Synchronous technology – seven years on

By DavidChadwick

Synchronous technology was introduced by Siemens in 2008 as a new and unique approach to 3D CAD – enabling part models to be created in a way that makes the whole product design process more flexible, and especially facilitating changes to be made to the design as and when needed. In the last seven years synchronous technology has evolved rapidly to impact more areas of the product development process, for example enabling foreign CAD data to be easily modified, allowing multiple parts in an assembly to be edited in parallel, and even allowing CAD models to be prepared faster for FEA analysis.

These developments have hugely benefited CAD users and we have recently published a new set of videos that capture some of the key capabilities and benefits of this technology. Unlike Parasolid, our graphics nucleus software that is licensed by a variety of software vendors (for example see the recent agreement with Belmont Technology, the company behind OnShape), synchronous technology is uniquely developed and applied for the sole benefit of users of our Solid Edge and NX CAD software.

From a Solid Edge perspective we first introduced synchronous technology in 2008, at that time we changed our release terminology from what would have been Solid Edge V21 to Solid Edge ST, and next month we will be launching the 8th major release of Solid Edge with Synchronous Technology (Solid Edge ST8) at Siemens PLM Connection in Dallas, USA. The Solid Edge Synchronous Technology web page includes several videos that highlight the many impacts of synchronous technology for Solid Edge users including:

Videos show the wide application and performance benefits of synchronous technology
Videos show the wide application and performance benefits of synchronous technology for Solid Edge users

  • An overview of synchronous technology

  • Fast and flexible creation of new product designs

  • Quick response to late-stage design changes

  • Easy editing of imported 3D CAD data

  • Improved design re-use from other 3D CAD models

  • Simultaneous editing of multiple parts in a CAD assembly

  • Preparation of 3D models for FEA analysis


As with other ground breaking technologies or philosophies, synchronous technology has had its fair share of sceptics, converts and zealots both within our customer base and across the CAD community as a whole over the last seven years. With seven years of deployment experience it is worth asking has synchronous technology been a success?

Having followed the synchronous technology story closely over the last seven years my opinion is that synchronous technology has been very successful. Firstly, as you review these videos you will see how pervasive this technology has become for our CAD users. It has extended its impact across many modeling scenarios and into areas like assembly design, using CAD data in other formats from suppliers and customers more effectively, and preparing models for FEA analysis.

Secondly, have some of the innovations in synchronous technology been followed by other CAD software vendors? I think you can see other CAD solutions that are now talking about how they support both parametric and direct modeling. For example I was recently watching OnShape’s video on direct modeling that lists some of the key part modeling capabilities in their new CAD offering including “make quick changes to complex parametric models” and “make changes to imported (non parametric) geometry”. I then looked back at our 2008 press release for synchronous technology to confirm that our users have had access to these innovations for several years.

Synchronous technology facilitates the design of Alpha Omega's neurosurgery equipment
Synchronous technology facilitates the design of Alpha Omega’s neurosurgery equipment

And thirdly, and most importantly, what is the testimony from our customers who have had access to this technology and helped us to refine it over the last seven years? I find this very compelling. The web page highlights several case studies where Solid Edge users discuss the positive impact that synchronous technology has had on their business. One of my favourite quotes is from Aviv Antebi, from Geomatrix who talks about his experience using Solid Edge to design a neurosurgery device for Alpha Omega that is used in the treatment of Parkinson’s disease. “Solid Edge gives you a lot of flexibility. In the past, with other systems, the bottleneck was the software. Just to make a simple change required us to think about using the software instead of just making the change. Using Solid Edge, you don’t have to think about how to use the software to make a change; you just do it.” Antebi continues“Using various capabilities of Solid Edge software, especially synchronous technology, allowed us to work much faster than ever before.”

So check out our videos and case studies that show how synchronous technology is benefiting designers in many different industries – and let us know your thoughts.

Leave a Reply

This article first appeared on the Siemens Digital Industries Software blog at