While attending Solid Edge University 2013 I got to see and review an impressive array of enhancements for Solid Edge ST6, and I’d like to bring as many of these to light as I can.
Siemens reported that the ST6 development satisfied over 1300 user requests, surrounding 3 core values:
- Accelerated Design
- Faster Revisions
- Better reuse
While it is impossible to quantify which CAD design platform is the ‘best’, Siemens’ Solid Edge team insists on carrying out a mission to be the ‘best mechanical assembly design system’. The company has strived to stay focused on Synchronous Technology, to make in-context assembly design faster, and maximize their strengths in large assembly handling, sheet metal design, and drawing production.
- New display capabilities for up to 2x the view speed
- High quality display mode
- Auto-constrain sketch elements during drag operations
- Variable table now includes physical properties and flat-pattern cut sizes
- Multiple closed profile support for dimple and drawn cutout features
- Synchronous In-context Assembly Design Improvements
New surfacing capabilities, particularly surrounding C2
Enhancements to the Key Point Curve command gives users full control over key point curves, and permits adjustments to nodes and sketches. The new visualization tools look impressive; options have been added to the BlueSurf command permitting a better understanding of the shape of organic surfaces.
- Reflective display mode aids in surface quality visualization
- Up to 4x faster surface creation
- Local editing options
Sheet Metal Enhancements
Solid Edge boasts up to 5x faster sheet metal component creation in ST6 with improvements such as:
- Stamped components and optimized handling
- Emboss feature now works on any solid part model
- Workflow and editing improvements
- Enhanced un-bend / re-bend process preserves more features
- New Simplify Assembly Environment – ST6 moves further into large assembly handling by providing simplified assemblies, and boasts effectively working with up to 1 million components.
- Enclose components, Duplicate Body, and part modeling commands
- Assembly physical properties update on save
- Improved create-in-place command
- Undo persists during close and return operation
- PathFinder now shows selected part and it’s sub-assembly
- Part edges used for frame paths
- UI improvements in parts library
- India and Russian standards for standard parts
Predictive analysis has been a passion of mine for a few years now, and I’m always interested to see how companies use the technology, and how developers react to their clients. Some of the features in the ST6 optimization preview were what the industry needs, but I’ll hold my comments until I can test the workflow and results personally.
- Iterative optimization environment provides new methods to help define component worthiness
- new functionality in the Goal Seek command – Goal Seek now functions in both 2D and 3D, and permits users perform studies with numerous different properties.
Solid Edge wants to eliminate the time spent in drawings as much as possible. There are some nice enhancements and this topic was one of the cornerstones of their SEU presentation.
- Drawing view wizard overhaul
- Drawing views display before placement
- Faster zoom / pan and hatch display of large 2D drawings
- Shortcuts and easier sheet tab creation
- In-place editing of tables and embedded documents
- Retrieve slot feature centerlines
- Partial bolt hole circles
- Print quality improvements in PDF
View Cleanup Tools
Some of the coolest features shown at SEU were the drawing cleanup tools. Dimensions can be automatically aligned. Balloon features can be aligned to sketched geometry including odd shapes. Simply sketch a shape around an assembly, and instruct SE to automatically reposition the balloons along the sketch feature selected. Both were really nice inclusions for ST6.
Table Editing and Formatting
Solid Edge wanted everything to be configurable, right down to the font in any particular cell. The formatting capability for tables in the drawing space are similar to working with Excel; when you want cell contents to be darker, or a different font, etc. it’s been made possible and easy to accomplish.
Migration and Training
SolidWorks file compatibility has expanded to include translation of feature during import, including:
- Assembly constraints
- Part and assembly configurations
- Hole and thread features
Solid Edge reports that (some) imported data can be edited up to 6x faster. Additional focus has been included to help SolidWorks users become familiar with the Solid Edge more easily and quickly, with :
- SolidWorks UI Themes (Personas)
- New tutorials for users from different backgrounds
- Additional SolidWorks inclusion in the command finder tool
Online Community and YouTube
Siemens announced the new online Solid Edge Online Community at SEU. 40 new training videos were added prior to the announcement.
Solid Edge ST6 now incorporates a YouTube publishing functionality, and allows users to record videos within the SE environment, and then seamlessly upload these to a YouTube account with the push of a button.
Collaboration and Data Management
- Solid Edge for Sharepoint organizes data in an intuitive manner
- Additional improvements in Teamcenter functionality
Solid Edge Multi-CAD
Solid Edge has moved further into the realm of multiple CAD format adoption. Teamcenter permits assemblies to contain sub-assemblies and components that include native and non-native cad formats, as well as non-modeled file data.
Solid Edge draft file supports both iPad and Android devices, and includes multi-sheet navigation.
I think this Solid Edge ST6 appears to be a very valuable investment. The drawing space improvements, optimization, and sheet metal improvements would be worth the upgrade. I have not worked with the simplified assemblies yet, however I am quite interested to see how these perform in assembly management, including the bills of materials, and editing.
The only thing left to consider is what to do with my time until ST6 arrives, which is slated to emerge in August of 2013.