Solid Edge ST6 VS SolidWorks Direct Editing and some Observations

I have been corresponding with an SW user and he has some very interesting comments to make at times. One of the things he presents is the idea that move face in SW is basically as powerful as direct editing is in SE, or Synchronous Tech for you purists who are not happy with ST πŸ˜‰ . So he sent me some video links from Youtube and one in particular caught my attention.Now I assume that if you are trying to augment your position for or against that you are going to make an effort to find something that will buttress your positition. So I am using one of the video clip links sent to me as an example of parts done in Move Face in SW

I recently posted on “Editing Around a Pattern” and his contention was that it was as easy to do in SW to. One of the things I mentioned to him was the fact that the file size basically does not grow or change with edits in ST and does not create ever expanding file sizes and complexities that can blow up on you later. The edit I did in my post for instance went from 911KB to 956KB for the first edit. Then reversing that took it to 954KB and reversing that again took it to 957KB and nothing was added to the “History” or Path Finder on this part. I presume I could do this a hundred times and it will stay in this range and back and forth two times each was good enough for me to make this assumption. No size baggage and no added complexities.

So a couple of days pass and I go to see the video links and I decided after looking at the one shown above I would show how I do it in ST6. At this time I will be doing the paper tray and the bracket and perhaps the “Desk Tidy” will be in the future. I want to point out the growth in the complexity and size of the history trees that happen with parametric history based modeling and what I have to believe is the ever growing size of these files and I assume the potential for trouble. I can see the history tree in the video and it is ever growing. Now one of the really nice things about ST is that if what you are doing works it will always work again. If SE accepts what you do and it shows up in the feature tree, or Pathfinder as it is labeled in SE, it is stable and will not blow up. In my experience it either works or it does not and I never have dependencies in the ST Pathfinder that will do the atom bomb thing on my part. I will say though that once a week or so for reasons I don’t understand SE does not like what I do and it tells you that it is quitting now and your data after your last save is lost. Of course auto-save stops this from ever being a serious headache. Now here is a caution about auto-save and SE and this one has tripped me up a few times. In ZW3D I can step back past a save and go into edits before the save. There is a cache in there that allows this until it is cleaned out when you shut the program down. In SE when you save you don’t ever get to go back past that point. Now maybe there is something that will allow you to do this but I have not found it. Where this comes into play primarily for me is when I am experimenting on a part to find the best way to do what I want. These are the times when SE decides to shut down and so I am left with the choice of save and don’t get to re-play the part or don’t save and perhaps lose the part.

My parts were done in ST6, exported as IGES and then brought back in to ST6. A cautionary note here about imports and this applies to STP and IGES files. I round tripped this Paper Tray in parasolids and the edits worked fine as is. When I did the same in IGES to keep as close to the SW example in the video it did not work. The practice the SW user used in geometry inspection is a good habit to get into. the equivalent here in SE is under the “Inspection” Tab and is labeled “Optimize”. In the case of this paper tray part “Optimize” corrected whatever was holding up the ST edits and it worked flawlessly after that. There will be three videos on editing imported files. There will also be one working directly as a native file. In some important ways in history based modeling it is cheating when you work on an imported file. In the native file you have in parametric history based stuff dependencies and ever growing complexities that can and do often cause trouble and doing a round trip is a way of trying to get away from those problems. I think you who are not familiar with ST will be fascinated with what can be done and how little files sizes and feature counts change here with edits.

Join me as I show how this user does this in SE ST6.

25 responses to “Solid Edge ST6 VS SolidWorks Direct Editing and some Observations

  1. Dave, great videos that show the power of Synchronous Technology over old modeling methods such as what you are limited to in SolidWorks. The great thing to notice about ST is you have multiple flexible options to make the edit and it is so simple to do.

    I would like to point out that the issue with deleting the round on the end lug of the bracket while remaining a solid is valid for any modeler as they would all have an issue with that, including SolidWorks with it’s Delete Face command. The reason is that in order to delete the face and still heal into a solid, the remaining faces must extend their now “open” edges to form a watertight intersection, and parallel faces will never do that. With Solid Edge ST you just have to change your way of thinking to a more natural way when you want to remove features some times… If you have a hole in your yard, do you remove it or just fill it?

    • Thanks Ken,
      I did not know the technical reason I could not remove the round on the lug and really as you say in ST almost all the old limitations are gone. There is no substitute for direct editing or ST as far as I am concerned and I was amused over the move face stuff when I looked into it.

