With the announcement late last week of the take over of Moldflow by Autodesk, could there be a silver lining for Solidworks users? For those not familiar with what Moldflow is, its a software package that simulates the filling of a plastic part that would be molded in a mold. Our company uses it to determine gate locations, venting, and to simulate knit lines and potential cooling problems. If you had Solidworks 2007 you may remember having Moldflow Express which has been replaced by FloWorks Express. Moldflow Express was a lite version of Moldflow.
So what could this potentially mean to Solidworks customers? Most likely nothing, but hopefully it will mean the acquisition by Solidworks of one of the other plastic filling simulation software companies out there? In the Mold Making industry, Solidworks definitely owns the market, so hopefully they will see an opportunity to fend off Autodesks attempt to swipe away some customers. Having used Moldflow software for a few years now, I can see how the marriage of Moldflow and Autodesk will workout just fine. The Moldflow interface is not very intuitive, and its very difficult to navigate around, so most Autodesk product users should feel right at home. Its problematic enough that I make using it a last resort so I wont have to fight my way through it every time I'm using it. We even stopped our maintenance agreement because we didn't feel we were getting our monies worth.
While using Moldflow I found myself several times wishing that Solidworks had a mold filling analysis program that would work as you would expect it. So now that Autodesk is attempting to regain some of the mold building market, let's hope Solidworks will cash in some chips and snatch up a similar software company to keep that from happening.