CAMWorks for Solid Edge 2015, Finally Some Good News

This won’t be a long post today because other than the event I have no further knowledge. SP1.0 early release is out which means there is a fair amount of confidence a working release to the public is soon to follow. There are 158 fixes on the list and as I went through them a number were pretty serious. What will actually be there quality wise I don’t know. What they intend to do for the months of unusable software in the way of maintenance extensions I also don”t know. But for now the weeks tally is on hold pending what we find with this.

It is my hope that through this severe trial by fire learning experience for Geometric, assuming they really have fixed things, they will have put this sad chapter behind them. I really think they are at a crossroad here and have to make choices. To determine to put actual and rigorous user equivalent testing methods in place with verification in use in the field and QA that is proactive. One that does not seek to cover it’s lack of ability or corporate lack of desire for things to be right with evasions like the “intended behavior” or “imperfect modeling by user” by some unknown metric excuses so often floated. Synchronous Tech by it’s very nature means there are a number of ways to achieve a result and all are quite capable and sound as the only result of importance is the final destination. “Imperfect Modeling” by user my rear end. If you Geometric guys don’t come to grips with geometry recognition no matter how we get there you will never succeed. And quit using that excuse on the SW side too as how long have you had to find out the ways users work as compared to how some cubical dude thinks they should work.

That they have had to be forced into this multitude of fixes is not a good thing. So for another choice they might make I hope one of them will be that they undertake on their own through a sincere desire for a quality and competently working product to fix things. To be proactive and to never ignore users again like this. This will require a complete change of management philosophy towards users and to listen and learn about problems AND FIX them. Not to just offer up knee jerk evasions. Or they could continue down this path and when the heat is off screw the users again. There is an abundance of mistrust that has been created between both the SW users and in particular the SE users and Geometric. It is going to take a long term concerted effort to correct this. How do you ever get customers like me back when there has been so much trouble with the software we once used to try to make money with? In particular in my case now that I have migrated to Inventor PRO HSM which works admirably and reliably and costs much less up front and only $1,500.00 per year maintenance for both CAD and CAM everything HSM has to offer? Users listen to other users and right now Geometric has considerable problems with reputation AND reliability and on top of it all they have become grossly overpriced upfront and by the year compared to Inventor Pro HSM their main competitor for SW related CAM sales. How are they ever going to get many new customers when there is price and quality competition like this and the word about expenses and usability can’t be hidden? They have a real thorny set of problems to solve here if they are to prosper. They will only prosper in direct proportion to the regard they give towards users prospering first. In costs and quality and they could certainly learn from HSM’s example if they cared to.

I don’t know who the people over Geometric’s Marketing and Publicity or QA are but that this could drag on for so long and NEVER a word about anything is the single worst example of software customer disconnect I have ever seen. They might think about the people who made these decisions and replacing them with those who could give them good advice on how to deal with problems and customers. Hint, it is not by ignoring them in word and deed.

Siemens SE deserves bad press in this regard too for not telling it’s customers a darned thing about what is going on and how they intend to fix this and prevent it from happening again. I believe they have not had much to say because there is no intent for a dynamic manufacturing ecosystem to surround SE and the Halcyon days are over. Why bother with people you don’t care about? It is not incompetence here it is Siemens corporate decisions to focus on higher value software and we’uns SE folk donne bees dat. From the we love you section of Siemens SE we have this. John Miller I am sure did not write this so some inspired talking head PR dude probably did. I especially like the definitions part because I would be lost without them. I wonder where the definition section for “concern” as in what customers get and “diligence” as in we follow up on our commitments to our customers which should have been preceded by “pledge” as in what we make to you our customers. But then empty comments are appropriate since place holders are meant to be seen and not heard. Is is not strange how quickly this thread died when a real question was asked and two weeks now with no reply from those who are here for you dear esteemed SE users.

“Siemens Experimenter
Posts: 3
Registered: ‎01-22-2015
Welcome from the new guy
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Tuesday
Edgers,
I may be new to the Solid Edge Community, but I am a long time CAD and Siemens PLM guy. I want to take a moment to personally welcome you to the Solid Edge Community. This community exists for you, so please let us know how we can continue to improve it. The community consists of several areas:
Forum: A place for users to interact and ask/answer questions about related topics. Frequented by Solid Edge employees when definitive answers are needed.
Blog: Articles on a variety of topics by a variety of authors. Interact in the comments for each article.
Knowledge Base: a searchable repository for presentations and special information
We have made this place for you, so we hope that you will benefit from it as much as possible. Whether you seek answers or connections, you’ll find both here. The more you participate, the more value you’ll find.
John Miller
Senior VP of Mainstream Engineering
Me too
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bshand
Genius
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Hello,
I wonder if SE development peruses these pages? It seems to me there is a lot of feedback herein which they might find useful
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MattJohnsonPAC
Phenom
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YES! development is amungst us… they are watching… and from time to time they do chime in…
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JFM
Siemens Experimenter
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Hello again. I think more than just development watch this. I am here for the entire Solid Edge Business, and I think folks from Marketing, Sales and other parts of the company are also listening.
John Miller
Senior VP of Mainstream Engineering
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DaveAult
Master
Posts: 477
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Great to see you check in to the community. Curious to know if you are aware of the situation with CAMWorks for Solid Edge. We have not heard for many months just when there will be a working version for ST7 and it is very discouraging.
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It will be a while before I can do anything more than a cursory glance at SP1 so comments for now on CW4SE will cease until there is something to say. My license has expired and now I have to go chase down the six month extension I was supposed to get and we shall see how that one goes. I hope it is not the same as their promise over my lathe post which they reneged on but I will not be surprised if they do. Four months of the six promised ones are gone of course. I expect I will have feedback from others before I have my own. I just don’t have the time or the desire to play much with it until there is spare time since so much real value time has already been squandered here. In any case here is hoping for the future and a sincere desire that there will, finally, be good things to talk about.

