Autodesk Inventor Now Imports Solid Edge Files, So Who Cares In Subscription Hell?

Yes it is true. The last major design software out there unable to be imported directly into Inventor was Solid Edge. Pleased to see in the latest Inventor update this has now been rectified. I know only stories I have been told as to why this took so long and considering Siemens UGS cabal of SE killers I believe they were partly responsible. As the stories I have been told go SE made life hard and or expensive to integrate into inventor. The flip side to this is that all other major CAD programs I know of had done this a long time ago leaving Inventor the only one who had not. Who is telling the truth I don’t know. With Autodesk killing off innovation and cutting R&D budgets while embarking on squeezing more money from each customer fingers can be pointed both ways. With I might add some justification. In any case it is done.

I have not spent a whole lot of time with the new capability since right now I don’t have new parts to feed inventor with. Quite frankly I am not interested enough in Inventor to just waste my time seeing how it all works in numerous and varied SE imports. Autodesk has really blown it with me and a TON of other perpetual seat holders. http://www.practicalmachinist.com/vb/cad-cam/autodesk-hsmworks-i-am-cutting-my-losses-jumping-ship-what-next-336090/ with 150 replies and over 10,000 views pretty well sums it up for many. In my experience the numbers of people who feel strongly about something but do not post about it is far far larger than those who are willing to post. The post to view ratio here is an indicator of how many Autodesk perpetual seat holders are fed up but do not talk about it. They read about it and make plans accordingly. I bet if Autodesk and the piranha minded hostile investors and greed consumed C suite Autodesk types really had a clue about these numbers they would crap.

Oddly enough over at CNC Zone I find no mention of Autodesk user betrayal today and I could swear there were threads talking about this so perhaps they have been removed for some reason. I hope this is not the case because this new paradigm by Autodesk is scurrilous at best and will profoundly effect all who stay.

I hate this happening to HSM but such is life. Really nice Autodesk that you can now import SE files when it does not matter to this user anymore. To bad you can’t work with those files like SE ST can with yours and has been able to do so for years. Perhaps some day there will be a new Reddit sub. It might be called the Autodesk BSDM Dungeon and those who volunteer to enter in can and will be catered to.

Looking forward to SE ST9 and I see you shrinking in the rear view mirror ADSK. Time to begin my leisurely search for a new CAM program with my perpetual seat buffer zone.

Autodesk’s Greed Imposed Fatal Hemorrhage

FEED ME Seymore

FEED ME Seymore

As short as two and a half years ago I was in awe of the assembling of the pieces of a software juggernaut. HSM and Delcam had been bought up by Autodesk under Carl Bass who was himself a man who actually used this stuff and understood shop floor manufacturing. From an actual user viewpoint and not like the current head mucky muck with Autodesk who can only count dollars. There is a huge difference between these two mind sets. But I figured that Carl was putting together a manufacturing ecosphere and getting this set of tools in front of students and future business owners/ operators in ways that would bear large amounts of fruit in years to come.

Just as fascinating as it was to see the assembly of the juggernaut is the speed with which it all now comes crashing down. It looks like perhaps Carl was also an advocate of subscription Hell for Autodesk’s customer base. Whether he was also for the gutting of R&D for product development and the huge price increases I will never know. I like to think he left the company because the Anagnost faction conspired with the new hostile investor types who had bought their way to seats on the board to remove him. Unbridled greed with the Anagnost and hostile investor types VS the guy who may have wanted subscription Hell to but perhaps would have stayed closer to the Adobe model than the rape and plunder Anagnost model.

To me Carl showed foresight and planning and methodical conquest of rivals but still providing value to customers. Anagnost on the other hand is the bare face of greed and conspiracy with people who do not use their software products and could care less about users. All they see is someone who promises to deliver a captive market held not by voluntary exchange of money for goods and services but rather squeezed out of people who theoretically have to pay and have no alternative to paying whatever the extortionists want. Living in a purely capital gains world unlike anything this country has seen before quick quarterly stock manipulation to generate fictitious improvements is the new way. These guys want to cash out and then leave when it all turns south and find another Vulture’s roost to occupy for a while. No longer is it what goods or services will make money but how can we lie to the world about share value so we can churn the market and get rich through theft. This then is the new Autodesk.

