Yes there you are, two designs and one of them is problematical. So you get to figure this out because it is your job to. Which is which? At SEU2014 there will be competition for the esteemed title of Downunder Blunder Wunder. Go here for more information on this. http://community.plm.automation.siemens.com/t5/Solid-Edge-Community-Blog/SEU14-Fix-the-Downunder-Blunder/ba-p/24445
What I want to do is give a little more background on Rick Mason who is the creator of this and the presenter. Rick goes all the way back to V1 of Solid Edge. I don’t recall any other individual I have met who can claim this except some of the developers with SE who came with SE all the way from Integraph days to now. Rick has been quite active in the past as an advocate for SE and more importantly doing footwork that benefited users. Rick’s Rules is still mentioned on occasion by developers in Huntsville as a seminal work on how to properly do sketching so things work predictably and reliably.
I first knew Rick back when I was an unwelcome disruptive influence at the then very insular BBS forum. Remember those days Rick? He was one of the leaders and chastised me for improper topics and also my silliness for believing in ST. But things change and I have to say that over the last five years it has been my pleasure to know him and watch his opposition to ST morph into acceptance and indeed endorsement. He is perhaps one of the most knowledgable users of SE for the practical side of how to do things in fool-proof ways and I always listen to what he has to say. Sadly I hear that Rick is thinking about retirement and that this may be his last showing at the annual SE event.
I can tell you he is always engaging and well worth your time to attend anything he is involved in. I fully expect that this contest will not only be challenging but knowing Rick will be instructional as well. Have fun and learn and be there. Anything Rick is involved in will be worth your time and if I show up I am most certainly going to see this one.
Thanks for your time and dedication over the years working with users Rick and if this is your last time here all I can say is you leave a pair of big empty shoes that will be hard to fill.
PS. By the way, these are not Ricks cats and no animals were hurt while sunbathing in his back yard.
Obviously the content of this post has changed. In thinking about all this Marketing and publicity controversy I have come to some conclusions. A, that it has become no fun as a blogger to talk or post on this. I just get angry and frustrated whenever I think about this topic. Siemens policy is what it is and SE is my CAD program of choice and I am going to leave it at that. B, I am not going to beat this drum any more for a number of reasons including I think that it has become counterproductive to continue in this vein. Rather than sit here and get angry over something I have no financial interest in I am choosing to go back to the technical aspects of the program I use and keep my opinions to myself on corporate policies. I can see why bloggers quit posting for a while or entirely and until you have been here as a blogger you may not understand. You can get wrapped up in a product and forget that it is at the end of the day just a tool of production. So, I am going to put things back into a perspective that makes this enjoyable again.
I am also seriously reconsidering commentaries on other software to. I am losing interest in what Dassault and Autodesk may or may not be doing in the cloud. I choose not to go there and if you do you make a choice as a consenting adult and live with it. If indeed they are even going to force you there which is becoming questionable in my mind anyway. This is another aspect of blogging that tires me and it is just what is really going on? No one ever completely levels with you so you are left with snippets of news and conjecture quite often. At least with the technical side of the software it either works or it does not and these are truths that can be verified.
Paul Waddington used to post a lot and so did that Steve http://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=1&ved=0CCQQFjAA&url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.blog.cadnauseam.com%2F&ei=EZAaU-3tJY_IkAeZx4G4Aw&usg=AFQjCNHxi6AdkxqCTHZzL3nQ1ewYFKhH0g&bvm=bv.62578216,d.eW0&cad=rja guy who was a fencer from I think AU. They have both just disappeared from the scene and none seems to know why. I have to wonder if the negative side of the software companies finally outweighed the positive aspects of the software for them and when the fun left so did they. Both of them were pretty unhappy with Autodesk before they went away. In any case I am thinking hard here about it all and just what I wish to derive from this blog.
