Tag Archives: Autodesk subscriptions

So, You Say You’ve Never Tried Solid Edge Synchronous?

So how do YOU want to work?

So choose, hammer or nailer.

 

Wandering through the SE forum today and ran across this. https://community.plm.automation.siemens.com/t5/Solid-Edge-Forum/10-Cool-Reasons-to-Start-Using-Synchronous-Technology-Today/td-p/420431

While I think the presentation is a somewhat corny and the items covered a bit rudimentary it got me to thinking of a few things regarding Synchronous Tech or ST as it is better known. For those of you who are not familiar with it ST is the very best direct editing method out there in the mid range MCAD program world. I forget that many have no idea of the power there and since I have been using ST since ST1 this power has become commonplace to me. I am accustomed to doing this and quite frankly any other way has become alien to me. I came here because I wanted to be freed from the shackles of straight parametric modeling and this is the simple part that opened my eyes just before the release of ST1. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6bk5-1sZ6cY

Using a straight parametric modeler and having no idea direct editing even existed back in 2008 seeing this way of working was a real epiphany. It was like a whole world of possibility opened up before me even though I did not know specifically how it was going to do so. In truth it was like the very first time I was shown how to make crude forming jigs for bending rods to make trusses with. It opened the door for all kinds of things that were far more complicated but based on the same principle. Both put power in my hands. Admittedly it was not until ST4 that the program conquered some serious problems but since then any owner of SE was crazy to not work with ST.

When I bought into Autodesk’s Inventor Pro HSM it was strictly for the machining program. CAMWorks for SE was a nightmare and I wanted shed of cumbersome tool path creation for simple intuitive and powerful which HSM was. Limited in what it would do but a world beater in three axis milling it was for me. But this machining program came with the CAD equivalent of CW4SE called Inventor and it was clunky and convoluted and difficult to use. So much so that after a few fairly serious attempts I just quit trying. After all why would I inflict such a cumbersome work flow on myself if it was not essential to do so.

In time this led to a conversation I had with an Inventor guru. He was asking me why I had bad things to say about Inventor when it had direct editing too. Which it did to some degree and I guess if it was all new to you it seemed just peachy. This was his problem and I had to explain to him that while both SE and Inventor had forms of direct editing SE’s was far more because of the intelligence that came with it, the range of things that could be done with it and the ability to work with imported files from other CAD programs when imported. I could work with them just like it was a native file. Inventor direct editing is just as sucky as their convoluted user interface and work flow. He was not interested in viewing the numerous ST videos on this topic would be my guess because after telling him about ST he never got back to me.

Running a user group meeting a few years back in Huntsville there was an SE dude there who was giving a demo. At the end of the demo two shocking things were made evident. One was that when asked who was using ST out of a room of SE users only one raised his hand. There were also three UAH students there and they were very intrigued with the idea of ST which their college instructor did not cover. Really? College students being taught SE but not SE ST? A college level course being taught to students who were theoretically being prepared to work in the real world and it did not incorporate ST? The professional users in attendance basically said they were all to busy to learn the new way. To busy to learn how to save time and become more efficient from that day on was my interpretation of the end result of their mindsets. Insofar as the college professor at UAH all I can say is tenured laziness bordering on incompetence since he could not be bothered to learn and teach the most powerful tool in the SE tool box. His students were shocked this ST thing existed and I was shocked they did not know.

To this day since I have been accustomed to the power of ST for so long, indeed it is the only way I have worked for years now, I forget that many for whatever reason have no idea what they are missing.

SE requires a different mindset to be successful and the biggest hurdle I have seen is people have to think in terms of manipulating faces or face sets rather than driving every single thing and edit with dimension driven sketches and planes. It was amusing to see die-hard parametric SE users slowly assimilated into the ST world. It was hard for some to let go of the old way which after all did work but when they were curious enough to finally try they to a man became advocates for ST.

