Today I am going to demonstrate the cut paths in HSM I have found to yield a surface quality that will suffice for food service without any subsequent finishing. This is a dispensing valve block meant to be sanitized daily or as often as required and has to be easily dis-assembled for access to all surfaces for sanitizing. There are some interesting things to note here and one is how deceptively simple HSM appears. There are right ways and wrong ways to cut and behind the scenes HSM makes choices for you, correct ones by the way, that remove the prompt prompt page page click click stuff so often found elsewhere. As an example in the 2D contour cut path by picking the correct profile I eliminate the boundary of cut and the top height and bottom height you might otherwise have to pick. In the 3D Scallop cut tool path I select top and bottom and one exclude surface and I do not have to go in there and select a bunch of individual surfaces to finish a portion of the part.
Speaking of Scallop cut with HSM I have to say this is my favorite final finishing weapon of choice. There are times where Adaptive with the intermediary step ups can accomplish a satisfactory finish if you do not cut to fast. You load your endmill up enough with high speeds and feeds and depth of cut though you will generate deflection and surface problems. This is true of ANY high speed machining program by the way. When time and production are critical rough with Adaptive and leave just a bit for cleanup with finishing tool paths as I did here for best results.
Scallop by the way was the tool path that replaced CAMWorks for Solid Edge’s Constant Step-over tool path which was the only reason I had entertained using CW4SE at all after getting HSM. I have SE ST8 with CW4SE loaded on my main workstation but have yet to cut a part with it. I went in there to see how it was doing and refreshed my memory on how complicated it all was. I quickly regained my sanity and left. As a matter of fact the only reason it is still on here is I had intended to do comparisons between Volumill and Adaptive. Adaptive has always won these though so far and as I type this I think I just don’t care what Volumill or CW4SE do anymore. Time to yank CW4SE off the PC and close another chapter of my life. Too expensive too complicated and run by a company whose only real concern for you as a user historically seems to be that you pay their exorbitant unearned yearly fees. Don’t let the door hit you on your way out.
Geometric’s CW4SE by the way is a perfect example of why you never want software without a permanent license. If you were foolish enough to buy there are only certain versions that work well and if you were stuck into the upgrade when the chattel owners decide to pay to play situation who knows how long you could be shut down or the time to be wasted struggling with what the heck did they do now. It took many months before ST7 had a halfway working version of CW4SE. At least with permanent seats you can pick what works best for you even if you have to stay on last years CAD to do so. If you don’t think this is important now experience will one day demonstrate why it is and it will consume your earnings and time as it does so.
Anyway here is picture of the section of the part being cut.
Here is a picture of the part with a Tri-Clamp fitting in place. This will be welded in and polished out by hand as the last step in production. Notice by the way that the fitting produced to NSF standards has basically the same finish as the cut surfaces.
The whole rationale behind high-speed machining is to remove more cubic inches of material per hour and per endmill or insert. I still watch in awe over what can be done and remembering how it used to be when you had to slow down everything so you would not kill your end mill as you buried it in a step over or corner. There are various flavors of high-speed machining programs out there but they all have one thing in common. Vibration control is essential.
One of the first steps is to have the correct tool holding and while heat shrink is supposed to be the best most of us will never know. It is to darned expensive to set up for and most of us will never need that last tenth accuracy in our life times nor do we have the metrology lab required for this accuracy. The second best and much more affordable option is hydraulic tool holders. Personally I use Schunk Tendo hydraulic holders and right now they are running around $250.00 from my favorite supplier Technology Sales in Chattanooga TN for the .75″ CAT40 holder. The sleeves will run another $80.00 each. The sleeves come in slotted for TSC that will allow for six “sprays” of coolant to be directed straight down into the cut for tooling that does not have coolant holes and unslotted that will allow you to use through tool TSC. The Schunks are very concentric (.003mm claimed runout at 2.5″ on their web site) and also have never in my experience suffered from cutter pullout and I sure can’t say the same for collets and set screw clamp holders which HAVE ruined some of my days. So the first step is to have reliable and capable tool holding. Concentric pullout proof tool holding is essential to your tool life and cut quality in high-speed machining. If you do not take care of this first you can just ignore the rest of this article since your maximum potential will never be achieved unless all the puzzle pieces are put in place.
