Siemens Taking Action on Manufacturing

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industrialautomationI started my engineering career in Silicon Valley in the mid-nineties in the middle of a manufacturing boom. It was a great time to be in San Jose. If you had any experience at all, you could have a better job next week. All the big names were there, and we all knew people who were actively making circuit boards, components, chips, or machines to make any of the above, and they were all right down the street. You could go see a warehouse full of used pick-and-place machines, or find wire-bond machines with pattern recognition that already had fixturing you would need to develop yourself.

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Melling Tool uses Solid Edge

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MellingOnce in a while I like to put up these case study things just to show what actual customers are doing.

Today we have Melling Tool, who make automotive oil pumps. The pumps are designed in NX, but the fixtures are designed in Solid Edge. Melling’s two fixture designers have previous experience in AutoCAD and SolidWorks, but they have made the switch to Solid Edge with Synchronous Technology, and they aren’t looking back.

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Hand Drawn 3D

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snailHere’s something that I really could have related to about 30 years ago. Browsing Wired news as I do sometimes, I came across an article about a fellow named Rafael Araujo who uses pencil, paper, ruler, compass, and a whole lot of trigonometric calculations to create hand drawn 3D geometry. This is old-school. He has introduced perspective into his calculations and uses construction lines which wind up being part of the art.  And then he adds acrylic paint to make it look more like art than math.

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Scooter Contest Entries

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The Solid Edge/Razor/Grabcad scooter contest is displaying its submissions.  Check out some of the ideas for updating the already successful scooter. All the models are from Solid Edge,  and the renderings were done in KeyShot. You can even download the models and check them out. The site says you’ve actually got two more days if you want to squeek in under the wire. There will be 10 prizes awarded, and there are 26 entries so far, so if you’ve got a good idea, your chances are great to win something valuable. It’s also a cool way to play around with some powerful software.

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Survey Ends Today

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mis-megaphoneThe survey for the Solid Edge User Community will end today. If we haven’t heard your voice yet, this is your chance to corner us and make sure that we do. The survey in fact covers the whole Siemens PLM community, so if you take part in any of the categories from NX Design to FEMAP to Academic, Tecnomatix, or Solid Edge, changes are coming, and we want to include your ideas. It doesn’t matter if you’re a habitual user or if you just might show up some time, if you’re involved in engineering software and you are on the web, let us know what you think.

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In a Common Sense World, the Customer will Require the Cloud. Or Not.

One of the reasons I joined the Solid Edge team is so that I could stop writing about “the cloud”. When I started writing about CAD in the cloud, we had to have arguments about what “the cloud” was, but these days everybody is pretty well on board with that. These days Autocad is delivering cloud-based software, and depending on when you tune in and who you listen to, they may or may not shove all their users. One of the big Autodesk cloud hecklers has stopped writing. Along with me stopping writing about that topic, Dave Ault is all that stands between corporate CAD and the cloud.

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Survey for Community Improvements

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0010The Solid Edge Community that I frequently refer to is a portion of the larger Siemens PLM Community, which itself is now just under a year old, since it started for a small group of invited users. The community was already several months old by the time I joined Siemens last June. Since then many users on the Solid Edge side of things have expressed the desire for this or that item to be improved. And “we”, meaning the community managers”, have been listening.

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Enter a Cool Contest and Learn Solid Edge

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Designing kids toys is some of the most fun you can have while still technically doing “work”. On top of that,  they are giving out prizes for the top 10 designs. And even better, you can get Solid Edge software for free, and we will show you how to use it in a free 30 minute webinar. Yes, we have finally lost our minds because this is just SO crazy cool.

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Interoperability and “Dumbness”

One of the biggest taxes on businesses who are still using history-only CAD is interoperability. If you save a model in version X, you can no longer open it in version X-1. This has correctly been described as a subscription ratchet, that keeps you buying new versions to keep up with your suppliers or customers. You may hear a lot of reasons given for why this is technically necessary, but it boils down to a problem of will – the company just doesn’t have the will to allow you to make your own decisions about when to update your software.

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