Tag Archives: Autodesk subscriptions

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.

Autodesk Enters Terminal Captive Rental Phase, Leave While You Can.

I enjoy reading Ralph Grabowski’s posts. One of them arrives every Sunday Evening and it is called Upfront Ezine. Today there was a reference from a blog I had pretty well forgotten about since my primary focus regarding Autodesk products has been HSM which apparently is not used by Steve Johnson.

He is a long time yearly maintenance Autodesk customer who is like myself feeling the customer love oozing out from the portals of Autodesk. Well at least one portal for sure. Here, have a read.

http://www.blog.cadnauseam.com/2016/12/06/autodesk-perpetual-license-owners-to-get-screwed-big-time/#comment-152761

While you are there read a bunch of other stuff from real life customers and users of Autodesk products. They keep up better than I do with what all is going on or being said regarding Autodesk. It is interesting to me to see that independently of influence from Steve’s blog I was reaching the same conclusions about the future for permanent seat holders and Autodesk.

One of the things that has disturbed me recently has been the encroachment of psychobabble adspeak words into the HSM forums. Offered primarily in support of why links do not work on new and IMPROVED web sites and why features are not finished years after first being presented and the pace of improvements drops considerably. When I start reading Autodesk people using words like “leveraging” in relation to failed websites and stuff never finished it alarms me. It is a clear sign of things going wrong. People who used to use plain English and were concerned about things being right for customers become supplanted by those who thrive on Autodesk first and only and customers are meant to be BSed to. Look people, when someone starts all this adspeak stuff who do they really relate to?

So I think of this verbiage tossed around now and what I have seen and heard in regards to the atrophy of new user improvements and functionality regarding HSM.  I think real hard about all the utter garbage from Autodesk I read today at Blog Nauseum.

There are signs in life that tell forward-looking people it is time to consider what is prudent and wise for themselves.

First and foremost I am loyal to my own company. Then I am loyal to fellow CAD CAM users who also for better or worse have to use software to earn a living by. I am not loyal to software although I am a big fan of good useful software. It helps me earn a living. But there comes a time where what was once good can become a bad thing. Or a thing not worth the price of admittance anymore since scant improvements do not justify yearly expenditures.

This leads to a couple of comments. Permanent seat software is the only type to consider at any time. Like right now with the customer unfriendly Autodesk ecosystem. As a permanent seat holder I can register my immense   dissatisfaction with the way things are going by simply not giving them any more money. Only with permanent seats can a corporation be held accountable for lack of new user benefits. I can and will work for years without spending another dime. You get suckered into subs only and you pay forever and over time pay more and more for less and less.

Let me ask you something. If you were a greedy corporate type and you wanted to have a captive customer base who had to continue to send you money just to work. If you were a greedy corporate type who wanted to do away with the onerous burden of having to spend money for provable new benefits to entice customers to buy and stay. If you were a corporate type who wanted to squeeze your customers (captives) for more and more and get paid before their light bill’s were what would YOU choose as your modus operandi?

Autodesk has clearly made the choice that you subscription customers are to be ATM’s. They apparently are also going to force permanent seat customers out of their safe zones and into the slave zones which saddens me but somehow does not surprise me.

The handwriting is on the wall. At this time I can’t think of a single Autodesk product I would recommend to anyone. It is not that there are no great products there. I like HSM a lot and intend using it for years to come. I can’t in good conscience recommend it to anyone though because the only way you can now buy it is  the subscription chattel model. I do not and will not ever support a company that goes there nor recommend that a business become captive to an uncontrollable  cost structure where the overlord can just decide they need more money from you but you never get more from them in return.

People all I can say is if you are thinking of going there don’t. If you are there as a permanent seat customer as I am it is time to make a move towards an alternative so you can make an orderly transition. It bother me a lot to read the stuff I read today at Blog Nauseum but it did connect more dots for me with info from long time Autodesk product users.

Time to let the Autodesk ship of corporate greed lose their food source and be starved into submission or bankruptcy. I would prefer they recant this ugly future for the duopoly of subs and permanent seats your choice. At this time I sadly concur with the fed up Blog Nauseum people who believe untrammeled anti customer greed is the way Autodesk is going to be.

Hey just for giggles go here.

http://schnitgercorp.com/2016/11/30/autodesks-fq3-shows-upsides-downsides-change/

And from this article I will leave you with this quoted paragraph from Carl Bass.