Have you ever started a cut and found yourself scrambling for the feeds and speeds over ride? Sure you have and we all know the tooth jarring squeal of impending end mill doom. As far as I know there are only two methods to fight this. One is to just fiddle at the controls while cutting until we find the place that sounds and looks good and generally that is where we stay. I dare say this is how most places do it. The second way is to embark on a rational method to fine tuning your specific mill and cutter combination for best results.
Every mill has a unique vibration characteristic based upon the actual machine variances and it’s environment like the floor stability. My Haas VF4 will be a bit different from yours and the same is true for those whiz-bang 300,000.00 dollar jobs too some people are so proud of. As a matter of fact UGS did this study and they deal in high dollar production and high dollar equipment where getting that last little bit of quality and speed makes a big difference. Speaking of Modern Machine Shop by the way here is a link http://www.mmsonline.com/articles/chatter-control-for-the-rest-of-us that will take you to a page with other vibration control articles.
Do yourself and your shop a favor and have a look at this idea. It is in most cases the last piece of the puzzle to be implemented and in many cases is never even considered.
Humorous update. I was looking for Helical brand end mills on EBay and these turned up. From the Buonshopping EBAY purveyor of fine goods in Hong Kong we have these fine tools. I went to see just what the end mill feedbacks had to say and much to my amusement the first few (I looked no further) had gobs of smiley faces and bad spelling har-de-har-har.
Short post here. CAMWorks has posted for current customers an important release. We now have assemblies capability for CW4SE and SE. Add to the mix the upcoming changes to the Tech Data Base and great things are in store. I have a “beta” version of this on hand and while I have not had a chance to play with it this is proof things are moving quickly along. Now would be the time if you have been sitting on the fence to give CW4SE a good hard look if you are an SE customer who happens to also manufacture. I will have more to post on this after I get done with the glut of work over the next week and have time to play with new toys.
CW4SE is to me the biggest deal in the SE ecosphere this year and I hope you have a look.
One of the paradoxes for me with CAMWorks is how the power that resides within the program has been difficult to unlock for quite some time. It was like two people with differing viewpoints and practical experiences determined the idea of Feature recognition and then the implementation of the same. One was brilliant and the other was, well lets just say that the other one was a programmer that probably figured chips came packaged in various flavors for your eating delight.
This is no longer the case and here is what is going on. As I type this work has been ongoing for a few weeks and will continue until done. This is not a back shelf finish it someday project but one that has priority and I fully expect that it will be completed this year. So just what is this Jobshop TDB?
There are two aspects to this and they are as follows. The tool library is being updated to current use and practices tooling using current available tools from current manufacturing catalogues. No more will you have to deal with a library that just had tools thrown in there to occupy spots. Real tools readily available and a reduction in overall quantities of tools. Tools bought often enough that companies make and stock them on the shelf as regular demand tools. Two, three, four and five flute end mills for instance will be in there in various substrates. In particular this is beneficial for things like Volumill where so many of the strategies involve three and five fluters. Now these will be there and you will be able to create your high performance tool paths out of the box with an expectation that the majority of your common use tools will already be there.
The second aspect of the rework is that the basic strategies used for cutting are being revamped by experienced machinists who are aware of proper cutting strategies so that once again out of the box what will be there will in many cases be immediately useable. Now look, I understand that there will have to be tweaking to dial in to your favorite exact strategies. But what is the big deal here is that for the first time ever CAMWorks is going to deliver something that will get you up and running pretty darned painlessly and afford you the luxury of developing your exact strategies and learning how to use the TDB over time. Quite a change from what there is today where you have to constantly fight this thing and learn to tame it before you see the potential become the reality. Feature Recognition with CAMWorks is the industry best and getting the practical immediate benefit of it without tons of fiddling around has just become a reality coming soon to you.
The TDB is common to both SE and SW users by the way so rejoice all you CAMWorks SW users, you to are going to see this come your way also. I know in speaking to SW users that this has been the principal major complaint expressed to me over time.
I like the moniker that Geometric has chosen in Jobshop TDB. But it is more than just a title or name it is the intent behind what they are doing and why they are doing it. It is a recognition that our time has value too and that there needed to be out of the box a far more user-friendly way of implementing this program. A recognition if you will of the hurry-hurry world so many of us live in where another complicated paradigm to master before becoming productive is not what we want or need.
