VX vs

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OldForumPost

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Message 1 of 17

 VX vs
02-09-2009 12:13 . pm | View his/her posts only
I am giving VX Innovator a try on the trial period with the goal of dumping Alibre.

While Alibre is a very good program, I feel they have faltered on the file management side and assembly side of things.

All of my work is basic circle and square shapes, no surfaces and my question is - are you folks using VX for your basic CAD stuff or do you have it for it's ability to handle complex geometry.

Also, how is the drawing package? Anyone doing mil-spec drawings with it?

I am struggling with learning the program (but with some outstanding help from VX) and am hopeful to make a go of it with VX.

I am an old UG user from way back and VX seems similar. These days I use Solidworks on my day job and Alibre at home.

Any advice would be appreciated.

Thanks in advance,
Bill

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cutter

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Message 2 of 17

02-09-2009 06:16 . pm | View his/her posts only
Bill, no matter what a demo jock may say VX will take time to learn. But then you know that having used UG. VX will do both simple and complex although I think you will not have some surfacing tools with innovator if i remember right. One of my favorite parts of VX is the sketcher where I can create a multi object file, create one part in there and use the base geometry to create and save sketch features for other parts to have guaranteed common features derived from the sketches with a simple insert sketch into the various parts. VX also does not have that crummy Ribbon bar gui formwhich I am gratefull. I also find sketching and measuring to be easier than SE, my other cad program. Translators are a mixed bag as with DWG's I still have problems. I think for the price while it will not beat Alibres current offer it is the better cad program and you will do more here than you could there. I am quite certain that parts healing in VX will beat anything Alibre has although I have never tried Alibre so any statement like this is conjecture. VX had a great deal on innovator a month or so ago and you may be able to negotiate a better deal than the standard price. VX is better than it used to be for MCAD but I still use another program for this nowadays. If I would have had the spare cash sitting aropund during the special I would have bought another seat just to have on my laptop for field work.

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ChrisWard2k2

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Message 3 of 17

02-09-2009 06:34 . pm | View his/her posts only
Hi cutter

You can use your dongle on the laptop.

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cutter

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Message 4 of 17

03-09-2009 02:25 . pm | View his/her posts only
Chris, Yes I could but losing the innovator dongle would be much cheaper than the machinist dongle. One reason why I really like the home use license SE gives me is if my laptop is lost or stolen I am not out the program to.

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Mike

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Message 5 of 17

06-09-2009 03:05 . pm | View his/her posts only
Dave, No one has ever lost their use of VX due to a lost or stolen dongle. A copy of your police report is all we require.

One safeguard is to put the dongle on your keychain then you can never walk out the door and leave it behind.

Bill, Our default dimensioning standard is ANSI. I believe we are current with Y14.5 - 1994 version. We are currently trying to determine how this differs from the new 2009 update.

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cutter

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Message 6 of 17

06-09-2009 07:04 . pm | View his/her posts only
Hi Mike, That is good to hear. Not every company has that policy much to some peoples dismay that I know.

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Paul

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Message 7 of 17

06-09-2009 07:52 . pm | View his/her posts only
Hi Bill,
I use VX for everything, no feet in two camps here.
And YES for very, very basic stuff too. I often just figure stuff out in a sketch then print the sketch with dimensions (blank out the clutter if you want) and use that to build equipment from.

Re MIL spec. I am not sure what that means exactly, but VX allows you to customize ANY dimensioning attribute to tailor make you drawings look like anything you need. You can even apply these changes to existing drawings by selecting and re-assign attributes from the saved 'bundles'. In the first instance it can seem a bit complex, but that is the price of the power at your fingertips.

Cheers

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Dave

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Message 8 of 17

07-09-2009 06:24 . am | View his/her posts only
Hi Bill,

I have used Alibre since Version 8. As a prismatic modeling software, truth be told, it is okay. It has its foibles, like all CAD software, but it works. I switched to VX just this summer, primarily because of Alibre's poor drafting (in my opinion), and not much interest on their part so far, to make it better. I also wanted the ability to do more complex geometry that surfacing provides. For what it's worth, here are my observations after really using VX for production work for just a few weeks:

1. Alibre is easier to learn for straight prismatic features.
2. I very much like VX's sketcher. However, it appears Alibre's sketcher in V12 may be competitive. I also like the fact, that in VX you can do a standalone sketch as the end product for the geometry you need and not have to worry about 3d.
3. Most of the work I do is Fixtures, Gages, Special Machines, and now some cutting tools (that's primarily what I wanted the surfacing capabilities for). Most involves top down design. After a lot of help from Mike Lynch (VX Support), I am finally can do top down design fairly well in VX. But, as I told Mike, it is simpler in Alibre for prismatic parts..
4. I like VX assembly better than Alibre. Alibre assembly can be very frustrating at times.
5. Because, for the bulk of what I do, my end product is a drawing, the model only be a means to get there, as that is what my customer sees, I feel I get a higher quality drawing from VX.
6. As far as mil-standards go, other than perhaps having to make new drawing templates, you should have no problem meeting mil-standards with VX.

I don't know if these observations help. I can tell you, for me, I think using VX will turn out to be a good decision. The support has been first class.

If you have more questions you think I might be able to help with, e-mail me at ddunkin@eskimo.com.

Regards, Dave D.

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OldForumPost

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Message 9 of 17

07-09-2009 04:01 . pm | View his/her posts only
Everyone,

I appreciate the info. I am still (as time permits) messing around with the trial version. Alibre is very easy to use out of the box and I am still struggling with VX - but trying. I have let the $199 sale price pass and it looks like I have until September 30 to grab the $295 sale price now. I may wait until the Windows 7 compatible version comes out.

