It would be impossible to start blogging about Solid Edge (SE) without talking about Synchronous Technology (ST)
The introduction of Solid Edge with Synchronous Technology (SEST) touches some of my inner fibers as a trainer.
It will also touch me directly as I will have to educate:
First customer (they will be the first one to use SEST)
Then prospects/market/blog readers :)
and new customers that will see benefit for their business.
Also many questions are raised about this technology, so I’am going to give my point of view from the perspective of my trainer’s eye.
So let’s plunge…….
All questions could not be answered in a single post. In this article I want to make sure some of the basics are coverted.
I am pretty sure SE will not let get rid of parametric modeling, as it has its place.
For those who work with the actual version, I’m also convinced that Solid Edge (SE) will not let down parametric approach, because it has its place.
We have to remember, since the introduction of Pro-E (who claims to be the founder of the parametric) and the introduction of the middle modeler like SE and Solidworks (SW) in the mid 90’s and later Inventor (IV), parametric modeling is what has condition/drive the market.
I believe that SE in its traditional form will exist for years to come and will continue to evolve. No doubt that its development will be influence by the Synchronous philosophy.
I feel that the market is ready for new tools.
As we have evolved from a straight 2D wireframe on paper, to a 3D wireframe (Autocad), to a Solid modeler like SE, the market is now ready for the next step or can we say a new branch (approach) in solid modeling.
By looking at this we can say that all these evolutions have the common goal of managing changes. From the strict point of view of creation, drawing a rectangle, at some points, is faster in 2D than in a solid modeling. But when we add the sum of all the rectangles and complex shapes, 3D has a clear advantage of 90%( I will give me some margin and give 10% to 2D because some tasks are better done in real 2D).
Again if we could model in 3D without having to make changes life will be much easier.
When a designer makes a change he looking at:
- Flexibility to make sure the change can be done.
- Rigidity (parametric) to make sure he keeps the integrity of the model/assembly.
We then face the rectangle dilemma, if we increase the base, the height needs to decrease. More flexibility equals rigidity.
So this is where Synchronous Technology comes in, the key phrase we have to keep in mind is…
“Allow more freedom to apply unpredicted change”
So I mention that like a rectangle, the base and height are related. How can we have the rectangle bigger to facilitate unwanted changes?
The easy answer is to make its surface bigger. Meaning more control and more flexibility, this translates by adding new functionality on top of existing ones.
I would say this is the easy part where most people will fall. I won’t extrapolate on this easy pitfall, because it is indirectly related to the main topic
New design paradigm
Synchronous Technology looks at the problem (rectangle) with another point of view and saw a cube.
This is where the new paradigm takes its shape.
SEwST gives users the possibility to manage a third dimension, in French we call that “Tolérance Géométrique”, I believe the translation will be “geometric tolerance”. Here I don’t talk about the mathematical value but the form.
In most of the drawings we create, we place those tolerances to make sure the part will be functional. But we never deal with them in 3D.
I would compare this, up to a certain level, to “weldment beads” in assembly. For years we have simply used annotation in drawing. Now we represent weld directy on the solid.
Another term used in SEwST is “spatial relationship” or “Related.”
Why did I mention a third dimension when we have designed in 3D for years? Simply because today modelers are based on a 2D wire frame (sketch) or 3D wire frame in case of surfacing.
In order to apply change, we had to go back to the sketch level.
This kind of design has two branches, one call skeleton modeling and the other one feature modeling.
Base on training sessions I have given over the past years and past experience with other software; In SW and IV I believe that users are educate toward a skeleton modeling, where we need to have a sketch created in order to start adding material.
In SE we could start the process of adding material even if no sketch is predefined. In fact when we start adding/removing material we have two choices “from an existing sketch” or “create a new one”.
The difference is very subtle but it had a huge impact in a parametric modeling for further operation and management (modification/changes)
If I come back to the main topic, SEwST gives users a new approach/angle to start a design and also new tools to apply change. This is also true in ST where it gets more fun for me as a process trainer. We now have the ability to establish relations between face to induct a behavior. The more you manage the more, you can control.
So what kind of control do we have?
The user controls the six degrees of liberty of a surface with a steering wheel
This will be the next post subject, but to keep you on your appetite………
On top of that the Synchronous Solver will apply the geometric tolerance base on user entries to solve the behavior of the faces that surround the selection.
This is the “Live rules”.
Advance option in Live Rule gives the user the ability to tweak the selection made by live rule.
Hope this brief description of the Synchronous Technology will help you get a better mental image of what this technology will offer.
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