So why if you are an SE user have you not made a concerted effort to learn to work with the greater efficiency ST brings to the table? Why would you prefer a hammer when on the shelf next to it is an air nailer and you already own the air compressor? For those in the Autodesk perpetual seat doomed to future slavery world and the apparent end of serious user innovations and improvements, why would you not be curious enough to at least try SE ST? Sold which ever way you want to buy it without Autodesk type belligerent threats to your future and the imports of your files will be far easier than you think. Indeed working with them when you get them into SE will be a true eye opener. I have had access to both programs the last three years now and I can assure you that once you leap over the learning hurdle any new program has Inventor will acquire its rightful place as the clunky offering from a company that has no regard for you as a user and customer. I chose not to further learn Inventor when it became apparent that it was inefficient since I had the luxury of having SE to work from. You give SE a serious try and I bet that will be your conclusion too.

I guess I could throw SW into this mix also but my experience with SW is VERY limited and I am commenting today on two programs I have owned and used in daily production. I suspect from comments received from past SW users and some companies that were SE users but bought out by SW using outfits and hating the new-found inefficiency SW is not as good for general MCAD. I believe from users complaints models can and will blow up with SW whereas in SE ST a proposed edit simply will not work rather than blowing it all up.

In any case SE ST deserves a long hard look from anyone who wants to become more efficient and profitable. At the very least look online for videos and have a look at what others are doing and think hard about how you have to work.

 

7-18 Update  From Matt’s blog today I find this.

“Synchronous Technology for History-Based Users

This was a book on Solid Edge, published using ST8 (~2016). It is 10 chapters long, in eBook (pdf) format with movies and sample files. It is free and downloadable, although you may have to give up some information to get it. You may find the book published under a different title. The book is meant to help users of history-based CAD understand why Synchronous Technology is a tool you will want to have.”

Solid Edge University 2017 Replaced With “Community College”

It should be no secret to my readers that I despise marketing departments I have been exposed to. Primarily the Siemens/UGS/Solid Edge and Autodesk flavors. Monuments to disconnected reality these marketing babble speaking jargon warrior paragons espouse their nonsense and never seem to realize how shallow and patronizing they are to real customers. The ones that know from experience what is under the hood.

The latest entrant to a select group of company shills would be Richard Runnels with Siemens. Now Richard may be a nice guy in person but his job description means he writes and puts lipstick on whatever his overlords tell him to. They pay him to be a reality distortion machine and he has to produce. Corporate executives for some reason feel compelled to pretend their customers are pretty dense and patronize them on a regular basis. I think the average CAD CAM software user is above average in intelligence so the disparity between what is said and what is done by big shots does not go un-noticed.

https://community.plm.automation.siemens.com/t5/Solid-Edge-Blog/Exciting-News-Solid-Edge-University/ba-p/408370

Have a walk through corporate verbiage and read the sad tale for yourself. Siemens has been on a mission for some time to set back the potential for Solid Edge sales. It is perceived as a threat to NX sales and the NX side has won the war against SE for all intents and purposes. The stripping away of the SE community which was renewed under Karsten Newbury and Don Cooper has come full circle back to the rotten days SE languished under EDS then UGS auspices. Yep the Red Headed Step Child is back.

But as Richard says we spoke and they listened. It is what marketing people do after all. Put lipstick on pigs and pretend what is up is really down or vice versa. I will say there are a number of events and based upon this perhaps it might do some good for sales overall IF it is promoted and a concerted effort is made to get the word out in a timely fashion. Once again it appears that it will be the VAR’s who will have to assure this as Siemens’ marketing will have to have way to many meetings to decide numerous important things and will run out of time before the events arrive to do anything. Well besides futile and useless meetings that is.

It saddens me however that Siemens never really got behind this University concept and the only major SE event will be killed off. Back to the days of 36 actual SE attendees at PLM World as I personally saw in 2009 I suppose.

It would be nice some day if these people would just be honest and say “we decided not to do this anymore because it is not important to us and we don’t care if it is to you”. Instead you get another talking head marketing expert putting smiley faces on bad things. The real sad thing here is that SE is genuinely going to have some real significant improvements this year. And Autodesk is doing what they can to shove customers away. But SE Red Head tradition rears its ugly head again and Mr Richard et al will see to it the anonymizer is the only PR thing for SE that will work well.

In any case there will be a number of local one day events where you can go and I recommend you do so if you have any interest in SE.

