<< Part 10
In a previous post titled “Direct Modeling Is Changing Everything” I wrote:
“Each history based parametric modeling MCAD vendor has taken a different approach to Direct Modeling which has ended up in changing the way their software works.”
Just by looking at the way Solid Edge ST3 works today I can see how different it is from the other MCAD systems out there. Synchronous Technology has changed Solid Edge forever. Completely. Today when a Solid Edge user looks at a feature tree, he thinks very differently as compared to users of other MCAD systems.
Of course, if you wish to stick to your old way of history based parametric modeling, you can still do that with Solid Edge ST3. Set the default mode to ordered and never switch it to synchronous. If you feel like fiddling around with direct modeling a bit they can do that as well. If you want to go all guns blazing and do direct modeling only, Solid Edge ST3 has an extremely powerful set of tools for doing so.
The software is quite intuitive as well. If you open a model with synchronous features only, it starts up in synchronous mode. If the model contains only ordered features, it opens it up in ordered mode. Clicking a feature in ordered mode brings up the Edit Feature Quickbar for fast and easy editing of the feature. Clicking a face in synchronous mode displays the steering wheel for direct modeling operations. And of course, as I showed in the video in this series, there are times when you get access to the steering wheel when you are in ordered mode as well.
Although synchronous features form the foundation of the model, you can bolt on ordered features as you please. You can make synchronous features drive the ordered features. The best part is that Siemens PLM is still developing this technology. A lot has been done and I guess they will do a whole lot more. As a programmer I envy the people at Siemens PLM working on developing this technology. I also congratulate them on what they have done so far. I have watched Synchronous Technology evolve over the past two years. There is absolutely no doubt in my mind that Siemens PLM is going to take this technology forward.
Although this series has turned out to be eleven parts long, I believe I have simply scratched the surface of Solid Edge ST3. I wrote this series after fiddling around with Solid Edge ST3 for a couple of hours and figuring things for myself. I may have got some of it wrong. I will post updates with corrections as and when required.
Solid Edge ST3 has a host of other new features. For example, you can now create a family of parts from models that have only synchronous features. Family of parts now has member overrides for live rules, dimension variables and relationships.
I believe ST3 will be remembered as an important release that changed the direction of Solid Edge.
Disclosure: Siemens PLM gave me an evaluation license of Solid Edge ST3. That was not necessary because as a Siemens Solution Partner my company gets their software for free anyways. But then I am required to draw a distinction between my role as a partner and as a blogger.