Looking for feedback: Inventor, Solidworks, PTC, etc.
Close
Login to Your Account
Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 20 of 21
  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Location
    PA
    Posts
    561
    Post Thanks / Like
    Likes (Given)
    14
    Likes (Received)
    29

    Default Looking for feedback: Inventor, Solidworks, PTC, etc.

    I've been using Inventor almost daily since release 4, but have very limited experience with Solidworks.
    Most of my work involves design of machined components, small machines, weldments, and sheet metal design.
    I also do a lot of customization and automation of both AutoCAD and Inventor using mostly VB.net and C.
    Over the years, it appears that Solidworks has become more common than Inventor. I'm assuming that has a lot to do with Autodesks changing license / subscription agreements.

    I'm considering moving to Solidworks, or possibly something else such as PTC Creo. Overall, Inventor has worked well for me, but I really have nothing to compare it to, since its the only parametric solid modeler that I've used.

    I'm hoping some folks here can provide some feedback on comparisons between Inventor and some of the other common packages.

    In addition to ease of use for design / drafting, I'm also looking at what is available for integrated CAM packages.

    I know a lot of folks are switching to Fusion 360, but I'm not sure I like the idea of Cloud based software.

    Thanks in advance,
    btm

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Country
    UNITED STATES
    State/Province
    Oregon
    Posts
    1,701
    Post Thanks / Like
    Likes (Given)
    702
    Likes (Received)
    1976

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by btm View Post
    Over the years, it appears that Solidworks has become more common than Inventor. I'm assuming that has a lot to do with Autodesks changing license / subscription agreements.
    It has always been that way. Inventor was created by Autodesk (the definition of a 2D CAD company) in response to the revolution SolidWorks started 5 years earlier by making CAD software inexpensive, and able to run on commodity PCs. Inventor started behind SW, and they could never move as fast working inside the gaping maw of Autodesk. Oddly now, I think Fusion has flipped that script and stories from the trenches say frontline SW distributors are feeling the pain (oddly, SW was once called a "tinker toy" by the UNIX CAD guys the same way Fusion is now being called a toy by all the mid-tier CAD/CAM companies... history repeats itself).

    If Fusion is off the table, SolidWorks is likely your best choice going forward. It is the de-facto standard for CAD, and every shop either runs on it 100%, or at least has a seat of it kicking around with a few people well-versed in it. A few years ago, I tried to switch to Inventor, but my year or so with it was frustrating as it wasn't bringing anything the the table SolidWorks wasn't already better at. HSM Works brought me back into SolidWorks and it felt like coming home. It is just a better developed piece of software with a much more substantial community and development effort behind it.

    PTC Creo is interesting, and Creo 6.0 looks like a nice interface upgrade. Their main thing is CAD collaboration deeply integrated into the package in a way that is more fluid and flexible than what TeamCenter offers, which seems like a solid idea, but the actual CAD modeling doesn't really have anything very revolutionary. ProE has a long history and lots of dedicated customers, and PTC seems pretty content on keeping them on subscription, but doesn't look like it offers a great reason to choose it over better options (either cost, or raw CAD modeling power) if you are starting fresh.

    I'm biased here, but I would also look at NX. If you are into customization and automation, NX is capable of incredible things. It is basically an operating system of its own at this point. I moved to it solely for the CAM side, but have been astonished at how good the CAD side is. NX breezes through operations that will bring SW to its knees. The number of tools and commands available to do tricky things is phenomenal for solving problems other CAD packages simply cannot. The Synchronous tools will absolutely change the way you model stuff in a way other CAD marketing material promises, but have never delivered on.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2015
    Country
    AUSTRALIA
    Posts
    560
    Post Thanks / Like
    Likes (Given)
    33
    Likes (Received)
    132

    Default

    I have used auto cad a little, micro station and solid works is much different in that you don't have to draw lines true size you can do approximate then define them to a dimension or parallel, vertical etc. then drawing becomes fully defined. It also won't move if dragged and its a way to tell if it fully defined but it also tells you on the bottom right corner of the program.

    just learning it now there is a fair bit in it i like the folding unfolding of sheetmetal components i think thats neat and also drawing a line by a equation i think is really handy.

    I used to like micro station over auto cad as i find it accurate and does not do approximations on circles a circle is what you get no matter if you zoom it in to a large extent i like that, good for electric eye gas cutting profiles.

