Licensing and System Requirements


Prospector Gold & Silver Editions

Prospector Gold Edition is the complete package for mold makers. The full range of 3D and 2D machining strategies are enabled along with all other features of Prospector.


Prospector Silver Edition is the cost effective approach to address machining needs that do not require 3D programming. The Silver Edition is the same software as Prospector Gold. The Silver Edition license prohibits the creation of new 3D NC programs. Prospector Silver is the perfect solution for machining ejector and retainer plates, rails and water circuits where machining of complex 3D shapes is not required.

Regardless of which edition of Prospector you license, your license includes:

  • 1 year software maintenance.

  • One custom post processor developed exclusively for you and will conform to your exact requirements.

  • Unlimited number of sessions and threads. You do not need to purchase additional licenses or license upgrades to run more than one session on a single computer. Prospector is a multi-threaded application that takes advantage of all processors and compute cores available. A separate license or license upgrade is not needed to use the full computing capacity available on your computer.

  • No license is needed to use Prospector to create new projects. This means that new projects can be created in the design office and archived to a server for later NC programming.

  • No license is needed to open, view and perform post processing. This makes Prospector a perfect solution to delivering pre-programmed projects to the shop floor for execution.


Licensing Options

Perpetual License

A perpetual license lets you use the software for as long as you want. Your one-time license fee grants to you a non-exclusive, non-transferable license that you may use in perpetuity.

License enforcement is typically implemented by a USB security key. Any computer with this key attached to a USB port is authorized to run the software. A network connection or internet connections is not required. If you wish, you can choose an internet-based form of licensing - iLicense - as your license enforcement method.  An iLicense does require an internet connection.

Software updates and new releases along with customer support services are provided as part of a software maintenance contract purchased separately.

Subscription License

A subscription license is a cost-effective way to put Prospector to work with a low monthly, quarterly or yearly license fee. During the subscription period, all updates - major releases, minor releases and updates - are included along with phone and internet support. Subscription allows you to quickly scale up and down to manage the volume of work in your shop more effectively. You pay for access to software only when you actually need it, giving you the flexibility to control costs without an up-front license investment or long-term commitment.

You may choose between 2 methods of license enforcement for a subscription license:

  • For a nominal fee you can choose to license your software with a USB security key. The security key has a built-in timer to keep track of the expiry date of the subscription.  The USB key can be updated to extend the subscription or restart a subscription using the License Manager application that comes with your software.

  • An internet license or iLicense. An iLicense requires an internet connection. When you start Prospector, it will acquire a license over an SSL connection with our license server. There is no extra fee for an iLicense.


Licensing FAQs

Can I transfer an iLicense from one computer to another?

Yes. An iLicense is tied to the host ID (MAC address) of a particular computer. If you need to transfer this license, call or e-mail our customer support department and they can do this for you over the phone. In the near future, we will offer a way to do this over the internet through the Customer Portal.

Do I have to have an internet connection to use an iLicense?

Yes. If you are not connected to the internet, it will not be possible to acquire a license. There is no "grace period" for you to be disconnected from the internet and still have a valid license.

Do I have to remain connected to the internet for an iLicense to continue to work?

No. The license check occurs only once per session after which an internet connection is not required.

Can I run more than one session of Prospector at a time?

Yes. Regardless of the license enforcement, you can run as many sessions of Prospector concurrently as you wish.

Is an iLicense the same thing as cloud-based licensing?

Cloud is a loaded term these days so let's not go there. Prospector software is always installed on your computer. There is no portion of Prospector that runs "in the cloud" or stores your data "in the cloud". The only transaction that happens over the internet is a request for a license and a reply from there server. That's it.

I want a perpetual license but I don't want a USB key. Can I get a perpetual iLicense?

Certainly. If you currently have a USB key license and want to switch to an iLicense we can do that for you. If you are just starting out and want an iLicense instead of a USB key, that's fine too.

If choose the USB key license enforcement and the key goes missing, can I get a replacement?

No. You must repurchase the software license to get a new key. Treat the USB key as though it is as valuable an asset as the computer it is connected to or any other capital equipment in your shop. Check with your insurance agent as your business insurance may cover the expense of replacing your software license. One of the benefits of an iLicense is that it can't ever be stolen or go missing.


System Requirements

Whether you plan to use Prospector on the shop floor or in an office environment, we recommend a conventional desktop computer with a traditional mouse and keyboard.  There are a lot of good choices for computers at very affordable prices that will work well with Prospector.

Supported Windows Operating Systems

The table below lists the supported operating systems for Prospector:

Operating System

Revision Level

Windows 10

All

Windows 8.1

8.1 and 8.1 Update

Windows 8

All

Windows Server 2012

R1 & R2

Windows 7

Service Pack 1

Windows Server 2008 R2

All


Notes:

  • Windows 10 S is not supported.

  • 64-bit editions of the above operating systems are required.

  • Windows 8 and 8.1 are not recommended.