I've got a few more days left on the trial and if I don't buy, I'll keep tabs on the next releases. I think VX is a very good program and offers much promise over Alibre - once I get the hang of it.

If there are any more Alibre vs VX comments, please post as I am still reading.

Thanks for everyones help!!!!!!!!!!!

Bill

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OldForumPost

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Message 10 of 17

07-09-2009 04:29 . pm | View his/her posts only
Everyone,

I had a question I forget to post a few minutes ago when replying.

How do you handle file management? Let me back-up and tell you how I have worked with clients.

Firstly, my clients are generally a one or two person business. They have some speciality, be it electrical, hydraulic, optics, etc. What they need is a mechanical guy who can help package their ideas and that's where I fit-in. They don't need a full time guy (and I am a part time business outside of my day job) nor can they afford one. They also can't afford an expensive CAD package and the overhead that goes with it and the IT complexity that comes with some CAD packages.

I go in and pitch my abilities and we work out a relationship AND with this process, I try to make the case that they buy the same software I am using. The CAD software is low cost, easy to use and doesn't take an IT guru to run it. Most of the time the client buys the software. What this does is gives me the ability to work with the same software as the client AND pass onto them native CAD files.

In the past, with Alibre, I could create what is called a "snapshot" of a repository. This captured everything I did and made it very easy to give the files to the client. When Alibre discontinued the Repository and replaced it with M-files Vault, I lost the ability to transfer files easily (or at least in a way that the client and I could understand). Further, if you work with the windows file system (WFS), Alibre falls flat on it's face. Alibre's WFS can't rename files and retain their relationship with drawings and assemblies. Why would I rename a file? Usually because I mispelled the name! There are also no definable search paths with WFS in Alibre and the software CANNOT search for a missing file - that might have been moved to another directory (or subdirectory).

This brings me to VX. I see that VX has searchable paths for files, but I don't know about other file management abilities.

Can you tell me how you manage your files in VX?

Thanks again!
Bill

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ChrisWard2k2

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Message 11 of 17

07-09-2009 05:15 . pm | View his/her posts only
Hello Bill

For most projects, you can store your files in a Windows folder hierarchy of your design. To rename a VX File, you must open it in VX and use File "Save As" to maintain Object references. VX automatically searches for lost (moved) files and you can perform a manual file search with a search string (e.g. known name of an Object). A VX File is by default multi-Object itself - you can store an entire project in one VX file (models, 2D Layouts, CamPlans etc), limited only by file size, essentially determined by the OS.

VX multi-Object files are extremely convenient, a serious productivity booster.

For extensive (multi-user?) projects, VX has a basic built-in PDM facility using a Vault folder.

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Steve

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Message 12 of 17

08-09-2009 04:42 . am | View his/her posts only
Quote

Originally posted by: LynchMikeVX
Dave, No one has ever lost their use of VX due to a lost or stolen dongle. A copy of your police report is all we require.



One safeguard is to put the dongle on your keychain then you can never walk out the door and leave it behind.




Sorry Mike, I don't think that would be a great idea for all of us. I commute on a motorcycle to work 10-11 months out of the year. Rain or shine. Down to single digit temps. I don't think the HASP would survive a month


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Mike

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Message 13 of 17

08-09-2009 08:24 . am | View his/her posts only
The other solution is that you all move to Florida. There are enough houses for sales in just my neighborhood alone. We can Van Pool to work. This should protect your dongles and keep them dry too. I mean your Hasp keys...

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Robert

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Registered: 2011-11-22

Message 14 of 17

08-09-2009 09:58 . am | View his/her posts only
Hey Steve,

You could always knit a little sweater for your dongle (hmm... I'm not sure that came out just right)


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Steve

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Message 15 of 17

09-09-2009 07:50 . am | View his/her posts only
Quote

Originally posted by: LynchMikeVX
The other solution is that you all move to Florida. There are enough houses for sales in just my neighborhood alone. We can Van Pool to work. This should protect your dongles and keep them dry too. I mean your Hasp keys...


Naah... Too many straight roads, and not enough twisty bits to peek my interest in moving down there. The weather, I could deal with however.


Quote

Originally posted by: bobf4fun
Hey Steve,



You could always knit a little sweater for your dongle (hmm... I'm not sure that came out just right)







Ummm... No.

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OldForumPost

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Message 16 of 17

11-09-2009 06:24 . pm | View his/her posts only
Another quick question.

When one buys VX, is there a user manual that discusses each item on the menus/screens? I know there is a bunch of stuff online, but I haven't found a manual that states what every command/option's purpose is and some brief explaination as to how to use it.

Thanks!
Bill

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ChrisWard2k2

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Message 17 of 17

11-09-2009 07:37 . pm | View his/her posts only

There is an on-PC help. Launched from within VX, help is optionally interactive, which means that when you click on a command button, the help page related to that command is displayed. You can alternatively at any time opt for on-line help, which is essentially the same help database but the most up-to-date information available.

VX also arrives with a PDF on Basic Modeling and a series of Show n Tell tutorials, which you run interactively within VX. Plus, context-sensitive hints are displayed as you work.

The main things to learn are how to Create/Manage VX Root Objects (Models, 2D Layouts etc). Once you understand how the system is designed to manage your information, a large percentage of the GUI should be self-explanatory, the help will cover much of the rest and then you still have technical support and this forum to fall back on.

There is a lot to VX, often several methods available to achieve the same thing, it has got 'strength in depth' so to speak. It will take a while to get the best out of all that VX has to offer but you should find it relatively easy to become productive very early along the learning curve. VX is fun to drive - in fact the new Sketcher is too much fun, you could spend a lot of time playing with it instead of getting on with the job!
See also