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NeuTechFLA  
#1 Posted : Saturday, January 06, 2018 7:59:53 AM(UTC)
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Good Morning All,

This post may be a long so with respect to those that do not wish to read all the way through only to find out what I was on about was of no interest, the main theme is: I am curious about VC/Shark's user base. How many users, where located (generally) geographically, what industries/products is VC/Shark used for mostly and what is the future plan...continue as is or being groomed for acquisition?

I have been in the CAD business for over 30 years and still am a current Creo and SolidWorks user. Over that 30 year time-frame, I have worked in a number of industries relating to product design, product and industrial engineering and industrial design utilizing a number of software. The list of software I have worked on (from oldest to newest ((some used simultaneously)) are: Applicon Bravo, ACAD, Intergraph I/EMS, CADAM, PDGS, Catia V4 and V5, Creo(Pro/E), ICEM/Surf, SolidWorks and now I am learning VC/Shark. I do not list these to brag. I list these because, upon seeing VC/Shark's capability vs. price, I knew it was a wise purchase, no doubt. However, I am curious as to the long term wisdom of my learning Shark relative to future work opportunities. In other words, just how "marketable", known and/or in demand is VC/Shark? If I am going to use the remaining limited time of my life to learn a software, I would like to have some comfort of knowing it will pay off somewhat in the end.

What is a typical VC/Shark like? Single, independent designer/user or multiple user CAD group? Are there any companies standarized on VC/Shark that you know?

Where, globally, is VC/Shark utilized most? Is it used mostly in North America, EU or a diverse user base?

What are the industries that "know" of VC/Shark? Building Trades/Architecture, Ship building, etc???

Is VC/Shark (Tim, I guess?) building/maintaining/updating VC/Shark to make it attractive for sale, like SolidWorks did with Dassault? I mean if VC/Shark gets gobbled up (pun intended) by one of the bigger fish, it runs the risk of getting stagnated and allowed to die on the vine. BTW....a bit of history. When Mike Payne left PTC and started SolidWorks, the rumor on the street was he had always intended to "sell" big. He knew capitalizing on Windows based architecture instead of mainframe was the "hook" and played that brilliantly. $310 million brilliant ways in fact. That is off point... The point is when SW sold to Dassault, everyone up top intended to let SW languish in the back room (which it did somewhat from roughly 1997-2000) so as not to cobble sales from Catia. (Dassault did this with ICEM/Surf too somewhat). But because of SW's brilliant guerrilla marketing efforts early on (colleges, disgruntled Pro/E and Catia users) pure loud voices demanded SW stay relevant, and it has for a long time. To use some automotive parlance, Dassault has been in the uncomfortable position of making certain their Camaro SS (SolidWorks) cannot outrun its Corvette ZR1 (Catia) in a drag race. Although knowing both V5 and SW, I can attest that they are very close to one another. In other words, a CAD Rockstar, whether SolidWorks, V5 or Creo for that matter, will arrive at the finish line very close to one another. So, in your opinion, what is the future of VC/Shark? Will it stay somewhat where it is with updates to core functions or will it gain in functionality over time?

Was there ever a push for an Assembly mode in VC/Shark history? I find one of the difficulties in VC/Shark is "managing" everything by layers in the multi-body environment. Added to that, the fact that multiple selection (I.E. selecting more than one layer at a time with the Shift or CNTL key) is not possible in the layer tree, and that for some users the scroll wheel does not work all the time, makes for a VERY long day when the "model" gets to be over 7 "parts". I am curious as I see the addition of something like a functional Assembly Mode would add to the power/usability of VC/Shark. I fully concede there is much more I need to learn about VC/Shark. All software are usually much deeper and much more capable than a two month Noob like myself knows. Maybe some of what I say will be useful is already "in here". I look forward to learning it if that is the case.

In the end, I have enjoyed the learning curve of VC/Shark so far. Lots of capability and the user interface is decent with a lot of "niceties". BTW, Tim if you happen to be reading this, did you have any history with Intergraph I/EMS of the 1980's? VC/Shark reminds me of it very much from the way models are constructed (although this is common with explicit boolean CAD) to the data management, to flattening views on drawings, on and on. As I learn VC/Shark I find myself transported back a few decades asking very familiar questions! :o) I do not say this to be disparaging at all. I say it with respectful admiration that VC/Shark is a powerful as it is and has a following. Nicely done!

Have a great weekend all. And if you made to this point, thanks for reading it.

