Message 1 of 16
Some comments about the 2013 Beta, after having had a play.
The software seems to be getting more laborious to use.
When are we going to be able to drag and drop Icons, and make our own tool bars.
ZW were spreading the icons out, for ease of use, I am in Part/ sketch looking to turn off the constraints, and it’s hidden in a drop down box behind the dimension icon.
Cam is not working, half of it is not there, or disabled.
Cam in 2012, every operation/ function is a single click, 2013 Beta is all double clicks.
If you want to add Part Features to the operations features, a new windows opens, to pick multiple features, you have to hold down the Ctrl Key, in 2012 you picked as many as you liked and they were added.
This is what I have seen so far, it all adds up to boring.
Message 2 of 16
Whilst I am sure there are many unseen improvements to the engine etc, I am a bit surprised at waht the user gets to experience.
The GUI is another issue altogether. The hiding of show constraints is a pure example. Whoever decided that has never modelled seriously. Of course we can add a hot key which is a smart solution for these often used commands.
I get the distinct impression, there is an old' skool thing going on here. This is looking more more like clone than anything unique and innovative. Sorry folks, but it's true and I wish it wasn't.
Please please start asking real users what they want to see and really listen.
The SWx mimic Tick and Cross at the top left of the dialogue is gag material. OK and Cancel are better and less condescending IMO, but what ever, it must be at the bottom of the dialogue so the work flow is smoothly down. IF you have dialogues that push the OK off screen, the dialogue is too long - fix that, don't mask the problem.
Insert Hole is an example. It would be so easy reduce the size of the current (2012) dialogue by at least 40% and have a much quicker and readily understood process, but 2013 is 40% larger and slips of the screen requiring even more clicks. And cluttered and crazy visual work flows seem to abound. I was just gob smacked when I saw that blow out. (Ask Bob Fischer what that means)
Here is my heart felt suggestion, grab 8 experienced users from around the world. Fly them to the ZW office in China and extract all the great GUI ideas you can from them then apply them as fast as you can. GUI is king in this game and making it simpler, smarter and more intuitive is the goal - LESS is MORE - LESS is MORE - LESS is MORE. This has to be the mantra that hums in the background ALL the time.
Right now I like the real improvements but NOT the burden visual and physical that is growing with the GUI changes. I want it smarter not dumber.
Message 3 of 16
No need. Time would be better spent if ZWSOFT took a good hard look at programs like TopSolid CADCAM 7 and SpaceClaim.
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Message 4 of 16
I tell you where I am at, I use a different Cad Cam for my CNC Lathes, because VX never had lathe, this other Cad Cam was never in the same class as VX, their cad is still rubbish, but their Cam is leaving ZW Cam for dead.
Therein lies my problem,
ZWs software is suffering from serious bloat and no real progress.
Having used the software for a while, you can see VX still hovers in the background, all that is happening with the latest releases are, ZW throws another overcoat on.
ZW needs to concentrate on fixing bugs and errors, not waste their time trying to copy SWs
Good functional software would have everybody smiling, don’t need all the bells and whistles.
I have a lot of time and money sown up with this software, I want it to succeed as well as ZW does.
Message 5 of 16
Not having a good user interface doomed VX to having no choice other than to sell out. A good user interface is what funds kernel improvements.
It's my understanding that all ZW3D kernel development is done in Melbourne, Florida and all user interface development is done in China so I'm not sure how user interface development done in China can be effecting kernel development in Melbourne, Florida.
Perhaps this early beta is focused more on the user interface and kernel changes have not been implemented into the beta test yet?
CADCAM Technology Leaders group on LinkedIn
Message 6 of 16
After spending no time with 2013beta's - as of yet!! ;-)
After having read all 40 sum pages of the white paper, I will have to pass on anything but a glance at the beta's. I have had little issue with the GUI or the CAD side since 2010. This even after running Inventor versions for many years. The CAD side is simply a non issue to me. The changes I'm hearing about so far were unnecessary for anything other than marketing dept.
I'm focused on the CAM side. Since most is still under development and disabled, I have little interest in anything other than just a peek at the new product. I have sat back and read what the few who interact with the forum have said.
I disagree with the massive changes to a GUI for marketing and ease of use. Maybe ease of use is okay for trade schools and college level or even entry level, for familiarization to CADCAM, but not manufacture and for the consumate professional who knows what he/she is looking for, and doing. I don't see this product on the engineering floor of top-shelf tool and die shops, aerospace or medical, for now, nor running the likes of tools from RodersTEC or Yamazaki. DelCAM, CimatronE, GIBBS, MasterCAM, CATIA, and ProMAN-PTC, these products are not in jeopardy of being replaced here.
I think we're looking at this in the wrong manner, and trying to get out of it what we see in other packages costing 30-50% more, or twice as much. At least I may have been, with regard to CAM side.
A 64bit recompile will likely bring all sorts of change good and bad I presume. I'm thinking there's a complete kernel and machine engine re-write needed and this is the delay. If so, it will be a totally different product. For me, I'll wait to look at the product seriously when 64bit is released, and perhaps 2014.
