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NeuTechFLA  
#1 Posted : Tuesday, March 19, 2019 4:16:30 PM(UTC)
NeuTechFLA

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An Open letter to Tim Olsen.

We do not know one another, so I hope you give my letter a read without simply dismissing it. I do not know if you are aware of me on the VC/Shark forum. I go by the handle NeuTechFLA. I am the person that challenged himself to learn SharkCAD by surfacing the Yellow Mustang and now the just completed 2000GT. You can see how both progressed on the forum under the Surfacing Category.

I acquired SharkCAD last year (Pro 10, build 1335) as a result of my displeasure and distaste for PTC’s (authors of Creo, formerly Pro/ENGINEER) corporate decision to force a subscription only sales model onto their user base beginning 01/01/2018. After 30+ years of buying their software, being forced to purchase their same code, again and again, year upon year, was simply unacceptable, and remains so from my standpoint. A direction I hope Encore never thrusts upon the user base. It’s a terrible model for users and those of us that buy the software. Regardless, I found VC/Shark in early 2018 and decided to give it a try.

I have been a full time user and purchaser of CAD products since 1984. I began drafting/designing on the board in the early 1980’s and then transitioned to simple 2D electronic drafting CAD (ACAD, CADAM and early Microstation) then to 3D wireframe CAD (Applicon Bravo), then to surface focused CAD (ICEM/Surf, Catia V3&4), then to early object based relational 3D surface/solid CAD (Intergraph EMS, SDRC, early Catia V5, UG, Pro/E) and finally to today’s full object based parametric 3D solid modeling software such as Creo, Catia V5/6 and SolidWorks. I have worked on products in just about every discipline on Earth except for space craft. Let’s simply say, I have been around the CAD block many, many times over the last three decades. I do not list my very long history of CAD to brag or be conceited; I do so in support of my letter to you.

First, I must give credit where credit is due. The work you have done with VC and Shark is commendable. Your codes do some neat things that I find interesting. The GUI’s, combo Old/New School relational modeling, work area layout, tear out menus and customization options, are innovative and thoughtfully implemented and contain some very nice functionality. However, this is where I must ask if Encore has lost focus of its place in the market and to its users. To whom and what industry are you positioning ViaCAD and SharkCAD? Forgive me for saying this, but your codes are never going to be as powerful and stable as Creo, Catia, NX or SolidWorks being based on the ACIS kernel. These are truly an apples to oranges comparison with VC/Shark. Please don’t misunderstand my intent. I know VC/Shark’s capabilities are more than adequate for the small and focused segment of the design community you currently possess. But, over the last year or so, I have watched you add new features and capability that are, quite frankly, overkill for the user base you have now or ever will gain in the future. So, I am confused as to Encore’s direction and reasoning for this when it’s clear there are other functionality items to address. In essence, I get the sense your desire to build the latest and fastest VC/Shark Ferrari is lost on those that simply want a reliable Chevrolet. I hope you can appreciate the analogy. With respect, your codes are not being used to design products for FORD, GM, Mercedes, Space X or Tesla so the functionality at the extremes of the CAD Bell Curve are not truly necessary, useful or appreciated by your user base. Again, respectfully, VC/Shark will never displace Creo, Catia, NX or SolidWorks installations around the world. But, I must ask if a misguided focus is driving you to create unnecessary functionality for a user base that does not need that functionality to the detriment of other needs? For example, much, much coding attention been given to new modeling capabilities over the last year, that I suspect only a few of your customers will ever use. Yet from what I read on the forum, MTS is still a bugged disaster that has not been fixed for over a decade. Is this a wise use of your time and your customer’s money? If I am wrong, you have my apology. But, please tell me (us) what is driving the need for all the advanced modeling functionality at the expense of basic functionality? An additional example, I have struggled to understand and use your MTS function. Creating drawings in VC/Shark is, in a few words, clumsy, restrictive and frustrating because the current workflow is so far afield from conventional CAD programs, I cannot easily make a decent drawing. From my perspective, this should be one of the bedrock prerequisites of capable CAD software, whether 2D or 3D. In other words, the ability to create robust 2D drawings, easily and without compromise, should be a fundamental aspect of any CAD system regardless of price. Unfortunately, this is not the case with VC/Shark’s MTS. Additionally, why the restriction of View (Line of Sight) Windows? I am not aware of any other CAD product that functions in this manner. Also, V11’s clumsy introduction with 2D constraints should not even be a “thing”, as this is, and has been for over 25 years, standard functionality of most serious CAD programs. In other words, this functionality should never have been removed in the first place. I can only assume there was a compelling business case for removing it from VC/Shark some years ago? But now, it’s obvious the issues with the V11 release have exhausted your attention and overshadow any gains from my perspective. In fact, I would argue the V11 stumble has upset a large number of your current users, based on the forum petitions, which that negative press will be difficult to reverse. I hope Encore recovers from it.