Dean

UGMENTALCASE  
#2 Posted : Saturday, January 06, 2018 9:31:56 AM(UTC)
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Hi,
Nice post, something similiar has come across my mind. I personally bought ViaCAD 8 from Amazon and thought it was pretty good. I then checked to see if it was still going, and was lucky to use my 8 license to get a discounted upgrade to Pro 10. I personally bought it to develop my personal CAD base and for any potential local work opportunities.
I'd never be able to use it to work for the big guys, but I can help/work with local machine shops etc to create models, drawings etc.

I was a littlw sad to download the Shark trial to find non of the Catia Imports works as this is what I wanted to test, also got very little suppot from it too. So I went with ViaCAD not Shark.

I use Catia and NX 9 everyday, and have been doing for around 5 years now. I see your point with the layers, but I'm getting used to it, you can still have each part saved seperately and build an assembly, but it's nothing like the Catia tree and others alike.

I'm enjoying my time with ViaCAD i hope there will be some good updates to drafting section, as I feel that is lacking a little, especially when you're spending at least nearly £1000 (on ViaCAD and Add-ons) would you expect it to be smoother? Probably yes, but there are work arounds, it's how many work arounds you do before you get tired of it.

I've seen a few posts on here of users getting a little annoyed with parts of it as well especially MTS.

Edited by user Saturday, January 06, 2018 11:05:59 AM(UTC)  | Reason: Not specified

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NeuTechFLA on 1/6/2018(UTC)
cad'n'stuff  
#3 Posted : Saturday, January 06, 2018 11:45:35 AM(UTC)
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Hello there

At work, the only 3d-CADs I use is Solidworks. I bought Viacad just a few months ago, and I'm still learning getting used to it. I use it for 3 purposes: Little DIY projects, to broaden my CAD skills and to model stuff just for fun (cars or spaceships for example).
So far i really like this program. It's simple and intuitive, and does many things just as good as bigger proper CADs. Unfortunately there are quite a few features and things that don't work as expected, or leave room for improvment. But if a user knows the strengths and weaknesses of this program, it can be a very powerfull tool.

I guess most Viadcad users are hobbyists. Sharkcad probably atracts mostly very small businesses, as bigger companies with engineering departements usually rely on the "professional" stuff (SW, Creo, Inventor,...)

Will Viacad get bought by Dassault or whoever? I don't think so. Viacad's ACIS-kernel has already been bought by Dassault, and there are a lot of other ACIS CADs out there, which are just as good, if not better than Viacad/Sharkcad.

Unfortunately the forum is very quiet. I wish there were more people engaged, posting pictures tutorials, problems,...

Have a nice day
David
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NeuTechFLA on 1/6/2018(UTC)
UGMENTALCASE  
#4 Posted : Saturday, January 06, 2018 2:02:37 PM(UTC)
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Did you know that whilst rotating a model (with the mouse), if you press the control key you get to pick a rotation point?
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macnavi on 1/17/2018(UTC)
NeuTechFLA  
#5 Posted : Saturday, January 06, 2018 3:00:51 PM(UTC)
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Originally Posted by: UGMENTALCASE Go to Quoted Post
Did you know that whilst rotating a model (with the mouse), if you press the control key you get to pick a rotation point?


I do now. Thanks for that.

P.S. Your screen name just hit me. UG(I.E. old NX)MENTALCASE. I realized that after you said you were an NX user earlier today.
UGMENTALCASE  
#6 Posted : Saturday, January 06, 2018 4:42:37 PM(UTC)
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That's my point :-) Ha ha, I bought the tips and tricks book and can't find that piece of advice anywhere! Don't know how to cancel it though!

Yep, UG! We called it UG Tourettes when it just wouldn't behave!
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NeuTechFLA  
#7 Posted : Saturday, January 06, 2018 5:19:35 PM(UTC)
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It appears you simply repeat the steps but instead of picking on your geometry, click somewhere in the work space. It seems to reset, or unset the rotation center.