I was not kidding a post or two ago when I compared this to the evolution of SE from ST2 to ST3. It was when SE learned to effectively communicate with itself yielding efficiencies that many of us though should have been there for ST1. In many ways I consider ST3 to be the first release of SE as it was meant to be. And like SE now CAMWorks is going through the same metamorphosis and the benefits to the user base are going to be considerable. I don’t know what stage Geometric will be at with this for SEU 2014 but I consider this to be one of the biggest “new” program features I am aware of at this event and probably the single most important one for those of us who use both SE and CAMWorks and then make what we design.
Just a short post today to notify those Solid Edge users who have been long waiting for this that the date is 4-14 for the release of CAMWorks 2014 SP2 which will have assemblies mode for SE in it. I for one have been looking forward to this as it will simplify my life for sure. The day may shift but not by much and Geometric is confident enough on this date that they gave me the go ahead to announce it.
I am sitting here excited this morning about some upcoming changes to CW4SE and I assume this will also bleed over into the SW side of things too but I have to confirm this. How many of you remember the transition from SE ST2 to ST3 and what made it so powerful? In truth this was the most beneficial of all the ST series version updates for the simple fact that it unified and made far easier work flow and file management. It took various aspects of SE from the Synchronous side and the ordered side and made them play together. Since then there have been a number of great refinements to how it all works together. Indeed not only that but in general how well the ST side worked. Ordered was not new and so it did not need this degree of work although the ability to blend the two work flow types was important.
But what this whole transition was really about over the years was taking concepts from academic to work place practicality and putting tools of productivity into user hands. I will be able to go into far greater detail soon but rest assured that this year Geometric is taking CAMWorks into an evolutionary process every bit as great as ST2 to ST3 was. The effort is on to have some of this finished before SEU2014. In some ways I think there are two parallels here between SE and CW. Just like the progress in capabilities happened. And just like the capabilities progress happened many thought, and I tend to agree, that the real launch of Solid Edge Synchronous Tech was in ST3. ST1 and ST2 were the warm ups to a full-fledged program ready for prime time manifested in ST3. This is the significance I attach to what is going on with CAMWorks right now.
I am a shop that builds more than I design and so the ability to manufacture here is probably more important than designing here. We all know shops that are job shops with little design capabilities that have just enough design talent to bring in files to be used for CAM plans. The other end of the spectrum is a shop like mine where we design build and reverse engineer and go through all the steps. But the truth is that at the end of the day my manufacturing software is often of greater importance. I can take a mediocre design program and fiddle around with it until I get to a workable part. But when it comes to machine time on expensive equipment and consumables that can run you over $50.00 per hour in addition to the cost of the shop and the material used your CAM program becomes extremely important to your bottom line. I only have to design a part once but may have to cut it thousands of times so the most beneficial efficiency dollar saved/earned improvements will be found for my bottom line in production software. Like CAMWorks. The basic power of CW is a given but getting there has been a problem for some time and unless you have dedicated programmers on hand to correctly implement the program as it has been you never see its potential realized.
This is all being changed in a big way so stay tuned. If this is all done right I believe that CW will become a force to be reckoned with in the CAM world instead of just another good but complicated to use CAM program.
OK folks it looks like the customer release of CW4SE 2014 will be on 12-30-13 and customer links should show up for downloads at this time assuming no last second delays.
I don’t know what were the problems behind the scene with lack of publicity and announcements and general progress over the last six months but after some communication from Geometric this week about these topics I do have an update. Assemblies is waiting on an MP update from Solid Edge and then we will be good to go. I expect that the next MP or the one after will be the one. So the last big integration hurdle will be jumped at that time. Multi-Axis milling and mill-turn and wire EDM will be in this release. I have had a chance to play with the EV pre-release version of CW4SE 2014 and they have cleaned up the work flow a bit. Without sitting down and doing a direct click by click comparison the feeling I have is a smoother work flow and it is going in a direction that is more intuitive for how many of us work.
Tech Data Base is still this convoluted monster that you will have to spend some time at learning before you can even begin to have a hope of making the program work well for Automatic feature Recognition. I have started to try this out and while I can see the power getting there to fully use it is complex. I have yet to find really good training resource for this and if anyone knows where to go please share it here. There are a LOT of parameters and pages and stuff to fill out. As it is out of the box it does things arbitrarily that most of us won’t like and without many common use tools in the base library you end up spending more time fixing things than if you just started from scratch by picking features and assigning tools to a blank tool crib. However, I believe that Geometric is after all these years going to be updating this and the tool library beginning with turning tools. I wish it was milling since the majority of the work out there is milling but I am pleased that they are getting ready to change some of these old legacy parts of the program into something more useful in the somewhat near future. I know, it might be a somewhat long wait but at least it is progress and they are acknowledging it is a problem that needs to be fixed. It is important more than they know I believe because when people get a thirty-day trial they are not going to have time to fool around with the byzantine TDB and their impressions on CAMWorks will not be as favorable as it should be. The tool paths are great and nothing touches Volumill but this stuff in between start here and posting code is to complex in the TDB and it will turn off many potential buyers.
