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Quick response to late-stage design changes

Community Manager Community Manager
Community Manager

No one needs to tell you how busy you are—you know how busy you are...when you work through lunch (again), stay at your desk much later than you had planned (again), and push off that vacation (again) until things slow down a bit (if they ever do).


Most of us now spend more time at work than even just three years ago, according to recent surveys. And many of us take fewer vacations. On top of that, engineering jobs are getting more complex—meaning that there’s even more that you have to do in the time that you have. “Working late is the norm in small business, especially if I’m trying to finish up a set of forming prints for a vendor so that I can send a purchase order,” says Craig Hall of Hall Designs, “I try to do that at the end of the day knowing they’ll process new work orders first thing in the morning before the phones begin to ring.” And when you are trying to wrap up your last project and head out for the day, nothing is more frustrating than a last minute change request that threatens to put a big chunk of extra work between you and the door.



(image courtesy of


The term “unexpected design change” is a bit of a misnomer, isn’t it? More often than not, change is the only constant. And the time it takes to respond to that not-so-surprising change request inevitably involves additional time spent backtracking through your model, doing rework, and sometimes (shudder) restarting. Editing a single part in an assembly wreaks havoc on the relationships created between parts. Matching faces, angles and profiles are driven off of the component you’re editing. Links that you break in your hurry to finish create other issues down the line. “Even small changes may take hours, if you have to open and edit individual parts in a traditional CAD model,” says Ricardo Espinosa, R&D Engineering Services manager at Kimball International, Inc. (Hear more of what he has to say here.)


Those are hours you’d like back, aren’t they? If you’re running a small business, those extra hours can also mean less time for new projects or customers. And that probably makes it even harder to take a vacation.


But what if last minute change requests didn’t have to mean dealing with red exclamation marks, adding reference geometry, reordering features, or rebuilding parts from scratch? How much more time would you have, how much less stress would you have, if making a last minute change to your model was as simple as, well, just making a change?


Interested? Take a look at this new video, which demonstrates the power of Solid Edge with synchronous technology when it comes to making late stage changes.


(view in My Videos)



Pretty impressive, right? And that's only the beginning of what synchronous technology in Solid Edge can do for you. Take a look at some of the other cool ways it can make your life a lot easier, and less stressful. And then…start planning that vacation.

Great video... I just can't understand why everyone isn't using Sync! Bob
Community Manager

Thank you, Bob! Oliver Duncan has done a great job with this video series...those are his dulcet tones you hear in the voice over. And I completely agree!

Siemens Valued Contributor

CAD vendors who use Feature Trees (aka history-trees) like to talk about addressing "design intent" during initial model creation.  I have frequently heard statements like, "Consider the design intent before creating your initial sketch.  Also consider what changes may occur to the model, so you can make that portion parametric."


OK, let me jump in my time machine and see how many ways this model will be changed...


As your blog post says, unexpected design changes are the norm, so you need a good tool that can make model adjustments quickly and easily.  Synchronous does that very well.


Great post!  :-)

Unexpected changes and big changes at anytime are the norm for new conceptual design and that's just with only me involved! Best to do a planning upfront concept in the fastest relevant 'design medium' possible be it FEA, block 3D or block / detailed 2D - going through the 'questions' and 'answers' we all must answer for the design to progress and be successful. Then do a re-hash, try out a few more embodiment designs again in the fastest design medium possible ( yes - that can be pen and paper at it's basic form) to answer 'your' immediate question. Must achieve ' Best Principle' with minimum effort. Then, start to 'fill out' the design. Best to keep all information simple (qualitative) as the design is 'fleshed out' - there could be more changes as the design evolves (e.g simplifying shapes for machining paths or suit part processes ( tapers/ shuts in casting / molds) or, reduce weight etc- can be an enormous list) and stay away from the fully quantitative for as long as possible - if possible!. I have been using an explicit 3D package for a long time now. What i don't like is not having Solid edge 'Design Rules' as i always look for simple / straightforward non complex forms ( if possible) so symmetry, co-planar faces are important and SE can easily select these automatically - a big practical bonus. With good explicit mechanical design software packages there's alot of 'donkey dumb' click selection i get very tired of. With other, 'general design explicit software,' with single click 'wow factor' shape alterations - i don't want to go there at all as i suspect there only good for 'concepts' and not world class , end to end design/detail, PLM etc here now and for the ongoing future. All this just my opinion.