Solid Edge 2022 Launch Recap: A CAD Expert’s First Reactions [Deep Dive]

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Editor’s note: This post was originally published by Surf and Code, an online tutorial blog managed by CAD software expert Tushar Suradkar, covering a wide range of topics related to Solid Edge, including surfacing, programming, and other “surprises”.


In these changing and challenging times, companies are being demanded to be more global, secure, smart, personalized, integrated, and cost-effective. This results in an explosion of complexity, which is both a problem and an opportunity. Solid Edge 2022 helps you with that by turning complexity into a competitive advantage. Solid Edge 2022 is uniquely engineered to grow your business. 

Solid Edge is no longer just a CAD program. It is a comprehensive and scalable product development portfolio of industry-leading software tools that are affordable and easy-to-use, addressing all aspects of the product development process.

The launch of the latest version Solid Edge 2022 started on a very positive note by talking about the user community and the challenges that they are facing. These challenges are addressed through Solid Edge’s personalized, adaptable modern systems and a flexible open ecosystem. The comprehensive digital twin is at the heart of this portfolio of products. 

Cutting-edge engineering products, such as high-performance drones that deliver life-saving payloads to customized machines, plant solutions for process manufacturers, the world’s first AI-driven contactless robot bartender, and charging stations for e-mobility, all use Solid Edge for their designs since it is engineered specifically to support modern product development processes.

Dan Staples, VP of Solid Edge R&D, Jeff Walker, Sr. Director of Solid Edge, talked about the many great things that are included as part of this year’s Solid Edge 2022 release.

Addressing complexity with digital transformation

As companies experience an explosion of complexity, Solid Edge helps you view complexity as opportunity. Solid Edge 2022 helps you to use complexity to your advantage. The principal components of the Solid Edge portfolio are a comprehensive Digital Twin that delivers personalization, adaptability, modern systems and tools, and a flexible and open ecosystem.

The reason behind Siemens Digital Industries Software being able to deliver this level of value is the investment of more than 10 billion dollars in the past 14 years to bring new functionality to their products. This level of investment has also solidified Siemens’ position in the market as one of the top 10 software companies worldwide.

Xcelerator is Siemens’ integrated portfolio of software, services, and application development, a platform that speeds the digital transformation cycle and unlocks a powerful industrial network effect. Xcelerator blurs the boundaries between traditional standalone engineering domains, such as mechanical, electrical, and software.

Solid Edge enables digital transformation for startups, SMB manufacturers, and divisions of large enterprises. As Dan Staples explains in the Solid Edge 2022 launch announcement, Solid Edge is an “on-ramp to digital transformation.”

Having long established itself as a market leader in the areas of 2D and sheet metal, which are the traditional strongholds of Solid Edge, newer solutions in Solid Edge such as data management, technical publishing, simulation, and electrical design take you to the next level of digital transformation – it is all there for you.

You won’t find this level of integration anywhere else in engineering software packages on the market today. Solid Edge is a single, unified platform for fluent and frictionless workflows that integrates all product development data in a single platform. The product has a great holistic approach that keeps designs and details together, making it a very productive software product.

What’s new in Solid Edge 2022?

There are so many interesting new capabilities introduced as part of Solid Edge 2022. 

Xcelerator Share allows you to collaborate directly with customers, partners, and suppliers. CAD Direct integrates CAD files from various sources directly into your system seamlessly. 

Point Cloud Visualization allows extremely large scanned data into Solid Edge to allow the in-context design of equipment. Solid Edge Design Configurator is a whole new capability to design configurable products quickly and easily for your customers. There is so much to see with such a broad range of functionality in Solid Edge 2022.

Subdivision modeling takes further strides with features like the Bridge that also allows you to use parametric curves such as an arc to define and govern their shape. Further selecting edges or a bunch of vertices allows creating pockets that accelerate the overall design process by order of magnitudes.

Convergent hybrid modeling in Solid Edge 2022 leverages solid and mesh geometries in the same model without conversions. Meshes can be imported, cleaned up, and remeshed for a more uniform structure, automatic identification of faces and sketches can be added on them, to add a series of cutouts in the mesh model. Solid Edge seamlessly combines solid and mesh geometry into a single cohesive model where cutouts in the mesh can be patterned and parametrically controlled.

Not just that, boolean operations can also be performed on a mesh model inserted into an assembly using references from mating components.