Now all this having been said I can today see that this TDB will be worthwhile to set up for at least some of my parts families and when done so, if it works like the claims state, this will be a real-time saver in these instances. I really regard this as a production manufacturing tool where there are dedicated individuals who will have the time to really learn and set up the TDB and make in essence an operational work flow happen. For a lot of small shops this will probably never be implemented and they will I think opt for doing it as close to the way they are used to doing things as they can. The TDB and it’s complexity is not something with my ignorance of how to use it and set it up I can judge as to whether it is unnecessarily complex or all the bits and pieces need to be there to work right. My opinion may change here as I get some actual time with CW4SE under my belt. Some of the language used here though to describe features is so weirdly convoluted as to logic that it is best for you to print off a list of what they call various feature types and keep it at hand until you memorize it.
There is a method to do a pretty good work around if you are not interested in all that TDB stuff and I will have a post soon on this.
Insofar as where you go for good material on CW I would have to say that looking for good CAMWorks for Solid Works is the best answer at this time because there is hardly anything for CW4SE. The two programs are the same except for the CAD side and the basic tip I found to allow me to do the TDB workaround was found under SW tips and tricks and it works just fine for SE.
At this time there are a few things to announce. Apparently the API required for integrating assemblies has taken more work than they thought so the timeframe I was told for this to be done is probably January of next year. There is supposed to be an update that will have multi-axis and EDM later this month. There is now an SE user forum at the Geometric Camworks site so if you are a new CW4SE user go over there and help populate this. In general there are darned few user oriented things like tips and tricks at the Geometric site for users of both SE and SW flavors and the best source for help outside of tutorials still looks to be youtube, things like http://camworksguide.com/ and the Solid Professor stuff. Now let me say that the CAM differences between the SE and SW flavors is pretty small, (except of course we SE users have the killer CAD program;) ) and that what you learn from either side of the aisle where CAM is concerned will help.
I think sales have been pretty slow and I attribute this to the same problem SE has suffered under for some time. It is a puzzle to me why people expect the software to sell itself and not have to put their own money and time into an aggressive marketing campaign. A campaign that only has to talk about what this combination of CW and SE with best in class direct editing can do that makes it better than the rest to sell both SE and CW4SE. But I am not the smart guy PR wonk so I probably just don’t grok the genius behind the concept of no marketing is shrewd and effective marketing.
And last but not least in my world I finally have my seat of CW4SE and I expect to have some posts again soon on this topic.
I welcome anyone from Geometric who wishes to add or clarify anything. I have quit asking to be notified of any updates because these people do not respond until you chase them down. Evidently this gets back to the philosophy of PR management mentioned above.
OK according to Ally PLM my dongle was supposed to be delivered yesterday. Now par for the course Geometric does not communicate. No notification or tracking number so no doubt it is still floating around where ever with whomever. Get a grip guys. When SE or ZW3d send me dongles or even version updates if delivered by DVD I get notification and a tracking number. Had you bothered to TELL me I would have arranged to be here yesterday.I have things to do today to and if I don’t get some idea of when to be here I will probably miss it again because I have to do things away from my shop. Is it so hard to act like a business that desires to keep it’s customers informed??
UPDATE 12-13-13 B
OK, 4:40 and the whole day is gone waiting for this to finally arrive and I had to cancel an appointment with a customer because of this. Now while talking to the UPS driver I see him scan the envelope and hand it to me. “No signature required I ask?” No this was not requested is the reply. “Do you mean to tell me that you would have just left this leaning up against the outside of the door like the other packages are when I am not here?” Yes is the reply. So let me get this right. A dongle that is worth $13,700.00 can be dropped off at my place with no signature and if this thing gets lost I suppose it would be my fault. Does anyone here see anything wrong with this picture?
