscription. As in monthly or yearly with no permanent seat you can fall back on when it is time to cut them loose.

PTC has just come out with subscription only. Just like listening to that idiot Obama they tell you how it is for your own good and will save you money and will give you great flexibility and freedoms to choose blah blah blah. And it will be just as beneficial in the long run as Obamacare. In the mean time you become chattel now and in the future.

Word of warning to anyone considering Autodesk. I think Inventor Pro HSM is the finest value bar none on the market right now for what you can do. CAD is clunky as all get out but I see the work being done there. HSM as I have stated has deficiencies in various areas but for me with simple turning and three axis mill parts is the finest CAM program out there. HSM Adaptive is better than Volumill which is touted as the industries best by many. Try Adaptive and you will change your mind. They are assembling a manufacturing ecosphere I approve of.
What they are also doing is something I find completely disgusting and that is by 1-30-16 you better have purchased a permanent seat or forget, possibly forever if this junk flies for Autodesk, personal autonomy and all that goes with it. You will no longer own your own data and will have to rent it back from Autodesk if you want to use it. I can see it now. You quit making a widget but have to pay for years just to be able to open the widget file because your customer expected support on the old part. With a permanent seat no additional cost but with subs you pay to play. Pay to play. Pay to play. Pay to play. Did you understand that? You pay to play. It appalls me how many CAD and CAM customers are oblivious to what is right around the corner from them.

Maybe all these companies are right. Maybe most customers don’t care what slop and egregious conditions are served up to them. It is hard for me to imagine that. I still talk to current Autodesk customers who ask me about this email they have recently received warning them about “stocking up” on permanent seats just to be safe. Another sales stratagem I find quite disgusting. In this case though the extortion via extra “stockup” seats just may be to the customer’s benefit. But why does Autodesk feel they have to go there anyway?

The answer is more appalling than you might think. They want to secure their financial future. Not yours by competitively supplying a superior product at a superior price as they are doing right now with Inventor Pro HSM. They want pay to play and you as chattel. I wonder if their analysts predictions of the future are so grim that they figure the only way they can survive and thrive is to reduce the cost of entry but make sure you can never leave.

So 2015 will be the year that goes down as the beginning of the end for benefits and control of destinies being equal between users and authors of software. It is my fervent hope that incomes drop precipitously for the pay to play guys and they will be forced into relenting back to the model of choosing what YOU the CUSTOMER want. I will be sending a check to Autodesk next week because I liked what I saw and it is a permanent seat. The day I can’t do that is the day I am gone.

Somehow I expect to see files from older versions of everything with growing regularity in the future as people step out of legal theft and wait for the next great thing to come along. After all I see around here shops working with CAD and CAM years old and doing fine. The only real exception to this is CAM if they do not have a current or recent good High Speed Machining program. I hope in the coming economic problems this pay to play junk comes back to roost on all these pay to play proponents.

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.

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.

Retired And Bored, What To Do?

There are some videos you run across by accident that can be quite amusing at times. I live right next to my shop and so travel will never be a problem to get to work. Or to the play room when I get around to semi retirement. It is my goal in the next few years to develop a few lines of manufactured goods and hire a few people to do this so that I will not have to be here all the time. Now with this new-found free time what to do?

Men are quite free compared to women. For instance I can bet your wife has asked you when will you ever grow up as her eyes roll backwards and that expression of smug superiority is put in place. Admit it now. If it has not happened yet and you have a sense of humor and a lighthearted outlook on life your day is coming too when you will be asked to artificially age your mind to match your body. It is just a women thing I guess and they think you need to get all serious and grown up just like they are. But here is my reply to this nearly universal, I fear, womanly request. A request which I suspect is ignored in most cases and for sure in mine.

I want to build one of these and invite the grandchildren over. Check out the treasure this guy has for a wife as she assists the launch and overcomes her maturity straightjacket πŸ™‚

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.

If You Can’t Innovate Obfuscate

What prompted this post was reading today about conjecture over Windows 9. My eyes kind of rolled back in my head at the title but I had a look anyway before they rolled back to far. Part of the article was conjecture on what MS would have to offer to get people to continue to spend gobs of cash with them. What would they have to offer? Indeed considering the state of affairs in most companies what is there to offer that buyers would VOLUNTARILY spend cash on.

