Jeff Ray and CATIA/SolidWorks translator

Jeff Ray, CEO of SolidWorksJeff Ray recently commented about SolidWorks/CATIA relationship in an interview with R

Customers are fed up with not being able to share data between Catia and SolidWorks.

Grabowski then predicts, “at some point, a translator will be delivered.”  But this apparently is not a comment made by Jeff Ray himself.

Lunch with Jeff RayIn the discussion that Jeff Ray had with the bloggers at the Blogger Event in early August, there was a hint that a translator between SolidWorks and CATIA isn’t good enough. Does this mean that SolidWorks needs to be able to natively use CATIA files (and vice versa)?  Is something really coming that will address this long standing issue?

Deelip MenezeMeneze, in his article commenting on the Grabowski interview, goes on to list several reasons why making a translator between SolidWorks and CATIA is doable right now.  Meneze does this in the context of his statement,

Dassault Systems has made laughing stock out of SolidWorks and its customers.

Matt LombardThis was followed up by Matt Lombard who proposed,

This is of course a business decision, not a technical decision, ratcheting customers toward Catia rather than toward SolidWorks. Just like the version incompatibility ratchet.

Well, I’m not sure these are entirely accurate statements.  I’m under the impression that Dassault Systemes is aware they are losing business because their two major 3D CAD applications do not fully communicate.  Some large customers (who will not be mentioned here…but there’s a clue here) have standardized with CATIA for the high level 3D CAD work, but continue to use a Ralph Grabowskilist of other 3D CAD applications that does not include SolidWorks.  One likely reason is that SolidWorks cannot use CATIA files, where their competitors can, as Lombard rightfully points out in his article.  So, Jeff Ray is right.  Something has to be done to correct this issue.  Thank you to Grabowski for stirring the pot.

Ya’no, if Microsoft ran their business like this, we’d still see Lotus 1-2-3, Word Perfect, and Netscape lining the shelves at the local computer store.  Why as Dassault Systemes allowed this gaping hole in their product line to exist for so long?

Author: fcsuper

As a drafter, mechanical designer and CAD engineer, I've been in the mechanical design field since 1991. For the first 8 years of my career, I was an AutoCAD professional. I utilized AutoLISP and many other AutoCAD customization features to streamline drafting activities for 6+ drafters and designers. I authored several custom functions, one of which was published in the March 1997 issue of Cadalyst Magazine. Since 1998, I've been used SolidWorks non-stop. I've worked to utilize the SolidWorks' user environment to simplify drafting and design activities for 20+ engineers. I've created this website to provide current information about SolidWorks from a variety of contributors. More recently, I am now employed by Dassault Systemes as SOLIDWORKS Sr. Product Definition Manager to improve drawing, annotation and MBD related areas.

5 thoughts on “Jeff Ray and CATIA/SolidWorks translator”

  1. The old head fake of saying that SolidWorks and Catia will be able to work together is several years old, originated by Bernard Charles himself, if I remember correctly. It seems to come in the form of promising something much greater than the thing that customers want, which is just what Jeff Ray did, and then not delivering anything at all.

    Maybe they just mean so far out in the future that we’ll all be retired.

  2. Matt,

    I’m so cynical that I’ve grown cynical of the cynicism. Corporations just aren’t organized well. Dilbert is reality.

  3. Well Matt I am retired and use SolidWorks to create science projects for teachers to use all over the world. I don’t lke hearing about things like this. Cooperation and Collaboration is what I like to see and it a parent and their offspring don’t like each other that is sure to be noticed by all of us. Simply amazing that the Dassault company can be jealous of their own adult kid. Shameful.

  4. I am not sure I understand the phrase “there was a hint that a translator between SolidWorks and CATIA isn’t good enough”. I also am not sure what you mean when you say “SolidWorks needs to be able to natively use CATIA files”

    SolidWorks and CATIA are two different systems with two very different internals. You need to map geometry and other associative data between the two systems. SolidWorks simply cannot start using .CATPart and .CATProduct files instead of .sldprt and .sldasm files… and vice versa.

    There is a solution on the table which everyone else is using. This solution works. I find it hard to believe that SolidWorks is deep in search of a “better” solution while not implementing the one at hand… and that too for all these years with the result that customers are now “fed up”.

  5. And by the way, if I did misquote Jeff, as you suggested, then the sick joke just got sicker. If the second part of the quote is Ralph’s prediction and not something that Jeff said then SolidWorks customers have all the more reason to be annoyed as they will need to continue to remain in “fed up” mode.

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