One of my pet peeves is how the idea of designing things has become the end of the process of manufacturing for so many. I guess if I sat in a cubicle and all I knew was based on classroom training and I had never dipped a toe into a manufacturing facility I could think this way. Or if I was silly enough to think manufacturing began and ended with my scintillating but academic
design genius capabilities as I sat behind my monitor. So then this bit of enlightened design meanders it’s way through the process where hopefully someone with a bit of sense will see it before it gets out to the people who will be asked t0 make it.
Such were the thoughts going through my mind this week as I regarded a part that I had been sent to quote on. Now keep in mind these guys know what I have for equipment and they thought that this was a part suitable for milling.
I am sure that all the plugin connections were dimensionally correct and that sufficient space in the “box” was allowed for components according to precise sizes garnered from somewhere. The problem is however that this designer had absolutely no idea of what is required to allow for milling this kind of part. First off this is impossible to mill unless done as four or five pieces that would be assembled with fasteners or perhaps welding. It could be done with some of those new fancy metal powder deposition laser doo-dads. Except for the problem of how to tap occluded holes in some of the round bosses I think it would be possible there. But then again this would never yield quick or cheap parts for something that was to be mass manufactured. You could afford to make one this way if it was to be used as a pattern for molding. But then you would have to drill and tap those holes on those bosses on every casting and quite frankly I don’t know a way that this would be possible except with a through hole which is not indicated based on the part file. In any case I am not familiar enough with casting to know if this is a feasible design.
What I am going to do is go through this part and show reasons why this cant be milled. It is my hope that perhaps this will get some of you who are not familiar with machining to reconsider how you go about designing. This guy spent his time designing something that cant be machined and at the very least he wasted his time and the time of shops sent RFQ’s.
Join me as we venture into the never never world of inexperience.
I think that Autodesk is very smart about their plans to aquire pieces of the complete manufacturing puzzle. First HSMWorks, a purchase no one saw coming and one that shook up the CAM world. Now to Autodesks credit they have bent over backwards to satisfy their new-found customers and alleviate their fears. A friend of mine had a seat he used in his shop and the deal he finally ended up with was three years of HSM maintenance free subscription to cover the cost of now having to buy a full seat of SW. And of course Autodesk is busy porting this to Inventor with HSM Express the two d version there for free available right now for these guys. Obviously they intend to migrate users to Inventor over time would certainly be my conjecture.
So now we probably will have Delcam as a part of Autodesk. The same Autodesk whose Carl Bass has made no bones about having to work on the cloud for their stuff in time. You know what? If Autodesk buys up enough stuff and they can conspire with people like Dassault to force people to go where they want many of us will end up on the cloud as a condition required by the use of software we can find no substitute for. If you use Powermill and SolidWorks could you afford to jettison both the considerable cost to own this stuff and then legacy file problems to boot? I think most will in all likelihood choose to subject themselves to being subscription hostages because in these lingering economic problems that have no end in sight who can afford to replace it all. I think it is with malign intent that these pieces of the puzzle are being assembled and put in place to make subscription chattel camps out of huge swathes of users in order to make more and predictable cash flows for companies like Dassault and Autodesk.
My friend swears that at the HSMWorks convention in Florida Bass told them all they had nothing to worry about with the cloud. To their credit I think they handled my friend far better than I expect Dassault or Siemens would have handled him. Siemens is so tight-fisted with promotions for the new CAMWorks for Solid Edge for instance that even though introducing a new product they have never really had a significant inducement to buy other than it is integrated with SE. The way they have acted with CW4SE I expect my buddy would have been told to cough up the dough or go. Contrast this to Autodesks serious financial commitments to existing HSMWorks SW users like the one made to my friend. But I also see Bass’s comments about going to the cloud and he has yet to make a unequvochal statement and guarantee to everyone in writing that this will never happen. As far as I am concerned on this topic he is talking out of both sides of his mouth until they can assemble a large enough and diversified enough purchased user base that there can be no escape for most. Welcome to the brave new world of rising uncontrollable expenses as a cost of doing business. And of course will this eliminate permanent seats and result in data hostages just to continue to do business? I don’t particularly trust either Dassault or Autodesk in this area and figure that they would do the same stuff Adobe has done to their users in a heart beat and as long as they get their money your data security is secondary.
This is the true power of permanent seats of software and any of you who move away from this model sow the seeds of your own destruction in many ways including the right to reserve to yourself only your own intellectual property. Read the fine print with the Adobe cloud stuff and see for yourself what they think of your intellectual property and insert Dassault and Autodesk in these sames types of EULAS if they can make this work.