    The fellow above gave NX a good review have a look at that esp if he has seen more than i have.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    Tennessee USA
    Posts
    655
    Post Thanks / Like
    Likes (Given)
    311
    Likes (Received)
    380

    Default

    I took several classes in AC before moving to Pro-E (v. 2000i) when most of the stamping/mold shops were closing in 1999. My preference for PTC software was largely based upon having learned the drop down menus. They switched to icons a long time ago like all the competitors were using. As a contractor I've used Inventor, SW, Creo, and several other programs on the job daily, each new contract had me getting up to speed in short order to do the job. It's really all about your intended use of the program and what you want out of it. Each has strengths/weaknesses but are fairly similar at a low-to-mid level of use. They all do have different icons but they're either object>action or action>object in sequence. There is supposed to be a difference between Direct vs. History based modeling but I've no experience with Direct so I have no opinion other than there seems to strengths/weaknesses for both. Having gone through the various flavors of Pro-e/Wildfire/Creo I have to say that I'm a bit disappointed that more improvements/features haven't been made from a modeling standpoint. Most changes seem to be how it will interface with the other departments in manufacturing, which is good, but of little help to me just in designing itself. I will say that Creo seems a bit better at surfacing than other mid level programs. If you're mostly concerned with machined components that are simple geometric shapes and not blended molding surfaces then it's not really and advantage. Once again the tool should fit the intended purpose and expectations. I find that SW seems to require less mouse clicks but that's just a personal preference. Creo also seems more stable with large assemblies but perhaps that's a relative thing also. I find that SW 2016 I use at work seems to shut down unexpectedly more often than the SW 2014 I purchased for home use but even Creo had a tendency to abruptly shut down enough for others in engineering to refer to this as a feature nicknamed "Pro-Exit". There seemed to be a direct correlation to abrupt shut down and how often some of the engineering geniuses had "tweaked" the program. Inventor is/was very similar to SW (in 2012) and I don't think you'd have much trouble getting comfortable with making the transition. If the bulk of your work is used in-house then select what appeals. I did find that Creo is not used as widely as SW for the most part so if you have to send native files (I seldom do/did) there may be some issues with unattached surfaces, feature recognition, and a Ouija board may need to be employed...or it may just come in a dumb solid requiring re-work. I can't speak for the CAM end of things as I've only had to DXF out to water jets and plasma burners. The limited interface I've done with Master CAM (Crash) went without a hitch but it was fairly basic geometry and should NOT have had trouble anyway. Larger programs like NX and Catia seem quite capable but perhaps a bit cumbersome if you're not designing injection molds on a regular basis, much more expensive too. Every industry has a preferred program they all like to work with so whatever industry you're in or what your customers are in should be considered in making a choice. Stamping dies, tooling/fixtures can easily be handled by SW and even some surfacing as well but it won't stand on par with other programs that were created to have superior surfacing modules. Can't speak for Fusion or some of the other programs but others here seem to find them capable for the work they do. If you're doing 5 axis work then I have no opinion here either. Everybody has a favorite program, usually the one they have the most seat time at. To me, they're just another tool to get the job done and learning more than just one program will help your resume if/when you look for another job (likely). Oh and the promise that one program will fully open the native files of others....doesn't always happen. Hope this was of some help.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    Location
    Glasgow Scotland
    Posts
    50
    Post Thanks / Like
    Likes (Given)
    7
    Likes (Received)
    6

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by gkoenig View Post
    I'm biased here, but I would also look at NX. If you are into customization and automation, NX is capable of incredible things. It is basically an operating system of its own at this point. I moved to it solely for the CAM side, but have been astonished at how good the CAD side is. NX breezes through operations that will bring SW to its knees. The number of tools and commands available to do tricky things is phenomenal for solving problems other CAD packages simply cannot. The Synchronous tools will absolutely change the way you model stuff in a way other CAD marketing material promises, but have never delivered on.
    I can't emphasise enough how amazing NX is after coming from Solidworks, if you're looking to do scripting then it is amazing how much is open to you with the right licences. I know it's a small thing but I hardly ever have fillets or shells fail - NX just seems to know what I want it to do and does it, it blows everything else out the water for that.

    But... it's expensive and getting a dealer that wants to work with you if you're not a multi national can be a challenge, though that may just be here in the UK which is a very strong market for SolidWorks.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Country
    UNITED STATES
    State/Province
    Oregon
    Posts
    1,701
    Post Thanks / Like
    Likes (Given)
    702
    Likes (Received)
    1976

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by AD Design View Post
    Larger programs like NX and Catia seem quite capable but perhaps a bit cumbersome if you're not designing injection molds on a regular basis, much more expensive too.
    NX was way less expensive than I had been led to believe. Put simply - my NX CAD/CAM 3 Axis bundle cost $950 less than my quote for a similarly configured seat of MasterCAM, with similar maintenance costs. Of course, NX comes with absolute best-in-class CAD, while MasterCAM comes with whatever that attempt at a CAD system is.