It has been my premise that the cloud is not ready for prime time for a while now but actual studies done proving yea or nay for the cloud are hard to come by. I suspect the cloud people deliberately choose to avoid any proof of concept. Why the opposing side does not have more readily available information is done for a reason as they surely have had to do internal studies at the least. I think they know things they would rather not talk about. “Windows Secrets” is a newsletter I have subscribed to for some time and I recommend it to you. There are two flavors with one being free with abbreviated content and the other subscription for a minor fee with more content. This particular article was from my copy of their paid content and quoted here with permission. First off here is a link to “Windows Secrets”. http://windowssecrets.com/ And here is a link to the article of interest. http://windowssecrets.com/top-story/sorting-out-the-revolution-in-pc-backups-part-2/
The article talks about online backups and the speed with which this can be done compared to other backup methods. What is of interest here is the relative speed of a local LAN or an additional internal or external hard drive compared to over the public ISP throughput rates. We have all heard the silly claims about how the cloud will be much quicker than anything we could do for ourselves autonomously. Claims minus proof of course.
Now I am not going to quote a lot here nor am I going to talk about methodology. The link to the article will put you in touch with a comprehensive explanation of what was done and why. Suffice it to say that there are a ton of people like me, the vast majority of all CAD CAM users I suspect, who have less than ideal conditions to work under RE data and ISP’s. The overall size of the files used for this study though is of interest to me because I can see data quickly reaching these limits when you think of CAD creation and updating and sharing between all related systems for an average days work at many major companies. The same companies who are major targets of this cloud initiative.
I fully understand the value of something that would automatically update file versions across a whole company reliably. I can’t sit here and tell you that some compelling arguments for some things to be done on the cloud don’t exist. But I can say that the infrastructure at this time and for the foreseeable future is not ready for these types of demands. And of course security which some tell me is ready. Empirical evidence in the form of daily stories about yet another breach or government sponsored intrusion into supposedly secure situations of course belies these claims.
Perhaps the most damning thing to me about this whole cloud idea is that those who propound this as the end all be all will not legally stand behind what they want you to use and they make no serious effort to produce any conclusive evidence with actual working scenarios to buttress their claims. Cost efficiency, unlimited cores for unlimited power, fire your IT staff and the rest and never a full accounting of the costs, of ALL the costs, needed to do this.
It gets back to what I was saying about the impressions Autodesk has given most all the people I talk to about their cloud intentions. If all you ever talk about is cloud this and that then why should I not presume that all you are going to do is cloud this and that in the future? In the same frame of mind if all I ever hear are wonderful claims for the cloud but somehow these claimants never produce actual case studies with all pertinent data over typical ISP conditions I have to presume they are hiding bad things.
Can any of you think of any other reason for such pervasive lack of real life studies by these cloud companies? If I had a bullet proof product I wanted to sell you I darned sure would be busy laying out facts and studies to sell you by and not just empty words of promises where the only concrete thing offered is price tags.
Posted in Uncategorized
Tagged Autodesk, catia, cloud, Dassault, Fusion 360, hsmworks, machining software, manufacturing, Siemens, Solid Works, Solidedge
I don’t know where the time goes and here we are looking at the end of the first round of early bird registration for SEU 2014. It will be in Atlanta this year and well after any chance of snow . The event will be May, that’s right not June but May, from the 12th to the 14th. At $550.00 for the convention cost plus lodging and travel it is the cheapest of all the major MCAD annual events by far. Find out about SE the program and the users and do so with the industries best pricing. http://www.solidedgeu.com/ takes you to the main page.
Here is further info and more links.
· Early bird 1 discount = $100 off until Feb 28 http://www.solidedgeu.com/registration-fees-event-policies/
· Early bird 2 discount = $50 off until March 28
· 3 for the price of 2 discount
· Course descriptions http://www.solidedgeu.com/courses-i.html
· FEMAP Symposium is expanded this year http://www.solidedgeu.com/femap-symposium-2014.html
· Developer day on May 12 http://www.solidedgeu.com/developer-day.html
· Newly renovated venue Westin Peachtree Plaza in Atlanta
· Benefits of attending and how to talk your boss into it: http://www.solidedgeu.com/benefits-of-attending.html
For those of you not familiar with Atlanta it has some of the worst traffic I have ever had the misfortune to drive in and it is every business day without fail. If you are driving I see that the Westin has reserved self parking available for $5.00 per day. Usually I stay at cheaper surrounding hotels but this time in downtown Atlanta I recommend you stay at the Westin and use their reserved parking if you intend to drive there like I do. Well worth the time and money spent and hope to see you all there.
