Drawing Productivity SW2004 ?

Maybe many of the advanced users don't do drawings much, but I was wondering what others think of drawing productivity (sw2004SP1)? I'm doing
my first fixture assembly drawing set in sw2004 and I am very concerned about productivity. Last summer I timed a group of common procedures on sw2003 vs 2001+ and, on average, the time to perform them over doubled. My VAR did the usual denial dance and referred to specific gimmick additions (draft mode, light weight, blah, blah), but refused to discuss stopwatch evidence on specific processes. Now, I did the same thing on sw2004 vs 2003, and again, the time more than doubled. I'm presently working with a small prismatic assembly that should do everything in a blink. Resizing views, placing notes, moving dims, addressing properties, almost anything, is so slow that half the time I think the machine has locked up. Instead of discussing my machine, please note that I still have 2001+ loaded on this machine, and I have some similar old fixtures that haven't been upgraded, and to no surprise, they do indeed run in a comparitive blink. At this time, I don't feel that I can risk running sw2004 on a larger project that is to be underway in a few weeks. I would estimate my time to create a fully detailed drawing set at over double the hours that was required in sw2001+. This is, of course, a serious hit on project design cost. I'm actually considering reverting my library files back to 2001 (I've fortunately kept copies separate from upgrading and all I would lose is some recent models). I took a class in UG a couple of years ago and decided the primitive interface (v18, I think) would have hurt my productivity too much. Sw2001+ was current at that time. Now, I'm starting to wonder. In my business, I think I'll continue to need drawings, and if something doesn't change, I don't think I can stay with swx.
I guess my questions are: Do you think swx has thown in the towel on having a productive drawing process? How are some other MCAD brands doing on this?
Not whining, just opining :) Bill
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bill allemann wrote:
<snip>

I don't think it is just drawings. It is *very* noticeable there though. Sketches are next on the list. Click a dimension, wait half a second for the property manager to rebuild/repaint/reinvent itself, then proceed. Multiply this by the number of selections you make in an average day and it makes the whole process feel like walking through Alaskan molasses. My 400MHz Pentium II running SW2001 was more responsive than the 2GHz machine running SW2003 or SW2004.
Jim S.
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Yes Jim, I agree that the problem isn't just with drawings. Just an ordinary extrude of a very simple sketch has a noticeable and significant lag to it now. Your analogy about your old machine running sw2001 is right on the mark. Same thing here! I think that swx is implementing a new gadget that 1 out of 20 people use 1 time a week, and while getting that gadget functioning, they increase the process time by 3X on something that 100% of the people use 80 times a day (sketching). Maybe they don't do the math.
With all due respect to Matt's post below, I don't have the time or inclination to do major sessions of software analysis upon each release to eke out some passable productivity. The software should default load as fast as it can be. If we need things that slow it down, they should be nondefault settings. If an older drawing template bogs it down, that's a bug. Test, test, test.
thanks bill

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Wow did you hit this right on the head... for Pro/E. It seems that the unfortunate reality is that these CAD companies stay in business selling new software. To sell new software you need new features. The competition always has something that you don't, so the software is always changing. It's a tough decision to stay with an older version when a newer version exists and knowing that later releases may have improvements that you really want.
I pretty much take it for granted that new releases of any software will require faster hardware. This is true for every piece of software from operating systems to word processors to CAD. Thus, it doesn't upset me that the software gets slower with new releases. It does upset me, however, when more steps are added to do the same thing.
All of that said, I've been playing with 2004 SP 1 for about a month and have done one major prototype project with it. My subscription is almost up and I don't think I'm going to upgrade my department to 2004 SP 1. We all have 2003 SP 4 installed (since SP4 came out, whenever that was) and are quite satisfied. I think we're staying with 2003 SP 4. 2003 does what I need it to do with acceptable speed and I haven't found the new gadgets in 2004 worth the bugs that will eventually get worked out in SP 5.

