Who Put the “Dumb” in “Dumb Geometry?” (video)


I’ll tell you who put the “dumb” in “dumb geometry”: It was someone who only used history-based CAD, that’s who. It must be frustrating to lose ALL of your power to edit parts when you exchange CAD files with someone who uses a different CAD system, isn’t it? Even if another user of your software saves out in a neutral format, and you read it in, you’ve got nothing. No features. No dimensions. No intelligence. No ability to make changes. You can’t even delete individual features. And that is a painful place to be. How many lost nights and weekends, how much money has your company literally flushed because you had to recreate data transferred data, or use “hack and whack” editing to cut away and rebuild areas of parts instead of just editing them?

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Synchronous Technology and Best Practice


I’m someone who has written a fair number of “Best Practice” lists. My CAD Administration book in particular was full of recommendations for everything from installing software to surfacing design. People assume that a best practice list is really a set of rules, but those people are wrong. Best practice is really a set of suggestions that are meant to serve the lowest common denominator in an engineering office. It’s a flexible attempt to standardize practices when you have people in your office who aren’t expert level.

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Design is NOT a Linear Process



Those of you who have been working in design for more than a couple of years, and I’d assume that’s most of you, already know that design is not a linear process. You may start in one place, and jump around, and eventually come back to where you started. You may revisit the same area of the design multiple times. Of course this isn’t the most efficient way to work, but you don’t get your information in perfect order, or you may not see a solution for a problem until you’re half way through. Or the requirements change part way through the design process. We all know stuff happens. Lots of things happen, and people are imperfect, so you never go through a project (at least in my experience) straight from top to bottom on each part.

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History AND Direct?


I assume I’m talking to all the smart kids in class. Just because you’re engineers and designers, well, all that math and science weeded out the rest, right? And of course I assume that as the smart kids in class, we all watch the Big Bang Theory, and can relate to the problems of nerds. Sheldon, Leonard, Howard, Raj, Amy and Bernadette each provides something for us to relate to. Sometimes in a “yeah, that happens to me all the time” sort of way, and sometimes in a “don’t you hate when that happens” way.

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Flexible Design Intent


0012The first time I saw a demo like this, I flipped. This kind of history-independent power should really be turning some heads. Just to sum it up for you, what it happening in the video below is that you can make features dependent on existing geometry, and then use either the new or old geometry as driving features. No stupid tricks, this is just the way it works. To Solid Edge, it’s just geometry. There is no method to make it, no forced metaphors like baking a recipe, or writing a computer program. It’s just geometry. Think about changing sketches, and that’s the kind of flexibility you have with changing 3D parts in Solid Edge Synchronous Technology.

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Synchronous Assemblies Brief Demo


The whole thrust of this post is that in Solid Edge Synchronous Assemblies, you can design parts in the context of the assembly without creating any of the synchassembly1debilitating effects of references between parts. So you can make design intent go back and forth between parts, which you can’t do in your old CAD system because of “circular references”. You can make references to a part in one assembly, put it in another assembly, and make different references without the dreaded “multiple contexts” error. And you can rename or replace parts with similar parts without having anything going haywire on you.

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Why Is one of the Biggest Selling Points of Feature-Based CAD also the Most Feared?


incontextDuring the years that I’ve worked with CAD, there was one thing that I found that just terrified a lot of users and even CAD managers: In-context design. It’s true that people fear what they don’t understand, and this falls into that category to some extent. The real root of the problem, though, is that people just don’t trust it. And this is one case in which understanding it may make you trust it even less. Like what’s really in a hot dog? It may or may not be appetizing as it is, but knowing what’s in it will certainly not make you feel better about it.

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