The End Of The Road In Sight

For those of you who have followed me for some years now here is an update on the future of this blog.

I received the two final codes today on my Hass VF4 and TL-2. Paid them off early and will type in the final numbers today when I finish this post.

The frequency of posts has dwindled significantly over the last year. Good things to talk about are far outweighed by the bad these last few years. HSM was the ray of light in a world getting darker until I decided it too was going to become a victim of corporate suit types whose interests differ from what I as a customer expect.

Bear with me here as these seemingly disjointed comments will lead somewhere.

I will be going to Dayton Ohio for a short job soon and hope to visit one of the old time SE users. He has been using Solid Edge 20 since it came out nine or ten years ago and has not felt compelled to move forwards. The shop has current technology CNC Laser and bending capabilities and they do just fine with software this old. They did not move forward because what they needed was not being incorporated into SE.  Now I don’t know exactly why but this guy is a sheet metal wizard so there are reasons. Personally I think the pinnacle of rapid improvement in SE was achieved at ST6 or 7 but then I am a complete direct editing guy and still to this day SE can’t do in Synchronous Sheet Metal all the things the Parametric side can.

So whats your point Dave? It simply is this. When you reach a certain level of competency in your software and when you have certain levels of capabilities locked into your physical plant what more do you need to function for many years?

HSM brought Adaptive to the world as the best then and now high speed tool path. I bought my mill with this in mind. It was the most profound advancement in milling since I have been cutting chips some fifteen years ago. But I do not see anything coming down the pike like this anytime soon. Nor do I need to acquire a faster spindle or IPM cut speed considering the cost to do so. Like many shops Fieldweld is not a production facility where the very last second saved is critical. So truthfully I can cut with current permanent seat software that will push my machinery to it’s fullest capabilities and never spend another dime.

Unlike subscription fools I can do this for the next ten years or so and NOT SPEND ANOTHER DIME. I can’t be made into a hostage nor can I be forced to work online. I have all I need.

Now this of course gripes the heck out of software companies like Solid Edge and Autodesk. Where for some reason I am to give money to them each year just because they have bills to pay. Where in Autodesk’s case they now want it to be involuntary and forced forever if you foolishly go there. The problem for both companies begins with the lack of desire to hire and fund enough quality coding to advance the product in ways that benefit customers enough so they WANT to spend more money with them. SE still offers permanent seats but incremental improvements and not ground breaking ones. I still recommend you get SE if you don’t have it. For those who have been here for some time though where is the new cheese?

Why should I pay for software that does not bring improvements to MY bottom line. I don’t give a rats hooty about SE or Autodesk’s bottom line. I care that what they have to sell benefits ME and compels me to spend money with them because my profits will increase doing so. These days appear to be over and I don’t expect Autodesk to do anything with HSM this year that will compel me to renew next year. I wish they would but don’t think it will happen.

As far as I am concerned if these software companies stop bringing new benefits to the table I need I don’t care if they survive or not. The answer to future innovation in Autodesk’s case seems to be to do away with big chunks of it by the creation of a chattel subscription model which I most earnestly hope fails in a spectacular way. It is a rotten and evil way to make money.

So, I think about all this and think about what I need and what interests me. Do I want to blog about companies that offend me with bad business models and a dearth of interesting innovations to talk about? Do I want to make videos that demonstrate software I no longer support financially for good reasons? The departure of Carl Bass from Autodesk does not help either and I think it is bad news.

Is it any wonder why private CAD and CAM bloggers have dropped like flies these last five years or so? We do this because we like the software and want to talk about it and the world it works in. A form of insanity I suppose to get this wrapped up in a tool but many of us chose to do so in years gone by. One can be offended for only so long before the love of the tool goes away and that is where I find myself today. In complete agreement with the many bloggers I used to read who quit blogging because they got tired of being offended and wondering when my time will come to. At this rate it won’t be to much longer.

6 responses to “The End Of The Road In Sight

  1. Hi Dave,
    You should do what’s important to you and what you have an interest and time for. IMO you have done the right thing to purchase your new machines and if you can run perfectly fine with existing software then why be a hapless hamster on a wheel.
    I foresee a time not too far a way of large turmoil and this also flowing into in the CAD industry – maybe breakups, bankruptcy, realignments. It may be best to sit it out and see what emerges after the dust settles. In the meantime why ‘throw good money after bad’ with subscriptions for little gain and new bugs? I am sure there are better things you can spend that hard earned profit on around your shop to make your work say more efficient/easier, the work more accurate/consistent or whatever.
    Hard assets is where you want to be, particularly in the US.
    If you stop blogging I will understand why. I must say I have enjoyed dropping in here over the time.

    • Hi Neil,
      That is about where I am at. I am waiting for the inevitable major CAD cloud hack and the ensuing fallout which will drive lots of corporate rethinking. In the mean time at the age of 63 I have all I need for many years to come. When I sell the business off someday the new guys can worry with new programs.

