Tag Archives: Siemens John Miller Senior VP Mainstream Engineering

Is There Hope? Solid Edge User Community Update

This has been a bit of a pleasant surprise lately for this author to see the many year running poorly designed web site and user group activity surrounding SE take a turn for the better. I don’t know what is going on over there and I hope someone with over-riding authority has recognized the value Solid Edge could have to them if they would just treat it right. Someone who can see past the UGS hate SE team of saboteurs and see the remarkable value SE brings to the table for mid range MCAD. Especially with Autodesk now shooting themselves in the foot with subscription only for Inventor I think SE has been given yet another chance to pick up market share. They failed to capitalize on Dassaults inept handling of SW. Will they do so with Inventors upcoming subscription rebellion remains to be seen. Opportunities to acquire customers from the competition are hard to come by and opportunities where your competitor shoots their own feet are even rarer.

In any case http://community.plm.automation.siemens.com/t5/Solid-Edge-Blog/Cleveland-Getting-an-EdgeGroup-on-June-8/ba-p/343841 will take you to an article referencing a brand new SE user group in Cleveland Ohio on June 8th. I highly recommend any SE user in the area consider attending. You do not understand the value of face to face interaction until that first time you get bailed out of a jam with experienced user help or get that new bit of work that comes from in person interactive networking. Read about it and if you are in the area DO something about it.

Wouldn’t it be nice if the decision had been made somewhere in the Siemens mega bureaucratic behemoth to actually throw a bit of love and attention SE’s way?

Siemens And John Miller Fail Loyal Solid Edge Users

For those of you who have followed me over the years regarding Solid Edge you know I believe in the product. I believe also that there is a deliberate policy by the UGS people before and after being subsumed by the Siemens bureaucracy to stifle SE because they fear competition for NX.

Solid Edge has had the misfortune of bouncing from place to place and never getting a real chance. Venture capitalists never cared about it and SE went through two versions of this mess. UGS bought SE just to get their hands on Synchronous tech which their talented developmental staff could not create. Of course after purchase there is still a red-headed step child to deal with. Now just what is the classic way of doing so you might ask? That’s right, when company comes over you hide him in the spare room with admonishments to never dare show his face. In public where you must on occasion be seen with this embarrassment make sure he never talks and walks at least five feet behind you.

The moment of hope for SE was under people like Newbury and Cooper who took it serious and they have been forced to leave. The replacement was John Miller. In the almost two years he has been token place holder he has hardly bothered to even convince people he is gainfully employed as head of SE. The stealth manager never communicates with users. Never asks them what they need or want meaning it in sincerity.

Six months have come and gone since SEU 2015. There was a brief flicker of hope by those who attended this event when Miller said the right things and went to the right places and made the right forward-looking promises of greater things to come and we are listening and bigger better community blah blah blah.

I see that there is a tiny user group effort started. Recently a meeting in Huntsville at a group I helped start that was done in spite of silly things from PLM World. There is also a first time ever user group being started in Cincinnati and hosted by Matt Johnson who is a super fan of and a super user of SE. There are promises of more to come. But can I ask this question?

The talk in SEU2015 was all so promising but it became clear month after month that no plans had been laid. Miller must have a mountain of time on his hands because he darned sure spends none with users or publicity or any other thing anyone can identify. He just is and no one seems to be able to tell me just what he is doing to earn his wages. So big ol Siemens and Miller’s stellar proactive user commitments have produced precisely ONE new user group in six months.

Of course with the incredible productivity black hole Siemens is perhaps by their metrics one new group every six months is blazing speed. I can see that even if Miller actually did care it can take twenty meetings just to be able to derive a date for the first initial user group planning meeting. Probably sixty past that to figure out what city to pick next. Combine having a leader that does not want to be there and the stultifying environment Siemens forces decent productive individuals to labor under and you get precisely what we SE users have now. Basically nothing once again and forever. Remember that the touted SE numbers I see most often are claims of around 500,000 users and squat for interactive behavior from Siemens to them.

All talk and no walk Miller. The pace of improvements has dramatically slowed also and while I have no idea what they are going to do for ST9 I suspect the major things will be more “Surface Pro” window dressing and no fundamental serious improvements to the program itself in ways that really matter to CAD output. (SE has been losing some of their top developers to NX for three years now and I doubt highly they are replaced with equal talent.) This is why I stopped my maintenance by the way. I offered to pay what another year was worth to me since I call for support maybe once a year. Ally PLM laughed at me when I said $750.00 and asked how were they supposed to make a living off that. My question was since it is MY money you want and I have to make a living off of it what are you going to do for me since I don’t need support and Siemens is doing nothing of real merit to the product? Funny how their income as a company trumps (Go Trump) my desire to control outgo to worthwhile productive things as a company. Ally figures their position is fiscal reality and mine as a company is not.

No joy or future in SE ville beyond the red heads place in the closet. Once again I will recommend SE to you if you do not already have it. Get it for a year or two and drop it. Use it for the next four or five years or more as I intend to and you will do just fine. (Something Dassault has shown the world with SW when they pissed their users off. Tons of them are making a living with versions years old.) A real big plus besides the inherent power of Synchronous is that as of right now they have no intention of doing the stupid subscription only thing Autodesk has sadly begun.

People if you go for this subscription model for your core design/machine seats you are a fool who will soon discover the joys of larger expenses. Expenses that will never end and can’t be contained because you gave up the only method of containment which is permanent seats. Inventor Pro HSM is the best all round CAD CAM value only if permanent licenses can be acquired. 2015 was not a good year for this user as SE went full red headed step child mode again and Autodesk went subscription only. Both show contempt for users of their products and it saddens me. Talking with a prominent blogger last week and he was of the opinion that he and I grew up in the golden age of CAD CAM and the best user days are gone. I tend to agree

Solid Edge University 2015 Requiem For The Past Glory

As a blogger you get information with admonishments not to talk about it publicly. It is the curse that goes with the territory and you have to obey it or run the risk of losing information sources. But the plus side is that sometimes even though you can’t talk about the information in exact terms by repeating verbatim what you were told and who told you, you can use this to connect the dots. Ever wonder why people and companies do things that make no apparent sense? Ever wonder why policies that should be enacted that are just common sense to you and I who are potential or actual customers never see the light of day? Ever wonder why someone like myself who two years ago was the largest SE blogger in reader counts outside of official bloggers on a VAR or Siemens payroll has had such a drastic change of heart? I look back on some of my posts and they would easily fit the label fanbois and I meant every word of it. I was and still am a huge fan of the software but most definitely not of its current leadership or owners. So rather than sitting here and getting ready to eagerly depart for another SEU I sit here as I write this Sunday morning and reflect on what is and what could have been.

