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ST7: Hole Options Dialog


The Hole tool is another of the most popular enhancements in the ST7 release. The new Hole Options dialog is more visual, offers more settings, and offers options for the function of the hole (screw clearance, drill size, or dowel), in addition to the saved settings many users have relied on until now.



The icons at the upper left of the dialog seem a bit misleading to me, since you will never see a drill point at the bottom of a screw clearance hole, it would always be a through hole. The hole extents description of “Finite Extents” sounds a little funny to my ears. In standard hole parlance, this would just be a “blind” hole, but I guess this is long established Solid Edge terminology.


The “Sub Type” drop down list part of the interface may be a little confusing at first. For every type of hole, the Sub type selection will allow you to select from various options for the function of the hole, the type of thread, the type of screw or screw head.


The big image in the middle of the dialog that shows all the dimensions for the various features of the hole updates as you make selections for the hole type and depth.


hole2.pngMake sure not to miss this little icon, right after the Standard drop down. This takes you to the database file for the selected standard. The database file is actually a spreadsheet that contains all the values that drive the hole geometry based on selections in the interface. If you want to change the values, change them in the Excel file, and save it. If you want to propagate those changes to others in your organization, overwrite the file for the appropriate standard in the location C:\Program Files\Solid Edge ST7\Preferences\Holes for a standard install of Solid Edge. In the past this sort of editing was not as accessible. Granted, you should not have to make edits of this sort often or ever, really, but if you find an error in the provided data or your shop just has a different way of doing things, making the edits will be easy.



Notice also that you have the option to drive the sizes for close, normal and loose fits.


The Threads area in the dialog only opens up when you have selected the Threaded, Counterbore, or Countersink hole types at the top.  Again the values that automatically populate this area come from the database for the selected standard. Pay attention to the diameter type selection note – your selection in this area controls the diameter of the hole shown on the model for a threaded hole. If you have been doing this type of work in Solid Edge for some time, this might require a bit of retraining, but I hope you’ll agree that consolidating all these settings here is a good thing. I haven’t yet done a project that made a big use of hole features in ST7, but I think the more graphical interface is going to be easier to use, especially for new users. If you already have a lot of saved holes, you can continue working with those. The new interface and the new database give Solid Edge users a level of control over their hole features that you haven’t had before. For some people, this may well wind up being a top new ST7 enhancement.

Gears Phenom



There is a migration tool for those who have "own old" edited hole database (holes.txt). This was great idea, that everybody can reuse it. Smiley Wink I think this will be useful!

yyy:\Program Files\Solid Edge ST7\Custom\HoleDatabaseConverter\bin\






Any chance we can pin a hole to a sketched centerline in Synch? I have to admit I still do a lot of holes in ordered because I just can't abandon the visual comfort a centerline gives me.


You can get a hole to snap to a keypoint on a sketch line, but not to the line itself. And it won't stay there associatively, you'd have to change the nature of synch to do that.


Exactly! That is my one criticism of synch. I would like centerlines that function as a part of dimensioning, not feature construction.


I can make a sketch in synch and attach holes to it in ordered. Then change the lines and synch and the holes follow. So that is what I've been doing. Centerlines are a really useful way to keep track of alignments and locations over time. I don't think that it violates the philosophy of synch if it is a useful way to see the relationships between procedural features.



Solution Partner Creator

Hello All


Is there a way to open the hole database in a program other that microsoft excel? I mean to change the settings to open the database by default in OpenOffice or LibreOffice?


Any help here would be apprecaited.


Please assist. When I start the hole command in Solid Edge ST7 I get an errorbox with the following text; --- No database found in . You will not be able to create or edit holes using a database. You will be able to create holes, except Threaded holes, by entering values manually. Threaded Holes cannot be created but can be edited only for Thread Extent, Hole Extent and Chamfers. --- I have 8 files in my L:\Program Files\Solid Edge ST7\Preferences\Holes install directory. Please explain to me how to resolve this error. Thank you in advance.

Folks, you've spent several thousand dollars on SE. The fact is, to use SE to its fullest you have to get MS Office. Consider it part of the OS. There are several places on line that will sell you a legit OEM license for a couple of hundred USD. It would be nice if it could work with other office suites but I'm pretty sure that is not going to happen.


Larry K