Friday, September 24, 2010

Solid Edge ST3 Impending Announcement on October 13th

Siemens PLM will formally announce Solid Edge ST3 on October 13th.  There are a number of events being held across North America starting on that day and through the month of December in a variety of cities.  2 of them are Siemens PLM hosted “National” events which the agenda shows will have a little more content in them, and the rest are Partner hosted events.  If interested in attending one of these events, you can sign up on the Register link at the following page:
Now seeing that we have around 2-1/2 weeks before the formal announcement and there has been much speculation about what’s new with ST3 in regards to Synchronous Technology, I thought it would be interesting to invite your comments about what you think is new with Synchronous Technology in ST3.  Ground rules are that you must be polite and on topic.  This BLOG is mine and is not bound by your right to free speech, therefore comments are moderated and I reserve the right to reject any comments I perceive to violate the ground rules.
Now let the speculation begin!

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Wednesday, September 08, 2010

Solid Edge ST3 – Post 4 of 4

As promised, this is the last in a series of posts about what has been publicly released about Solid Edge ST3.  It’s been a while between posts, and if you scour the web you may have found this information already, but I thought I would post it anyways as ST3 media activity has slowed a bit and it has not yet been released (tentatively October from what I’ve seen posted).

Drafting is one of those areas where there is still such a big dependence.  It’s the final piece of the product development assembly line and is highly utilized by downstream departments.  With ST3, there were a large number of  enhancements in this area but unfortunately I can only share a very select few of the user requested enhancements.

  • Parts List’s have been enhanced and one of the enhancements (there’s others) is an option to create a fully exploded and indented list.
  • Unicode character support has been added so you can now mix & match languages in a single draft file as well as use the extended range of special characters. image
  • The Draft environment including Solid Edge 2D Drafting (Free 2D) now supports drawing view scaled measuring and sports a new measurement tool called Smart Measure which works like the Smart Dimension but does not actually place a persistent dimension.image
  • Callouts now support tolerances, limits, and dual dimensioning.image
  • A new print utility that lets you nest and print multiple drawing sheets from multiple files at once.image

So that pretty much sums up what I can reveal about ST3 at this time.  What has been revealed is just the tip of the iceberg of the user requested enhancements and doesn’t even touch on new features, or the “Bridge”.  Those that have seen the BETA agree this is going to be a monumental release, but your going to have to wait until the launch in October to see it.  I can certainly say that I really hate having to work on the old version (ST2) and can’t wait till I can get ST3 into production.

Monday, August 02, 2010

Solid Edge ST3 – Post 3 of 4

As Promised, here is my 3rd post on Solid Edge ST3’s customer driven enhancements. This time, the topic is Piping, Framing, and Weld enhancements.
Let’s start with Frames. Frames are made up of 3 items for each frame member: The sketch defining the path, the cross section defining the shape, and the resulting member as a solid model. With ST3, some work was done with the cross sections to add additional attachment points which are used to attach the cross sections to the paths. In addition to the prior default of the geometry Range Box showing the 8 points defining the rectangular extents boundary around the shape and the center point, you can now define the cross section’s path attachment point by using key points (end/mid/center/etc.) on the cross section’s defining sketch (including reference elements) or the cross section’s area centroid.

In addition to the new locating methods, cross sections are now associative to the members that they have defined (so changes to the cross section in the library updates the solid model in the Frame assembly) and also support specifying WurzelmaƟ standard hole locations (DIN Standard). If you don’t know what WurzelmaƟ means, you’re not alone.  It’s German, and it’s literal translation is “Back Pitch” in English.  It has been explained that it is the allowable location on flanges where holes may be placed.
Piping has a few enhancements specific to it as well. Pipe fittings can now be graphically rotated.
Pipe gradients are now supported for drainage situations. Fittings will tolerate a specified deviation from the standard fitting angle to allow for the specified gradient.
image image
In prior releases, pipe fittings were required to be added to the Standard Parts library to be used. That requirement has been lefted and now pipe fittings can now be placed directly from disk or managed environments (Insight/Teamcenter).
Both environments have benefitted from the new ability to pattern Pipe or Frame components.
Parts Lists now support “per item” and “cumulative” mass for pipe/frame components and the mass calculation accounts for removed material in mitres and assembly features. Mitre cut angle can also be included in the parts list as well.
image image
In Welding, a new algorithm has been introduced that produces weld beads that support many more geometric conditions, exactly matches input faces to eliminate interference, and also transition smoothly around sharp corners.
As I stated before, this is just a subset of user requested enhancements. There is a lot more that I cannot publish yet, not to mention we haven’t touched on new features or the “Bridge”. Stay tuned, more to come soon.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Solid Edge ST3 - Part 2 of 4 - Part, Sheet Metal, and Assembly

As promised, I'm back with some additional information about the upcoming release of Solid Edge ST3 (later this year).  This post will hit on some of the customer driven enhancements in the Part, Sheet Metal, and Assembly design environments.  As a reminder, this is in no way a complete list of enhancements in these areas.

New to ST3 Sheet Metal is the Etch feature.  It allows text or other sketch elements to be created on sheet metal faces which will then be transformed with the model when flattened.  When the Flat Pattern is saved to DXF, text is translated to a "stick" font engraving ready!

New Closed Corner types have been added to Sheet Metal such as U & V shaped, Square and Mitred.

Tabs and PMI can now be added to the flattened Sheet Metal model and they will not display in the folded model.  This flattened model can then be saved to JT.

Interpart relations are now shown in Part & Sheet Metal Pathfinder allowing easier navigation and investigation.  The listed items can include: Context Assembly, Included Edges, Feature Keypoints, Interpart Copies, Linked Variables, and Reference Planes.  It is even available if the part is opened outside of the context of the assembly.

Interpart relations are also shown in Assembly Pathfinder showing a clear indication of whether the link is Driving the selected component or the selected component is driving something else.  Also new is the ability to Freeze or Thaw Interpart links. Freeze will allow you to inactivate links for instance on release files to prevent updates and Thaw will allow you to reactivate them later so they will update when performing a revision. 

Display Configurations have received an overhaul and there are several new capabilities:

  • Configuration Manager which provides a "spreadsheet" like view of all configurations and components. and allows you to modify each configuration as well as identify new components since the configuration was last modified.

  • Snapshot which allows a quick capture of the current display state which can be retrieved quickly later.

  • Copy Current Display which will allow you to copy the current display state of selected components to an existing configuration

  • New Drop List which will allow multiple configurations to be selected and applied together and it also allows selection of Zones to be applied as well.

Now the last item I'm going to mention is not something I can not show you in a BLOG post, so your going to have to wait to see it in a Siemens PLM demonstration of Solid Edge ST3 or when the software ships to you, but it is quite important and quite remarkable so I feel I need to mention it... It is a 3D graphics performance improvement of up to 10X.  That's right, 10X!  Now Solid Edge was pretty fast before, but depending on the display settings used frame rates could drop on larger models.  Now expect those models to fly on the screen.

Now as I stated at the beginning, this is just a few of the customer driven enhancements in Solid Edge ST3.  There is still much more than what I've covered.  Stay tuned because in another couple of weeks I'll post some more about ST3.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Solid Edge Productivity Summit Tour

Well, things in the Solid Edge world are certainly active these days, and Siemens PLM is being very serious about increasing user oppurtunities.  The first big evidence of this is that the folks at Siemens PLM responsible for the Solid Edge product are hosting 17 regional events around North America for users to attend for FREE!

The current agenda posted on Siemens site ( looks like this:

Solid Edge Productivity Summit Preliminary Agenda – Times and sessions subject to change by location

  •  8 a.m. to 4 p.m.
  • Check in and registration
  • Solid Edge Vision and Direction
  • Solid Edge Customer Success Presentation
  • Modeling in Solid Edge with synchronous technology
  • Patterning in Solid Edge
  • Networking Lunch
  • Synchronous Sheet Metal Modeling
  • Best Practices in Solid Edge Drafting
  • Regional Tips and Tricks in Solid Edge
  • Synchronous Assembly Modeling
  • Using Both Traditional &and Synchronous
  • Tips and Tricks in Solid Edge
Sign-up here:

Locations and Dates are:
  • Orlando, FL - July 27, 2010
  • Kansas City, MO - July 28, 2010
  • Clearwater, FL - July 29, 2010
  • Atlanta, GA - August 10, 2010
  • Houston, TX - August 11, 2010
  • Dallas, TX - August 12, 2010
  • Cleveland, OH - August 12, 2010
  • Montreal, QC - August 17, 2010
  • Toronto, ON - August 18, 2010
  • Huntsville, AL - August 18, 2010
  • Indianapolis, IN - August 24, 2010
  • Cincinnati, OH - August 25, 2010
  • Boston, MA - August 26, 2010
  • Philadelphia, PA - August 31, 2010
  • Phoenix, AZ - September 8, 2010
  • Cypress, CA - September 9, 2010
  • Seattle, WA - September 10, 2010

Wednesday, July 07, 2010

Solid Edge ST3 - Part 1 of 4

The Siemens PLM Connection event is over.  Given the change of date and venue due to the flooding of the Opryland Hotel in Nashville, it was a great success. 

There were many excellent presentations and "hands-on" training sessions for Solid Edge (including mine) , and even though a formal announcement of the upcoming ST3 is some time away, we got a sneak peak of several new customer driven enhancements as well as some hint of:
  • A "bridge" to help existing users better adopt Synchronous Technology
  • Simulation enhancements
  • PDM enhancements
  • 1000's of customer enhancements from modeling to the user interface
Over the next few weeks, I'd like to cover some of the items presented around the customer driven enhancements, but please keep in mind there are still a whole lot of items that will not be presented until the official Solid Edge ST3 launch later in the year.

For this post, I would like to cover the User Interface enhancements.
    You now have full control of the Command Ribbon layout. You can add new tabs and groups, as well as move, add, or remove commands from any tab. The customizations can be performed for all environments from a single environment, and customizations can be saved as a Theme.

    A new customizable Radial Menu is available in all environments which will hold 16 commands right where you need them and accessible with the right mouse button.

