Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Pro/E vs SolidWorks

At Design Engine tonight we are doing a Pro/E vs Solidworks shootout where Im running solidworks. Except Im known as the Pro/E surfacing expert not the solidworks surfacing expert. In order to accurately evaluate the Modeling software of both Pro/ENGINEER and Solidworks each participant will have a team member in their corner of the ring.

I invited several from both Soldworks and PTC however only PTC AE's confirmed.

I pushed the crap out of Solidworks this week to prepare for the shootout so to do some impressive modifications like my one week surfacing students might do in Pro/E. There are a few connections that just fall apart and that frustrates the hell out of me. In SW I expect these connections to work and not like Rhino fall apart. That's frustrating.

Let me explain, that in my experience I have noticed industrial designers want to prove form when developing a product as opposed to simply capture form. I have noticed however many industrial designers are happy to just model a forum (capture form) hence their use of Rhino where they can't leverage strategic advantage of parametric controls nor participate in an intense study of parent child relationships. If we can leverage parent child relationships then we can make 20 modifications in five minutes like we teach ID'ers in my week long Pro/E surfacing intensive. Hence prove the forum in the light reflections.

My techniques for forcing solidworks to swallow twenty slight modifications in rapid fire all in less than four minutes is giving me a problem in a spot or two. Choking on one part and several of my beziar curves will not maintain their parent child relationships. Chris Thompson from Ohio an ME with significant product design experience will be here at three to sit in my corner running Solidworks and will help me through the issues.

My end goal is to make solidworks look great since after such development over the past three years is impressive then share surfacing workflow techniques with the audience. A workflow we at Design Engine are known to teach in our classes. One that I've stated on this forum that some may not have discovered yet.

On the Pro/E side I have two of my past surfacing students both in from Colorado's Karcher Corporation. They are taking a Surface edit workshop. Adam is an industrial designer with two plus years on Pro/E surfacing and in his corner he has Vaughn an engineer with significant product design experience also from Karcher. Vaughn is quite good at surfacing and sits on the surfacing technical committee at PTC on Pro/E. Vaughn is maybe more experienced than Adam who has also taken past surfacing courses. Karcher works on some interesting surfacing rotomolded products.

In my corner running Solidworks I have Chris Thomson an ME who is driving from Ohio today. He has significant product design experience using both Pro/E and Solidworks. We both have different modeling techniques and he has not seen the Design Engine workflow for proving form in Wildfire by modifying parts in rapid fire, he has looked at our Pro/E parts and we will have an hour before the event to work out our strategy together.

Tuesday, June 08, 2010

Future Pro/E Developmnent

Wildfire 6 (assuming that is what it will be called), scheduled for released in 2011, has a lot planned for higher level surfacing! Since I have an affiliation with technical committee, I am not entirely sure what I can discuss however I can say for me it is the most significant release since ISDX made its debut in 2001. So get your credit cards ready to upgrade your maintenance ;). And I'm not just talking about just the new Sub'D modeling module which is significant in is own right.

One thing of note: there is a significant push for quality. As I heard the PLM lead discuss the four points for excellence, one was Quality. I laughed to my self thinking... "define quality". The speaker went on to define quality. Impressive.

"Quality is a road we are on" he said. He went on to describe quality as user experience, productivity, robustness, power, and exchange. PTC has always in the past focused heavy on power hence it is more powerful than other packages that maintain smaller budgets for development like the mid range modelers. The big push next for PTC Pro/ENGINEER development is in the user experience. He stated that ProE's user interface and experience should be "just plain fun to use". The example for this user experience is in the maturity of tools like welding and harness design tools that are all new in WF5.0. The PLM lead also went on to explain that quality is something you never achieve but something you always strive for. I buy that.