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    Default Solid Edge

    I am thinking about moving my personal work to Solid Edge, not really happy with the direction Fusion is taking and don't have access to SolidWorks anymore. They do a Student version that they also give to makers that comes with a permanent licence so I'm thinking about making the jump, but.... this has to be quite a long term thing, I am fed up learning where the buttons are in different CAD programs.

    I'm now pretty familiar with NX ( but can't get a second licence for home use ) so I know the synchronous modelling will come in useful, but can you use it as a normal history based parametric CAD program like NX ?

    Has anyone got anything good or bad to say about it ?

    I am going to be doing simple parts for cameras that I design but I like to model in assemblies and use master sketches and variables for driving my designs to make it easier to model a whole product.

    I will be doing lots of woodwork drawings, a bit of sheet metal, some parts for 3D printing and a few machined parts - mostly manually turned but probably the occasional 3+2 part too.

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    Quote Originally Posted by alexdobbie View Post
    I'm now pretty familiar with NX ( but can't get a second licence for home use ) so I know the synchronous modelling will come in useful, but can you use it as a normal history based parametric CAD program like NX ?
    A basic CAD seat of NX, at least the one that comes with the NX CAD/CAM bundle package, is actually very powerful and reasonably priced. Once you get use to NX CAD, everything else is quite meh...

    Has anyone got anything good or bad to say about it ?
    Synchronous in Solid Edge is a totally different ballgame from Synchronous in NX. The tools and underlying architecture are identical, but Synchronous features in NX are just that - features. In Solid Edge, Synchronous is more of a task environment, and the changes aren't parametric. You enter SE Synchronous, do multiple operations, and exit out of the task environment with only a single feature in the tree that you can't really manipulate. The SE implementation is great if you are importing geometry and need to modify it, but it is nowhere near the kick-ass version of the tool you find in NX, where it really is a full-citizen set of parametric/feature tree operations you can use feely.

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    Quote Originally Posted by gkoenig View Post
    A basic CAD seat of NX, at least the one that comes with the NX CAD/CAM bundle package, is actually very powerful and reasonably priced. Once you get use to NX CAD, everything else is quite meh...
    I know, that's what is worrying me a bit - can I go back to potatoes after the salmon ? It's just painful dealing with the UK VAR who doesn't seem interested in dealing with anyone who isn't Rolls Royce or Nissan. It's the one thing that might keep my using Fusion, I can actually get information about the product even if it makes me nervous!

    NX Cloud Connected feels like a move in the right direction but they're just so slow at getting it all together.

    Quote Originally Posted by gkoenig View Post
    Synchronous in Solid Edge is a totally different ballgame from Synchronous in NX. The tools and underlying architecture are identical, but Synchronous features in NX are just that - features. In Solid Edge, Synchronous is more of a task environment, and the changes aren't parametric. You enter SE Synchronous, do multiple operations, and exit out of the task environment with only a single feature in the tree that you can't really manipulate. The SE implementation is great if you are importing geometry and need to modify it, but it is nowhere near the kick-ass version of the tool you find in NX, where it really is a full-citizen set of parametric/feature tree operations you can use feely.
    That's a pity, synchronous in NX is the only way that makes any sense, I've tried most of the other direct editing features in CAD and only used them for fixing shitty imported geometery. I think I'll need to have a play around with the Solid Edge trial, I was hoping it was more NX-lite than it seems to be.

    Thanks for your insight, very useful!

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    Quote Originally Posted by alexdobbie View Post

    I'm now pretty familiar with NX ( but can't get a second licence for home use ) so I know the synchronous modelling will come in useful, but can you use it as a normal history based parametric CAD program like NX ?
    The short answer is yes. However it's been a long time since I've seen NX so I can't directly compare. SE has a normal history tree in Ordered mode. You can work only in ordered if you wish, or only in Synchronous, or switch between the two as needed. Synchronous features are all at the top of the tree, ordered features are all below. So if you create a part in synchronous, then add ordered features, going back into synchronous makes the ordered features unavailable to edit until you leave synchronous and go back to ordered, that's my only complaint. I usually start a part in synchronous then add some details in ordered, depends on which way is better suited to the feature. Switching between modes is just a right click selection.

    Has anyone got anything good or bad to say about it ?
    Short version - It's the only software I own that I actually look forward to using. If you found SW tolerable you'll love SE.
    I use it weekly, not daily, so I'm not a power user and not a wiz. The frustration I experience is how the improvements in each upgrade sometimes become hidden, sometimes something that was an icon on a toolbar gets developed into a toolbar of it's own so I have to figure out where that toolbar is, that sort of thing. I guess that's the nature of progress though, eh? I just figured out I called tech support 3 times so far this year, that's a lot for me w/SE.