I use SE for my daily modeller. I have had access to Inventor Pro for two plus years now and it is only used to place parts for HSM. If you are an Inventor user and unhappy about the way they are going may I suggest in spite of Siemens marketing you attend one of these events and meet actual users. They are the ones who can give you the real lowdown on how it works for them in the real world. I am a big fan of SE and believe it to be the best mid range MCAD program out there.

Tip of the hat to Cincinnati Matt for the Community College idea.

Inventor HSM Pro and Solid Edge Update

As I sit here this morning pondering things it dawned on me that life goes on and it may well not include this blog very soon. Unless you have had a blog and spent serious time and years as I have you may not understand how hard it is to close a chapter of your life out. And make no mistake it is one and this one including my time involved directly in various CAD CAM communities took perhaps thousands of hours of my time over the past six years. Yeah it has been that long.

Today what got me going was looking forward to attending the 2017 SEU which I have been absent from for two years now. It is an event I was material in helping to get revived but after discouragement over Siemens jettisoning Karsten Newbury and Don Cooper I quit going. So as I decide I want to go this year I read that basically they are going to do away with this event. It will now be regional and I suppose much shorter and the networking that can only be done at a national event will once again die for Solid Edge. I had looked forward to seeing familiar faces once more.

I have ST9 loaded and have been using it for a while now. Like always it is such a pleasure to use the best mid range MCAD modeller that has such powerful direct modeling capabilities. I think of Inventor and just shudder over how convoluted and irrational the workflow is and the direct editing shortfalls so prevalent there when compared to SE. Yeah I am sure glad to be back.

My understanding is that for ST10 the new modeling paradigm, whose name eludes me right now, (congruent modeling?) that was included in NX last year will be in SE this year. I hope this is getting back to the leaps in capabilities SE used to have each year and away from incremental improvements that were nice but left you wondering why you had spent so much money for them. However a trip with Inventor reminded me that incremental improvements with SE were far better than the subscription Hell that Autodesk is morphing their products into. Or the 35% increase in costs by 2019 for perpetual seats with the loss of some features which will become additional costs to license what used to be included.

So Yes nice to be back. Hate to see the end of SEU once again though.

Autodesk. I was asked for reasons I can’t reveal to become a beta tester this year for Inventor. So I download it and tried installing it on both a Win 7 and 10 box. Did not work and I got to thinking about it. Here we go again another hassle just to get running and then more time to give feedback to a company whose operational policies towards customers I despise. Scott sorry about this but I am just not going to help Autodesk out when all they want to do is stick it to me and all the other perpetual seat holders. I am getting, no I have gotten to the point where I don’t care what Autodesk does because I am not going to be there with them unless they have a complete change of heart.

They are right now changing the lack of forward motion with HSM and have assigned a good guy to be over finishing what they have started and promised. For years in some cases. Problem is that with the new anti seat policy it will be too late for many of us since we are leaving.

Talked with a support guy at my Autodesk VAR and mentioned I was not going to renew. It was kind of funny to hear his tone of voice when he asked why. I bet he is hearing that a lot lately and it has to be discouraging to work for a company that seems Hell bent on ruining what they spent so much time to build up. Hey Solid Edge here is another opportunity for you to acquire customers. I wonder how all the Delcam victims feel? I know how the HSM victims feel and we are not happy.

This is my first post using Win 10. I don’t know if WordPress has changed their site since the last time I posted or perhaps Win 10 just displays it differently. Don’t you just love it when software companies change things around and you have to spend your uncompensated time to learn how to do the same thing all over again?

Anyway you have made it through all my ramblings for yet another post. Fare well until next time.

Autodesk The Evil Empire Chooses Extortion

Two things prompted this post today. One was a comment on this forum https://forums.autodesk.com/t5/moving-to-subscription/buh-bye-permanent-license/m-p/7020059#M1286. The other as you will read below was from #936 of the “upFront eZine” It goes right along with what people are saying on the moving to subscription forums regarding feature shrink and ways to raise the cost of staying with Autodesk. Two methods appear to be the way they intend to do this. Thanks a lot Darth Vader Anagnost and the rest.

Number one is hold your data hostage where their value added model is the pain of leaving is greater than the pain of dramatic fee increases.