    I got a quote for just the CAD side for my business partner, feature complete to what I got with the CAD/CAM bundle, and it came in at about $6k. I was worried that this would be some crappy lightweight CAD, but it isn't - full assemblies, sheet metal, drawings, all the common surfacing tools, full Synchronous, user defined features, etc etc. The only thing the CAD side is missing are all the really crazy Class A surfacing tools (X Form, Realize Shape, Studio Surface).

  7. Likes AD Design, Fal Grunt liked this post
  8. #7
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Location
    Medina OH
    Posts
    1,666
    Post Thanks / Like
    Likes (Given)
    88
    Likes (Received)
    669

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by gkoenig View Post
    NX was way less expensive than I had been led to believe.
    Interesting... will have to look into that further.

    I had always been told NX was $20-$30k.

  9. #8
    Join Date
    Nov 2014
    Country
    UNITED STATES
    State/Province
    Florida
    Posts
    3,337
    Post Thanks / Like
    Likes (Given)
    1462
    Likes (Received)
    1581

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by gkoenig View Post
    NX was way less expensive than I had been led to believe. Put simply - my NX CAD/CAM 3 Axis bundle cost $950 less than my quote for a similarly configured seat of MasterCAM, with similar maintenance costs. Of course, NX comes with absolute best-in-class CAD, while MasterCAM comes with whatever that attempt at a CAD system is.

    I got a quote for just the CAD side for my business partner, feature complete to what I got with the CAD/CAM bundle, and it came in at about $6k. I was worried that this would be some crappy lightweight CAD, but it isn't - full assemblies, sheet metal, drawings, all the common surfacing tools, full Synchronous, user defined features, etc etc. The only thing the CAD side is missing are all the really crazy Class A surfacing tools (X Form, Realize Shape, Studio Surface).
    Quote Originally Posted by Fal Grunt View Post
    Interesting... will have to look into that further.

    I had always been told NX was $20-$30k.
    Keep in mind- personal opinion here. I have no doubt NX is more "powerful" on multi-axis stuff... and when properly setup (from what I have heard), but I think MCX is pretty much good to go out of box (pre-2017 aka MCX X9, and earlier..)

  10. #9
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Country
    UNITED STATES
    State/Province
    Oregon
    Posts
    1,701
    Post Thanks / Like
    Likes (Given)
    702
    Likes (Received)
    1976

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Mike1974 View Post
    Keep in mind- personal opinion here. I have no doubt NX is more "powerful" on multi-axis stuff... and when properly setup (from what I have heard), but I think MCX is pretty much good to go out of box (pre-2017 aka MCX X9, and earlier..)
    NX absolutely wants you to do a lot of configuration to integrate it with your process/machine. Once you do, it is on-rails and quite extraordinary. It is also so deep, you can literally configure NX to do *anything*. The interaction between the CAM side and the post is absurdly powerful, and the post system is class-leading.

    The problem is that configuring NX is extremely difficult. Making an operation template (as an example) is a multi-step process where one has to go into a bunch of directories and configure really ugly text files from the UNIX era, on top of setting up a template part with very rote procedures to get everything just right. Same thing for speeds/feeds libraries, pre-configured machine setups, and even workholding libraries. NX is very old (1974-ish) and a lot of the underlying architecture foundation comes from old UNIX ways of doing things, and was expected to be maintained by old-school UNIX nerds.

    The upside to all this is that, once configured, the whole thing is old-school UNIX levels of rock solid stability. The downside is that actually getting all this done is a real huge pain in the ass.

  11. Likes AD Design, Mike1974 liked this post
  12. #10
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    Location
    Glasgow Scotland
    Posts
    50
    Post Thanks / Like
    Likes (Given)
    7
    Likes (Received)
    6

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by gkoenig View Post
    The downside is that actually getting all this done is a real huge pain in the ass.
    You can also buy preconfigured machine templates which do a lot of this work for you too, ISV ( machine simulation ) models, posts etc... so it doesn't have to be such a pain to get working. They can be pretty expensive but will also simulate every last little feature of the machine in the well done ones.