      I fully understand software can make you work smarter and benefit you that way. I have moved through Surfcam to VX/ZW3D to SE and then CAMWorks for SE finally arriving at HSM inside of el clunko Inventor. Today I see nothing that will cause me to move again except for the possibility of Mastercam. Harder to use and learn by far than HSM but does far more and their High Speed Machining is getting right up there to. Lots of trained users around here and that counts since I expect to hire a couple of people later this year. Oh and they have permanent seats to imagine that.

  2. Hey, I wouldn’t group these two together in the context that you use.
    “Now this of course gripes the heck out of software companies like Solid Edge and Autodesk. Where for some reason I am to give money to them each year just because they have bills to pay.”
    Solid Edge still allows for perpetual licensing and you have the choice to pay for maintenance the second year. I agree if you are not getting the software improvements you need, that effect your bottom line, you have right to “squawk” about it. But just don’t squawk about. Be pro-active work within the mechanisms you are provided to build business cases for new enhancements- like working with the SE community, providing case studies and data. All the software vendors need business justifications to build out new features and functions. Providing that type of support is essential to improving your bottom line- over time.
    Now keep in mind software is not something you can just build new features into. It takes time and testing to ensure expected results. If you don’t spend the time on QC for your software you will end up with a mess like SolidWorks currently has!

    • Hi Ryan,
      May I direct you to this paragraph from my post.

      “Now this of course gripes the heck out of software companies like Solid Edge and Autodesk. Where for some reason I am to give money to them each year just because they have bills to pay. Where in Autodesk’s case they now want it to be involuntary and forced forever if you foolishly go there. The problem for both companies begins with the lack of desire to hire and fund enough quality coding to advance the product in ways that benefit customers enough so they WANT to spend more money with them. SE still offers permanent seats but incremental improvements and not ground breaking ones. I still recommend you get SE if you don’t have it. For those who have been here for some time though where is the new cheese?”

      I might have been known for working within the community in years past. You might remember I was largely responsible for the resumption of yearly conventions and the addition of CAM integration with SE even though CAMWorks turns out to be a dud. Just jogging your memory here. But having been in the belly of the beast and knowing what I know I have arrived at my positions today and stand by them. Both companies today have insufficient developer staff to do what they have done in the past. In SE’s case the NX side has robbed the SE side of great talent that has not been qualitatively replaced.

      The SE community turned to crap when the NX Siemens cabal ran Karsten Newbury and Don Cooper off. You defend them and enjoy doing so I am not.Great product in a poopy corporate environment just like HSM is turning out to be.

  3. Hey Dave don’t know if you have seen this before but you might draw some heart from it https://youtu.be/l00hmxULOWI
    Really this guy is an inspiration and someone the US needs more of.
    He just wants to make things and very well. He pushes on through adversity.
    He is at the chip face.
    What do hedge fund hyenas want to make and how hard do they work/contribute? They do nothing, only raid and extract others money and talent for profit to leverage somewhere else. These people are parasites and destroyers of the good natured sloggers like Titan and ultimately the whole economy and even western civilisation itself.
    What do CAD/CAM companies want to do? As little as possible while extracting support and subscription money and playing a perpetual game of never never bug reports, enhancement requests and sniping at other companies.
    @ryan71 isn’t on the same bandwagon as Titan at all. @ryan71and the culture he represents isn’t going to be part of a new America.
    Rise to the challenge and make America great again. Do it from the inside and bottom up.

    • Neil,
      Very interesting and Carl Bass was behind some of Titans rise to fame. He is now gone and I bet Autodesk does no more funding of Titan. There is going to be an alternative on the horizon soon. What is being offered by ALL the majors in CAD is growing in complexity as they try to con users into thinking all that stuff is needed. I bet I never use 3/4 of Solid Edges capabilities. I probably use less than 2% of Inventors because it sucks. It is used only to position parts for HSM and very basic direct editing since that is all it is good for compared to SE. A basic MCAD program with good direct editing and sheet metal without all this other complex PLM blah blah blah and much cheaper will arrive one day.

      Fund Piranhas are a huge distortion on market reality. It is why I give Mastercam more and more credence. As of now they only answer to their private owners and if they are smart they will keep it that way. Very quite from Autodesk and I just don’t ask what’s coming up anymore because the emphasis is I believe on Fusion360. Which I will never use. I figure that there won’t be much for Inv Pro HSM users in 2018. The BIG NEW EXCITING probing and corner round chamfer 2017 stuff was pushed out the door by marketing woefully undone. It was basically useless and I don’t even try it anymore.

      Here is how stupid marketing is at Autodesk. Last time I looked the new Chamfer tool path only works on edges that do not have chamfers modeled in. Can you believe that? Does anyone in their right mind make TWO sets of parts just to use this? No we go back to the old way of doing so and it works just fine. But new and improved you know. Not finished but still represented as value. As little as possible indeed and this Anganost dude being up there at the top now for Autodesk dooms them to this mindset.

      I will check out the video later today when it is finished downloading.

      Ryan is a good guy just a little to koolaide corporate drinking though. It is the environment he has been in for some time and a bit of time as a job shop owner might change his perspective.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s