Realities of Fusion 360 in a Machine Shop? - Page 4
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    Quote Originally Posted by wheelieking71 View Post
    "Air-Gap" and guard your Dongle with your life. My CAM 'putor never sees the interwebs.
    I am super lucky in that I have a back-up seat locked away in a safe place! .
    Christmas present from my last employer after he closed his shop. It pays to leave on good terms and not burn bridges.
    It is also legal because it was my name on the contract.
    My seat of MasterCAM is on an old dinosaur of an XP PC. That gets fired up maybe once every 3 years?
    Again, never sees the internet. Always works. Computers are quite reliable if removed from the net.
    Don't forget to replace the memory backup batteries in them too. They don't last forever.

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    As an ex IT guy my pov is somewhat different.

    Most adesk and others moves into silly subscription/cloud being mandatory, essentially kills their business ongoing.
    Since other providers have relatively low barriers of entry, soon better offerings from packaged sw (ms) and the os crowd will appear.

    Clever os packagers similar to red-hat will eye-candy packages they distribute for very low cost.
    This will kill more or less all expensive cam vendors and most expensive cad vendors.

    It is not technically hard to make cad or cam sw.
    It is mostly laborious to make it work across diverse setups and doc it well.

    Where an example like nx exists, making a similar feature set is relatively easy and cheap. Relatively.

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    I prefer extortion over ransom.
    Can you give me another definition?
    If I switch to subscription, then miss a payment, my software, that I already paid $20k for, quits working!
    Describe that to me as anything other than extortion...........
    I guess it can described like home "ownership." Even after you pay off the mortgage, the state can come take your house away if you miss your property tax payments. Subscription is like renting instead.

    If you have already paid for a perpetual license and they force you to switch to a subscription then yes I agree with you, but for anyone who is starting fresh and goes for subscription I don't see a big issue there. I personally don't mind the subscription model. It lets you try out new software more easily and find the best fit. I was really commenting towards people who worry about the subscription and the cloud about its reliability and pointing out that there are many ways for non- cloud software to fail on you like losing a dongle or your drives failing, theft, lost licence files. etc.

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    I don't think anyone objects to there being an OPTION for subscription, but taking away the option to buy and own is no good.

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    Quote Originally Posted by mhajicek View Post
    I don't think anyone objects to there being an OPTION for subscription, but taking away the option to buy and own is no good.
    Yea, something like that. But, not really.
    That was their original sales pitch when they tried to push subscription on me:
    "Its great! Pay when you need it. Don't pay when you don't need it."
    My response:
    "Who the fuck owns a CNC machine shop that does not need their software at least once a month?!"

    It is still one of the stupidest things I have ever seen in this trade.

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    Quote Originally Posted by wheelieking71 View Post
    "Who the fuck owns a CNC machine shop that does not need their software at least once a month?!"
    Wait till they refine the monthly sub into a direct pay per use subscription. Imagine having to pay for each posted piece of gcode. Don't scoff at the idea, they are basically on the way there now with clouds credits use for computation or renders.

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    How about pay-per-line for gcode?

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    Quote Originally Posted by goooose View Post
    Wait till they refine the monthly sub into a direct pay per use subscription. Imagine having to pay for each posted piece of gcode. Don't scoff at the idea, they are basically on the way there now with clouds credits use for computation or renders.
    I'll bet you it will still be cheaper.

    Again:
    Solid Works w/ CAM Pro Initial Price: $12,400
    Solid Works Maintenance: $2,900
    Total SW 10 Year Cost: $41,400

    Fusion 360 Yearly Sub: $500
    Total Fusion 10 Year Cost: $5000

    It's honestly just silly to claim that Autodesk is somehow going to jack up the price to the point that you'll be trapped with a gun to your head. They will probably raise the price here and there, but even if they double it over the next 4-5 years, their development pace is happening with such speed, you won't care - it will still be a complete fucking bargain compared to the (getting more stale by the month) SolidWorks.

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    Quote Originally Posted by gkoenig View Post
    It's honestly just silly to claim that Autodesk is somehow going to jack up the price to the point that you'll be trapped with a gun to your head. They will probably raise the price here and there, but even if they double it over the next 4-5 years, their development pace is happening with such speed, you won't care - it will still be a complete fucking bargain compared to the (getting more stale by the month) SolidWorks.
    I'm gonna ignore the solidworks aspect as it's irrelevant.

