Synchronous Technology Sun, 14 Oct 2012 15:44:18 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Solid Edge Mon, 10 Nov 2008 20:42:29 +0000 Solid Edge with Synchronous Technology is an invaluable tool for all of us who design, manufacture, or supply physical products.

Solid Edge is a fully featured 2D/3D CAD system using direct and dimension driven design. This proprietary technology enables us to design faster, communicate effectively, and efficiently validate and document our products.

It helps us satisfy our customer’s desires for aesthetically pleasing, robust, and innovative products of the highest quality and value.

Solid Edge with Synchronous Technology is a core component of the Velocity Series portfolio from Siemens PLM Software. These tools help us accelerate product development and improve manufacturing efficiency within a fully managed environment whilst increasing productivity, reducing costs and maximising returns.

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Solid Edge Trial – Download Now For Free Tue, 04 Oct 2011 16:06:29 +0000 Yesterday, Siemens announced another bold move in making Solid Edge more accessible to the masses. If you want to take a closer look at Solid Edge, you can now register on-line and download a fully functioning 45 Day Trial for FREE!

There are no strings attached, you simply need to fill in your details and then download the software. What could be simpler than that?

One important point that I will draw your attention to is that you need to use a valid e-mail address since the license will be sent to you via this method.

There is no better time to find out how Solid Edge could help your company by adopting some of the most advanced 3D CAD tools which allow you to accelerate your design process and implement faster design changes than ever before by adopting Synchronous Technology.

The 45 day Solid Edge trial gives you access to the full Solid Edge Premium product. This means that it includes all the core Solid Edge modelling tools as well as the Solid Edge Simulation product and other various add-on modules such as the XpresRoute Tubing / Piping and Wire Harness design. The license file also contains the Mold Tooling application and Web Publisher so you can evaluate these elements too if necessary. The product is not limited in any way at all – apart from your 45 day time period.

How Can I Make The Most Of My Solid Edge Trial?

In conjunction with this new initiative from Siemens, the team over at Solid Mastermind are also offering a special Solid Edge trial and evaluation training package called Solid Mastermind for Solid Edge Evaluations. This gives you full access to all the Solid Edge on-line video tutorials and training courses for the full 45 day period.

This training material will give you the knowledge to make an informed decision about whether Solid Edge is right for your business. They are not just basic tutorials that you will find elsewhere on the web, they are full blown training courses that are the equivalent to what you would learn in a classroom environment – adapted for on-line video sessions so that you can learn at your own pace.

Of course you can also make good use of the other Solid Mastermind services such as best practice documentation, process maps, searchable knowledge base, ask the expert and various Solid Edge utilities.

To kickstart your trial process sign up for Solid Mastermind for Solid Edge Evaluations

Warning Solid Edge ST4 Could Damage Your Health Tue, 27 Sep 2011 13:57:46 +0000 We've all seen the reviews and there is no doubt that Solid Edge ST4 is another impressive product release delivering new tools to help us develop better products faster.

Those of us who have a software maintenance contract in place will have received a shiny shrink wrapped box containing Solid Edge ST4 from Siemens in California.

It sits there on the shelf tempting us to open it and install the software. Indeed some of us may have previously downloaded the software unable to wait for the shipped product.

But we're all probably just a little too eager to install ST4 because it could damage our health. Not our personal health but the health of our business or our Solid Edge design system both from a financial and performance standpoint.

So before you upgrade here's what I mean and my recommendations on how you should proceed:

  1. Installing any new software into a production environment will disrupt your current design projects, it's unavoidable. So schedule your update at a time to cause minimum disruption.
  2. Be aware Solid Edge is not backward compatible with previous versions. So if you have multiple seats you must update them all at the same time. Otherwise there is a chance certain users may not be able to access critical data impacting your productivity and project or manufacturing schedules.
  3. If you're using the free Solid Edge 2D Drafting software alongside full versions of Solid Edge do not update until a compatible version of Solid Edge 2D Drafting is available for similar reasons to (2) above.
  4. If you're running multiple seats of Solid Edge installing the latest release can be time consuming. Make sure you use the SEAdmin.exe utility if appropriate to create an options.xml file for use during the installation or configuration of each workstation.
  5. No software is perfect. Ensure you have a full backup of all your data sets and other key Solid Edge files before installing any new release in a production environment.
  6. Ensure you have a budget, no matter how small, to train all Solid Edge users in the new features of the software. There's no point in having great software if you can't take advantage of all the benefits it offers. Classroom training is expensive but there are now cost effective alternatives such as Solid Mastermind. Make sure you investigate them it could save your company a small fortune.
  7. Don't expect to be fully up to speed with ST4 immediately you implement so plan for some productivity loss. Users need time to reinforce their learning so make sure they have ongoing access to the necessary training materials to do this. Again Solid Mastermind can help in this respect.
  8. Don't even consider classroom training if you cannot afford to have staff away from the office.

It's impossible to go into all the recommendations in great detail here, maybe that's for another post.

But to help you on your way here's an on-line Solid Edge tutorial that gives you some introductory training in Solid Edge ST4, ideal for when you do upgrade.

Solid Edge ST4 Tutorial

That Solid Edge tutorial was compiled from content delivered in the Solid Edge ST4 Update Training course available on-line at Solid Mastermind.

The course actually consists of 7 on-line video sessions the equivalent of one full day of classroom training.

Find out more by visiting:

Solid Edge ST4 Update Training

If you have any suggestions regarding upgrading that may help your fellow Solid Edge users please leave a comment below.

Top Edging.
Arthur Sexton

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Free Solid Edge For All Students Fri, 02 Sep 2011 13:38:24 +0000 Recently Siemens announced that there was a renewed focus on the Solid Edge Educational program. There is now a real push to introduce many more schools, colleges and universities to the power and flexibility of Solid Edge

In a bold move to support this, this week they announced that students can now get hold of Solid Edge ST4 absolutely free of charge just by visiting the Solid Edge Student Edition page.

Solid Edge Student Edition

All you need to do is to provide some details including your name, e-mail address and so on. It really is very simple.

Once this is done, you should receive an e-mail which will have your Solid Edge license file attached. It will also contain the link you need to use to download the software. In addition to this there are some instructions on how to join the dedicated student forum where you can share ideas and communicate with other like-minded students.

The download link is only valid for 24 hours so its best to act quickly and download the installation right away.

The only real restriction with the student version is that any model and drawing files that are created, cannot then be opened and manipulated within a commercial version of Solid Edge. Everything else is the same, this includes the import and export formats as well as modelling functionality.

So what are you waiting for? Give yourself a head start by using industry leading production CAD technology to prepare yourself for the job market.

Learning Solid Edge

Once you're up and running with Solid Edge and have perhaps run through the built in tutorials, you might find you're craving for more information or training material. Here are a few suggested sites to visit to get hold of some free video training resources.

Top Edging
Jon Sutcliffe

A Helping Hand – Solid Edge ST Migration Training Fri, 29 Jul 2011 13:58:19 +0000 Solid Mastermind, the expert on-line resource for Solid Edge, recently conducted a survey of existing Solid Edge users to determine what versions of the software are in use, and what features are being used. The results showed that over 60% of respondents are still modelling using the traditional techniques and have not yet embraced Synchronous Technology.

Yet Synchronous Technology is one of the most powerful elements of Solid Edge.

Within this post I want to give some useful materials to those Solid Edge users not yet using Synchronous Technology. Those who are currently working with only traditional modelling techniques but are considering migrating to Synchronous Technology.

Synchronous Technology impacts all environments of Solid Edge and contains many new concepts and terms so firstly here is a glossary of some of the most important items you may yet be familiar with.