3D Programming

3D program generation is compute and memory intensive. This is especially true when working with large part data sets and/or using fine tolerances to generate cutter paths. Many customers run multiple sessions concurrently to program multiple jobs which multiplies the demand on compute resources. In general a desktop computer that is suitable for a high-end CAD application (CATIA, Siemens NX, PTC) is well suited to Prospector. The key attributes for this type of computer are:

  • Intel or AMD 64-bit multi-core processor.

  • A 64-bit edition of Microsoft Windows operating system.

  • 12GB of RAM.

  • 150MB disk space for installation.

  • A standard USB port for the license enforcement USB key.

Recommended upgrades:

Cutter path animation utilizes OpenGL Z-buffering to provide an unambiguous preview of cutter paths. Z-buffering keeps track of which objects are closer to the viewer. When the cutter drops into a pocket or moves behind a feature, the portion of the tool that is obscured by the part disappears from view.
  • Fast microprocessor. There is no substitute for speed.  The faster the clock speed, the quicker all software applications can power through their tasks.

  • Purchase as much RAM as your budget will allow. All things being equal, adding RAM to your system will make a big difference in performance. Consider 12GB a starting point for 3D programming.

  • OpenGL compatible graphics card. Prospector uses OpenGL to accelerate the display of 3D graphics. To take full advantage of this technology you will need a graphics card that supports OpenGL. While not mandatory (software methods are substituted if OpenGL hardware capabilities are absent), you will notice a big difference in graphics performance.

  • NVIDIA graphics cards are recommended. Over the years we have had the best success with graphics cards from NVIDIA with respect to the support of OpenGL 3D graphics. It is not possible for us to test all possible graphics cards. Other vendors may work perfectly fine.

2D Programming

2D program generation is nowhere near as compute or memory intensive as 3D programming. 2D program generation is so fast that it is not even necessary for Prospector to use multi-threading to speed the process along. In general a system with these characteristics will work fine:

  • Intel or AMD 64-bit microprocessor.

  • A 64-bit edition of Microsoft Windows operating system.

  • 4-8GB of RAM.

  • 150MB disk space for installation.

  • A standard USB port for the license enforcement USB key.

Consider these Optional Features

  • A full-function mouse. The mouse wheel and X-buttons (forward/back) are supported by Prospector.

  • Large screen monitor. Bigger is better to help you visualize what is happening.

  • A solid state disk (SSD) for 3D programming. These disks are many magnitudes faster than conventional drives and can only help further improve the performance of your computer.

  • A NEMA 12 enclosure for use in the shop. Most shops today are showplaces of high-technology and clean as a whistle. But as we all know, stuff happens. Protect your computer with a good enclosure that has more than adequate cooling capacity.

Save Your Money

These features, while supported by Prospector, really don't add much or anything at all to your overall productivity:

  • Touch screens. Prospector supports the Windows-standard gestures you can make with a touch screen. We've found that using the system this way to be a bit clunky. The gesture support using our proprietary cursor stroke technology in Prospector is by far superior to the Microsoft approach. If your system comes with a touch screen, fine; no harm done. Just don't bother to spend any extra bucks for one if you don't have to.

  • Multiple monitors. A lot of expense for very little payback (if any) in terms of productivity.

  • GPUs. Prospector does not use GPUs. GPU accelerated applications typically address simulations (computational fluid dynamics, structural mechanics) and/or rendering (ray tracing, meshing). While GPUs are fine for these types of applications, they are unsuitable for Prospector because GPUs do not conform to IEEE standard for double-precision floating point calculations. Close counts when you are creating a display list for a solid model but it won't work when you have to have precise calculations only possible with genuine IEEE compliant floating point processors.

FAQs

Do you sell computers and other hardware that you recommend for Prospector?

AMT Software does not sell hardware. We are a software and services company only. We do not resell computers, NEMA-12 enclosures, graphics cards or 3rd party software. If your account is handled by a Prospector distributor, check with your account representative as they may offer hardware options for you to consider.

Can I use a laptop computer with Prospector?

Sure. Provided you conform to the basic specifications of an Intel or AMD 64-bit processor and a 64-bit edition of the Windows operating system, a laptop will work fine. Make sure you have a mouse instead of trying to use a touch pad or touch screen otherwise you may find it difficult to use.

Can I use Prospector on a tablet computer?

Yes. Again, you must have a 64-bit OS and microprocessor from Intel or AMD. You can't use a tablet with the Android operating system or a tablet with an ARM processor. Sure a tablet will work, but we don't recommend this type of computer for Prospector. It just seems to us, having used Prospector on a tablet, that it is just to darn difficult to use without a proper keyboard and mouse. The small screen also makes it a chore to use. Remember tablet computers are great for consuming content but not so great for creating content.

Do you or will you be supporting Apple computers?

We currently do not support Apple products. In the future? Maybe. But don't hold your breath because they simply aren't as popular as Windows-based computers in the CAD/CAM arena. But things could change.