Number two is to remove features traditionally a part of a program and charge you an extra fee to get back what you once had as a seat holder and if you are stupid enough to go there as a subscriber. The removal of Backplotting from Cimco inside of HSM is a perfect example. It can be available right now for an extra fee on top of the 35% scheduled increase of perpetual by 2019. So they snip customary important parts off and put it in a fee building environment. In conjunction with this is that they will simply stop expending as much money improving and bug fixing their products. Why try to entice voluntary customer payments with improvements when you can just tell them what you want? All of the Autodesk products I read about in the subscriber forum have users complaining about feature atrophy and increased bugs and time to fix bugs. Don’t take my word for this. Verify for yourself what others are saying.

In any case.

It is a self-evident truth that once a company decides that legal extortion is their business model customer consideration other than being an ATM has ended. Anyone who says they can’t leave because reason #1 #2 or #3 does not remember well. Mercedes-Benz left Dassault for NX as did Chrysler. There are darned few customers of Autodesk that have to deal with that degree of complexity. Siemens as far as I can tell is not planning to end perpetual. I believe this enough to have renewed with Solid Edge. SE by the way is doing it right. You can rent the program or get permanent seats. I have been with SE now since ST1 and my cost has gone up $63.00 per year. You can I believe actually rent it to by the month or the year. No mandatory minimum. Plug my dongle in and stay off-line so no exposure to confidentiality agreements breaches or hackers due to forcibly being online EVER.

It is time to make your plan on how you are leaving and not to sit here and worry about how you can afford to stay.

Quote from Ralph Grabowski this weekend ought to shed some light on how Autodesk regards loyal customers. http://www.upfrontezine.com/2017/04/stuff-i-heard-at-cofes.html

“At one mini-session, a consultant relates a story of how Autodesk apparently is cranking up subscription fees upon contract renewals. In the case he reported, the mandatory fee allegedly went from $4.9M to $9.4M to pay for “necessary” add-ons, like consulting. The problem, of course, is that if any firm on subscription says No, the software simply stops working with the next 30-day check-in.”

OK the big bully is heading your way with a baseball bat to get your money. Not ask but to take it forcibly of course. You as a rational thinking being choose A, stand there and let him beat you up and then do the same tomorrow or B, walk away with your money intact and let someone with far less foresight take the beating. You WILL choose one or the other.

Folks just a thought here. Since Autodesk has proven itself to be a master of weasel words let me toss this one out there. OK you perpetual seat holders can keep your seat after 2019. Now comes a hypothetical policy statement by Autodesk.

In a continuing effort to provide improved software and support to our valuable customers we are pleased to announce the following. It has been a real cost burden to improve our products and have to deal with two customer license environments over the years but we value your loyalty and have chosen to enhance your experience with us. Starting in 2020 we will cease improving perpetual seat products which will however remain available to you as long as you wish and migrate significant improvements over to subscription customers only. These new features may be available to perpetual seat customers for an extra fee so check with your VAR. Subscribers will benefit from dramatic product improvements and rent as you need to fit your companies demand. Autodesk sees the future and it is subscription and we welcome you to our brave new world.

Autodesk Subscription Screw U 2018 Begins

I am assuming that your arrival here to this blog means you have an interest in the direction Autodesk is taking with its software. I mean all of it from movie making to design and machining to planning civil projects. All of it and all users who stay with perpetual seats with the upcoming dramatic cost increases or decide to begin for whatever insane reason subscriptions with Autodesk.

What has been a position of mine for some time is that perpetual seats make a software developer accountable to users. It means quite simply that users have an expectation of improvements as the carrot to renew. If the software does not improve they can simply stop paying and operate for years. For users of Inventor Pro HSM any real worthy new additions to the CAM side have been lacking for about two years. The frequency of beta updates which gave users the benefit of seeing incremental improvements from many per year have dropped off to just one since last December 12th. Notably considering the dearth of CAM improvements a backplotter from Cimco is on the chopping block now. So add to the dwindling improvements and new features the removal of an important traditional one.

https://forums.autodesk.com/t5/hsm-beta-testing-english-deutsch/hsmworks-2018-r1-development-release/td-p/6998929

So this week 4-3-17 sees some comments started at the above link. I am going to post some of them here for a reason. Typical user comment longer than most.

