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IndustryArena Forum > CAM Software > Work-NC > WorkNC to be discontinued
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  1. #1

    WorkNC to be discontinued

    There is a rumor that Hexagon will discontinue the product developemnet. Has someone information on this?

  2. #2
    Moderator Dan B's Avatar
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    Re: WorkNC to be discontinued

    I wouldn't be surprised. Hexagon's efforts since acquiring WorkNC have been lackluster at best. It's certainly not worth the cost of annual support.
    (Note: The opinions expressed in this post are my own and are not necessarily those of CNCzone and its management)

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    Re: WorkNC to be discontinued

    as a long time customer(25yrs), I wouldn't be surprised either. at $9+k a for 1seat Full License with 5axis and 3 seats Workxplore.
    we don't do simultaneous 5ax enough to justify it in my eyes.

    The official group on Hexagons site if pretty much dead too.

    it may be worthwhile to entertain other options. Problem is we can almost program blindfolded, getting that level of proficiency in a new software is daunting.

  4. #4
    Moderator Dan B's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by R_Newcomb View Post
    as a long time customer(25yrs), I wouldn't be surprised either. at $9+k a for 1seat Full License with 5axis and 3 seats Workxplore.
    we don't do simultaneous 5ax enough to justify it in my eyes.

    The official group on Hexagons site if pretty much dead too.

    it may be worthwhile to entertain other options. Problem is we can almost program blindfolded, getting that level of proficiency in a new software is daunting.
    Nice to meet another long time user. 28 years for me.

    After all these years we are preparing to move on. Here’s a tip: find a product with an API. You can automate your new product so that you’ll get to a point where your programming time will be even faster than WorkNCs. This is the road we’re taking.
    (Note: The opinions expressed in this post are my own and are not necessarily those of CNCzone and its management)

  5. #5
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    Re: WorkNC to be discontinued

    hy dan please, will you share the advantages of the api functionality ? thank you
    Ladyhawke - My Delirium, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X_bFO1SNRZg

  6. #6
    Moderator Dan B's Avatar
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    Re: WorkNC to be discontinued

    With an API (application programming interface) you have the ability to automate repetitive tasks such as setting up stock, inserting work holding, etc. With a bit of programming knowledge (Python, C# etc) you can take it to a whole different level, and automate most of the process of creating cutter paths. In WorkNC you can make new toolbars. That's about it. Supposedly there is an API coming in the future, but that brings us back to the topic of this thread. Will WorkNC have a future where it has an API that allows developers to automate the programming process? And how long after the initial debut of an API before it actually is useful? I doubt there would be any documentation either. Like most new features, you're pretty much on your own to figure it out.

    Like I said above, this is the road we're taking. We are already seeing substantial reductions in programming time because of our efforts toward automation in other CAM products. And another benefit is consistency in the toolpaths. Take out the human factor and the results are always the same, not dependent on how attentive the employee happened to be that day.
    (Note: The opinions expressed in this post are my own and are not necessarily those of CNCzone and its management)

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    Re: WorkNC to be discontinued

    Quote Originally Posted by Dan B View Post
    Nice to meet another long time user. 28 years for me.

    After all these years we are preparing to move on. Here’s a tip: find a product with an API. You can automate your new product so that you’ll get to a point where your programming time will be even faster than WorkNCs. This is the road we’re taking.

    We have a seat of NX that has the 3axis mill foundation on it but no one knows how to use it. I did some training on Myigetit.com but even then, its a PITA. We got it because it was a cheap way to get the sheet metal license.

    what software are you looking at?

  8. #8
    Moderator Dan B's Avatar
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    Re: WorkNC to be discontinued

    We are working with Autodesk PowerMill and RhinoCAM from Mecsoft. Both have API's and we've had some great success taking them further then most would imagine. Last year we programmed 90,000 unique details. This year we expect to do more, with much less effort and greater consistency. To sum it up, we've outgrown WorkNC.
    (Note: The opinions expressed in this post are my own and are not necessarily those of CNCzone and its management)

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    Re: WorkNC to be discontinued

    we've had some great success taking them further then most would imagine
    hy dan, please, will you provide a few examples ?

    Last year we programmed 90,000 unique details
    you mean parts or api procedures ? whatever it is, means a few hundreds / day ... please, what is it ?

    This year we expect to do more, with much less effort and greater consistency
    is consistency related to quantity ? seems you are pushing things, please, if possilble, i would like to know more / kindly
    Ladyhawke - My Delirium, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X_bFO1SNRZg

  10. #10
    Moderator Dan B's Avatar
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    Re: WorkNC to be discontinued

    Just think if you could take a detail in CAD, pick an icon from a toolbar, and the toolpath is produced and verified with verification software; all running remotely. The posted and checked NC file is waiting for the operator to run. Total time, about 3-4 minutes from pressing that icon to verified NC files. That kind of thing is possible when you have software with an API and a SDK (software developers kit). Of course that's the extreme application, but there are a lot of levels of automation depending on how much effort you want to put into it. But effort up front means savings downstream.

