SWX Add-in

I received an email from a company who is developing a new add-in that is supposed to be launced at SWXWorld in February.
The new add-in looks very interesting!
I like it because it would help me to investigate/edit models that others built, or to investigate/edit models that I built a long time ago.
What are your thoughts?????
In order to learn about it, go to:
www.solidmap.com
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OMG! I MUST get one RIGHT AWAY! You sold me on it!
You should think about working for these wonderful people!
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Tick,
I think you left the sarcasm button on.
KM

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I'm sure it's a fine product, maybe even worth paying for. But, puh-LEEZ! Just come out and say you've got something cool to sell. The play-acting shillery is insulting to what little is left of my intelligence.
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That70sTick wrote:

<giggle>
I hope they are at SWx world. I think it would be a fun little diversion to bring a real project that I am familiar with on a memory key and have them analyze it.
Parent-child in a part is likely more useful (or at least expedient) than this, but parent child on an assembly sketch reveals bupkis - I wonder if these guys do it better? In context, derived parts, equations (with feedback loops) and stuff like that deserves a little poking and prodding to see if this tool has the goods to make any real difference. It would have to do a lot to justify the price.
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Ed, I look forward to your review, after SolidWorks World.
At $750 it would need to make me coffee in the morning to justify the cost. I could be convinced otherwise if there is, a hell of a lot of good feedback from some of the regulars here.
John Layne www.solidengineering.co.nz

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AssyGator didn't fly and it was less than than $750. Propagator which sells for much less, less than a tenth of that, and is something you might use every day hasn't bought the author a Lexus yet. One of the problems is that what it does is so hard for most bosses to understand that it would be hard to justify. It is one of those things that when you tell your boss you are wasting time on the problem they won't see SW as the problem, they will see you as the problem.
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Pehaps they just want SW to buy it from them, then SW can include it in office pro.
steve
TOP wrote:

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Couldn't agree more!
There are, and have been, some really good plug-in for SolidWorks but the "convincing the boss" issue is the biggest problem any of the plug-in developers face.
Just a couple-- Bluebeam Push button Plus PDF writer (the full version not the old freebie) ,an excellent program (combines pdfs into one, great batch printing, adds stamps to individual sheets)--- Wonder how many others have bought this?
MechSoft for SolidWorks--- A really well put together standard part library-- it is now a standard part of Inventor and no longer available for SolidWorks.
GeometyWorks3d -- Looks like a great program that I could use-- but I can't justify the expense
ToolWorks BOM Manager - Ditto above
If you look through the SolidWorks Partner directory, there are 274 Partners, I wonder how many make the money they thought they were going to when they designed there addins.
John Layne www.solidengineering.co.nz

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Forgot to add that I have only managed to convince 3 other contractors and 1 company to purchase Propagator. Trying to influence companies and other contractors, to buy it, is hard work even when at $49US Propagator is an absolute bargain !!!!
John Layne
www.solidengineering.co.nz
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Sorry for so many posts but,
Hadn't heard of AssyGator, so did a quick search and found this http://www.goulu.net/dotclear/index.php/2004/10/30/89-dynabits/assygator
Illustrates the problems involved for companies developing addins for SolidWorks (and probably other CAD products)
John Layne www.solidengineering.co.nz

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message

Me, too!

I'm not spending my own money, but I don't think I would have much difficulty convincing my boss to spend $750-1000 if we could quickly track down circular references.
Jerry Steiger Tripod Data Systems "take the garbage out, dear"
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It has been my experience in the past that if you are versed in assembly managment and external refernces you should not need this add-in. I have yet to find an assembly, part, etc that I could not resolve the issue within 5-10 minutes.
The only way I could see this as a need is if I recieved a lot of poorly created assemblies from other companies and had to fix them all the time.
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Jerry Steiger wrote:

Crap. Looks like I'm on the hook for following through on a review. I hope some others do it as well.
With experience, we learn (I think) good relations management strategies.
However, I do find myself trying to explain to clients and guys I work with what those strategies are, and how their not following those practices put them in a pickle. I had just that conversation this week, and I don't know if the nods I was getting indicated understanding, or if 'my student' was just trying to get rid of me.
At $750 (if that is the cost - I didn't look into it, I am just taking that from another post), plus whatever maintenence is required, I see a hard road to ROI. I personally would love to have it as an educational tool - see here Mr X, this reference string is why you are having trouble, then print the screen and redline how the references ought to have gone. But that convenience probably caps out at about $200 unless there is some other magic not readily apparent to me at this point.
On the other hand, I can think of at leat one company where they make fast, loose (and in my opinion reckless and not very thought out) references, they would get ROI in a matter of a few months. If it follows through on its promise, I could easily recommend it.
And (now that I'm chewing this over) even for my company, it might be a competetive advantage to include a graphical representation of the references when we deliver a job. We already warrant that we do every check we can in CAD - draft, undercut, interference in all positions, Ctrl+Q, the usual litany. To also deliver a roadmap for changes when my clients engineering departments take over control of the data might just be what they need. I spend a fair amount of time trying to educate the next recipient of my data through coments in the tree and a verbal review of the structure of the database (I have an hour meeting next Tuesday to do just that). Tack on a $200 premium for a printout that lays out the references, and in five or six jobs I've paid for the product (includes the time to make the printouts, of course - I can do math). That $200 could save hours of their engineers time. Hmmmm.
Ed
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If I did that to some of my clients, they'd look me in the eye and say WTF is this for?
I do agree it is potentially a very useful tool, however it would be a very hard sell for most of my current and past clients. Perhaps I should just get better clients?
John Layne www.solidengineering.co.nz
Tack on a $200 premium for a printout