Finally, from my perspective, being in the CAD business for as long as I have, I suggest you may be missing the bigger picture with regard to your user base. I see decades old posts asking you to address fundamental issues that go unanswered. Evidence proves you do watch and selectively respond to forum issues at times. But, from what I read, and is bolstered by my experience in Shark Pro 10, they still remain unresolved. The encouraging aspect is you seem to have a solid, yet frustrated, following on the forum and they seem to be rooting for you to succeed. I’ll admit, I have grown a bit sentimental to your codes too and would like to get to know them better as I see value in learning VC/Shark. I understand you could simply dismiss what I have written with no harm, no foul. But I hope what I have written strikes a chord with you as I think you have the basis for a really neat position in the market. And as always, brand loyalty, especially in today’s World, is a precious commodity that should not be dismissed.

With respect,

NeuTechFLA
thanks 8 users thanked NeuTechFLA for this useful post.
GARLIC on 3/19/2019(UTC), jlm on 3/20/2019(UTC), horst.w on 3/20/2019(UTC), L. Banasky on 3/20/2019(UTC), Christian Hallauer on 3/20/2019(UTC), digitalphaser on 3/21/2019(UTC), Birger on 3/22/2019(UTC), magicart on 3/24/2019(UTC)
jlm  
#2 Posted : Wednesday, March 20, 2019 2:19:48 AM(UTC)
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Originally Posted by: NeuTechFLA Go to Quoted Post
An Open letter to Tim Olsen.

.... Creating drawings in VC/Shark is, in a few words, clumsy, restrictive and frustrating because the current workflow is so far afield from conventional CAD programs, I cannot easily make a decent drawing. From my perspective, this should be one of the bedrock prerequisites of capable CAD software, whether 2D or 3D. In other words, the ability to create robust 2D drawings, easily and without compromise, should be a fundamental aspect of any CAD system regardless of price. Unfortunately, this is not the case with VC/Shark’s MTS. ...

NeuTechFLA


Thanks NeuTechFLA,

I'm currently finishing a set of 8 drawings with V11Beta : I started 10 days ago...
"Clumsy" is the right word : 80% of the time is spent traveling between menus and palettes to set dimensions, hatches, views, text...
Exactly the same as V10...

JLM

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GARLIC on 3/20/2019(UTC), L. Banasky on 3/20/2019(UTC)
MPSchmied  
#3 Posted : Wednesday, March 20, 2019 3:26:06 AM(UTC)
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The forum is the best proof that there is a good will to make a good software. The most other have no forum. Sometimes is it maybe not so easy to fix a bug.

Why is shark special?

Because you can use it without learning, just intuitive. And View rotating and midpoint setup while working with another tool.

And watch the screenshot. I tried to make this construction with another software and did'nt find out how it works. What alot of wasted time to find out how the other cad software works? And 20k for more than 20k items in a file? is to much money for nothing.

Originally Posted by: jlm Go to Quoted Post
I'm currently finishing a set of 8 drawings with V11Beta : I started 10 days ago...
"Clumsy" is the right word : 80% of the time is spent traveling between menus and palettes to set dimensions, hatches, views, text...
Exactly the same as V10...

I have no problems to make good drawings, but i have the most time only easy models. if you know how it works with the dimensions and dim setup, you don't need to setup the size of every dimension, you can also setup the size of new dimensions, and you should use only pixel sizes, because the metric sizes works not properly (wrong dpi).