Autodesk Inventor Pro HSM 2016 On Track For Frequent Updates

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Inventor HSM 2016 Is Open For Business!

HEY folks http://camforum.autodesk.com/index.php?topic=6757.0 will take you to a page for information on Inventor HSM 2016 at the Autodesk CAM forums.

There are links in the post that will take you to information and download links. Of particular interest is the “beta” section that SW users have had for some time now will be there for Inventor users to. Go check it all out. As time permits I will post on what I find of interest.

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

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

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

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

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

ScreenHunter_06 Apr. 13 08.50

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

ScreenHunter_07 Apr. 13 08.52

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Cutting a Basic Part in Inventor HSM Pro 2015

A few posts back I mentioned delving into tool libraries with Inventor HSM. I decided to do a complete part instead as it has been my experience that so much of the YouTube video seems to cater to five-minute bites of time. You can hardly do much in that time frame so here is a complete part and yes, it exceeds five minutes ;-).

This is a basic walk through from zero setting to tool library creation and editing to a finished part and simulation. It is a complete part walk through and not just snippets of various aspects of CAM plan creation. This video is a basic demonstration of why I like HSM so much. Quick and easy tool library creation to tool paths and an interface that just works. Without bells and whistles and un-needed complications that things like Tech Data Bases and Feature Recognition can bring to the table and so often do.

I am a typical small job shop. Well can I say very small at one man? I have used Surfcam, CAMWorks for Solid Edge and VX now ZW3D prior to my arrival to HSM and I will say HSM beats these guys hands down.

What first drew my attention to HSM was a nearby shop that was a real pressure cooker deal with lots of small parts runs that had to be out the door fast. I know these guys and the work they do and I could hardly ignore the proof before my eyes. Their experience was mostly with Mastercam and OneCNC before HSM. I remember going over there one day as they were cutting a formed support back board for some medical group. 3D all the way out of plastic and the gouging with OneCNC at the high speeds needed to cut this part in reasonable time were driving them nuts. OneCNC never did get a post right for them on their Haas VF5 that would not gouge. Desperation led them to try HSMWorks and the rest is history. They have been there for about five years now and have no intention of leaving. They also went through the Autodesk buyout and the ensuing trepidation that brought to HSMWorks users. The way they were treated was also another serious plus for HSM in my eyes. Autodesk has lived up to every promise they made these guys and two years later I think we can safely say the words spoken by Autodesk to treat their newly bought customers right has been followed with proof as manifested in this shop.

They regard HSM as having sophisticated algorithms but a simple intuitive interface that produced great tool paths quickly and easily. I can only say I fully agree. As a bonus it has been my experience that with Adaptive Clearing I now had a high-speed machining capability that beats the current Volumill capabilities and I have current versions of both to play with. In side by side comparisons with same parts, mill and end mills the ease of creating tool paths and the always but sometimes dramatically fewer total inches of travel and thus better cut time HSM was a clear winner. I was pretty surprised about that aspect considering the reputation Volumill has. But like they say the proof is in the pudding and when you can cut parts more easily and quicker it is what it is.

Here is the video. As always I do not represent myself as an expert. I am a shop owner who will rise in ability to the level of parts I accept for work in my shop. These are the strategies I have adopted for better or worse and I encourage HSM users to step in here with better ideas for us all to profit by. Part of my reason for having a blog is the help I have received from those who are better than me who graciously have shared their time with me. The other part is for potential users to see what a real user does and not have to wade through some sales guys canned demo rigmarole.

CAMWorks for Solid Edge ST7, 32 Weeks Now And Still Waiting.

It bothers me that my favorite CAD program has turned their backs upon CW4SE users. It is the little things I see that make me think so.

Dan Staples and CW4SE

Here is another little bit of evidence that leads to me thinking this way. Note that Dan Staples is on the forum just a bit up from the CAMWorks post. Proof he does know of the problem and chooses to ignore it at least as far as the CW4SE users are concerned because he too has yet to communicate with us about our woes. Would it be to hard for him to just write a post and say here is where we are and what is being done? He has time to go there and respond to other things. Dan Staples is in many ways responsible for Synchronous Technology and I think he is brilliant. But he is also a bit of a tunnel vision guy and his true passion was and I presume still is for SE ST. The idea of CAM was not well received by him and during some of my talks with him phrases like “your Karsten” in reference was an indicator to me of lack of interest in intregrated CAM.