I want to note to readers of this post that Geometric is going to take some time this week to show me how I can work the way I want to work in CAMWorks 4SE, if indeed this is possible. I have had a couple of bad weeks with this program and I hope they can show me a better way to use CW4SE without having to fool around with this TDB.There have also been weird things that just happen that tell me there are still bugs to be worked out to. If I ever elect to use the TDB I want it to not interfere with what pays my bills on any given day and be implemented at my convenience and time of choosing to do so. Some of what I write below may change if my current opinion on things changes. Some like pricing and value will not because my idea of prices and value differs from Geometrics. In any case on to the post.
An interesting letter was received here the other day. But first the reason for the letters existence. I have had some very frustrating days with CAMWorks 4SE recently and some is due to my lack of knowledge I am sure and some is due to a rarely improved methodology for their Tech Data Base and how complex and pervasive it is to your decision as to how to use the program. In order to make automatic feature recognition work well you have to embark on a series of never-ending creations of entries of page after page after page of stuff for each type of scenario you wish in little undersized boxes that often can’t be expanded and you have to scroll back and forth in continuously. So if you cut 20 differing materials with say an irregular pocket in it you now have to figure 20 different procedures and save these and the TDB will recognize these when you bring in a part. And then add in the additional strategies of roughing and cutting and the assignment of these to the material types. Can you see the possibilities here for numerous additions that all take time and will at best merely be close in many cases? What I mean by this is that there is a limit to how many of these you will enter into the TDB and at that point in time there will still be feeds and speeds and cuts you will need to input for a particular situation.
The TDB can’t be omniscient. So just how much time does this thing ever really save me at the end of a year with all this added complexity to deal with. None as far as I see it right now and it will add complexity and require I learn things I would rather not have to. I have enough on my plate already. If Geometric wants to appeal to small and large shops they should offer two ways of CAM creation. One with and one without this TDB crammed full of useful tools like two and four flute 11/32 endmills. I don’t think I have ever even seen one of these but it’s there along with hundreds of other similar ones. And even though Volumill which recommends 3 and 5 fluters for most work is a part of the program it is not a part of the TDB or tool library because not one of these is in there. Get ready to spend some time entering in useful tools and sizes that reflect what you actually buy in real life and removing ones that do not. Theoretically you can do this by creating and using tools out of just one tool crib in CW4SE but I have not been able to figure this out. This is one of the things I hope Geometric will be able to show me how do to in a simple and quick fashion and I really hope they are right and I am wrong on this one. I have my money spent and at the end of the day I do want this to work after all.
There is another way and it is the way HSMWorks does it where you select with three easy fill in the blank and select prompts which quickly create the tools in your CAM plan and just fill in the blanks for the rest and go. This whole process takes little time and it tailors your CAM plan to your specific needs right there and then. A friend of mine has this close by and he has a pressure cooker job shop situation. I stopped by there last week to have a look and he cuts a ton of different things and the tool paths are generated quickly and easily. AND there is no reliance on some byzantine TDB set up procedure to make it all work.
So, the eye of the beholder and just what did this one see. The TDB combined with Feature Recognition is a very powerful tool and I can see serious production facilities with dedicated CAM programmers who have the time to use this and set up for it benefitting. For a shop that may not cut a part for a month because the work did not require any mill time it becomes an unneeded burden of complexity that does not save any time and complicates your life. My friend evaluated CW and HSM at the same time and HSM won. Easy to learn and implement and if you really feel you need automation of your strategies there are templates you can set up for THAT situation and not have to fool around with this TDB idea. Look, all these things that fascinate programmers with the absolute majestic beauty of this programmers wonder they have come up with, this thing they never have to learn from scratch or use in a production environment if indeed they even know what a chip looks like, are not fascinating to someone who just spent a gob of cash to buy a program they just want to work. Without needless complexity and decisions made to favor a shop with little time to learn and simplicity of implementation and add to this good tool paths. Obviously tool paths that work well are an essential ingredient and I assume you readers understand without me elaborating on this any more that this is a primary requirement that has to be in place.