Remember when companies were bought and sold for steady revenue streams and stock buyers looked for steady dividends to live on? Capital gains were considered the icing on the cake but not the cake. It was something to be hoped for but dividends were king. This was the historic norm up until the late 90’s when the consequences of Clinton selling the Lincoln bedroom to influence peddlers freed banks to embark on wholesale plunder of manufacturing by being able to invest or offer financial services not at all related to lending. This has led to stocks being grossly overvalued by historic norms by the traditional metric of cost to dividend ratios being chief amongst investor considerations.

So we come full circle to the world of Autodesk today. Autodesk sells software products to people like me. Well let me rephrase that, used to sell to me. We make long-term use of the software to build real world things and we use it for decades at a time throughout careers offering services and physical goods to customers who have a standard of quality we must meet. If we don’t they will go elsewhere. We have to take a long term view of the productivity and stability and the improvement of our software tools because it is our life blood.

Piranhas now inhabit the Autodesk leadership and are creeping onto the board and what can we chew up and on today is now the future planning metric. Feed me so I can leave when the body is consumed and go find another body.

Here are two links. https://forums.autodesk.com/t5/moving-to-subscription/bd-p/2017 will take you to an Autodesk forum they would rather you did not know about. Spend time here and see what actual users who have to think in terms of decades and careers think of what Autodesk is doing. Next up is http://www.seekingalpha.com/amp/article/4077637-autodesks-position-continues-become-precarious for a stock analysts thoughts on Autodesk’s eight underwater quarters in a row and their future.

One of the huge things hardly discussed in my opinion is the forcible breaching of security and losing the ability to protect IP by Autodesk forcing people to have to work online. The most egregious offender is Fusion360 which demands you go online and save all edits and files to a remote server where you have to rent your data back forever to use it. Apparently Autodesk is also working on license verification which has to allow online access from your workstation which is supposed to be secure and not go online to get permission to run. Theoretically this was supposed to happen “only” once a month but comments on the Subscription forum are indicating this could be as much as a daily occurrence or more. This is for all subscription services and automatically breaches all your confidentiality agreements when you are forced to go online to check in. It is just a matter of time before huge breaches of security occur to an Autodesk customer because of this. Autodesk is certain this will happen to by the way and you can verify this by reading the TOS where they spell out they are NOT liable for any damages incurred by having to go online.

This then is the true regard this new wave of management has for its customers. Sit down shut up pay up and don’t whine and complain. FEED ME SEYMORE!!! The only important thing in this whole wide world view of theirs is their plans to get in and cash out (wouldn’t you like to see Baked Bean Anagnost’s golden parachute he is assiduously preparing so no matter what his rear is covered in gold).

You buy anything from Autodesk and pin your future livelihood to it you better think long and hard about how they regard you. Most telling I think is the bean counter mentality referenced in the Seeking Alpha article where Autodesk states they are cutting R&D. Now this coming from a company that has already dropped the ball on adding value to existing software through improvements is quite revealing. Years go by without significant program improvements and problems linger for years without being fixed. Read what is said by satisfied customers about this on the Subscription forum.

Today regard the new Autodesk Juggernaut. Rather than eating up market share it will be eating customers. Autodesk is looking for new hors d’oeuvre’s,
customers and it could be you if you are silly enough.

So, You Say You’ve Never Tried Solid Edge Synchronous?

So how do YOU want to work?

So choose, hammer or nailer.

 

Wandering through the SE forum today and ran across this. https://community.plm.automation.siemens.com/t5/Solid-Edge-Forum/10-Cool-Reasons-to-Start-Using-Synchronous-Technology-Today/td-p/420431

While I think the presentation is a somewhat corny and the items covered a bit rudimentary it got me to thinking of a few things regarding Synchronous Tech or ST as it is better known. For those of you who are not familiar with it ST is the very best direct editing method out there in the mid range MCAD program world. I forget that many have no idea of the power there and since I have been using ST since ST1 this power has become commonplace to me. I am accustomed to doing this and quite frankly any other way has become alien to me. I came here because I wanted to be freed from the shackles of straight parametric modeling and this is the simple part that opened my eyes just before the release of ST1. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6bk5-1sZ6cY

Using a straight parametric modeler and having no idea direct editing even existed back in 2008 seeing this way of working was a real epiphany. It was like a whole world of possibility opened up before me even though I did not know specifically how it was going to do so. In truth it was like the very first time I was shown how to make crude forming jigs for bending rods to make trusses with. It opened the door for all kinds of things that were far more complicated but based on the same principle. Both put power in my hands. Admittedly it was not until ST4 that the program conquered some serious problems but since then any owner of SE was crazy to not work with ST.