Glossary Of Important Terms

  • Steering Wheel – The tool used extensively in order to manipulate geometry in the 3D model, also used to help manipulate anything from patterns to sketch and plane origins.
  • Live Rules – A proprietary geometry recognition system that recognises strong geometric conditions in the model during an edit and maintains them as geometry is moved.
  • Face Sets – Objects in the PathFinder created by the synchronous feature commands. Can be used as selection handles for the manipulation of geometry. There are also User Defined Face Sets which can be generated by grouping faces and face sets together.
  • Procedural Features – Synchronous features controlled by dimensional parameters. Examples include holes, rounds, and chamfers.
  • Profile Driven Procedural Features – Synchronous feature derived from a profile and driven by a set of parameters. Can be easily edited. Some examples include a helix, and sheet metal features such as dimples and drawn cuts.
  • Fill Patterns – Specific synchronous pattern type that is used to fill an area or region with instances of geometry. Very flexible and configurable.
  • Live Sections – Provides the capability to adjust 3D geometry by using a 2D cross section. Can be used on native Solid Edge models and imported geometry in the same way.
  • Selection Manager – Provides the ability to quickly and easily select model geometry based on its position and condition relative to other geometry in the model or assembly.
  • Plane Locking – A range of different methods used to temporarily or permanently lock to a specific sketch plane.
  • Sketch Region – A selectable region created by a closed sketch and subsequently used to generate 3D geometry.
  • PMI Dimensions – These are dimensions that are placed directly onto the 3D geometry and can be used to drive the size of the model.
  • Mixed Mode Modelling – The concept of combining both traditional ordered based design with Synchronous design in the same file.

This is not an exhaustive list but contains those that I think are the most important.

Now you know some of the important terminology I want to point you to a Solid Edge tutorial that gives you some introductory training in Synchronous Technology.

Solid Edge Tutorial

As revealed in the video that Solid Edge tutorial was compiled from content delivered in the Solid Edge ST Migration Training course available at Solid Mastermind.

Whilst that video was brief (a limitation of YouTube) the course actually consists of 22 on-line video sessions the equivalent of 3 days of classroom training. There’s a lot to learn about Synchronous Technology!

Find out more by visiting:

Solid Edge ST Migration Training Course

If you have any terms you think should be included in my glossary for Synchronous Technology please let me know by leaving a comment.

Top Edging.
Jon Sutcliffe

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Siemens PLM Connection UK 2011 Event Fri, 15 Jul 2011 14:15:30 +0000 On Thursday 14th July 2011 Jon Sutcliffe and I, along with about 700 others, attended the Siemens PLM Connection UK 2011 event at the Ricoh Arena in Coventry.

This was probably the best attended event hosted by Siemens PLM Software ever in the UK. Yes, Mark Webber from the Red Bull Racing Formula One team was a guest speaker but there can only be one reason such a good attendance – Solid Edge. It was the first event to actually embrace the Solid Edge community in the UK. I would guess over half of the attendees were Solid Edge users.

Here is last years Red Bull F1 car proudly on display in the reception area.

2010 Red Bull F1 Car

Mark gave us a pretty good insight into F1 from his side of the fence and I’m sure he would tell you that his presentation “wasn’t bad for a number two driver”. Any F1 fans that watched either the 2010 or 2011 British GP will be able to relate to that phrase.

It made me wonder how effective I would be at my job if I was constantly being subjected to forces of between 1 and 5G and having a colleague intermittently speaking in my ear. I guess the moral is all about focus.

... so focussing on Solid Edge.

Bill McClure the VP for Velocity at Siemens PLM had travelled over from the birthplace of Solid Edge, Huntsville Alabama, and gave a presentation called Future Directions - Solid Edge.

One part of his presentation gave a brief overview of Solid Edge ST4. What struck me was the number of enhancements in this release. Not new marquee features but just sound enhancements to help the existing Solid Edge users. Please check out our other posts regarding this.

Two of the most active UK based Solid Edge resellers, Cutting Edge Solutions and Solid Applications took stage in the afternoon to expand upon what’s new in Solid Edge ST4 to their customers in separate breakout sessions.

One of the sessions we attended was named an Audience with Bill McClure. This was an open forum. Two key points of note from this session was that Siemens now operates a separate financial reporting mechanism for Solid Edge. This has helped justify, and enable, substantial reinvestment in product development and marketing for Solid Edge. That can only be good for all the current and future Solid Edge users out there. He also reiterated that Solid Edge core competencies will remain in product design, simulation and data management.