I think asking users for an opinion is great, but it really requires personnel in house who have actually run - concept to model to cam to machine table to final part, and are creative, intuitive and insightful.
The fellows I deal with who have never been on a shop floor or more appropriately never setup or run a machine tool, but run solid works or some other CAD only package, have little concept of what it really takes to make a part with a machine tool. Their part imports are crazy some times. Proof of little concept of how the final part is made. With regard to ZWSoft, programmers, marketing, and idea guys need to spend some time on a shop floor with a machine tool.
For me, it's best I wait, I'd like a shot at that free seat of Premium, but not 2013. Doing that diligence is not worth it. 2012sp2 is good enough even with it's quirks, for me for now.
I'm out for now and looking forward to the 64bit and/or 2014 release if 64bit. I will give 2013 final release a 30 day test run however, but without comment here. Onward to 2014/64bit. I'm still in!
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Message 11 of 16
Thanks for your valuable advice, just update the information here.
1) The constraint icon and external datums icon will be separated from the group, and fixed before the official release
2) The CAD UI has been included to the package, but the CAM UI still needs a lot of work, we are still working on it, and I believe that it will becomes much easier to use.
For instance, one of the key change is the Contact point enhancement (not finished), just for your reference, you can use the simple attached file to see how it works in the beta version
ContactPoint_faceofpart.zip (99.65 KB)
Message 12 of 16
You asked for examples of where the software is becoming laborious to use.
I have been mainly looking at Cam, here are some, that I have found.
Drilling e.g. Chip break, Peak drill, Tapping operations, in the first Parameter page you have to scroll down to get to the bottom of the form.
Why can’t you make the windows default length enough to fit the page, it is not that much more.
Zlevel tool path, I feel you should have left the constant Z level step down on the first page of the Parameters, where it is in 2012, and the Non uniform depth option, where you have it now.
I would use the constant step down most of the time. If you need uniforms or spiralize tools paths and in this case Non uniform cuts, you go to the second page.
Lead and Links, on the Zlevel and some of the other quick tool paths the page is totally confusing, you have to scroll up and down.
The leads and links in 2012 line up across, you click on them and your eyes are aligned with the Parameter pages as they open.
I do not like the leads and links page one little bit.
I can’t seem to open or save your Contact point attachment.
Message 13 of 16
Thanks for your quick reply, your information is very helpful for the CAM UI change.
1) Drilling, yes, it is much much better if we do it as you mentioned
2) Z Level, I agree with you, the menu is too long, and the parameters are too much in the single page
3) Leads and Links, that is the project we are enhancing, and we will make sure that it works great before it simply the work flow, otherwise we will postpone to integrate Lead and Links, and just keep the same Leads and Links
Thanks again, what I agree most is that we should make sure that the new enhancements are better then the old ways, otherwise they should not be integrated as experiments.
For the contact point enhancement, I just add another picture here. Hopefully the attached could be downloaded.
Message 14 of 16
Message 15 of 16
"as I am using the software I am liking it more, after the web demo things really changed for the better. I think I will end up really liking the new things."
What ZWSOFT has already done shows they are world leaders in user interface development. I have no doubt that what they don't get right on the first go around they will get right on the second or third. The foundation they have already built clearly shows ZWSOFT "gets it".
Moving on from the user interface here are some of the issues I have with CAM:
Right now, much of the information a solid model contains isn't used by the CAM system so a CAM programmer has to waste tons of time chaining geometry to create a toolpath for 2 1/2 axis mill and 2 axis lathe operations (contours, pockets, etc.) In addition, a CAM programmer often has to create many machining operations and extra wireframe geometry because the CAM system is stupid and is flying blind so it can't adjust its toolpath adequately to the solid model. This results in a CAM programmer having to create many toolpaths where one smart toolpath is all that's needed.
I'd like to know what ZWSOFT intends to do about ZW3D CAM not keeping constant track of an accurate stock model for all 2 and 2 1/2 axis mill and lathe machining operations that is easy to manage. Trying to manage a tessellated mesh of your machined part is a time consuming nightmare and it creates a very laborious process to accurately solid cut part simulate more than one machining setup at once.
When it comes to CAM programming making much better use of the information a solid model contains and keeping constant track of a stock model is where almost all CAM systems fall to pieces. I'd like to see ZW3D become world leaders in this area because I feel it's a huge barrier to creating CAM programs quickly and efficiently for production machining. Production machining is the area that most interests me and right now there is no good CADCAM program for production machining no matter how much someone spends.
CADCAM Technology Leaders group on LinkedIn
Message 16 of 16
new Z-Level is very ok.
It is what I was looking for in ZW3D
But checking it I found that some times, it doesn't mill all face - see the picture..
I'm not sure about the lead in and lead out movements - sometimes it look like they could clash with the part.
I would leave two possibilities of feature choosing, by the new window and the previous solution. Now you have to use new window.
unable to attach file due to 1meg limit..
and one more thing - stability....
Im quite new in ZW3D - but I have more than 10 years experience in NX, so I could be abberant a little:)
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