Friday, August 15, 2014

Solid Edge Replace Part Options

If you are not familiar with the Solid Edge Replace Part command, it is an Assembly based command used to do what the name implies… replace a part or sub-assembly with another part or sub-assembly.
In past releases of Solid Edge, the Replace Part command was a solo act that had the ability of replacing a single part or sub-assembly occurrence or all occurrences of that selection with a user specified replacement part or sub-assembly that already existed.
With the release of Solid Edge ST5 and subsequent releases, the Replace Part command was actually expanded into 4 different Replace Part commands, each with their own specific capabilities.
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Replace Part

Replace Part is similar to the previous Replace Part command in that it is used to replace a part with one that has already been created, however it was expanded to allow not only the selection of a single occurrence or all occurrences of the selection, but also allows a user to select different parts and/or specified number of occurrences of those selections to replace, however they will all be replaced with a single existing part or sub-assembly that you select.  Once the selection is accepted, you are presented with a Browse dialog used to locate the existing file to be used as the replacement.
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Replace Part with Standard Part

Replace Part with Standard Part is a new option that allows replacement of selected parts with a part out of the Standard Parts library.  What makes this unique is that it invokes the Standard Parts selection dialog used to browse the Standard Parts Library.  NOTE: The Standard Parts Library is an optional component that is not installed by default.

Replace Part with New Part

Replace Part with New Part is a new option that allows replacement of selected parts with a part that does not yet exist.  Once the selection is accepted, you are presented with a form to select a template, specify a filename and a storage location.  Selecting the Create Part button will create a new part and add it to the assembly in the same location as the part being replaced.  You can then edit it in the context of the Assembly to create whatever geometry you wish.
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Replace Part with Copy

Replace Part with Copy is a new option that allows replacement of selected part with a copy of the selection.  Once the selection is accepted, you are presented with a Save As form to save the copied selection to a new file.  Once the Save As form is dismissed, the selected component is replaced with the new copy.  NOTE:  This is the only Replace command that allows a single part to be replaced, however it will still allow single, multiple, and all occurrences of that part to be replaced with a copy of it.

Friday, May 30, 2014

Solid Edge ST7 3D Sketch… Why it isn’t exactly new.

Solid Edge ST7 introduced a new feature called 3D Sketch, but 3D sketching in Solid Edge isn’t exactly new…

Solid Edge has had a couple of add on packages for several years called XpresRoute and Harness which both have a 3D sketch tool included, but it could only be used for those modules.
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Also, all of the 3D environments in Solid Edge have had the Keypoint Curve and Curve by Table features which are also a form of 3D sketch but work by defining points to run a curve or sketch elements between, and of course you could always create a couple of intersecting 2D sketches and generating the 3D intersection curve between them but occasionally you would run into situations where a sketch would have to double back on itself causing issues with the intersection curve generation.


So what is new about the ST7 3D sketch?

ST7 3D Sketch is a new environment that creates a “3D Sketches” node in Pathfinder and each 3D Sketch created becomes a feature underneath it.  It contains some of the prior functionality of the 3D sketch tools in the XpresRoute and Harness modules, but also adds some new capabilities such as a  cursor with 3D alignment axis', the new sketch keypoint/dimension feedback, plus a volumetric feedback indicator to let you know if you are drawing within an XY plane or also translating in the Z direction (2D box vs. a 3D box).  Also expanded are the types of elements that can be created, the number of editing tools as well as relationships, and other properties such as Styles/Colors and Intellisketch settings (although 3D capable).
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So in conclusion, while the ability to create 3D sketches in ST7 isn’t completely new, the ST7 3D Sketch feature is, and it exposes some prior “add-on” capabilities to the the general application along with some new capabilities that simplify use and provide needed feedback to the user to create fast and accurate 3D sketch geometry easily.

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Solid Edge Adminstrator

QUESTION: You have a group of users using Solid Edge, you ask them to all use the same settings for consistency, but there are so many that it's tedious to keep track of and not everybody agrees with all the setting choices so some don't comply... What's an administrator or team leader to do?

ANSWER:  Use the Solid Edge Administrator tool!