Ha! UG Tourettes. Brilliant! I have a buddy who was a UG instructor at GM Tech Center for years in Detroit. Some years back, he was laid off and looking for a new job. I offered to teach him Pro/E and within four weeks he had gained enough skill to get hired on to an aviation engine manufacturing firm. He called me soon after and said, he never wanted to go back to UG because Pro/E was, in his words, DaBomb. I hope NX has surpassed the old days?
murray  
#8 Posted : Saturday, January 06, 2018 7:48:44 PM(UTC)
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I think that mid-range CAD products have similar core capabilities, so I took on PunchCAD because it offers great value for money in the VC range, and the PowerPack mesh to analytics and mesh to NURBS are fantastic for reverse engineering of freeform shapes, the newer layout of ruled surfaces is great for ductwork, boat building, and I've used it most recently for a plane's wing skin. Another bonus is that VC and Shark files interoperate seamlessly.
That being said, a guy called Matt Lombard, who wrote some reference books for SW and who used to maintain a SW blog called Dezignstuff, used to pose the question "where's the open-source CAD?" To some extent, that's FreeCAD. Some of my clients, who used to stipulate proprietary CAD systems, are now asking for models and documentation in FreeCAD's format, because it's increasingly competent and stable, and it's becoming the default neutral format for parametric history-based CAD. However, it's not slick to use, so I develop models in Shark and others and transfer the process (not an .STP or IGES solid) to FreeCAD for those clients. They don't want to be locked into proprietary systems permanently, or into my services. We can think of ourselves as irreplaceable artists, but most of what we do is generic....
The other thing to consider for me is that I don't do large-scale assemblies, I do product design, free-form CGI-style modelling, so I don't need a lot of computer horsepower. Remember the old days when Silicon Graphics workstations cost your first-born, and CATIA ran on Unix workstation networks? Shark, FreeCAD and other "retail" apps run on the lowliest of hardware. Sure, browser CAD means you can do full-scale on your phone, but I'm not at a point where I want to do that.
I'm in Australia, BTW, where large-scale manufacturing is a diminishing sector of the economy, but small-scale manufacturing is still nimble enough to do quite well.

Edited by user Saturday, January 06, 2018 7:57:29 PM(UTC)  | Reason: Not specified

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NeuTechFLA on 1/7/2018(UTC)
UGMENTALCASE  
#9 Posted : Sunday, January 07, 2018 1:15:59 AM(UTC)
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Originally Posted by: NeuTechFLA Go to Quoted Post
I hope NX has surpassed the old days?


It's ok now, they have moved to a horrible ribbon format, thought going from Version 6 to 7.5 was bad when they moved everything and you couldn't find it!

Forgot to say I'm in the UK, and work from home. Live in the middle of nowhere :-) There's a little engineering factory just round the corner and they have solidworks. I suspect they can probably get away with an education license though, as when I went in there they do a lot of research based work and so on. I would love to move to Shark, as more people on here seem to have it, but that maybe in the future.

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NeuTechFLA  
#10 Posted : Sunday, January 07, 2018 5:05:12 AM(UTC)
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PTC moved to a ribbon (tab) style GUI some years back as well. That's when Pro/E became Creo. Many users complained loudly for quite some time but simply fell in line and got on with it. I just watched a quick Youtube vid of an NX 10 tutorial. Creo and it are damn close from the ribbon (tabs) to the model tree, to the flyouts, to the FEA, etc. We all seem to be driving the same vehicle these days. I think in the "Programming World" it makes the code more efficient? Or, maybe the older coders were Geezers like me and were becoming obsolete. The "Next Gen" are likely versed in newer/faster/better coding languages and it made sense to move over to those architectures. Whatever the reason, it's pretty clear that all the codes have gone down the same path.

I feel I live in the middle of nowhere too when it comes to Creo. I moved out of Detroit fifteen years ago when I saw the crash and burn of the Auto biz was inevitable. I didn't know when it would occur, but I knew it was assured. I had "survived" for some time there even after the user base diminished for Creo post-1994 (the year PTC turned down an offer from FORD to standardize on Pro/E) Yes, that FORD. You know, the one that makes the Mustang, Focus, GT and F150? Classic PTC arrogance on FULL display. I bet now they wished they had "given in" just a bit. It's a long story if you are ever interested in hearing it. Regardless of that issue, I've had a really good and lucrative run on Creo. However, now there seems to be a more concentrated user base which is becoming more difficult to access. And, the reason I even know about VC/Shark is my indignation toward PTC that decided to sell Creo on a subscription model ONLY starting 1/1/18. It's been the most underhanded money grab I've seen in my CAD days. I know a lot of users are super angry with the decision and are making exit plans to SolidWorks/others. I simply did not want to be subject to being forced to pay each and every year for software that was becoming less and less relevant to me. I started my search for a new SW that was capable and most of all, not subscription based. Enter VC/Shark. By the way, my plan was to buy VC-Pro all along but I procrastinated for about a month. But when I woke up Cyber Monday to a 35% discount on all Punch! software, Shark-Pro was a "no-brainer".




UGMENTALCASE  
#11 Posted : Sunday, January 07, 2018 5:32:31 AM(UTC)
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Yeah I should've hung on, and maybe took advantage of the offers. This is half of my battle, a lot of subscription based software kills off small businesses. There's no way I'd be able to afford it unless I knew I had the likes of 50 hours work each week, then maybe I could rent a Catia License for a few months, but it's a tight rope!
That's when I looked for out right purhase type software.