I am not a code writer nor am I an expert OS tweeker. So what appears to me is what appears to the vast majority of all users I would imagine. And what appears to me is innovation stagnation. Other than this execrable ribbon bar monitor real estate hog what has MS really done for some time now? And the same for ΓΌber cash cow MS Office. Tweaking around the edges it seems to me without anything really profound or new. So what you do in these cases is change the wrapper and call it new. Drum roll for the ribbon bar which I still see no reason for and which was a PITA in the CAD field to all I spoke to.So we have to relearn how to do the same things all over again for no purpose. Think about it, did this ribbon bar paradigm bring anything to you except the consumption of your time to learn new so MS could claim innovation? And WIN 8 with all those cool new hand gestures. I have had a Dell M6700 for a while now with the touch screen and quite frankly with the option to work however it pleases me I hardly ever use gestures. But then I am working with mine and not playing or showing friends how cool it is to make things zip around without a mouse. So we have the New Big Deal for Win 8, an environment designed for touch screens. The unparalleled thrill of having a 24″ smart phone and how cool is that? Now this window dressing did not bring anything of value to most users so MS had to relent and change things so you could work the way you used to. I think that is conclusive proof that the innovation ceiling has been reached doing things the same old way. Change for the sake of change again. I for one am not going to adopt Win 8. I know Win 7 is not “optimized” for touch screens but I see enough of the functionality to know this is not for me.

Now a word about tech Neanderthals. This is about the time you cutting edge super wonders chime in with how I am a foot-dragging Neanderthal who just does not appreciate new. I dare say that out of my own pocket in the last couple of years I have spent far more than most of you on innovation and buying into more productive ways of doing things both mechanically and in software. I search and look for innovations and better ways and I am an early adopter when it makes sense to do so. The very first time I saw direct editing in SE before ST1 was released was enough to convince me this was powerful in so many ways that I could not afford to do without it. It took until ST3 before what I saw became user-friendly reality but this was new for the sake of users and not new for the sake of new. It was not new window dressing meant to gull the unknowing or naive into coughing up the dough. Now I know that the idea of direct editing has been around for some time but how to make it work really well and with power and precision and wrap it up into a user-friendly package? Plus it required a certain amount of compute capabilities which were not here until recently, or so I have been told. I looked at Ironcad years before I had a look at SE ST. Ahead of its time but it just never clicked with me like the very first time I saw ST. I assume there are serious limitations with it and that is why it has never gained much market share. The idea was sure interesting though. I think Direct Editing is the last powerful thing that can be done for CAD as we know it and it was the last unused innovation arrow that will hit the bullseye for CAD. Until there is a new paradigm for how shapes and data are created and at the age of 60 I don’t expect to see it.

SW has been moribund for years now and the parent company has run into both technical and philosophical social media oriented barricades they may not be able to surmount. SW World 2014 End of Life convention is going to be full of smoke and mirrors. Don’t look at the man behind the curtain look over here. Look at our shiny new old CGM kernel stuff we have for you because we can’t do it with parasolids. So lets put an, ahem, “CAD Ribbon Bar” or “The power of 3DExperience Social Engineering Group Think Power of Cloud Compute” monikers on our stuff and call it cool to hide the fact we have run out of ideas and or talent.

Adobe has not brought about much that I can see that is remarkably better than what has been out there from them for years. Incremental improvements. New improvements of mediocre import they make available to cloud buyers only is all I see.

Autodesk has not been much of an innovator either but they have been a prolific buyer of talent and market share and they do have a plan. And it is the same plan as all the above companies have and it is the same common thread that ties them all together and brings me to my main premise for this post.

When you run out of things people will voluntarily buy, when you run out of true innovations and you can no longer sell yourself on provable new benefits and features to your buying market what is left? Why the Cloud of course. It is the last refuge of those who see that their existing customers could do quite well with permanent licenses and not send you another dime for years and years because what they already have bought does everything they need. The closest thing to a new way out there in CAD right now is SE. It is not coincidence that they are the only major CAD company that is not pushing you into the cloud. They are going to draw customers from the existing pretty much static sized CAD customer market from their competitors because they are the only ones doing really good stuff right now.