The departure of Karsten Newbury and Don Cooper was the seminal beginning of the end for SE. It was the public face of the actual intent of Siemens to sideline the future of SE. I tend to believe the anti Solid Edge sentiment and deliberate sabotage of SE by UGS individuals is true and these guys being forced out was the signal the UGS side had won.. I have heard it to many times from different people in different ways to not believe so. I also happen to know that Karsten and Don had dreams and goals and they were the same as mine. For SE to take its rightful place in the MCAD world as the premier program both in capabilities (which were there by ST5) and in actual market share. We discussed this fairly often so I believe fully that they had a vision.

But you see Siemens is tailor-made as a company for chicanery and politics over what is right or wrong or meritorious and the UGS guys were in heaven with the chance to finally kill the SE threat. The same SE that gives them some sheet metal capabilities and Synchronous Tech that they had to buy and did not come up with on their own. Siemens is a company full of dead wood and people who thrive on meetings and reports because they can pretend they are earning their wages by doing so. Politics and back stabbing as a primary method of advancement over real capabilities with concrete results and merit and the modus operandi of doing nothing means you stay below the radar thereby getting paid handsomely to do nothing. A bureaucracy which has been told for years that this is the right way and the Siemens way because none ever seem to get fired for doing this. It seems as though once you get hired on you stay as long as you wish no matter how bad you are. Just don’t rock the boat. Don and Karsten had to go because they were innovators and believed in rocking the boat when needed to get the work done. Look at the profitability of Siemens overall compared to their manufacturing peers and see the results of this philosophy. These then are the qualities of the Siemens hands that hold the future of SE with malign intent as we head into SEU 2015.

Mark Burhop was the first developer that I knew of to be snagged from SE and not replaced. The plunder of qualified individuals from SE then going to the NX side is revealing. Mark like the others I have met in Huntsville was dedicated and top-notch. It is hard to replace people like this and if you care you have to bring the replacement up to speed and prove them out before you send off the good guy. This is not being done with inevitable results. CAMWorks and I have had some serious disagreements on what was and should be done. During some of these discussion I had with Geometric USA I was told that they had wondered why there was so little co-operation from the Siemens side of things.

Thinking about this after some information I received this past week gave me another connect the dots dot.
Autodesk Inventor import

Solid Edge import

Notice the import capabilities of Inventor and Solid Edge. Solid Works has proven the model of allowing others to integrate and work with and establish a large ecosystem of applications that can be used in conjunction with SW. Not so much now that the corporate hand of Parisian Dassault tunnel vision has decided to slowly kill them off but it is part of what made them #1. Inventor and Autodesk work with others and they see the value of this community building process. I have to believe that the inclusion of Inventor import capabilities into SE and the lack of SE direct import capabilities into Inventor is not by accident. Look also at the age of SE compared to Inventor and think about the number of integrated apps. I think about the problems I knew of with CAMWorks and SE and I conclude that there is no desire to co-operate from the Siemens SE side. I knew the philosophy of Cooper and Newbury and this is not from them. It is not a legacy from them. It is one of the things they had to fight against and is one of the things in the end which caused them to be run off from Siemens. Was I there in the boardroom meetings when these decisions or policies were being laid out and down? No of course not. But I can see results of the decisions made and I did not have to be present to know what was decided. I can just look around and connect the dots and know I am right. The policy of Siemens towards others and SE is screw you unless you want to play NX and screw SE users too.

ST7 was the peak for SE with practical user capabilities and the logic of the GUI. ST8 saw gimmicky things like Surface Pro integration as the new feature leader. Something not asked for by many but there anyway. It is the SE equivalent of the year SW added two rendering apps. It is what companies do when the innovation is gone but they feel compelled to add new things. People do expect new things after all when you expect them to pay each year and they no longer need support. For me ST8 brought nothing much new to the table I needed and it changed the behavior in ways that have complicated my life especially in assemblies. Change for the sake of change by moving things and changing how things work is a simple easy way to present the facade of new and different. Without of course making your developers come up with revolutionary user first and foremost changes. It is what companies do when they are not intending a bright future for a software program and or have lost the desire to give you full value for your money and loyalty.

Talking to an Autodesk guy in Nashville some months back. He used to work for UGS on the NX side. Hearing the words Red Headed Stepchild applied to SE from his mouth first and not from my prompting was a bit of a shock. In discussion he told me this was a common perception amongst the hoity-toity UGS NX side of things when he worked there. I hear this so much from people exposed to the UGS NX side of things and I can’t deny the actual results of this mindset I see in action. The anti SE mindset of PLM World brought to you by their members and leaders who are almost to a man UGS NX Teamcenter etc and with them the comes the pervasive UGS leadership attitude.

Another Siemens NX UGS beat on SE story happened when I was on a job recently. Met with a guy who really knows his stuff and he told me that one of the premier sheet metal developer guys from SE had just been snagged by NX. Another developer gone and not replaced and sheet metal is outside of ST perhaps the single most powerful part of SE and highly regarded by its MCAD competitors. It is all I hear of now. People being taken away along with budgets from SE. I remember going to Huntsville a few years back and these dudes were on top of the world. Cooper Newbury had made available funds and told these guys to hire more help and make SE the best. The despondency down there today would have to be seen to be believed. I think I would go to the NX side of things too if I were them and had the chance. The hand writing is on the wall for SE in so many ways.

How about that new guy Siemens has for SE. What a spark plug and whirling dervish of Solid Edge enthusiasm he is. OK so you don’t know who he is and I am not surprised since he does not have a vision and a desire to communicate. The only public commentary supposedly by him on the Siemens SE forum or indeed anywhere else since he became Siemens place holder for the position was written for him. He did not write and evidently had no desire to do so. The Publicity and marketing idiots over there felt they had to do something anyway since Mr New Big Guy did not care to and they wrote for him and posted it. Here it is and note the badges earned by this guy. Register and write once and respond once and you get this.


