31 Replies Latest reply on Apr 20, 2012 6:03 PM by Scott McFadden

    Rumors of a Kernel change in SolidWorks...is this true?

    James Rawlinson

      We are migrating from NX to SolidWorks, so I'm paying attention...  There has been some buzz coming my way that SolidWorks is going to change it's kernel.  I have also noticed, that the majority of this "buzz" is coming from sources outside the SolidWorks community and specifically from Siemens.  I have been through a kernel change before and I am concerned about this.  Can someone officially enlighten me?  Is the kernel going to change? to what? when?

       

      So many questions, so little time!

       

      Jim Rawlinson

        • Re: Rumors of a Kernel change in SolidWorks...is this true?
          Greg Hynd

          I have just finished reading this.

           

          I dont know whether to be worried or not......

           

          http://www.eng-tips.com/viewthread.cfm?qid=310305

          • Re: Rumors of a Kernel change in SolidWorks...is this true?
            Matthew West

            Our next generation software, which will be released in the next few years, will include a different modeling engine than the one we use today. This software will be offered in addition to the software we currently sell. No customers will be forced to move from the current version to this next-gen version.

             

            The current version of SolidWorks, which we will continue to develop and support in parallel to the next-gen system, will continue to be based on the Parasolid kernel. There is no "change" coming for the tools our customers use today.

             

            Matt / SolidWorks

              • Re: Rumors of a Kernel change in SolidWorks...is this true?
                Greg Hynd

                Thanks Matt.

                 

                So will the new version look completly different to the current version? Will we have to pay to get it? Will it be similar to use?

                 

                Just interested!

                  • Re: Rumors of a Kernel change in SolidWorks...is this true?
                    Matthew West

                    Hi Greg.

                     

                    It's a completely new modeling tool that's being built from the ground up, and will have its own separate pricing model. We haven't released any details on how it will work or what it will look like, but as soon as we're ready to release that information, our forum members will be some of the first to know.

                      • Re: Rumors of a Kernel change in SolidWorks...is this true?
                        Greg Hynd

                        Ok, thanks, waiting in anticipation. I am relieved that the current version isnt being dropped though.....

                          • Re: Rumors of a Kernel change in SolidWorks...is this true?
                            Matt Lombard

                            Greg,

                             

                            Matthew's just being bashful. There's more to brag about than what he lets on. A technology preview of the "new" SolidWorks was shown at SolidWorks World 2010, and was touted as "cloud" software. It was said to run on Enovia, which is Catia's file management system (description severely understated), and may not have a file format, because it would be stored in individual features within a database (like SQL, Oracle, etc.)

                             

                            The other high points include that it runs on the Catia V6 geometry engine, and that it will include direct editing. An architectural design software called SolidWorks Live Buildings has already been demonstrated, and is said by some to show what may be a preview of the SolidWorks V6 interface.

                             

                            SolidWorks may develop some sort of a legacy translator to translate "old" SolidWorks parts, assemblies and drawings to "new" SolidWorks. Since "old" SW is on Parasolid, and "new" SW is on Catia (CGM), they won't be directly compatible.

                             

                            If you search the web for "SolidWorks V6", "CAD in the Cloud", or similar, there has been a lot of stuff written on the topic, most of it opinion or wild guesses.

                             

                            If you plan to use SW for your business for a long time, you might want to do some other research on the topic.

                              • Re: Rumors of a Kernel change in SolidWorks...is this true?
                                Greg Hynd

                                Matt L,

                                 

                                Thanks, I will do.

                                 

                                Although if the current version is going to still be available we havnt got anything really to worry about for now, have we?

                                • Re: Rumors of a Kernel change in SolidWorks...is this true?
                                  James Rawlinson

                                  Well Matt, this scares me even more and maybe a few rumors need to be squashed.

