Today I was reading Novedge as I frequently do and up pops this post. http://cadcamstuff.com/4942/advanced-manufacturing-is-on-top-at-autodesk-university-next-week/ Now I had no intention of going because the price tag is way to high for a one guy shop. Solid Edge’s convention is more my type in dollars and cents. After reading Lar’s post though I had to reconsider relative values. Of course Solid Edge has nothing much to speak of in the way of CAM partners and with the exception of Cam Express (which is funded and run by those UGS types who unfund and despise Solid Edge) there is only one integrated program. CAMWorks for SE and while much better than it was is still cumbersome and overpriced. You can achieve a much better yield on your CAM investment then this both up front and in daily use efficiencies with other programs even though they are not integrated. Cam Express is not integrated by the way while CW4SE is.
Autodesk BOUGHT and owns some of the finest CAM products out there. They are integrating them into and with each other. They don’t have to ask or whine or cajole another company to be partners. They own them and can do as they wish.
This is what struck me today in reading Lar’s post. The sheer volume of actual making things with machinery sessions was a bit dumbfounding to an ex SE guy. There were two if I remember right in SEU2015 and the guy who ran them knew Cam Express but never has cut a part in CW4SE. Somehow I have a feeling that the incredible variety of topics covered at AU 2015 will be with people who have done things with the programs and not just be someone roped in to flesh out a conference.
As an aside here I know the pace of integration of HSM into Inventor and the addition of robust turning and wire and laser type stuff has been a source of irritation for many existing users but at least Autodesk does hire more people to fix this. While it takes time to do this I am falling into the camp that feels they have been slow to put enough manpower and talent into this. Part of this feeling is due to a nearby shop that has been and still is a huge fan of HSM but has had to do all sorts of things to try and make their new turn mill lathe work and this still below it’s capacity. For crying out loud they use their old One CNC seat for turning if that tells you anything.
But this conference session listing reminded me of the scope of capabilities residing in Autodesk and the tremendous things that can be done over anything SE ever dreamed of doing. That after all is my back ground and my yardstick for comparison. Would I personally spend twice the yearly cost of my permanent seat to go there? No. But I can see bigger companies doing so with solid benefits for them.
WARNING WARNING WARNING
If you are considering a rational approach to Autodesk Inventor CAD and CAM ownership you now have slightly over two months to avoid slipping into subscription only serfdom Hell. If you are at all interested you must act or consider going elsewhere. Personally I use inventor Pro HSM almost daily and would not be without it. But I will not EVER use it if it was under subscription only and I recommend the same for you prospective buyers. Subscription only is the only fly in the Autodesk ointment but it is a show stopper as far as I am concerned. The whole CADCAM market is undergoing upheaval where we the buyers are going to be subjected to fewer choices and over time higher prices and if these companies can get away with it really bad lockin serfdom. Act now while you can.