Here are Karsten’s SE forum stats. I can also tell you from personal experience that Karsten and Don monitored the forums for user problems and behind the scenes did things about what they could while fighting with Siemens to do the right things.


Here is the Siemens place holders stats. I have no idea what this guy does and neither does anyone else. No one sees him and no one hears from him. Of note here is the PLMCONX15 badge. It means he attended a Siemens PLM mucky muck deal with no relationship to SE. I suppose this is the place where earlier this year Siemens decided with a one week notice to roll out ST8 at an event not related at all to SE and where no SE users were in attendance or even had a chance to plan to go if they had wanted to. Another little indicator of the contempt Siemens UGS holds SE and it’s users in.


According to the agenda for SEU2015 as of Sunday morning Mr Spark Plug is scheduled for 15 minutes at the very beginning only and that is his sole appearance for the event.

My big question where he is concerned if he even shows up at SEU 2015 which I think is debatable would be is he another teleprompter empty suit kind of guy. Or will his true passion for SE finally be displayed with a masterful extemporaneous dissertation on his vision and passion for the SE future. Sarc purple script button now off for those of you who may remember this :-). Like Siemens Miller is multilingual and his favorite French Dassault sponsored word he shares in common with Siemens for describing SE users is BIOYA.

Autodesk please buy up SE too!! HSM and SE would be a match made in heaven and SE deserves to be in hands that appreciate what it is.

Some Thoughts on Solid Edge and Manufacturing Software

Before we venture into the primary topic of this post I want to reveal some of the thinking behind what I do and say here. Some of you have told me I speak of the same basic things to many times or the same theme to often. Or I am not polite and prim and proper with my comments at times. On the face of it all it may appear to be that way but there is a method to this. You might be surprised how many in the software industry read me. So keep in mind when I choose what to talk about I address two target audiences. One is the users. It is my intent to afford them the customer/user real unvarnished experiences I have and the opinions I form and why I form them. I have some news for you software guys and VARS to. You think I am the only user who has these at times rude things to say you are wrong. I just happen to say them out loud and make sure you hear me. It gripes my rear end to get bad information and then make financial decisions based on sources that did not prove accurate. Sometimes with the best information I can find after digging it is still not enough and over time reality proves the initial conclusions wrong. I will also tell you that.

The second group is those who produce software. It amazes me how willfully tone-deaf many are and how many times you have to bring up the same things again and again before they even begin to think about what you are saying. Sadly the only way to reach many of these guys is repetition and letting them know the problem exists and that we/I know about it. And that one month or a half-year of stonewalling or ignoring this is not going to make the comments go away. I warn the first group whose money and profits are on the line about how they will be treated. I write to the second and often most resistant to reason group in the industry because in many ways getting things fixed is the very best way to protect users. The second group is in general people who have to be dragged into doing what is right far to often and seem to want to communicate with you about once a year if you know what I mean. We live in a strange world as makers where what we sell we have to stand behind and make right or not get paid. Somehow too many software people seem to think right and working and guaranteed are not applicable to them and they should get paid no matter how junky what they make is. Not having even halfway competently working CAMWorks for SE ST7 for seven months is a perfect example of this double standard. It is also a perfect example of a software company that ignored it’s users until it’s feet were publicly put to the fire for many months in a row. So you see there is a reason and even if it bores you to tears remember that it is my desire to see things work right and a little hammer has to hit a big nail many times to drive it home.

I remember getting a call from Karsten Newbury on a Sunday morning two years ago last January. I had posted three ugly posts about those idiots in marketing. They called up and whined to Karsten about can’t you make him shut up!! I was pretty mad and he asked me don’t you want to have these people as friends and to like you? My reply was NO. They are stabbing you in the back. That meant we users to were also getting the knife. I think we all still are but like Karsten I have moved on to greener pastures. I still entertain some sort of hope someone somewhere in a position of authority with Siemens will think about what the UGS SE killers have done and how foolish it is to a company that is starving for better profits to aid in killing a golden egg laying goose because paranoic turf protecting UGS personalities have triumphed over profit oriented rational management. In the mean time I have moved over to Autodesk where I miss SE but live in a much more economically friendly world in a much more useful manufacturing ecosphere.

When I talk bad about SE remember this it is not the technical aspects of the program. With the exception of Second Floor cubical training Guy and some marketing people who suffer from being such and thus detached from any valid life model every one I have ever met and worked with in Huntsville has been top notch. It is my belief that the slowdown in SE improvements are because Siemens is taking to much of the profits from them because they are not interested in the R&D needed to continue SE’s rapid advancements. SE suffers from myopic overlords still and again and maybe forever who knows.

On to Some Thoughts

What prompted this post today was an interesting conversation I had with someone whose name will remain anonymous. Rather than talk about what the subject material of the call was about I am going to talk about what it in part revolved around which is Solid Edge.

I hope my readers know I think of SE as the premier mid range MCAD program for what I do. If you don’t you need to re-read what I have said over the years. From the magic I saw with the very first part edited with Synchronous and through the rough edges of ST1 and 2 and then with the way it should have been from ST3 and on I have always loved the power here. I have recommended and believe sincerely that even the full Inventor or SW shops with gobs of seats should have one seat of SE as a secret productivity weapon using the power of direct editing that they can’t begin to touch.

It is true I am letting my SE subscription lapse on 8-30-15. This has nothing to do though with the power of SE that exists at my fingertips. The power that I still use and then import into Inventor for use with HSM. It primarily is an economic decision based on what I see as the slowdown of new features of use TO ME. It is also because CAM is far more important now and capable CAM like HSM dictates where I need to be. Your needs may be different and you might be thrilled with getting access to SE on a Surface Pro. I still recommend that a shop that is a closed loop manufacturing concern that produces objects from their own CAD designs seriously consider SE. You may decide as I have that the only real value in the future with your subscriptions is updated translators but you can certainly benefit from getting SE into your processes. New to you the power is undeniable and you will benefit.

Throughout the years though SE has been the software that remains anonymous to many because of the people who have dictated this sad result who controlled SE from outside of SE itself. One way or another whether from venture capitalists who bought a vehicle to manipulate quick money out of and had no idea of the jewel hidden within or UGS which desired some technology but could care less about its parent. SE has suffered from what can only be described as benign neglect to outright stifling by those who do not like it. It should not be this way and the primary reason I am leaving SE is because it IS this way.

