Solid Edge Demands Attention With Serious Update
Kyle Maxey posted on May 12, 2017 |

Siemens PLM has announced the impending arrival of Solid Edge ST10 and with it, a host of new tools that will make design, simulation and manufacturing easier to manage. Early this year, the Solid Edge team released a sneak peek of its product. However, details of the most dramatic improvements were held back at that time. The announcement now sheds light on the many new features and capabilities users have been looking forward to.

Generative Design and the Future of CAD

The B880 embroidery machine is Bernina’s flagship mode. This image shows how generative design could drive the next-generation machine optimized for weight and strength. (Image courtesy of Siemens.)

The B880 embroidery machine is Bernina’s flagship mode. This image shows how generative design could drive the next-generation machine optimized for weight and strength. (Image courtesy of Siemens.)

Over the past five years, generative design has been one of the hottest topics driving CAD. Generative design allows engineers to specify an overall box volume a part must fit in, the forces the part will be subject to  -- as well as add specific parameters such as materials, manufacturing and cost limitations. The software will take all this into consideration to try to determine the optimum part. One type of generative design is topology optimization, which is the iterative process of reworking and optimizing a model in a way that can reduce the volume of the part, therefore its weight and cost. To build these optimized parts, powerful simulation algorithms are employed to add material where a part needs to be stronger and remove it where it is not necessary.

Although many of the shapes that are created by generative design tools can be difficult to manufacture with anything but 3D printing, the visualization of these optimized products can be very useful in making design decisions that would have been impossible in the past.

Taking a look at a video that explores how generative design works in Solid Edge, it’s easy to see that Siemens’ engineers have made the process of evaluating a model’s topology quite simple. Using a single ribbon, users are asked to define a component’s materials, what features are critical for the simulation and what type of forces will act upon the model. With those attributes and a few others defined, a generative simulation can be run, with the user having the option to choose how long a simulation will study a model. Of course, the longer a simulation runs, the higher the quality of the result.

Convergent Modeling  Adds Faceted Models

With new Convergent Modeling technology, modifying operations can be performed on imported, scanned 3D data and models created from generative design as if they were built using traditional Synchronous Technology tools.(Image courtesy of Siemens.)

A part that was created originally from 3D scan data and imported with Convergent Modeling is used in a solid modeling operation with a part created with Solid Edge. (Image courtesy of Siemens.)

Collaborating with third-party vendors and outside companies is becoming a hallmark of contemporary engineering. If, for instance, the company you’re working with uses a CAD format that’s not identical to your own, importing that model into your package and using it can be problematic -- especially if the part is composed of facets.

Facet models, which can come from output to 3D printers (STL files), medical scans, topology optimizers, etc., are becoming increasingly common as design input. For this, ST10 adds Convergent Modeling, a proprietary technology Siemens first introduced in NX almost a year ago. Convergent Technology makes it possible to import faceted models, as well as surfaces and solids, and convert them into a solid, then usable in solid modeling operations in Solid Edge, such as add, subtract and union.

“We import many 3D models for components like lamps and cushions in a faceted format,” said Ricardo Espinosa, R&D engineering manager at Kimball International. “The new Convergent Modeling technology that underlies Solid Edge ST10 will enable us to work faster and more flexibly with this data.”

Simulation Is Streamlined in ST10

Solid Edge Flow Simulation delivers fast fluid flow and heat transfer simulation and analysis—easy to use for the designer, powerful enough for a specialist.(Image courtesy of Siemens.)

Solid Edge Flow Simulation delivers fast fluid flow and heat transfer simulation and analysis—easy to use for the designer, powerful enough for a specialist. (Image courtesy of Siemens.)

Over the last 18 months, Siemens has been on a spending spree. CD-adapco was snapped up for nearly $1 billion, and late last year, Mentor Graphics joined the fold.

Siemens has given itself the option to move computational fluid dynamics and thermal simulation tools to the forefront of their design software.

In Solid Edge ST10, Flow Simulation can be deployed inside the familiar Solid Edge user interface. With these tools, the analysis of thermal flow and heat transfer within a design can be done at the outset of a project, reducing overall design time.

Similar to the ease with which a generative design simulation can be setup, Solid Edge’s Flow Simulation tools use powerful and intuitive wizard tools to setup all aspects of a simulation. With environments, materials and boundaries set, a simulation of heat flow can be created, and movies can be exported to show what results an analysis has achieved.

3D Prints Optimized in House

In addition to powerful new modeling and simulations tools, ST10 also comes equipped with a new dialogue that makes 3D printing much easier.

3D print parts yourself through the dedicated, intuitive interface. (Image courtesy of Siemens.)

3D print parts yourself through the dedicated, intuitive interface. (Image courtesy of Siemens.)

From this single interface, the quality of a model can be modified, the type of file being exported can be chosen and the printer can be selected. If no dedicated 3D printer is at your disposal, the option to send your model out for an online quote at the industrial 3D printing marketplace 3YOURMIND is also available.

Collaboration and Publishing

The latest edition also offers a cloud-based solution for collaboration with customers, suppliers and users through the Solid Edge portal. Through the ability to work with cloud-based folders, it’s possible to cooperate across a variety of web browsers. This is further powered by Siemens’ Teamcenter software, which now includes off-line working and component classification.

Additionally, ST10 models can be sent to Solid Edge Publication (a Quadrispace-based product) that will create interactive documents that can be used downstream to maintain and use the products. Connected to the original design files, the published documents are quickly updated if any changes are made to the designs themselves.

ST10 in Review

Given the number of features that Siemens’ team has introduced in this new release of Solid Edge, ST10 looks to be another quality upgrade for arguably the most overlooked CAD package on the market.

With tools like Synchronous Technology, Convergent Modeling, integrated generative design, fluid flow and heat transfer tools, Solid Edge users are gaining access to many of the most advanced, easy-to-use MCAD tools on the market.

For more information about the new tools being added to Solid Edge ST10, including those we haven’t mentioned here, visit Siemens.


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