“Mr. Bass said that in Q3 the company “made progress on our two major initiatives: growing lifetime customer value by moving customers to the subscription model, and increasing adoption of our cloud based solutions. Given that this quarter was the most uncertain when we started the year, these are fantastic results.” He noted that “product subscriptions drove the vast majority of the new model additions. The launch of industry collections, the next generation of suites that include many of our cloud services, contributed to our strong growth this quarter. Collections are a great example of how we’re simplifying our offerings while increasing lifetime customer value.”

So you dear customer are now nothing more than an ATM and you will pay up and shut up.

 

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.

So Another Year Begins, CAD CAM Innovation In Decline

Sitting here and thinking today about the world of manufacturing software and coming to some sad conclusions. It is not limited to this sector exclusively either as basic things like Email and Microsoft Win 10 OS problems are growing. I think there is a cycle of innovation and periodically it waxes and wanes. Today we are in wane mode. Thinking of Microsoft trying to create the equivalent to the Apple walled garden where in time they can force users to do what they want as their main new innovation. Their goal I believe is to force all who go there to rent all software each and every month rather than buy an OS and use it for years as is done now. Their innovations will head in this direction and so you see chaotic Win10 stuff and all the IT people whom I trust say don’t leave Win7 if you don’t have to. These companies really resent you buying something once and using it for years and it is at the top of their to do list to end this.

There are problems that accompany this effort for users. I can’t surf the web anymore with either Firefox or IE 11 without recurring problems that never existed so frequently before. Sometimes Firefox works better and then sometimes IE works better. Sometimes site functions work right and other times it is 404 city. Check in later and it works. Software is becoming to complex and companies to cheap to hire sufficient talent to correct the problems so they grow. If indeed it is possible to correct and that assumes the current model is correct. What I believe is that it is like the Joint Strike fighter from L0ckheed that does not work right and will probably never work right until a firm decision is made to limit what this wonder craft is actually supposed to do.

To many chiefs and an incompetent in charge at Lockheed a bit to worried over social justice corporate policies and affirmative action over ability and making promises to government officials they can’t keep. And get rid of the “expensive” old dudes who know what they are doing so they can be replaced with young ones who don’t. But hey, it keeps the bucks rolling in and for the lobbyist expenses to keep the crony stuff happening it is wildly profitable. Short term that is.

But like the software programs where promises are made and insufficient staff and to many promises made to fulfill them by things grind slowly into various states of disarray and poor functioning. The customer gets it in the end of course.

What is really new in the last four or five years in CAD CAM? I mean revolutionary in its new found efficiencies and productivity for the end-user? The last thing I really got excited about was Synchronous Tech with Solid Edge but there to it is now refinements and not leaps forward as it once was. I really like using HSM and since I am not a four axis plus nor a turning center shop its shortfalls do not concern me at all. It is the best high-speed machining algorithm out there but once again how many years ago was the break through and nothing nearly as profound since.

As an aside here about HSM. I have met some of the developers behind this program. They are brilliant. I can only conclude in observations and dot connecting that the long time shortfalls in this program are because Autodesk has as it’s most important CAM goal the creation of a Fusion 360 robust enough to eventually force the vast majority of all who want to use Autodesk CAM products there. So that is where the time and money apparently is going. Autodesk has the money and ability to solve HSM problems quickly if they wished to and the existence of  problems going back four and five years indicates decisions being made regarding priorities. This is my opinion and not something I have been told is their direction.

Today’s corporate version of new and improved is just that. Corporate BS meant to use buzz words and glossy promos to people who either don’t understand the ramifications or even worse don’t seem to care. Like millennials who want to own nothing and have no ownership responsibilities and cant grok the future they are making for themselves as permanent chattel. Of course this refers to this cloud garbage whose sole intent is to increase profit for the authors. Fusion360 is what really started me thinking about this only “new innovative” technology out there according to the shills. I was very interested until I found out you HAD to save and edit parts with a mandatory online link to a remote server and with subscription only software to boot.

Now the price of admittance is dirt cheap. Just like the unlimited data cell phone plans were until they got enough people in and then expenses jump. One of the future ways I believe Fusion is going to gouge you is already in the works. You can get rendering done on Autodesk’s cloud with cloud credits you purchase. I have no idea what you get for this and don’t intend to ever ask since I am not going there. But in the near future you will see data caps for online storage amounts and it will I believe include data transferred to edit and update files online and then data caps on the amount that is archived online. This level will over time drop until they find the sweet spot where they start losing customers and then they will back up a bit from there.

Nothing is free and by then for all who go there leaving your captivity will be hard.