  13. #11
    Join Date
    Oct 2013
    Location
    New Jersey
    Posts
    1,041
    Post Thanks / Like
    Likes (Given)
    0
    Likes (Received)
    880

    Default

    Currently in the process of moving the high school FIRST robotics team from Inventor to SolidWorks. Inventor is very capable but in 2 more years these kids will be looking for jobs. Do you want experience with a program that has about 3% of market share or one with more than 30%? Not all these kids may go to college. A go getter with SW experience should be able to find work.

  14. Likes Pete Deal, len_1962, Mike1974 liked this post
  15. #12
    Join Date
    Nov 2014
    Country
    UNITED STATES
    State/Province
    Florida
    Posts
    3,337
    Post Thanks / Like
    Likes (Given)
    1462
    Likes (Received)
    1581

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by gkoenig View Post
    NX absolutely wants you to do a lot of configuration to integrate it with your process/machine. Once you do, it is on-rails and quite extraordinary. It is also so deep, you can literally configure NX to do *anything*. The interaction between the CAM side and the post is absurdly powerful, and the post system is class-leading.

    The problem is that configuring NX is extremely difficult. Making an operation template (as an example) is a multi-step process where one has to go into a bunch of directories and configure really ugly text files from the UNIX era, on top of setting up a template part with very rote procedures to get everything just right. Same thing for speeds/feeds libraries, pre-configured machine setups, and even workholding libraries. NX is very old (1974-ish) and a lot of the underlying architecture foundation comes from old UNIX ways of doing things, and was expected to be maintained by old-school UNIX nerds.

    The upside to all this is that, once configured, the whole thing is old-school UNIX levels of rock solid stability. The downside is that actually getting all this done is a real huge pain in the ass.
    Funny you mention that (getting it configured)... I worked, for a short time, in a shop that was all NX - design and programming (injection mold work) and even though it was much much better than what I was *trying* to use before without any setup work done, it was still very cumbersome on some things IMO.

    Example -

    finding a way to do a "force toolchange", there is a simple toggle in MCX, couldn't find it in NX, and the long time guys didn't know anything about it, it was an apparently new concept to them.

    Boundaries. Used for everything the way they used it. Very confusing for me, especially concerning depth cuts. I was like wtf does the boundary (in my mind 2d/profile) have to do with my depth cuts, or first cut. Maybe I was not shown the right way....

    Cutting moves / non cutting moves. Huh? How is lead in/lead out a "non cutting move" it is feeding, it is starting the cut, it is at depth. Yes, terminology and all, but it still seemed counterintuitive to MCX where I could specify easy enough leadin/leadout length, angle, tangent/perp, extend/shorten, etc. < Now one thing I will say, and maybe that is why NX is the way it is, you could screw your part up the MCX way of doing it, you had to watch or verify the toolpath if you got crazy with leads and/or extending or shortening the toolpath...

    ok ramble/rant off

  16. #13
    Join Date
    Nov 2014
    Country
    UNITED STATES
    State/Province
    Florida
    Posts
    3,337
    Post Thanks / Like
    Likes (Given)
    1462
    Likes (Received)
    1581

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by garyhlucas View Post
    Currently in the process of moving the high school FIRST robotics team from Inventor to SolidWorks. Inventor is very capable but in 2 more years these kids will be looking for jobs. Do you want experience with a program that has about 3% of market share or one with more than 30%? Not all these kids may go to college. A go getter with SW experience should be able to find work.
    Do you know solidworks very well? I don't, so this is frustrating for me. Is there a way to change the ..um... sensitivity of the mouse (not movement speed or double click, things windows controls) like for selecting objects? I am using an old version, 2012 I think. It just seems super fussy about zooming in and selecting a line or whatnot. In the drawings, not models....

  17. #14
    Join Date
    Nov 2014
    Country
    UNITED STATES
    State/Province
    Florida
    Posts
    3,337
    Post Thanks / Like
    Likes (Given)
    1462
    Likes (Received)
    1581

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by gkoenig View Post
    NX was way less expensive than I had been led to believe. Put simply - my NX CAD/CAM 3 Axis bundle cost $950 less than my quote for a similarly configured seat of MasterCAM, with similar maintenance costs. Of course, NX comes with absolute best-in-class CAD, while MasterCAM comes with whatever that attempt at a CAD system is.