Before I severed ties with Geometric after I determined reasoning with them about what was going on was fruitless I had an interesting conversation. One of the Geometric big wheels and I were talking about the animosity the UGS people had towards the SE side of the coin and he made mention that he wondered why they were getting so little help. (Above and beyond Siemens reticence to help but in Siemens defense I don’t think Geometric is capable of identifying API problems and most certainly not capable of doing so in time to get fixes in for yearly releases with “partners”. If the Siemens partner was so inclined to help even then.) It was our conclusion that this was so. This was prior to Karsten Newbury, now these are my words and not his OK, getting run off and a few months after Don Cooper quit or was run off. I would not be at all surprised if orders had been given from on high that no help was to be given to Geometric where ever possible. The total lack of communication from Siemens SE about this in part drives this suspicion in my mind. Actions speak louder than words and much louder than no words or results at all.

Question for you Siemens SE guys. Question for Dan Staples too. If you want to just kill off CW4SE why don’t you just pull the plug and do so. Refund our CAM money and stop the idle dream we might still entertain about true integrated CAM for SE. I don’t see how this can be profitable for you over the long run when potential customers can see the way they can expect to be treated and make decisions to not buy from you based upon this sorry never ending episode. Geometric CW4SE is now still born and you know it. It will never be right and it is egg on your face too by allowing this to go on.

It has now been 36 weeks since Geometric has communicated with us.
It has now been 13 weeks since an SE CW4SE user post at Geometrics SE forum.
It has now been 32 weeks since SE ST7 was released and still no viable release for CW4SE.

By the way, what ever happened to the rumor of an SP1 release March first that would fix a bunch of this stuff hmmmm? On time and on track for quality once again eh.

CAMWorks and CAMWorks for Solid Edge Meltdown

What a contrast of operating philosophies I have experienced these last few days. People who write blogs tend to get treated differently than a typical user. In truth though what I am is a typical user who also happens to find value in information exchange and this blog is an effort to appraise others of my personal experience with software in use here. Comments on things in the CAD CAM world in general are of interest to me too and so there are comments on these as well at times. Industry trends and software and cloud paradigms will affect what our industries do and our bottom lines for some time. Looking on the web for actual user experiences and forum posts was a research tool for me and was pretty important in helping make decisions for every purchase but one. It is my intent to spur debates about the industry and to also inform potential buyers of pitfalls waiting for them. Or on the flip side that which has worked well and is worth looking into further. As an aside here. I don’t talk much about SE any more for a number of reasons but I still consider it the best and use it all the time. Sadly they are condemned to float along in relative obscurity because Siemens EX UGS people don’t care much for them so if you have a look remember this.

With CAMWorks for Solid Edge I was one of the driving forces behind getting Solid Edge to acquire a CAM partner that would truly integrate with SE. My stated preference years ago was for HSMWorks to also be “HSMEdge” but such was not to be when Autodesk got in there and changed the ball game. So even though I thought CAMWorks was second-rate compared to HSM I was compelled to support CAMWorks for SE because it was the only integration for SE out there and after all this is what we worked for. The rest is history and the CW4SE users, the very few of us that exist, rue the day we jumped on board.

So back to my lead-in sentence. Followers of this blog know how many months it has been since CW4SE users and this author have been told anything about CW4SE. We beg, we plead, we try going to different places online making comments in an effort to change things for the better and to try to even find out what the heck is going on. Neither Siemens SE or Geometric who are completely aware of the abysmal failure to deliver a competent working product respond. We clearly do not matter to them.

Earlier this week I was having a licensing problem with Inventor Pro HSM. I was a little bit surprised at the problems and went to my VAR after trying to fix it on my own. We both were scratching our heads over this. So I decided to do a little post on it. After all what I run into others will to and so I write. Much to my amazement about twenty minutes later I am contacted and the problem is quickly resolved. So here I am with three different software companies in current maintenance in my shop and the only one who seems to care about this users outcome is Autodesk. Now in defense of SE when similar issues have come up they have responded although never with the alacrity that Autodesk did this week. In the area of Geometric’s CW4SE though Siemens SE has cast us to the wolves and has had nothing to say to us for many months. Geometric has not spoken to users for 35 weeks now.

But we will now get to the main topic which is Geometric and the spreading miasma of failure which is bleeding over into the SolidWorks side to. I don’t need to say a whole lot about the problems over there on the SW side because the SW users there do it so well on their own. This will be a bit of a read but if you are considering any Geometric product you need to go through it all. Geometric’s forums are closed for a reason I figure. Autodesk CAM forums are not and that too is for a reason. One works one does not. In any case here are some current posts going on in the Geometric CAMWorks forum. While Geometric forbids people who are not customers from going there they do not say quotes of content can’t be made so I quote in its entirety two topics. The first one I had to chuckle over as a sort of gallows humor but in reality there is nothing funny about the situation. “Between A Rock And A Hard Place” was how the SW user started off.