When I bought into Autodesk’s Inventor Pro HSM it was strictly for the machining program. CAMWorks for SE was a nightmare and I wanted shed of cumbersome tool path creation for simple intuitive and powerful which HSM was. Limited in what it would do but a world beater in three axis milling it was for me. But this machining program came with the CAD equivalent of CW4SE called Inventor and it was clunky and convoluted and difficult to use. So much so that after a few fairly serious attempts I just quit trying. After all why would I inflict such a cumbersome work flow on myself if it was not essential to do so.

In time this led to a conversation I had with an Inventor guru. He was asking me why I had bad things to say about Inventor when it had direct editing too. Which it did to some degree and I guess if it was all new to you it seemed just peachy. This was his problem and I had to explain to him that while both SE and Inventor had forms of direct editing SE’s was far more because of the intelligence that came with it, the range of things that could be done with it and the ability to work with imported files from other CAD programs when imported. I could work with them just like it was a native file. Inventor direct editing is just as sucky as their convoluted user interface and work flow. He was not interested in viewing the numerous ST videos on this topic would be my guess because after telling him about ST he never got back to me.

Running a user group meeting a few years back in Huntsville there was an SE dude there who was giving a demo. At the end of the demo two shocking things were made evident. One was that when asked who was using ST out of a room of SE users only one raised his hand. There were also three UAH students there and they were very intrigued with the idea of ST which their college instructor did not cover. Really? College students being taught SE but not SE ST? A college level course being taught to students who were theoretically being prepared to work in the real world and it did not incorporate ST? The professional users in attendance basically said they were all to busy to learn the new way. To busy to learn how to save time and become more efficient from that day on was my interpretation of the end result of their mindsets. Insofar as the college professor at UAH all I can say is tenured laziness bordering on incompetence since he could not be bothered to learn and teach the most powerful tool in the SE tool box. His students were shocked this ST thing existed and I was shocked they did not know.

To this day since I have been accustomed to the power of ST for so long, indeed it is the only way I have worked for years now, I forget that many for whatever reason have no idea what they are missing.

SE requires a different mindset to be successful and the biggest hurdle I have seen is people have to think in terms of manipulating faces or face sets rather than driving every single thing and edit with dimension driven sketches and planes. It was amusing to see die-hard parametric SE users slowly assimilated into the ST world. It was hard for some to let go of the old way which after all did work but when they were curious enough to finally try they to a man became advocates for ST.

So why if you are an SE user have you not made a concerted effort to learn to work with the greater efficiency ST brings to the table? Why would you prefer a hammer when on the shelf next to it is an air nailer and you already own the air compressor? For those in the Autodesk perpetual seat doomed to future slavery world and the apparent end of serious user innovations and improvements, why would you not be curious enough to at least try SE ST? Sold which ever way you want to buy it without Autodesk type belligerent threats to your future and the imports of your files will be far easier than you think. Indeed working with them when you get them into SE will be a true eye opener. I have had access to both programs the last three years now and I can assure you that once you leap over the learning hurdle any new program has Inventor will acquire its rightful place as the clunky offering from a company that has no regard for you as a user and customer. I chose not to further learn Inventor when it became apparent that it was inefficient since I had the luxury of having SE to work from. You give SE a serious try and I bet that will be your conclusion too.

I guess I could throw SW into this mix also but my experience with SW is VERY limited and I am commenting today on two programs I have owned and used in daily production. I suspect from comments received from past SW users and some companies that were SE users but bought out by SW using outfits and hating the new-found inefficiency SW is not as good for general MCAD. I believe from users complaints models can and will blow up with SW whereas in SE ST a proposed edit simply will not work rather than blowing it all up.

In any case SE ST deserves a long hard look from anyone who wants to become more efficient and profitable. At the very least look online for videos and have a look at what others are doing and think hard about how you have to work.

 

7-18 Update  From Matt’s blog today I find this.

