It's nothing like what's to come during the U.S. Presidential campaign, but Autodesk and SolidWorks are set to square off over the reliability of the latter's new .dwg editor, which purportedly lets AutoCAD users with 2D legacy files maintain those files while they convert to 3D—including SolidWorks' 3D software. Not reliable, says Autodesk. Yes it is, counters SolidWorks.
Autodesk has published a position paper casting doubt on the reliability of the new .dwg editor capability in the recently released SolidWorks 2005 software. "All of this aims to try and fool AutoCAD users into thinking that this feature is a replacement for AutoCAD," the Autodesk paper says. Parries SolidWorks Product Manager Robert McDonald: "We had a lot of AutoCAD users test the .dwg editor and didn't get any reports of any significant problems."
Autodesk says the SolidWorks .dwg editor is a reverse-engineered technology developed through the Open Design Alliance consortium, and does not use any original Autodesk tools or software to correctly read or write .dwg files. There can be a time lag of as much as six months between the time when Autodesk customers can effectively collaborate with the latest version of .dwg and when users of other .dwg-based products can. Plus, the company says, there is a potential problem of fidelity of data that could lead to mistakes.
SolidWorks agrees on the time-lag issue, but says customers don't update regularly anyway. It also says the fidelity of data will be up to par.