The Solid Edge Administrator tool allows someone to create an Options.xml file that will control various setting such as User Templates, Hole Table information, data management settings, etc...  There is actually a long list of items it controls.  You can set defaults that the user can override if desired or you can lock the settings preventing the override.

Once and Options.xml file is created and located on a network share, have every user reference it in their File Location options, and all setting controlled by the Options.xml will be automatically set.

The Solid Edge Administrator tool is not meant to control a single users settings or meant to be used by everybody.  This should only be installed and used by someone who is an administrator or otherwise has the right or need to set the standards that all others must follow.

To use the Solid Edge Administrator tool, you have to install it from your distribution media or downloaded product.  The file is called "SEAdmin.exe" and is located in the folder called "SptTools".  To install, simply copy the file and place it in the Solid Edge installation subfolder "Program" which will typically be "C:\Program Files\Solid Edge STn\Program".
Once installed, simply run it.  It will open in a table format listing the Option on the left followed by Allow Override, and the Value columns.  Make the changes you wish to control and then Save the file to a network share location that all your users have "Read" access to.  If you wish to have multiple Options files, you can give them unique names, it is not important to keep the file named as "Options.xml".

To have your users set this in their Options, have them open their Solid Edge Options and select the File Locations section. Select the line labeled "Solid Edge Admin" and click the Modify button at the top.  In the resulting Browse form, click in the "File name:" field and type the UNC path to the shared folder and option file name, and then the Open button.  Solid Edge will automatically read and change the settings at this point and now the settings are controlled by the options file.  You will notice that any options that are set to not allow override cannot be modified and any that do allow override can be.

Please note that Solid Edge does not check the Options.xml file at anytime after it is initially set.  If the administrator changes the Options.xml file later, each user must go into their File Locations area of the Solid Edge Options and highlight the Solid Edge Admin line and then click the Update button to reread it and apply the new settings.

I hope you find this post useful.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Siemens PLM Solid Edge Community BLOG

I just want to draw attention to some activity that has been occurring over the past few months with regards to Siemens PLM's Solid Edge.

A few months ago a new site was launched by Siemens PLM and was touted as a Community site.  As part of this, there is a subarea that is the Solid Edge Community site.  The site has a Q&A section, Discussion section, Knowledge Base, BLOG, and recently a whole subarea for developers who write custom code using the Solid Edge API.

Of special note is the Solid Edge BLOG.  There has been a flurry of "how to" articles written by Matt Lombard.  You may recognize the name as he was an avid Solid Works user as well as the author of the popular SolidWorks Bible series.  Matt has now taken a position with Siemens PLM working for the Solid Edge group and has been authoring material on specific facets of Solid Edge that come with the unique perspective of a new user who previously used SolidWorks.  Often material like this is written by folks who have used Solid Edge for a long period of time and it is easy for them to skip through the ground clutter and only hit the high spots because they know too much and expect the reader to know too much as well.  Matt cover the ground clutter as well as the high spots and the material is well suited for the novice user as well as the SolidWorks refugee.

Make sure to check them out as the site is public and there is no registration to read the material.  If you wish to participate by leaving comments, posting a question or jumping into a discussion, registration is required but you do not need to be a customer of Siemens nor even have Solid Edge installed (45 Day Trial or Student Version)

Solid Edge ST7

Solid Edge ST7 is not due for release until July 2014, but it appears it is actively being worked on by SE Development as witnessed by a recent post from Dan Staples on the GTAC Solid Edge discussion group where he revealed a new enhancement by accident.  Whoops!  No worries, it was a simply a setting switch so he really didn't let much of the cat out of the bag (tip of a whisker?). The good news is that we have several more months till launch so he has plenty of time to reveal more about ST7, and knowing Dan, he might let a few teasers out just to keep things interesting.

BETA should commence in early spring, and the official launch will occur at Solid Edge University 2014 in May.  No doubt Synchronous Technology based modeling will continue to be a focus, but it's anyone guess as to what the other areas of focus are...