“A rock and a hard place
Home – Program Smarter, Machine Faster › Forums › User Forums › General › A rock and a hard place
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• March 26, 2015 at 4:49 PM #37409 Reply

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I don’t know what to do with this software anymore. I manage a small CNC job shop which runs mostly small to medium sized lots with occasional prototyping requirements. I need to be able to release jobs to the floor as quickly as possible since my operators are done with their current work so quickly. CWx is supposed to make this happen but the software continually fails in every attempt to make programming quick and easy.
The techdb is a great idea but I don’t have the patience to keep rebuilding it, since every release of CWx that requires a techdb import corrupts something and makes me start from scratch. I’ve also noticed that, when saving new features to the techdb, it saves things that are not later accessible through the Access interface. I saved a groove operation to work the way I normally do grooves, but had included Z limits on the particular part I was programming, and it saved the Z limits to the techdb operation. Not a big deal, right? Well you can’t access the “advanced” tab options in the techdb so now that feature gets inserted with arbitrary Z limits every time I use it. Easy to fix by simply re-saving it, but why make it work that way in the first place? Big time saver there.
Need a post for a machine? Oh, your VAR will send you a generic one that MIGHT do what you want it to. More than likely they’ll tell you that you have to pay to have one made because they don’t have posts for very many machine types and they don’t support the post processor. CWx is supposed to be a top tier CAM software…who can’t supply a working post processor for any of the major machine builders out there without having to pay extra for it? I can list 6 other software packages that will provide them free of charge when you buy their software, but not CWx. Guess how I know who those 6 software packages are?
AFR is a joke unless you’re dealing with basic holes, and even then it doesn’t seem to have the ability to recognize tapped holes automatically. Anything other than the most basic pockets are quicker to insert manually than to let AFR try to figure it out. No time savings there. I’ve given up on trying to fix what CWx inserts automatically. 9 times out of 10 I end up deleting the AFR features and inserting my own so it isn’t even worth letting it try. Time out of my day.
CWx has LOST ITS MIND in the last few releases with turn mode. First of all, does anyone else find it incredibly aggravating that you can’t turn off the chuck display in simulation? I don’t want to see it. Give me the option to turn it off. Nope, now I have to manually open the turn setup, click a check box to enable me to edit the chucks location and manually input a value to move it out of the way. Thanks CWx, you saved me a lot of time there! Second, CWx has lost all ability to associate features properly. I can model a part to be turned, insert a turn feature, select the segments I want to machine, build the features then hit rebuild and watch CWx select its own segments, delete any extends I have selected, create random joins in the middle of the part and ultimately destroy what I created. Any time I make a change to ANYTHING its like starting at the 50% mark when it should be like starting from the 95% mark. And that is IF it retains its feature associations. I just modeled an expanding mandrel for a fixture I am designing. I got the entire thing programmed and realized I wanted to decrease an OD thread diameter by 0.010″ to increase the crest amount. I altered the sketch, hit ok, clicked on the CWx feature tree, hit rebuild and EVERY…F***ING EVERY…feature failed to rebuild. I literally had to start over from 0% by simply changing a diameter by 0.010″. Thanks for all the time savings CWx.
When I bring these issues to their attention I always get the “We can’t reproduce this issue, please call so we can set up an online meeting to see the problem in real-time” message. I don’t have time to fix your software…I have a business to run. I can’t keep up because it takes me twice as long to program a simple part than it should. I spend my entire day scrambling to keep programs fed to the shop floor fast enough. The result? I work 12+ hours per day to try to get enough done to keep everyone busy. Stop spending your time and money (MY time and money) adding enhancements that don’t work and waste more time, and start testing your damned software across more platforms than just what you have in your office so it works when you release it. There needs to be a serious overhaul to this system. Release a lite version with the bells and whistles turned off so I can JUST PROGRAM PARTS efficiently. I don’t need to simulate my machine in 100% accurate detail if it means that my software can’t retain features. That is not a time saver. That is not “Programming Smarter and Machining Faster”. I don’t need a chuck in the way every time I program a part. I don’t need the ability to select from 12 different versions of every end mill diameter in the techdb. These are all great things to implement and would be appreciated if the core of the software wasn’t utterly broken.
The worst part of the whole ordeal is that we are teetering on the brink of failure trying to keep up with demand and I can’t do anything about it. If I stick with CWx I can basically expect to continue to spend all day at work trying to get programs done and keep just barely getting by. I can’t afford to buy another software package because of the situation we’re in. I’m stuck between a rock and a hard place and don’t know what to do anymore.
Geometric, for the love of god, please take a long look at the disaster you are perpetuating and take a step backward to fix it. There are so many people relying on your software to keep them moving forward and these forums (and others) are riddled with posts about broken functionality and problems preventing people from programming effectively. When is the last time a major CAM software RECALLED a version release??? Seriously, WHEN? It has gotten to the point that most people won’t even install a minor update until they’ve heard from more experienced users that it works (or more accurately, WHAT works). I update out of desperation…in hopes that eventually these problems will be fixed.
I’ve been patiently working through all of these problems for almost 4 years now. I’m sure I’m not the most efficient programmer to begin with, and probably don’t use every tool at my disposal to decrease programming time, but it amazes me that simple things are so difficult in this software. Am I the only person who feels this way? Can I get some support from other people who do, or am I just that bad at this programming thing? Someone, somewhere, needs to get this message through to Geometric. If ANY other integrated CAM system offered to buy me out of CWx I wouldn’t even weigh the decision…I would jump ship immediately. Sorry to those of you who don’t feel this way or don’t care, I just feel trapped in a downward spiral.
/rant
March 27, 2015 at 3:42 AM #37413 Reply

