Pro/E Wildfire 4.0 Reference Viewer

Al Dean is one of the best resources we have since Joe Greco died.

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"Reference Viewer

The new Reference Viewer is interesting as it consolidates a number of existing tools into a single chunk of functionality for inspecting product structure and the inherently complex parent and child references that exist in a modelling system like Pro/Engineer.

It allows you to explore inter-part and inter-assembly relationships to a very granular level (we=92re talking feature to feature level). This serves a couple of purposes. If you have a complex product model, a seemingly small change can wreak havoc with your model, so with this tool you can graphically see how changing a feature can propagate through your model where problems could potentially arise. In many cases, a bit of forethought can save you the sheer pain of having to redo that work if you can see the effects and make an informed decision. Also, accepting that sometimes you do need to break though relationships, the Reference Viewer allows you to do that in a controlled environment."

You will never read about the real problems with SolidWorks on a SolidWorks User Blog with the current group of SolidWork Bloggers

It's time SolidWorks fixed the core basics that are so badly broken like PTC is doing with Pro/E.

Jon Banquer San Diego, CA

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We do have (have had) equivalent functionality in SolidWorks. In an assembly we have mate folders underneath each component. If you click on the mate for that component, it highlights the mates graphically in the SW Window. Additionally, with SW 2008, we have MateXpert which allows you to diagnosis the problem and suppress, delete, reorder to resolve the mate condition. Thirdly, there are the Parent/child Dialog for part features. Granted, we can always do a better job and we are working to do better. The main distinction between us and WildFire is that they show two separated views of the mate/reference etc. for comparison's sake. Perhaps the blessing (and the curse) of Wildfire assemblies is that they are history based (this was true in WF2, I don't know about WF4)

- that is, you build WF assemblies like you build WF parts or SW parts. That, perhaps, make diagnosing them easier than SW. The big drawback (the curse), of course, is that you can not see your other child component in context of editing a parent mate - as well as severally limit dynamic motion capability etc. That was always a real problem I experience when using Pro. Like I said, I don't know if that is still true, they might have freed up that limitation.



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Thanks for the response and addressing this issue, Mark.

"Granted, we can always do a better job and we are working to do better."

Then you need to understand that it still takes an insane amount of time for a machinist in a machining job shop to use the current SolidWorks tool set and to try and get a handle on the complex relations that SolidWorks creates. I'm talking about complex parts and not assemblies. Even if we forget machinists for a moment, if the tools in SolidWorks were as easy as they should be how many people do you think would be really be interested in SpaceClaim or in CoCreate Solid Designer?

I read people like Jon Hirschtick talk about ease of use and SolidWorks needing to be easier to use all the time and I don't see any *major significant* progress in this area. Hirschtick is obviously a bright guy. Maybe Dassault can bring him back and get him evolved with solving this problem instead of him just talking about it. I know of no other area in SolidWorks that needs more attention than this area.

At the moment many major CAM vendors are now porting their CAM to SolidWorks because their CAD sucks and because they want to ride SolidWorks coattails to sales. This is going create a boom in sales for SolidWorks when Mastercam for SolidWorks and FeatureCAM for SolidWorks hit the market and then become a viable alternative to stand-alone Mastercam and Featurecam. My question to you is what's going to happen when these customers find out how difficult it is to edit someone else design intent vs. what they do now.... toss the design intent in the garbage and work on a dumb solid? In the near future more and more companies are going to demand that their designed SolidWorks model contain the manufactured model configuration.

I really have no idea if Pro/E has got it right. What I do know is that PTC is making an effort. I don't see SolidWorks making much of an effort to really fix this mess and I don't see SolidWorks users or SolidWorks bloggers discussing this problem. What I do see is SolidWorks competition attempting to do something about this major problem and featuring this issue as a major obstacle to productivity. I happen to agree with your competition that this is a major obstacle to productivity, perhaps the last major obstacle in SolidWorks to real productivity.

New and better tools are needed in SolidWorks for SolidWorks to work in a machining job shop that has help their clients with design. Helping clients with their designs is something that in my experience that is getting more and more common.

Jon Banquer San Diego, CA

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Your reply is sincere and informative.

wittle'jon wittle'jon on the other hand, simply posts a topic where he can get some or any attention to his bizarro criticisms. Although he sounds as if he has vast experience in the CAD world, he doesn't, he's a demo software jockey.

He'll sucker you into what you may think is a intellegent conversation about a CAD package, particurally Solidworks, then from out from the left begin flaming you because you didn't agree or you disagree over something really stupid, like the conformation corner icon is the wrong shade of green and red.

Do youself a favor and don't feed his childish adult ego, that is all he's looking for. I'm sure it will merely minutes before wittle'jon wittle'jon lashs out at this reply. But it won't be the first, nor the last I'm sure. I just laugh it off and feel sorry for him.


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Grow up little man. Quit reading those CAD Comics. Don't cross post your senseless drivel.

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