I 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.
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…
Reusing data in parts and assemblies
The re-use of data is one of those huge time savers that we talk about a lot. Doing things faster is great, of course, but the fastest way to do something is to not do it at all, or to…
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…
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,…
What Tools Do You Really Need from CAD?
A lot of people are finding themselves in the position of looking for a new CAD package these days. The market is stirring itself up, there are new offerings, and the old offerings are just that – old. Not that…
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.
On February 20th, there will be a debate hosted by Design World and led by Chad Jackson between Dan Staples of Siemens PLM, and personnel from PTC and Autodesk. The topic of the debate will be “The Pros and Cons of 3D Modeling Paradigms: Direct Modeling and Parametric Modeling”.
Here’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.
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.
The 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.
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.
The 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.
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.
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.