I am quite certain that many within Siemens and elsewhere think oh good, the idiot is leaving SE and I hope he just finally shuts up. They fail to remember that I did work in the belly of the beast to try to change things I thought were needed through the ground rules they worked by. We see things quite differently I guess. Whole years go by and the marketing people see meetings and busy schedules and think things are being done. I see from the outside no change no progress and no indication they even care about whether the product they want us to buy is made as profitable as possible for us and them. Another year where my income is affected and I can’t get back what I have lost. Remember, corporate marketing and software guys get paid no matter how worthwhile their work or results so they never suffer financially like we business owners do when things are screwed up. They live in a world insulated from the results they produce whereas our bottom lines get directly effected immediately. Is it any wonder why they can’t relate to us?

I hear comments about this John Miller who is supposed to be doing things behind the scenes but you could not prove it by me. His desire to communicate with his customers is zero. Even the comments “he” made on the Siemens BBS were written for him. We as customers make plans that span years and part of what we need is to see that our important components are in place and can be relied upon to stay so and be so in competent and qualified ways. Even worse is that the company that he works for thinks this silence of his is acceptable and they make no effort to change what we see or hear.

What we actually see is only longevity. Mr Big never talks to us and we deserve the respect of being informed of plans for the future. Hearing nothing and knowing nothing is not sufficient and
customers will fill that information void with conclusions over time right or wrong. This is the guaranteed result that is justly earned by a company that evidently does not care enough for us and our future proof plans. No future proof data has been forthcoming. Is there a future besides the one the SW users have been subjected to? Who knows and those who do are not saying.

So we see the ecosystem our important tool is relegated to in the eyes of those who control it. And many of us wonder when the shoe will drop and we are going to be told here is your incentive to buy Catia or NX and your favorite program is now history. And this perpetuates because those who can put a stop to this are not talking. The longer they do not talk the worse our suspicions become.

This is manifest in other ways to. Is the pace of improvements slowing down but you still have to pay each year like those great things are still going on? Of course you do but each ensuing year of this the question of do I need to do this again becomes harder and harder to say yes. There are tons of SW users who are doing just fine with older versions. It is happening with SE is my guess I suspect for the same reason. Note to software companies. If you want to get paid the same each year when you know after a while we don’t call you for support you need to provide worthwhile new capabilities. Worthwhile to users and not the marketing people who have never designed a part and have no clue about what we need and expect.

Attention VARS. If the software you are banking on to earn a living with is subject to a company that has no desire or commitment to aggressive market share acquisition you are in fundamental trouble just waiting to happen. Your success is on the line unless they are fully on board with this concept.

This is one of the topics that fascinates me with Autodesk. They have plans and they are implementing them and the VARS know it. The developers know it and the users I talk to feel it. It is like it was around SE during ST4-5 where people involved with SE at all levels felt things were all going right. The big difference though is that the guy who is in charge of Autodesk is also committed to it. A general rule of thumb in the restaurant industry is that restauranteurs can create and build success stories which are then ruined by the CPA and Banker heirs to the throne who have no idea what brings in customers AND KEEPS THEM. They can’t perceive what drives customers. A smart barbecue restaurant dude makes sure you smell the mouth-watering smoke when you walk or drive by. He just might even get a lot where the prevailing winds mean that irresistible aroma is going to be drifting over the nearby busy street most often. They want you to be enticed and once in the door they have this big-ol reasonably priced menu with great food.

Siemens and UGS controlled SE have no concept of this. They have mediocre people in charge of publicity. Or worse they have people from UGS who try to stifle any attempt. Dassault is not much better and SW thrives as it does from legacy data and people who don’t want to move away from this. And from remnants of the once inspired team that made SW great and who still fight the fight.

What we want and need besides capable modeling is this. Aggressive incorporation of the design software into education and industry. And followup to make sure teaching is current and correct. This is our future work force and we don’t want to have to pay them and train them. We want to acquire trained people. No education system will be interested in what we use and desire to teach it if there is no future for the taught in it. Especially in levels past High School where people are focused on being able to find jobs with what they were taught in. So SW and Autodesk is taught around here because these guys made sure they had industry market share which drive jobs which drives the pre-trained work force which drives use in industry as a percentage which drives more work for those who use common software and on and on this self feeding thing goes. Sad to say SE has been around as long as SW but look at the difference.

In other words a plan and the resolve to execute it to our mutual benefit. Mutual being the key word here. I could care less if you, Mr Big software guy, are profitable if you are not seeking to make me so to and that means more than just the program itself.

We need an ecosystem of integrated apps. These can be a part of the program you author or it can be a partner. SE has never and still does not offer much here. Why this decision has been made for many years and today I don’t know. I just have the reality of few integrated apps. SW and Autodesk have a far different scenario.

We need market share. For the first time in eight years I now have customers that use the same design software I have. Yes SE imports and works with imports superbly. That does not stop customers from demanding you have the same design program though does it? For the first time I have available trained users to hire. For the first time I no longer hear comments like I have never met anyone who used SE before sixty some miles north of SE’s headquarters. Directly and solely the failure of the dictators over SE to care about what we need in the whole to thrive.

What users need is the model Autodesk is operating by. With the exception of the loss of permanent seats which I abhor. Warning to the wise. Make your move before February next year and this will not be a concern of yours.

Inventor HSM Post Editing and Does Your CAM Vendor Care?

Today’s post could easily have been split into two topics. One on post editing how to links and the second on the regard your CAM author providers have for its users. The two are intertwined in this case and it all started with a post problem last Friday. I know it is a long one today but stick with it. There are some extremely useful post editing and creation links here. There are also comments regarding how one is treated by people who want your money and what they think they need to do to get it.

Inventor Pro HSM and Inventor HSM Haas Generic Turning .cps episode

Sometimes being an early adopter brings problems many won’t ever see. I ran across one of these this past weekend and it materialized in the form of a changed Haas generic Turning .cps post in the latest developmental build of Inventor Pro HSM. It always happens when you are in a hurry of course and the same day that I had Haas tech guys in to diagnose why my Y axis servo motor on my mill went out.

I learned a couple of things this weekend. One was the true value of a very active user community and the many dedicated users and Autodesk employees who populate this thing. I have always believed in community for a variety of reasons and I will shortly tell of the tale of the worrisome post.