“Synchronous Technology for History-Based Users

This was a book on Solid Edge, published using ST8 (~2016). It is 10 chapters long, in eBook (pdf) format with movies and sample files. It is free and downloadable, although you may have to give up some information to get it. You may find the book published under a different title. The book is meant to help users of history-based CAD understand why Synchronous Technology is a tool you will want to have.”

Matt Lombard’s Dezignstuff Returns

It is with sadness and a grin I see Matt’s blog revived. Happy to see him back without the shackles of corporate droids tied to his hands and mind. Sad because in some ways Matt’s departure and the ending of the multi day national event Solid Edge University represents to me the closing of the final chapter of Solid Edge’s foray into the user community.

Now what is about to be said is my opinion based on people I have known over the years who were in positions to be aware of what was going on internally with UGS, Siemens and Solid Edge. It also is based upon personal observations of things seen with my own eyes. Corporate can be so ugly and petty and being privy to what goes on behind closed doors is often more disgusting than it is a privilege.

Some years back the discussion of reaching out to the user community and potential customers was a desirable thing. The halcyon days of Karsten Newbury and Don Cooper running Solid Edge and actually caring about the outcome for both users and Solid Edge. They believed as I did that Solid Edge was the best and should become #1 in sales in its category. As an aside here after exposure to Inventor for three years and seeing how terrible it is compared to SE it amazes me there are so many Inventor users. Drink the Kool-Aid I guess and use a program that is far harder than SE to work in.

Matt was part of a plan to appeal to SW users and also give insight into how SW users worked, what they expected and how to set up SE to make the transition from SW easier. And of course Matt had a monster blog with numbers you would not believe and was the author of the popular “SolidWorks Bible”. Sad to say from the very beginning people in the PR departments of Siemens and UGS and SolidEdge resented his arrival. Not one of them had ever accomplished what he had nor will they ever. Company programmed droids far more fond of meetings to decide everything and then more to talk about prior meeting conclusions. Bereft of any personal initiative and eaten up with all the rules that say you can’t do this or that, off they went to slay this dragon that suddenly appeared in their midst. Make no mistake Siemens has a culture of meetings and don’t rock the boat and an almost petrified approach to progress. It is why the company is in trouble and is nowhere near as profitable as it could be. Self imposed paralysis and never-ending turf wars.

Like the one the NX UGS guys have waged against Solid Edge from day one. They bought SE for Synchronous. Something they did not create but could appreciate. But once you adopt the Red Headed B——- ya gotta work to hide him from proper company. They did this and the fight was constant. Moving SE forward was as much fighting against those internal corporate saboteurs as it was the market place where it is difficult at best to get people to switch CAD programs. I believe Matt was contained in a hermetically sealed room insulated from his potential market appeal and severely limited as to personal initiative. Something the droids hate with a passion because if someone ever did prevail in a big way in the personal initiative arena they just might look as bad as they really are. Questions could be asked and that’s a no-no. Can you tell I have nothing but contempt for these people? These people who have conspired to make a brilliant product be hidden from public view as much as is possible. It continues to this day and who knows what pissy little company droid was finally responsible for running the last vestige of the good old days off. Matt’s departure is the final closing of the make SE bigger and the community better as far as I am concerned.

Writing a blog when your heart is no longer in it can be difficult. I hope that Matt can find a love for blogging again and these corporate idiots have not beaten it out of him. Speaking from personal experience when you spend lots of uncompensated time doing something as silly as being a “fanbois” for a product you like and use it is discouraging when A, companies take you for granted or B, even worse conspire against their users which in my case means me to. I don’t quite know where Matt will go with his new-found freedom nor what he is going to write about as an underlying theme with his blog. I suspect he has not fully decided either but you know what?

Welcome back to the real world Matt and I wish you the best.

Now for the sordid Autodesk world as it revolves under the onerous hand of Andrew “Baked Beans” Anagnost. “Blog Nauseam” is the very best aggregate blog site I know of to keep up to date with the shackles of slavery being formulated for Autodesk customers and has been added to the blog roll. Steve Johnson is meticulous in his documentation of current Autodesk events and has tons of people feeding him information. You have any interest in Autodesk products you need to read his blog. While primarily about Autocad the slave owner problems are universal for every Autodesk customer of any Autodesk product.

