August 9, 2017 New Mexico SolidWorks User Group Meeting Minutes

Version 1

    The August 9th, 2017 meeting of the New Mexico SolidWorks User Group was held at The BioScience Center in Albuquerque, 5901 Indian School Road NE, Albuquerque, NM. 


    5:30 – 6:00 Arrive, Get Some Food, Meet Someone New

    6:00 – 6:05 Announcements and General Business

    6:05 – 6:50 Toolpath Generation Directly from SolidWorks, John Milberry (SolidWorks Area Technical Manager)

    7:00 – 7:30 Seclore – Sharing & Security for SolidWorks Files, Wally Bitaut (Seclore) – 30 min

    8:00 – 8:15 Wrap Up / Prizes / Giveaways, Networking and socializing thereafter.


    SolidWorks CAM – John Milberry (SolidWorks Area Technical Manager and Director)

    SolidWorks CAM: The presentation will cover the benefits of integrated CAM and Rules Based Machining.  Due to the ever increasing complexity of designs, the benefit of integrated CAM and data translation is more important than ever.  With the increasing pressure to produce products faster, companies are looking for ways to leverage one standardized workflow to reduce errors and expedite the CNC programming process.

    John Milbery is the SolidWorks Area Technical Manager for New Mexico based out of Dallas, TX.  He is a veteran of SolidWorks with 21 years of service and his experience also includes many years as a machinist, CNC programmer and software engineer. (He also own his own CNC machine tool!)


    SolidWorks is planning to release SolidWorks CAM simultaneously with SolidWorks 2018. It is a 2.5 axis CAM system based on the CAMWorks platform. This is in response to the SolidWorks customer base asking for cheaper, smarter solutions driven from within SolidWorks. SolidWorks CAM adds an integrated design-for-manufacture product development workflow to the SolidWorks application.


    The 2.5-axis machining capability allows for simultaneous x-y table movement and vertical translation of a rotating spindle. The z movement is solo and incremental. Vertical movement of the spindle only takes place while the table is stationary. With 3 axis machining, table movement and spindle translation can occur simultaneously. G-code and machine control is more complex for 3-axis machining centers. Software for 2.5 axis machining is significantly less expensive than 3-axis software. Furthermore, 80-90 percent of all machining can be accomplished with 2.5 axis equipment.


    On a lathe the part, which can be large, is turning. Whereas with a milling machine, only the table and the rotating cutter move. For this reason, lathe operations are considered more dangerous than milling.


    SolidCAM, MasterCAM and CAMWorks are just three of the SolidWorks solution partners (there are more) that integrate with SolidWorks to provide toolpath generation and smart machining from within SolidWorks. A point was raised, questioning how these partners are reacting to SolidWorks rolling out an integrated CAM package. John asserted that SolidWorks’ strategy is to provide 2.5 axis CAM (which is really a commodity now) and let it’s Gold and other CAM partners provide the three axis and higher solutions. Furthermore, SolidWorks resellers can continue to sell other CAM packages, free of corporate pressure from SolidWorks.


    CAMWorks was the first CNC certified gold partner, ca. 1997. The CAMWorks website lists ten machining modules that each offer different capabilities and functionality. SolidWorks CAM licensed four of these modules: 2.5 axis, Turning, VoluMill, TBM (Tolerance Based Machining).


    Here are some of the SolidWork CAM features John highlighted.


    AFR – Automatic Feature Recognition (Don’t we have this already in SolidWorks?) is an emerging technology. It uses the same code as FeatureWorks, but AFR is smarter. It understands manufacturing features (as opposed to design features). It looks at topology and converts pockets, normal and irregular shapes, and holes into toolpaths. Automating this process is a huge aid to CNC programmers.