From a Solid Edge perspective the event could have been better. Sessions were a little rushed, but comparing this to last year things are moving in the right direction. A dedicated focus on all things Solid Edge is definitely the key.

If you have any views on how Siemens PLM could embrace and serve the Solid Edge community better let us know by leaving a comment below.

In the meantime Top Edging.
Arthur Sexton

Solid Mastermind

Why not visit Solid Mastermind THE Community for Solid Edge Professionals. Online Solid Edge Video training, utilities, process maps, best practices, knowledge base and much more.

Solid Edge ST4 – Major Enhancements Part 2 Thu, 16 Jun 2011 14:56:30 +0000 In this second Solid Edge ST4 preview we’ll look at the enhancements to the Simulation and Drafting environments


Sheet Metal Analysis
It is now possible to create and use mid surfaces of sheet metal models during a part and assembly simulation. The mid surfaces are created as ordered features so they are completely associative to the original sheet metal model allowing the accommodation of changes. The parts are meshed with shell elements which are ideal for sheet metal in terms of speeding up the whole analysis process. Also the mid surfaces can be united with solid models resulting in a combination of fast solving 2D shell and 3D solid elements. This allows the simulation of more complex designs and more real world scenarios that are commonly found within machine designs. Of course this is not just restricted to sheet metal parts and can also be used on uniform thickness plastic parts in a similar way.

ST4 Sheet Metal Simulation

Improved meshing
There have been several improvements to the meshing capabilities that will produce faster results without sacrificing any accuracy. This includes the ability to:

  • Create a mapped mesh which creates a more orderly and well-shaped mesh
  • The ability to control the number of elements on an edge as well as the maximum number of elements on small faces.
  • Automatic adjustment of mesh size across surfaces that can accommodate a small radius of curvature.
  • Increased mesh elements around stress raisers such as holes. This will increase accuracy where needed and at the same time conserve element counts in less important areas.

ST4 Mesh Creation

ST4 also brings some new levels of usability to the Simulation environment. For example it is now possible to quickly edit a study simply by double clicking on it in the navigator. Also new functionality improves the creation of face to face connections whilst new display glyphs for loads and restraints will improve their visibility and understanding. The numerical formatting of the colour bar has also been enhanced in order to improve the readability of results. Finally it is now possible to determine the stress and displacement caused by material expansion or contraction which is caused by temperature changes.

ST4 Usability


Drawing View Captions
Added some great new control over the captions that appear for drawing views. Its now possible to have multi-line captions which contain property text. This will make it very easy to establish and use drawing view naming conventions. For example the view caption could contain information such as the sheet number, view scale, view rotation, text comments and much more. The list is endless.

ST4 Drawing View Captions

Parts Lists
An awful lot of work has gone into the Parts List functionality over the past few releases and ST4 sees some more work done in this area. Parts list can now automate the aspect ratio for the cells within the table and the text will shrink to fit, headers and titles can be merged together and the text can be rotated to be vertical. Also we now have the ability to add user defined rows, override the cell contents and apply formatting to the text within the cells to make it bold or italic etc.

ST4 Parts List

On a slightly different subject, text boxes now support stacked fractions, subscript, superscript, bullets and numbering. There is also an option to adjust the text width to fit into the text box

The Auto Ballooning command now has the capability to place all of the balloons for a stack of parts in one single click. An example of this is for a Fastener System. We no longer need to place the separate balloons and then attach them to each other. Callouts now support a callout aspect ratio with control over their border and the ability to do word wrapping

The dimension tools have been improved and it is now very easy to created jogged dimension lines in order to detail features that are close together. There is also a new command that allows the quick duplication of dimension attributes so that the prefix, type and style options can be copied from one dimension to another. This is also very useful for cleaning up imported drawings

Finally for this post, we can see that ST4 has a very strong focus on improved usability in the drafting environment. Some example of this can be seen in the following points.