                                   

                                  You seem to equate This "Next gen" CAD with CATIA V6; now please be aware that most of what I hear until recently came from the Siemens Community, but I did here somthing about a mandatory link between CATIA V6 and Enovia or Smarteam.  one of the ONLY things my company has standardized on is Teamcenter.  Am I going to be able to run this new platform and interface with my current data manager?

                                   

                                  Also, you reference "the cloud" we are still housing data in a location of our choosing right?

                                   

                                  Are we going to have a translator for "OLD SW" files? are we going to have to rely on STEP?

                                   

                                  I went through the ACIS/Parasolid migration with Solid Edge and found lots of little issues. These turn into big issues when you are trying to run a business.

                                    • Re: Rumors of a Kernel change in SolidWorks...is this true?
                                      Matthew West

                                      James - we haven't released detailed information yet, and can't answer all of your questions yet. But perhaps I can shed a little light.

                                       

                                      1. Our next-gen product will have ENOVIA underpinnings. There is no mandatory link to CATIA or SmarTeam. I'd be interested to know where you heard that.

                                       

                                      2. The new product will able to leverage cloud resources and storage, if that's what you want. If you want to store your data locally behind a firewall, that should be fine too.

                                       

                                      3. We'll ensure a seamless transition for customers who want to make the transition from the current product to the next-gen product.

                                       

                                      You may be interested in reading a few of the interviews I've done with some of our execs over the past 13 months.

                                       

                                      http://blogs.solidworks.com/solidworksblog/2010/11/talking-technology-with-solidworks-vp-of-rd-austin-omalley.html

                                       

                                      http://blogs.solidworks.com/solidworksblog/2010/10/jon-hirschtick-talks-platform-shifts-and-online-data-security.html

                                       

                                      http://blogs.solidworks.com/solidworksblog/2010/10/an-update-on-some-things-we-announced-at-solidworks-world-2010.html

                                        • Re: Rumors of a Kernel change in SolidWorks...is this true?
                                          Chad Schmidt

                                          Matthew,

                                           

                                          How reliable are the links (interviews) you gave us of the two individuals that are no longer with Solidworks?

                                          • Re: Rumors of a Kernel change in SolidWorks...is this true?
                                            Kevin Quigley

                                            I have no desire to get involved in another SolidWorks bashing session again (as this appears to be going that way) but I am surprised that Matt has not commented on Mathew's comment:

                                             

                                             

                                            2. The new product will able to leverage cloud resources and storage, if that's what you want. If you want to store your data locally behind a firewall, that should be fine too.

                                             

                                            Now call me stupid but does this not answer all the doom and gloom brigade? I read this as being you can have some form of local install.

                                             

                                            I'm also surprised no one has commented on the opening comment " we are switching from NX to SolidWorks". Here was me thinking the whole world was running away from SW to a Siemens product? Clearly not. The obvious issue to me for a company move Cad systems like this is why worry about a kernel change when you are changing systems? Anything that comes into SW from NX will be a dumb solid anyway. So why the worry about kernels?

                                             

                                            Further down the line I am sure there will be a valid migration path between old SW and new. Most will make this transition over years so issues of file translation can be resolved

                                              • Re: Rumors of a Kernel change in SolidWorks...is this true?
                                                James Rawlinson

                                                Kevin,

                                                 

                                                Have you ever been through a kernel change?  I went through a Kernel change with Solid Edge and it is very painful.  One thing that SW has going for it was the fact that it shared the kernel with NX making the move much easier, you can actually open the NX files directly. To make this transition, then have those files become unreadable (as many of my Solid Edge V4 files did), would be a double headache.

                                                 

                                                Editing of dumb solids is a bit of an art but this can also be achieved.  SolidWorks offers Feature Works in it's premium package and we will use this to restore features to files as needed.  As you can see, I have been in this game for a long time and understand the transitions and the pitfalls; hence my question.  It sure has taken off...

                                                 

                                                Have a good day and a great weekend.