rainman
Participant
Topics Created: 19
Replies Created: 280
I agree in many ways. Seems like when a new version gets released, things that were already working fine become broken. They keep changing the UI, sometimes for the better, but it doesn’t really make it faster. I am having some trouble as well with 2015 in lathe, but mill seems to be working well. To turn your chuck display off, try clicking on the button for “fixture display” on the simulation palette and selecting “no display”.
March 27, 2015 at 4:31 AM #37415 Reply

Chris Cordova
Participant
Topics Created: 44
Replies Created: 273
You aren’t alone. My particular gripe is the rebuild. You can hit Rebuild all day but it won’t actually work until you open the feature and accept it. So if you have dozens of features it takes a fair amount of time. To be specific, if a a feature up to a face has changed I can’t reliably just hit full rebuild. I have to open it then rebuild. What’s rebuild for anyway?
The post issue you mention baffles me too. Sigh. I still have to manually edit my post when probing on my Haas. My Haas! A very common accessory on a very common machine and they had to write a post from scratch? Really? It’s up to a point that works mostly but I gave up trying to get them to fix it so I wouldn’t have to edit it.
Even with these gripes and others I have, not sure you’d find it different with other CAMs. I’ve glanced at some CAM forums and people are griping there too. I’m not saying this as an excuse for CAMWorks. They should get their act together.
OK, back to work.
March 27, 2015 at 4:36 AM #37417 Reply

rainman
Participant
Topics Created: 19
Replies Created: 280
Sad to say, but I’ve found the only way to make your posts work right is to make your own. I know everyone doesn’t have the time to do this, because in my case it took me quite a while to get decent at the code. I have some really good posts now, but it was a continual process over a couple of years. My VAR did try to help me early on, but I was having trouble communicating what I wanted. If I wanted something to come out a certain way under one condition, but another way under another condition, they just copied what I had on my marked up program listing and made it come out the same way every time.
March 27, 2015 at 6:06 AM #37421 Reply

Bob Bergeron
Participant
Topics Created: 1
Replies Created: 9
I do not see people on here reporting that they are regularly having problems importing the TechDB. We have never had that issue, thankfully, and have installed every new version since (almost) two decades ago. Since you have the problem repeatedly, I would think that your VAR would do the next update for you, to track down what is wrong. I agree that the work to scratch reconstruct even a single TechDB is unthinkable.
I see that your question about toggling the chuck display has been answered. However, I now find that having the translucent version of the chucks always displayed is my preferred operating mode. With the tight tool/chuck clearances we need to run on many dual-spindle mill-turn parts it is nice to keep aware of those jaws. My only gripe is that they still have not fixed CAMWorks ability to SAVE jaws with unequal step widths and depths – Geometric has confirmed the bug, but it has been tow SPs now without a fix.
It seems to me that CAMWorks is really only designed to shine in shops that have control over the SolidWorks models that the parts are coded from. We found long ago that s slight variation in how a lathe path (revolve) is built would make or break the quality of the AFR on that path. Same thing for multi-step holes, etc. For example, if the lathe path has ultra-tiny or overlapping (un-trimmed) fillets and chamfers, or broken segments, CAMWorks may give you unwanted Joins or other bad behavior.
I think Techsoft (now Geometric) knows how to code the SolidWorks parts with their “best practices” – so they never see these issues. If they paid more attention to users’ problems, I think they could harden the package against users’ different, but legal, approaches to modeling parts. That said, I have seen steady improvements over the years in what CAMWorks will tolerate – although at a rather glacial pace. Do be sure to only use Mfg. View – not the legacy AFR mode for recognizing features.
I use the save button after almost every little “milestone” operation I create and like. That is my “undo” button. I occasionally use the Operation’s lock toggle – for stuff I do not want CAMWorks to “fix”. But mostly, I have modified the TechDB to automatically code anything it can, the way I would do it manually. That is really the ONLY solution to LIKING rather than HATING CAMWorks. I do not think that the VARs or Geometric Support ever makes this point hard enough.
Perhaps Geometric and VARs feel that, if they do explain how you must setup and use CAMWorks, too many users (or potential buyers) will decide that the CAMWorks approach does not fit the type of jobs they code or how they like to work. However, for our shop the CAMWorks design-intent, even if not their execution of it, is exactly what we want.
Our engineers design our parts knowing CAMworks and our machine’s features and limitations. Our operators are not allowed to modify the code. If something is wrong it goes back to engineering for a model change, or coding for a CAMWorks fix and repost. When we make a CAMWorks “fix” we always evaluate if a change to the TechDB is appropriate, and if it is, we make it right then. In the beginning, it was awful – lots of idle spindle time. But eventually the method worked, and now such TechDB changes are infrequent.
We can now modify many already codded parts, sometime in many major areas, and have CAMWorks totally heal the code – without any significant manual intervention. Without significant time invested in the TechDB and posts, that was NEVER going to happen. It is a shame that Geometric (and our VAR at least) puts almost no effort into relentlessly evangelizing this fundamental user requirement.
March 27, 2015 at 6:30 AM #37423 Reply