    Fusion has been developed from the outset to enable AD to achieve market domination in CAM. The vast majority of potential new users are going to choose F360 right now because of the massively greater perceived value. In turn, F360's direct competitors die off, or become easy prey for acquisition by AD.

    When market saturation has been achieved they will be under pressure from their shareholders to leverage their position to increase revenue.

    That's all fairly obvious.

    Now, regarding the rapid pace of development of F360; where is the ceiling for that? Surely it is already cannibalising sales of Inventor to some degree, and without doubt all of their higher end cam products. Will they keep developing F360 until nobody is buying Inventor and Powermill anymore? Two products that earn them more per seat than F360 by a factor of 10+?

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    Quote Originally Posted by gregormarwick View Post
    Fusion has been developed from the outset to enable AD to achieve market domination in CAM. The vast majority of potential new users are going to choose F360 right now because of the massively greater perceived value. In turn, F360's direct competitors die off, or become easy prey for acquisition by AD.
    -- (not specifically at you, gregor), but... Respectfully, is this any different than what thousands of other businesses do? We/some may not necessarily like it, but it's not illegal, and whether it's ethical or not may be debatable as well. Heck, I had a one-man machine shop for 38 years, and in what were my "specialties", I did my best to take over market share by doing higher quality work at lower cost... (market domination, as you would call it).

    When market saturation has been achieved they will be under pressure from their shareholders to leverage their position to increase revenue.

    That's all fairly obvious.

    Now, regarding the rapid pace of development of F360; where is the ceiling for that? Surely it is already cannibalising sales of Inventor to some degree, and without doubt all of their higher end cam products. Will they keep developing F360 until nobody is buying Inventor and Powermill anymore? Two products that earn them more per seat than F360 by a factor of 10+?
    -- But what if they end up selling 50x as many subscriptions to F360 as they are selling seats of Inventor or Powermill?


    PM

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    Quote Originally Posted by precisionmetal View Post
    -- (not specifically at you, gregor), but... Respectfully, is this any different than what thousands of other businesses do? We/some may not necessarily like it, but it's not illegal, and whether it's ethical or not may be debatable as well. Heck, I had a one-man machine shop for 38 years, and in what were my "specialties", I did my best to take over market share by doing higher quality work at lower cost... (market domination, as you would call it).
    From a business perspective it makes perfect sense. That's not really the point of the argument. The point is that AD are pushing hard towards market dominance, and many people seem certain that AD won't leverage an advantage when they have it, to the point that they are quick to tell the rest of us that WE are being foolish for NOT trusting AD. That makes no sense to me. AD have form, and F360 being good for the consumer is either a massive U-turn in AD's business ethics, or a strategic move to gain them a position of strength in the market. Which is more likely?

    Quote Originally Posted by precisionmetal View Post
    -- But what if they end up selling 50x as many subscriptions to F360 as they are selling seats of Inventor or Powermill?
    That is an extension of my query. Who knows? I expect they probably already are, at least in the case of Powermill.

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    Quote Originally Posted by gregormarwick View Post
    From a business perspective it makes perfect sense. That's not really the point of the argument. The point is that AD are pushing hard towards market dominance, and many people seem certain that AD won't leverage an advantage when they have it, to the point that they are quick to tell the rest of us that WE are being foolish for NOT trusting AD. That makes no sense to me. AD have form, and F360 being good for the consumer is either a massive U-turn in AD's business ethics, or a strategic move to gain them a position of strength in the market. Which is more likely?
    I don't trust AD as far as I can throw them!

    What I do trust is the free market. This is a zero marginal cost industry where the expenses for a company to license a new seat of their software is zero. The only thing keeping the price of NX or SolidWorks so absurdly high is a business decision on their part, coupled with existing VAR relationships and a potentially pissed off customer base (this thread is proof of how pissed off people get when a company lowers the price of a piece of software they recently invested heavily in).

    Fusion is no longer a toy to be laughed at. More and more "real" work is getting done with it, and the impact is beginning to show up against SolidWorks and MasterCAM. SW is now upgrading every new seat sold one full tier and they recently panic partnered to throw 3rd party CAM onboard. MasterCAM executives were openly saying Fusion is their biggest threat at IMTS, and that they were going to step up "innovation" to compete (translation: we fucked!). Probably doesn't help that Autodesk has dialed in factory posts for Haas machines and is going as far as to fly out to every big HFO event and program the demos.

