Breaking News – ZWCAD Buys VX

I have just got information from a highly reliable source that ZWCAD Software Co. Ltd has bought VX Corporation. The news is supposed to become public in late September. In an earlier post titled “ZWSoft Going 3D“, I mentioned that the Chinese AutoCAD clone developer was going to announce its entry into 3D market. Looks like it has decided to buy its way into it.

VX has quite an impressive product line that spreads across CAD as well as CAM. There is VX Designer for advanced 3D design ($4,000), VX Mold & Die for mold and die design ($6,000), VX 3D Machinist for advanced CAM ($8,000) and something called VX End-to-End which is a fully loaded design and manufacturing system ($10,000). ZWCAD has been making noise about 3D for some time. And now with Dassault Systemes unleashing its free DraftSight the AutoCAD clone market does not seem to be that lucrative anymore.

I hope the first thing that the Chinese do is give the VX user interface a complete overhaul. I see that they have done a pretty good job with the ZWCAD interface. VX also needs better graphics performance, especially when it comes to handling large data sets.

  • JonBanquer

    “It is my hope that the Chinese will get new management for VX who understand how inferior VX currently is when compared to the rest of the market.”

    This comment wasn’t made by Jon Banquer

  • Kevin De Smet

    Oh – and some proper marketing, too!

  • Kevin Quigley

    That is news Deelip! This should set the cat amongst the pigeons – maybe.

  • Kevin Quigley

    I meant to say that wasn't VX at one time (or possibly still) owned or partly owned by Samsung? I recall that when I first looked at it when it was Varimatrix back in 94/95 the sales pitch was that Samsung funded it and used it for all their product development and tooling. Might be different now of course.

  • Ryan The American

    I have used the Chinese maker's CAD solution, it is actually very efficient and priced very reasonable compared to AUTOCAD. I think they will do a great job with VX, and probably improve on an already great product by VX

  • Dudi Peer

    These are very good news for VX and ZWCAD customers .
    I'm not sure whether they are also good For VX employees.

  • Dave Ault

    I have been a user of VX from V9 to V14 and for the money they have had a pretty good product. My hope for them would be that A, they don't change the interface. It is nice to not have that ribbon bar stuff here. B, that they would step more fully into the MCAD market. As of right now they are what they say and that is Mold and Die. If you have to do any amount of sheet metal work you will have to go elsewhere as theirs is just enough to say they have it and assembly is somewhat difficult at times over what it should be especialy if you want fully constrained parts. C,In machining the milling is pretty darned good but there is no lathe here and this is a killer for many shops who own both lathe and mill and want to do it all in one package.

    What has held VX back from being better than it is and more widely used is lack of capital. I suspect that this is good timing for VX as they are working on implementing direct editing and if other companies are any indication it is not easy or cheap to do. Perhaps this lack of capital will now change. Then again they may just buy it and fire everyone in Florida and move it offshore like everything else seems to be going and who knows what will happen then.

    What I really wish the Chinese would buy from the USA however is Obama. Take him and leave VX here;-].

  • Jon Banquer

    It is my hope that the Chinese will get new management for VX who understand how inferior VX currently is when compared to the rest of the market.

    • Larryrozer

      This is not a comment made by Jon Banquer

  • Guest

    I am taking a wild guess here – Dave Ault is white, over 50, from a red state, conservative, may be a tea-partier -with all its connotations. But I digress.

    All these comments sound to be much like people finding something good to say at a man’s funeral – a man they no was upto no good while he was living. VX has been dead for some time now and ZWCAD buying it is not going to change their fortunes in the US, no matter what the cookies say. It may have an after-life as a China-only product and that too because its machining is half-way decent for the Chinese market. So get real, folks. VX loss for us is no big gain for the Chinese. Maybe Samsung saw this and walked away also.

    Buying a VX license has always been a crap shoot, only because one could never be sure if they were going to be around to service the product even 12 months after you buy it. For this reason, my guess is no company that had to store its designs for any considerable amount of time would have knowingly chosen to keep its intellectual property tied up in a VX database.

    Most customers of VX, I surmise, are manufacturing companies more interested in an inexpensive cad+cam product. With ZWCAD buying VX, I think there is now a sliver of a VX market in the US (of 1000-2000 seats?) that a well-packaged cad+cam product can go after.

  • Dave Ault

    Great stuff! Yes I proudly admit to being like 70% or more of the cad users in the US.

