The hard part of being a noob is that sometimes you don’t really recognize what’s important and what’s not right away. In comparing Solid Edge to SW, you have to realize that sketches have different relative importance in the two packages. In SW, most of your design intent is established in the sketch. In SE, this is only true if you are working in ordered mode. Remember ordered mode is just using Solid Edge as a history-based modeler. Sketches in Synchronous mode are stored, but they aren’t associated with anything. Luc (Solid DNA) showed a couple of nice movies to show how unimportant sketches are in SE.
Sketch Best Practice
In SW, noobs spend a great deal of time getting best practice pounded into their skulls. In the end SW best practice does nothing to help the design, it just enables the tool. The finished design isn’t any better or worse if you have all your sketches fully defined or your first sketch is not located wrt the origin, we only do that kind of stuff because the software requires these rules. In SE, it REALLY doesn’t matter how you get to the final product, as long as the geometry is correct. If you are working in Synchronous mode, it doesn’t matter at all if you made everything in a single feature or used 1500 features. It doesn’t matter if your fillets are features or part of the sketch. A lot of things just don’t matter. As SW users, we tend to be pretty uptight about a lot of stuff that just doesn’t matter.
This is because in SW, you build the intelligence into the data. In SE, the intelligence is in the interface. There are a whole slew of positive implications for Solid Edge, based on seeing things this way:
- you can always take a SE model back to a previous version, and lose little or no actual information. Let me say that again slightly different: In SE, you don’t get screwed so hard by the lack of compatibility between versions.
- In SE, your part will never automatically change based on opening a file with a new version of the software.
- In SE, you never have to worry about two different users having different ways of working – the geometry is just the geometry. I work with companies that try to standardize the features they use and how they use them so that every body can modify any model. In SE this doesn’t matter.
- Things that are complex in SW (like a casting with 340 features) are much simpler in SE. SE doesn’t care about how many features there are. It only worries about the faces that are part of an edit selection, and any adjacent faces.
- In SE, you can edit the geometry that you made at the very beginning of working on the part without worrying that something is going to change in a way that you didn’t intend. In SW, you have to thoroughly understand all the downstream implications of upstream changes.
- …anyway, you get the idea.
When SW users, or especially when Pro/E users see how Synch Tech deals with planes, their heads spin and explode. Neil, if you were troubled by how SE disregards discarded sketches, you’re gonna freak at how they treat old planes.
The first thing I like is that you can just manipulate the position and orientation of a plane in SE just by dragging it. You don’t have to set up references sketches and go through a dialog box, you just tug and pull the plane. Imagine that you just want to place a plane visually in SolidWorks. How would you do that? You know the old trick of orienting your view, then making a 3D sketch with 3 points, making the points coincident, then deleting the coincident relations, pulling the points apart and then making a 3 pt plane from the points? In SE, you just tug and pull.
SE still has all the different ways of defining a plane such as tangent, perpendicular to curve, 3 point, but in addition, you can just drag one around.