Corporate talking head explanation that basically Autodesk wants to now charge for what used to be included. Remember Autodesk and their subscription future is purely a scheme to force customers silly enough to stay or go there to spend far more money for status quo at best and I figure it will turn out to be less than that. They are I believe going to subdivide out traditional features and expect to charge for those on top of raising costs much higher over program costs that have been the norm for years with them. This is a common thread at the below forum link where Maya and 3DS Max are discussed at length along with Autocad.

I want to compel you the reader to do more than a cursory analysis of this situation with Autodesk so I put these teasers in here in hopes you will spend significant time reading at length the material in its entirety in these forums. This is a common thread throughout another Autodesk forum. Mainly that traditionally included features that are needed are being eliminated so that they can be sold as add ons in the brave new subscription world. Remember that subscription removes your power over this and you take what they are willing to give and for far more. Sans significant new improvements of course. One of the powerful tools Autodesk will soon be using against holdouts and the rebellious is updating file extensions. You need the new Autodesk whatever to open the new DWG for instance. Just to improve your user experience and software reliability of course 😉

https://forums.autodesk.com/t5/moving-to-subscription/bd-p/2017

Gems like this are in there.

Softimage for Maya going away for subscribers.

Folks you really really need to spend significant time in this Moving To Subscription forum to get a feel for the future. Replete with lots of corporate psychobabble justifications and evasions and attempts to put lipstick on pigs. See what other customers are finding out and sad attempts of placation by Autodesk.

Next up is http://www.blog.cadnauseam.com/2017/04/07/autodesk-customers-are-still-revolting/

An independent blog that goes way past superficial in analysis of what is going on. I have mentioned BlogNauseum before but there is new info all the time. You need to catch up and stay current with information here.

Potential and actual Autodesk customers have a decision to make and it is unavoidable. You decide to revolt against this and seek an alternative right now while you can rationally plan your move you will be in charge. I figure perpetual seat holders have easily a year to work out their solution even if they let the software lapse. It will still be current enough. Subscription only people were crazy to ever begin to go down this path and they deserve whatever happens to them. Perpetual seat holders who think they can stay and survive under this new way better think twice. Costs will escalate for less product. You will be expected to pony up additional costs for “add ons” that used to be included. You will get fewer new features and bug fixes will take longer if they are indeed ever done. Significant new capabilities will be things you read about other software companies producing for their users. You will not be a part of that any more. Autodesk has stated their goal is to make your perpetual seat existence untenable and they are going to pull out all the stops to force you to leave that world and enter subscription Hell. You stay and you will pay pay pay.

I have to admit that it gripes me to no end to have sent in another years money in December only to find out whatever they do with Inventor Pro HSM won’t matter because it looks like I have to stay with 2017 if I wish to use backplotting. Autodesk has gone from class act to class ass in a half year in this writers eyes.

Last but not least and emblematic of the atrophy of timely fixes and real improvements is this. Brought to you by the New Autodesk Way. Keep in mind probing was supposed to be a working new feature with Inventor Pro HSM 2017 and HSMWorks to follow in short order. It is done in neither of them and there is no longer even a pretense of a finite timeline to completion. Just guesses none will stand behind.

Yes we put the Icon in there for 2017 and MAYBE by Q3 of 2018 it will mean something!

Used Car Dealer Autodesk Says “Trust Me”

I was thinking today about all the words coming from the poor Autodesk employees who are paid to defend the actions of upper management. These poor souls have families to feed and bills to pay and what an untennable spot to be in. So I see the defense of the promise made by Autodesk to honor perpetual seats forever still stands and they swear it is true.

Here’s the thing though. I fully believe the screw you love letter I received as truthful about their intent and here is how I am going to prove they want to kill off perpetual seats.

We all see the accelerated maintenance cost through 2019. What we don’t see are the costs afterwards. What I believe is that just picking a number, well lets say perhaps five or six thousand and skip the cents, could very well be the real number by that time. They never promised to outlaw perpetual but they did promise in their screw U letter “now we could see the way Autodesk was going.”

