With that in mind, a good place to begin is with a subject that everyone is familiar with — sketching. For this release, sketching gets autoscaling and some new patterning options. Autoscaling is a curious feature because once you see it work, you realise that CAD systems should always have worked this way. Only a pervert would do anything else. It then takes 10 more minutes to work out how to do it properly.
With autoscaling, as you add in that first driving dimension, the entire sketch scales to meet it, meaning your geometry remains in approximately the right shape, without requiring you to wrangle it all back into place.
What has seen some work is the sheet metal environment. Solid Edge has always had a strong reputation for sheet metal design and documentation, but this release sees some important enhancements.
Solid Edge updates the tools already there to allow much more control over the conversion process, affording you not only a mix of automated and manual controls, but also more freedom to define how these rounded forms should be converted into flat sections. For example, you can define how many bend lines you want and control chord height, maximum segment length and angle.
There are also more advanced controls over how bend relief is added with trimming options , as well as support for documenting these forms in drawings, with bend tables that allow you to fully prepare fabrication documentation. Perhaps the last sheet metal-related update discussed here should be the new 2D Nesting add-on module — something that for some time now, Solid Edge has been crying out for.
This will allow you to bring together all of the parts you need to nest in a production run be they native Solid Edge parts, or imported DXFs , define the sheets you have available and have the system work through a nesting algorithm that will match your parts to the sheets available using multiple sheet sizes in the same job. The simple answer is that as soon as these systems catch up with how hard their users push them, then users push even harder. These best practices are focused on both display such as shading, tessellation of models , as well as interaction selection highlight glow , hidden edge display and will switch off those that most impact performance.
The last assembly-related update is not associated with creating or editing assemblies, but rather searching for components within complex assemblies. The existing query select tools have been enhanced to allow you to use any of the metadata associated with your data as the basis for a search, such as name, keyword, material, creator and so on.
To help combat this, the new remesh tool is going to make this process much easier. There are controls over target size for facets , and how you want the system to maintain certain features, such as sharp edges and boundaries, as well as how the system handles areas with rapid curvature change so the system refines the mesh, adding more facets to more accurately rebuild that area.
Solid Edge introduces a Mesh Align tool that allows you to rectify this in a couple of ways. Essentially, it allows you to load together two versions of a geometry model file and perform a comparison. If you want to formalise your findings as a report, then you can automatically generate a basic output from the system, with images already in place. This has been extended for the release to include augmented reality AR.
Essentially, it allows you to upload your model to the portal and generate a QR code Remember, most smartphones automatically decode these with the camera now, so no special reader app is required. This should then show the model in 3D, in situ, linked to the QR code, allowing you to view it at near As I stated at the start of this review, what this amounts to is a wide spectrum of updates that add new functionality and enhance existing tools.
Elsewhere, the Solid Edge team is demonstrating its eagerness to innovate and its willingness to take advantage of technology from other areas of the Siemens product stack. The good news is that, over the intervening period, the system has continued to grow, to become something of a hidden gem.
First, all these system can do the job. We are only considering their ease of use, cost, ROI and interoperability with other systems. How they handle imported data and how they communicate with manufacturing and other groups that depend on that information. We are only considering the basic product.
Only the solid modeling product with no modules. Not that adding modules is a bad thing, due to the very expensive initial costs of the high-end systems, having the option to add only the capabilities you need keeps the price down. But it is nice to have all the capabilities without jumping through a bunch of hoops to define your needs. It is nice to have surfacing available, that is a big reason to buy the mid-range products.
The high-end packages do not offer any increased modeling capabilities. No consideration is given to analysis or simulation capabilities. The first three programs should not even be considered unless you are a company with multi-year projects, with many concurrent users and outside suppliers and can afford the huge overhead costs required to implement and maintain the system or if you have an "in concrete" long term contract with a company that uses them.
The basic cost of the system is miniscule compared the required IT supporting staff to maintain them. They are designed in such a way as to create a heavy dependence on the system demanding more and more support from the CAD vendor. There is only one reason why this product is so popular? They had experimented with Computervision which ran on a somewhat undependable mainframe computer that required a refrigerated room.
They tried a couple of other systems that did not need this computer power, but had their own unique hardware. In those days no manager got fired for buying IBM. This was a very logical decision. I have a bit of history with Catia. I took the job to get back home. The group had 3 seats of Catia 3. This was a 3D wireframe system with basic surfacing. The operators were prima donna drafters. These folks were like the Gestapo.
The grass root movement failed against this powerful organization. Back to Catia 5. Yes, Catia 5, Catia 6 has been out for over 6 years and Boeing, Airbus and many other companies have not moved to it. The reason?? Many of you may not know about the Catia 4 to 5 fiasco.
Catia 5 can not directly read or even utilize Catia 4 files. Every plane prior to the was being completely or partially designed in Catia 4. This was, and still is, a complete horror show for Boeing and AirBus. Not only was Catia 5 not compatible with Catia 4 it was basically not compatible with the rest of the industry. Catia 4 was a direct editing Boolean program but Catia 5 was and still is history only.
But if you received a Boeing file and you needed to modify it, Boeing could not incorporate the changes without modifying the original part or recreating the part altogether. Catia 4. In an industry where change is the only constant, having a history based only system puts them in a place where they were at the mercy of the biggest CAD limitation: Add to that the high turnover of engineering personnel.
This paradigm depends heavily on the experience of the user. If you are inexperienced or not too bright you can create havoc in the building of a part. I can only imagine the chaos in Boeing's and AirBus's engineering departments. I was told by a friend at Boeing that they had this very bright engineer that was an expert on Catia 5 and was later trained on Catia 4. He said that Catia 4 was in many ways a much better system for aircraft design.
I have worked with Boeing and Catia for over 30 years. Dassault is responsible for keeping Boeing one of the most ignorant and isolated manufacturing companies. Their lack of interoperability is beyond belief. If you are stuck with Catia 5 there is a "huge" easy solution. It is by far the easiest replaceable CAD system today, which is a bit weird since it is the least interoperable system. The 3D experience has been here since , at least for me!
No direct edit available Not a single model environment High initial and maintenance costs. Complicated operations. They are moving to subscription only. We suggest you consider staying with a perpetual version or move to another package that offers a perpetual system. The problem is not just the subscription fee, but they now can hold your Intellectual Property hostage.
No company can ignore this situation. PTC is responsible for putting 3D CAD on a path of standardizing of the most complex convoluted process for solid modeling ever devised. We are starting to finally overcome this tragedy that has cost and still costing the industry billions of dollars in incompatibility.
Today all of the major 3D CAD programs are based on this dated paradigm putting the industry in a incompatibility head lock. None of the 3D CAD package based on this paradigm are compatible. Today, it is now more important for an engineer to have 3D CAD specific experience than industry related experience.