Saturday, November 09, 2013

Solid Edge University 2014

The date and location for Solid Edge University 2014 has been announced recently and it will be in Atlanta, Georgia on May 12-14, 2014.  The following site link doesn't have any additional information about the up coming event, but it does contain information on last years event as well as has links to all the presentations.  It is definitely worth a look, and if you like what you see, then I would encourage you to attend the 2014 event because there is no doubt that it will be more of the same if not just "more".  Include with that the Solid Edge ST7 launch and it is definitely a must attend event!

http://solidedgeu.com/

Thursday, June 06, 2013

Solid Edge University 2013… One more day to save!

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The Early Bird Discount #2 expires tomorrow 6/7.  It allows you to save $50 on one admission and $100 on three admissions (buy 2 get the 3rd FREE!!!).

http://www.solidedgeu.com/

Now if you are dragging your feet or your boss is dragging his and and the decision has not yet been made, don’t worry… As far as conference fees and content go, Solid Edge University is still a bargain at the regular price of $550 considering there are 2 days of content spread over 9 tracks with 3 of those tracks being HANDS ON EXPERIENCES!  Let me repeat:  3 TRACKS OF HANDS ON EXPERIENCES!  If you have ever priced getting training from a VAR, it is many times the admission price of Solid Edge University and does not cover the breadth of topics and/or the niche areas of Solid Edge that will be covered by the Solid Edge University’s Hands on Experiences.  Add to that the additional 6 tracks of content covered by experts including Solid Edge product planners, application engineers, and customers, and you have a “no brainer” of a bargain.
If you can’t make it for some reason or another, I understand.  Times are still tough for some industries and money for non-essential travel is in short supply, but what you spend on attending just this event will return many times that in gained productivity especially if shared with other users when you return (you typically get the presentations if you attend).

I hope to see you there, and if you can’t make it rest assured we will still have a good and productive time without you, but know that we will miss you a lot.

Tuesday, June 04, 2013

New Public Solid Edge Community Site

Within the last few weeks, Siemens PLM opened a new ‘Community” site for several products including Solid Edge.
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Unlike their previous discussion groups which for the most part where closed to everyone except customers who were current on their annual maintenance, the Community site is open to all.  Anyone can read the site, and by registering, you can also post to the site.

Check out the Solid Edge Community here: http://community.plm.automation.siemens.com/t5/Solid-Edge/ct-p/solid-edge

Solid Edge ST6 First Look…

As you may know, Solid Edge University 2013 is coming up in about 3 weeks (http://www.solidedgeu.com/) and that the official announcement about Solid Edge ST6 will come on day 1 of that event (June 25th).  Dan Staples, director Solid Edge Development will provide the Solid Edge ST6 keynote.
Well, I have a couple of early treats for you about ST6 that I can share!  Please keep in mind that these are no more than a tiny teaser of ST6, and as a BETA tester I can assure you there is so much more…
There has been this rumor going around that ST6 would put some focus on surfacing.  Well, here are two new tools that should convince you it’s more than just a rumor…
  • Reflective Plane  - The typical use case of symmetric molded parts is to model one half and mirror the body of the second half when complete… But how do you know what the whole part looks like prior to being finished with the part?  The answer is the Reflective Plane. It allows display of the second half of the part with out the display overhead of a geometric mirror and it allows inspection of surface quality using the surface analysis tools like zebra shading.
  • Ruled Surface – This command allows creation of a ruled surface some direction and angle from an existing surface edge.  There are a number of options for creating this surface in relation to the existing geometry.
Here is a video showing both in action:


 
The other area of focus has to do with the drafting process and making prints easier to create and make presentable...
  • Arrange Dimensions - Typical use cases are when using the ‘Retrieve Dimension” command to pull 3D model dimensions into the 2D drawing as well as when updating a 3D model with an existing dimensioned drawing.  In these use cases, dimensions do not always come in or update neatly.  The answer to this problem is the Arrange Dimensions command that allows the user to automatically arrange dimensions to the standards defined by your template.
Here is a video showing it in action:


 
I hope this small taste of ST6 has done nothing more than to grow your anticipation to a frenzy as you wait for the ST6 full announcement and subsequent release.  I think that ST6 will be an exciting release and will provide a ton of new tools and productivity enhancement that both existing users as well as new and potential new users will find irreplaceable, and it will help you Design Better with Solid Edge!