I went to the 2007 Rollout yesterday and am really impressed. I haven't used the software yet but from what I saw it looks like SW has really been listening to us after all. I probalby have between 30 and
50 requests for enhancements etc. For the most part my requests are fairly "standard" and should be fairly obvious to users and SW. And I would estimate that over 50% of thes issues have been addressed. Not the least of which are a number of improvements within the drawing system.The SWIFT technology is really fantastic.
It has taken a little time for SW to get around to addressing some of these "smaller" issues but it is going to be great to finally get these minor interruptions corrected. I think that the best news of all is that SW is actually listening to the user base. Now, all I have to do is to wait for SP1... :-)
Since I probably won't be getting or using 2007 until SP1, I can only go on the demo's... Sorry..But, all four of the SWIFT features are a step in the right direction.
As far as what looked goo to me, (more to address the previous reply):
1) Features: I have times when I have had to shift thing in the feature tree so that fillets etc. would desplay properly. Even if SWIFT isn't perfect in this area, it is a very good step forward.
2) Dimensions: I have not used the current AutoDimensioning because it seems like there is more work then just adding the dimensions manually. The SWIFT Dimension looks a lot more straight forward.
3) Sketch: From my perspective this is an extremely and long awaited feature. How many times have I added a dimension to get the message that there is a conflict. The solution for this has been to delete the last dimension, remove the potential conflict and then to add the last dimension back again... what a lot of fooling around and wasting of time! To add insult, both SW and IV knows something about where the conflict exists but until now the program would keep what the problem is a secreat.... Uggg.
4) Mates: It is also extremely fruatrating how clugy constraints are, especially when there is a conflict. IV was way more troublesome to find a problem then SW but I have spent way too much time looking for some "hidden" conflict. And I have always thought that if SW knew that there was a problem that it should tell us give us a little better idea of where to start looking. I believe that the SWIFT feature will help with this.
Until we all get to use SWIFT, we may find that it is not perfect. But, it is at least a light at the end of the tunnel for making SW more effecient for users. And there is always the hope that this "trend" of SW addressing some of our day to day effeciencies will continue.
Apart from this, it's pretty nice to be able to just throw a buch of selections at the fillet tool, and then not have to think about ordering at all. I don't have a great backlog of difficult fillets though, so you'll have to take my opinion with a bit of seasoning.
It does vastly simplify fillet creation, though. I dug up an old part that really gave me fits. At least half of the trouble was learning curve (1st molded part), but some of the filleting situations required a lot of experimenting and thinking to get filleted. With the FilletXpert, I just selected a mess of edges and faces, not caring if the preview failed. One short beverage break later, I had a decent-looking fillet set. Still, it is possible to stump it on gemoetry that really can be filleted.
I could use a way to select faces for filleting, and exclude edges before going though the build. Also, you do still have to do some fillets before others to control the "smile" and "frown" situation. A method to control this in the Xpert would be great.
I just tried it on a "real" part. This is an intake manifold that, because of draft requirements I could not previously filet in a couple of areas. Just as a side note, SWIFT does not show up anywhere in the help! Interesting, if you don't know that this feature is called FiletXpert then looking for it in the help produces nothing. Anyway, it does work! Well sort of. it gave me some funky webs on the outside of some of the runners, but not a huge deal, and it did all in one step. On the inside of the runners I had to do the filleting in two steps using FiletXpert, but again it did work. One of the nicest things is that the Cancel button appears to work as expected. I don't say that as a joke (well maybe I do) but it does erk me that when dealing with something that takes a long time sometimes you just want to cancle out and try something else.
You've got to be kidding?!. The one place I would use something like this is on a casting. And castings invariably have configurations. Forging dies is another one that needs this and typically will have configs.
I don't knwo about that. Quite often, a new tool is included in SW when it's ready for a lot of people to use, even if it requires some workaround. If it will save time, they'll included it. I think this will be able to save people some time, but the workarounds could be ugly. Design tables could really bail people out on this one.
On the other hand, I agree with the sentiment. This is far from complete.
What do you base this statement on? Based on a feature that is 50% implemented? I have not used a more stable sp0. The worst thing I have to say about this release is that several of the new additions and changes (such as this one) don't go far enough, but it doesn't break any existing functionality that I use, and it is no less stable than other recent versions.
Not having VS2007 to play with myself, I really appreciate the feedback. I would have never expected that the fillet feature would not work on configurations. Have any of you looked at the other 3 SWIFT features?
"no less stable than other recent versions" Do you have any idea how ridiculous this sounds.
1) It isn't even the 4th quarter of 2006 and SWCorp has decided to release SW2007 This, in and of itself, should be a big red flag to every user. SW2007 should sit in the box for 6 months minimum before trying to use it for critical designs. The fact that they are rushing out this release proves that this is about marketing and not about providing customers with a stable and usable product from the get go.
SW Corp should not release a new version until they've buttoned up everything to the point where the initial release is a stable one.
I'm willing to bet the first service pack for SW2007 will be out before the end of November 2006
2) SWCorp's track record for stable releases is exactly what I base my statement on. SW2006 wasn't stable until SP4. Don't take my world for it. Ask Paul Salvador.