Edited by user Wednesday, March 20, 2019 4:06:08 AM(UTC)  | Reason: Not specified

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jlm  
#4 Posted : Wednesday, March 20, 2019 6:06:39 AM(UTC)
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Originally Posted by: MPSchmied Go to Quoted Post

I have no problems to make good drawings, but i have the most time only easy models. if you know how it works with the dimensions and dim setup, you don't need to setup the size of every dimension, you can also setup the size of new dimensions, and you should use only pixel sizes, because the metric sizes works not properly (wrong dpi).


I love Shark too.
3D modeling is just a pleasure and my customers and my suppliers are always amazed to see how quick and easy it is to create a complex solid.

Even the Model To Sheet... I love the concept, but I can't honestly advise my partners to use it.

In real usage with complex solids, making drawings is a Nightmare.
Specially when we I realize from the 2D views that the 3D objects need to be modified...
Most of the times, the links don't work properly and the views, the sections, the details and the hatches are just ruined.
Sometimes the only way is to just start again...

The bugs have been listed many times here by Antoine, me and others.
I hope to see some improvements before V11 is released.

JLM



thanks 5 users thanked jlm for this useful post.
GARLIC on 3/20/2019(UTC), MPSchmied on 3/20/2019(UTC), Christian Hallauer on 3/20/2019(UTC), horst.w on 3/20/2019(UTC), magicart on 3/24/2019(UTC)
murray  
#5 Posted : Wednesday, March 20, 2019 11:04:20 PM(UTC)
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I support the addition of new tools and features. That's because I can imagine uses for them, put them to use and continue to make a living designing from them. I think that if your advice is followed, it won't change the things you want changed. I'm a drafter and product designer, starting as paper draftsman four decades ago, moving onto CAD drafting then, then a brief-based freelancer supplemented by casual employment and contract work for nearly two decades, using TurboCAD initially, PunchCAD as well for the last decade. Both are built around ACIS, for whatever that's worth. I've also been told to pick up and use other random apps along the way. The tools that have been added into TC and VC/Shark over the time I've been using them have meant that over the past two decades I've not had a brief for creating geometry that I haven't been able to deliver on, including supporting documentation, sheet drawings, and models, all compliant with ISO, national (including military) and corporate standards. I'm not working in an enterprise network and the briefs that I do get don't have the rigor that enterprise sometimes needs and often insists on whether it needs it or not, by which I mean arcane levels of specification for a thing that's aimed at consumer aesthetics. As for your advice, it's one thing to appeal to Tim and co. to deal with the shortcomings that concern you, but there's no evidence to conclude that advising the development people to abandon things that you don't give a crap about for things that you do will (a) lead to any resources being directed from one area to the other, or (b) change any of the things that you care about, even if that does happen. Plead your case, but I for one don't appreciate your proposing the sacrifice of things that you don't have an interest in or a use for, but which I do, for your imaginary outcome.
Innovation in the tools that I use gives ME more to innovate with. "Overkill for the user base"? Your opinion is your opinion, not rarefied insight.

Edited by user Wednesday, March 20, 2019 11:06:07 PM(UTC)  | Reason: Not specified

jlm  
#6 Posted : Thursday, March 21, 2019 12:00:44 AM(UTC)
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Originally Posted by: murray Go to Quoted Post
... starting as paper draftsman four decades ago, ... PunchCAD as well for the last decade.


Four decades ago I was teaching "industrial drafting" in an African school...

Let's make a deCADe club !
horst.w  
#7 Posted : Thursday, March 21, 2019 3:09:31 AM(UTC)
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Originally Posted by: murray Go to Quoted Post

...
Innovation in the tools that I use gives ME more to innovate with.
...


... than you have never used the Deform Face-tool. It was killed in VC V 11 without any informations and replaced by an other tool I never use because it has a totally different function.

