Synchronous Technology In Solid Edge ST3 – Part 8

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In the previous part of this series we saw how ordered features could be driven by synchronous features, that too in real time. In the next couple of parts we will investigate how well ordered and synchronous features coexist in the same feature tree.

This time instead of starting in synchronous mode I will start with ordered mode and create a compound feature, basically a pattern feature that used other features. I will create all these features on the ordered side of the feature tree and then move them one by one over to the synchronous side and see where the software breaks.

I create a slab and three protrusions on its top face by extruding a circle, triangle and a rectangle. Next I create a rectangular 3×1 pattern from these three protrusion features. There is a reason why I didn’t create one protrusion and create a 3×3 pattern from it, which will become clear in the next part of this series.

The feature tree contains only ordered features and looks like this.

Now assume that this is a complicated part with lots of features which are all messed up. Someone hands me this model and I decide that I don’t want to go and pick apart the feature tree to edit the model. So I go ahead and move a bunch of ordered features to the synchronous side so that I can push and pull their faces around. Say if I move the three protrusions but not the pattern, what will happen? Will the pattern on the ordered side recalculate itself properly even after the protrusions that it depends on have been moved to the synchronous side? Let’s see.

This is what happens when I right-click on “Square Protrusion” and select “Move to Synchronous”.

Click image for larger view

No, this is not a regeneration error. At least not yet. Solid Edge is complaining that the circular, triangular and rectangular protrusions are used in the rectangular pattern downstream and is recommending that I move the pattern to the synchronous side as well. In fact that was what I should have done in the first place. But now that I am here I want to see what happens either way.

If I don’t take the advice and leave the pattern on the ordered side, the feature tree breaks because the pattern fails to regenerate. Note the exclamation mark next to the “Rectangular Pattern” feature on the ordered side.

However, if I move the pattern to the synchronous side then all is well and I can edit the pattern using the steering wheel. Decreasing the X Count to 2 gives me this.

As can be seen from the feature tree below, all the ordered features are successfully moved to the synchronous side and the ordered feature list is empty.

So this little experiment may give you the impression that you cannot have a pattern on the ordered side that uses features on the synchronous side. I thought so too until I decided to dig a little deeper, which is the topic of the next part of this series.

Part 9 >>