Thursday, June 5, 2008

SE with Synch Tech - Living up to the hype

I had the privilege of attending a half-day seminar, kind of a sneak peak, of Solid Edge with Synchronous Technology. It was offered by the local reseller to a select group of users. Personally, I was greatly appreciative of the opportunity because I know the company-wide roll out of this release is going to require a lot of internal training. Getting a head start with some real interaction, not just tech sheets or youtube videos, will aid me in the task of outlining the training manuals.

So far, the best article I have seen written on the subject is this one by Raymond Kurland of the TechniCom Group.

Before I get too long winded, let me state that it is not all hype. Let me also clarify that no matter what other cad users or vendors say, this has NOT been done before. This is totally new, totally unique, and you will not find anything like it in any other MCAD package if the patents are water tight, ever.

For all others who have tried, let me sum up Synch Tech with a short phrase: It is all the power of a parametric modeler without the inherit problems of a history tree.

Some highlight benefits:
  • You can still work the old way if you choose to.
  • File size of part models will be smaller.
  • Inherit with smaller part files is faster loading of assemblies.
  • No time wasted regenerating a model after a modification.
  • No time wasted trying to find the relationship that allows you to change what you want to change, and only what you want to change.
  • Live Rules - SEST's on-the-fly brains behind it's ease of use really is robust and intelligent, yet still allows user full control over its intelligence including over rides.
  • Persistent Rules - You want to use live rules for quickness and ease-of-use, but need to control design intelligence or intent? You can by applying persistent rules. To create an axiom, it is similar to assembly relationships and/or geometric constraints.
  • Preventing modification - You want to lock down specific geometry to prevent accidental change due to live rules associations or inexperienced users? You can by locking it down with a persistent rule that will FIX or GROUND the geometry.

One downfall that will require clarification upon release -
Sketches get absorbed into the solid. Once you create a solid from the sketch, the sketch disappears. We didn't get into the assembly environment much during the seminar. I didn't expect to since the first release incorporates ST in the part environment mainly, with tools in assembly (no sheet metal until next release due out shortly after SEST v1 is released). The reason I dislike the idea of sketches being absorbed and loosing associativity to the solid model is because I often use layout sketches, some may call them skeletons.

SE has spent the last few releases really tweaking the use of layout sketches in part and assembly, only to throw them away with ST? Doing so also throws away decades of tried and true design methodology because it is often best to start with a concept sketch, then build from there, rather than start by laying details in a solid model. If I begin with a layout sketch, I want to be able to utilize the effort I put into that sketch for the entire design which means it still needs to be associative to all the geometry that is based off of it.

I'm really looking forward to the initial release. More importantly, I'm really looking forward to how far this technology can go once it is in the hands of the masses and they start supplying user feedback. SEST v2 is already in development, so I don't expect to many user requested enhancements to make it there, but v3 is sure to be a whopper.

1 comment:

  1. Getting feedback from one release to the next is always hard because of the time lag it takes people to use the software.

    On the other hand PLM world fell at a great time this year. So, beyond beta customers, a lot of users got to play with the new software and talk with the product managers defining the next release.

    Plus, blogs help too ;-)