rainman
Participant
Topics Created: 19
Replies Created: 280
Agree with all above. I struggled mightily with Camworks for some time, but after getting my TechDb the way I liked it, as well as the posts, I don’t have much trouble anymore. Yes, they do sometimes break things when a new release comes out that were working before, but it ends up being a matter of settling on the version that works best for you. No, it shouldn’t be this way, but I’m not in a position to tell my superiors that we need to buy something else now that we have 9 years worth of data created with Camworks. As far as “oddities” in turned parts, I don’t use the original design part. I make my own new part, then insert the design part. That way, if I want to add a cut, fillet, chamfer, or something to help the output, I can without changing the original part.
Don’t know why PPC is having the difficulty with importing prior TechDbs, since I have not. There must be an issue with his installation, but I wouldn’t know where to start looking.
Bottom line is, yes, Camworks is quirky, sometimes annoying, but if you get to know what it likes and doesn’t like, you can make it work for you.
March 27, 2015 at 9:47 AM #37429 Reply

PPC Engineering
Participant
Topics Created: 26
Replies Created: 95
In my system at least, turning the chuck display off in simulation makes the chuck invisible, but the tools all still crash into it causing a collision alarm. The only way I have found to get around this is to manually move the chuck away from the part. Is this not the way everyone else’s system works?
I have never been able to import an entire techdb without it destroying some part of it. I had an online meeting with a representative from my VAR the last time I updated, to help me import it properly. I backed up my old techdb in a zip file to be able to save all of the info just in case something went wrong. Not only did it corrupt the non-zipped version, but somehow whatever my VAR did was able to corrupt the backed up techdb INSIDE of the zip file. Unzipping the folder produced a corrupt database. We use Microsoft Access for a number of things here and the only reason I can see for me to have so many problems like this is some kind of mixup between versions of Access or .net framework. I can’t see that really being a problem since many companies rely on Access or other database software. Maybe I need to bite the bullet and do a clean install on a freshly formatted hard drive with Geometric overlooking to make sure it is all done correctly.
I just don’t have time, with all the hats I wear, to be able to muddle through every program I make simply because CWx has a problem with the way the part was modeled. If the resulting model is the same, why should I expect a different result?
Frustrated…
March 27, 2015 at 5:49 PM #37431 Reply

Ted Ellis
Participant
Topics Created: 11
Replies Created: 236
I do understand your frustration and the work pressures. All we can do is give our experiences. I’ve been importing techdb for years with some minor difficulties, but no serious ones. I will admit many many years ago when I had a custom one and they released a new version they pointed out that it had new 3 axis strategies and maybe other items that would not show up if I imported my techdb. So I did start over at that time using their stock one and have been doing ok ever since.
I recently posted about some oddities in our techdb not showing tools for the lathe even though they were properly entered. I sent my techdb to support and they repaired it successfully. Seems like something else is happening with your situation that should be solvable, but investing the time to do so sounds like it’s a challenge for you.
March 30, 2015 at 7:18 AM #37435 Reply

PPC Engineering
Participant
Topics Created: 26
Replies Created: 95
Time is certainly the issue. I am inside sales, engineering, programming, quality control, supervisor, estimating, purchasing and often times repairman. Regardless of that fact, it seems like there is so much that I shouldn’t have to deal with, that could be fixed up front to save EVERYONE the hassles that keep popping up here.
March 31, 2015 at 3:11 AM #37437 Reply

Chally72
Participant
Topics Created: 8
Replies Created: 38
Spot on post, for the most part….as I sit here waiting for a web meeting to ‘reproduce’ yet another problem they cannot. I’ve also been asked for part models, which I’ve supplied, because I ‘build models differently’ than they’ve seen/anticipate.
Here’s a link to my experience on the Solid Edge side of life:
http://community.plm.automation.siemens.com/t5/Solid-Edge-Forum/Current-State-of-CAMWorks-for-Solid-Edge/m-p/282673#U282673
Some of my favorites right now are the fact that features based off of sketch elements, like Open Profiles, disassociate EVERY TIME YOU CLOSE AND REOPEN THE FILE, and lead-ins on grouped features have nasty bugs that makes it almost impossible to successfully apply the lead in to all. Oh, and the software mixes up filenames and sometimes asks you to save a file with a name that existed several save-as events ago! Even though this doesn’t affect data integrity, it sure is disconcerting.
Solid Edge users are still waiting for SP1, which was supposedly going to be available to resellers pending final release in the first week of March. It’s exhausting trying to chase down information on what is going on!
o This reply was modified 2 days, 7 hours ago by Chally72.
March 31, 2015 at 2:12 PM #37443 Reply