  2. Aw, Dave, it’s not nice to pick on those poor SolidWorks trained demo jocks. They have such a disadvantage, it’s like tripping a girl on crutches.

    “We don’t make a big deal about it because we’ve had direct edit for years” Oh, that’s beautiful. Poor guy. You kind of have to feel bad for him.

    You’ve inspired me for my next blog post… Thanks!

    • Hi Matt,
      When I decided to do this post I went to look for SW “direct edit” or “move face” videos on You Tube. Most of them are at least two years old and not many of any age especially considering the number of advocates and seats out there. I understand why now

  3. Why not participate and add my two cents ..

  4. No winter yet still warm enough but no california πŸ™‚

  5. Hey Dave,
    Here’s something that will drive your SolidWorks folks crazy. Add some fillets. If you add a fillet between two faces, and move only one of the faces, SolidWorks Move Face will fail. Solid Edge can handle that all day long. That’s just a very basic thing, but Works totally chokes on it.

    • Matt,
      You mean like pulling a face only on my Paper tray? I just did that with the front of a tray and with 14 associated rounds it works fine. How does SW work with tilting faces that have rounds? I see another video in the near future.

  6. Nicely done short videos. I hope you are getting a discount off your subscription or something for your promotional efforts πŸ˜‰
    How often does the edit fail like that? You didn’t do a lot there on fairly simple parts and yet it randomly refused to work on the same geometry elsewhere. Is that a common SE synch experience? I know you demonstrated easy workarounds here but that wasn’t necessarily as robust as I would have liked it to be after 6 releases useful though the capability is.

    • Hi Neil,
      I think it is a limitation of geometry I can’t adequately explain and perhaps fail is the wrong term to use. Ken pointed out to me that it is a geometric problem with trying to edit the full round at the end of the lug on the one angle bracket and that no program at this time can do that because the resultant surfaces to be joined project into infinity. I would have figured that it could have recognized the top of the round as the end for the new rectangular shape but I am not a math wizard to know why at this time it cant be done.
      We all know that every program out there has limitations but some have far fewer than others and the one with the fewest in the area of direct modeling right now is SE in my opinion. I think that the solutions I came up with for problems are pretty quick and easy and it beats the heck out of not being able to do it at all. My choice is to use the very best direct editing program out there even though it is not perfect. And I know that waiting for perfect will mean retirement before I would be satisfied if that would be my metric of approval. Time is time Neil and I have clearly proven that in these examples SW is no where even remotely close in efficiency both in the time to actually do the edits and what happens to file complexities and sizes with the potential for future problems that will bring.

      • I see in SolidDNA’s video – thanks- its probably due to the feature order but you did have it work once so… SW throws odd behaviour too at times for no reason you would be aware of unless you were a coder. Perhaps the message box should allude to the order possibly being the issue and link to the help entry for that. I think as a new user I would have been stumped by that and dismissed synch as being somewhat broken.

      • BTW Jeff probably should have turned down the invitation seeing as how he really didn’t want to be there, or at least that’s what I thought when I read his blog post πŸ˜‰

    • Hi Neil
      Below a quick video answering your observation.

      • OK but here’s the question that came to me as I was washing the car after posting the above. The part was imported as a dumb solid and manipulated in synch mode so why does it have an order in any place that trips up increasing the radius? and after it worked properly the first time? It should not inherit any order info should it? Sorry if that’s a stupid thought. Perhaps it has to do with handling the degenerate corner rather than the ‘order’ although that seems to solve it as does deleting the rounds and redoing them afterward. Just curious.. πŸ˜‰

      • Hi Neil,
        I am going to let Luc handle all questions related to his video.

        In further thought on the word fail which you have zeroed in on in spite of the success of the edits. Think instead that I had to go to method two instead of method one which failed. Don’t seize upon that word as being literal. If it was then ST would not have made the edit at all. As you can see it did do everything I wanted and after some use I can predict quickly and reliably what needs to be done to achieve success. I have had some things ST could not do but I will take a 95%+ success rate anyday over waiting for it all to be perfect. When are you going to get your 45 day trial and check it out for yourself?

