Solid Edge

GPU-Accelerated Romance, 3D-Printed Valentines, and CAD-Cut Jewels

Most of you rely on the GPU to render your CAD assemblies into ray-traced eye candies or pump up the blood and gore in your favorite first-person shooter games. (Did I hear someone mention Battlefield 3?) It turns out, with a little bit of programming — and a lot of ingenuity — you might also be able to use the graphics processor to speed up your search for a love match. Continue reading

Give Up Video Game for CAD? Some Students Did.

Justin Erickson, engineering technology instructor for Haile Middle School, Florida, somehow succeeded where many parents have admitted defeat. He managed to lure his students away from their video games with something else. That something turned out to be SolidWorks CAD software.

Last August, Braxton Cox and Colton Cox, twin brothers in Justin’s class, became the youngest Certified SolidWorks Associates (CSWA) after passing the industry certification exam. Braxton (age 14), a fan of the game Battlefield, recalled, “[The exam] wasn’t hard, but I wouldn’t say it was easy either. I had to study for it for about two and a half months.” Asked if he felt deprived of some of his favorite pastime activities while studying for the CSWA exam, Braxton replied, “No. I don’t think of working in SolidWorks as a chore. It’s something fun I like to do, like a video game.” Continue reading

Software Rental as a New Option for Small Businesses and Startups

John Fox, Siemens PLM‘s VP of marketing for mainstream engineering software, met me in the lobby of the Fairmont Hotel, right next to a giant gingerbread house and an indoor Christmas tree poking at the ceiling. Fox and his colleague Karsten Newbury, Siemens PLM’s senior VP and GM of mainstream engineering software, were in town for the Lean Startup Conference. They wanted to better understand the mentality of the entrepreneurs assembled at the event.

Siemens PLM’s NX and Teamcenter software products are the driving forces of design and data management in established manufacturing houses like NASA and Ford. But Fox and Newbury focus on a different segment, more closely associated with the type of startups driven by social missions, operating with crowd-funded budgets. Unlike automotive and aerospace titans, these lean startups may be better served by Siemens PLM’s Solid Edge software, a mechanical 3D CAD program known for ease of use and direct-editing functions. Continue reading

Scare Us With Your Spookiest CAD-O-Lantern

SolidWorks users do it. Solid Edge users do it. I’m sure Inventor users, Creo users, and NX users do it too.

I’m talking about the all-American pumpkin-carving ritual during this time of the year. Except, CAD-skilled carvers tend to go a step farther. They dig into the primitive shapes in 3D modelers to shape their virtual Jack-O-Lanterns.

Imre Szucs, a Hungarian partner of Siemens PLM Software, published this video of how to model a pumpkin in Solid Edge with Synchronous Technology (ST) 5. His use of surfacing tools to create the outer profile of the pumpkin is impressive enough. But he didn’t stop there. He went on to trim the geometry to give the pumpkin eyes and mouth, adding menace to his design. Continue reading

Autodesk Inventor, Revit, 3ds Max, and Maya, Now Available for Monthly Rental

The future of professional design software may look a lot more like Netflix and Zipcar, judging from the rental licensing options just launched by Autodesk and Siemens PLM Software.

Last week, Siemens began offering its Solid Edge CAD package under a subscription program. For as little as $130 a month, you could download, install, and start using the software. With no commitment to a specific time (for example, an annual commitment), you can technically subscribe to use the software for one month, then cancel your subscription with no penalty for early termination.

This week, Autodesk launched its own rental program, offering popular titles like Autodesk Inventor, Revit, 3dx Max, and Maya under monthly, quarterly, and annual subscription fees. Some of the most economic options include Standard rental plans for Maya LT at $50 per month and Inventor LT Suite for $95 per month. Continue reading