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.