Tag Archives: Solid Edge ST10

You Own Solid Edge And Don’t Use Synchronous???

Just some random comments today derived from the Huntsville SEU I attended on 10-17-17.

One of the things I have pondered for years is why the user community for SE is so small. One of the larger CAD bloggers and I have discussed this and he say’s that SE’s market share is far smaller than they want to admit to. Who knows since getting a straight answer on many things from a software company is an exercise in futility and if you do get a real answer often you are forbidden to talk about it.

As I was leaving yesterday I thought about this and for the first time I think I have a partial answer to tiny community size. I like many SE customers came here on a search for capable software. Unlike SW where there was a huge community of advocates willing to sway you SE had to draw the attention of serious lookers purely by capabilities. Yes SW is of course capable. But for me when I was shopping I went to two SW events here in Nashville to kick their tires. Both times it just seemed clunky and counter intuitive to me and the sales team was offensive. Big room full of people both times though. I ran across SE while searching for best in class sheet metal and kept running across comments about SE. They would say things like not well-known or not as popular as SW but had a great sheet metal reputation.

So in spite of all the cajoling to adopt the market share leader and adopt the program with the most employment possibilities I was looking for what would best benefit this one man basically closed ecosystem shop. What would work the best and the easiest for what I did was my question. This is a common thread with many SE users. We investigated and made software choices independently and not from outside influence’s like peer pressure and aggressive sales shmucks. We came here not because of community but because of capabilities and therefore community was not important.

UGS and Siemens have not helped in this area much and the proof this worked for SW did not mean anything to them since they did not care much what SE did as long as it never threatened to many NX sales. Therefore no community for SE to speak of today because it has to start with an aggressive corporate plan that is adhered to for the requisite number of sustained multiple years of effort and effective planning and promotion. Never has happened although a serious attempt at this was made under Karsten Newbury and Don Cooper and subsequently shot down by the UGS cabal.

Out of 32 attendees in Huntsville I asked the question once again of how many were using Synchronous Tech. Only seven held up their hands. To me this is just mind-boggling and the single greatest differentiator between SE and the other major MCAD programs IS ST. I did not bother to ask why because I have heard this before and the answers basically boiled down to we did not have time to learn to use it. Did not have time to learn once something that would save you time from then on is how I see it but what do I know? To me the very first time I saw Synchronous in use it was like a whole new world of freedom opened up right before my eyes. I hated the shackles of traditional history based modeling and ST was like hey, I can throw away the ball and chain now and start walking without dragging this huge weight behind me. I had no idea this capability existed but when I saw it I knew it was for me.

When I first started in with CNC milling I found out quickly you needed a CAM program. You then needed a way to feed the CAM program. The choice was working off of 2D like many were doing around here or embrace the future right away with a 3D modeller and a CAM program working off of surfaces or edges. To me it was a no brainer and I went straight into 3D modeling and never did anything like Autocad. I regard the power of ST that resides inside of SE to be just as fundamentally empowering as that choice for 3D for CAM was. I for the life of me can’t grasp why anyone would not adopt ST for at least a significant portion of their work. This is a failure of SE and UGS and Siemens to clearly demonstrate and educate users to the power of ST to existing customers which then in turn become ST advocates and create new customers for SE, UGS and Siemens.

I guess that my curiosity level is far higher than the average employed user. They do not want to be bothered adding yet another bit of work to the mix that they will not get paid extra for I suppose and so they stay with the familiar and don’t learn the new. I can kind of understand this mindset since production still has to be met and learning new things can initially be quite time-consuming. Owner’s or employers see work is still done according to traditional expected levels of productivity never understanding how much better it could be. Siemens UGS etal have not bothered to demonstrate this in any compelling way so they might become interested and so the single most powerful productivity tool remains in the bottom of the tool box where it never sees the light of day. Here we are some four years after I first asked this question of a group of users and nothing has changed.

Anyway have a good one everybody.

Solid Edge Huntsville 2017 “Community College”

Yesterday was the SE “University” event in Huntsville. Basically an 8 hour long way to brief and superficial imitation of the real deal which may have ended for good last year. I am not sure what is being attempted here and with the new Mr Big in charge of SE the anonymizer is back in place. I can’t even remember this dudes name and really don’t want to bother looking it up again. Suffice it to say that he has been assigned to squelch publicity and enthusiasm for SE so NX can garner more sales. In any case these little local events are not much and this is sadly by design I fear. I really miss Karsten who was active in the user community and cared what happened. This new dude no one sees or hears from and quite frankly I imagine SE employees wonder just what he does since nothing is done by him I can see except putting the annonymizer thing on SE. Maybe we should start a sort of internet game where you try to find things and see if we can figure out where he is and what he does for his salary. I have talked pretty badly about SE’s UGS and Siemens overlords in the past and still hold them in contempt. SE however is a superior product.

Saratech was the sponsoring VAR and as has been my experience with them in the past they do a good job. Of course they are there to sell themselves too but they are not offensive about it. I don’t know what if any help Siemens provided for this event although I am certain SE did since it was held in an adjacent building to the SE headquarters in the same complex. Sadly missing this year were any of the actual developers and focused in depth topics. There were no feedback sessions either since there was no SE employee presence there to collect it like was traditional with the real SEU’s. Thanks Saratech for helping this event out.

