Solid Edge

Price See text Solid Edge has been on the market for over two decades now. Since the acquisition by Siemens, it has been through something of a renaissance in interest, particularly with the introduction of Synchronous Technology back in This brought non-history based modelling techniques to the system alongside its more traditional capabilities.

In the context of Solid Edge, this has some interesting workflows. Where convergent modelling gets interesting is when you need to start to combine these forms with more traditional forms of CAD. Convergent modelling allows you to carry out operations, for example, placing a hole through a part, adding additional features, to any mesh-based part. As soon as you do, the system converts everything to a mesh-based form.

To assist with this Siemens has built in a pretty well developed set of reverse engineering tools that you can dive into to edit and repair portions of your mesh. Once you have your model in a fit state to continue with, there are then tools to fit more traditional geometry to the mesh.

Solid Edge ST10 brings a range of reverse engineering tools for working with mesh-based data Topology optimisation Those that follow what Siemens PLM does in both Solid Edge and NX will know that in the last release of NX, the company integrated a set of topology optimisation technology from Frustum, which alongside the introduction of convergent technology, made for a very interesting set of tools, primarily aimed at the additive manufacturing world.

The good news is that the same technology and workflow has now been integrated into Solid Edge. Your starting point is a single body of geometry. You then work through defining your boundary conditions for the study. At this point you can also define the manufacturing settings. Once all these are set up, you need to defi ne the optimisation parameters. Topology optimisation is all about mass reduction. This can either be a hard mass value or a percentage. Most will probably go for the percentage value.

You can also add in a factor of safety, which will be used in validation of the results. Handily, the system also gives you an estimate for the computation time.

Note, this is a pretty compute heavy process and you could, particularly with the instance shown here, be talking about hours.

Of course, these are inextricably linked to the convergent modelling tools as the result is a mesh-based form. There are basic tools included in all levels of Solid Edge. Essentially, you can load and constrain a design space using basic forces and constraints and view the results. Interestingly, it has also done some work at the opposite end of the spectrum to greater support desktop-level 3D printing. The STL export options have been expanded — both in terms of format support it now adds 3MF format for richer 3D print communications as well as some tools to assist in previewing your part or group of parts on a build platform.

You can then export the data most likely or connect to a third party to order the parts. Siemens has integrated with a German outfit called 3yourmind to build its 3D print brokerage service into Solid Edge.

Perhaps the most useful, particularly for those working on complex assembly models with a lot of repetitive fasteners or sub assemblies, are the new tools to help clone assembly mating conditions.

Whereas in previous versions it was possible to pattern components based on the locations of other components e. This changed in the last release ST9 with Siemens introducing a set of tools that enhanced the indexing tools native to Microsoft Windows to add in some CAD flavoured knowledge.

The result was a basic data management system that worked, out of the box, without any special server requirements and was just as applicable to the smaller workgroup using a network drive arrangement as it was to the sole trader just working with their file system. Now, on to the collaboration aspects over and above data management and sharing in a workgroup.

Starting later this year, Siemens will be beta testing a new Solid Edge Portal. This will allow users to upload files for sharing with partners in a secure environment. While not a core focus for this release, synchronous technology sees a few updates, particularly in the area of assembly automation and rapid insertion of multiple sub-assemblies In conclusion Solid Edge ST10 looks like a comprehensive release across the spectrum of the system.

The introduction of convergent modelling and the associated reverse engineering tools are going to make life easier for folks working with imported mesh geometry or perhaps, more commonly, data from laser scan systems. On the subject of generative design, I think we need to address two things.

Firstly, Siemens is calling this generative design. The second matter to address is the price. To make use of this type of technology, users need to experiment and to be able to take it into production and find the value for their own products. Elsewhere, some good work has been done on other aspects of the core of the system.

The updates to synchronous technology will also help out where you need it. As you might guess, it looks like the development of synchronous technology has started to slow down as its reaches a level of maturity — the good news is that Siemens is exploring new avenues while continuing to refine existing tools. Add-ons for Solid Edge: While the Solid Edge bundling is pretty simple, these add more specialist tools if you need them.

In the intervening time, Siemens has acquired Mentor so the FloEFD application is now an official part of the product offering. The difference is that the first is the entry-level and gives you the means to develop technical illustrations, with a set of tools to repurpose your CAD geometry and then adds in those all important annotations and other elements. Solid Edge 3D Publishing, on the other hand, is aimed at those looking to develop live work instructions as well as other technical publications and gives you a whole host of tools to create staged assembly, disassembly and service instructions.

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