One problem I regularly see today with the sketch/feature/history based modelers is that concept modeling and production modeling are at odds.
What I mean by this is:
- An engineer while in the concept modeling phase is concerned about creating geometry to fill a needed form. They may make many variations of this model, some with minor differences and some with major differences. They do not care about building in design intent or making the model easy to modify, so they use what I term "hack and whack" modeling. What is left when they are done is a model with a feature tree that would put Frankenstein's monster to shame.
- After the concept phase comes the documentation phase. This is where ease of modification and design intent is a concern. This usually results in a model being remodeled which is of course rework and is never desired.
This problem appears to be solved with Synchronous Technology. The concept model can be "hacked and whacked" into the needed form (with more ease promised) and when it is ready to become a production model, the user can simply apply the needed parameters to preserve the design intent (no remodeling needed). I see this as a huge time saver.
Another issue I regularly see with sketch/feature/history based modelers is that part-time users (a couple days a month) still have difficulty using them for design work due to all the historic and associative relationships to planes, sketches, and other features that the user must be constantly concerned with. If modeling could be made easier and more intuitive as the Synchronous Technology claims to be without reliance on those historic and associative relationships, that would be a huge benefit.
There will apparently be a Solid Edge launch on May 21st. I'm sure the CAD media will be buzzing then.