Autodesk is my favorite set of bald-faced liars. They stand there and look you in the eye and babble about unlimited compute power when you are using cad and cam programs that have core limits. And yes they do on the cloud too so you just go ahead and slurp that Kool-Aid these guys serve up. Throw in all the connectivity problems and the additional layers of software and software problems that they are going to heap on this and add in no ability to guarantee security and just where is the compelling reason we all should voluntarily buy into this junk?

So scratch the voluntary cash transfers and move on to pay to play. THIS is the new innovation which of course accrues benefits to those who created it and not buyers and it is the last resort of companies that fear a level competitive playing field and who have run out of new things to sell their customers. I believe this whole cloud thing is solely about digging into your pockets. There is a reason why none of these companies have been able to present proof of concept at this time for complex cad creation on-line. Yes I know there are some things out there in controlled laboratory condition dog and pony land but I have yet to see a typical connectivity situation proved out and a concise list of all expenses from every angle that typical users are going to have to pay created. In other words no proof it works better and saves you time and money. Remember, this is from the same group of people who can’t bring enough solid innovation to you to sell their stuff on its own merits. Nor is there any indication they intend to maintain loss leader costs on their programs with a guarantee of time duration for them because the sky is the limit as soon as they figure they can get away with it.

I figure that in this time of fiscal austerity sub rates are dropping for many software companies or they see them dropping in the future. Now one of the chief weapons companies have had over time is user lock-in. Traditionally this has been accomplished with proprietary ways of saving and using data that makes it hard to go elsewhere with it and fully use it. And the expense of new programs and training add to this. Today this is not enough security and thus the creation of a chattel instead of a customer market. Or so they hope. Make your customers work under the above conditions and then add to that the forced archival of their intellectual property and then also make them pay to use it forever and withhold access to their data if they do not pay. The destruction of permanent seats will be a key part of this if these guys can get away with it. There is nothing benign here and it is all about heaping on costs to a captive market in ways that will guarantee and grow profits for all involved except YOU the customer. It is why none of these guys layout with proof the benefits to you. What true proof can liars bring to the table anyway? Remember the fraud of unlimited data forever for iPhones utilized as incentive to get people there? Remember what happened to costs when a certain critical market size was reached?

So remember the rules of engagement for the CPA MBA attitude of corporations that figure earning your business is too hard. If you can’t innovate obfuscate. Tune in to the latest episode of this new way as the MIRV Bernard Charles straps his iPhone and iPad on and launches for San Diego. Or check in to the latest words of feudal overlord wisdom from Carl Bass as he tells you what you are going to do instead of selling you on what you should do or want to do.

Solid Edge Direct Editing, Dogbone Die Assembly + User Community Comments

Here is a part that slipped through the cracks of QA which happens when everyone is in a hurry. This was a panic order and after delivery my customer made mention of a little “ridge” on the inside of the cavities. He said it was not problem and it worked fine so we left it there. Time passes and I decided to have a look at it last week and see what he was talking about. There was more than one problem and in the following video I will show how easy it is to fix these problems in Solid Edge.

Now there are a couple of things I would like to point out here. Synchronous editing in SE is not at all like direct editing or “move face” in SolidWorks. Throughout the edits I will do in SE there are not any additions to the Pathfinder or “history tree”. When changing existing features the part complexity does not change. Also the file sizes change very little and they are not cumulative adding steps with every alteration. In addition even though features may be consumed driving sketches are not and these can be reused at any time. Of course with imported parts this is not possible and if you are worried about this I would advise you to make some sketches of features before you delete them. Once you save you can’t go back. Another option and the one I prefer best is to just save a renamed copy for use if need be.

I don’t know how “move face” would work with SolidWorks in assemblies and I have not found a video on-line that would show me. I am VERY interested if anyone knows of such a video as I would like to do a comparison between SE and SW. Please send me a link if you have one. Now in order for there to be a useful comparison the link must show the history tree in SW to allow for a direct comparison of file size and complexities.

Here are two screen captures reflecting file sizes from before and after the edits in SE. Please note the file sizes and how little change there is.
dogbone first

dogbone last

And here is the video.

