Before I get into the primary aspect of this post a few comments. I have regarded the Synchronous Tech in Solid Edge as revolutionary and was a fan of it from the first time I saw it in action with one of my imported parts from VX. It was like a light went on and I could see power I wanted and the potential there and immediately became a customer for Solid Edge.
It was not until ST3 that SE matured into what I had envisioned. I can only say that every day I use it I am reminded of justifications for the validity of my choice for the work flow in my company. ST5 is right around the corner and I expect to have a number of great things to talk about and power being put into users hands. I am excited to be here.
Over at http://ontheedge.dezignstuff.com/ there are a number of discussions going on regarding SE and SW and the differences in both programs and in some ways the philosophy of the respective parents of both. On one hand we have a company with a plan for the future and a robust geometry kernal designed in part for best in class direct editing. On the other we have a chaotic corporate program mashup based it seems on a mythical user base per Bernards imagination. Serious problems abound as they try to pick some sort of viable corporate direction. Dassault knows they have lost the direct editing battle because they aren’t being sold the technology that makes ST possible. So off to the races they go with their own kernal that evidently is not so hot while they try to do it to.
You Solid Works users are in for really rough times for years to come. In conjunction with the switch to the new geometry kernal you will have the joy of translation problems. Direct editing will take years to sort out assuming it can even be made to work as well on their kernal as ST does on parasolids. Add in new program issues to as they move from SW to the Catia Lite GUI. Or you can elect to stay with poorly supported SW traditional with few improvements that you will still have to pay for until they just cancel it.
If I may be so bold here I think I have a term Dassault could use for the combination of cloud, new kernal problems and some sort of direct editing in combination with exciting socially immersive 3D engineering experiences and crowd sourcing goodness. They could call it Le Stink!R0nerous Technique 😉
On to ZW3D.
Over time you grow to trust things that have worked. Tapping is one that falls into that category for me. So I am cutting my very first parts on my new mill. I no longer have my old faithfull VX V14.5 loaded and instead I am using ZW3D 2012. It is a good thing to regen your cam plan in these cases as there may well be differences and the plan in any case needs to be in the version you are using. This had always worked before with S&F in the tool library so I regen and post without thinking I would have to check the auto entered data ahead of time. First two holes sounded labored and on the third the tap shattered. I am thinking here what the heck, first part new mill NOW WHAT! So for your entertainment today I present the new tap library input for S&F for a 1/4 18 NPT. The tool library has always been skimpy here but the data associated with it was correct. User beware, you will have to double check everything and trust nothing with cam and tapping now. The recommended 7/16 drill bit is to small by the way so be carefull on drill sizes to, they can be incorrect.
On a seperate note here. I go to post this on the ZW3D forums today and the following observations on this. Categories. Discuss,share and ask?? How stupid is this and what was wrong with the four categories that worked for so many years on the old forums with goofy titles like Cad and Cam? New and improved? How about new stupid and unworkable with no sorting. You go to upload pictures and you have to guess that the blue patches with no label are relevant. Then when you figure that out you have to figure out where to go on the tabs to paste the pic to the post and no hints to let you know what is going on. WHEN are you guys going to start fixing these things you have been so busy improving? Not at all pleased to see that evidently the forum coders are now doing the tool library too.
This is going to be my next to last post for ZW3D. I am confident that within a couple of months I will have a new CAM program one way or another. My hopes are for integrated something with SE. If this does not happen soon I will sadly move on to selecting the best stand alone CAM program that will suit my needs. But in any case what will be next regarding ZW from this soon to be ex-users viewpoint will be a post mortem commentary.
I really do understand the reluctance of Solid Works users to let go. You get time and money and experience in a product and you hate to let it go. Here I am still fiddling around with ZW3D when deep down inside I know better. Changing is a major inconvenience in time both in legacy files and in learning new things and money you have to now spend and have spent. Trashing this part on my brand new mill was it for me. OK SW users, your time is coming to and what will it be for you?