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ST8: Bluesurf


st8bluesurf.pngI've been working on little projects lately, and this week I was doing something with some Bluesurfs in it. This reminded me that ST8 has given Bluesurf a new function. The Deselect All button enables you to immediately dump whatever you have selected. Before this, you had to manually go through and deselect cross sections and guide curves. So this button really saves a lot of time and frustration when you're working on a complex Bluesurf.


When you're working with surfaces, part of the game is doing a lot of editing. It's not usually as calculated as working with prismatic solids. If a task takes 10 minutes in solids, you can count on it taking probably 30 minutes with surfaces, with a few exceptions. This isn't an issue that's Solid Edge specific, I think it applies to surfacing in general, on any software.


An additional feature I found myself needing this week isn't new in ST8, it has been around a few years, but it really saved me a lot of time, so I thought it might deserve mention. This was the Insert Sketch step in the Bluesurf feature. Here's how it works:


You take an existing Bluesurf that you want to add another cross section to, perhaps for better shape control, and initiate the Insert Sketch Step.



Your new sketch will need a plane, so select the plane type. In this case, I wanted to add a cross section in a curved area of the Bluesurf, so I chose an angled plane. I selected a plane I wanted to measure the angle from, and an intersecting plane that created an axis, and Solid Edge used the existing Bluesurf to give me a starting shape on the spline curve, which you can see above in orange. The red curly arrow is the angle of the angled plane.


After accepting the approximated spline, I was able to edit the spline to give me just what I wanted. Perfect. Done.


Without this tool, reordering selections in a set of Bluesurf sections would take more time, plus creating the plane and sketch with the Pathfinder rolled back is just a lot of work that this function does away with.


No it's not new, but it did save me a lot of time.


What project was I working on? Here's a little preview.




Gears Esteemed Contributor

Good pointer on the tweaks to Bluesurf....will be making use of these.


I also like the look of the project Matt,...I need to get back to my project, of a very similar model vehicle.

If I survive SE15...will be a design / build project. I've owned one before, so know what I'd like to do different. [excuse the pic Robot tongue my defence, it was 1991, and my eldest son there with me, will turn 27 this Nov]



Gears Honored Contributor


plus creating the plane and sketch with the Pathfinder rolled back is just a lot of work that this function does away with.


that was one feature of the BlueSurf that made waves when it was first introduced back then and talk of the town. I think this is also what @Chally72 Dylan had to say in his comment 'Would rather set their desk on fire than edit cross sections of a swept protrusion', in this post.




Wow @SeanCresswell, is that really you ? Hollywood hunks would have nothing on you back then ... ? Man Very Happy

or perhaps even today... ? Robot wink




I haven't explored multi-section sweeps. So I can't really comment about that. I did feel the same way about adding a section to a loft in 'Works, though, because it did something magical (and uneditable) with the plane. As far as I can see, there have been no ill effects of adding this section to the SE bluesurf. It did make a spline with far too many points to edit, but that's why they have the "simplify spline" option. Maybe Chally could clear up what he meant.


Without getting into another research project, does anyone have any situations where you would use a multi-section sweep rather than a loft or a bluesurf?

Gears Honored Contributor

I stand corrected Matt. I was aware BlueSurf is lot like a multi-section loft whereas Dylan was talking about inserting cross-section in a swept protrusion.


Indeed, I was talking about how I can never seem to edit a swept protrusion correctly, add/reorder sections, etc.