I don't like the ribbon in NX so found the settings and knocked it back to classic and full screen mode which is much nicer to worm with, NX has a lot of 'stuff' on the screen, which is a feature I like with ViaCAD where you can collapse the menus to give you more space, I have a 17inch laptop and 22 inch monitor and they soon fill up!
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digitalphaser  
#12 Posted : Sunday, January 07, 2018 8:11:35 AM(UTC)
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Originally Posted by: cad' Go to Quoted Post
...Unfortunately the forum is very quiet. I wish there were more people engaged, posting pictures tutorials, problems,...


+1
I would like to see the real work videos. I like the way how it does, for example, Fusion360. Modeling of conceptual products and objects(cars, shoes, packaging etc..).
There are also commercial videos of any 3D artists. The speed videos are very useful too.
L. Banasky  
#13 Posted : Sunday, January 07, 2018 2:24:31 PM(UTC)
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NeuTechFLA wrote:
<<<< As I learn VC/Shark I find myself transported back a few decades asking very familiar questions! :o) I do not say this to be disparaging at all. I say it with respectful admiration that VC/Shark is a powerful as it is and has a following. Nicely done!>>>>

Hi,
It’s not commonly known, but the origin of Shark and ViaCad go back almost 30 years, hopefully my memory is correct.
It started with Ashlar. I started with AutoCad in the ’80, s, and Ashlar’s Vellum 3D 2.7 in’95. Ashlar had Vellum Solids, like Shark, and to this day share some of the same code.
There was some type of legal issue in 2005, but a settlement was reached. Ashlar did their thing, and Tim started Concepts Unlimited, the beginnings of Shark and ViaCad. I have used all of Tim’s products for the last 13 plus years, had have been completely satisfied.

This link shows how similar they are:
https://vimeo.com/189498689


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NeuTechFLA on 1/7/2018(UTC)
NeuTechFLA  
#14 Posted : Sunday, January 07, 2018 6:31:58 PM(UTC)
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Originally Posted by: digitalphaser Go to Quoted Post
Originally Posted by: cad' Go to Quoted Post
...Unfortunately the forum is very quiet. I wish there were more people engaged, posting pictures tutorials, problems,...


+1
I would like to see the real work videos. I like the way how it does, for example, Fusion360. Modeling of conceptual products and objects(cars, shoes, packaging etc..).
There are also commercial videos of any 3D artists. The speed videos are very useful too.


The irony is not much "real" work exists from what I can determine in that no companies I see are standardized on VC/Shark. So that means any and every example would be invented "real" work. I too looked at Fusion but do not have the stones to ever allow any of my work to float the cloud as 360 requires.

Instead of asking for things like cars, shoes, packaging which are all essentially the same tasks and workflow, what functions within Shark do you want to see demonstrated?

Jolyon  
#15 Posted : Monday, January 08, 2018 1:26:42 PM(UTC)
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Isn't that a bit like saying ... 'you can't write something valid without Microsoft Word'

I work with various different parties - they always wish I worked with SW etc on initial discussions - but thereafter don't seem to care

If you send or receive a model, invariably history is turfed anyway. You don't need history to make adjustments - as a third party it's often easier without it

Naturally the more specialist you get - the more the need for proprietary CAD

Jol
digitalphaser  
#16 Posted : Monday, January 08, 2018 2:14:53 PM(UTC)
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Originally Posted by: NeuTechFLA Go to Quoted Post
...Instead of asking for things like cars, shoes, packaging which are all essentially the same tasks and workflow, what functions within Shark do you want to see demonstrated?..


I think that learning a few functions does not make the task much easier. Different objects require a different modeling methodology.

Usually for these tasks (cars, shoes etc... :)) I use SubD software. Editing NURBS surfaces in VC/Shark I find not flexible. See screenshots below.

I'd like to see how the more experienced modelers work with it.

I can see hundreds of great youtube videos with Rhino & Co.(low-coast MOI too). Unfortunately VC/Shark videos are rather rarity. Are there Punchcad enthusiasts? :)



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NeuTechFLA  
#17 Posted : Monday, January 08, 2018 2:15:25 PM(UTC)
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Ha! Yes, somewhat the same as that. I see digitalphaser's meaning behind the question. Show examples of "real work videos" was what I was capitalizing on. For example, I have done 20 plus years of John Deere work, all of which was on Pro/E-Creo. So I could show "real world" work videos of that using actual parts and the techniques from Creo that were used. But searching Youtube I find no "real" products that have been completed in VC/Shark. I understand it's in the nuance of the language and question. It will become a matter of someone on the Forum, taking their time to reproduce something (non proprietary) in VC/Shark to demonstrate the techniques and work flow. Otherwise, it will be "invented" real work. :o)