The second thing was that I should not let past experience dictate the current response to an adverse situation. I came here from the world of CAMWorks for Solid Edge where hammering on known problems and being prepared for long hard fights to get anywhere was normal. Where you had to argue with Geometric about problems you could prove only to be dismissed because what you suffered from was labeled, I kid you not in many cases, as “intended behavior”. Where things took years to fix if at all. Where a company like Geometric would not respond to user problems and most certainly never darken the door of user forums to seek to solve user issues.

I had some parts to cut Friday and was trying to use the latest HSM developmental build and the Haas Generic Turning .cps does not work. So off I go to comment about the Haas lathe post in somewhat snarky terms. I ended up going back in there and changing the snarky bits out and have concluded I owe these Autodesk guys an apology. I went in there with a CW4SE user attitude because I had been well-trained to have one. What I have found were developers and super users and VAR employees who frequent these forums and who care about you being productive. What a change from Geometric where it has now been THIRTY weeks since the last CW4SE user post and over a YEAR since the last Geometric employee or VAR comment of any sort has happened on this forum. This vehicle that is supposed to aid users to be productive.

Well in Autodesks case I am here to say that there is a forum that works and a company that has employees that care. So on to the Haas Generic Turning .cps saga.

I am not a post guy. I have never learned to edit one nor create one and rely on the CAM software company to produce it. Just like the vast majority of users it is just another thing to have to learn for very infrequent use that I dodge if I can. My plate is already full and I don’t want to have to struggle with yet another thing to learn and then relearn again when I have to do something once in a great while.

First off here is the Autodesk CAM forum link. Go there and see. The door here is open unlike Geometric where they have a real reason to keep non users in the dark. If people only knew the reality of Geometric they would hardly ever buy the product.

https://camforum.autodesk.com/index.php?topic=7593.0 will take you to a post started by me regarding this Haas post problem. Matt Nichols with Hagerman worked up a post for me that did exactly what was needed within a few hours of reporting the problems. It took as long as it did because I could not articulate why it failed. I had to go to the Haas user manual and work with it to get code that was for the Haas TL-2. Once I had a working example and could post good code and problem output code he had it fixed in a jiffy. The post was free and so was the help to make it right.

There was another aspect of this little journey that struck me. It was the resources available and people who wanted these tools to be in your hand. I looked a little closer at post creation and editing just for the heck of it and found the following.

First off was a new one from Laurens. Tip of the hat to you by the way. https://camforum.autodesk.com/index.php?topic=6138.0 will take you to some good advice on posts.

Of greater importance was the pair of posts by actual HSM Post Developers. From Andrew Ward we have a resource on how it all works. https://autodesk.box.com/s/3zk4u2tyr1v4oaphscog

From Achim another HSM Post Developer we have a tip on editing posts with Notepad ++. https://camforum.autodesk.com/index.php?topic=3202.0

By this point in time I was reconsidering my harsh initial comments of course and going back and changing them. I was also thinking maybe with a bit of tutoring this idea I had about post editing being arcane programmer geek stuff was not quite true and perhaps I will look into learning enough to get out of jams on my own.

The Importance of Who Has Your Back

I am continually struck by the difference I have experienced in all areas between Autodesk and CW4SE. Sadly this time it includes my soon to be past VAR Ally PLM. In many ways they have been exemplary but this fizzled away with the advent of CW4SE. The importance of posts can’t be overstated. If you can’t talk to your machinery and your VAR or CAM providers don’t care if you do there is big trouble on your horizon.

Getting posts for CW4SE is a headache. If you ever buy into this mess make sure you demand as a condition a verifiable working post before your money is plunked down and continued TIMELY support for this as a condition for you to buy. Make sure they can’t ignore you by saying they are working on it and six months later you still wait. They do not care. Get this in a contract and in written verifiable legalese so you have teeth to force Geometric to do what they won’t want to do. Your VAR will pass the buck to them so be forewarned. In my case with Geometric and Ally PLM I had problems because I did not do this. First off Geometric promised me verbally that when I got my lathe in the future I would be provided a post. They reneged on this promise to a guy that was materially responsible for them getting in the door with SE. Makes me wonder what their regard is for just plain old customers.

I now have loaded the 2015 ST8 version of CW4SE. I managed to slip in under the radar and since the cutoff date for ST8 CW4SE was 7-15-15 and my maintenance did not expire until 7-30-15 it worked. So what I am to say is as current as it gets. There are 18 .ctl posts and NONE of them are to be used for production per Geometric’s warnings. In HSM’s FREE working post library I count 96 today. 97 if I include the “Ault_Haas Turning_TL2.cps” which was provided to me quickly and without charge over the weekend to fix my woes.

I want you to consider something here and it is a window into the soul of these involved companies. I had considerable stature and standing in the SE ecosystem at the time this occurred and I was still treated this way. Eager to have me post good things but turn around and piss on me when I ask them to abide by their promise. And the VAR I had nothing but good things to say about until then kicked me in the teeth. Seems like CW4SE taints everything it touches. Yes I am a blogger but as far as I can tell anybody is treated by Autodesk CAM just like I was this past weekend. This common consideration of users was besides a CAM program that worked well and simply one of the key considerations I had when shopping for the CW4SE replacement

I had some really dreary conversations with Ally PLM about my promised lathe post. It started by me asking for the promised post only to be told they would check into it. I get an email back and they can provide one from Geometric for $500.00. (like Geometric does not have a cash cow Haas post done and on the shelf they have charged hundreds of times for I suppose.) So the conversations start and I mention the promise made to me. To bad so sad cough up the dough is the reply. I mention how many CAM programs have free posts and post support. Then they tell me that they have never heard of free posts and the resident CAM expert is supposed to be the source of this. I specifically show with screen captures the ZW3D and HSM post libraries available in the current two CAM programs I have access to besides CW4SE. Now I am sitting here and thinking to myself and getting angrier by the minute. After I have proven that I am correct and they are wrong they still had the unmitigated gall to say I did not know what I was talking about.

