10 Replies Latest reply on Jan 3, 2012 8:33 PM by John Layne

    T-Splines Assets Purchased by Autodesk

    Charles Culp

      Bad News Bears.




      I am very disappointed to hear this. We were set to purchase tsElements + T-Splines in January. Now I'm not seeing this as a good business move.

          • Re: T-Splines Assets Purchased by Autodesk
            Kevin Quigley

            Charles you'll be lucky to buy anything now - the store is taken down!


            Speaking as a user of TsElements (with the front end via Modo), this is anothing short of a disaster for me. The reality of the situation is now (if we assume that TsElements is dead as a product - or at the very least not going to be developed further to allow for integration into future SW releases) is that SolidWorks 2013 looks likely to offer me LESS geometry modelling functionality that 2012.


            My question to SolidWorks is what are they going to offer me now? TsElements was a heavily promoted product for SolidWorks users and offered a unique modelling solution that helped SolidWorks stand apart from the rest.  This is no longer the case.


            Move forward 12 months and Autodesk will have integrated TSplines, PTC will have further developed Freestyle that is included in the core Creo Parametric system. In short, the biggest competitors are offering solutions to advanced modelling processes whilst we SolidWorks/TsElements users have to take a backwards step if we are to move to a further version of SolidWorks.


            So my question is simple. What are SolidWorks going to do about it? I don't want to have to look elsewhere for my modelling solutions, but this might force my hand. The irony is that deep within Dassault towers there is the technology to directly replace TSplines. CATIA has had Imagine and Shape for years. Problem is Imagine and Shape is a £20k product (as part of a CATIA package). So if the solutuion offered is "buy CATIA" (as was once suggested to me), my answer would be .......

          • Re: T-Splines Assets Purchased by Autodesk
            Jerry Steiger



            I had hopes that the SolidWorks integration was going somewhere helpful. I'm afraid Kevin pointed out the difficulty. Dassault wouldn't want SW to have capabilities that Catia users pay big bucks for, so there wasn't a lot of enthusiasm for tighter integration with TSplines in the upper echelons. I suppose the folks at AutoDesk had the same arguments, worrying about stealing business from Alias.


            Jerry Steiger

              • Re: T-Splines Assets Purchased by Autodesk
                Kevin Quigley

                I don't see Autodesk worrying about Alias sales Jerry. They have been quite smart at extending Alias into new markets whilst keeping the specialist high end revenue. I see this as a way of introducing a modelling methodology that no one apart from PTC had at the entry level. Remember most cheap modellers are sub div based. Autodesk are making big inroads into consumer level products and the Tsplines approach fits nicely into this. I see this being integrated into the core Inventor and Revit products. In which case Solidworks are in trouble.

                  • Re: T-Splines Assets Purchased by Autodesk
                    Lenny Bucholz

                    yes it does Bite that AutoDesk will kill for those using T-Splines in SW, but one big issue with the whole T-Splines thing is it takes 3 programs to get into SW!


                    Rhino + T-Splines for Rhino then you can take that into SW with T-Splines for SW and Rhino's UI sucks, JMO.

                      • Re: T-Splines Assets Purchased by Autodesk
                        Troy Starkey

                        NO, what really sucks is that T-Splines has been working for over a year to create a fully implemented version inside of SolidWorks!  Every bit of functionality that is currently in Rhino was supposed to be coming to SolidWorks.  The Beta for this was supposed to be starting by the end of this year and I was already signed up for this and have been eagerly waiting...I was starting to wonder what was taking them so long...now I guess I know why.


                        Worse, my company had already budgeted to purchase T-Splines for all of our software, 5 licenses for our Rhino, and 8 for our SolidWorks (since it was going to be similar for both programs).  This purchase is pretty much canceled now!


                        T-Splines is the kind of technology I had been waiting for years for someone to develop.  Real sculptural modeling in CAD, not some incompatible and inaccurate mesh-based animation software.  This was the first time in years that I was actually excited again about something new in the CAD industry.


                        So now to get that kind of functionality I'll have to get AutoDesk Inventor?  Really?  Last time I looked at Inventor about a year ago it was still an awful program to use.  Other co-workers here who have actually used it in previous jobs or in school say the same thing...that it is awful to use compared to SolidWorks.  And the idea of the company I work for switching software is a very unlikely scenario.  It's a huge amount of time, investment, and working through problems to completely switch software.  To do something like that had better REALLY be worth it!


                        So sorry AutoDesk...this strategic move on your part won't be winning me as a customer any time soon.  And sorry T-Splines, you had great potential, but now unfortunately, you're out of reach for me.  I honestly just can't see AutoDesk continuing to develop T-Splines as a plug in for other competing software...not something like this, not something this cutting edge.  That's just not AutoDesk's way.


                        So, I'm depressed now.  The only other places in the CAD landscape that I've seen similar technology being developed is in Pro-E (I mean CREO), and in CATIA V6 at a very out of reach price point.  The Pro-E (Creo) Sub-D technology that they have shown off I'm skeptical about because it's hard to tell from what I've seen how it interacts with normal Nurbs and B-Rep CAD geometry functions.  Plus, my same argument about the difficulty in switching software applies equally here as well.

                             What Catia has developed looks more impressive to me, but Catia is way too far out of my companies price range.  Plus I am still a little skeptical about their technology as well.  The key to T-Splines and what made it different was the fact that they had developed a slick (and patented) bit of magic that made the Sub-D surfacing techniques (commonly found in the sculptural non-CAD animation programs) able to be quickly and easily converted into CAD-friendly Nurbs-based surfacing geometry.  So unless these other companies have developed their own techniques of converting to Nurbs (and not infringing on the T-Splines patents), then I am skeptical about how good it really is.  I need to do some more research about this stuff.


                             So at this point, my only hope now I think, is to hope that the Catia V6 technology really is as good as it looks, and that some of that functionality makes its way into SolidWorks.  The only problem is how long that might take.  Could be years still.  Who knows.  But I do know this...SolidWorks REALLY needs to respond to this development of the CAD industry, and soon!

                        • Re: T-Splines Assets Purchased by Autodesk
                          Kevin Quigley

                          The whole point lenny was that Tsplines had a fully integrated plug in for SolidWorks under development - from what I understood the plan was full integration with all the solid and surfacing tools inside SolidWorks - so you could - for example - create a T spline lofted surface then push and pull the controls around like you can in Rhino.


                          That is what we early adopters were waiting for. That is what we have (probably) now lost with the Autodesk buyout.

                    • Re: T-Splines Assets Purchased by Autodesk
                      John Layne

                      Interesting article on the history of NURBS and T-Splines. http://isicad.net/articles.php?article_num=14940

                      After reading this I do wonder if I'll be switching to Autodesk in a year or so.