      • Dave if its a wee bug its no big deal. SW has bugs too πŸ˜‰
        I don’t have any plans to try out SE again soon, possibly for ST7 if it looks surfacing friendly. SMC will have firmed up my opinions/options by then. I will be following along the blogs to learn more about how how SE works in general over a span of spare time – 5 mins here and there- but that’s the extent of my interest at the moment. Tidying up my mothers estate has gone on longer than I imagined but the end is in sight now. A lot of other things have been on hold and SE remains down the to do list. Sorry that’s the way it is. Personally I don’t have a compelling need for synch tech, its unique and part of my interest but not the driver. Siemens marketing (hello anyone out there?) won’t sell me SE by just concentrating on that. Keep up the good works on their behalf though πŸ™‚

      • …..I do actually feel bad about casually using the work ‘fail’ to describe this now. 😦
        I guess I have become accustomed to recent failure, on-going failure and impending failure in conjunction with SW and I have become a little desensitised to its open use particularly as it has no effect on DS management’s thinking. Fail is probably a little harsh read in a SE blog by a post capitalist American audience. Um ok how about ‘suspended tapering in association with quadrant easing’… πŸ˜€

  7. Neil
    Looks like my translator processor need to be fine tune….

    Β«… why does it have an order in any place that trips up increasing the radius?..Β»
    Not sure I translate nor understand this question correctly.

    Β«… It should not inherit any order info should it?…Β»
    What do you mean inherit order info?

    • Well I dont want to make a long thread of this confusion but at 2:13 in your video you attribute the problem to ‘order’. Where is this ‘order’ coming from if the part is a dumb solid and you are also using synch mode? Surely it has no order/history? At 7:58 and 10:13 in Dave’s video the edits of the corner work but the next one doesn’t. The geometry seems identical and I note that at the other (bottom/inside) end of the round there is also a 3 sided concave patch that apparently doesn’t cause a similar problem when transitioning to being 4 sided. So to me it looks like a wee bug related to the small convex 3 sided patch needing to become 4 sided after the edit, but then again what do I know. πŸ˜‰ I am sure you have better things to do than reply so we should probably just move on at this point. I can see synch works most of the time and its not like you get stuck. πŸ˜€

      • Hi Neil,
        And that really is the important thing here, we don’t get stuck except for some rare instances.

      • OK that help me clarify

        I agree my English is not as perfect as it should,

        By order I wanted to said the order the rounds are apply to corner. If one is apply before the other we can have different result. thus this is why I mention ” Β«…the order the radius were made ( apply)…Β»

        Just in case someone would like to read more.

        In Dave video 7:58 he has a four side corner, at 10:13 as well he has a four corner radius this is why he was able to change the radius.

        Other rounds were three side at the top.

        The round at the bottom I concave as the one at the top is convex two different shape two different result. If you keep the top one a three side round and try to edit the bottom one, it will fail once you pass a certain value. I’m sure if I taking more time I could come out with a visual explanation as to why we cannot have a radius convex larger at the top.

        Should the corner transition to a four side on it own? maybe but that would change the design intent. Should a flag being raised after the automatic transition until user confirm OK? maybe this would be a in between viable solution???

        Off course for a paper tray we do not really care but can you guaranty me that only paper tray has this type of corner??

  8. Here my version of the paper tray, I concentrate the edition at a higher level since Dave have talk about the part edition.

    Sorry for the length it 20 minutes

  9. I use Solid Edge every day and have been since version 8. I was excited when ST came out, but now I hardly ever use. Be honest, it is just a marketing tool and all it does is turn a precision drawn model into a big pile of goo! Sure, I can grab, stretch, twist, and aggravate a model into what ever I want. However, there is nothing I can do in ST that I can’t do with the move, delete, rotate, face and other direct editing tools SE has in ordered mode. With ordered mode I have a model with features that I can edit or even suppress instead of destroying and re-inventing my whole model with that oozy woozy synchronous pile of crap. Believe me, I have given ST every chance to work, but in the real world, it simple does not and will NEVER WORK for anyone who cares about precision drawn models instead of the Synchronous slop.

    • OK Loogaboo,
      I have a policy of allowing anyone to post here except for complete idiots like Jon Banquer. I do however moderate to control useless rants from people like Jon. People who have never provided any proof they can use these programs they talk about.
      So I sit here and ponder your comments and I think of the literally hundreds of SE users I have met over the last three years. None of whom by the way have these problems you are having since the release of ST3. I think about having gone over so completely to Synchronous that I have to try to remember how I used to do things in Ordered the very few times I have to go there any more. And I ponder just how I get great results and you don’t.
      I presume you took the time to view these videos in this post so please explain to me two things. A, where is the goo and B, just how do you propose to do these same things in Ordered? Put your money where your mouth is and send me a video showing these two scenarios you describe.

      So which SW VAR do you work for?

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