  • Derive sheet scale from first placed view with an option to link sheet scale to view scale.
  • New lock command to fix a view position in the drawing.
  • Undo is now supported for deleted views.
  • Drawing view contents now display when moving the views.
  • Print preview for single and multiple sheet printing.
  • An improved user interface for inserting special symbols.

ST4 should release to manufacturing at some stage next month

Until next time

Top Edging
Jon Sutcliffe

Solid Mastermind

Why not visit Solid Mastermind THE Community for Solid Edge Professionals. Online Solid Edge Video training, utilities, process maps, best practices, knowledge base and much more.

Solid Edge ST4 – Major Enhancements Part 1 Wed, 15 Jun 2011 13:37:28 +0000 So Solid Edge ST4 has finally been announced to the masses who are attending the global user event in Huntsville this week. As you know I have already talked about some of the non-embargoed ST4 details in two previous posts.

Now that the embargo has been lifted I can let you know about some of the other more important details which will be covered in two separate posts.

Let’s start by focusing on the new functionality in the part and assembly environments which facilitate more advanced machine design.

Part Modelling.

Synchronous Revolve
ST4 will see an improved workflow for the creation of Synchronous revolved features. A simple selection of a region and a drag of the handle that appears will invoke the revolve command. Once the revolve feature has been created a Live Section will also be automatically generated through the 3D geometry. Any dimensions that were on the original sketch will automatically attach to the Live Section which will enable quick and easy editing. If any subsequent features such as holes are added to the revolved geometry and they intersect the Live Section it will automatically update in order to accommodate the changes.

When it comes to creating Synchronous Holes it is now easier to place them accurately on cylindrical geometry such as shafts as there is a new dynamic placement workflow available. If you have ever used the Tangent Reference Plane command you will understand the benefits here since the new workflow for Holes is now very similar to this.

ST4 Revolve Features

Web Network
The Web Network command in the Synchronous mode has been enhanced so that its parameters can easily be modified after it has been created. This allows us to change its thickness, finite depth and draft angle much more easily. We will no longer restricted to just making changes via the steering wheel. However, if we do make changes via the steering wheel, because we are dealing with Synchronous geometry, the changes can be made without having to regenerate the entire model.

Edit Performance
On the subject of editing geometry, there has been some additional work behind the scenes on Synchronous edit performance. This will provide near instant edits in certain conditions that may have slowed things down in the past. Some examples are - parts that contain many concentric cylinders, parts that have many locked dimensions, or parts that have many aligned holes.

3D Relationships
There are a couple of new Synchronous 3D relationships in ST4 that will help ensure various forms of design intent are satisfied as well as maintained during a Synchronous edit. The Offset relationship will allow a face to be offset from and maintained at a given distance another face. The Horizontal / Vertical relationship will allow features and faces to be aligned with other geometry in the model. For instance we might want a hole centre to be aligned with the middle of an edge, or we might want a face in the model to be aligned vertically. If you think about the equivalent 2D sketch constraints (Offset and Horizontal / Vertical) that we would use in an ordered model, these are very similar. In fact when a sketch is used to create 3D geometry, if these constraints exist, they are automatically transferred to the 3D model.

The Face Relate functions now have a dedicated set of commands on the main toolbar making them more accessible and easier to use. Previously they could only be invoked by selecting some geometry, then changing the action in the command ribbon to relate. These new enhancements will speed up the workflow for manipulating faces in the model using these commands. The relate enhancements also apply to the assembly environment.

ST4 Face Relate Function


New Assembly Relationships
The assembly environment also sees some significant enhancements to the Mate relationships available. There is a new centre plane relationship that simplifies the placement of a part that sits centrally between two other parts or 2 faces. Think of either placing some part centrally between two brackets, or a bolt centrally in a slot. Of course if the parts or faces are moved, the placed part will remain central.

The mate relationship now has a limit option that will allow the definition of a range of movement between parts and will help when trying to simulate a mechanism. There is also a new rigid set relationship available that will fix a group of parts together so that they behave as one entity when moved.