Now about this letter I received. I was chided a bit for not appreciating the value of what was in CW4SE. The guy who works for Geometric felt they were offering good value and my reply was he was not a buyer and hardly had an unbiased opinion. That true value is in the eye of the beholder and the amount of cash they are willing to spend to express interest in something. One of the things I have striven to do is to remember that I am just another user. I look for advice on programs as best as I can and try to determine the truth behind what I read and see in person. I am an unabashed fan of Solid Edge. I think it is the flat-out best out there for mid range MCAD and so it is not hard to talk about it in glowing terms and feel that even though I may gush a bit at times it is all still honest and it is what I bought with my money and use with satisfaction. Then there are things like CW4SE where after some time I have big warning flags raised and questions as to exactly what type of shop should be buying into it. It is a lot of money and right at 18% yearly cost of purchase fees to stay current and complex to implement the way they have designed the program to be used. Plus they have been charging full ticket to customers even though this unfinished program still can’t import and use assemblies. This has impacted my work negatively and even though I have paid for it I still don’t have it. I have a set of extrusion dies that I would like to cut as assemblies and I can’t so instead I have to redo the whole thing into a separately created part whose volume and exterior shape mimics the assembly and this is a waste of my time.
What creates value anyway? For my shop it is not five axis or four axis. At least not yet anyway. It is not full-blown G Code machine verification. It is not metallic looking surfaces on verification. It is not a tech data base that is complicated to set up. It is quick and easy to create cam plans with great tool paths for up to three axis parts and two axis lathe. I don’t know what percentage of the market for CAM programs falls into this category but I suspect it to be the vast majority. I don’t have the time or desire to introduce unneeded complication into my days. I also don’t have the desire to pay extra for all these things I do not use or want to use. Make no mistake when you buy the three axis program or the two axis program you are supporting lots of things you did not want and will probably never want. This is true today for almost all software and Microsoft Office comes to mind. We all have it but only use parts of it but at least the price tag is reasonable. So how to choose? What is value? What represents value to YOU.
I am looking at HSMWorks and CAMWorks right now with this thought in mind. One is complex and about twice as expensive to buy initially. And one is one-third the cost annually from then on. One is attached to the CAD program I love and one is attached to that wreck called Inventor or SW which is another place I do not want to be in. One is quick to learn and implement and the other is not. At this point in time I advise CAM buyers that they should be very careful and meticulous in their evaluations of CW4SE. As a matter of fact I consider the idea of a 45 day full trial for CW4SE with tech support made available to you the only condition allowable for you to make an informed decision. If you can’t get this then caveat emptor. And they need to complete the product and make sure the bugs are out of it. I also think they should update the ease of implementing this TDB strategy and the programmer never cut a chip in his life tool database and be aware that few tools you will use are in there. Be fully aware of just what exactly this TDB will mean in time to execute correctly to make it work. As compared to out of the box functionality quick and easy to learn. There are solid reasons for choosing one over the other depending on the size of your operation and the degree of automation you may be able to achieve under certain circumstances and I chose these words deliberately. As far as I can tell the time to use fill in the blanks HSM is not much more time-consuming than a filled in after great time and effort TDB would be. Now some guys at Geometric aware of my frustrations and complaints are going to take the time to educate me as to how to work the way I want to work in CW4SE. My metric for comparison will be how long it takes to do the same things in HSM based on same parts and watching how my friend does it with these. Time will be time and complexity will be complexity. But right off the bat CW4SE is twice as expensive and even more so for ever after.
Value IS in the eyes of the beholders and if you Geometric guys think you are worth twice the price for what you deliver the proof will be in sales volume. Value is not what you wave a magic wand over and then declare it to be. It is what educated buyers or slick salesmen who can sell anything to anyone make it to be. I would rather depend upon honest value myself and at this time my advice to anyone who wishes to buy CAMWorks is to evaluate carefully what you need and what you wish to spend today and forever more. Integration is a great thing to have but it is not an end all be all unless all parts are right for each other and the intended market.