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Bill:
My first assumption is that this is something that can be controlled, whether that assumption is justified or not remains to be seen.
I'm interested in what specific settings you are using. I know you're pooh-poohing what the reseller said, but the settings are there for a reason. A lot of people are complaining about this speed issue, and if we can get a better understanding of why it's happening, maybe we can get some folks back on track.
Is there some way for you to post the drawing so we can check the settings? There are document, view and sheet settings, and it might be tough to go through and list them all.
Anyway, I'm curious about this. I've seen views of assemblies with thousands of parts created quickly. What is your assembly like? How many parts of what kind (sheetmetal, thin parts, complex shapes, rectangular/cylindrical, etc) and how many parts? What kind of views are you making, and how many? How many sheets? Do you see the same thing if you remake the same drawing from a sw04 template instead of just reading in the old file? Do you have a lot of sketch entities or imported Acad data? Is the automatic solve sketch setting turned off? Tons of questions.
matt

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Matt
I see the same thing here....a view containing thousands of parts is created very fast ...BUT...make a few section cuts and add a few sheets ...it will slow down the performance to a major PITA. Just moving a very simple view took 40 sec and adjusting a dimension just about the same time. At last, he only thing that helps is to save, close and reopen the drawing. My VAR tells me it's going to be fixed in Sp2 and I sure hope they are right, coz is is no fun at all.
Krister
diskussionsgruppsmeddelandet:Xns945A908413884mlombardfrontiernetn@66.133.130 .30...

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I am having the same problems as Krister - this is a MAJOR slowdown as I, like almost everyone else, produce fabrication drawings of every model that I create (generally with lots of sections and detail views).
I too have reported this to my VAR and have been advised that it is to be fixed in SP 2. Given that SP 2 is still NOT out & now we have further delays for the Xmas holidays I think that this issue should have warranted a SP 1.1 urgent fix that should have been released within days of the problem being reported - after all, this is our 'bread & butter'!!
Merry :-)

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LOL now I know you're not referring to the Duratek final assembly drawings.... LOL
I do agree that it's good that you direct attention to the settings first as they can often be the culprit, but from my experiences there is some definite lag comparing 2004 to prior releases. I hate to say it, but I just threw in the towel on drawings. Yup, that's right. Jeff is done complaining about drawings (for now). Fortunately, I now work for a company that does smaller assemblies. Until the whole mechanical 3D world starts caring about drawings (and playing the drawing command numbers game) you will notice that the drawing component of CAD software will always be lacking (flame suit = on). But this won't happen until modeling feature #1346744 has been fully expanded upon. :p In other words, there isn't much marketing leverage touting about new drawing features.

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Hmmm SP1 eh? There have been a few complaints here in the NG that it may be in fact a problem with SP1.
I too experienced drawing slowdowns when I installed SP1. It was pretty noticable.
I'd say wait until SP2 is out. I'm noticing faster sketching belive it or not on my SP2 EV install.
I haven't made any drawings yet with it.
Mike Wilson
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Those are exactly the type of slow-downs we've experienced and proven, to ourselves in our office, to our var, and to the group in previous benchmark messages. I've also considered moving back to 2001+ but the reality is we've come to far unless we're forced. In other words, if we convert it will be to a different software entirely. The slowdowns are present in every function of the software from sketching, to part modeling, to assembly modeling, to rendering, and to drawing. I'm sorry but it's not the settings. Hopefully the next SP will address but history makes me doubt it.
On the topic of drawing creation, I agree with Jeff; the industry seems to have stopped caring, at least in the estimation of this engineer and many others. Drawing capability is there but performance and productivity have dropped sharply.
Here's another observation that might make us feel better though. We have a client that requires us to release in Acad format to a very strict set of layer, color and font standards. I purchased Intellicad to handle this and while it's nearly identical to Autocad 2000 it is still more productive for us to draft in Solidworks. The interface and the way drawing tools work is so much more flowing in Solidworks. I just wish the performance and translation to Autocad could be resolved.
- Eddy

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Not quite an answer, but here's my experience: I work for a custom automation equipment (design/build) company. We have literally 1,000's of hours invested into 2D AutoCAD customization (layer control, BoM, auto feature creation, etc...). Our 2D AutoCAD has pretty much beaten SWX at every benchmark we've come up with (mostly large assembly and detailing). I (and probably a majority of others in the design dept.) would love to switch to the 3D world, but until the product becomes more stable and productive, I don't have a leg to stand on in support of SWX.
Ken
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This just muddies the waters of the thread, which is about Feature Bloat, but ......
You'll never get a leg to stand on trying to compare 2D to 3D for concept to first drawing set. You probably will if you compare concept to finished product, though. The strength of parametric 3D design is that the bugs, glitches, oops.. that don't fit / don't work stuff can be hashed out before sending drawings to fab and the, usually, relative ease of incorporating changes to the design. You'll probably have additional thousands of hours in 3D design before you'll realize maximum benefits of switching from 2D to 3D, but they are there.

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