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Releasing Solid Edge ST

Genius
Genius



Hopefully you have heard the news that Solid Edge ST has been released. If not, you can read about it here.



If you talk to me or some of my friends on the inside, you will probably hear this has been one of the most exciting, challenging and enjoyable releases we have done. While there have been major shifts in CAD, they often occur many years apart. The time between is usually incremental improvements – a little faster here, a little more functionality there. Synchronous Technology gave us the chance to make HUGE leaps forward with our product. That is exciting for everyone.



Of course there have been challenges. New technologies require new tools – the steering wheel, live rules, new ways to control the model. This requires a much higher level of creativity than, say, finding a new way to make a hole in a part. We really wanted to do sheet metal in this release but just couldn’t get it all done. There were some other powerful tools that will have to wait until a future version. There were new burdens to testing. This was not the same old CAD system so all the new tools and work methods required thorough testing.



In the end, this has still been the most enjoyable release for me. One of the great things about our organization is that when release time gets near, we all pull together trying to get as much mileage on the product as possible. Those that follow me on twitter know I’ve been using this time with Solid Edge ST to design a carburetor and other automotive parts. I pretend it’s an inconvenience (I’ve got documents to write, spreadsheets to calculate!) but really it has been a lot of fun – more so because of this technological leap forward.



So what is next? I’m a bit limited on what I can say…sigh. Sheet metal is coming for sure. Plus there will surely be some new ST surprises. If your company is doing its budget for next year, I would definitely put in a request for a chance to attend next year’s Siemens PLM World. It is going to be very interesting.



And if the Solid Edge folks come calling, do get them to give you a demo. Even if you use some other CAD system and don’t plan on changing, you will at least be able to tell your vendor how you want their CAD system to work in the future LOL

Comments
Esteemed Contributor

Mark, your such a tease!

Genius

I know, I know grin



I think the point is that Synchronous Technology is not some simple new function where once you implement it, you are done.



Its more of a new direction with more and more ST based functions coming with each release.

Esteemed Contributor

Mark, judging by some comments I have heard from users, there was not good communication of the capabilities and limitations of the current release of ST.  Is there anyway a limited roadmap can be expressed of what’s to come with regards to new “synchronized” modeling capabilities?  I’m talking about things like surfacing, swept/lofted features, edge/curve manipulation, sheet metal, Insert Part Copy/Family of Parts.

N/A

Mark,

What kind of training for long time Solid Edge users(other than tutorials & self-paced tutorials) are out there for ST? They can give you basics but to apply them while production is moving is difficult. Is there a transition type class that says “you use to do it this way, now try it this way”?

Genius

Hi Jason,



As you probably saw, we created quite a bit of content to help people learn about ST but it sounds like you are looking for something more “hands-on”.



I know some resellers create classes like this so the first suggestion would be to contact your reseller.

Genius

Jason, as an example I found this blog (from Ingenea I think).



http://www.synchronoustechnology.net/blog/59/training-for-solid-edge-with-synchronous-technology/

N/A

I have used Solid Edge since version 3.5 and find this latest version ST to be of inferior quality to all the other versions I have used.



1.The keys strokes you need to do tasks have increase way too much.

2.The pop out windows required are annoying.

3.The amount of screen now available is much reduced than in the old layout.

4.The new icons in the windows are different sizes why?



All the people I know who use Solid Edge do not like this new layout.



Problems I have which have not been solved by the local representative are.



1.I cannot change and save my parts list in draft as the save button is greyed out.

2.I cannot get rid of that annoying prompt bar at the bottom as it will not allow me to remove the tick in the box.



Can I recover drawings, parts and assemblies I have opened with ST if I go back to revision 20?

Genius

Hi Alan,



I’m sorry to hear about your problems. I’ll try to address a few of your questions here.



1.The keys strokes you need to do tasks have increase way too much.



I’m not sure if you are talking about mouse clicks or keystrokes here as I’ve not heard of too many complaints about keystrokes.  Keystrokes exist largely to support “super-users” of our software or for quick short cuts. Most users can pretty much ignore them completely. If you are talking about too many mouse clicks or mouse travel for a particular favorite command, there are some ways to reduce this.  One is with the quick access tool bar. Another is custom keystrokes mentioned above.



2.The pop out windows required are annoying.

I’m assuming you are talking about the quickbar windows that appear when in selecting or executing certain commands.  The main reason for this is to avoid mouse travel and allow you to keep focus in the graphics area. It is a change that takes some getting used to but efficiency should be better after you make the switch.





3.The amount of screen now available is much reduced than in the old layout.

The new UI is more customizable in terms of window layout so if you have a small monitor you can change the defaults to hide the ribbon bar, have windows fly out rather than stay pinned, etc.  I would look at one of my other blogs called “showing the ribbon who is boss”.  http://siemens.pmhclients.com/index.php/showing-the-ribbon-who-is-boss/



Now I don’t mean to say there isn’t a problem here since the range of monitor sizes (and number of monitors) has just gone crazy in the last year. We are looking at this for our next release.





4.The new icons in the windows are different sizes why?

One of the concepts behind the ribbon bars used in so many new products is to make the most used functionality easily accessible.  Large buttons are used for the most used functionality and need to stand out.  Small buttons are used important but less used commands. You can read more about the ideas behind Microsoft’s Ribbon here:



Slideshare:

http://www.slideshare.net/guest3bbe8d/u-x09-harris?src=embed



Microsoft Blog:

http://blogs.msdn.com/jensenh/archive/2008/03/12/the-story-of-the-ribbon.aspx





5. All the people I know who use Solid Edge do not like this new layout.

I think across the CAD industry, the use of ribbons is a highly discussed subject.  I think there are two questions here…



    A. Is there a better UI paradigm that could be used?  The old way was losing steam.

    B. If the ribbon is here to stay, could Solid Edge better organize the commands within this framework?



If you move between ribbon based products, like any of the Microsoft Office applications, having a common paradigm can be helpful. Is Microsoft’s ribbon standard perfect?  No, not by a long way.  We will certainly be doing some tuning of the UI for the upcoming release.



Your specific problems (prompt bar, grayed out button) are not something I can easily address in a blog comment so I would suggest you get in touch with your reseller or GTAC ( http://support.ugs.com/ )



I hope this helps,



Mark