    I got a quote for just the CAD side for my business partner, feature complete to what I got with the CAD/CAM bundle, and it came in at about $6k. I was worried that this would be some crappy lightweight CAD, but it isn't - full assemblies, sheet metal, drawings, all the common surfacing tools, full Synchronous, user defined features, etc etc. The only thing the CAD side is missing are all the really crazy Class A surfacing tools (X Form, Realize Shape, Studio Surface).
    In bold ^
    Yes, having used NX, Pro-E/Creo and others, the cad is weak in this one LoL. It is much better as far as solids in MCX9 vs MCX6 I can say. It has a pretty good set of tools for solids IMO (push/pull/move/trim etc), but has next to nothing for making a "real" print. If you are a machinist generating fixture models and whatnot it should do 99% of what you need, but if you need to send prints out to have built/quoted fugeddaboutit. It has no constraints at all (unless changed in newer versions), no section views (print wise), dual dimension, etc etc...

  18. #15
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Country
    UNITED STATES
    State/Province
    Oregon
    Posts
    1,701
    Post Thanks / Like
    Likes (Given)
    702
    Likes (Received)
    1976

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by alexdobbie View Post
    You can also buy preconfigured machine templates which do a lot of this work for you too, ISV ( machine simulation ) models, posts etc... so it doesn't have to be such a pain to get working. They can be pretty expensive but will also simulate every last little feature of the machine in the well done ones.
    Two sides of the equation - you are speaking to the post/machine/simulation side. I find the Post Builder and use of Tcl as the underlying language quite powerful and pretty great. The big downside with Post Builder is a lack of good documentation (a problem across all the NX CAM side of the house) and decent training material. Once you start to know your way around, the language and layout is very very powerful.

    But when I speak of customization, I'm talking about setup templates, operation templates, and tool libraries. This is all kind of a shit-show of complexity. In NX, for example, you can't just make a template and drop it into a folder the system reads everything from at boot up... no, you need to make your template (in a very fussy way), drop it into a folder, then go to an ugly text file and set load options, the template location, and some other data. All this happens in folders that are protected by default, so go undo all that and re-do it to maintain system integrity when you are done. It is all very old-school UNIX - a modern system, I should just drop the template file in a folder and be done with it.

    The same underlying complexity happens when you want to link a post to User Defined Events in the CAM operations side. This is *crazy* powerful, in that you can do stuff like customize your drilling options to map perfectly to canned cycles on your machine, or set up really crazy things like multi-head mills. The intellectual side of this is all straightforward, but the byzantine files and mods necessary is a huge encumbrance brought about (again) from being based on very old ways of doing things. It all just needs an update to be very very good, but I can understand how implementing all that is hard.

    One notes that the NX team isn't exactly lazy, and I know this is something they are working on. They have a whole new post processor architecture that is very advanced (Post Configurator), and problems like the stuff outlined above are on the list to fix. When you are working with hundreds of thousands of users though, on software that is over 40 years old, making radical changes is extraordinarily difficult.

  19. #16
    Join Date
    Oct 2013
    Location
    New Jersey
    Posts
    1,041
    Post Thanks / Like
    Likes (Given)
    0
    Likes (Received)
    880

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Mike1974 View Post
    Do you know solidworks very well? I don't, so this is frustrating for me. Is there a way to change the ..um... sensitivity of the mouse (not movement speed or double click, things windows controls) like for selecting objects? I am using an old version, 2012 I think. It just seems super fussy about zooming in and selecting a line or whatnot. In the drawings, not models....
    I use it nearly every day since 2013 for Waste treatment plant design, Currently on 2019 so can't help you much with that problem. About 8 years on SolidEdge, and 6 on Rhino. Still use current Rhino version to defeature parts from vendors.

  20. #17
    Join Date
    Nov 2014
    Country
    UNITED STATES
    State/Province
    Florida
    Posts
    3,337
    Post Thanks / Like
    Likes (Given)
    1462
    Likes (Received)
    1581

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by garyhlucas View Post
    I use it nearly every day since 2013 for Waste treatment plant design, Currently on 2019 so can't help you much with that problem. About 8 years on SolidEdge, and 6 on Rhino. Still use current Rhino version to defeature parts from vendors.
    Is 2019 that way (object selection fussy/crappy), or is it an 'old' problem that is fixed now?

  21. #18
    Join Date
    Nov 2014
    Country
    UNITED STATES
    State/Province
    Florida
    Posts
    3,337
    Post Thanks / Like
    Likes (Given)
    1462
    Likes (Received)
    1581

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by gkoenig View Post
    Two sides of the equation - you are speaking to the post/machine/simulation side. I find the Post Builder and use of Tcl as the underlying language quite powerful and pretty great. The big downside with Post Builder is a lack of good documentation (a problem across all the NX CAM side of the house) and decent training material. Once you start to know your way around, the language and layout is very very powerful.

