Creating the Same Surfaced Part in SE and SW

I created this handle part 8 years ago using SolidWorks. I’ve since done several versions of it. Watch the first video to see how I made the part in SolidWorks. I’m not going to do a lot of surfacing work in Solid Edge, but this is something I did want to do to at least compare building the same part.

Now you can take a look at how I created in in Solid Edge. Dan Staples helped me out with this, but I still had to make it work on my own.

So Solid Edge did better on this than I expected, but there are a couple of wonky spots with degenerate points. Degenerate points are why SE needs a better N-sided patch. Solid Edge has some very nice tools for editing sketches, like the Alt-click to remove points, and the add profile tools for the Bluesurf. I also like the check boxes on the Pathfinder to turn things on and off.

Updated: May 2, 2012 — 10:03 pm


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  1. I enjoyed the Solid Edge tutorial, thanks.


  2. ALT + RMB = Fit

    1. Hi,

      Or double click with middle (scroll) button of mouse from ST4 (I love it).



      1. Cool. I knew there had to be something. Alt-rmb. That’ll be a big help. Thanks again!

  3. Seems like you arent saying in public quite as much as you might about some things you come across but thats ok so long as your report to SE folks contains your honest findings and they take it on board. ;)

    1. Neil, one thing I’m finding is that it is more difficult to criticize software you don’t know very well. The whole sketch relation dependency thing is a serious drawback for the Synchronous method, but it was tough to track down, not knowing if it was me or the software. Some of the limitations of the bluesurf have already been mentioned, and there is no need to harp. We’ve already established that surfacing is really not the strong suit for SE. We’d need more than just a simple case study to really work that out.

      With SW, it’s easy come out guns blazin’, because I know what it’s supposed to do. Try commenting on stuff you’re just learning. And then try to do it in public without putting your foot in your mouth. It’s harder than it looks.

  4. Matt,

    As Peter mentioned you can get the part into full view by using ALT+RMB, but don’t forget the Radial Menu by holding down the RMB



    1. The radial menu is something I haven’t worked with yet. I’ll have to make that a topic here shortly. Great suggestion.

  5. It is so much fun to see you beat you way through the jungle of a new CAD system. You are clearing the trail for the rest of us.  SE looks promising.

    Solidworks now has conics! and a G3 patch.  I can now make beautiful smooth controllable surfaces for my new airplane design. It is a hard to find add-in called Geometry Works from

    1. Rick that does look like a useful add-in to SolidWorks. Don’t mean to hijack this post, but would you be willing to share the cost of the add-in?

      1. Conic Surfaces and G3 patch in Solidworks from the Geometry Works add in.

        The features are integrated nicely into Solidworks. The Geometriry Works features that I will use are: conic surfaces, G3 patch, curve projection, conic curve, offset curve maybe others.  I have done a few very smooth conic surfaces like the canopy of a sailplane. I love it. Surfaces are smooth, with perfect tangency, no ripples, bulges, rolls tits, butt cracks, hogbacks or brocolli shapes. Zebra stripes are continuous and flowing like never before.

        Geometry Works was created by They have very low profile marketing.  This product has been available for several years. They sell through some of the same VARs that sell Solidworks. VAR pricing will vary, it is about $1000.

        Sorry about off topic. I am so excited.

  6. Hi Matt  usual suspect here on the reply :-)

    First like Bob mention ALT+RMB will fit the design in the working area. But let review from the beginning….

    Place the left hand in front of you, stretch the thumb….. The left hand should fit the bottom left corner of the keyboard. Index and major finger will fall on the ESC and TAB key . This way you can cancel (ESC) or jump on the next entry key or validate a value without exiting (TAB)

    RMB in many cases will accept/validate/finish the command, If you use it, it will save a lot of mouse travel.

    Now the interesting part, SE has a series of hot key that help mimic  a 3D mouse not 100% but close enough to make you thing do i really need it?

    First when you talk about visualization think RMB


    Press and hold the SHIFT key (index finger) + RMB  drag = this will give you 3D rotation

    Press and hold the CTRL key (Thumb) + RMB drag = this give you the  zoom in/out. the focus of the zoom will be where you start the click drag

    Press and hold SHIFT+CTRL (Index and Thumb) + RMB drag = This give you the pan.

    Press and hold the ALT key (Thumb) and RMB click = The fit view

    Press and hold the ALT key (Thumb) and RMB drag = This will create a fence, everything in that fence will be fit in the working area

    Starting from ST4 they have combine the rotate command ( green ball in the view tab) with the 3D rotation. Single click the MMB and SE will ask you to select a face or a vertex to position the 3D rotation point. Any point on the surface will do the job.

    Classic hot keys for default view





    CTRL+ bacK


    CTRL+Iso ˜(45-45-45)

    CTRL+J ˜(dimetric 30-30-45)

    CTRL+M ˜(trimetric 30-30-30)


    One thing i do a lot, RMB anywhere on the background and you should find Show all/Hide all. Select design body. This will hide the solid body of the part and help you better visualize the curve in space. You can also unchecked any solid feature to hide/show the design body (ok i should have watch the whole movie prior to add comment :-) )


    To prevent the sketch view to align to the screen, go to Solid Edge option, in General at the bottom left clear the check box (Orient window to the selected plane)

    Just in case, RMB on any of the command or group and select add to Quick Access Toolbar to have direct access to the command you use the most, RMB on them in the QAT an remove when finish.


     For keyboard, seach the help for “Default Keyboard Shortcuts” 


    1. …and for the left-handers….?

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