I would like a word with all the Solid Edge users that may see this. Each and every one of you have something of value to contribute to the community in some way. When I post videos on how I do things I do not say it is the best way, nor the only way, it is just the way I do it. Part of my purpose in posting is to generate a community of INVOLVED people with SE. If you have a better way or a different way why don’t you contribute what you know? I am willing to post here both worthwhile comments and videos with accreditation to contributors. In addition there is an official gathering site
where you can contribute and I know Matt is looking for volunteers who are willing to share their expertise. Become a FAMOUS WORLD RENOWNED Power Contributor. πŸ˜‰ I even created this wonderful moniker which will accrue much prestige upon you so how can you lose? Just do it.

Now if I were Siemens I think I would be providing a little incentive here for contributors. Perhaps free attendance and transportation to SEU 2014 for the best user contributor of the year. Another worthwhile incentive might be a free years maintenance as prizes for notable contributors. Or a gift card of equivalent value for contributing employees of a company where a years free maintenance would not mean much. I bet you creative marketing types can figure some things out but don’t be tightwads. At the last user group meeting in Huntsville Saratech contributed a graphics card as a door prize just for attending. Of how much more worth is an individual who is willing to take his time to share his knowledge and show the world how users deal with CAD creation and editing? Perhaps it is time for Siemens and SE to step up to the plate and let users KNOW they value contributions to the establishment of a vibrant users community. Is there really any reason why this should not be so except that Siemens has not spent the time nor created inducements? I want to make it clear I am not trying to get these things for myself. I chose years ago to do this because I believe in the product and in the Value of community. But I know it is a rare individual who will make this type of decision based upon a goal that does not materially and directly compensate them for their time or effort. So I am asking for two things here. That any individual that feels they have productive methods or tips and tricks to consider showing all of us how you do it. And that Siemens start motivating those who would not otherwise consider contributing that they VALUE contributors. I mean you Siemens guys do don’t you? Quit being cheapskates and get on the ball.

Dassault’s SolidWorks End of Life 2014 Cloud Poster Boy

Sometimes you see something that is just so Freudian that you bust out laughing and asking yourself what could they have been thinking? And then you reflect upon the truth behind the phrase “Freudian Moment” I have long been an opponent of cloud based software for the sake of users and useability. Technically it is an impossibility for probably 99% plus of all CADCAM users for instance to achieve anything even remotely close to the power and speed that resides on their own desktop. Still the propaganda machines from Dassault and Autodesk churn on in their efforts to fool C-Suite execs into believing this junk. Personally speaking I don’t know a single user who wants to go to the cloud for this.

And security, can we talk about security for just a second here? Really it is all it will take and it is why Autodesk and Dassault will not indemnify you for anything online. It is why 40,000,000 Target users have had their “secure” online data hacked as the news reveals this week. Oh, and NSA and honest politicians and bureaucrats that would NEVER use your confidential information against you or sell it to your competitors, right? You know of other stories to. IP is different though and just how will you get reimbursed from Dassault or Autodesk when they trash your stuff? How do you even find out your data was stolen until it shows up in products from China? Considering that the first person to file a patent wins can you perhaps see the potential for NSA to become a clearing house for IP transfer to crony capitalist’s? The single common allowing mechanism for this to be possible is if you buy into these cloud only schemes. Follow the money I have been told and as far as I am concerned this is all about putting users into forced chattel situations where they end up spending more money with Dassault or Autodesk, not to mention other uncontrollable costs from data caps at ISP’s, and an effort to end piracy by in part punishing honest users to solve the theft problem. And it reveals the contempt these people have for you and your company that they would force this and then not indemnify you.

So, let us venture forth into Dassault’s priceless Freudian Moment and regard the future face of data loss as this poor guy’s internet stuff blows up in his face. This is from the current Dassault splash page.

Dassault splash screen

Is this not priceless πŸ˜‰

UPDATE Today this at SW forums forwarded to me. https://forum.solidworks.com/message/399992 Mark Biasotti, Senior Product Manager for SolidWorks has left the corporation and he joins a long list of those who made SW great in departing the Paris Feifdom.