I finally told the support gal whom I had tremendous respect for until that moment that this conversation was permanently over. Out of respect for her and because I had always enjoyed dealing with her until then I was not going to continue this topic with her or Ally PLM. My promise to her and Ally PLM however was that I knew exactly how to handle this and this began a another series of sharply critical comments about Geometric and CW4SE. I hope today someone who is reading this and considering ALLY PLM and or Geometric’s CW4SE will think harder about who they deal with or what they buy into. Buy SE from ALLY perhaps but avoid CAM from them like the plague and if you go with CW4SE from anyone you deserve what you will get.

ALLY PLM keeps after me telling me that my SE maintenance is up the end of this month. My reply was that the $1,500.00 they want for CAD only for a year is the same as CAD and CAM everything from Autodesk. For 50% off I would renew. I still consider SE the better modeler but the pace of improvements has dropped off the radar and next year will be the same so why keep paying like they are doing something I am going to benefit from? I don’t expect they will take this offer so the company that had seven years of business from me will soon be history. Don’t let the door hit you on the way out.

Hey you Autodesk guys can you see why I was a bit testy initially regarding a post?

Value Is Where You Find It

Received my final renewal notice for Solid Edge yesterday. In June I had my last one for CAMWorks for Solid Edge. It is with some very fond memories and some really ugly ones that run through my mind as I ponder the idea of corporate intent and regard for customers. CW4SE of course never had a chance with me again after the debacle of software failure endured at this end from them. They have considerably improved their time frame for releases with ST8 being done a little over a month after release. Technically I could have expected a license for this since the cut off date was 6-15 and my license was good until 6-30 but why ask when I would not use it?

I had a little time under my belt with the ST7 SP1 CW4SE release which appeared to be as good as anything they had produced since the integration with SE. But I was struck at that time with just how cumbersome and time consuming CW4SE was compared to IP HSM and never cut another part with it again. Why take a chance on these guys again when their forums on the SW side are littered with long time problems, like the Tech Data Base which is fundamental to making CW4SE work like promised, that don’t seem to be well resolved since Geometric bought Pro CAM in 2008. When the time to complete a CAM plan took so much longer and was far more complicated than IP HSM.

Solid Edge is of course my favorite design program. Inventor is clunky to me and while part of it is being new to it part of it is inherent direct editing and importing deficiencies. I deal with a lot of imported parts and SE allows me to do what I want right away and quicker than the original authors could in the native program. The direct editing capabilities are far better at this time in SE and this is how I have worked for seven years now. The pace of improvements for SE has dropped off the chart though and the single biggest thing touted this year appears to be the ability to work with Surface Pro’s. Pure window dressing and the equivalent of SW offering two rendering programs at the same time a couple of years ago rather than digging in deep and providing meaningful new functions for CAD creation. It is what companies do when the desire to improve a product goes away for whatever reason and they want to leave it on autopilot because it does still represent income. Plus who could you sell it off to anyway?

The grand total of the maintenance for SE and CW4SE for one year would have been $4,000.00. For a combination of a design program that seems to have peaked and a CAM program that only masochistic people would inflict upon themselves while eagerly waiting for today’s problems to inflict pain on them.

http://descriptive.link/siemens-product-news-sans-solid-edge will take you to Siemens new products page. An industry news letter that talks about software they have. I see interesting things for the high dollar stuff but for SE there is just a silly rendering contest. Why nothing about what SE designs and the cool stuff made with it and case studies utilizing it? Because Siemens does not care to sell or promote SE. The corporate regard for SE shows in examples like this where Marketing and Publicity for Siemens chooses the topic. It could also just be laziness on the part of Siemens Marketing and Publicity where a whole group of people who must have had talent at some time are employed. But Siemens has a culture where if nothing is done and you can pass the buck for another day and not make a decision but show you had meetings you get this big fat paycheck so why work? Why be productive and make decisions that may come back and haunt you?

If I was a stock analyst and I knew how much time and potential was being wasted through this smothering bureacracy Siemens has allowed to develop I would dump my stock TODAY. It is no wonder their profits are down with the massive amount of unproductive overhead they have. I figure the Mr Big over Siemens bought UGS in an effort to make Siemens manufacturing more efficient. Sadly now the short term effects of buying efficiencies have been subsumed into the belly of the beast and the do nothing think nothing make no waves culture reigns supreme. Now put SE into these hands that not only can’t run what they have well but have genuine animosity as the UGS people do towards SE and tell me how bright the future is. Siemens admits they are not as productive as their main competitors and they are going to have to suffer real financial pain before changes are made. I have no idea how you would turn something like this around though when you have trained your workforce to be unproductve and have paid them handsomely to be so. They think it is what you want and the paychecks are proof of it.

I refuse to fund the people who have ruined SE’s future and have deliberately choked off funds to develop it with.

Here is the starkest contrast I can think of between Siemens SE and Autodesk’s Inventor. On one hand we have Mr Big Carl Bass who owns serious manufacturing equipment and has it in his personal shop. He writes CAM programs for parts his two hands and mind produces with this equipment. He is all the time making an effort to be in places that revolve around manufacturing and education for manufacturing. As far as I can tell not only is he in charge but he is committed to the idea that what he does is important not only to Autodesk’s future but Americas as a manufacturing giant. He is a maker of things with his own hands and he gets it.

Siemens has a guy over SE named John Miller that no one sees. No one hears from him and he has absolutely no desire to make chips or promote manufacturing or SE. Unlike Karsten Newbury who while he did not personally cut parts had a manufacturing degree and DID get the idea. Siemens ran him off and replaced him with a mindless drone place holder. This then is the measure of what these two companies believe and think of you the customer. Remember you make a living based upon the software you use and you better think hard about what regard the authoring company has for you. If I was an SE VAR I would be seriously concerned since it is clear Siemens does not worry about the future with anything SE.

So on one hand we have Inventor Pro HSM everything Autodesk has to offer for $10,000.00 and $1,500.00 per year. Over there we have SE + CW4SE at $20,000.00+ and at least $4,000.00 per year and this is far from everything there is to offer. You stick in 5 axis for CW4SE and you are probably up to nosebleed heigths. On one side we have a software company that believes in manufacturing and has spent money to buy the tools to make economical best in class manufacturing a reality if not now in the near future. They make their living off of software and it has to be right or they won’t thrive. On the other we have an ossified manufacturing concern where the software they purchased represents a tiny fraction of their gross and they quite frankly don’t care about you. They bought the software to improve their internal efficiencies. At one time I thought this was a good thing but now conclude for SE users it was not. A program on autopilot in a company that could care less about you is not good.