    My hope is that the next 24 months has Fusion put a *serious* hurt on SolidWorks and MasterCAM, to the point that they dramatically lower their prices to compete. Yes, they will always be at a premium price compared to Fusion, but the 8X cost differential over 10 years is simply absurd, and they know it.

    Even if you hate Fusion and Autodesk, you all are going to have to thank them in 3-5 years when you're bill for very advanced CAD/CAM software will be 1/5th what it is now.

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    Quote Originally Posted by gkoenig View Post
    I don't trust AD as far as I can throw them!

    What I do trust is the free market. This is a zero marginal cost industry where the expenses for a company to license a new seat of their software is zero. The only thing keeping the price of NX or SolidWorks so absurdly high is a business decision on their part, coupled with existing VAR relationships and a potentially pissed off customer base (this thread is proof of how pissed off people get when a company lowers the price of a piece of software they recently invested heavily in).

    Fusion is no longer a toy to be laughed at. More and more "real" work is getting done with it, and the impact is beginning to show up against SolidWorks and MasterCAM. SW is now upgrading every new seat sold one full tier and they recently panic partnered to throw 3rd party CAM onboard. MasterCAM executives were openly saying Fusion is their biggest threat at IMTS, and that they were going to step up "innovation" to compete (translation: we fucked!). Probably doesn't help that Autodesk has dialed in factory posts for Haas machines and is going as far as to fly out to every big HFO event and program the demos.

    My hope is that the next 24 months has Fusion put a *serious* hurt on SolidWorks and MasterCAM, to the point that they dramatically lower their prices to compete. Yes, they will always be at a premium price compared to Fusion, but the 8X cost differential over 10 years is simply absurd, and they know it.

    Even if you hate Fusion and Autodesk, you all are going to have to thank them in 3-5 years when you're bill for very advanced CAD/CAM software will be 1/5th what it is now.
    I believe everything in this response is pretty accurate.
    And, had AutoDICKs not bought out Delcam, I wouldn't give two shits. But, they did..................(and, I know why)

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    Quote Originally Posted by gkoenig View Post
    My hope is that the next 24 months has Fusion put a *serious* hurt on SolidWorks and MasterCAM, to the point that they dramatically lower their prices to compete. Yes, they will always be at a premium price compared to Fusion, but the 8X cost differential over 10 years is simply absurd, and they know it.

    Even if you hate Fusion and Autodesk, you all are going to have to thank them in 3-5 years when you're bill for very advanced CAD/CAM software will be 1/5th what it is now.
    That's a nice thought, but pragmatically there is going to be a very real limit to how effectively the existing big players can compete. Do you think Mastercam would survive if their revenue was cut by 80%?

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    Quote Originally Posted by gregormarwick View Post

    Now, regarding the rapid pace of development of F360; where is the ceiling for that?
    I will never understand how some people can't get that simple concept. They are all at an awe for the "rapid pace of development", but when you start from an etch-A-sketch level, you have
    nowhere to go but up.
    Of course they are rapidly developing the product, only to be still years behind their very own.





    Quote Originally Posted by gregormarwick View Post

    Surely it is already cannibalising sales of Inventor to some degree, and without doubt all of their higher end cam products. Will they keep developing F360 until nobody is buying Inventor and Powermill anymore? Two products that earn them more per seat than F360 by a factor of 10+?

    That's all fairly obvious.
    When market saturation has been achieved they will be under pressure from their shareholders to leverage their position to increase revenue.
    Sorry, I've changed the wording order as that is exactly what I see happening in the future.
    Though I can't see them dropping Inventor anytime soon, some of the outlier products OTOH are pretty much destined to go.
    Maybe not next year or the one after, but development has already crawled nearly to a halt on FC, Partmaker dead, and so are a host of other products ADSK has acquired, integrated, only to be
    discarded without warning.

    To me it seems like having 4 children, and chopping off bits and pieces from the older ones to feed the infant.

    One interesting sidenote ( though I understand lots of folks hate AutoCAD )
    It seems like they are not attacking that line of product with a ten foot pole, most certainly not with Fusion.
    Though it is regarded by many as a geriatric product not worthy of any effort, it is still developed, nurtured and used by a shit ton of disciplines exclusively.
    ACAD still has the original menus ( though the ribbon is available ), it still has the command line and is still available for 32bit OS-s.
    With all the hooplah about Fusion and stuff, the Autocad applecart is just not getting kicked over and it's users are still well catered to. ( subscription-only notwithstanding )

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    Quote Originally Posted by gregormarwick View Post
    That's a nice thought, but pragmatically there is going to be a very real limit to how effectively the existing big players can compete. Do you think Mastercam would survive if their revenue was cut by 80%?
    That's a really good point. So in effect, this could cause an increase in the top tier softwares price which would carry over into the complex parts/programs they create costing more....or these top tier companies releasing a 'dumbed down' version to compete with Fusion. I'd bet on the latter.