32 in attendance.

Any major design program has gobs of things most users will never use. The primary focus this year seemed to be on reverse engineering. I have not actually played with it yet but there looks to be some fairly significant strides forward in dealing with point cloud data and of even more interest to me STL files. I had a Gold Faroarm some years back and the idea of reverse engineering has always appealed to me. Dealing with collected data is not a straight forward issue and any help in this area is a good thing. No I have no hands on experience with this new aspect of SE nor do I expect to but if your shop does deal with this check out perpetual seat SE (yep I had to say it since Autodesk wont offer you this) and see what it will do. You need to find the right individual to help you though since scan data presents all kinds of modeling problems. The guy who talked about this from Saratech was pretty good so they do have at least one real user on staff to help you.

Sheet metal as always has been one of SE’s primary standout capabilities and this has continued to be developed. Better Synchronous implementation in ST10 and the ability to create parts in place in assemblies is improved this year. Sheet metal is one of the things that drew me to SE in 2009 from VX now ZW3D and I have never regretted the move. There have been times where I have felt the pace of improvement was not sufficient to justify the yearly fees but after a few years with Autodesk I know it can be far worse elsewhere.

Can you tell Autodesk is someone I would not recommend dealing with? Here is another reason why. Support for Autodesk products is primarily we will help you install and get it running. After that they have their hand(s) out for more money to answer actual software questions. I ran into a familiar face from GTAC which is the corporate user support group inside of SE in Huntsville yesterday. It reminded me once again of how generous the support options are for SE users compared to, well, lets say Autodesk for instance. I can also say that support from my VAR over the years has been entirely sufficient in all ways except for CAMWorks for SE which I quickly abandoned and never intend to use again.

SE is by far the single best MCAD program out there as far as I am concerned. Having dealt with Autodesk Inventor for three years was a real personal hands on eye opener to the advantages of SE over other popular MCAD programs like Inventor. I have been an advocate of Synchronous Tech since ST1 and since ST3 can say it was for prime time use. Inventor was SO bad and their idea of direct editing so bereft of intelligence that after spending some time trying to learn it I just quit. It was clear there was nothing there for an SE user and so Inventor was relegated to being a parts placer so I could use HSM.

I don’t write a whole lot about SE anymore and I have not made a video in some time. I take for granted the capabilities of SE and to me they are just there and tools I have used for so long I forget how powerful it is compared to the other stuff.

May I take a second here to tell you that if you have not investigated SE for MCAD you should do so? Especially if you are an Autodesk Inventor customer I can tell you life is better here by far and SE does not intend to turn you into an on demand endless ATM like Autodesk wants you to be. Lets see here. Better software, perpetual or rental options YOU choose and real actual support for what they sell you. If you are an existing Autodesk Inventor user you better be getting your life raft in order because Inventor is I figure going to be phased out and replaced with Fusion360. Ending Inventor is the only legal way Autodesk can end perpetual Inventor seats and I figure this is their intent. Both Bass and Anangnost have stated in shareholder meetings they are going to subscription only and this is the only way they can do that. Solid Edge wants you as a customer and offers real value and continuing improvements as compared to Autodesk who wants you purely as a cotton picker and chattel for THEIR benefit.

Solid Edge University 2017 Huntsville 9-12-17

OK folks you all know I think very highly of Solid Edge. It has been my modeler of choice now since ST1. Can I ask just where does the time go? Anyway if you are in the Huntsville area and would like to know more about SE ST10 you need to go. Of all the meetings being held nation wide this is the only one that will be in SE’s headquarters with many of those who have actually had a hand in coding what you use present. If you use Autodesk Inventor I would urge you to attend and see how it could be as compared to where you are right now. I have had both programs in hand for a few years now and would never inflict Inventor on myself as my principle modeler. You owe it to yourself to see how things are done in SE since time is money and efficiency is time and SE is WAY efficient over Inventors best day. In any case here is the info and the price is right to so check it out and contact Andrea.

PS, As you Autodesk types know Inventor et al is heading into huge price increases by 2019 and subscription only and in time an effort to force all to the cloud. Fusion360 which is the darling of Autodesk and what they have in many ways pinned their future to requires you to go online for allinitial saves and to save all edits too. You need to seriously contemplate your life raft or just where you intend to do design work today and tomorrow. SE has been basically the same price for me for ten years now and as far as I know there are no gouge you plans afoot. They also offer permanent seats as well as rental so unlike Autodesk they want you as a customer because it is mutually beneficial for this to happen. Autodesk just wants you as an ATM.

Hello Dave,
Due to customer requests, we have just opened up a limited number of free passes to these events. Contact me to secure your pass before we run out. Don’t miss this opportunity to learn from the best and brightest Solid Edge Experts:

Attending technical sessions to increase your Solid Edge knowledge
Seeing firsthand, the latest enhancements to ST 10
Meeting the Solid Edge extended team, and networking with your peers
Learn best-practices in design, simulation, data management, and 3D printing.

The events include continental breakfast and lunch. Attendees will also receive a free voucher to take the Solid Edge Certification exam ($99 value).

Tuesday, September 12, 2017 – Huntsville, AL
Thursday, September 14, 2017 – Atlanta, GA

There will also be prize drawings at each location. Prizes include 3DConnexion SpaceMouse Pro and Solid Edge wireless headsets.
Regards,

Andrea Hall
Customer Relationship Manager
ahall@saratechinc.com
Saratech
http://www.saratechinc.com

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.”

Matt Lombard’s Dezignstuff Returns

It is with sadness and a grin I see Matt’s blog revived. Happy to see him back without the shackles of corporate droids tied to his hands and mind. Sad because in some ways Matt’s departure and the ending of the multi day national event Solid Edge University represents to me the closing of the final chapter of Solid Edge’s foray into the user community.

Now what is about to be said is my opinion based on people I have known over the years who were in positions to be aware of what was going on internally with UGS, Siemens and Solid Edge. It also is based upon personal observations of things seen with my own eyes. Corporate can be so ugly and petty and being privy to what goes on behind closed doors is often more disgusting than it is a privilege.

Some years back the discussion of reaching out to the user community and potential customers was a desirable thing. The halcyon days of Karsten Newbury and Don Cooper running Solid Edge and actually caring about the outcome for both users and Solid Edge. They believed as I did that Solid Edge was the best and should become #1 in sales in its category. As an aside here after exposure to Inventor for three years and seeing how terrible it is compared to SE it amazes me there are so many Inventor users. Drink the Kool-Aid I guess and use a program that is far harder than SE to work in.

Matt was part of a plan to appeal to SW users and also give insight into how SW users worked, what they expected and how to set up SE to make the transition from SW easier. And of course Matt had a monster blog with numbers you would not believe and was the author of the popular “SolidWorks Bible”. Sad to say from the very beginning people in the PR departments of Siemens and UGS and SolidEdge resented his arrival. Not one of them had ever accomplished what he had nor will they ever. Company programmed droids far more fond of meetings to decide everything and then more to talk about prior meeting conclusions. Bereft of any personal initiative and eaten up with all the rules that say you can’t do this or that, off they went to slay this dragon that suddenly appeared in their midst. Make no mistake Siemens has a culture of meetings and don’t rock the boat and an almost petrified approach to progress. It is why the company is in trouble and is nowhere near as profitable as it could be. Self imposed paralysis and never-ending turf wars.

Like the one the NX UGS guys have waged against Solid Edge from day one. They bought SE for Synchronous. Something they did not create but could appreciate. But once you adopt the Red Headed B——- ya gotta work to hide him from proper company. They did this and the fight was constant. Moving SE forward was as much fighting against those internal corporate saboteurs as it was the market place where it is difficult at best to get people to switch CAD programs. I believe Matt was contained in a hermetically sealed room insulated from his potential market appeal and severely limited as to personal initiative. Something the droids hate with a passion because if someone ever did prevail in a big way in the personal initiative arena they just might look as bad as they really are. Questions could be asked and that’s a no-no. Can you tell I have nothing but contempt for these people? These people who have conspired to make a brilliant product be hidden from public view as much as is possible. It continues to this day and who knows what pissy little company droid was finally responsible for running the last vestige of the good old days off. Matt’s departure is the final closing of the make SE bigger and the community better as far as I am concerned.

Writing a blog when your heart is no longer in it can be difficult. I hope that Matt can find a love for blogging again and these corporate idiots have not beaten it out of him. Speaking from personal experience when you spend lots of uncompensated time doing something as silly as being a “fanbois” for a product you like and use it is discouraging when A, companies take you for granted or B, even worse conspire against their users which in my case means me to. I don’t quite know where Matt will go with his new-found freedom nor what he is going to write about as an underlying theme with his blog. I suspect he has not fully decided either but you know what?

Welcome back to the real world Matt and I wish you the best.

Now for the sordid Autodesk world as it revolves under the onerous hand of Andrew “Baked Beans” Anagnost. “Blog Nauseam” is the very best aggregate blog site I know of to keep up to date with the shackles of slavery being formulated for Autodesk customers and has been added to the blog roll. Steve Johnson is meticulous in his documentation of current Autodesk events and has tons of people feeding him information. You have any interest in Autodesk products you need to read his blog. While primarily about Autocad the slave owner problems are universal for every Autodesk customer of any Autodesk product.

This betrayal of a customer base is unprecedented in the software industry. Yes I know Adobe but they are far from being an industrial design build civil engineering motion picture studio tool like Autodesk is. Autodesk just needs to fail completely and miserably in this extortion effort. If you are currently a perpetual seat holder with Autodesk make your rational plans to leave. If you are thinking about buying into Autodesk think again. If you do go along with or buy into this new Autodesk world there is something wrong with your decision-making process. Willful masochism and a total lack of regard for IP security from forced online exposure comes to mind and you go there. I am not. The clock is ticking and my perpetual seat renewal is this coming December and Autodesk will never see another penny from me.

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.