It is true that being an independent/third party has a bit freedom, but as you stated, many times clients typically require work to be delivered in their native language. That is a pain and can be costly too.
flatpack  
#18 Posted : Monday, January 08, 2018 4:14:47 PM(UTC)
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Originally Posted by: NeuTechFLA Go to Quoted Post
Good Morning All,

This post may be a long so with respect to those that do not wish to read all the way through only to find out what I was on about was of no interest, the main theme is: I am curious about VC/Shark's user base. How many users, where located (generally) geographically, what industries/products is VC/Shark used for mostly and what is the future plan...continue as is or being groomed for acquisition?


Dean




Hi and welcome Dean. VC / Shark are fantastic tools for both the hobbyist and professional. My biggest pet peeve is the removal of Constraints which were once in an older version of Shark.


VC/Shark seem to be best at being an all-purpose modeling tool. I love the Direct model approach and find VC/Shark incredibly easy to use. Most of what I do as a furniture designer is solid modeling, but lately I've been delving quite a bit into surface and polygonal modeling. These two other types of modeling have been handy for some lighting collections I've been tasked with, but I've also been messing around with Rhino a bit too - but not a whole lot. I've only been using Punch software since Shark 7, which was not too long ago. Before that I had a copy of the similar-platform program Turbo Cad.

I use Keyshot as a my renderer, so I can't speak to the quality of any built-in rendering these days. I do wish VC had basic animation as there are cheaper programs with built-in animation like Cheetah 3D.

The development of Shark/VC is one of the other top reasons I continue to use it; Tim's been extremely helpful and actually takes users' suggestions into consideration.

I still have the occasional issue with Model-To-Sheet, but the boogers and stray lines that used to be much more prevalent have been mostly gotten rid of.

I also wish there was a bunch more tutorials.. mainly for mesh modeling which is something I struggle to do well. Tim and other users have put some up, but I am a total amateur with polygon modeling and can see how useful it is for organic shapes (animal shaped lamps etc).

Cheers.
UGMENTALCASE  
#19 Posted : Tuesday, January 09, 2018 1:58:39 AM(UTC)
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Constraints would be amazing! I did notice, whilst editing some of the .ini files ( to bring in toolbars which seem to be hidden, or simply won't stay on the screen)there is one that brings up 'auto constraints' and I thought, eh? I don't see any options for constraints anywhere?

That would be great, although you can get used to moving lines and snapping end points etc, it doesn't always hold things together. Especially if you've made a shape from separate lines, and then try and mod that shape after a load of holes and fillets have been put in. The join curve I've had issues with to keep the shape together, more often than not the joint, say a perpendicular one, ends up all wobbly and weird, so I tend to stick to separate lines now.
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NeuTechFLA  
#20 Posted : Tuesday, January 09, 2018 4:40:16 AM(UTC)
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I agree with UGMENTALCASE that constraints would be a great addition. It's what every other CAD package I know uses to control (that gives power and robustness) what happens within a model. The only system that I recall that had them, but did not utilize well...and ultimately failed in practical use was SDRC. I loathed that package. Using it was like akin to walking a tightrope without a net. I get the sense I am doing the same with Shark. I simply have not stated that yet since I am a two month Noob and realize I know next to nothing. But I believe I have circled the Sun enough times in the CAD World to believe it to be true.

UGMENTALCASE, I too found sketches to be "fragile" in the sense that they like to exist in their place but do not like to be "pushed around". Things come detached from one another way too easily. Constraints would help a great deal to keep things intact. I have found myself doing manually what all the other packages do automatically. That is placing sketches on separate layers. Tedium! But this is the only way I have found that allows only those sketch entities to be selected for a modification. I then "push" the sketch with fingers crossed that I do not get an error that a rebuild is impossible. I have even gone as far as de-featuring and/or suppressing items in the main body in hopes things will regen. Add to that, multiple selection in the Entity/feature tree are not possible and that makes for a VERY long day.

The other functionality that would be a powerful addition would be the ability to create an Assembly. For 3-4 parts, single, multi-body environments with layers is only "okay". To really gain ability to attract other users would be assembly mode for a number of reasons that I will not go into here. But...there is power waiting to be tapped in my opinion.

After working in Creo for so long, Active Sectioning is quite and simply...magical. I know I lived an entire Design life before them but if that was implemented in VC/Shark...pure joy would ensue.

P.S. there are HIDDEN toolbars???? How does one access this magical land?
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