Posted in Uncategorized
Tagged CAM software, camworks, CAMWorks for Solid Edge, CAMWorks for SolidWorks, Fusion 360, hsmworks, Inventor, machining software, Solid Edge, Solid Works, Solidedge, Synchronous Technology
Just a short post on this today. All the publicity I have seen for some time for Autodesk has been strictly cloud promotion oriented. I have been having some rather lengthy conversations with Anthony Graves about CAM and Autodesk things in general this last week. He expressed some surprise that I thought Autodesk was going to just the cloud. He was quick to point out that this is not so and some prices over at the Autodesk site seemed to bear this out.
I have been told that in the near future publicity for Autodesk will not overlook this desktop paradigm and indeed it is not in their plans at all to phase this out. Seeing will be believing and they have to publicly start making mention of this as official policy with time frames for it to be real to me. I am impressed with Anthony and not only is he a first-rate eloquent and knowledgeable advocate for HSMWorks he is also one for Autodesk. He tells me it has never been the intent by Autodesk to go purely cloud for the foreseeable future.
Software authoring companies might want to consider something here. All of you. What is the message you are really giving to readers and seekers of knowledge? Do you wonder why your plans and intents are not being accurately perceived by the public? I have looked a lot for info RE Autodesk and the cloud and honestly this is all I hear about and it is the only future way of operating I hear about so just what am I to conclude? And if you mean you think the cloud will be ubiquitous and technical problems all solved in ten or twenty years but not now why not say it that way? And I am most certainly not alone in this impression. And then in addition nothing ever comes out from Autodesk to correct this idea many of us have. So if you persist in half messages I am going to persist in comments based upon half reality because you made it so.
Sorry Dassault, I am not talking about you today as I think you guys are truly wacko and sold out to some sort of social media group think CADCAM thing. This thing you hope will sell to enough of those kids with iWhatever tunnel vision blinders surgically attached to their ears and lives to the exclusion of reality around them. An alternate universe that will go Nova when their batteries fail. I can see the sweaty palms as panic sets in. Thumbs futilely twitching the device as fear of having to actually talk to someone sets in. You know these people as the ones at the restaurant enjoying their night out as each sits there in silence never looking or talking to each other with their eyes glued to their iThings. The Dassault future world as far as I can see.
In this day of the internet what you say and what you don’t say carry equal weight. Your poor message or lack of messages can sink your future just as surely as poor technical capabilities can and word WILL get out for better or worse. This word can be negatively and severely exacerbated by your lack of product improvements or your lack of correct or corrective information.
This of course assumes that you have a marketing department of quality to begin with to do these things.
Posted in Uncategorized
Tagged 3d design, Autocad, Autodesk, camworks, CAMWorks for Solid Edge, catia, cloud, corporations, Creo, Dassault, Fusion 360, hsmworks, Inventor, machining software, management, Marketing and publicity, n!fuze, NX, PLM World, Proe, software, Solid Edge, Solid Works, Solidedge, solidworks
There are some videos you run across by accident that can be quite amusing at times. I live right next to my shop and so travel will never be a problem to get to work. Or to the play room when I get around to semi retirement. It is my goal in the next few years to develop a few lines of manufactured goods and hire a few people to do this so that I will not have to be here all the time. Now with this new-found free time what to do?
Men are quite free compared to women. For instance I can bet your wife has asked you when will you ever grow up as her eyes roll backwards and that expression of smug superiority is put in place. Admit it now. If it has not happened yet and you have a sense of humor and a lighthearted outlook on life your day is coming too when you will be asked to artificially age your mind to match your body. It is just a women thing I guess and they think you need to get all serious and grown up just like they are. But here is my reply to this nearly universal, I fear, womanly request. A request which I suspect is ignored in most cases and for sure in mine.
I want to build one of these and invite the grandchildren over. Check out the treasure this guy has for a wife as she assists the launch and overcomes her maturity straightjacket
Posted in Uncategorized
Tagged 3d design, Autocad, Autodesk, CAD, cam, camworks, CAMWorks for Solid Edge, catia, Creo, design, direct editing, Fusion 360, hsmworks, Inventor, machining software, manufacturing, Proe, Solid Edge, Solid Works, Solidedge, solidworks, Synchronous Technology