On one hand we have a company that offers free software to startups and free two axis machining to SW and Inventor users. They desire to be your partner. On the other hand we have, well we have Siemens SE. Run by what’s his face and stifled by UGS hatchet men in combination with Geometric who evidently only cares about your results when the heat is on. Oh, and two axis milling for SW and SE users is $4,500.00. People who like your money but don’t see things as a two way street where the benefits must accrue to both sides of the equation.

I have not made up my mind about SE in the title of this blog. I still really like the program and the Siemens UGS people can’t kill the productivity already there they can only limit it’s future development. I sit here with fond memories and a program that is still my principle modeler. It feels more and more though like Solid Edge belongs in the title of this blog as a memorial to what was and not what will be. Sure do miss you Karsten and what you represented that is no longer here.

Are Marketing and Publicity People really Aliens?

As an aside here. What is it with marketing people? Does their designer bottled water they must consume before any planning is done contain serious sedatives? I am seeing the same thing with Autodesk as I did with Siemens although not as bad. There are lots of things to talk about regarding events and activities already paid for or done. Human interest stories that revolve around software use or the educational field and you don’t see squat. I don’t know who is in charge of Autodesks marketing but the same disconnect as Siemens is there. Why is it so hard for these people to talk about what is here and present and relevant to existing and potential users?

I was told about a Walter cutting competition in Germany I believe it was. Where HSM did really well and the only negative thing was the endmills did not last quite as long time wise as they did in Volumill. Well the physics of cubic inch metal removal rates being what it is I imagine they did not. But when you are cutting parts in less time I know what I want and it is the most metal gone per minute and HSM won that. It would have been interesting to see the total cubic inches removed per tool to. So why has marketing not talked about this and why can’t I get this information to blog about? I have asked and nothing although admitedly I have not asked marketing people for this I have asked others within Autodesk.

Carl Bass was on sabbatical recently but he made time to go by an educators conference and talk about software I presume. He does not need a prompter or a script. He has a passion for this and I hear it was very well received. Is this not a relevant human interest story to CAD and CAM users? Somewhere buried in the files of things good to talk about and already paid for that Marketing and Publicity is so clueless about this too dwells. I would really like to be in the mind of a marketing dude for one day just to see how they figure out what is important and what to talk about. The public face that is the result of their efforts is so alien to me and so lacking for content readily available that I just can’t figure out what makes them tick.

But then I drink spring water and not “designer” water so perhaps I never will understand.

Trouble In Paradise

I find myself in two worlds where CAD is concerned right now. I know Solid Edge well and for the work I have it is so powerful. I also have Inventor which I don’t know much at all and so suffer from the newbie problems that make things seem worse than they are. But I still cling to the idea of Synchronous Tech and the concept of direct editing as found in SE to be the best out there.

There were reasons though for my move to Inventor Pro HSM and this week gave me pause to think about one aspect in particular. On one side I see a growing commitment to people who make things for a living from design to build and on the other I see a rudderless ship adrift. Have you ever read seemingly unrelated news bits and come to conclude based upon the evidence that what is going on is not good? Companies do in spite of a desire not to talk about directions or problems telegraph this information anyway from things they can’t hide.

What started this today was the latest issue of UPFront Ezine. I noticed that the ad I was accustomed to seeing there for Solid Edge was absent this week and I had been used to seeing it in every issue. I got to thinking of other things related to this. Here is one.

” Solid Edge University
Early bird discount extended
$100 off through July 31st

Dear David,

Great news: the early bird deadline for Solid Edge University has been extended, so you can still save $100 if you register by July 31st.
Save even more, when you register two more of your colleagues from your company, because the third registration is FREE. The 3 for 2 conference pass allows 3 people from the same company to attend for the cost of 2. At early bird rates, that’s a significant savings.
Join us in Cincinnati, October 26–28th and network with Solid Edge developers and other Solid Edge users, and meet with our market leading application partners at this annual user conference. The agenda includes several hands-on workshops and multiple tracks for Solid Edge users of all levels, from beginners to advanced users, and the opportunity to get certified in Solid Edge free (a $99 value).
Register today!”

Market leading application partners? The plethora of them and among them jewels like Geometric? PR dudes are funny even when they are trying to be serious but I digress.

What do you do when you are not selling something and you have committed to it based upon projections? You offer a discount and I figure that the SE guys are finding out a few things. They have in John Miller a leader who has yet to make a policy statement or clarify direction. He has not communicated one time to users in almost a whole year now and what has been attributed to him on the BBS was not written by him mark my words and prove me wrong. So we have Solid Edge this wonderful thing being run by a guy so disconnected from the product he is over it is unreal. People remember Karsten and what was going on under him. They also have eyes and ears and see and hear nothing of value or excitement since Siemens ran him off and put a place holder in. I bet the numbers are frightening and panic is beginning to set in. The big annual yearly event self destructing right there in front of us.

Talking to the Autodesk guys to try and figure out why there is no direct import option for .par and .asm for Solid Edge. There is for all the other bigger CAD programs. It costs roughly $300,000.00 to create import capabilities for Inventor. SE of them all is not there. So I think of two reasons off hand for this. Autodesk fears how good SE is and does not want to make interaction between the two easy that could cost them users when they see how cool SE is. SE has such a small market share that it is not worth it for Autodesk to do it. Now in spite of SE trotting out some make believe numbers about their market share I have to conclude they lied and Autodesk does not have an importer because there are not enough SE users. NX is in there so we know Autodesk is willing to port to Siemens software.

It is a small world in some ways. People move from company to company but stay within their area of expertise. Talking to a manufacturing engineer employed by Autodesk in Nashville last week and as an ex UGS employee he was quite familiar with the idea that the UGS cabal hates and would like to dismember SE. He almost finished sentences for me. Some ideas have evidence to support them and this idea of corporate sabotage of SE keeps coming up where ever I go. Yet another example.

The public face of SE is in complete dis-function mode and the idiocy of a roll out for SE ST8 at PLM World announced just before the event took place is still hard to grasp. I bet not one SE user was at the SE Roll Out except for employees and they DO NOT COUNT.

They have been agonizing over this certified SE expert user thing and as far as I know after a couple of years this is still not complete.

