CAM for Solid Edge Moves Forward

As I sit here using a CAM program I have grown to despise this journey to CAM integrated with Solid Edge has been an endless journey. Geometric is working with Siemens to develop this with a partnership that was started I assume just prior to SEU2012 last June in Nashville. Bruce Wiener with Geometric was there with a cobbled together idea of what could be. Of course getting to a full blown product that has been tested and all the little “i’s” dotted and “t’s” crossed is not a simple thing so we have to wait.

Siemens is releasing a new product called “3DSync” http://secure.campaigner.com/Campaigner/Public/t.show?YaOe–H3Zq-1Sazih2 will take you to a page that will allow you to read up on it and download a free trial which is good until May 15th 2013. As a word of warning here if you have a seat of Solid Edge on your PC you can’t run this unless you set up a virtual machine through something like VMware and according to support this is not recommended.

I find the expiration of the trial interesting for a particular reason.
The principle drawback for many CAD users where Solid Edge has been concerned was not the basic capabilities of the program but the lack of an ecosphere of integrated apps. Just after the release of ST4 for the first time this became a priority for SE when a position was created solely for the purpose of creating this ecosphere. Since manufacturing is the only reason for CAD to exist it makes sense that the first long overdue major integration with SE will be CAM.

This takes me to why I find the timing of 3DSync so interesting. Now keep in mind I am just connecting dots here and I am not speaking as though I have certain knowledge but I bet I am right. For the users of HSMWorks and Camworks there is a reduced function version of Solid Works that allows you to directly use SW files in an associative fashion and to do things like feature recognition and auto-updates of geometry changes. And it allows you to do so without having to spring for a full blown seat of SW. When I was checking into HSMWorks and Camworks for example the reduced capability solids SW program was $1,000.00. I believe this is the reason for 3DSync and all this is leading up to the ST6 release this June in Cincinnati at the SEU2013. By the way, if you are a Solid Edge user or just interested in seeing what Solid Edge and the user community is all about it would benefit you to be there.

I see indications in the questions being asked of users by Dan Staples and Karsten Newbury on the Solid Edge BBS forums that there are a number of things to be included in ST6 that will make it the most powerful release of any of the ST series and I would include even the first one. By the way, for those of you accustomed to the idea that the leadership of a company never spends time interacting with users because that is how your CAD authoring company treats you. That is not the way it is with Solid Edge and the leadership here actively interacts in meaningful ways with users that helps to drive what is in the final product.

The reason I say ST6 will be the most powerful release is because while ST1 saw the advent of a new way of modeling ST6 will be a mature product that will among other things include powerful surfacing for all of you that hold this single thing out as the reason SW is better. ST6 will also see the rollout of actual products integrated with Solid Edge to the point where for the first time you will be able to completely design and manufacture products without ever having to leave the GUI you are familiar with in Solid Edge.

I waited impatiently for this point in time for Solid Edge and the more I find out and the more I see reading between the lines this will be a very beneficial year for SE users.
Look folks, Autodesk is going cloud stupid, Dassault is going berserk with experience insanity + cloud stuff they have yet to make work + the joy of kernel change. Bass and Bernard are telling you what you will get like it or not and if you don’t agree you are, well you are just backwards looking and un-enlightened and need to be educated as to what you should like. Siemens, SE, Karsten Newbury and Dan Staples are on the other hand looking to put useful geometry creation and manufacturing into your shop without the cloud nonsense and top down edicts.

I can honestly say I am glad to be here and that says a lot in this day and time.

4 responses to “CAM for Solid Edge Moves Forward

  1. Everybody always forgets about “j”. Never, ever mentioned. He needs a dot too!

    My perspective for 3Dsync is that it is more of a “change management” tool. Now, when I say change management I’m not talking about ECO/ECN/ECR’s. I’m talking about the “people change process.” See ST is a paradigm changing piece of technology. The problem we have- and I’ve gone over this several times before- is that we, as people, don’t like the type of interuptions and relearning that comes with ST. We’ve been brainwashed to think that CAD has to be done with history and 2D sketch. That the parameters are tied to these sketches and that’s how you change your model. PERIOD. End of discussion!
    It’s funny because this is a repeat of a conversation I had with a SW user this week. He didn’t care for ST because he felt he needed his sketches driving things. After a 20 minute converstation I got the user to understand that the “initial” parameter rarely get changed so why burder the system after the geometry has been created when you can tug and pull to make a change- faster than you can interogate, check other “linked” parameters, make the change, double check the rest of the geometry and then submit the change for approval.
    By splitting off this technology and allowing users to explore its capabilities as a standalone product you can more quickly understand its benefits in the change and creation process without the full burden of the rest of the CAD package.
    Plain and simple 3Dsync is a “training” tool and that tool is part of the ST change management process for you and me!

    • Hi Ryan,
      OK what are ECO ECN ECR’s? Anyway I think this could be part of the “change management” if you mean getting feet wet at a cheaper price tag to tempt potential buyers into a full seat. About those hidebound sketch and history types. I have been looking at Mastercam to just in case I don’t like what Geometric comes up with. I have to really bite my tongue when their sales rep tries to convince me I don’t need Solid Edge because Mastercam has a solid design program that can do EVERYTHING you need to do and cheap to. You can’t reason with some people when their world is based on silly precepts.

      What I am gathering with research and talking to is that this is a tool to drive a few things. Matt Lombard had a good point in that this could easily compete with SpaceClaim and their effort to sell SpaceClaim as a simple quick editing for engineers and CAM users who don’t want to get bogged down in learning a full blown CAD program. For sure I think it is an adjunct to the upcoming Geometric CAM program for Solid Edge just as the solids SW addin worked for HSMWorks and Camworks. It is a part of an overall strategy to launch a larger SE ecosphere and get real about eating a big chunk of the Solid Works pie. I consider SpaceClaim to be potentially a serious competitor for seats Solid Edge could have sold because they have good marketing and adequate products for many users needs. If I was upper management at SE I would certainly be considering action against them as well as Solid Works and a program that highlights Synchronous tech and is cheap and functional for a lot of stuff is the ticket.

      Will you have a chance to be at SEU2013? I am expecting SEU2013 to have a number of good things on tap for SE users.

      • ECR, ECO, ECN are the Engineering Change (Request, Order, Notice, etc.) These are documents or workflows that formalize and track the changes to models/parts. In your case it’s when the company sends you “Revision 1” of a solid and then you get done with it and they send you Revision 2! Technicallly, this shouldn’t happen to you but I know the real world hardly matches the “processes” world.

        I see 3DSync beyond the SE world as all the tools are pretty similar to the NX ST as well. I those regards I see 3DSync as a learning tool for both products. Yes, it fits in with the a targeted customer but I thing the vision has to be looked at from a higher point of view- that being a Siemens point of view and not just a SE point of view.

        I sure wish I could attend the SEU’s or even the PLMWorld events…nonetheless I am still only working with SW and Enterprise PDM products so I can’t attend.

      • Hi Ryan, Well no wonder I did not know. My large company of one does not have the communication problems the companies you work with do ;-). I am sure Siemens does not care if 3DSync results in sales for SE or NX but yes I am sure this is one of the primary reason it was created.

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