To eliminate tools is one thing. But I startet with V 9 and bought the new Deform Face-function with paying for V 10. Is it right when V 11 eliminate it? For new users it may be ok, but for those who have upgraded it is stepping back. All together is a bundle and I have no purposive sample between them. Going back to the roots and provide separate bundles of functions would be the best for me.
The best example is the 3D-printing tool. To whom it is designed??? Who is using it. Who need it? Mine not, I have paid a lot of money for my favorite Simplify3D I'm very bound up. I have (must) paid for this very useless tool and lost what I loved. Innovations á là Encore.

horst.w
GER

Edited by user Thursday, March 21, 2019 3:13:00 AM(UTC)  | Reason: Not specified

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UGMENTALCASE  
#8 Posted : Thursday, March 21, 2019 3:29:01 AM(UTC)
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NeuTechFLA in my view totally has a point.

I for one enjoy the software, I like the non subscription element to it, which is why I ended up here, but the basics aren't even there. You try doing a line perpendicular to curves, I think it's called in power pack, and tell me what the command says at the top? It's like someone forgot the spell check, or was p*ssed when they typed in the command text?
Stopped chamfer, took my ages to find it, turns out it's in wood work? Why? Is this the only place you would use it? I, amongst others, would use this in metal work. Great little feature to chamfering the whole edge.
I've asked the question about things promised on websites, never delivered, nor an answer. I'm sat at the door waiting to toss money through it for an upgrade, but can't get answers so I won't be handing it over until I get them.
Thread function in power pack, where is the cosmetic thread element? It's on the website but can't find it anywhere?

The upgrade to version 11, you spend a chunk of cash on that and power pack , and power pack doesn't work?!?! I've answered about 3 questions on that on here. You'd think it would have gone through some sort of quality check?

I've said it before, if you buy a car and flick the indicator on and the wipers start, you'd want to know why. It's no different here. You click undo, and are bombarded with error after error after error. I can't undo that because of the fillet, remove the fillet, click undo. I can't undo that because of this face, remove the face. Click undo, I can't undo that because of this, that the other. Well hold on, I may as well just start again?


I've had an instance recently where my draw views, relating to model views, have just gone mental. No matter how many times I redo the view to the model view, the 2d drawing comes out wrong, but the model view is right? You can't report these things, because if those exact circumstances can't be repeated it won't get fixed. Sounds simple, but why would it happen in the first place? The only way I have found to fix it, is to remake the 3d model view. Why? It costs me time & money! Also money for the parts which have been laser cut and don't bloody fit. Why would I go and check this? I set up the view, it's right in 3d but wrong in 2d? Crazy!

I'll be asking the question on the speed of resolving links as well soon. Wow it's painful! You knock up a sketch, change it a little and I'm having to constantly go and resolve links as they don't update themselves all the time. Simple things, take a dimension off the sketch, which takes it from a fully constrained situation, it all stays green, couple of clicks later, after forcing resolved thingy, it's gone blue.

Edited by user Thursday, March 21, 2019 7:53:50 AM(UTC)  | Reason: Not specified

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digitalphaser  
#9 Posted : Thursday, March 21, 2019 5:39:52 AM(UTC)
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I like SharkCAD. It is very convenient and quite not bad tool. But I think SharkCAD is too expensive for this class of software.

A good solution would be a modular structure. PowerPack is a great example of expanding the possibilities of software.
For example, earlier I used viaCAD Pro and I always needed(I thought so) a surface tools with guide(Guide Cover Surface etc...). Having bought Shark, I got these extensions with a bunch of unnecessary stuff. In fact, I paid $ 1,000 only for these 3 extensions.

3D printing, architecture, furniture, animation, rendering etc.... can be quite plug-ins.

In addition, Shark has a poor performance and is very unstable. Last time, it just closes without warning. Although it is better than 10 minutes "please wait" spinner. :)

For me, Shark ist just one of many tools. I express my point of view based on my needs which may differ from the needs of other users. Complex solid? Can I see what is this? ;)

######

By the way, Rhinoceros is an excellent value for money.
jlm  
#10 Posted : Thursday, March 21, 2019 6:24:15 AM(UTC)
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Originally Posted by: digitalphaser Go to Quoted Post
;..
I think SharkCAD is too expensive for this class of software.

