I think by now 4 to 6 weeks have passed in which the license server for Modelling Express is down and the only way to continue working with it, is by requesting a manual activation key every per 72 hours... until that option will eventually fail to work as well. I don't know how many users will then have no longer access to their design, but I guess quite a few!
Which would be a pity because this application is by far the best I know of for enthousiast amateurs who want to make semi-professional 3D-printable one-off designs. At least that is why I love it in the first place. It even works so well that I strongly believe I could have been a huge success, if actively promoted and supported for the 3D printing communities.
But that will never happen to it as long as PTC treats it as the black sheap of the familly. Without any means to get support or even the right to contact PTC by email it looks the only thing PTC wants with it is to die slowly (and painfully for its users).
Does anybody have an idea how we can change this? How can we make PTC Creo Elements Direct Modelling great again?
Best regards, Arjan
This is not the first time this has happened with Direct Express. PTC's complete lack of response is nothing short of appalling. I also work with their ThingWorx product in a professional role and experience complete disinterest in support there too.
I have said this before and I will say it again. Why PTC insist in a free download being license-able is an absolute mystery, and (support issues aside) must cost them money resourcing and maintaining a server with no benefit whatsoever. It really is about time they freed users of this product by issuing a one-time permanent license so that we can continue to use a good application and feel safe that our designs can be maintained in the future.
PTC's lack of care and interest in the people that they themselves recruited should serve a a warning for all users of PTC products. This is a company who really do not give a **bleep** about you or I, an attitude which I have taken into account when choosing products in the parametric modelling and IOT arenas, and it is not with PTC.
Should PTC choose to change their attitude toward its customer base and start to support, respond, and help, then I and people like me may reconsider our positions. It is such a shame as their product line is generally good, but software products live and die by the level of commitment shown by the issuing company, and here PTC rank way down the list and currently inhibit me from investing in them further.
Niall Marriott (MCNS Ltd).
Info from one of the original Designers/developers of SolidDesigner:
CED Express was intended to be a "Appetizer" for a great CAD Product.
Using a "central license server" was our way to know who is actually using the product.
As such, we made sure that the central license Server was always up and running.
So our Marketing could get in touch with people who intensively used CED Express.
At that time, users who decided to buy the "real SolidDesigner" had the possibility to
get their CED Express data (.PK2, .BD2 files) converted to "SolidDesigner data".
This is history from the times where CoCreate was an Independent Company.....
Well, even from the view of a "CoCreator", I think it was a design error to provide a CED Express that
runs forever. It should have been shipped with a built-in "Trial time" - which is industry Standard.
Remember, developing such a powerful CAD System required a lot of R&D resources and cost
a lot of money - so the sole purpose of CED Express was to actually sell additional SolidDesigners.
Well Max, that all makes sense, except for the fact they have done not a single effort to sell me anything.
Interesting... but even more interesting than its history is its future...
On one side the automatic license server is already down for months, but on the other side its clearly promoted on the "free trial" page of PTC: https://www.ptc.com/en/try-and-buy/free-trials.
So please PTC, act like any professional company would: make up you mind about Direct Modelling Express, act accordingly and inform its users!