I was fortunate enough to be asked to write some articles for Engineering.com. My lasted artcile is about synchronous technology. I wrote this article for a couple different reasons:
1. To help me better undersetand what synchronous technology really is and;
2. To help all those other users who really don't understand synchronous technology and think that it is just "direct editing".
Let me know what you think and feel free to comment on the article.
I like the Idea of Sync, but it has a long way to go before it's easy to use.
1. The "Live Rules" are something that should be capable of being edited (added and removed) just like relations, mates and sketch restraints. One by one per feature, Not computer setup to computer setup.
2. The Mixed use of Sync and Ordered is backwards for practical use. The broad strokes are better with ordered, the details are better with Sync. But Sync can't work on top of ordered, it's the other way around.
3. For sheet metal (My focus) Ordered get's it done with work arounds, but not in a way it can also be done in sync for my applications. Until I can get away from making flats and bending them vs. actually using the flange commands, 2 way , and 3 way corners, AND end up with crisp outlines of flat pattern. There is no way I can use Sync for sheet metal.
For a person like me with 50K hours of AutoCAD, 7K hours of Imageware, and 3K hours of Solid works, Solid edge has been nice to use. The jump to Sync needs to be a much smoother transition. Every time I try to use it, I run out of time and must abandone it.
Cool article, this summarizing is very good!
Only a little note what is cool in synch. Live section. This tool helps customers to edit model and unique because it works for dumb (imported) model too.
@RyanM Nice job! I'm all for a larger conversation about sync. It's under rated stuff, and history is over rated. Some people (not looking at anyone in particular, @12GAGE) spend a lot of energy picking at a couple of little flaws in developing technology but seem to forget about larger conceptual flaws in the tradition way of working.
Anyway, I'm glad to see something that shows an understanding of the tools and techniques that is written by a "civilian". Nice job. It's good to get another perspective on some of these ideas.
Good article but some of the caveats for working in Sync might have been mentioned.
First, it's not always a replacement for ordered (I think Ryan did indicate that) and is best approached in a hybrid fashion in many cases. Depending, of course, on the nature of your parts. I started out loving Sync, but have gradually gravitated back to ordered for many cases. The learning process has been one of figuring out when to use ordered, sync, or a combination. I can only share what I've experienced. And, of course, it's always fun to stir the pot:
Complex and driven sheet metal, for example. Complex and driven anything in my experience. (Driven via sketches of course makes ordered a necessity.) Driven via variables. And parts with many features. All problematic with Sync IMO.
You'll notice that most of the demo, example, and training parts are somewhat blocky and rudimentary with somewhat gross and not many fine features. I think there's a reason for that. Sync is pretty easy here.
The problem I have with even mildly complex parts is that PMI dims, because they are directly applied to the model, soon take over the screen and the part becomes hard to see in the clutter. Not a positive to my mind. And if you are driving many features with a dimension or two you need to control almost "EVERYTHING" with locked PMI dims and relations. Especially if the part tends to be asymmetrical. And then "hope" it works and if it doesn't good luck figuring out why. And even if it seems to work you hope you visually notice small areas (often not possible because they are so small) that may be creeping out of shape unnoticed. This is the point I get to sometimes when I just utter a curse word or two, and wish I could "move to ordered". Oops, can't, start over.
With an ordered part you can compartmentalize/organize the part in manageable chunks and control the way subsequent features are driven. Yes, you have the downside, such as it may be, with history dependence, but you gain manageability and, I would add, predictability. Anyway, I've learned to rely on ordered for adjustable parts. In any case, it's nice that you can "move to synchronous". I agree with Kyle that it would be nice to go both ways but I doubt that's going to be possible any time soon, if ever.
Sometimes the simplest part changes, because of design intent, are hard and puzzling, and you spend a lot of time finding what's blocking you and what switch you need to turn on or off.
By the way, how do you lock a pattern dimension so it's not affected by a steering wheel drag? Can you? I think that calls for ordered, right?
And there are "bugs" IMO with design intent wrongly controlling variable driven part features in assemblies because the design intent settings you need on and off in that part in a new SE session all turn back on or the last settings on an unrelated part last worked on in the current SE session are remembered and blow up the part in your assembly. I've posted about this here previously. No one really had a solution and it kind of faded away into oblivion. Wish I'd used ordered on those parts.
One area where Sync absolutely shines is with imported models. I wouldn't want to go back to ordered in that regard.
Thanks for all the comments. I am a frequenter of the offical SW forum and continue to stir post over there.
It is amazing all the different and misinformation that is posted about sync, "the direct editor'. Shaking my head.
I'm working on round two of editing on a second article that should be released soon as well! That article is more about the "need" of history. Can't say much more than that at this time.
Guilty as charged. I do pick at it because I can't us it.
Until I don't have to use work arounds to make sheet metal in ordered, I can't use sync. To use Sync, I need to be able to make punchable sheet metal using flange and corner commands. Right now I have to make flats, add bends, and frequenly use one model for flat and another for the bent model.
I'm forced to make modeling and punchable flats live in the same room for electronic nesting. Some day's it's a very frustrating battle.
Attached are the specifics.
Yes, my article was designed with the intent to inform people what ST is and more importantly, is not. There are people in SW forms that post that synch is part of Parasolid and Siemens PLM is not sharing that with its customers that license Parasolid. I here that all the time. That isn't the case at. Synchronous technology is a group of patents by two very bright chaps in the UK.
I also agree that synchronous technology is a tool and for most parts not meant to be an "all or nothing" type tool. Most examples that I play with are hybrid models or full history that then has features pulled over into synchronous. For my synchronous technology is a tool. Use the right tool for the right job and get things done quicker!
Interesing list of enhancements. Have you ever looked at NX sheet metal? You can control and drive expressions down thru an assembly. So your example of control sheet gage value at top level is a piece of cake. I did similar type functions back in the late 90's on gas turbine inlet systems when we changed matl thickness and even had the software determine which thickness it should use based on the size of the inlet area.
Secondary ops to sheet metal can be done as well...but it requires so tweaking or a secondary file (link smd file body into new file and then apply holes, cut-outs etc. to the linked solid body.)