                                                 

                                                Jim

                                                  • Re: Rumors of a Kernel change in SolidWorks...is this true?
                                                    Kevin Quigley

                                                    Jim, great to see you on the forums! One of the positive aspects of SolidWorks is this community - help is always at hand, and with your practical experience of SolidEdge and NX I can see you being a great asset to that.

                                                     

                                                    My own experience is probably quite different from yours in that I run a very small product design business focusing on consumer product design, so our data control issues are different to a large manufacturing business.

                                                     

                                                    In terms of changing kernels, yes, I think it is safe to say we have done this in the last 20 years :-)

                                                     

                                                    We started using Microstation, then moved to FormZ (ACIS), then SolidWorks (Parasolid), then Ashlar-Vellum Cobalt (ACIS again), concurrently with that we used Think3 (Think 3 kernel), then moved to VX (VX kernel), then finally returned to SolidWorks again! Currently we use SolidWorks, Rhino, Shark FX (the spiritual successor to Cobalt) and the occasional VX. Of these SolidWorks is the core system and all production release parts go via that at some point, and all drawings are released via SolidWorks.

                                                     

                                                    In my experience, as we moved from system to system (to get the best shape design application, at a price we could justify) we have been subject to all the usual translation issues, and in the case of Think3, the issues with end of contract cut off. At the time we used it Think3 was a rental only system, so after our 3 years were up, and we decided to move away, our license reverted to a view only, so we had no access to our files for translation (unless we paid for this). In reality, it was not that much of an issue as we had STEP data for most jobs.

                                                     

                                                    What I have settled on over the years is to save native data at each stage, and save a generic format (usually STEP). This way, at the very least, we always have dumb solids or surfaces to use, and, as you say, using that data is a lot easier these days as most systems have direct face manipulation tools (or in the worse case you have an accurate 3D template to rebuild from).

                                                     

                                                    To be honest we have tied FeatureWorks but unless the geometry is relatively simple it is only partially successful and we have found it faster just to cut up and rebuild features we need control over.

                                                     

                                                    It is also true to say that if you need it, you can add translation packages to any system, so for the price of a license you can have state of the art translators that will work 99% of the time. I have several customers who do this, setting up a single workstation as the translation node on the network...going from NX (say) to CATIA is harder than from SolidWorks to CATIA. Also applications like IronCad have native (as in licensed from the makers) translators for very low cost. We are currently assessing IronCAD for this reason - and we can translate NX/SolidWorks/Pro/E, Inventor, CATIA v5 no problem this way - and moving between Parasolid and ACIS is easy as IronCAD uses both kernels. All for under £1000!

                                                     

                                                    So, I honestly don't think you will face the same issues you did back in the 90s when SOlidEdge switched from ACIS to Parasolid - translation technology is considerably better these days, and worse case scenario, you will have to buy a SolidWorks add on to facilitate this - but - as this is a competitive market I would expect SolidWorks to continue to offer good core translators (and I do expect us to finally get a CATIA v5/6 option as well!).

                                                      • Re: Rumors of a Kernel change in SolidWorks...is this true?
                                                        J. Venema

                                                        Kevin,

                                                        you are also working with VX?

                                                        what's you opinion about that software, I'm working with a client at this moment who works with VX, maybe ik have to work with VX as well.

                                                         

                                                        thanx for reply

                                                         

                                                        Jan

                                                          • Re: Rumors of a Kernel change in SolidWorks...is this true?
                                                            Kevin Quigley

                                                            Jan, I occasionally use VX. VX was purchased to replace Think Design/Shape. It is a very capable system but it didn't fit well with my business - not that easy to learn, and the sketcher was not great. Surfacing is very good though, with many more options than SolidWorks for example - but access to that power is not easy and to be honest, we were finding it easier and more reliable to model in SolidWorks - it might not have all the extra power and options of VX, but we could do more with it.

