Asides

Siemens PLM Software awards first Platinum Level STAR-CCM+ user

Siemens PLM Software awards first Platinum Level STAR-CCM+ user

Stewart Bible, of Resolved Analytics in Durham, North Carolina, has become the first Siemens PLM Platinum Level Certified STAR award recipient. Stewart was presented with his Platinum certificate in an online ceremony attended by Global VP of Customer Success, Stephen McIlwain, Training Manager and Global Support Team member Aaron Bird, and Dedicated Support Engineer, Chandraprakash Tourani. Continue reading

What Makes a Parametric Modeler Tick?

What Makes a Parametric Modeler Tick?

By Neil Cooke / August 24, 2017

Parametric feature-based solid modeling is almost 30 years old. In that time, not much has changed. Sure, there have been plenty of CAD systems with their own take on how to model in 3D, but the basic principles remain the same: Create a sketch → Create a feature → Repeat.

One of the main benefits of parametric modeling systems is being able to make changes quickly. Every sketch and every feature is driven by dimensions, so all you have to do to make a design change is to change the value of a dimension, right? Yes, in most cases, but if only it were that simple all of the time.

When you create a sketch, you are capturing design intent by adding dimensions, constraints and references to other model geometry. This design intent helps you predict how your models will update when changes occur. However, if you’re not careful, you can easily get yourself into a pickle. Making too many careless references to other geometry in your model can make your model very fragile. If your model has dozens of features, you could end up chasing errors for hours. A lot of this heartache can be avoided if you have a basic understanding of what’s going on behind the scenes.

Every geometric element created by a parametric modeling system has a unique internal ID number. This number is referenced by subsequent sketches, features, assembly mates, and drawings to work out where things should be placed relative to the rest of the model. So if that ID number no longer exists, guess what? That’s right, the feature doesn’t know what to do and fails. If a design change makes an edge or face disappear, it is likely that some downstream features will fail. It’s not the features themselves that are the problem, it’s the references you make between them. References can be your biggest ally, but also your biggest enemy.

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Aras: Steady as she goes

Aras: Steady as she goes

A Tweet from David Ewing, then Product Marketing Manager with Aras and now Director, Business Development & PLM Strategy, DAA (Design Automation Associates, Inc.), pointed out that transformative industry leaders such as Aras are very seldom looking to be acquired, contrary to our ill-conceived, indeed not even logical, speculation below, published earlier this year.

We agree, apologize, and of course retract absolutely.

Affuso joins Aras board: Countdown to acquisition?

Tony Affuso joins Aras board. Our take: Countdown to acquisition by Siemens? Strategic technology fit, business culture alignment. Our money says yes.

Breaking Free From SOLIDWORKS Workgroup PDM

Breaking Free From SOLIDWORKS Workgroup PDM

by Neil Cooke, Onshape

Maintaining two different PDM products that do virtually the same thing does not make sound business sense, especially if they came through acquisition and have no common ground or compatibility. This is the situation that many CAD companies have found themselves in over the years. Any decisions to consolidate multiple product lines should not be taken lightly, but in the interests of cost savings and profitability, these decisions are made all too often.

If you are a SOLIDWORKS® Workgroup PDM customer, then no doubt you have been informed by your reseller that your product is being retired at the end of this year. This should not come as a surprise – the push to migrate everyone to SOLIDWORKS Enterprise PDM has been going on for some years.

While Workgroup PDM does have its limitations in terms of capability and performance, customers love its simplicity and ease of use. So being forced to change the product you’ve used successfully for many years, for little or no benefit, is a bitter pill to swallow. You are being told to migrate now or risk being left behind.

Of course, this is pure speculation. There may be other reasons for this forced migration, but that doesn’t help the thousands of companies that find themselves in this quandary. To add insult to injury, migration comes at a cost in terms of both time and money. Your reseller is a small business and cannot afford to have engineers onsite to carry out lengthy data migrations and troubleshoot issues for free. The cost of migration has been made less onerous with the introduction of a “free” cut-down version, SOLIDWORKS PDM Standard, but the compatibility issue remains as well as the additional costs for implementation and training. Continue reading