So you have these lawyers and they say OK you can’t end perpetual seats legally but you can end them through cost attrition. Autodesk has never made a commitment to cost contain increases to perpetual because they intend to outlaw them through the wallet.

Now Dave you have such a dirty suspicious mean little mind! Gee I wonder why?

Autodesk could quite easily come out with a firm commitment to perpetual. It would go like this. Yes we know the cost of perpetual has risen. But to you dear and valued perpetual seat customers we guarantee to you that perpetual will never rise above X % of the cost of subscription. So there you go Autodesk. A very simple and easy way to prove that you do honor perpetual and customers that have been with you in many cases for decades. I mean you did speak the words that said you value us did you not?

The proof is in the pudding. An honest man even if he is doing things he knows you do not like will tell you the maximum damage you are going to incur. You people however have no honor because you have malign intent. Real simple to prove me wrong by clarifying this. Put into finite numbers what is in store for say the next ten years. You do have the ability to do this since perpetual has been around for far longer. I do not expect there will be an answer though since once a thief is caught red handed at the scene with the jewels in his hands what defense is there?

Hey you guys over at Solid Edge. Have you started your leave Inventor promo yet? Might be a good time to do so.

Update.
Steve Johnson author of http://www.blog.cadnauseam.com/ has a post regarding future costs today I have just become aware of. http://www.blog.cadnauseam.com/2017/03/09/autodesk-license-costs-options-3-4-5-bait-and-switch/ will take you to it.

One of the comments to Steve’s posts from Ralph Grabowski is of great interest to.

According to http://seekingalpha.com/article/4051716-autodesks-adsk-q4-2017-results-earnings-call-transcript , the post 3-year price increase will be 60% for maintenance customers , and then prices will just keep going up to generate ever greater revenues. Here’s the money quote:

Amarpreet Hanspal: So there’s a different price for each year, when that three-year lock in expires that customer immediately goes up to the terminal loyalty price a little over – roughly 60% more in their maintenance price, and then they’re kind of subject to ongoing price increases that will affect with our long-term pricing strategy.

Autodesk’s Patronizing Screw You Love Letter

So today it was my turn to get the notice from Autodesk of their new and improved upcoming subscription only paradigm. I really wonder what goes on in the minds of corporate and marketing officers as they struggle to arrive at verbiage that will supposedly make us all happy. I find it infuriating that what they say implies we are so grossly stupid as to believe a word of their garbage. They cater to a market segment of people of above average intelligence and then spew utter nonsense like we are complete idiots

Read this duplicitous garbage I was sent today.

Autodesk’s Screw U Love Letter

Words have meanings. Intent has meaning to. These words say to me here is the lipstick on the pig now don’t you feel better? Please ignore that squishy goopy brown stuff you are laying in with the glamorous pig. Here let us spray a little “Eau De Verbiage” parfummy and the idiots will think what stinks really does not.

Let me extend an offer to you Autodesk in plain speaking words. I too have a profit picture and outgo equals less profit for me. I am not in business to make you succeed at my expense. I am in business to make MY profits grow and you were hired to assist in this because you offered good value for the money at the time. What is happening now is the acceleration of the slowdown of new features and the increase of problems with unfinished new features and legacy problems that apparently are not going to be fixed. EVER. I am also not willing to become a data hostage to people who clearly do not care about my profit margins or security agreements I have to sign with my customers.

So my offer to you is for you to go get screwed. I am not at all interested in sending money to thieves and liars which you guys clearly are. So much for the promise of perpetual seats going forward and thanks for the complete education in corporate treachery this little notice of yours brings.

You people who consider Autodesk for anything in their little subscription world have to be crazy. I can’t wait for these ethical geniuses to demonstrate cost creep to all those silly enough to become captives.

To all the people who work with HSM. Please understand I am not unhappy with you. While some things are slow to be fixed or improved HSM is a proven money maker in this shop. I wish most fervently neither you or I were in this situation but we are. I came here strictly for HSM and intend to continue using it well after your mercenary lying money grubbing corporate overlord execs run it all into the ground. Good luck guys and start building a way out if things turn ugly. You may never have to use it but at this rate I would not count on that hope.