    Those 90,000 details were finished parts. Other then symmetrically opposite versions, they are all unique. Yes, that is hundreds of finished parts per day. But we're a bigger company, with pallet systems feeding Hermle 5-axis machines, We're not a job shop, so those 90,000 parts go into producing our products, some of which have hundreds of pieces.

    The consistency (or lack of it) I'm talking about isn't due to quantity, it's due to human imperfection. People make mistakes, we all do. But with high volumes comes the need to not make things twice because of programming errors. We see trends where programmers do very well, then they get into a slump where their quality isn't the best. Then it is again, and so on. Automation of CAM programming puts the toolpath generation into the hands of algorithms which produce the same results every time.

    It's not realistic to think absolutely everything can have automated programming to the level I described above. But if you can automate half your workload, then the savings is substantial.

    Anyway, this is starting to deviate too far from the theme of this thread. To circle back to the topic, WorkNC is not able to provide the tools necessary to move forward with automated CAM programming. Even Autodesk Fusion 360 at a fraction of the cost has the ability to write Python scripts to automate the process. It's necessary as the industry moves forward, and customers constantly are looking for cost savings.
    (Note: The opinions expressed in this post are my own and are not necessarily those of CNCzone and its management)

  11. #11
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    Re: WorkNC to be discontinued

    But effort up front means savings downstream
    hy dan yes, that is true ...

    Anyway, this is starting to deviate too far from the theme of this thread
    i know, i just wish to talk to you also, mr ElCidCampeador seems he took a vacation

    Hermle 5-axis machines
    please, what kind of atipical cnc machines have you seen ( actually working, not only sitting there ) ? a while ago, some products needed to quote, and they where suitable for 5 axis ( like 5th only for positioning ), and i proposed using a c axis lathe, because you may feed the material through the spindle ... and the client replied that they allready have a 5th axis mill, that is feeding the material through the table ... that was a nice 5th axis machine, in it's size being very robust, with an intergrated feed mechanism

    The consistency (or lack of it) I'm talking about isn't due to quantity, it's due to human imperfection. People make mistakes, we all do. But with high volumes comes the need to not make things twice because of programming errors.
    i always try to minimize the impact of human factor; there may still be crashes/situations, but not because of operators

    from the programing perspective, i have no doubts, as i do whatever is needed to proof the program, but indeed, it may turn red quickly inside a big factory; maybe not red, but orange, you know, away from green

    a nice way to put it, is that an error becomes a mistake if you don't admit it

    many erorrs are caused by human factors, so it helps to eliminate them ( by minimizing the need for the human factor ), while the ones with most nasty effect may happen not because of human factor, like something got loose in automatic mode

    statistically speaking, frequency of errors will reduce if human factor is not an input, while the effect of remaining ones may still be at it's heighest

    We see trends where programmers do very well, then they get into a slump where their quality isn't the best.
    if you wish, why does it happen ? what cycle/period ? do they recover or got replaced ? such things are related to many other things:
    ... may be only a few persons that will lead to rot to all the good apples
    ... maybe feedback is not existing, so why work for no achievemnt ?
    things vary

    Automation of CAM programming puts the toolpath generation into the hands of algorithms which produce the same results every time
    1st time when i saw such a thing, it was revealed from a mastercam guy; then he simply loaded other file ( thus changed the input ), and the process was changed/updated automatically; then he turned to me, and said : that's from the 90s we talked a little about this/that, etc

    It's not realistic to think absolutely everything can have automated programming
    yes, absolutely everything is a bit ... hmm ... but don't look only into automated cam programing; for example, i can take shortcuts on an okuma machine, and they involve programing, but they are not related to a classical cnc program file, but to how the machine is being handled; it helps, as okuma runs on windows and has api



    if an operation/real task is repetitive, you replace the human with a robot, so to speak

    if keystrokes are repetitive, then you replace them with a 'shortcut' ... if possible, log the inputs, then scan them for repetitive sections: it help to identify fast some repetitive tasks, because such a data based aproach will bring up-front tasks that may have been overlooked ( maybe ignored, maybe considered to simple to automize while they are actually too much time consuming, or to complicated at 1st glance, while they may be simple );

    thus purpose is shorter keystroke-chains

    i log data if needed, seing loads/peeks, offset changes, timelines ... you may see things that are not reported, nor spotted by someone else; also, as a hoby, i develop a programing software, so far 2d; for example, during last night, i left the laptop opened to process offseting toolpahts 1 to 100, 0.01increments, and i got the 'out of memory' message ... it's ok, it is the 1st time it runs without code related errors

