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Solid Edge Version 19

Now a cornerstone of the UGS' Velocity series offering, Solid Edge's profile within the market has gained a huge boost over the course of the past nine months since the last release. So, what does version 19 bring to the table for the mainstream modeling system?

The Transition from 2D
If you take a look at the typical Solid Edge user, they're most likely to have come from a 2D background and, aside from those ME10 users out there, that is always going to mean AutoCAD. As with all the mainstream modeling tools, Solid Edge has always had tools that allow AutoCAD users to make the most of their data. With version 19, Solid Edge gives the transitioning user the ability to import AutoCAD DWG data and interact with it in a familiar manner.

  • In Solid Edge V19, PMI data can be stored with 3D models and assemblies.

When you open a DWG file in V19, you're presented with a number of options that allow you to work with the data in a way that will be immediately familiar to any AutoCAD user. You can use display options (such as white text, black background), select layers for importing, line mapping, etc. What's interesting is that once you import the data, it's then held within the Solid Edge environment and you have to adhere to the system's

Core Design Tools
Moving onto core product definition tools and updates to that core technology, the biggest news for V19 is the introduction of motion simulation and a completely redone Explode, Render, Animate toolset. This enables new gear-relationship types and motion drivers (motors) to be added to the assembly environment, which allows more efficient mechanism representation.

  • Figure 1: V19's new gear relationship functionality reduces system overhead and enables real-time solving of complex gear simulations.
Gears allow you to define a relationship of both circular (such as chain or belt driven, gears, cams, etc.) and linear (such as hydraulics/pneumatics) or indeed, a mix of both (such as a rack and pinion). Motors are used to put gears into motion, which allows you to define a rotary or linear input to drive a mechanism or system and use that to drive the motion simulation (see Figures 1 above and 2 below).Following on from this, UGS reworked the Explode, Render, and Animate tools, creating a brand new environment. The new environment uses a keyframe/timeline-based approach to create animations. Everything within a dataset can be animated, from the parts and subassemblies, through lights, camera, and such.

          • Figure 2: In Solid Edge 19 gear relationships provide a complete set of gear types (rotation to rotation, linear to rotation, and linear to linear). This example shows a rack and pinion steering mechanism.

          The Animation environment includes a number of effects that can be integrated into the work quickly, such as fades. You can also take advantage of geometry-based path (using geometry) or keyframe interpolation (where the camera moves between user-defined positions) to quickly create product animations, whether that's a simple turntable, a complex fly-through, or an assembly/disassembly.All of this leads me rather nicely onto the next big update for Solid Edge 19: Exploded views. UGS has also overhauled these, particularly in terms of the intelligence the system can extract from the model (such as how it handles subassemblies) up through to the ease with which you can dive in and create the explosion sequence exactly how you want it.