Solid Edge ST8 Is RTM and CW4SE Is Kaput Again

Much to my delight and amazement I received my license file on Saturday. Of course out here in cloud never never land the 4+GB file takes me about a day to finish but there it was finally and off I went. I have not had much time to play with it but walking through it this release seems to me to be primarily about fine tuning capabilities that are already there. Now I know there is some hoopla about working with Microsoft Surface pro’s and from what I gather this is considered perhaps the biggest “new” deal this year. I don’t plan on owning bitty screens and compromised power in the field so this is of absolutely no interest to me. Even at the age of 61 somehow I can still subject myself to the extreme burden of being a pack mule with 6 or 7 pounds of gear in tow. It’s tough to carry all that weight and I amaze myself with my never ending endurance. I get about seven hours in the field with my 15″ workstation laptop and can do anything I want. The extra battery is proof against no electricity but in practical experience it is rare that I can’t plug in if I wish.

I know the theory is about how convenient it may be for the uber small eviscerated CPU guys to show stuff to prospective clients but my customers and I somehow manage to get along. And quite frankly there are a lot of us who young and old have to wear glasses and don’t need the convenience of eyestrain compounding future problems.

But anyway on to ST8. I am in two worlds right now and the design is almost completely in SE and machining is totally Inventor Pro HSM. My old data from years of work is in SE and Inventor of all the major CAD programs has elected not to have a direct import of SE file types so bringing it all over would be a lot of work. I only work in Synchronous though and I intend to work VIA direct editing for the rest of my career. And of course as a half job shop and half design build entity there has to be a good way to deal with imported geometry. The very best way I know is with SE in hand. I hope for the day Inventor will step up to the plate in this area but until then I stay where work is most efficient. As of Inventor 2016 I still can’t import geometry and do basic things like assign driving and notational dimensions on imports from my parts. It is completely true with SE that what I bring in I can work on as though it were a native part with little loss of intelligence and that primarily in hole data.

My initial impression is that there are a lot of little things that are going to improve work flow based upon what I have read, been told and see in person with my cursory examination to date. SE is for this shop the very best MCAD program available. I very rarely get into complex surfacing and like the majority of shops around here will never see a fru-fru coffee pot or car tail light housing. So complex surfacing is something I have never and probably will never need to know and I am the wrong guy to give input on this. I will say though that I checked out “T-Slines” the other day in a video and the power there reminded me of some of the stuff I have seen in NX. Of course “T-Splines” along with other strategic buys is part and parcel of forward looking management at Autodesk in assembling in Inventor what will in time be the best mid range MCAD suite out there. I went to the app store touted by Siemens SE and just shook my head. SE guys don’t go to Autodesk or SW’s app sites unless you want a bad case of app program envy.

Autodesk is a forward looking company and T-Splines is now a part of Inventor. I have to say the pace of improvement with Inventor is greater than SE right now and looks to be for some time. I don’t expect to have these import problems in the somewhat near future and I figure Autodesk is working overtime to improve Inventor. You see the owner of Inventor wants things right and better whereas Siemens would kind of like the Red Headed step child to just go away. As Scott said buy the company. I trust the direction of Autodesk and I do not trust Siemens one bit to consider my future unless I buy into NX.

I will probably not do anything in the area of how to’s or videos for SE ST8. I will tell you my opinion and that is it as I refuse to spend time helping to promote such an inept group as Siemens and sadly they are the overlords of SE.

Well as you all know I have left CAMWorks for Solid Edge because of a boat load of problems. The 2015 SP1 release was I think their best yet since the involvement with SE. Sadly by this point in time I had moved on to the far greater simplicities and efficiencies found in Inventor HSM. Note to software companies. You make your customer mad enough to look elsewhere you better fear what they may find. So anyway after Geometric gets forced (Never forget they were forced into this. They had no concerns about product quality until a big public stink was made and it is their long time corporate management philosophy towards customers as far as I can tell.) into getting their act somewhat together I get the thrill of about a month and a half’s potential use out of it. Had trouble getting ST8 to work initially and one of the problems was— you guessed it—CW4SE.

CW4SE time to fail again

We could not get SE to run until this little jewel popped up and once the license server for CW4SE was shut down SE worked just fine. I am SHOCKED and sitting here in stunned disbelief that this could happen. Perhaps in a few months Geometric will get up and running for ST8 but I wont be there. Inventor Pro HSM 2016 in comparison worked from day one as an integrated program. My maintenance is up at the end of June and this headache is history. These will be my last comments about this most aggravating Geometric CW4SE saga and my cost per part cut with wasted time and the expense of the program and the inherent inefficiencies here far exceeded any rational performance expectations any business owner I know would have. I have no idea how bad sales for CW4SE are but Geometric deserves to sleep in the bed they have made for themselves. Check out the frenetic most recent post CW4SE user activity at Geometrics closed forum.

HaHa program smarter machine faster

The SW side of things there is pretty bleak too considering that this was the first integrated CAM program for SW and I don’t know what their market size is. I can tell you that HSM has been a topic of discussion over there too with users who vent extreme frustration over problems that never stop looking elsewhere. Geometric is pretty tone deaf and some of these fed up SW guys are begging them to get their act together or lose them. A situation very familiar to me.

Buy SE ST8 for the efficiencies it can bring to your in-house and imported parts and family of parts designs. I think even big SW and Inventor shops should have one seat as a secret weapon back there somewhere. Avoid SE because Siemens does not care if market share in seats will ever get you work or trained individuals to hire. Buy Autodesk for the future and for todays economic savings as inventor Pro HSM is by far the best deal out there right now and you won’t have to train anyone with a ready and available labor market. For the same $1,500.00 I will have to send Siemens to renew SE only I get Inventor PRO HSM everything and I like my money in MY pocket. HSM just works and CW4SE just fails again and again and again.

Sadly SE ST8 will be a release of a tremendously capable CAD program smothered by ex UGS people at Siemens and destined once again to be the best software you won’t hear much about. Sure do miss you Karsten and Don and the hope and plans and excitement that lived here for the future with you. I have yet to hear anything from the mouth of Miller whats-his-face who is supposed to be in charge and it has been over a half-year now. No plans no direction no user interaction AT ALL! I find the attitude of Siemens/UGS management towards SE to be the single largest reason to never buy into SE and it just should not be this way.

6-14-15 Update.
I had mentioned above that I would not be discussing CW4SE anymore. I went to Geometric’s site today in the faint hopes that they would have an update for ST8 out. You see I would still like to use their constant step over tool path at times but I am not willing to stay a year behind with SE to do so. Much to my amusement/disgust I read about current SW CAMWorks user problems with the Tech Data Base which is in combination with Feature Recognition the only differentiator for CAMWorks. This being the whole basis for their grossly exaggerated motto of “Program Smarter Machine Faster”. So I retract my never talk about them again statement as I will be talking about them again at least once more.

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