ST4 Assembly Range Mate

In ST3 it was possible to use the steering wheel in order to move a part within the assembly. This is still the case at ST4 however the process has been enhanced so that if a part is moved into a new location, Solid Edge is then able to automatically detect and create any appropriate relationships in order to position the part in its new position. In fact the same workflow can be applied if an existing part needs to be replicated a number of times elsewhere in the assembly.

ST4 Steering Wheel Relate

On-Line Parts Database
The ST4 launch will also see the introduction of a brand new on-line parts catalogue which is powered by Cadenas. This contains a large library of parts from hundreds of manufacturers who supply things like valves, u-joints, actuators, etc. The site is designed to be easy to use and has built in search capabilities so that the correct part can be found by either by vendor name, specific dimensions, part number or even its geometric attributes. Check it out Here

Eye Candy
The predefined view styles in ST4 have been enhanced so that they appear much more realistic. You will find that reflections and shadows are switched on along with the introduction of a reflective virtual floor. This will give more of a realistic feel when working in the normal modelling environments. In addition to this the view quality settings have been simplified with a new auto-sharpen function. Take a look at the image below for an example.

ST4 View Realism

Explode, Render, Animate
The exploded view environment (ERA) also sees some enhancements that make it easier to define custom flow lines between parts in the exploded representation. The aim of this is to provide better documentation in the form of our drawing views. There is a new Path Express style command to create the new flow lines (similar to the command in the XpresRoute environment). Also existing flow lines can be split or deleted to customise their path, then editing them is a simple drag and drop operation.

Whilst on the subject of the ERA environment it’s worth mentioning that there have been some improvements to the rendered images that you should be able to create using the ‘out of the box’ settings for photo realistic rendering. This is achieved through better material mapping, some new scenes, backgrounds and lights.

ST4 ERA Environment

Finally for this post I wanted to mention a few miscellaneous items:

  • Some enhancements to the Frame environment mean we now get a live update when the frame skeleton is dragged around as well as better support for more undo / redo conditions.
  • The assembly shortcut / context menu has been simplified so that it is more logical and takes up much less space.
  • There is better error processing and clearer error messages.
  • The built in standard parts (machinery & piping libraries) see the addition of British standard components, more fastener types, more pipe fittings and pipes, and more frame cross sections.
  • The Solid Edge News Group is no longer a closed group. This means that you do not need a valid Webkey in order to create an account. The group is now open to anyone who cares to join in on the Solid Edge converstation.

Look out for the next post on ST4 very soon where we’ll concentrate on the Drafting and Simulation enhancements.

Top Edging
Jon Sutcliffe

Solid Mastermind

Why not visit Solid Mastermind THE Community for Solid Edge Professionals. Online Solid Edge Video training, utilities, process maps, best practices, knowledge base and much more.

The 11th Way To Benefit At The Solid Edge ST4 Launch Event Fri, 10 Jun 2011 14:43:41 +0000 The ST4 Launch is only a few days away and very soon the lucky attendees will get the chance to see first-hand, the new functionality in Solid Edge ST4 as well as take part in discussions with the development team, attend hands on training sessions and much more.

Recently John Fox who is in charge of Velocity marketing at Siemens released a useful blog post with a top ten list illustrating how users could get the most out of the event. This included the following points:

  • Technical Sessions
  • Hands-on Training
  • Roundtable discussions with development
  • Product showcase
  • Win an iPad
  • Customer support kiosks
  • Technology partner booths
  • Expert user presentations
  • Assess to the development team
  • Network with other Edgers

Well, I've found another way you can benefit from being there:

One Months Free Access To Solid Mastermind

Yes that’s right the team at Solid Mastermind have been generous enough to offer one month’s free membership to their on-line Solid Edge resource to every attendee. This will include the following Solid Edge content:

  • On-line Video Training Courses
  • Process Maps
  • Best Practices
  • Ask The Expert
  • Knowledge Base
  • Solid Edge Top Tips
  • Solid Edge Utilities

To sign up for this offer, just make sure you head over to Mark Burhop’s booth and he’ll direct you to the appropriate web form so that you can do it there and then. As you may know Mark is in charge of the Solid Edge Eco System which is something I know Solid Mastermind is very proud to be a part of.