  • Kevin Quigley

    I'm a VX customer, and a SolidWorks customer and others as well. I do have some content tied up in the VX database. But I would say to anyone you would be very foolish to rely on ANY CAD system file format for long term use. Besides how much IP is actually retained in a CAD system? IP is the knowledge and physical entities that a CAD system might help to produce – that is all.

    VX is not perfect. It is too focussed on certain niche markets. But it is a powerful system with some unique features. The big difference that VX has over others is the ownership of the kernel.Whoever owns VX now, owns that.

    In recent years VX has realised that they cannot do everything better than others. VX14 introduced the D-Cubed sketcher for example, and other bought ins.

    Hopefully if this takeover introduces new funding they can focus on the core kernel work and a better API to allow 3rd party developers to access the power.

    And yes, change the interface. I've never liked it. If you take the time to learn it and you are doign CAD work day in day out it can be made to work but I personally never got to grips with it – it does some things very well, but a lot of the power is so hidden and hard to access that you end up just giving up.

  • Ralphgrabowski

    VX is owned by Chinese software company CAXA., and ZWSOFT works together with CAXA as part of a Chinese CAD software association.

    It is not late September yet, so perhaps your rumour will turn out to be no true.

  • Kevin Quigley

    ….and CAXA own IronCAD….

  • Ted Scofield

    Truth is true when all men doubt it,
    I think they will make allowance for your doubting, Ralph

  • Guest

    CAXA has no relationship with ZWCAD. They are competitors in the 2D space in China. CAXA and IRONCAD are partners and the IRONCAD product is branded as CAXA IRONCAD. In the IRONCAD product as of the 2009 release, the CAXA 2D Product is available as an integrated portion that can work as a full 2D product and can leverage the 3D of IRONCAD for view creation (associative updates and such). CAXA in China also has an expanded business in other areas such as MPM, CAPP, PLM, and others.

  • Dave Opsahl

    And dear guest – what does it say about your political leanings that you post anonomously? But I digress…


  • Ralphgrabowski

    I wrote too early in the morning. It is IronCAD that is owned by CAXA, not VX. Sorry about that!

  • guest

    Most likely true, I heard that the Chinese goverment will pay 30% of payment to buy a company abroad, since they have a lot of US$ to spend, before it is worthless. Any good brand CAD/CAM for sale?

  • Guest

    when I was 7 I heard the same fairy tale.

  • Guest

    Dear Dave Opsahl, it says nothing about my political leanings. This is not the forum to discuss personal political beliefs, just like it was not the forum for Dave Ault to pass of his bigoted views as pithy, which I am sure he considered humorous, statements.

    Thank you for being even handed.

  • Paul Smith – NZ

    I am also a long term VX user who is very happy with the V14 release and looking forward to the DE implementation when it happens. But the absence of DE is hardly a world stopper!
    VX is a very capable modeler that like any other takes some learning. I do like hte current interface, it could be further improved but is relatively easy to learn and uncluttered.
    I also work with Chinese companies who like the rest of world use what they choose for CAD and CAM.
    ZW should be able to bring significant resources that can build on what is there. Perhaps more importantly they know the Asian market and can leverage of this and their existing user base which will further resource the development of what is a very efficient, capable and likeable modeler.
    I hope it meets the best expectations of both parties and more importantly, users.

  • Sensible

    I think VX have got the user interface mostly right, at least it suits me. I find it better than the others. Of course there is always room for improvemet, as with any system. The “Merger” (lets get it right) of VX and ZW can only be good, so long as development and support remain in the US and ZW provide plenty of capital for that, which to be blunt, is all they can possibly bring to the table.


    I think it's good news for ZWCAD to move forward from 2D CAD to 3D CAD, from architecture to manufacturing, it's really a good choice for china's CAD market!

  • David

    I feel very excited that ZWCAD could cooperate with VX for the improvements of its CAD software, as I have used its CAD software for many years. But, I'm also quite suspected and worried that it will still capable enough for the 2D CADmarket if devoting to is 3D CAM.The success or failure of the affair is all due….

  • Paul Smith – NZ

    David, you don't need to worry about ZW having to handle CAM. VX does this very well and has been doing it for some time. 3D CAD is in an innovation phase at present. However to advance, a company needs serious development resources/people. The advantage ZW gets out of VX is that VX owns the 3D engine/kernel and can develop at their own pace and direction. They also get to hit the road running. I suspect these element have considerable appeal to ZW.

    Now the real issue is what to call it all! ZYXWV CAD! ZW3D, they all sound like a aeroplane call signs! Over & out.