Solid Edge with Synchronous Technology 3: Raising the Bar on Hybrid CAD

Solid Edge with Synchronous Technology 3 comes with a rendering mode for producing photo-realistic images, right from your modeling window.

Solid Edge with Synchronous Technology 3 comes with a rendering mode for producing photo-realistic images, right from your modeling window.

In this release, you can switch back and forth between Ordered mode (parametric or history-based modeling mode) and Synchronous mode (direct editing mode) -- without haveing to leave the modeling window, without having to convert the entire part.

In this release, you can switch back and forth between Ordered mode (parametric or history-based modeling mode) and Synchronous mode (direct editing mode) -- without haveing to leave the modeling window, without having to convert the entire part.

Ordered to Synchronous, or Synchronous to Ordered -- a two-way roundtrip modeling environment.

Synchronous to Ordered, or Ordered to Synchronous -- a two-way, round-trip modeling environment.

In my view, the ideal hybrid CAD modeling experience is one in which you cease to make a distinction between direct editing and parametric editing. In other words, the two modeling methods are so well integrated that you don’t think about what mode you’re in; you simply use the command that suits you as you develop your geometry.

Solid Edge with Synchronous Technology 3 (SE with ST3), released last month, takes a significant leap in that direction, putting pressure on its rival who are on the same hybrid quest. This release lets you work on models containing both types of geometry: those created parametrically (what SE calls “Ordered features”) and those created in direct editing (what SE calls “Synchronous features”).

When you launch SE with ST3, you have the option to launch the new document either in Ordered mode (history-based mode) or Synchronous mode (direct-editing mode). By default, if you’re starting a part from scratch, SE with ST3 places you in Synchronous mode. But you can change the default setting. The command is a bit hard to find, but it’s located under the application menu > Solid Edge options > Helpers tab, as check marks.

The beauty of this release is, if you feel the need to start pushing and pulling faces in the middle of an Ordered modeling session, you can simply select the stack of features you’d like to manipulate by direct editing, right-click, then select Transfer to Synchronous command. By doing so, you instantly place the selected group of geometry into the Synchronous category under the Path Finder pane (by default the pane sits on the left, where you would normally find a history tree or feature tree in a parametric CAD system).

Even if you have used classic parametric methods to build your geometry, once you transfer it to Synchronous, it becomes a collection of faces, so you can now use push-pull editing to further shape your geometry. This is not a one-way street. You can go the opposite direction too.

Suppose you’ve been working on a part in Synchronous mode, but need to add a new hole or boss that’s best created in history-based method. You can right-click and select Transition to Ordered. This gives you the ability to start adding new geometry or editing the existing shape using classic parametric modeling methods.

In essence, you can have a Path Finder pane with two stacks of features — Ordered and Synchronous — in the same modeling session. Depending on how you want to edit or shape your geometry, you can either work in Ordered or Synchronous mode–without having to launch a new program window, without having to convert the entire part to one or the other.

Another major enhancement in this release is its Create Part in Place function, which allows you to create and edit a part right within the context of an assembly. In general, CAD programs limit your ability to edit and create geometry in assembly mode. Let’s face it, almost all of them were developed to model parts, not assembly. The assembly mode is best described as the layout mode in 3D space, where you assemble the individual parts you’ve created into a fitted structure.

This presents a headache when you have the unenviable task of creating a component that must fit within a tight corner in an assembly. Traditionally, you take measurements of the space envelope, go into the Part modeling mode, create the part, place it in the assembly, find out where you have clashes, then go back to the Part mode to make adjustment … and you repeat and rinse till all the mess gets cleaned up.

Not so in SE with ST3. When you invoke the Create Part in Place command, you’ll be prompted to specify your new part’s point of origin (its XYZ intersection). Then you’ll find yourself modeling a part, right inside the assembly structure. The other parts are in a lighter shade, deactivated so they won’t interfere with your new part. This gives you a much better option to build a part that’s custom-fitted in the narrow space within an assembly–without having to leave the assembly window.

SE with ST3 also comes with a rendering and animation function. As you might expect, you can drag and drop materials, environment, and light studios to your modeling window to build your scene, then render the setup into a photo-realistic image. I’ll dig deeper into the new release in the next few months, so watch this space.

For more, watch the video demonstration below:

If you enjoyed this post, make sure you subscribe to my RSS feed!

4 Responses to Solid Edge with Synchronous Technology 3: Raising the Bar on Hybrid CAD

  • Pingback: Solid Edge ST3 general concept and what’s new « Solid DNA blog

  • Pingback: Concept général et nouveautés « Solid ADN blog

  • I really like the way you presented the material about the new release of Solid Edge ST3. I have made similar media clips in both Solid Edge and NX ,but have a very hard time sharing them with my students in the Angel web based learning system.Did you need to get permission to share these media clips? Is okay for a college professor to post instructional media clips of NX and Solid Edge on youtube without permission, or do I need to work with Siemens to do so? When I use snagit of course all the menus and messages as well as the steps to the media are recorded. Does this in any way violate copyrights to Siemens Software since it contains all of their interface? I have also made many presentations in various formats of the step by step processes that student need to complete a design task. Just wondering if using external servers to store these media clips are common practice when colleges,or universites do it. Keep up the good work, I really like Solid Edge and think in some regional area of the USA it needs to be marketed for the strengths it has. In Michigan the job market for CAD is NX, or SolidWorks. All of our college students love the program, as well as NX. We have been using the NX since 1989 for our Drafting courses. We ahve also used Solid Edge for ten years now. Both are excellant CAD environments for the typical college student.Thanks for informing the market of how great the Siemens design products are.

  • Kenneth says:

    Hi Patrick! Thanks for the kind words! Since I was given a briefing about Solid Edge with Synchronous Tech 3, along with access to a review license of the software, with the understanding that it was to help me report on it, I didn’t have any qualms about posting clips on YouTube. I would imagine Siemens PLM would welcome an educator discussing their software on YouTube. I doubt that sharing a movie clip showing how the software works would constitute copyright infringement. (That’s quite different from sharing the underlying code.) But if you’d like to get in touch with folks at Siemens to ask them, I’d be glad to help you get in touch with their representative for education. Please feel free to email me at kennethwongsf [at] earthlink.net.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

*

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>