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IS POWERMILL GOING AWAY?

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Message 1 of 22
larryd171
5084 Views, 21 Replies

IS POWERMILL GOING AWAY?

I have heard that powermill is going to be replaced with Fusion 360 is this true?

21 REPLIES 21
Message 2 of 22
craig.chester
in reply to: larryd171

I can confirm that this is certainly NOT true. The development teams of many Autodesk desktop products (PowerMill, FeatureCAM, PartMAKER, NetFabb, Moldflow etc.) are all adding aspects of their technology into Fusion360 in order to create a world leading, fully featured, end to end solution. As this shared technology is enhanced, both products will gain the same benefits.

 

As you will soon see (PowerMill update Webinar coming soon!), this does NOT mean that products like PowerMill are ending. The benefit goes both ways, PowerMill is receiving technology from Fusion360 too.

I can assure you that the PowerMill development team is dedicated to solving your biggest machining problems. The upcoming PowerMill update webinar will soon be advertised on this forum and will hopefully calm your fears.

Message 3 of 22
iamcdn79
in reply to: craig.chester

This is my fear ever since we have moved over to a subscription license from a perpetual.

 

Where 5-10 yrs down the road something happens to Powermill for it to be no longer supported for whatever reason and you can not open any of your Powermill projects that were using the subscription license because you cannot renew it anymore.


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Message 4 of 22
5axes
in reply to: iamcdn79

Same point of view.

 

We all know that Autodesk is quoted to the stock exchange. The day when the expenses will exceed the expected income as for the other products Autodesk the devellopement will stopped. PowerMill is not an historical product like Autocad and we were able to see how some Delcam product were already stopped despite a large and active user community (ArtCam). In addition CAM industry it's not only software , It's also the support and service provided by competent peoples who knows you and knows your business. That has almost disappeared as 90% of the historical Delcam  teams (in France ) are now gone while for some of them it was more than 10 years of colaboration with Delcam. And this type of situation is always a bad signal concerning the futur of an activity.

 

In March take place an Exhibition called 'Industrie'. It's the most important event concerning the metal cutting activity not so big as an EMO or IMTS but it's our main one. For the first time since 1996 I think, PowerMill was not present on this show and beleived me, every CAM solution who one day have decided to be not present on this event doesn't exist anymore on our market. Some are still present in different countries, but not in France and I don't remenber a solution whitch have temporary reduce their marketing activity to come back stronger the next years.

 

So yes PowerMill/PowerShape/FeatureCam  are dead and I think that in 1 to 3 years the products will no longer be on the market.

 

Juste my point of view, I'm hope I'm wrong.

Message 5 of 22
craig.chester
in reply to: 5axes

I understand your sentiments, however, I'd like to add a few points.

One of the major areas of growth for Autodesk is manufacturing. Both Fusion and PowerMill are very important products in the strategy designed to accelerate this growth. Keeping existing customers happy with the products we supply into manufacturing is a very important part of this strategy.

ArtCAM didn't contribute significantly into the mainstream manufacturing industries, it was a niche. However, ArtCAM users still have a great future ahead of them. Autodesk made it possible for this product to continue to develop and prosper by releasing the code to an independent team of ex-ArtCAM developers.  This new, independent company have changed the name of the product to CARVECO and are now supplying it to the ArtCAM user base.
https://carveco.com/carveco-software/



Message 6 of 22
glen_h
in reply to: craig.chester

We're also hearing the same rumors that Powermill will be replaced with Fusion 360 here in Windsor, Ontario.

This might explain why the developers have shown little interest in bringing Powermill into the 21st Century by making it a truly multi core application. Even though we have brought this up time and time again.

The response I got from Craig was that there was 20 years of code to rewrite and it wouldn't be cost effective, so they only focus small portions of the application on using multiple cores.

This goes against providing a state-of-the-art software to cam programmers whose bosses count on extreme efficiency due to the ridiculous shortening of lead times allowed by our customers.

So here we sit and wait for toolpaths to crunch rest-ruffers for hours at a time, all the while our bosses are paying absurd subscription fees for support and software updates that really only amount to making the interface look fancy.

 

Big thanks to all who contribute!
My opinions are my own and are not intended to reflect yours.
Message 7 of 22
larryd171
in reply to: glen_h

here at our shop there has been alot of time put into macros templates i have used powermill for almost 15 years

i used cimatron for awhile but i love powermill dont care for Fusion 360 no dought in my mind if it would calculate faster powermill would dominate...

Message 8 of 22
glen_h
in reply to: larryd171

Very true. I'm sure we have hundreds of hours in macros and templates also. I cannot imagine having to start all over again! Hopefully that won't be the case!

Big thanks to all who contribute!
My opinions are my own and are not intended to reflect yours.
Message 9 of 22
craig.chester
in reply to: glen_h

For the next release, I am very happy to inform you that the PowerMill development team have prioritised improving the performance of toolpath calculation.

 

To reduce toolpath calculation time, the team have optimised many of the low level algorithms as well as extending the multi threading capability of the most frequently used toolpath strategies.

 

I am certainly impressed by the results of this work  and I hope you will be too. We will soon communicate these results to you all.

 

We are listening to you.

Message 10 of 22
Anonymous
in reply to: craig.chester

Waiting, Waiting, Waiting....

 

Waiting for toolpaths to calculate..

Waiting for responses to support tickets..

Waiting for feedback about our uncertainty for the future of powermill..

 

Craig, it is greatly appreciated that you have given us some information about things in the pipeline.  Yours is the only response we have had to issues raised.. mainly in the forums but also in support tickets.

 

Unfortunately it's too little, too late.

 

With all the issues we have had since the release of 2019.. the bugs we've had to work around, some failed patches.. etc..  and especially the lack of support lately, the company I work for has decided to bring in another CAM company.