3) SW STILL has features than plain don't work and yet it is adding features in such a haphazard way as to render them essentially useless. Angled mates, Flexible assemblies,. These still don't work. How about fixing them first.
4) Configurations are a CRITICAL tool especially for those who have families of parts. ANY new feature implemented should be implemented across the board. If you can't use a new feature with configurations then it isn't new, it's broken. It's just plain stupid to release a "new" feature that is only 50% implemented.
I was directly involved with them on this particular feature, so yes, I can be sure of this.
Yeah, well, a lot of us have been saying this for a long time. They've done some things that were meant to help, with varying success. I think the initial release is stable, but it isn't without new flaws.
Easily, that's pretty conservative. I'd bet early October or sooner.
By "stable", I take it you mean "crash free". Anyone who can read knows what Salvador thinks. Still, he's not the only one here who has been using the software, and I don't base my opinion on what he says.
Anyway, I don't argue that there are a bunch of half-baked features, but this is not news. Still, this release is by most accounts more stable than other releases. I have had and seen several crash problems which have been more due to file specific issues than just general random crashes, but overall crash problems are down.
In my humble opinion, they release this early because everyone knows that the beta program only catches a smallish percentage of the bugs in any new release. They count on the user community to find the rest and report them after the initial release of sp0. That way there will be a stable, usable version of SW2007 by the time 2007 rolls around.
Sounds pretty cynical and I am not saying this is a good thing-just my observation. My thanks go out to Matt and all of the others who wade in where timid souls like myself fear to go.
Its interesting that you folks chose to engage on this. If they are people in India or people in Concord, it still come down to the quality of the people. Frankly I don't care if my software is written by a group of pygmies living in a trailer in antarctica as long as they are really freaking talented, in-touch pygmies. I suppose that one could theorize that the people in Concord would be better than developers in India or those pygmies in a trailer, but there is no real reason to think that's true (as I can see) The proof is in the product, not where it originates from
When I hear 'stable' I don't think of crash-free. Because I don't even register SWx crashes anymore - they happen, sure, but I have been writing them off mentally as the price of doing business. When I crash, I just shrug, start over and keep moving on. I have no idea how many crashes I had last week. I know there was one, but the week-long-tally was ten?? Twenty? Two? No clue. This is not a good thing by any measure, but it's not worth getting wound up about or really even thinking about anymore, or my life expectency would be about 45.
When I hear 'stable', I take it to mean 'does it work'. Perhaps Tim can illuminate his intent, but for this post I am going to run with 'does it work'.
Usually, with a new release, there is all sorts of new stuff (and some old stuff) that just doesn't work. Like the rendering of lightweight assemblies that I posted about a few days ago - its new in 2006, its promising, and you can actually render lightweight assemblies, but (in my tests) it uses more memory and resources so you just can't use it in the real world.
And that's why I was curious about SWIFT. It's new, it sounds cool and promising, but does it work ( is it stable enough to actually risk dollars on)?
When I first saw a demo around December of last year I noticed that - on their demo part, which is always questionable because it has been worked over a few dozen times so of-course-it-will-work - when they did the SWIFT for fillets a wall of their part moved.
A wall moved. Thats a big deal.
The reason the wall moved was because, at that time, SWIFT would work through a bunch of iterations and re-order features until it found the right combination to make the fille work. The downside is that when your 'automaton' messes with feature order other things can change. To be fair, this automaton has one goal - make fillet work (like my favorite line from the terminator - its what he does... its all he does!). But as is typical when something is automated, it's limited goal does not necessarily jibe with the goals of the meat-based-entity that originally made the part. Sure (in this case) the automaton can automatically place a fillet before a critical draft to make the fillet work, but does the re-ordering of features that moves that wall make the part work (and generate money?), which, as a meat-entity, is all I care about?
So through the early part of this year I sent them about half a dozen of parts to test this new technology out on. I said if it works on these, it 'works' and I can embrace it. If not, don't release it. I even followed up a few times, and to this date have heard no response (which, is not an indictment - they have a ton of stuff going on and i'm just this one guy in Illinois).
Based on what I saw, I will NOT use SWIFT unless I have a backup of the part so I can use SWx utilities to compare the before and after geometry and be sure no critical design-intent (part function, not the 'design for change' definition that matt says he favors) was violated. I strongly urge anyone interested in money to do the same. Sure, use SWIFT, but use it with caution and check it a lot.
It likely is 'news' to the newbies so its worth addresing. SWx works hard to make features that will help us. If you ever go there, you will see folks working harder and longer than just about every company I have set foot in. They are impressive, and they care. They also come up with great ideas (like 3D curve on surface, for instance), and work to get it into the product. But, as with most design work, at some point they hit a wall - it works, but it does not work in every case. To quote matt, its half baked. So the dilemma is - do we release it because we know it works a little and can help some people, or do we hold off until we can make it work for more people? Tough question, especially when you have an enthusiatic, talented group focused on making their customers happier that have dedicated six months+ of their lives to the task. I think its obvious which way they lean - and why I deal with every new feature/function like I have a bomb in my hand. My company is really a baker of SWx, but we will probably not use 2007 for generating revenue until March or April of next year. Its just the way it works.