Dave Ault
Participant
Topics Created: 2
Replies Created: 28
No Chally it is worse than frustrating. I have not used CW4SE since about the end of last November when I could not afford to waste more time. When the SP0 release came out and was also so buggy I just quit trying. The last straw was when I booted up SE and CW4SE, a program I had not used for months, decided once again to short circuit my SE license file. Geometric, this license file crap goes back to the very beginning of post on this forum. Is there any particular reason you are so inept that these kinds of things can’t be fixed once and for all?
It has been 31 weeks since SE ST7 was released and still nothing that works from Geometric. It has been 35 weeks since anyone from Geometric could be bothered to even tell us anything. I read of the years long continuation of problems and look at garbage Tech Data Base stuff put in there by cubical programmers before Geometric bought out Pro Cam that are still there that have never had a machinists input. You guys on the SW side are lucky to have prior work from the Pro Cam programmers in CAMWorks. Over on the SE side the Geometric guys who have had to do it all could not produce a competent working program if they had to. It is hard to imagine what must be going on in the minds of Geometric management that they can’t make something work and then can’t be bothered to tell us a damn thing about it. The very idea that it is considered acceptable to have to wrestle with a TDB that has so little basis in real shop practices for years to get it “right” blows my mind. Geometric, if they were worth a damn and competent, would make it so it worked out of the box in a suitable fashion and THEN you would improve on it to suit your needs. I can’t believe it was ever my misfortune to have become involved in this.
In self defense I have bought Inventor HSM. I was cutting parts quickly and easily and the Adaptive tool path is better than Volumill. Tool libraries are a simple create by tool entity you can save any way you want and tools are added in less than 60 seconds and edited in 20. I figure I will write years worth of CAM plans here in the time it would take to just set up the TDB and that does not count ongoing time and TDB failures which cost more time.
Speaking of probes how many times does the Renishaw probe say your .500 endmill is exactly that including the eccentricity that may be there with tool holding. Try dealing with endmill reality in the TDB when that .500 end mill is hardly ever that. Tell me how easy it is to work with this mess when you want accuracy. And by the way. Geometric promised me a lathe post so I bought lathe with the package. When I finally bought a lathe it was time to find out they are liars and had no intention of providing a post. Surfcam and ZW3D and HSM all have free posts that work and have worked in my shop. I’ll tell you what. It is time to just quit. The more I write the madder I get at this incompetent bunch employed by Geometric.
o This reply was modified 1 day, 19 hours ago by Dave Ault.
April 1, 2015 at 4:16 AM #37447 Reply

rainman
Participant
Topics Created: 19
Replies Created: 280
Wow, I had no idea that things were so bad on the SE side. I’ve had my beefs with Geometric over the years as far as buggy first releases, and things that used to work being broken in major releases. However, I’ve learned to use it and avoid the pitfalls. I’m sure there are better packages out there, but I’m entrenched too deep to do anything different now, and it is working for me, despite issues now and then. I don’t blame you, though, for wanting to jump ship. I would too if things were that bad on the SW side.
April 1, 2015 at 2:22 PM #37449 Reply

Dave Ault
Participant
Topics Created: 2
Replies Created: 28
Yes it is bad. New motto for Geometric might be… ” If you want to be beaten black and blue Geometric is for you”. To top it all off they did not co-ordinate with Siemens to get needed API changes in the queue In a timely fashion. Like a company that worked with integration partners would have. They ignored problems until to late and now it will be ST9, another year and a half, before some important stuff might be fixed. I say might be because I don’t think the talent exists with Geometric to integrate with SE. I base this on what they have done to date. I base the timeline on the fact that ST8 is already in beta testing and there will be no changes for an outfit like Geometric that could not get in line in time. ST9 is the very earliest serious issues can be fixed.
These Geometric people actually had the nerve to say problems that crippled the software was intended behavior until we made a big stink with Siemens about Geometric. Then they became problems that were on the fix it list. Why in the world would I ever be interested in doing business with Geometric in the future when their attitude here was to ignore us until they were forced into having to look into it. The song and dance the OP references above indicates to me Geometric either is to incompetent to even find problems or so underhanded that they intend to just stonewall the problems until we go away. BUYER BEWARE.
April 1, 2015 at 4:34 PM #37451 Reply

PPC Engineering
Participant
Topics Created: 26
Replies Created: 95
Wow, I guess I shouldn’t complain hearing how bad you guys have it. Kind of sad, the failure stories are becoming the benchmark for CAMWorks users, not the success stories. I don’t remember the last time I heard anyone say “CAMWorks saved me $_______ due to its features and interface…yadda yadda yadda”. The most recent “Success Story” I can find with a date on it says 2013.
GEOMETRIC, Listen to your users and go back to basic reliable functionality! Save the advanced features for the beta testers until they have been shown to work across multiple platforms and user environments!
EDIT: I, also, am looking at HSMWorks integrated with SWx. It is not as advanced but the user interface is friendly, easy to use and JUST PLAIN WORKS. Not to mention the posts can be edited in ONE FILE using javascript. Tougher programming language, MUCH simpler to make a post do what you want once you know it.
o This reply was modified 17 hours, 46 minutes ago by PPC Engineering.
April 2, 2015 at 7:24 AM #37457 Reply

Dan Peters
Participant
Topics Created: 6
Replies Created: 46
We ultimately had to switch our wire EDMs over to Esprit and will be doing the same for the new Integrex we bought. I think Camworks testing department is the end user. I find it to be true about the post in that they are very generic and the end user has to spend a lot of time and leg work with them. If you have to pay for a post that should be done up front by the software company. It will be interesting to see how Esprit does with our new Integrex. We could never get Camworks to work well with our old Integrex and ultimately gave up. As far as our mills it has not been the worst, I found that keeping away from the new releases helps immensely.
o This reply was modified 2 hours, 56 minutes ago by Dan Peters.