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John Layne wrote:

It would depend on the client and how they value their designers time. Some are savvy enough to know that all it takes is one innocent mistake with a SWx dataset and you lose half a day picking up the pieces - but you are correct, others would absolutely say WTF???, to thier <potential> peril. Its like any sort of insurance - some folks just like to roll the dice.
Disclaimer: Again, NOT HAVING SEEN THIS PRODUCT - don't know if this will even do that well.
The same economical quandry applies for all sorts of add-in analysis to a job - for instance, I advised one customer earlier this year to do a moldflow anlaysis because they really wanted their parts flat. I gave them a vendor for that (we don't do it but highly recommend someone who does), they rolled the dice without moldflow, and a quarter later we got a call asking us for advice on why we thought that the final molded parts weren't flat!. Now they have to pay for modlfow AND a new tool, and deal with the lost revenue from NOT selling the product while they are fixing the issue.
Prototypes, FEA, all sorts of things can be hard to sell a client on. All I do is let them know about the options I would do if it were my money involved in this product. Each job and client is different and has different needs, but its easy when I start with the question 'how can these guys make the most money?' ... And then its their business if they accept or reject my advice. Ironically, most of the stuff (like prototypes or moldflow) that I might recommend I don't make a penny on. Its just the best thing to do, and my job is to present the best things to do.
When talking to clients about options, we always focus on basic business ethics - my job is to make my client as much money as possible and present designs and recomendations that I think will do that (case in point - I turned down a $300,000 job once in the first few minutes of going over it because I knew they could do it better in a different way, then coached them on what I would do in their shoes for a quarter of the price. Though I would not profit on that one, you bet they came back for other jobs because they know we are not out to milk anybody. Win-win).
And if I were handing off a complex SWx database for someone else to work on, communcating the relationships in the database for $200 or so could be part of saving them all sorts of time=money as they work on it. If they didn't 'get' that, it would be a shame - they lose money if things go south, and strangely, after they rejected my advice I could probably end up making more money as I am brought back in to bail them out. At least I would be on record for trying. Ed
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Having read your post, and if it gets good reviews, I may end up purchasing it even though $750 US is a fair chunk of change to a Kiwi contractor. If it adds to the clarity and adds a higher degree of professionalism, when handing over to a client, it may well justify the cost. Though I doubt very much if I would actually charge a client anymore for doing so, justifying the extra cost to a client (with some exceptions) is not a conversation I would look forward to.
There are many ifs in the above and as you point out, we haven't actually seen the product as yet. We, or just I, may well be imagining it to be far more useful than it actually is.
In addition, as I tried to point out in other posts even if a plug-in is great value and useful it will not necessarily make the writer any money. It may well go unsupported after the first release if there isn't sufficient profit for the company.
Anyway - time to go to sleep here, looking forward to your review and hopefully the reviews of others attending SolidWorks World.
John Layne www.solidengineering.co.nz
P.S. Hopefully SolidWorks World will eventually be sited next to a Ski resort, that way I can justify the cost of attending to my partner, She could Ski all day whilst I attend seminars :). I'm sure I couldn't justify visiting the States in winter if she couln't Ski.

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On 15 Dec 2006 23:56:02 -0600, "John Layne"

charge it as photocoping - just had an architect pull that one on me.

You're not fooling anyone John - we all know "clients" is a euphamism for your better half and that she holds the purse strings. :-)
So whats this talk of getting new clients ? :-)
Jonathan

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Ok--- I'm obviously spending too much time in this forum you know me too well. I would no doubt have to consult "She who must be obeyed" and putting a convincing business case forward to spend US$750 would be an issue, it was hard enough to get her approval to purchase Maxwell Render!
An example of one of my recent business proposals, put forward for the approval of "She who must be obeyed"
"Honey, I'd like to buy an A3 Photo Printer" I said
"What for?" She said
"Well, for printing photos and I could use it for business as well. I know it's cheaper to get them done in bureau but it would be kinda handy to have" I said, groveling with head bowed.
"No" She said
Looks like I'll be printing my photos at the bureau for sometime to come
John Layne www.solidengineering.co.nz
P.S. that's not a bald spot on my head, it's my girlfriend' thumb print.
wrote:

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Great line! Though I would rather blame the bald spot on someone... prior... As it stands, my girlfriend is very cool. Talk about trading up... BTW - enjoy the longest day of the year on the 21st. I am jealous - it was dark when left the house this morning, and dark when I came home. But the Xmas lights look nice.
I'll let you know what the product looks like if I am able to test it on my files... Ed
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