So the only “new” thing for the last few years is a big fat negative for forward-looking users. Onshape and Fusion 360 and any other program that demands online to work is tailor-made for suckers who do not care to research the past where mainframe compute problems gave rise to the freedom of power at your fingertips with desktops and precise control over expenses and outgo.

As far as I can tell the only technology push this coming year will be to figure out ways to make your existing customers captive. Cheap to start and then when you can never leave the price to play will magically grow onerous. Funny how that works isn’t it?

Autodesk Opens Doors To Second Pathway

This is the third and final part of the Autodesk And The Future commentary.

I have had to think a while for what exactly should be said about the direction Autodesk has taken. Keep in mind I believe that until forever has passed any existing policy can be changed including the wretched subscription model being foisted on future commercial users who are silly enough to go there. Will they change it without serious decline in income? No and if enough foolish individuals fund them and they think they can prevail with this plantation creating model they will keep going this way. It is all up to the buyers to stop it.

But there is a second group that does not need security, at least not yet. They will in time seek security when they get hacked or someone they know does. Or after depending on cloud backups with no internal self backups created they lose their data. Or for any number of reasons many of which have been talked to death. You either get it or you don’t and the world you live in will treat you accordingly. Funny how people who start generating real wealth begin to worry about protecting it to. This is the future for many of the current adopters of Fusion360.

The greatest fallacy of the existing current educational system is the self promoted idea that a college degree guarantees success. No matter how irrelevant the degree earned is to the real world. Promoted by huge lobbies that buy political favor and then reward themselves with wages (in particular at universities) way beyond their true real world worth. So these kids swallow the promise and get to go someplace cool and hang out with cool people for a while. Spend lots of money they had to borrow to be there and thus create their first real world scenario. Debt that has to be paid back.

Then they find out these educators who are tied into the same group that floods the USA with H-1B and other visas had no intention of using them long-term. The same group that trains CPA’s and MBA’s to send jobs overseas to save money and make better profits at the expense of the future. That world which then lives in rigging numbers for quarterly reports and not the future of the country as a whole. So out of school saddled with debt, brainwashed and then fired as they are forced to train their foreign replacement or the job is shipped overseas. Now they have a bright future as the produce head at the local Walmart and since their training was in a specific field most are mentally tied to that for life. Unless they are willing to walk away from it all and the vast majority will not be.

The system is rigged against these people. But having said all this I get to where I want to be.

The most striking thing I have observed with the adopters of Fusion360 is future proofing. I know these kids have no clue of how profound their choices are for their future. They see cool and cheap and making things. Yes Fusion is not as good as real established long-term CAD. But you know what? It is good enough to do almost everything I have done to date for a living insofar as design goes. I base this upon work I have seen done with it and not hands on yet. I am curious enough about it to seriously consider getting a subscription though. Well make that I am getting a  subscription later this year when I dump sad sack Hagerman as my VAR. It will not replace my true CAD backbone which is on site and offline and has permanent licenses. But it will augment my capabilities in ways I will in time be discussing.

Kids who have not had prior experience see things a bit differently. One of the surprising things I have noted is the desire to create a business and to be independent in doing so in the young people I have seen involved with Fusion. It is not a toy and they can make real life parts. With a Tormach mill and Fusion360 (and to a lesser degree Inventor) which is free for most of them. http://www.autodesk.com/products/fusion-360/try-buy. All of a sudden a real business is created for under $10,000.00 which these guys can do. What they can’t do is $7,000.00 for the mill and then $4,000.00+ for cad and then another $10,000.00 for 3 axis mill. What I am talking about is the creation of a future group of people who are being taught to be independent minded and forward-looking. Who are being taught to be creators of things and ideas instead of being formatted by educators whose only real concern is their own wages. Educators who then send them forth with knowledge and no idea of how to adapt to change it if things don’t go quite right. No not all educators but sadly huge numbers of them today do not care one bit about the success of their products, namely the future of their graduates.

Manufacturing has to return to America in a big way in order for us to survive as we have known life to be to also be so in the future. We have to be innovators and creators and makers. These Fusion guys are just that and even though many of the products I have seen are crude and simple they do exist and these kids ARE learning to put in place the whole mental process of stepping outside a rigid mindset and into one where the question is asked what can I think up to do. Unlike those with formal education who so often look for ways to save their time and money spent to get an education in the same field of endeavor they were trained in. The idea of throwing it all away and starting over is admitting defeat most will not want to acknowledge. So they slog on flogging a dead horse and train yet more H-1B visa replacements.