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    Quote Originally Posted by gkoenig View Post

    My hope is that the next 24 months has Fusion put a *serious* hurt on SolidWorks and MasterCAM, to the point that they dramatically lower their prices to compete. Yes, they will always be at a premium price compared to Fusion, but the 8X cost differential over 10 years is simply absurd, and they know it.

    .
    Why do you hope that?
    Don't get me wrong, I have no financial interest in the well being of either MasterCam, Dassault, Gibbs or any of the others, but this discussion - or this sidetrack anyway - has little to do with them.
    The discussion boils down to:

    Is Fusion a viable product in a mfg environment? Yes to a certain degree, but it is not (yet) capable to replace any of it's mature competitors.
    Is fusion developing at a rapid pace? Yes, but that development is primarily funded by it's far more mature siblings.
    Will Fusion remain the low cost replacement when those mature siblings run out of milk? Hell No, but keep dreaming.
    Will we ( the users ) be better off when some of the competition will be either extinct or absorbed? Absolutely not!

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    Quote Originally Posted by gregormarwick View Post
    I'm gonna ignore the solidworks aspect as it's irrelevant.

    Fusion has been developed from the outset to enable AD to achieve market domination in CAM. The vast majority of potential new users are going to choose F360 right now because of the massively greater perceived value. In turn, F360's direct competitors die off, or become easy prey for acquisition by AD.

    When market saturation has been achieved they will be under pressure from their shareholders to leverage their position to increase revenue.

    That's all fairly obvious.
    That's what it seems like to me also.

    "But it's only $500!" Yeah, because it isn't fully functional compared to the other high-end systems? You're getting a cheap deal to beta test their software as they develop it and find bugs for them.

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    Quote Originally Posted by gregormarwick View Post
    That's a nice thought, but pragmatically there is going to be a very real limit to how effectively the existing big players can compete. Do you think Mastercam would survive if their revenue was cut by 80%?
    Yes, I think they would do just fine.

    Primarily? And this is the unmentioned factor in this entire discussion, half the revenue for software is going to the VAR.

    Part of Autodesk's dramatic Fusion pricing is the business model, but over 50% of it is because Autodesk sells it online, with instant access, with no sales staff and no reseller taking a keystone. They have no sales staff. They have no complex accounting staff (for sales, not internally for the business). They have no huge cadre of trainers holding classes. They have no phone support. They have a handful of people making content that goes on YouTube, and the development team goes on the forums to answer questions and get input directly.

    In a world of Google and YouTube, the V in VAR has basically plummeted down to zero, and so Autodesk has ditched it with Fusion.

    So the real question is - could MasterCAM lower the price of their software by 75%? Absolutely! The user base would likely double overnight as folks with older seats that haven't been updated in 5-10 years decide to reinvest, folks who want to get ahed would collectively buy thousands of seats so they could up their skills, shops with 1-2 seats shared amongst a larger staff would move to having one seat per user. The dramatic price reduction would lead to double or tripling the install base over 3-5 years.

    The problem is that these guys all need to ditch their VAR contracts, which is why I am hoping for Fusion to put a real hurt on them - it's the way out of that business model. If the numbers fall as hard as I think they are going to fall, I'm assuming most of the VAR contracts have clauses that dissolve the relationship if minimum revenue expectations aren't met, and that dead weight can be culled.

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    Fusion has been developed from the outset to enable AD to achieve market domination in CAM. The vast majority of potential new users are going to choose F360 right now because of the massively greater perceived value. In turn, F360's direct competitors die off, or become easy prey for acquisition by AD.
    I'm not sure I would agree with your premise. If someone went to the Autodesk execs and said they wanted funding to make a brand new product catered to job shops, I doubt it would ever get green lighted. It's a pretty small pond, compared to CAD as a whole, that's crowded with a ton of competition.

    Here, everyone has a tendency to compare Fusion 360 to other CAM products, like MasterCAM, EdgeCAM, GibbsCAM, etc. However, Fusion is not a CAM product that does some CAD, like those other products; it's a CAD product that includes CAM, rendering, simulation, etc. You need to compare its success to other CAD products like Inventor, SolidWorks, SolidEdge, etc.

