Yeah you know me! OPC, how can I 'spain it? I take it frame by frame it. O is for Other, P is for Peoples - the last C, well that's not that simple... Just kidding. Other People's CAD. If you've been working with 3D for even a day - you know the nightmare that is working with OPC.
It's getting better, no question. And working with OPC has a couple of different routes. I'm already being reminded of fellow Tweet heads this morning that Inventor Fusion, Synchronous Technology, and Co-Create are down with OPC - and yes I agree, direct modeling is great if you want to EDIT OPC. In that scenario, I wouldn't put a direct modeling application up against Inventor, even though we do a decent job inside Inventor, Fusion is where I would go if I wanted to edit OPC.
There is however a very important use of OPC that I wouldn't use a DM application for - and that's USING OPC. Interoperability was one of the areas that Autodesk Inventor won out over SolidWorks in the TechniCom whitepaper I've been talking about. Autodesk Inventor makes using models from Pro/E, SolidWorks, NX, and CATIA easier by providing built in translators so that you can open those files in their native format right inside of Inventor.
Seriously, what's the turn around from a customer or vendor when you ask them "uh, 'scuse me sir, can you pretty please with sugar. Can you please export your file out as a SAT for me please sir..." Hours, days? It's a lot easier to ask them to button that bad boy assembly up and send it over is it not?
There are just as many use cases for this next example as there are for the need to modify the file. Think about it, what if you need to design tooling for a door panel that was modeled in NX, or CATIA? You don't want to change the model, you just want to open it and use it for reference. And in this comparison... I still can't believe that big brother doesn't let little brother play with his toys. You can't open a native CATIA file in SolidWorks? I remember the beating we took from our users about DWG....and we listened. Bottom line was it didn't make sense for us not to read and write DWG, I'm pretty sure SWX users are asking for the same from Dassault...?
There is a work around for you disgruntled SWX users - you can download a free trial of Inventor here, save it as an Inventor file, then open it in SolidWorks. Just a suggestion...
So as I said in my first tweet this morning - working with OPC sucks. I just think it sucks less with Autodesk Inventor with our native translators, and with Inventor Fusion if you need to modify those files.
Having more fun than I should be getting paid to...