To everyone who is going, I hope you have a great event.

Top Edging
Jon Sutcliffe

Solid Mastermind

Why not visit Solid Mastermind THE Community for Solid Edge Professionals. Online Solid Edge Video training, utilities, process maps, best practices, knowledge base and much more.

Solid Edge ST4 – Second Preview Tue, 24 May 2011 15:49:59 +0000 In this second Solid Edge ST4 preview we’ll look at the remaining enhancements that we can talk about prior to the official launch announcement when the embargo on all the big ticket items will be lifted.

World Class Drafting

We’ll start with the updates to the drafting environment. This will see a brand new faster way to add special symbols to items such as text boxes, Callouts, Feature Control Frames and more. In the past we would have needed to use the Windows Character Map to do this and sometimes finding the right symbol could prove tricky. Now however ST4 will see a new dialogue for these special symbols which has logical sections enabling them to be found and used much more quickly.

On the text side of things it will be possible to automatically fit text into small spaces. This includes the auto adjustment of the aspect ratio and wrapping of the text. This enhancement applies to Callouts, Parts List table cells and text boxes. It means that if for example we were using a callout to place property text into an area of the drawing border / title block, we could ensure that the text would always fit within a specified area.

ST4 Drafting Text Wrapping and Scaling

Feature Control Frames will now support the new requirements of the Y14.5 GD&T standard. In addition to this they will have a new handle which can help when defining their position within the drawing. This will assist when resizing or manipulating the break line and moving the break line around the feature control frame border. Feature control frames can also now be moved much more freely anywhere. For instance they can also be aligned perpendicular or parallel to drawing geometry as well as be attached to multiple leader lines.

ST4 Feature Control Frames

Drawing views will now have the option of being locked. This is an option which can be chosen from either the Command Ribbon or the drawing view properties dialogue. Locked views will remain fixed at their current location within the drawing meaning that they can’t be accidentally dragged around. If any locked views are selected, a small glyph will display in their corner to offer a visual cue on its locked status.

ST4 View Locking

A new option for section views means that it is now possible to specify whether rib features in the model are sectioned or not. This will satisfy many drawing standards which state that ribs should not be sectioned. In the past we would have needed to remove the cross hatch detail manually. The rib section options can be controlled globally via the Solid Edge options or per view if necessary.

ST4 Rib Sections

Whilst we’re talking about sections, it’s worth mentioning that there will be a new hatch pattern which simulates the growth rings within wood. It will be possible to have combinations of linear and radial patterns.

ST4 Broken Views

When it comes to broken views, the resulting view now has the trimmed edges of the geometry calculated and shown. This produces a far better result and means that the break lines do not appear to sit out in free space. There will be two short break line types, these will be linear and curved which will have controls for height and pitch.


On the simulation side of things there has been some work done on the analysis of sheet metal or common thickness parts. Firstly it will be possible to manage the sheet metal gauge properties by using an Excel file. Each sheet in the Excel file can contain all of the information for a particular material type. Multiple gauges per material can be defined in order to capture the specific characteristics of the different thicknesses for each material. By using the File Locations options the Excel file can be managed centrally and shared amongst multiple users or left stand alone.

There are some new Edge and Face Glue options that will allow the simulation of more realistic scenarios with shell elements. It will handle the moment transfer between shell and solid elements and as such help where shell meshes need to be attached to other shell or indeed solid elements. This will allow the analysis of more complex situations where it is far better to use surface elements to represent a part in order to achieve better results and reduce the time it takes to mesh and calculate the results.

ST4 Simulation

Finally there has been a fair amount of work done on the usability of the simulation environment. Edits within the Study Navigator can now be achieved with a simple double click. The formatting of the numerical colour bar has been improved. Single face to face connections will be quicker to define and various on screen glyphs for the contact source and target have been improved. The material table has also been overhauled and the material is linked to the sheet metal gauge.

Well that’s it for now until we can give you the full ST4 update details after the official announcement in June

Top Edging
Jon Sutcliffe

Why not visit Solid Mastermind THE Community for Solid Edge Professionals.

For more information please take a look at the about page.