    Quote Originally Posted by gkoenig View Post
    Synchronous in Solid Edge is a totally different ballgame from Synchronous in NX. The tools and underlying architecture are identical, but Synchronous features in NX are just that - features. In Solid Edge, Synchronous is more of a task environment, and the changes aren't parametric. You enter SE Synchronous, do multiple operations, and exit out of the task environment with only a single feature in the tree that you can't really manipulate. The SE implementation is great if you are importing geometry and need to modify it, but it is nowhere near the kick-ass version of the tool you find in NX, where it really is a full-citizen set of parametric/feature tree operations you can use feely.
    Have you used it recently? Synchronous allows you to put dimensions on features and edit the feature by changing the dimension, either editing the number or rolling the mouse wheel, etc. You can turn features on and off, like hole patterns and chamfers. The steering wheel and related tools are really powerful. Early on it was as you describe and I didn't like it, I find it a lot more capable now.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mud View Post
    The short answer is yes. However it's been a long time since I've seen NX so I can't directly compare. SE has a normal history tree in Ordered mode. You can work only in ordered if you wish, or only in Synchronous, or switch between the two as needed. Synchronous features are all at the top of the tree, ordered features are all below. So if you create a part in synchronous, then add ordered features, going back into synchronous makes the ordered features unavailable to edit until you leave synchronous and go back to ordered, that's my only complaint. I usually start a part in synchronous then add some details in ordered, depends on which way is better suited to the feature. Switching between modes is just a right click selection.
    That sounds like something I can live with, I'm just waiting for my non-commercial licence to be sorted out and then I'll report back here how close it is to NX. I don't even need it to be that close, just the usual history based 3D modelling tools would be fine. The synchronous stuff is useful in NX but I don't use it that often, only if I want to make a small change without blowing up the history tree late in the project.

    Quote Originally Posted by Mud View Post

    Short version - It's the only software I own that I actually look forward to using. If you found SW tolerable you'll love SE.
    I use it weekly, not daily, so I'm not a power user and not a wiz. The frustration I experience is how the improvements in each upgrade sometimes become hidden, sometimes something that was an icon on a toolbar gets developed into a toolbar of it's own so I have to figure out where that toolbar is, that sort of thing. I guess that's the nature of progress though, eh? I just figured out I called tech support 3 times so far this year, that's a lot for me w/SE.
    I hope it will be as enjoyable for me! I found the assembly tools very frustrating in Fusion and it looks like Solid Edge uses the more usual constraining freedom rather than allowing it. Have you done much assembly work or top down modelling ? Does it work well ?

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    Have you done much assembly work or top down modelling ? Does it work well ?
    Yes, almost everything goes into an assembly. Assembly tools work well. and creating a part in the context of an assembly using the geometry of other parts is very handy. One neat thing in Synchronous is called Live Section - It's like having a 2d crosssection view right in part or assembly so you don't have to change environments to inspect what you are creating. Do other CAD programs do that?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mud View Post
    Yes, almost everything goes into an assembly. Assembly tools work well. and creating a part in the context of an assembly using the geometry of other parts is very handy.
    Excellent, I suspected that it would be easy to work that way but I have been surprised before!

    Quote Originally Posted by Mud View Post
    One neat thing in Synchronous is called Live Section - It's like having a 2d crosssection view right in part or assembly so you don't have to change environments to inspect what you are creating. Do other CAD programs do that?
    I can do that in NX and only section some parts of the model so I can see into an interior housing but still reference some parts if I want to, it's very useful. I wasn't as proficient at CAD when I was using SolidWorks so I never tired it there and I haven't found a way in Fusion, and hopefully won't have to

    Thanks for your insight, I'm looking forward to playing with Solid Edge.

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    Quote Originally Posted by gkoenig View Post
    A basic CAD seat of NX, at least the one that comes with the NX CAD/CAM bundle package, is actually very powerful and reasonably priced. Once you get use to NX CAD, everything else is quite meh...
    Like how much? Need 3 axis milling and plasma.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Cole2534 View Post
    Like how much? Need 3 axis milling and plasma.
    ~$15k for CAD+CAM.

    I am sure you can probably program the Plasma with the 2D toolset.

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    How much is maintenance at that level?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mud View Post
    How much is maintenance at that level?
    Maintenance is pretty much 20% for every package in the UK, so about 3k a year.

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    Quote Originally Posted by alexdobbie View Post
    It's just painful dealing with the UK VAR who doesn't seem interested in dealing with anyone who isn't Rolls Royce or Nissan.
    Who are you dealing with? there's more than one VAR

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    Quote Originally Posted by xlr8tr View Post
    Who are you dealing with? there's more than one VAR
    It turns out I was talking directly to Siemens ( I didn't realise )and that was why there was a lack of interest! OnePLM got in touch on LinkedIn and they have been pretty good - so mea culpa on that one, is there a preferred VAR in the UK for machining knowledge ? I thought they had all morphed into one ( I thought there was only MajentaPLM and someone else ) but my google-fu wasn't working and there are quite a few (something you clearly already know )

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    Quote Originally Posted by alexdobbie View Post
    It turns out I was talking directly to Siemens ( I didn't realise )and that was why there was a lack of interest! OnePLM got in touch on LinkedIn and they have been pretty good - so mea culpa on that one, is there a preferred VAR in the UK for machining knowledge ? I thought they had all morphed into one ( I thought there was only MajentaPLM and someone else ) but my google-fu wasn't working and there are quite a few (something you clearly already know )
    Yea it's a problem with NX. They truly only cater to the whales. The changes they make in their releases plus the priority they put on what to update shows who they cater to. I know right now on their forums there is a bit of a row going on because in the latest release they removed trochoidal milling and their only response is to use adaptive milling even though it does not work for everyone's application.

    We are sticking with 12 for now because we are afraid of moving forward because we make extensive use of point-to-point drilling, which is in 11/12 only hidden, but still usable. Their newer hole-making operation does not give the full control we need for most of our parts nor does it properly work with some of our geometry.


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