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Jon Banquer

Unless the person who designed the solid model has spent many years as a machinist, the fastest, easiest way to actually make that solid model is for a machinist to create a CNC program by working directly on the solid model and modifying it. Not being able to do this causes the CNC program to take longer to create. In some cases *a lot* longer.

SolidWorks simply doesn't have the needed direct modeling tools and sadly SolidWorks Corp. is beyond clueless in this regard.

PTC purchased CoCreate for damn good reason.

NX CADCAM, formerly Unigraphics, started as a CAM system first and I think this has had many benefits over how Pro/E was developed. In addition to this Siemens makes an awesome CNC control that I greatly prefer over something like a Fanuc control so they have the needed background to create a well thought out CADCAM system. Simply put, NX CADCAM is arguably one of the most well rounded and robust CADCAM systems ever developed.

Lets not forget that someone actually has to make these pretty solid models and to do that quickly and efficiently you need powerful direct modeling tools.

Jon Banquer
San Diego, CA


OPC - Other People's CAD, cute. You are quite correct. If you are developing a tool or mold or fixture from someone else's CAD 3D Direct CAD is the way to go. That is why buried deep in the bowels of many of the largest aerospace, automotive and medical devices supply chains resides Kubotek KeyCreator 3D Direct CAD. It opens and allows EASY edits to all of the most popular CAD systems. And you don't have to own and maintain and learn all of the other CAD systems. Its just one competitively priced, easy to learn CAD software system.

Mark Landsaat

I can't resist. How about SPC -"Same People's CAD". It's great that Inventor plays nice with other CAD systems. One of my biggest pet peeves with SWX however is not that it doesn't play well with others, it doesn't play well with itself. If I'm on 2010 and somebody else is on 2009, they cannot open my files. That is annoying.

Does Inventor play well with itself between versions?

Rob Cohee

@Mark I'd go into work-around mode if you want, but I think that's not what you are looking for. Bottom line is that if a file is saved or created using 2011, it cannot be opened by 2010 or earlier. And that's pretty much the same for the industry, not just us.

I think we all understand from a technical aspect why that is the case, (more written into the file that the previous version doesn't understand what to do with) but it doesn't make it any easier to swallow when you need backwards compatibility.

Told ya guys I'd shoot ya straight, even if its not what you want to hear...

Mark Landsaat

Sorry Rob,

I'm not buying it. I know this is common in the industry, but that doesn't make it right. I'm also not buying the technical aspect.

You have translators build into Inventor that can read files from pretty much any program any version, but It can't open a native file that's not on the same version???

At a minimum it should be able to open the file and make the geometry available. If the history goes away because of new functionality so be it. But having to save to a neutral file format just to be able to open a file in an older version just doesn't make any sense.

Don't get me wrong, I'm not just griping at Autodesk I think you will find a lot of people share this opinion in general.

J.D. Mather

In the past couple of years Inventor has really improved working with OPBC*.

*Other Peoples Bad CAD

A couple of years ago I did a presentation on fixing poor neutral format geometry http://au.autodesk.com/?nd=class&session_id=3056 at AU. Working with one of my best students (also a CSWP and other SW certifations) we tried to reproduce the same presentation for SWx. There were some things SWx did better, but on whole the project simply wasn't going to work. I could be wrong, but I doubt it. Perhaps I just didn't know enough about SWx. There were a couple of improvements in 2011. Hopefully Autodesk will continue to improve the Construction Environment or start adding repair tools to Fusion. (not just editing tools)

J.D. Mather

Dang it. Where is the spell check and edit post. Oh well.

Max U

Count me to Mark Landsaat


Yep, Mark has a point, and it stops us installing the new version of Inventor for like 6-8 months whilst we wait for our suppliers to catch up.

Rob Cohee

Just following up with you guys regarding backward compatibility. I've brought it to the attention of the Product Managers. I personally am in agreement with you guys and Mark has a great point. Now lets see what we can do.


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