The new Radiate feature reinvents the wheel effortlessly allowing you to deal with radially symmetric parts.

A highlight of the Mechanical Design enhancements is CAD Direct, which seamlessly integrates CAD files from various sources and automatically updates with changes made in the originating CAD program using associative links.

Electrical routing has several new enhancements in Solid Edge 2022, including bi-colored wires and pattern types. Likewise, KeyShot (the best-in-class rendering program that is integrated into Solid Edge) can save you precious time by importing decals that were added in Solid Edge.

Some highlights of the assembly modeling enhancements are the new and versatile Gussets command, a short context menu, and the Component Finder. There are several new features and enhancements along with built-in 3D design capabilities that increase productivity when working with native and imported geometry that I will cover in the upcoming articles.

Point cloud visualization

Point cloud eases the process to visualize the designs in the context of real-world environments. 

It has become fairly common to scan an entire plant or a factory and bring that data forward and into Solid Edge so that you can design in the context of that factory or plant. 

Within the gigantic scans in Solid Edge, you can relocate parts, and use clipping planes for better visualization. Full-color visualization for assemblies provides the confidence you need to position new design equipment in the setting eliminating a lot of tedious manual effort.

It is also possible to measure to cloud points which are immensely useful when retrofitting factories and plants. Large assembly modeling in Solid Edge doesn’t let complex assemblies let you down. This has become faster and faster and faster – it’s the best in the business at this point. Time-saving enhancements within the assembly environments include the gusset command in the assembly that allows automatic gusset adding to frame structures.

The new large assembly preview in Solid Edge allows you to open up large assemblies much faster, giving you more time to work on your designs.

Solid Edge Design Configurator

Solid Edge Design Configurator is the most exciting addition to this year’s release. It creates new design iterations at the click of a button with rules-based automation. It allows you to design multiple product variants right within Solid Edge. The prodigious expression editor is at the heart of this new addition to the already amazing features in Solid Edge 2022.

The configurator then allows to pack-and-go the resulting assembly configuration along with any related files like step models or drawings including the configuration logic without the need of any external resource like Excel or a plugin library to govern it.

This accelerates configure-to-order and engineer-to-order processes and allows you to create more compelling sales proposals quickly, increasing your bid and win rate due to fewer order errors and job site corrections.

Solid Edge CAM Pro

With Solid Edge CAM Pro in Solid Edge 2022, the tried and true technology is now extended to everyone with Classic, Foundation, and Premium licenses. People who have maintenance subscriptions get immediate access to 2.5 axis milling.

Solid Edge is a great CAD/CAM tool and with a single click, it sends the entire machining setup from the assembly environment to CAM Pro with complete associativity maintained with the Solid Edge assembly. This means any last-minute changes can be quickly propagated and updated in the NC programming process without having to start all over again. That is incredible time-saving as machining is typically the last phase in the product lifecycle.

Visual feedback and graphics previews have been updated thoroughly in the latest version of CAM Pro, along with an adaptive toolpath generator that both enhances the user experience and makes it easy to complete the machining setup.

Solid Edge CAM Pro includes an online hub of 1200 post-processors that is constantly updated to provide you with the latest tools. This packs a great heritage of the experience and expertise that Siemens has developed over the past 4 decades according to Dan Staples, VP of Solid Edge R&D at Siemens Digital Industries Software.

In a nutshell, Solid Edge CAM Pro is fully associative with design data in Solid Edge 2022, which instills confidence with automated toolpath creation and visualization for optimized machining processes. 

Xcelerator Share

This new feature in Solid Edge 2022 facilitates collaboration with colleagues, partners, and customers very easily and requires nothing from you to set up. Xcelerator Share works on all sorts of devices, operating systems, browsers, and even on mobile devices. And yes, it also works on MacOS.

Xcelerator allows you to import CAD models in a secure cloud location where you can view, rotate, 3D section, show/hide components, and even perform measurements and add markups. Markups are easily recorded in sticky notes and provide an easy way to store information such as who made a markup and when.

It goes without stating that the markups can be saved and sent over to the designer for review within the consistent environment of Xcelerator Share. Solid Edge data can be shared and synchronized from the desktop to the cloud. The data structure on the cloud, in turn, can be represented as a simple folder structure on the desktop and be used normally. All the required synchronization happens in the background.

You can securely sign in to Xcelerator Share from within Solid Edge and open projects seamlessly, including native files. Designers can then access the markup from within Solid Edge in the context of the part being designed or modified.