I add all this up and I see at the least a division being seriously curtailed with bad results for users and what I really lean towards is this. Siemens wants to junk SE but like Dassault with SW can’t afford to do it right now. This year had the fewest major improvements for SE as far as I am concerned since I started with them in ST1. You take something you don’t like and choke it enough it becomes pretty debilitated and Siemens/UGS has a choke hold on these guys.

I hate to see all this but by the same token as the evidence continues to accumulate the wisdom of having fled to Autodesk where there is a future and Mr Big does care and there is a trained labor market and work available looks better with time. The very best value in integrated CADCAM is the sole possession of Autodesk in the form of Inventor Pro HSM and while I hate having to learn yet another CAD program it will be worth it just to feed that wonderful CAM program attached to it. Can you tell my days run like they are supposed to now?

By the way, if you are an SE user and can make it to SEU15 do so. It is the best price in the industry for this kind of event you will see and some very talented people from Huntsville who DO care about your success and needs will be there. My experience is that they pay far greater attention to attendee input than from any other source. I expect to be there and perhaps I will see you there. It may well be the last one before the tentacles of PLM World kill this off again and for this reason alone merits your consideration as under John Miller who could care less once it dies it will never happen again. I can assure you that once these clowns get ahold of it the cost to attend will triple and you will have to be resigned to being shoved off into the red headed bastard step child corner again if you do go.

Hard to imagine the fortunes of SE could turn so dire in such a short time.

Solidedging and Solid Edge and the Future

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Autodesk Inventor Pro HSM 2016 On Track For Frequent Updates

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

33 Weeks After ST7 Release And Still NO Viable CAMWorks for Solid Edge

Today I am going to talk more about the Siemens SE side of the equation than the Geometric side. First though the count.

37 Weeks since the last communication from Geometric to SE CW4SE users about CW4SE for ST7.
33 Weeks since ST7 was release to customers.
14 Weeks since the last CW4SE user post at the Geometric CW4SE user forums.

Can you offhand think of a single example of such woeful neglect of a buying customer user base? I mean it. Think about your experiences over the years with any software vendor and can you think of another debacle equal to this one besides perhaps an outright bankruptcy of a software company or Dassault Cloud Vaporware? Refund our money Geometric. You can’t fix this mess and your inability to do so I think has been pretty well established. Give us our money back and just GO AWAY. What are you going to do this time? Give us another extension of maintenance so we can have another year or half-year of waiting for nothing? I have really enjoyed my half-year extension which is now four months up and still nothing to use in sight. In reality this means as an SE user I would still have to be using ST6 and LAST years cam program to have a semblance of working software.

The other side of the equation is of course Siemens Solid Edge. I don’t refer to Solid Edge much as an independent entity anymore as those days died when Karsten left. Thus the Siemens Solid Edge moniker. Look at the contrast with the following two screen captures. First we have one from a real person who cared.

ScreenHunter_06 Apr. 13 08.50

Now we have one from somebody whom I am not certain exists as a real functioning head of Solid Edge/Siemens Mainstream Engineering Software.

ScreenHunter_07 Apr. 13 08.52

I want you to pay particular attention to the rate of comments posts per month and the stark contrast between one who cared and one who quite frankly can best be called MIA.

Now read this. http://community.plm.automation.siemens.com/t5/Solid-Edge-Forum/Welcome-from-the-new-guy/m-p/296259#U296259

Can I be blunt here? This is the most mindless empty bunch of verbage, referring to what was supposed to be coming from John Millers mouth that is, it has been my misfortune to have read for some time. It is just as bad as the first introductory post he supposedly made some time back.

I remember sitting down with a couple of marketing people while we had just a couple of days under our belts with CW4SE during beta training before CW4SE was released. These marketing people were silly enough to actually ask us how much improvement we were going to gain by using CW4SE over our current CAM programs. My response was I have no way of knowing when I have not cut a single part with it and I forbid you to use my name in association touting the wonders of a program I have yet to cut a part in. The stuff that John Miller is supposed to be saying reminds me of the empty Marketing garbage they wanted me to sign off on. I mean it literally. They were presenting me with comments from their fertile imagination and all I was to do was sign off on the use of my name. They were not there for real feedback or commentary although that is what they ended up with. Subsequently they never used anything from my “interview”.

John Miller I am beginning to think has yet to actually speak to the SE user community. I base this on the marketing and publicity babble-speak nonsense it has been my misfortune to see from empty heads in the past who are however paid to produce something. So the end result is an eruption of industry accepted phrases and empty words that fill a spot that we in the intended audience are some how no doubt going to get excited or pacified over. That is how I regard the commentary that has so far populated Millers “posts”. The direct contrast between what Karsten Newbury used to say and the clear interest and genuine interaction is diametrically opposed to the empty junk coming from the automaton P&R generated script purportedly coming from Miller. Marketing and Publicity has I figure been given orders to fill an empty spot is my guess with something because perhaps the idea that Solid Edge has been cast adrift with a place holder manager is gaining traction. But even here the paucity of comments and the vapid empty words used reveals the lack of interest Siemens has for SE.

Mr Big has yet to reply to my questions about CW4SE. I don’t think “he” will and marketing for darned sure will not touch that one with a fifty foot pole. I am sadly coming to the conclusion that the CW4SE users are being cast adrift and are of no consequence anymore to the decision makers at Siemens. BUYER BEWARE! Buy Solid Edge because it is the best midrange MCAD program with the best direct editing capabilities out there. Do not ever consider SE for any other function though as there will probably never be a robust family of integrated aps and pursuit of market share which would gain you additional work potential. If you do work in-house design SE can’t be beat. I use it all the time and can’t imagine working without it. Even if you are an SW or Inventor house you still would benefit from at least one seat of SE just for editing imported parts and best in class sheet metal. But you are not going to work with other SE using companies in all likelihood and you probably will not have a resource of trained users unless it is you who creates them. I have yet to work with another company that uses SE here in southern middle Tennessee, just north of Huntsville by the way, and quite frankly I am tired of hearing surprise about my choice of CAD programs from others. Comments like you are the only one I know of using it.

Solid Edge, the best software you’ve never heard of from Siemens the company that does not care if you ever hear of it. Co-sponsored by CAM prize fighter Geometric that could not punch it’s way out of a wet paper bag.