So where are we Solid Edge and Siemens? So far of the big CAD CAM companies Siemens stands out as the only company that has publicly made the commitment that they will never force you to the cloud. They make stuff that works there but they will not force you there. Bass and Bernard and Sicot talk about programs based on forced cloud usage where to use something you have to go online. They say these things and I have quoted this stuff here before. You don’t believe me go research for yourself what the respective leaders of these companies are saying. Grindstaff of Siemens is the only one of these guys who says your choices and your autonomy will be preserved.
The big question for me here as a more than satisfied Solid Edge user is what is Siemens going to do to protect my interests here? CAM is essential as a part of a complete manufacturing ecosystem. CAD exists only to produce a method of communicating to the guys who make stuff and allowing their parts to speak to their CNC equipment or have prints on the shop floor. But without a complete manufacturing solution life is more difficult. NX IS NOT the answer for SE users and at this time only CAMWorks is. If they ever get on the ball, and finish this up and then do the right things to promote it both with incentives and publicity.
So far the incentives and the publicity have been really rotten for CW4SE and I bet sales are not all that good and it is a purely self inflicted wound. There are others who are waiting for it to be finished and just as good as CW4SW which is what we were promised it would be. And why is it that this has not happened and Geometric has no updates or comments to make for SE users?
When there are no answers and deadlines and missed and no one says squat about anything conjecture begins. A friend of mine and I were trying to figure this all out and wondered if perhaps things were at a screeching halt because Dassault was considering buying up Geometric? I think Dassault does take SE seriously as a competitor for SW and after watching the uproar about HSMWorks would they take a preemptive measure and make sure CW4SW stays in their hands? It would be pretty smart to wreck CW4SE before it has a chance to take off since SW is falling farther and farther behind the direct editing productivities of Solid Edge. The new territorial boundaries are being drawn and there are only a limited number of entities that can be absorbed and the rush is on to lock this stuff up. Siemens is really anal about meetings to decide to have a meeting where it is determined to have a meeting to decide on what they will discuss in that meeting but only after the meetings to determine a date subject to extenuating circumstances which may require more meetings. I don’t know how they get anything done. But right now they had better have a meeting that makes a decision on how they are going to combat these acquisition threats. Delcam was considered to be too big to be bought out and so was Geometric. After HSMWorks was stolen from SW Siemens was very aware of the risk of the same happening to them with Geometric and the lawyer arguing went on for a long time.
As I see it there are two things here to consider for SE and Geometric. Geometric apparently does not have the desire or talent to finish up CW4SE in a timely fashion and their public face for SE users is non-existent. So they first off need to be kicked in the butt to make things right. That is a given but even more importantly perhaps they should be bought out by SE/Siemens before they are gone to a competitor. I really hope the stipulation was made to Geometric that insofar as CAMWorks goes the entire CAMWorks suite would have to be offered to Siemens first as a condition of sale of the program or the company itself to any entity. I am sure there are better things they could find to do with the money but if they are going to step up into the big boy league of complete manufacturing from A to Z and compete head to head against arch rival SW they HAVE to do this or forever be an also ran. Who knows, at this rate even though Inventor stinks compared to SW and SE it still get things done and if they make the right packages available to people with the pieces they are assembling many will hold their noses and use Inventor anyway just to get the integration. If they would just stop that obsession with the cloud.
I don’t know about you other users out there but I hate uncertainty and I really hate uncertainty when it is my dollars at stake and in the hands of those whose response is “well just spend a bunch more and shut up about it all”. I am not happy that I have not been able to afford CW4SE by now but in light of all that is going on with buyouts and Geometric dragging their feet on their CW4SE commitments perhaps it has been to my benefit here. I want Siemens and SE to understand something here. I write about SE because I really like it and I truly believe it is the best MCAD program out there for what I do. But I hate that SE has been incomplete as a manufacturing solution. And now when I am considering spending money in short supply for CAM it is to a product whose future owership I am not certain of rather than buying a CAM product that belongs to Siemens and is not going anywhere. THAT is what would make SE complete in my eyes. The capability to buy integrated products that are not subject to Autodesk torpedoes.
I am getting to the point where I look forward to the day when I decide that I never need to buy another program or years maintenance again to see out the rest of my working career and if all these trends continue it may be sooner than later.