This betrayal of a customer base is unprecedented in the software industry. Yes I know Adobe but they are far from being an industrial design build civil engineering motion picture studio tool like Autodesk is. Autodesk just needs to fail completely and miserably in this extortion effort. If you are currently a perpetual seat holder with Autodesk make your rational plans to leave. If you are thinking about buying into Autodesk think again. If you do go along with or buy into this new Autodesk world there is something wrong with your decision-making process. Willful masochism and a total lack of regard for IP security from forced online exposure comes to mind and you go there. I am not. The clock is ticking and my perpetual seat renewal is this coming December and Autodesk will never see another penny from me.

Haas alarm 124 low battery, Haas Repair Gotcha

Within two weeks I had this alarm pop up on my VF4 and TL2. Now on the VF4 the advice I was given was to leave the machine on until the battery kit came in and I could then shut it off and replace the failed main board battery with the kit. So I send off the parts request, yes that right I can’t just order from Phillips Corp a part I have to get the form filled out first. So then I fill it out and get the $72.00 dollar part ordered. Now I figure that considering the problems if the battery does fail and the subsequent service call costing $$$ it would be wise to get it overnight.

Funny thing about overnight from North Carolina to Tennessee with Phillips though. I assumed it would be just like all my other vendors and when I get red label for such a small light item it is like $32.00 at the very most. Not from Phillips though it was another $75.00 dollars. I called up to complain about this and the flip patronizing response was “well that’s what UPS charges us”. So I am looking at a part made in China no doubt costing them maybe five or six dollars and that is not enough profit then they double the shipping and mark the shipping up 100% too.

Now as far as I am concerned this is nothing but a big time rip from Haas since this could easily be a factory install item and just mark the machine up a bit to give a decent profit. Don’t get me wrong here I recommend Haas and if I ever get another new cnc whatever it will come from them. But I still object to being taken advantage of by money grubbing CPA types who look for ways to dig deep into wallets. In any case it is what it is.

So I shut the mill down and install the battery kit and all the parameters are bad. Yup the battery that was supposed to die in 30 days was dead in 7 and time to call the service dude. He comes down and quickly restores functions from my parameters backup and hands me a bill for $335.00. This also happened on my old VF3 which was of course another service call. I don’t know if there was a battery kit available for it at the time since mention was never made of one and I did not know to ask.

A week later and the same thing with my TL-2. I am pretty ticked off now. So I order another kit using the cheapest ground rate this time and it gets here just as fast (overnight) as red label and much cheaper. Now we all know Haas has gone lawyer stupid with door safety switch controls and removing handwheels from their TL lathes. So of course the Haas guy could not tell me to just open the electrical cabinet and install the battery backup because the lawyers tell them not to. Liability because you might hurt yourself and we are all dummies don’t you know. Since the machine was left on per their advice like I did on the mill it dawned on me that all I need to do is install that rascal and plug it up and then shut it down and remove the old battery from the main board. Of course MY lawyer does not recommend you do this nor do I. I am only relating to you my story and I assumed risk for myself only. But son of a gun there it was running with parameters all correct and no stinkin service call again. AND if I switch the batteries out periodically I will never have to deal with this again. If I ever buy another cnc anything from Haas this will be ordered along with the new mill and installed before it is ever turned on. I don’t appreciate one bit this deliberate scheme to screw customers out of money.

Never have been a fan of lawyers, CPA squeeze every dime you can extort from customer types and Publicity PR types. Their primary purposes seem to be to complicate life, make it more expensive and harder to get honest answers. But in any case you get this 124 alarm perhaps you can benefit from my experience.

Solid Edge University 2017 Replaced With “Community College”

It should be no secret to my readers that I despise marketing departments I have been exposed to. Primarily the Siemens/UGS/Solid Edge and Autodesk flavors. Monuments to disconnected reality these marketing babble speaking jargon warrior paragons espouse their nonsense and never seem to realize how shallow and patronizing they are to real customers. The ones that know from experience what is under the hood.