    In one sense, Autodesk has done a remarkable thing, with their HSMWorks acquisition, their tuned post library, and their online community (videos, training, webinars, etc), they have made Fusion 360 probably the best value in CNC machining for a large percentage of job shops; value in software cost, value in training availability, value in getting a working post. I believe there have been public presentations that showed a fairly high percentage of Fusion users use the CAM functionality.

    But that's also the dual edge sword. Looking at products like SolidWorks, Catia, NX - the amount of CAD seats that are also used for CAM is a pretty small percentage. Since Fusion's percentage of seats used for CAM is higher shows that the CAM is possibly a bit more mature, and that the CAD growth has not been in line with industry percentages, or living up to its potential. The question of course is if Fusion sees some market share growth because of CAM, but not similar growth in all the other areas (CAD, simulation, rendering, etc) will it stick around?

    My hope is that the next 24 months has Fusion put a *serious* hurt on SolidWorks and MasterCAM, to the point that they dramatically lower their prices to compete. Yes, they will always be at a premium price compared to Fusion, but the 8X cost differential over 10 years is simply absurd, and they know it.
    I think if you have a product that has a couple million of seats out there, it may be easier to charge less. Most CAM systems are in the thousands or tens of thousands. MasterCAM, as the largest, claims to have 200K installed seats, compared to over 3 million SolidWorks seats. Development costs for advanced CAM are pretty high. I am not convinced large price drops are really viable long term, or maybe it would weed out the weaker competitors (weaker financially, not necessarily functionally)

    Primarily? And this is the unmentioned factor in this entire discussion, half the revenue for software is going to the VAR.

    Part of Autodesk's dramatic Fusion pricing is the business model, but over 50% of it is because Autodesk sells it online, with instant access, with no sales staff and no reseller taking a keystone. They have no sales staff.
    I will agree the role of the VAR has changed, especially at the low end however:

    (1) If you think Autodesk does not have inside sales people along with applications engineers to help (in their Denver hub) following up on evals, you are mistaken. If you think Autodesk has not used geographic sales persons, and charged them to sell Fusion, you are mistaken. On top of that, they have evangelists most CAM companies do not have, a higher number of people making content than CAM companies, more marketing people and a larger marketing budget than other CAM companies. Their costs are much higher than you may think, despite being more digital.

    (2) The positive of VAR's is they take away some of your risk. MasterCAM did VAR's well back in the day, if you look at the country, there are pockets where one CAM product is popular, and another product is popular somewhere else. That's the work of the good VARs (not all were good). Without the VAR, you have to hire more sales persons, more engineers, open regional offices. Suddenly you're paying more salaries, more bonuses, more in health care, etc.
    Downside of a VAR is you can't control how much they focus on selling your product. If you do the math, it's probably more of a wash than people think. New upstarts have to consider VAR's, if online selling is not an option, because the costs of building a sales organization is high.

    Times are different, there are fewer new shops looking for their first CAM seat. CAM sales are for new seats at existing customers, companies upgrading from one product to another, and the oddball new company starting out. In the medium to high end CAM game, there is still a relationship sale happening, and I don't see a major shift with that real soon.

    So the real question is - could MasterCAM lower the price of their software by 75%? Absolutely! The user base would likely double overnight as folks with older seats that haven't been updated in 5-10 years decide to reinvest, folks who want to get ahed would collectively buy thousands of seats so they could up their skills, shops with 1-2 seats shared amongst a larger staff would move to having one seat per user. The dramatic price reduction would lead to double or tripling the install base over 3-5 years.
    I suspect MasterCAM would fare better, but not great, in that scenario than all the other smaller players, as MC already has good market penetration, name recognition, and functionality. This scenario would totally decimate the other small players. I totally disagree it would double or triple their installed base, you'd just get a bump from the low hanging fruit.

    Maybe not next year or the one after, but development has already crawled nearly to a halt on FC, Partmaker dead, and so are a host of other products ADSK has acquired, integrated, only to be discarded without warning.
    The two acquisitions since Anagnost took over from Bass, Assemble Systems and PlanGrid, are construction focused. His interviews in magazines are about construction automation, little to nothing on manufacturing. You could look at it and say they already acquired the manufacturing technology they need to succeed, and are working their plan to own that market, and are moving on to do the same in the construction market. Or that they are shifting some of their focus away from manufacturing, and whatever goes along with a focus shift.


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