    But when I speak of customization, I'm talking about setup templates, operation templates, and tool libraries. This is all kind of a shit-show of complexity. In NX, for example, you can't just make a template and drop it into a folder the system reads everything from at boot up... no, you need to make your template (in a very fussy way), drop it into a folder, then go to an ugly text file and set load options, the template location, and some other data. All this happens in folders that are protected by default, so go undo all that and re-do it to maintain system integrity when you are done. It is all very old-school UNIX - a modern system, I should just drop the template file in a folder and be done with it.

    The same underlying complexity happens when you want to link a post to User Defined Events in the CAM operations side. This is *crazy* powerful, in that you can do stuff like customize your drilling options to map perfectly to canned cycles on your machine, or set up really crazy things like multi-head mills. The intellectual side of this is all straightforward, but the byzantine files and mods necessary is a huge encumbrance brought about (again) from being based on very old ways of doing things. It all just needs an update to be very very good, but I can understand how implementing all that is hard.

    One notes that the NX team isn't exactly lazy, and I know this is something they are working on. They have a whole new post processor architecture that is very advanced (Post Configurator), and problems like the stuff outlined above are on the list to fix. When you are working with hundreds of thousands of users though, on software that is over 40 years old, making radical changes is extraordinarily difficult.
    Damn hit the nail on the head! I wanted to change the order of 'options' in the start events tab so I did not have to scroll through for coolant on/off (ya another stupid thing IMO, but I can see a little bit of usefulness having it separated like that, but I digress..) couldn't find anywhere, I was thinking it would be similar to MCX right click mouse configure or whatnot, anyways, emailed NX support was told go to *this* folder>subfolderA>subfolderB>subfolderC and open this "xxxxx" file and rearrange there. Holy crap I would have never figured that out by myself!!

  22. #19
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    Location
    Glasgow Scotland
    Posts
    50
    Post Thanks / Like
    Likes (Given)
    7
    Likes (Received)
    6

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by gkoenig View Post
    But when I speak of customization, I'm talking about setup templates, operation templates, and tool libraries. This is all kind of a shit-show of complexity. In NX, for example, you can't just make a template and drop it into a folder the system reads everything from at boot up... no, you need to make your template (in a very fussy way), drop it into a folder, then go to an ugly text file and set load options, the template location, and some other data. All this happens in folders that are protected by default, so go undo all that and re-do it to maintain system integrity when you are done. It is all very old-school UNIX - a modern system, I should just drop the template file in a folder and be done with it.

    The same underlying complexity happens when you want to link a post to User Defined Events in the CAM operations side. This is *crazy* powerful, in that you can do stuff like customize your drilling options to map perfectly to canned cycles on your machine, or set up really crazy things like multi-head mills. The intellectual side of this is all straightforward, but the byzantine files and mods necessary is a huge encumbrance brought about (again) from being based on very old ways of doing things. It all just needs an update to be very very good, but I can understand how implementing all that is hard.

    One notes that the NX team isn't exactly lazy, and I know this is something they are working on. They have a whole new post processor architecture that is very advanced (Post Configurator), and problems like the stuff outlined above are on the list to fix. When you are working with hundreds of thousands of users though, on software that is over 40 years old, making radical changes is extraordinarily difficult.
    Ah, that's beyond what I'm doing mostly, but I agree that the bits I have done have been hard going! It doesn't help that most of the responses on the NX forum are from CAD administrators that have been doing this since the command line was the new upstart usurping the punch card.

    Could be a nice wee side business selling those on though if you're making them for yourself already, I'm sure you could script the instal to make it easier. You could also make a script to parse a text file and put it all in the right places but I'm probably starting to sound like one of the people on the NX forum!

  23. #20
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Location
    PA
    Posts
    561
    Post Thanks / Like
    Likes (Given)
    14
    Likes (Received)
    29

    Default

    Thanks to everyone for the replies. This is all great info.
    I'm currently looking at Solid Edge, NX and Creo. I have not downloaded the free trials yet, but will shortly.

    One requirement that I have is the ability to develop custom applications in VB or C (using Visual Studio) to automate both drafting a CNC programming tasks.
    In the past, part of my business involved developing custom applications that could read in data from ERP or quoting systems and automatically develop cnc programs, process instructions, cad models, etc.
    All of the programs I mentioned above appear to have this ability, however, I'm unsure if its included, or an add on that I would need to pay extra for.

    btm


Tags for this Thread

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •