Rick Mason is a Solid Edge user who has reportedly been around since V1. That would be the 1996 time frame. That’s even slightly before I started using SolidWorks. Rick was one of those users who resisted Synchronous, but since ST3 he has started to see the value in this new way of doing things.
As a recovering SW user, I was a bit of a history addict as well, and it was difficult for me to see around it. When ST1 was released, I was invited to Huntsville, and while it looked cool, it was not really compelling. It took until ST3, when they combined the methods so both ordered and Synchronous could be used on the same parts that I saw the value as well. You can’t do everything with Synchronous, but where it works, it’s a great option.
To me, this makes Rick’s story very believable, and I can relate to it personally. Also, in his SEU presentation, he answered some of the questions that I had been asking myself, and I found those answers useful and quite insightful.
Rick’s presentation started with a disclaimer. He said that the people who would get the most out of the session were people who were embedded with history modeling, and have struggled with synchronous modeling. His goal was to send us away with the confidence to experiment with Synchronous, while (or “whilst” in Rick’s exact words) still using the ordered workflow when appropriate.
The presentation continued with various dinosaur references, and a bit of an exploration of why so many Solid Edge ling-time users have resisted Synchronous Technology.
This is part of the untold story around Synchronous; that a fair number of users have resisted it. V20 was the last history-only version of Solid Edge. After that, the ST numbering system started. Many users were just kind of shocked when ST1 hit, and remained catatonic through ST2, still using V20. Their old way of working had not disappeared, you could still work in ordered mode in ST1 and ST2, but the new development seemed to be going in a different direction. This is somewhat reminiscent of the SWV6 mess, but the differences are more important than the similarities.
It was not until ST3 that users started to catch on. ST3 was when Solid Edge merged history and Synchronous so you could have a single model that used both modes. Previously you could have a traditional model OR a Synchronous model.
In some of the presentations from Siemens PLM on the corporate side, they have explained their continuous development philosophy with the graphed approach shown on the left, while other developers have this tendency to rip the software apart periodically, as shown on the right.
ST was a revolutionary tool added to Solid Edge without disrupting current users (I say this without having actually lived through it). V6 on the other hand is pure disruption. This to me is the single most important characterization between doing business with Siemens PLM or Dassault. Do you want your CAD vendor to yank the rug out from under you every now and then, or do you want to work with a vendor who takes your needs into consideration? Someone who will use pain to move you into a solution that works better for them, or someone who tries to make things work better for you.
Sorry, none of this was in Rick’s presentation, but it was just a comparison that struck me as appropriate. Back to Rick.
Rick showed a list of “elephants in the room”, representing the ST-resister’s complaints about ST:
From here, Rick actually worked out answers to questions I had, but just haven’t been able to put into words yet. He made two lists, one for where ordered is appropriate, and another for where Synchronous is appropriate. This was the epiphany that I came to Solid Edge University to find, and this old timer had to bring it all the way from Australia. This next slide made the whole trip worthwhile for me:
I suspect there are more cases where ordered is not just appropriate, but almost compulsory, but these will be discovered in time. Many thanks to Rick for this slide in particular.
And of course, the special moment was…
Bob confessed to being another of the original ST apostates, but Bob’s conversion appears to be more complete than Rick’s. He’s now a true ST believer. He even showed the part that changed his mind. In this case, Synch wouldn’t play nice with the ordered model, until he remodeled the slots in Synch. Then it all worked wonderfully.
And the dinosaur jokes just kept on coming.
Bob says he uses ST for everything now, and doesn’t look back to ordered. I agree. For parts like this, I would always use Synchronous Technology.
If you’re still a skeptic even after ST3, download Ricks presentation, and see if Rick and Bob don’t inspire you to to give the new stuff a try.