Solid Edge University Goes Local and Global
Michael Molitch-Hou posted on August 30, 2017 |

The annual meeting of Solid Edge users seems to have blown up into a multitude of local user meetings around the world.Last year, the event, called Solid Edge University (SEU), was held in Indianapolis, Ind., the city best known for the Indianapolis500 car race. About 500 people attended.

This year, Siemens PLM, the company that owns Solid Edge, has elected to hold the event in a large variety of locations across the globe. In addition to several SEU events being hosted in Mexico, Canada and a number of cities in the U.S. (Washington, DC; Crane, Ind.; and Greenville, S. C.), SEU will be hosted at all of the following locations, each organized and promoted by a local reseller:

When you go to SEU, you’ll have the opportunity to see a number of speakers who educate audiences on topics that are relevant to their design and manufacturing work. For examples of the kinds of presenters you’ll find at your local SEU, check out the following speakers who will be at SEU Boston, which will take place on September 8.

Dan Staples, Vice President of Mainstream Engineering

Dan Staples, vice president of Mainstream Engineering at Siemens, will be giving the keynote at the Boston event, where he will provide an in-depth look of the latest version of Solid Edge.Solid Edge ST10 introduces a number of features to the software package that are designed to position Siemens at the forefront of Industry 4.0.

The latest release of Siemens’ Solid Edge software (Solid Edge ST10) claims to bring every aspect of product development to the next level with new design technology, enhanced fluid flow and heat transfer analysis and cloud-based collaboration tools. Improved publishing tools enable the creation of interactive technical documents and the ability to share designs in the cloud. Solid Edge ST10 now makes it much easier to optimize parts for additive manufacturing (AM) and obtain quotes, material selection and delivery schedules from AM service providers.

Key new capabilities include integrated topology optimization technology, combined with Siemens’ exclusive Convergent Modeling technology, which enables designers to dramatically improve product design efficiency and streamlines the ability to work with imported geometry. All of this is covered in more detail in our earlier article Solid Edge Demands Attention with Serious Update.

Fast fluid flow and heat transfer simulation and analysis are now incorporated into Solid Edge. (Image courtesy of Siemens.)
Fast fluid flow and heat transfer simulation and analysis are now incorporated into Solid Edge. (Image courtesy of Siemens.)


Here, Bernina’s flagship B880 embroidery machine has been redesigned using ST10 with generative design. The internal structure has been optimized to reduce weight, and therefore cost. Such parts can sometimes only be produced with 3D printing, which is now easier to perform in ST10 as well. (Image courtesy of Siemens.)
Here, Bernina’s flagship B880 embroidery machine has been redesigned using ST10 with generative design. The internal structure has been optimized to reduce weight, and therefore cost. Such parts can sometimes only be produced with 3D printing, which is now easier to perform in ST10 as well. (Image courtesy of Siemens.)


Ricardo Espinosa, R&D Engineering Manager at Kimball International

Ricardo Espinosa, R&D Engineering Services manager at Kimball International, believes that there is a transformation currently under way in the traditional office space. Offices are moving from the cubicles of yesterday into an open plan concept, which makes for better interoffice networking and collaboration. At the same time, new communication technology is changing the way that coworkers interact, making it necessary for furniture to integrate and enhance this technology.

Kimball is responsible for brands such as Kimball Office, National Office Furniture, and Kimball Hospitality, which design multiple new product lines with hundreds of configurations annually. This often means taking old furniture parts and modifying them for new products. Although the company has adopted new CAD software, it’s still necessary to rely on components created with I-DEAS software—in some cases, more than 20 years ago.

Leveraging Synchronous Technology in Solid Edge, Kimball is able to reintroduce components from legacy designs made in I-DEAS in the ‘80s and ‘90s and make small changes without rebuilding the parts, as would be required with a history-based CAD program. This makes it possible to use the older CAD designs to create completely new components.

Craig Hall, Hall Design

Craig Hall of Hall Design uses convergent modeling to design off-road vehicles made by some of the leading manufacturers, like Camburg Engineering and LaFortune Race Cars. Considered by Siemens to be a “next-generation” user, Hall uses Solid Edge to the max. On his popular Instagram page, you can see countless creations, custom trucks and buggies that cost hundreds of thousands of dollars to manufacture inhouse.

Craig Hall has built a career designing parts for off-road racing vehicles with Solid Edge. (Images courtesy of Craig Hall, Hall Designs.)
Craig Hall has built a career designing parts for off-road racing vehicles with Solid Edge. (Images courtesy of Craig Hall, Hall Designs.)

Hall needs to cater his design approach to the manufacturer’s sometimes limited equipment while also ensuring that the vehicles meet the rules and regulations of a given racing class. This means working with design teams to create sheet metal parts, improve suspension and wheel travel for off-roading, and incorporating parts, like wheels and shock absorbers, from outside vendors. Importing the parts into Solid Edge, Hall is able to use Synchronous Technology to directly edit a vendor’s CAD file, including non-native Solid Edge parts, which he says is “a huge time-saver.”

Camburg Engineering’s Kinetik Race Trucks are designed in CAD. (Image courtesy of Craig Hall, Hall Designs.)
Camburg Engineering’s Kinetik Race Trucks are designed in CAD. (Image courtesy of Craig Hall, Hall Designs.)

And Hall doesn’t just design the vehicles;he sometimes also builds the cars himself and often drives them. Hall was part of the LaFortune racing team in 2012, which won the Baja 1000. Seeing a car he designed take first place in its class was, according to Hall, “one of [his] greatest accomplishments.”

Local Means More Content for Engineers

This is just a small sampling of what’s in store for SEU Boston, which will include a number of other presenters and workshops. And, as the event expands beyond Boston, the specific content will vary.

The “localization” of SEU should give more users the opportunity to attend, says John Fox, vice president of Marketing at Siemens PLM. Local user meetings can be driven to on a given day, which not only means that users will have an easier time getting permission to attend, but also that companies are more likely to allow rank-and-file designers and engineers to attend the event rather than grant the trip as a perk to senior employees. While senior employees, like company executives, will be more conscious of the “big picture,” they are often less likely to benefit from the user-generated material presented at such events.

For more details on the events around the world, visit the SEU page here.


Siemens has sponsored ENGINEERING.com to write this article. All opinions are mine, except where quoted or stated otherwise. —Michael Molitch-Hou


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