The latest entrant to a select group of company shills would be Richard Runnels with Siemens. Now Richard may be a nice guy in person but his job description means he writes and puts lipstick on whatever his overlords tell him to. They pay him to be a reality distortion machine and he has to produce. Corporate executives for some reason feel compelled to pretend their customers are pretty dense and patronize them on a regular basis. I think the average CAD CAM software user is above average in intelligence so the disparity between what is said and what is done by big shots does not go un-noticed.

https://community.plm.automation.siemens.com/t5/Solid-Edge-Blog/Exciting-News-Solid-Edge-University/ba-p/408370

Have a walk through corporate verbiage and read the sad tale for yourself. Siemens has been on a mission for some time to set back the potential for Solid Edge sales. It is perceived as a threat to NX sales and the NX side has won the war against SE for all intents and purposes. The stripping away of the SE community which was renewed under Karsten Newbury and Don Cooper has come full circle back to the rotten days SE languished under EDS then UGS auspices. Yep the Red Headed Step Child is back.

But as Richard says we spoke and they listened. It is what marketing people do after all. Put lipstick on pigs and pretend what is up is really down or vice versa. I will say there are a number of events and based upon this perhaps it might do some good for sales overall IF it is promoted and a concerted effort is made to get the word out in a timely fashion. Once again it appears that it will be the VAR’s who will have to assure this as Siemens’ marketing will have to have way to many meetings to decide numerous important things and will run out of time before the events arrive to do anything. Well besides futile and useless meetings that is.

It saddens me however that Siemens never really got behind this University concept and the only major SE event will be killed off. Back to the days of 36 actual SE attendees at PLM World as I personally saw in 2009 I suppose.

It would be nice some day if these people would just be honest and say “we decided not to do this anymore because it is not important to us and we don’t care if it is to you”. Instead you get another talking head marketing expert putting smiley faces on bad things. The real sad thing here is that SE is genuinely going to have some real significant improvements this year. And Autodesk is doing what they can to shove customers away. But SE Red Head tradition rears its ugly head again and Mr Richard et al will see to it the anonymizer is the only PR thing for SE that will work well.

In any case there will be a number of local one day events where you can go and I recommend you do so if you have any interest in SE.

I use SE for my daily modeller. I have had access to Inventor Pro for two plus years now and it is only used to place parts for HSM. If you are an Inventor user and unhappy about the way they are going may I suggest in spite of Siemens marketing you attend one of these events and meet actual users. They are the ones who can give you the real lowdown on how it works for them in the real world. I am a big fan of SE and believe it to be the best mid range MCAD program out there.

Tip of the hat to Cincinnati Matt for the Community College idea.

Helical Tools, Great Cutters With A Crummy Download Policy

Today because I suffered a lot of grief and un-needed exposure to web hacking I am going to use my soapbox. I really like Helical end mills. I like the configurations they offer and the robustness of their offerings. I gave up using Hanita when I first ran across them and have yet to find a compelling reason to switch. There is however a problem I do have with their corporate policy.

It is the one they have for their Milling Advisor. In their determination to use it to generate sales leads they demand that you can only install it by going online to do so. For every workstation or PC every time. No standalone download. Now it is not like I am not a customer which is what really ticks me off. Between Win10 forced downloads and my intermittent 75KBS ISP throughput it took over an hour just to get this thing loaded on one Workstation. I filled out their form again and again and again to finally get the initial download which then tells you to go online and get the rest of it.

 

Capture

 

 

What really makes me mad is that I took two Workstations that I never intended to allow online, online to do this. Like all companies that expose you to hackers they don’t care about your concerns, it is all about them. I understand that “my company first attitude” since this whole post is all about me and my company which oddly enough I consider more important than theirs. It is about their dumb lack of ability to track who is or is not an existing customer and treat us like we have never been here before every time. I decided today that this has become a problem and I will never be going online again with a critical box to download Milling Advisor.

I consider the Milling Advisor to be a valuable tool. Problem for Helical is that others are starting to do the same thing and integrating tool libraries to various CAM programs and there it is with your cam program and standalone download. It is just a matter of time before there will be a competitor who will duplicate their effort and their prices. To be honest I am loyal to companies that improve my bottom line. I can easily see switching from Helical in the future because all things being equal a value added program like Milling Advisor helping me to extract efficiency from my cutter purchases is an asset.

Not one I will go online to acquire with critical workstations again but one I will down load from their competitors when that day happens. Here is the thing they don’t consider. Helical wants loyalty, I do to. You want my money but treat me like I am not a customer with your download policy it is just another thing to push me away to someone who does. Do I see another place yet like that? No but after today I am looking again.