Using the Solid Edge ST Steering Wheel

By MarkBurhop

I’ve been blogging some about the history of the Solid Edge Steering wheel. This week, Solid Edge ST will be available to those attending Siemens PLM World. It’s time for something a bit more practical.

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For new users, it’s important to see the steering wheel as a tool and not as some piece of graphics. You can grab it, move it around and stick it to key pieces of geometry.

Depending on where you click, you get different things from the steering wheel. The origin of the steering wheel severs as the “Start” location for dragging and moving. As you drag the steering wheel around, the origin will find key points (real or virtual), edges, faces and planes and snap to them.

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The Primary Knob at the end of the steering wheel provides a “End” location. In the image below, the steering wheel lined up with the feature edge. You can drag the Primary Knob to get whatever direction you want.

The primary Axis is used to activate the Synchronous move command. Once the steering wheel is “stuck” to some geometry, you can grab the handle and drag the geometry in that corresponding direction.



Now here is where it starts to get more interesting. Suppose you want to move in a more freeform way. You can also click on the blue plane of the steering wheel. This also activates the Synchronous move command but allows you to drag the geometry anywhere on that plane.

The torus of the steering wheel is used to activate the Synchronous Rotate command. You simply line up your steering wheel along the axis of rotation and turn the steering wheel.



This is where you start to really see the importance of the integration between direct modeling, Synchronous Technology’s ability to do rapid parametric changes and a tool like the steering wheel to drive the technology.

The power users will be glad to know there is even more to this tool. The cardinal points can be used for orientation and the Secondary Axis can be used for synchronous move. There are some keyboard keys that can be used to further orient the wheel. So when your new version of Solid Edge ST arrives, be sure to take a few minutes to do some driving.

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