What the Fusion guys are learning is that if one thing does not work another will. That with tools of creation and cheap price of entry you can experiment until you find the right things to profit by. They are learning that the only limits that should apply are the ones you put on yourself outside of your own innate abilities mentally. Some people become Henry Ford or Bill Gates others peak at just providing a decent living for themselves. But they are learning how to survive and indeed thrive no matter what the economy does because they can adapt quickly to changing circumstances. It boils down to what can I do and not what have they trained me to do or waiting for someone to tell them what to do. The price tag of failure is not so high when the tools for creation and manufacturing can be applied to so many diverse things and merely stepping sideways allows you to reuse what you have for another idea that will work.

It is this whole mindset I am seeing with this group that fascinates me. It is primarily with Autodesk these young individuals are doing this too since Autodesk has gone farther than anyone else in putting these tools in their hands.

So, the second pathway is how to think and create and rise above limitations through developing an independent what can I do for myself attitude. In other words they become makers and free themselves from limits most people impose upon themselves. Lets face it the vast majority of people are terrified of working for themselves and being responsible for their own futures.

I remember when I left Chrysler how this was proven to me. I had been there for 8.5 years and by 1981 it took 13.5 years seniority just to have a job with Chrysler. Out of all the people I knew there only three did not sit on their fat buts and wait the two years out so Chrysler could call them back into their coccoon. One was a lady who went into Radio Shack to work with computers just as the industry was really getting started. One was an idiot who did not want to pay his wife alimony and the other was me. The common refrain was you have too much time in here to walk away from it all.  But these same people would speak in reverence of the tiny group of individuals who HAD left over the years and started businesses. Envy but no desire or ability to have to fend truly for themselves based upon their own desires and abilities.

Fusion is I think creating more than any other product outside of Autodesk a group of people who will be business owners and not business employees. Who will be making opportunities instead of hoping for a raise. Who will be at times perhaps temporarily affected by adverse economic problems but not see it all come crashing down around them. Who before the hands of traditional ways of earning a living got a vice grip upon their minds learned instead to step outside of the box and fend for themselves.

 

Inventor Pro HSM 2D Chamfer Milling, Tips and Tricks and some Commentary

Before I begin just some thoughts. It is getting harder and harder to find the desire to write about CAD and CAM software. As I become more convinced over time users are in corporate eyes just a necessary evil that must be forced into accepting ever dwindling software improvements and or subscription rake you over the coals gouging and extortion. That we must become subservient to their financial needs first and foremost and what we want is not relevant. The philosophy that good products sell themselves based upon merit and improvements is history with Autodesk now as they move to subscription only where any who enter in give up all control over their future and improvements will dwindle and costs will skyrocket.

OK Fusion 360 is cheap right now but do you honestly think it will stay that way? That Autodesk would set up a direct competitor to expensive programs like Inventor Pro HSM at a fraction of the cost and keep it that way forever? I remember iPhones and unlimited data when they first came out to get users in. Could you perhaps tell me the current status of unlimited data on your iPhone and what that might cost? ATT is $10.00 PER GB for overage. Solid Edge is in corporate Hell imposed upon them by a cadre of NX UGS backstabbers and is in terminal holding pattern like SW is until the overlords can figure out what to do. The days of rapid and profound meaningful improvements appear to be over and what is being done is in many cases window dressing or rolled out with drum and fife but not complete. (Will it EVER be complete?) More and more I think of alternatives like Ironcad for design as there is being created a great void of customer regard by the majors and surely someone like Ironcad will step up to the bat and find much greater usage.

Anyway lets move on with Inventor Pro HSM 2017 specific topics.

There are some good things in Inventor Pro HSM 2017 and some oddly half done things. One of them is the 2D Chamfer tool path. The 2D Chamfer tool path will not work with chamfered edges on a solid model. It works only with corners/edges without those features. If you want to machine the part just as it is in real life use 2D Contour. 2D Chamfer is great on raw edges and also has collision avoidance built-in but it is however a promise of things to come yet not here. To many limitations on its use to recommend as your primary Chamfer tool path creator at this time. Personally speaking it is wise to avoid having to edit  solid models just as used in your assemblies or parts files just to cut a part. Why double your file requirements when properly done CAM paths should recognize the part as it is in real life?