                                                             

                                                            Having said that I do miss conic surfaces!

                                                             

                                                            The other big issue I had with VX was the drawing environment. I just didn't get on with that at all. VX is the kind of system that if you use it 24/7 you can get it to sing. We don't use CAD 100% of the time, hence why we let the subs lapse an moved wholesale to SolidWorks again. I have no regrets in doing that.

                                                             

                                                            There was one feature in VX though, that was a killer! That was automated thread modelling. No flaffing about with helixes, planes etc. Just draw a thead profile, pick a cylindrical surface, enter the lead in /out values, root radii etc. done. Fantastic feature for those doing plastic moulded threaded products (which at the time we were).

                                                             

                                                            The other thing about VX, is that it is well priced - they sell it for the same price globally (or used to anyway). It also has a very powerful CAM system for milling fully integrated. We never really used that much though. Finally, it handles point clouds and imported data (IGES is possibly one of the best on the market) exceptionally well. Reading it like that, maybe I should renew the subs again

                                                    • Re: Rumors of a Kernel change in SolidWorks...is this true?
                                                      James Rawlinson

                                                      Mathew,

                                                       

                                                      Thank you for the information.  as for where I got mine, I state that at the begining of this thread.  I come from 30 years working with Unigraphics/NX Products.  I was, and still am involved in the PLM World users group (we have no intention of moving away from Teamcenter). The speaking their can be pretty outlandish.

                                                       

                                                      When we made the announcement, we almost immediately started receive all of the "buzz" I talked about.  As I have been through a kernel migration before (A pretty rough one) and I see how some of my sister divisions work with CATIA files, I wanted to get as many fats as I can from the industry professionals, but I know none, so hear I ask on this forum.

                                                       

                                                      I am glad and kinda excited to see the amount of participation on this forum and the involvement by SolidWorks personnel.  I look forward to the role out of this new kernel and seeing what it has to offer.

                                                       

                                                      In addition, I would like to offer myself as a resource if you have questions about a kernel transfer from the users point of view.  Without diligent preparation, this IS NOT EASY and can be Very wasteful in the time and money department.

                                                    • Re: Rumors of a Kernel change in SolidWorks...is this true?
                                                      Matt Lombard

                                                      James,

                                                       

                                                      If the part files are in an Enovia database, I would think it would be difficult or impossible to manage them in Teamcenter as individual conventional files. There has been some talk of the move to the Enovia platform as being a form of customer lock-in. I believe that SmarTeam is dead or dying. I don't think there would be any direct link to Catia, although "new" SW has also been called SW V6 (after Catia V6) and Catia Lite by some.

                                                       

                                                      There are private clouds and public clouds. Most of the advantages SW execs have mentioned when they talk about it are presumed advantages of public clouds. Think Amazon. If this is true, it is possible that your data would be stored and managed by Enovia on the Amazon cloud.

                                                       

                                                      No word on a translator. My comments earlier were simply a guess. I mean it would be disasterous for SW to NOT provide a translator. I don't think it would require STEP. I think if they were to do it, SW would translate directly from native "old" SW to "new" SW. Makes it confusing why they cannot today provide a tool to translate between SW and Catia reliably. Not sure what the reliability would be on the translations, but the Solid Edge kernel swap translation was said to be about 90% effective. So you might only lose 10% of your data. Good news.

                                          • Re: Rumors of a Kernel change in SolidWorks...is this true?

                                            The real problem seems to be the contraint solvers used in or with old geometry modeling engines (kernels) like Parasolid, Granite One (PTC) and Autodesk Shape Manager (code purchased from Spatial (ACIS)).

                                             

                                            http://cadcamtechnologyleaders.blogspot.com/

                                             

                                            I think SolidWorks V6 is an attempt to solve this problem. Too bad SolidWorks Corp. doesn't want to come right out and say what the real problem is.

                                             

                                            Jon Banquer

                                            San Diego, CA