More markups can be added in real-time so that issues can be resolved concurrently. Using Xcelerator Share, projects can be shared using simple links via email, and view, download or edit permissions can be set to help protect your intellectual property.

Additionally, the built-in Augmented Reality (AR) features in Xcelerator Share allow the end-user or customer to visualize how the product or a design change will look in a real-world environment. In this visualized environment, the rendered model snaps to any existing real-world object at the correct scale.

To summarize, Xcelerator Share is a next-generation, cloud-based collaboration solution that uses design-centric tools such as 3D and 2D CAD view and markup, AR, virtual prototyping and secure project-based sharing, allowing you to work from anywhere using any device or browser with no additional IT infrastructure required.

Dynamic Visualization

This new feature in Solid Edge 2022 comes to the rescue when you are facing design complexities and want to know from which supplier a component came from, or which material a part is made of by providing a clear view of your design data.

Dynamic visualization gives you the capability to generate visual reports of your design, especially when handling large assemblies. This is achieved by configuration data columns, such as supplier, material and status, to define rules and apply them to models which update in real-time.

Rules can be exported and shared across assemblies. Solid Edge BiDM (built-in data management) also supports Dynamic Visualization.

Besides that, third-party plugins such as 3Dfind.it make use of project definitions created in Teamcenter. The Replace Part capability in the Solid Edge assembly environment also directly supports 3Dfind.it.

Another small but important update is the new design File Properties dialog that allows you to create custom properties easily and in a graceful manner.

Solid Edge Pack-and-Go is now integrated into Windows Explorer to make it easy to access and use without having to open the assembly in Solid Edge.

Solid Edge Simulation

Simulation in Solid Edge 2022 accelerates the speed of simulation by adding some game-changing enhancements such as the ability to remesh parts using the BodyMesh command.

This is a proprietary technology from Siemens that allows remeshing faster and more effectively, allowing you to mesh parts that were not possible before. The new automated mesh generation process provides a high-quality mesh with minimum effort and the ability to control the mesh without the need for parameters.

Simulation displays in Solid Edge 2022 are now up to 10x faster than before, and also optimize load time for displaying the simulation results. 

New hydrostatic pressure load type determines the maximum and minimum pressure that is exerted by a fluid at equilibrium due to the effect of gravity.

Simcenter Flomaster for Solid Edge

When you have any type of product that uses piping where you want to do analysis on the piping or design to analyze the flow within the pipes, the unique CAD to Simcenter Flomaster technology embedded in Solid Edge 2022 extracts geometry from Solid Edge and creates the fluid volumes that exist inside pipe runs and components. The process is fully automated and individual elements can be inspected, merged, or deleted. A static simulation can then be performed on sub-systems that are derived from the main design.

In essence, using Simcenter Flomaster, it is possible to easily model and analyze the fluid and thermal flows in piping systems. It also automatically extracts 3D geometry to generate system-level models, thus cutting the time required to build a simulation model by up to 90%.

Additionally, Simcenter Flomaster for Solid Edge 2022 has built-in wizards that enable ease of use for novice users but includes advanced capabilities for simulation experts.

Takeaways from the Solid Edge 2022 Launch

Solid Edge 2022 rocks! It’s full of enhancements and new functionalities that make everyday work faster and easier. Siemens has continued to listen to its customers’ requests and has delivered game-changing software as part of this year’s release.

The number of new features and the improvements in Solid Edge 2022 is simply enormous.

You can see them all in action and learn more at siemens.com/solidedge2022.

Or simply scan this QR code:

The launch event also appeals to users to join the Solid Edge online user community to:

  • Explore – the different blogs dedicated to each solution, read articles and hear about the latest news.
  • Share – ask questions in the forum, seek answers, exchange ideas with other users, and benefit from their experience.
  • Learn – find the information you need in the knowledge base.

You can do all of the above and more by visiting the Solid Edge Online Community.

The launch event was followed by engaging Q&A that included customer queries about:

  • The new CAM module 2 ½ axis milling – now available for existing customers who have a Solid Edge Foundation, Classic, or Premium license and are on maintenance.
  • Large assembly preview mode – available as a standard feature in Solid Edge 2022.
  • Devices required for using Xcelerator Share – any, including an MacBook, Android, iOS and PC.
  • What are some of the customer-requested enhancements – virtual interaction in draft mode for dimensioning; Family of Parts; Parts List; and many more…

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