Inventor Fusion and SolidWorks Confusion

The Lonely Engineer blog is dead. I have to admit, I never really understood what it was all about. The subtitle of the video blog read “One engineer’s adventures with direct and parametric CAD“, although I don’t remember Roger ever mentioning anything about direct and parametric CAD. Too bad I cannot cross check because the all posts, except the last one, have been deleted. The last post, dated 19th May, is basically a suicide note (in terms of blogging) and a pointer to a new video of Inventor Fusion.

At COFES 2009, Buzz Kross, Senior Vice President of the Manufacturing Solutions Division at Autodesk, let me know that they would be releasing Inventor Fusion on Autodesk Labs in May (“Inventor Fusion is Coming“). Maybe the death of the Lonely Engineer blog is timed to match the release of Inventor Fusion. Lets see. But for now, I suggest that you see the video.

I wonder if Inventor Fusion will be the final straw for SolidWorks. Probably something that will finally make big brother Dassault let them use their V6 direct editing technology. It is an open secret that Dassault does not appreciate SolidWorks eating into it’s market. That probably explains why direct editing technology, of the kind that we see in V6, has not yet found its way into SolidWorks, after all this time. Heck, Dassault still makes SolidWorks use the Parasolid modeling kernel by Siemens to do its basic modeling, thereby lining the pockets of competitor Siemens.

For its part, Siemens has made it quite clear that Synchronous Technology is for their use only and will not be licensed to competitors. So obviously, if SolidWorks is to move beyond Instant3D, it would have to either borrow/license direct editing technology from Dassault or someone else or develop its own.

So if I have understood this correctly, Dassault prefers that SolidWorks (a company that it owns) pays hefty royalties to Siemens (its competitor) for every license and subscription of SolidWorks that it sells, as opposed to earning royalties from SolidWorks (a company that it owns) for letting SolidWorks use its V6 technology. I am sure there is a very good reason for this kind of thinking, but it is certainly well beyond the limits of my comprehension.

Something else strikes me. Alibre has been constantly comparing itself with SolidWorks, more in terms of functionality and less in terms of price. I can now see the similarity between the two on another level. In the part of the mid range CAD market that I track, Alibre and SolidWorks seem to be the only couple that I consider to be still stuck in the past.