Hopefully you have heard the news that Solid Edge ST has been released. If not, you can read about it here.
If you talk to me or some of my friends on the inside, you will probably hear this has been one of the most exciting, challenging and enjoyable releases we have done. While there have been major shifts in CAD, they often occur many years apart. The time between is usually incremental improvements – a little faster here, a little more functionality there. Synchronous Technology gave us the chance to make HUGE leaps forward with our product. That is exciting for everyone.
Of course there have been challenges. New technologies require new tools – the steering wheel, live rules, new ways to control the model. This requires a much higher level of creativity than, say, finding a new way to make a hole in a part. We really wanted to do sheet metal in this release but just couldn’t get it all done. There were some other powerful tools that will have to wait until a future version. There were new burdens to testing. This was not the same old CAD system so all the new tools and work methods required thorough testing.
In the end, this has still been the most enjoyable release for me. One of the great things about our organization is that when release time gets near, we all pull together trying to get as much mileage on the product as possible. Those that follow me on twitter know I’ve been using this time with Solid Edge ST to design a carburetor and other automotive parts. I pretend it’s an inconvenience (I’ve got documents to write, spreadsheets to calculate!) but really it has been a lot of fun – more so because of this technological leap forward.
So what is next? I’m a bit limited on what I can say…sigh. Sheet metal is coming for sure. Plus there will surely be some new ST surprises. If your company is doing its budget for next year, I would definitely put in a request for a chance to attend next year’s Siemens PLM World. It is going to be very interesting.
And if the Solid Edge folks come calling, do get them to give you a demo. Even if you use some other CAD system and don’t plan on changing, you will at least be able to tell your vendor how you want their CAD system to work in the future