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• April 2, 2015 at 10:22 AM #37467 Edit | Reply

Dave Ault
Participant
Topics Created: 2
Replies Created: 28
“EDIT: I, also, am looking at HSMWorks integrated with SWx. It is not as advanced but the user interface is friendly, easy to use and JUST PLAIN WORKS.”
You have that right! Instead of heart burn and constant anger today it can actually be kind of fun again. I enjoy this line of work when unnecessary complications do not rear their ugly heads. CAMWorks 4 SE took all that enjoyment away when I had to use their program.
At this time I can only conjecture that this is a company in way over their heads and in turmoil over their inability to solve the problems. It looks like they took on this new machine verification and the new SE integration along with the continuing SW product and have not provided enough talent to do it all. I have a picture of the Keystone Cops running from place to place in panic. I know they hate to spend a dime on anything so I wonder how many cheap programmers they have never understanding that numbers do not equate to quality as an end result. Cambridge and MIT are world leaders in CAD and CAM innovation and problem solving but they are not cheap. It all depends on the value you place on what your customers can expect from you. If you populate your company with programmers that can’t do the job you get a result like Camworks that is slowly sinking into the quagmire.”

The second one also touches on my top pet peeve with Geometric’s nasty habit of sending out software without testing it. It is impossible for a company that cares and has a qualified testing procedure to fail like Geometric regularly does so therefore I maintain they have no qualified testing lab or department and no desire to create one to date. Problems on the SW side seem to be accelerating in frequency and severity with CAMWorks 2015. As you will note these guys also complain about hearing nothing from Geometric about their problems. Geometric has a total disconnect from their customers in every way except for asking for money.

“SP1.0 Backward Compatibility Problem
Home – Program Smarter, Machine Faster › Forums › User Forums › General › SP1.0 Backward Compatibility Problem
This topic contains 3 replies, has 2 voices, and was last updated by rainman 8 hours, 35 minutes ago.
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• March 24, 2015 at 5:20 PM #37407 Reply

Bob Bergeron
Participant
Topics Created: 1
Replies Created: 9
We just upgraded from CAMWorks-2015 SP0.1 to CAMWorks-2015 SP1.0. Now we have found that when trying to open many (a little over 10%) of our existing SP0.1 files in SP1.0 it wipes out all the CAMWorks data from the files. We have turned to our VAR, but they cannot get CAMWorks-2015 SP1.0 to open these files either. Since we cannot do a parallel installation of SP0.1, like we could for different year version s of CAMWorks, we are in a Catch-22 now. We already codded many new jobs under CAMWorks-2015 SP1.0, so uninstalling and going back to SP0.1 is not a practical option either.
Has anyone else run into this yet? If so, have you found a solution?
March 27, 2015 at 3:35 AM #37411 Reply

rainman
Participant
Topics Created: 19
Replies Created: 280
Going back to SP0.1 should not cause you to be unable to open ones created in SP1.0. Normally, only full versions (2013,2014,2015) cannot be opened in a previous version. Service packs within a year version should be interchangeable. Sounds like you have a serious bug… wonder if it’s global or just your situation. I was about to install 1.0 (have to wait for IT to do it), but I’m wondering if I should wait, now.
March 27, 2015 at 5:07 AM #37419 Reply

Bob Bergeron
Participant
Topics Created: 1
Replies Created: 9
Thanks for replying. I got this same information yesterday morning from my VAR’s third support guy – and uninstalling SP1.0 and reinstalling SP0.1 fixed it! Amazingly the first two support techs, and Geometric’s support did not correct me about the ability to uninstall SP1.0 and reinstall SP0.1!
It is certainly a big deal. So many different parts on so many different support-techs systems duplicated this problem that is is hard to believe that many will not have this same MAJOR issue. I imagine the fix is simple, but it has been days now without any news from Geometric!
April 2, 2015 at 5:14 AM #37455 Reply

rainman
Participant
Topics Created: 19
Replies Created: 280
By the way, has anyone else experienced what Bob describes here? I’d like to install SP1.0, but not if it does this…”

Geometric I once again open this forum which I know you read to your commentary. Is there ANY interest by anyone over there to clarify what is going on? Some day you are going to have to talk to people about all this. Well maybe not. Perhaps your solution is to wring your hands in despair as your company sinks into the relative oblivion heading to it if you don’t mend ALL of your ways. It won’t be the first time a company goes belly up.