Complex solid? Can I see what is this? ;)

By the way, Rhinoceros is an excellent value for money.


Hi Digitalphaser,

Small parts designed for mass production are always complex because they need to be fully optimized with draft, part lines, etc.
Our files are used to produce injection molds that cost up to 100 000 USD each (for one part), so the cost of the software is not really an issue.
The last mistake I did (wrong surface tangency on a cap top) costed 10 times the cost of SharkCad Pro to get it fixed...

We design the parts with Shark, then our partner does the mold design with Siemens NX (best case) ... One mold can have more than 1000 metal blocks plates & bits...

One of the advantages of Shark : we can re-import the complete step of the mold and check everything.

We use Rhino only to create difficult surfaces (T-splines) that we reimport in Shark to work on real solids...

You can see "complex" parts on our website http://www.cinqpats.com/portfolio/design-2/

Edited by user Thursday, March 21, 2019 6:30:10 AM(UTC)  | Reason: Not specified

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digitalphaser  
#11 Posted : Thursday, March 21, 2019 7:25:29 AM(UTC)
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Originally Posted by: jlm Go to Quoted Post

Small parts designed for mass production are always complex because they need to be fully optimized with draft, part lines, etc.
Our files are used to produce injection molds that cost up to 100 000 USD each (for one part), so the cost of the software is not really an issue.
The last mistake I did (wrong surface tangency on a cap top) costed 10 times the cost of SharkCad Pro to get it fixed...

Hi,
Strange logic. Software is not a piece of metal. Software is mass intellectual-virtual tool.

Yesterday I created an advertising banner that costs 10 times more(without printing) than Photoshop's yearly subscription. Does it mean that Photoshop is too cheap?

Originally Posted by: jlm Go to Quoted Post

You can see "complex" parts on our website http://www.cinqpats.com/portfolio/design-2/


Let's not compare field of application.

I never participated in the real production. Surely it's more harder than 3D printing. But my job is visualization and prototyping of objects and I did not see complex objects in my understanding.



murray  
#12 Posted : Thursday, March 21, 2019 7:38:28 AM(UTC)
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By all means draw attention to the flaws that you'd like fixed, report the bugs, more than once even, but don't presume that you speak for anyone other than yourself when it comes to directing development or the philosophy that drives it. When a self-described expert claims higher insight into the "bigger picture", and advises that the development team needs to move in the direction that he's pointing, claiming that he knows what the "market" (which is me, BTW) wants and needs, I call bullshit.
"quite frankly, overkill for the user base you have now or ever will gain in the future" Quite frankly, patronising, presumptuous, unsubstantiated BS, with a prophecy on top.
jlm  
#13 Posted : Thursday, March 21, 2019 7:49:18 AM(UTC)
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wrote:

Let's not compare field of application.
I never participated in the real production. Surely it's more harder than 3D printing. But my job is visualization and prototyping of objects and I did not see complex objects in my understanding.


The complexity is usually hard to detect from seing the final part...

On the attached product the "braided" cap needed weeks of work to be feasible in injection molding.
Shark was the main software but we also needed Rhino and Solid Works to create the "bumps" with right draft angles (no undercuts)and correct part lines (4 sliders in mold)...
It is sold in Germany in DM at very low price ...

Edited by user Thursday, March 21, 2019 8:07:58 AM(UTC)  | Reason: Not specified

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digitalphaser  
#14 Posted : Thursday, March 21, 2019 8:14:41 AM(UTC)
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Originally Posted by: jlm Go to Quoted Post

The complexity is usually hard to detect...

On the attached product the "braided" cap needed weeks of work to be feasible in injection molding.
Shark was the main software but we also needed Rhino and Solid Works to create the "bumps" with right draft angles and correct part lines (4 sliders)...
It is sold in Germany at DM...

I like beautiful packaging and I like your products. But it was not the subject of my question.

I actually do not argue. Creating a real product is a complex and time consuming process.
I just doubted that with Shark you can "easily" and "quickly"(as you wrote) create a complex solid object. So it was just curiosity that you call "complex solid". :)

I can hardly imagine how to create such weaving without using third-party software.



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