Another feature I had REALLY looked forward to was probing. Based upon what had been shown to me regarding feature probing on parts and the idea of incorporating it directly into your HSM tool path it was exciting to see. However the reality is that what is there right now is pretty well useless. It is limited to recognizing a corner be it part or stock only.  Further it will not recognize your stock block unless you create an additional “stock” part. The correct way to do this is to recognize the stock you create for the CAM plan as the program already has to recognize a shape to work after all but such was not to be. They are working on this but I find it really silly this was not done before any official release user ever had a chance to use it.  In any case in its current state how would it know where to find your desired setup block corner anyway? It is too quick and easy to use  your Renishaw probing routines built into the Haas control to do this. The probing icon is merely a promise that someday something good will appear but not today. Probing as it is in today’s HSM will not be in any use in this shop.

Thus 2D Chamfer and Probing both fall into a problem that seems to be growing with HSM. Add to this the really slow development of Turning and you wonder why they talk about something and release it with so many shortcomings. It would be better for them to knock off promises and concentrate on FINISHING something and then moving on to another item. It is like the problem of lack of user manuals to go with HSM. You wont find documentation for the tips I give below. Tips that can save you lots of time and grief. They have finally hired someone to do this but how urgent is the desire to see it completed I wonder? It is like a group of well-meaning programmers with great ideas and visions somehow get bogged down in the day-to-day world and all the promises and problems get worked on but few actually and truly finished. Start with A guys and work to Z but don’t go to B until you are done with A.

These are gripes I have but the core product of HSM has given me many trouble-free days of production and I don’t regret being here at all. I just don’t understand the rather disjointed development of HSM. I however use it for a living and programmers live in another world and get paid irregardless of what goes out the door to the customer so our goals probably wildly differ. I want to finish something so I can be paid and they see it as a work in progress where years passing before completion is OK and the paychecks come no matter what is not done.

As always now since Autodesk has gone gouge your wallet subscription only there is a caveat to HSM. If I did not like HSM I would not write about it. I do however despise the sales model it now resides in and you need to know upfront the price of admission here now has very onerous conditions. You have to wonder if subs only is partly responsible for the slow down in the actual finishing of features in HSM since the forever pay to play subs ecosystem means they don’t have to improve much anymore to keep getting dollars from their newfound captive audience. Improvements and actually finishing improvements can easily become avoidable expenses in this corporate model especially with corporate investment sharks now having a presence on the Autodesk board. It is going to be a very interesting year ahead for Autodesk product users as we see how all this shakes out.

How do you find information for many hidden nuggets of HSM CAM cooking gold right now? Well you often need to find someone who can fill you in because many key tricks and tips are not documented. However HSM has just hired a person to create documentation so this really problematical lack is perhaps now being worked on.

Now Onto The Good Stuff

I spent the better part of a day recently trying to figure out why I could not consistently create results on a simple part. Admit it you have too and it is quite frustrating is it not? Fortunately courtesy of tech help from the hidden HSM bunker I have some answers for you and I. Thanks Tim!

I have some of the tips below but the video will go further into how to use them. In general though I think it would behoove most of us to take the time one day to right mouse click everything as we go through a CAM plan and see what shows in the pop up menus and what these things do.

For instance you can right-click on a setup and select “default folder” option to make that setup the one you are working on. If you have noticed with more than one setup your default setup “work folder” is the last numerical one in the list. You go back to set up 3 out of five and you know you are there but unless you clicked “default folder”on that setup before you pick a CAM path for setup 3 it will default to the last folder where you have to remove and start over and ask yourself just how many more times will you do this?

I can’t say how many of these hidden nuggets are in HSM because like most of us I get to where I can make a CAM plan and make it work to my satisfaction and stop right there. After today I am convinced this is a big mistake and intend to look deeper in my spare time. Part of the reason I stop looking sometimes is the hope I can blunder through it faster than I could dig and dig and dig for answers that may take a lot of time to find. I really look forward to the upcoming new help goodies in hopes this will be a central clearing area for this kind of information.

Even a searchable tips and tricks section on the HSM CAM forum would be of help. Here are some chamfering tips that may help you.

For 2D Contour using chamfer mill and corner round mill contour click and hold Alt key and left click lines and pick lines just like you were climb milling starting at one end of chain if this is what you want and pick each line. On a part with chamfer features or corner round already on part click lower line(S)

Press and hold ctrl key and left mouse click to remove lines from selection.

2D Chamfer tool path will not work with chamfered edges on a solid model. It works only with corners/edges without those features. If you want to machine the part just as it is in real life use 2D Contour. Chamfer only at this time and corner round tools do not have a dedicated tool path like “2D Corner Round” yet
Here is the video.