    Technology DataBase: everything you want to know about CNC machining, smart manufacturing. It is self-learning, selects the proper tools, machine and cut times, depth of cut, and speed and feed. Once the Technology database determines a tool plan it animates the tool path. If your shop uses a different or preferred workflow, you can change the defaults in the technology database to match your tooling and equipment. John demonstrated SolidWork CAM first by showing the toolpath determined by the defaults. Then he edited the “default” workflow and tool choices and demonstrated how SolidWorks CAM “absorbs” a localized strategy and applied it to a different part with similar features. The edited workflow became the default on the new part.


    TBM-Tolerance Base Machining, uses tolerance information and annotations in 3D models to generate G-Code. TBM automatically adjusts asymmetric tolerances (must be DimExpert tolerances) to mean (symmetric) tolerances for cutting tool strategies. John demonstrated how SolidWorks CAM uses TBM to determine the machining steps to create a hole in a part. John illustrated this with an example where the program chose a center drill, drill, and boring sequence to create a hole. Then, John tightened the tolerance information in the model at which point SolidWorks CAM recommended a center drill, drill, and reaming sequence to create the tighter hole.


    SolidWorksCAM also includes Volumill (licensed from CAMWorks). Volumill is a high-performance toolpath engine that can reduce cycle times up 80% and increase tool life by as much as 90%. Highly optimized toolpaths machine at full tool depth at all times. Volumill creates unusual ramping toolpaths with wide radius turns and no sharp corners. John showed some impressive High-Speed Machining videos using Volumill generated code. In the first video, Volumill reduced cycle times by 70% (7 minutes in 10). In the second video a 14.8 minute cut was reduced to 3 minutes.


    The Tormach line of personal CNC machine tools was mentioned. The Tormach 770 (~$20K fully outfitted) and the Tormach 1100 (~$25K fully outfitted) are the high-end CNC machine tools for maker labs, schools, and prototyping labs. John Milberry mentioned that Tormach uses SolidWorks to design and develop their products. Currently Tormach offers SpruteCAM as a low-cost CAM add on.


    SolidWorks CAM pricing information is currently not available.


    If you have a licensed 2.5 axis CAMWorks package, you can trade it in for a SolidWorks CAM license.


    There was substantial discussion about subscription, value proposition, and one product to tackle more of the design and manufacture functionality.


    The New Mexico SolidWorks User Group hosts five to six meetings per year. Annually, we average at least one or two presentations from SolidWorks employees who share their expertise and insight. Their presentations are always polished and precise. Furthermore, they do not shy away from occasional challenging questions. It’s always refreshing to get the straight scoop from the source. John Milberry’s presentation was no exception. We thank John for coming to from Dallas and sharing his insight.





    Sharing and Security for SolidWorks files – Wally Bitaut, Seclore


    Seclore Presentation: Every day, organizations are sharing intellectual property with third parties - unprotected.  In this session you will learn how to control who can do what with SolidWorks files (view, edit, screen share, print, cut/paste), from which device, and for how long (time-bombing/expiry dates).

    Wally Bitaut has over 30 years experience within the enterprise content management, collaboration and security space.  Having joined Seclore in 2015, Wally is focused on building OEM Partnerships in an effort to provide data-centric security to existing applications such as: Document Management Systems, Enterprise File Sync & Share, Virtual Data Rooms, and most recently the SolidWorks Platform.


    Seclore-Wiliam Radigan, NMSUG President heard about Seclore from some other SUG folks. This was a remote presentation live-streamed by Wally from Chicago.

    Unprotected IP is Flowing Outside of Your Organization. How many of your files are being shared with third parties? Email, fileshares, Google drive, where is the traceability? Are your files landing in the black market? Intellectual property is the number one type of information being shared externally. Wally reminded us that we see headlines everyday where IP is compromised. The dollar values are in the millions. “Seclore is the most advanced, secure, and automated IRM (Information Rights Management) on the market.” It is datacentric security. It uses a combination of encryption and rights management to determine the following parameters:


    • WHO can access the file: specific users, groups, inside/outside the organization
    • WHAT rights do they have: view, edit copy, print , take screen shots, work offline.
    • WHEN do they have access: auto-expiration, date and time ranges, from 1st access
    • WHERE can they access it from: specific devices, specific ip addresses


    Permanence: protects the file forever

    Remote Control: can change the rights from anywhere

    Audit Trail: acts like a GPS.


