When designing something new, many engineers start by laying out conceptual designs and ideas in 2D. Solid Edge makes it easy, allowing you to quickly and easily lay out virtual parts and subassemblies into a 2D layout sketch. Components can come from a pre-populated list of commonly used parts and subassemblies, or new component names can be entered on the fly. The Virtual Structure Editor allows you to build a virtual list of parts and subassemblies needed for a new design. Virtual assemblies in Solid Edge may also include some real 3D models in conjunction with sketch elements.
To create a design sketch, start by generating sketch elements like circles, lines, arcs and curves. Solid Edge automatically creates connecting relationships between these elements as they are created. The lines are drawn quickly and easily by first establishing a tangent connection and then by making them tangent to the circle on the opposite end.
Trimming can be accomplished by clicking on the elements you wish to remove or by simply dragging over the sections to trim away.
Once the sketch of your concept is created, the next step is to assign the sketch elements. This makes sure that once you publish your Virtual Assembly, the component will be positioned correctly relative to other parts in the assembly. If there are multiple instances of a virtual component, the second instance can simply be placed once a sketch has been assigned to the first component.
When you want to insert an already designed part into your conceptual design, Solid Edge enables you to create a 2D representation of that part or subassembly automatically, in what is called a component sketch. This makes it very easy to add those representations into the virtual assembly and place them relative to the rest of the 2D layout.
In Solid Edge you also can add real 3D components to your concept design, and position them relative to the 2D Sketch layout. Once it is in position, you can even take advantage of the 2D relationships between the sketch elements and the 3D components to actually simulate motion.
Once everything is in position and you are ready to finalize your concept and begin the real work of creating 3D models of your parts and subassemblies, you can publish the virtual assembly. This process creates new Solid Edge files on disk.
Part of the publish process is that Solid Edge automatically pushes the assigned sketches into the Solid Edge files it created on disk. This accelerates the design process. You can reuse sketch elements to actually begin to model synchronous features in your design.
Solid Edge’s synchronous technology enables you to edit two parts at the same time, by simply dragging their geometry to shorten one part and extend the other. This is something no other CAD system can do.
When the components are fully assembled, you can simulate the same motion with the real parts.
In some cases, you may want to move an assembly to a new location. If you simply moved just the assembly file, it would lose its links to all of its parts and subassemblies. Using Design Manager allows you to easily select what you want to move, or copy to a new location, and maintain its integrity.
You can also use Design Manager to rename assembly and part files. Using Design Manager for this task ensures that the related assemblies and parts maintain their links. Design Manager makes it easy to move, rename, copy and fix any broken file links.
It’s easy to see how Solid Edge accelerates the task of going from conceptual design to a 3D reality. Check out the video below to see the full process in action: