Friday, May 30, 2014

Solid Edge ST7 3D Sketch… Why it isn’t exactly new.

Solid Edge ST7 introduced a new feature called 3D Sketch, but 3D sketching in Solid Edge isn’t exactly new…

Solid Edge has had a couple of add on packages for several years called XpresRoute and Harness which both have a 3D sketch tool included, but it could only be used for those modules.

Also, all of the 3D environments in Solid Edge have had the Keypoint Curve and Curve by Table features which are also a form of 3D sketch but work by defining points to run a curve or sketch elements between, and of course you could always create a couple of intersecting 2D sketches and generating the 3D intersection curve between them but occasionally you would run into situations where a sketch would have to double back on itself causing issues with the intersection curve generation.

So what is new about the ST7 3D sketch?

ST7 3D Sketch is a new environment that creates a “3D Sketches” node in Pathfinder and each 3D Sketch created becomes a feature underneath it.  It contains some of the prior functionality of the 3D sketch tools in the XpresRoute and Harness modules, but also adds some new capabilities such as a  cursor with 3D alignment axis', the new sketch keypoint/dimension feedback, plus a volumetric feedback indicator to let you know if you are drawing within an XY plane or also translating in the Z direction (2D box vs. a 3D box).  Also expanded are the types of elements that can be created, the number of editing tools as well as relationships, and other properties such as Styles/Colors and Intellisketch settings (although 3D capable).

So in conclusion, while the ability to create 3D sketches in ST7 isn’t completely new, the ST7 3D Sketch feature is, and it exposes some prior “add-on” capabilities to the the general application along with some new capabilities that simplify use and provide needed feedback to the user to create fast and accurate 3D sketch geometry easily.

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