    The author creates a secure Pack and Go file, defines the rights, and sends it to the Seclore Policy Server. Every transaction/movement of the file has to go through the Seclore Policy Server. Downstream accessers must go through the Seclore policy server to access the file.


    Wally illustrated the Secure Pack and Go plug in (via PowerPoint). The menu read “Secure Pack and Go” where we ordinarily see “Pack and Go.” Here you can apply the policies and appropriate rights for recipients.


    Does the recipient have to create credentials with Seclore? No


    If someone is denied access, they can request access from the owner/licensee.


    With this software, authors can revoke access, control actions by recipients, updates. This meets audit compliance requirements for a lot of folks.


    It sounds like this product is not quite available. They plan to go market in 2018.


    The files have an “encryption wrapper” on them. Every time the files moves, it phones home to the Seclore Server. [Files are never stored on the Seclore server].


    One issue is opening protected files in both SolidWorks and eDrawings. It sounds like this may be one of the details Seclore and Dassault are still working out. This does not stop cell phone photos of screens. Seclore can put a watermark on files that would appear on any screenshots.


    The Pack and Go file must be a sldprt, slddrw, sldasm, or eDrawings file.


    The recipient will need an agent download and must have internet access.


    It is unclear if the recipient must have a Seclore login. The sharing party must have a Seclore login. Seclore stores the sharing parties email addresses which is their user id.


    A file on a thumb drive will not open until it “phone’s home” and verifies the recipient (by email) before it will open.


    A subsequent phase will be to encrypt files in and out of PDM.


    The audit trail is stored in the cloud. Only the author can access the audit trail. The question came up and Mr. Bitaut reiterated that there can be multiple authors.


    How much? Still being taken under advisement. It will be a subscription based offering. One license per author. It is a SolidWorks add-on. It may be included with SolidWorks but requires a fee to activate it.


    Seclore is in Sunnyvale, CA.


    A spirited (understatement) question and answer session followed Wally’s presentation.


    After asking a few questions, regular NMSUG attendee, Bandit, virtually admonished Seclore; told them their product was easily hackable and suggested they never present it at the DefCon hacking conference. There was some animated back and forth with a good dose of humor (as William trained the webcam on Bandit for Wally to face his accuser). In all fairness to Wally Bitaut, he had the lower hand being at the remote end of an internet connection and not personally in the room. It would be interesting to hear this discussion continued when all parties were present and without time constraints.


    After the call, Bandit (who likely knows more about bits and bytes than the rest of us) kindly explained his concerns to the group. Based on Bandit’s questioning, what we heard from Seclore is that the SolidWorks file itself is not encrypted; rather the Seclore “wrapper” which protects the file is encrypted. Bandit maintains that he can look at the bytes of a computer file and recognize patterns that denote certain file types. In looking at the bytes of a Seclore-wrapped SolidWorks file, he would expect to see indications of a SolidWorks file (since it is not encrypted) and could isolate the SolidWorks bytes from the wrapper and recover the SolidWorks file.


    Another attendee indicated that file recovery software uses this same technique to recognize headers and recover files from crashed hard drives.


    Disclaimer: Considerable effort is made to accurately portray meeting content, even when the excitement level redlines. You (the reader) may freely submit corrections and clarifications!




    The meeting ended with giveaways including a VEX ROBOT KIT courtesy of Rapid Sheet Metal!


    Again, Professor Eduardo Gamillo drove up from Las Cruces along with a former student and deserves recognition for travelling the farthest to our meeting.


    Next meeting is October 11th. Heather Hasz (DriveWorks), will be here in person. DriveWorks Express, the basic version, is already in SolidWorks. If you have parts that are “similar but different”, check out DriveWorks on your SolidWorks box and come to the meeting in October with your questions.