Nothing Like Real Work to Force Learning

The training I took on-line from Ally PLM a few weeks ago was useful and informative. This was my first on-line training class, and it was very convenient, saving me a lot of money, time, and primarily inconvenience. Thanks also to a few of you out there that I’ve been leaning on a little the past couple of weeks.

You have to follow up any sort of training with some work on your own to keep it all from sliding away. My situation is a little different than most, since after training, I just had to return to writing training materials for SolidWorks. So I’ve done a couple of simple parts, and I’ve been working on an assembly imported from ‘Works to try to find where the limitations of Solid Edge import lie. This is really good for me, but I have to admit it’s also a little painful. No gain without pain, I suppose. I probably wouldn’t remember much if I learned it the easy way.

0001I’m finding that some of the things I’m learning as a Solid Edge user will definite change some of my modeling habits. For one, I make sure in Solid Edge that my geometry is as clean as possible. In ‘Works I often didn’t care what the end geometry was as long as my input was correct. In Edge, it’s the end geometry that matters. I think this will make me at least less sloppy. You get some sloppy models from ‘Works users. It’s not the software that causes this, it’s the process. The process is only really implied by the software, because you can use multiple processes. In Edge, I find myself paying more attention, and working on the stuff I imported from Works, I definitely found some sloppy stuff.

One of the things I love about Synchronous is that it allows you to do stuff you’d never even think of doing in Works. Like this part to the right. You can see the demo for this sheet metal part on a Solid Edge demos page. (Lots of nice stuff there, by the way, but I have to view the page in IE, since Firefox didn’t display the flash videos for me). Just the angles of all the faces on this part are definitely something you wouldn’t just do casually in Works. One of the edits was to change the angle of the base face, definitely impossible in Works.

I have to say that Synchronous has me looking at models differently too. Finding out where the weaknesses in the software/process are is leading me to a different set of “best practices”. There is no better teacher than failure. I learn more through making mistakes than through lectures. I’m paying attention to things like topology that I never would have paid attention to before.

History-based modeling took a while for each of us to understand, if we are honest with ourselves. Synchronous Technology takes a little getting used to too.

The more I get into Synchronous, the more I’m applying PMI dimensions, and starting to create some persistent face relations. Working with these first, then depending on scaled back Live Rules seems to be the order of operations that works for best me. Some of you have a 4 year head start on me with Sync, so I’d value some other input on this stuff as well.

Updated: May 1, 2013 — 9:24 pm


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  1. Matt,

    Good article and your experience is very similar to mine. I only dove into Sync with ST5, so I’m not that much further along then you, but I also learned pretty much by making many mistakes. I have found myself spending hours playing with certain parts just to see which approach can get me the best results. You quickly learn that commands like Swept Protrusions can make Sync choke… you can make them in Sync but they’re not really Sync editable. That took a bit of time to figure out it’s limitations, but now I have a good understanding and workflow for the next time. It supports your point that learning Sync will take some effort, but in the end you’ll find a lot new ways to work, and some of them are truly BIG time savers.



  2. I totally agree with the both of you.


    SYNC is a completely different mindset from HBM.  Playing around with it is not the way to learn it.  Using it real world for current project “like I’m doing now” is truly how to learn functionality.

    Once you let go of the rigid mindset of HBM and go with the WYS and then experience the method of assembly changes, part changes, part movement, that exists in the SYNC environment, you start getting those, “Damn look at what I just did” (a good Damn).  From the ability to modify parts that in HBM would constitute a complete redo, I mean almost an inside out kind of change, is truly quite fun.  And also the ease of modifying parts in an assembly relative to one another.

    The real hang-up is letting go of what the “normal” has been.  We were able to do it going from a drawing board to wireframe modelers, thru to solid fully defined HBM total control.  Now to SYNC, were total control is replaced with FREEDOM to design.  I think what confounds most is that they are having to let go of some of the control and that is hard for some people to do.



    Much of what the detractors have said about SYNC, it is because they don’t understand it and/or they don’t have it.  Similar detractors were around in the Bi-plane era in relation to the monoplane.  Even though the monoplane was the initial concept.  Technology and understanding of the day pushed the majority of the entire aviation industry to the Bi plane.  During the Bi plane era many people said that a Bi plane was the only way to fly, that the monoplane was a folly.  Well we all know how that turned out.  And I for one can’t wait for the day wings in their entirety will be obsolete.


  3. > And I for one can’t wait for the day wings in their entirety will be obsolete.

    Curiously enough DS have an ongoing project pioneering that very thing under the random code name DEEPDIVE. I have heard rumours that the much anticipated commercial application of their highly innovative R&D is referred to by insiders as CRASH – Continuous Replacement of All Sanity with Hedonism but that’s most likely just a private joke.

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