    Command Bar has been replaced with a horizontal on-screen "Smart Step" ribbon bar where it's easily seen and no longer competes with viewing the Pathfinder...

    and both Pathfinder and the Live Rules pane can now be transparently displayed on the graphics screen which means Edgebar can now easily be left hidden most of the time.
    There is still a whole lot more that I have not touched on, and this is just in the area of UI enhancements.  I will be following up in the following weeks with additional customer driven enhancements in other areas.

    Tuesday, April 13, 2010

    April showers, Tulip Time, and CAD

    So, it's a busy time of year for me, and I'm guessing many others too.  Spring has sprung.  April has been warm and coupled with an excellent supply of water, my grass needs seriously mowed.  Taxes are coming due (April 15th). We are also marching towards Tulip Time (May 4-8) in my town where we have a 3 day (5 this year due to 75th anniversary) festival all about Dutch heritage and Tulips (  Not sure if the tulips will make it till then, as some of them are just starting to bloom.

    In addition to all this, my CAD plate is also quite full between PLM World board meetings, projects at work, the upcoming Siemens PLM Connections event May 23-28 (, and the inevitable Solid Edge ST3 BETA.  No rest for the weary.  Check back soon as I will post updates.


    Tuesday, March 23, 2010

    PLM and Sharepoint

    So you have all these PDM/PLM suppliers out there who have systems that vault data, manage workflows, manage revisions and control access to product data.  Some of these systems have existed in one form or another for decades.  All of it home grown because nothing existed that could be used as a framework to build upon.

    Now decades later, we have Sharepoint.  It is everywhere. It vaults data, manages workflows, manages revisions and controls access.  What is missing?  Not much.  With Sharepoint 2010 soon to be released, the framework is there.  All that needs to be done is create some webparts and templates, and a pretty finctional PDM system could be had.  Some have already headed down this path.  Solid Edge released Insight on Sharepoint 2001 and continues down this path supporting Sharepoint 2003 and 2007.  PTC recently released Product Point based on Sharepoint.

    I predict others will be following fast.  How can they not?  The functionality and userbase is there. And think about this:  A new model where the applications interface to the PDM system, not the otherway around :)

    Care to comment?

    Monday, January 25, 2010

    Viva Las Vegas!

    I just got back from Las Vegas. Aside from the terrible air travel problems which resulted from freezing rain in Iowa when I left, to dense fog in Chicago on my return, it was a good trip. It was one of those "kill 2 birds with one stone" trips where I was able to accomplish a couple goals. The main reason for traveling to Las Vegas was to attend a PLM World board meeting. It was held at the Rio where our 2011 and 2012 Connection events will be held. It also coincided with the International Builders Show held at the convention center of which Pella is an exhibitor.

    I spent one day walking the builders show, seeing an amazing variety of products. One thing that really sparked my interest was an architectural CAD software product that could interface with a engineered structural wood software product resulting in plumbing and HVAC penetrations being pre-cut in the engineered wood products at the factory. Now the cool thing about this is, the cuts are made efficiently and intelligently. What this means is you no longer have to worry about a plumber or HVAC installer destroying the structural integrity of a beam or set of joist, nor are you paying them to spend a large amount of time to use a bayonett or hole saw to cut the penetrations by hand.

    The following day and a half was spent with the PLM World folks discussing issues relating to our user group and the upcoming Connection event in Nashville on May 24-27. A great group of individuals, mostly volunteers like me, who care about providing all users oppurtunities to "connect" with one another and share information and ideas, not only at the annual conferences, but also with local/regional user groups and electronically as well.

    I would definetly encourage all users of Siemens PLM software to check out the following 2 links. One is the PLM World main site and the other is specifically about the May event coming up. Be sure to sign up as a PLM World Citizen which will give you access to the forums and other stuff and it will give us a way to contact you to ask your opinions about things as well as inform you about upcoming events. If you're already a Citizen and it's been a while since you initially signed up and you've had e-mail changes, check your profile and make sure your contact information is up to date.

    Oh, and I also had a great time in the evenings :) There is a lot to do in Vegas, and the Rio was a fun hotel to stay at. I'd love to tell you more, but as they say: "What happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas!"

    Hope to see you in Nashville this May as well as in Vegas the next couple of years!


    Tuesday, January 12, 2010

    Solid Edge ST2 MP2 Released

    Siemens PLM just released MP2 for Solid Edge ST2 on Friday January 8th. This patch includes many updates as well as fixes for user reported issues. It can be found here (webkey acct needed):

    For those unfamiliar with what Maintenance Patches (MP) are, they are software updates that vendors of most applications deliver on a regular basis or "as needed" to resolve issues with the application or enhance the application. They are typically installed on top of a major version of an application, and are generally version specific.

    In the case of Solid Edge ST2, you would need to run the MP for that particular version once ST2 has already been installed. MPs are typically "all inclusive" meaning that installing the latest MP includes the content of all earlier MPs (MP2 included MP1 updates as well as MP2 updates). If running Solid Edge along with Insight Server or Embedded Client, you will need to also install the same version of MP for these items as well (All must have MP2, not a mix of MP1 and MP2).
    I hope you find this information usefull.