 

As it has been said in previous posts in this thread, our customers require parts on shorter lead times and powermill has been getting slower.. not quicker, and the bugs just compound the issue.  We just cannot rely on powermill at the moment and uncertainty in our field is unacceptable.. our customers will not accept it, why should we.

Message 11 of 22
5axes
in reply to: Anonymous

I don't really have some problem with the calculation time, because most of the time my part size are not really big (300x300x300)  and it's more a question of number of toolpaths, than a global calculation time.  But as many of you are complaining about this issue , I'm just wondering which CAM solution is now faster than PowerMill ?  For me it's still the faster on different benchmark we have made in the past. So do you have some comparison element to recommand a faster solution . (If you don't want to give the answer via the forum your answer via PM will be welcome )

 

Best regards,

 

Message 12 of 22
craig.chester
in reply to: 5axes

Regarding calculation speed... I will state that our top priority for toolpaths are quality and reliability. The reason that toolpath calculation has slowed over previous releases is because we have been fixing serious bugs reported by our users. Unfortunately, this sometimes extends the calculation time.

 

We'd rather provide you with a 'right first time' toolpath which takes longer to calculate than a 'right most of the time' toolpath which is quicker to calculate.


However, as previously stated, we are currently focussed on reducing the time taken to compute your toolpaths without losing any of these important quality/reliability improvements.

It would be very easy for us to dramatically reduce the calculation time if we were not concerned about the quality or reliability. However, we believe that most of you would not be happy with this.

 

Message 13 of 22
M_Hennig
in reply to: craig.chester

I understand your argument Craig,  the frustrating part is the fact that computers are just such a cheap investment. We recently upgraded to the latest and greatest, fastest, multicore computer you can find with a top of the line graphics card. It kills me to open up the control panel and watch a 5x toolpath calculate using only 12% of the resources, the rest of the computer just sitting there waiting for something to do.. OK, may be the 12% is an exaggeration, but you get my point. USE all of my resources, all the time, get on with it, we don't work in demo land, we all get paid by the hour, and a machine sitting waiting for a toolpath to calculate, does not make for a happy owner.

Message 14 of 22
urizenYHS3W
in reply to: M_Hennig

For some operations you can divide the job up into bits and have a processor work on just one bit, a second processor work on another bit, etc, and combine all the calculated bits together at the end. That would certainly be the case for a raster toolpath, but could you do that if the strategy was 3d offset? Would having 8 processor each calculating a 3d offset on an eight of the model give you the same result as one processor calculating over the entire model?

 

Message 15 of 22
psx2
in reply to: 5axes

 

The day when the expenses will exceed the expected income

...... !!!! ??? 

 

 

from delcam to autodesl the cost of maintenance is doubled !!! or just me !!!Smiley Mad

 

Message 16 of 22
clinton.perry
in reply to: psx2

Many thanks for the continuing contributions to this thread.

 

Thanks also to those of you that attended our "PowerMill 2019 and Beyond" webinar on 12th April. Those that attended saw a review of the major enhancements included in PowerMill 2019 over the last year. We also revealed what we're working on now - and showed some really positive performance improvements seen in our current development version. 

 

Please note you can watch a recording of the webinar using the link below.

https://register.gotowebinar.com/recording/4397777528656575235

 

The webinar lasts 56mins and covers the following:-

 

  • 00:00 - Welcome
  • 02:25 - Agenda
  • 04:00 - PowerMill 2019.0 review
  • 14:30 - PowerMill 2019.1 review
  • 24:00 - PowerMill 2019.2 review
  • 36:00 - What are we working on now?
  • 54:30 - Our commitment to PowerMill

We're also collating the many questions that have been asked during the webinar, and on this forum, and will provide a link to the Q&A document shortly. 

 

Many thanks

Message 17 of 22
ahorwood
in reply to: clinton.perry

OK, so when is PM2020 coming out? What are the big upgrades?

Message 18 of 22
clinton.perry
in reply to: ahorwood

Hi @ahorwood - for legal reasons we can't confirm the exact date when 2020 will be released nor what it will include. What I can say is that I've seen the installer files so I know it's pretty imminent 🙂 

I can also say that the main focus for our development teams has been speed, reliability, speed, usability, and more speed! We're seeing considerable reductions in calculation times for many of the commonly used toolpath types. If you saw the recent "PowerMill 2019 and Beyond" webinar, you'll have had an early insight into what we've been working on. If you wanted to know more, feel free to watch the webinar at https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/recording/4397777528656575235

 

The feedback from our BETA testers (including many of our most demanding internal testers and customers) has been overwhelmingly positive.  I'll be able to provide more of an update in the coming few days (when those pesky legal shackles are removed).

 

Thanks,

Message 19 of 22

PowerMill 2020 was released on 15th May. Eligible customers with an active subscription or maintenance agreement should be receiving the update in the coming days. We've also updated the online help site to include a selection of tutorials to pick out the major highlights. You can learn more at https://help.autodesk.com/view/PWRM/2020/ENU/?guid=GUID-69D66A63-4A9B-469A-80EB-E6F26C169F51 (including accessing the example data sets used in the tutorials). 

Message 20 of 22
glen_h
in reply to: clinton.perry

@clinton.perry 

Does this mean that all of the outstanding issues from 2018 and 2019 that went to development have all been resolved?

We still aren't using 2019 yet because of the unpredictability and issues we are still waiting for development to cure.

5 months into 2019 and we are already getting 2020.

Would much rather Autodesk take the first 9 months or so of each year to use and troubleshoot...in real life situations, than to have these useless releases pushed out so soon!

 

Glen

Big thanks to all who contribute!
My opinions are my own and are not intended to reflect yours.

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