Synchronous Technology In Solid Edge ST3 – Part 10

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In this part I would like to call attention to an issue in Solid Edge ST3 that worries me. A lot. Like many, I have the habit of saving my work as I proceed with my modeling. The thing with Solid Edge ST3 (and maybe previous versions as well) is that when you save a model to disk the undo information is flushed out and the undo command is not available anymore. This is unlike any other CAD system that I have worked with. Or for that matter most Windows programs that I have seen.

This turns out to be a huge problem in Solid Edge ST3 because the process of movement of ordered features to the synchronous side is irreversible. So when you move an ordered feature to the synchronous side of the feature tree, it gets permanently converted into a synchronous feature which is basically a collection of faces. In effect you permanently dissolve your ordered feature to the base body.

I messed up quite a few models this way while playing with Solid Edge ST3. I merrily went ahead and moved my ordered features to the synchronous side of the feature tree, saved my file to disk and then and realized that I had made a mistake. I should have left a few features back in the ordered part of the tree. But since I had saved my file to disk the undo command was not available and the features that I wanted back on the ordered side were dissolved to synchronous features on the synchronous side. So then I started saving less frequently and ran the risk of losing a lot of my work in case Solid Edge crashed. Gladly that never happened.

So my advice is to have a backup of your model somewhere else on your computer just in case. Or use some PDM or data management system that keeps copies of previous versions of your model. In any case I believe this is something that Siemens PLM should fix immediately. In fact, I am surprised that they flush out the undo information on every save. I am even more surprised that nobody found this to be a problem.

Normally undo information is maintained for the entire session of a document, or some fixed amount of undo operations. I am not sure if there is some Solid Edge option to prevent flushing out of undo information on every save. If you know of one please leave a comment for my benefit and for the benefit of others.

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