    if i may ask, what do you do ? like things that you liked to do, or try to acomplish, or give up among the way from whatver reason, etc

    about cam softwares : is it possible to have a single cam software, instead of many, or why are there so many ? like sometimes even inside a company is more than a single brand; is it possible to wave-down those differencies ? how much of their differences comes from protecting the market share, and/or too criptic interface , or is it the same thing ? i know you can automatize tasks, so some issues you no longer look over there as you can by pass them, but i ask why are those how they are ? once you reach the level of automation, you no longer struggle with basic tasks, at least not like a standard cam user, that has to learn the workflow for each cam / kindly

    please excuse my long answer; now i have free time
    Ladyhawke - My Delirium, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X_bFO1SNRZg

  12. #12
    Moderator Dan B's Avatar
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    Re: WorkNC to be discontinued

    please, what kind of atipical cnc machines have you seen ( actually working, not only sitting there ) ? a while ago, some products needed to quote, and they where suitable for 5 axis ( like 5th only for positioning ), and i proposed using a c axis lathe, because you may feed the material through the spindle ... and the client replied that they allready have a 5th axis mill, that is feeding the material through the table ... that was a nice 5th axis machine, in it's size being very robust, with an intergrated feed mechanism
    We have 35 CNC machines ranging from a small Haas lathe to a large Apec 5-axis.

    if you wish, why does it happen ? what cycle/period ? do they recover or got replaced ? such things are related to many other things:
    ... may be only a few persons that will lead to rot to all the good apples
    ... maybe feedback is not existing, so why work for no achievemnt ?
    things vary
    Why quality programming goes up and down could be caused by a lot of factors. A guy has an argument with his wife before coming to work, and his mind is elsewhere. But tomorrow he's back on his game and does a great job. There's an endless amount of causes, it's just how people are. We all have bad days and better days. But automation is consistent.

    1st time when i saw such a thing, it was revealed from a mastercam guy; then he simply loaded other file ( thus changed the input ), and the process was changed/updated automatically; then he turned to me, and said : that's from the 90s we talked a little about this/that, etc
    That's pretty common these days.

    if i may ask, what do you do ? like things that you liked to do, or try to acomplish, or give up among the way from whatver reason, etc
    Mostly software development these days. I'm a tool and die maker by trade, but most of my time is spent these days working on automation, both physical and virtual. Like you said, identify repetitive keystrokes and eliminate them. Also it's useful to talk to the users and see what they do that is cumbersome and/or monotonous. Those tasks get automated.

    about cam softwares : is it possible to have a single cam software, instead of many, or why are there so many ? like sometimes even inside a company is more than a single brand; is it possible to wave-down those differencies ? how much of their differences comes from protecting the market share, and/or too criptic interface , or is it the same thing ? i know you can automatize tasks, so some issues you no longer look over there as you can by pass them, but i ask why are those how they are ? once you reach the level of automation, you no longer struggle with basic tasks, at least not like a standard cam user, that has to learn the workflow for each cam / kindly
    There is no perfect CAM software. We have scenarios where RhinoCAM runs circles around WorkNC, but other times, WorkNC is the best solution for the job. With automated programming, WorkNC is not even in the game, whereas PowerMill and RhinoCAM are. If there was one perfect product it would make sense to only use that product.
    (Note: The opinions expressed in this post are my own and are not necessarily those of CNCzone and its management)

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    Re: WorkNC to be discontinued

    Thanks for your comments Dan B, we don't do anywhere near the volume your place does, I can see why automation is key. We would have to contract out any API programming.

    at the time, Early 90's and 00's .WorkNC was king in our line of work. you'd batch up a ton of toolpaths and let it calculate overnight/Weekend and have a weeks work of cutting to do. Now a modern PC can calculate a bodyside tool in a few hours and most other tools in minutes,
    The only reason we're still on maintenance is they tied the simultaneous processing and multithreaded processing to keeping SMA active.

  14. #14
    Moderator Dan B's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by R_Newcomb View Post
    Thanks for your comments Dan B, we don't do anywhere near the volume your place does, I can see why automation is key. We would have to contract out any API programming.

    at the time, Early 90's and 00's .WorkNC was king in our line of work. you'd batch up a ton of toolpaths and let it calculate overnight/Weekend and have a weeks work of cutting to do. Now a modern PC can calculate a bodyside tool in a few hours and most other tools in minutes,
    The only reason we're still on maintenance is they tied the simultaneous processing and multithreaded processing to keeping SMA active.
    Same with us. Not having our processing power throttled back is the only reason we are still on maintenance. And the simultaneous module that we purchased that somehow switched to a lease was the other reason.
    (Note: The opinions expressed in this post are my own and are not necessarily those of CNCzone and its management)

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