ST7: The Little Things

By MLombard

littlestuff1.pngIn addition to all the big ticket items I’ve started talking about and will continue talking about, ST7 has a lot of little stuff that started making my life easier almost immediately when I first installed the new software.


The first thing that I noticed was that when installing the software, you get the option to change the default standard and units for the templates, and it takes a guess at what this should be based on your OS language. For example, I like ANSI Metric. This is a nice option.


While we’re talking about templates, ST7 installs with a library of templates that is organized by standard and units. This was a big complaint of mine when I first started using Solid Edge. I’m very glad to see they addressed it.



Along with Standards come units. My first adventures into Edge had me rummaging through a part file with multiple units assigned, using an unfamiliar standard, and mixed delimiters. I’ve spent enough time as a CAD administrator to reel in shock at the tangle I was able to create quickly.

The new Units page is part of the Solid Edge Options, and is accessed through the Application Menu>Properties > File Units.


This gives better and more complete control over the units used for the entire document.

Well done and on target.

lt4.pnglt5.pngQuick View

Next on the Little Stuff list is the Quick View Cube. Changing long-standing mouse and view-rotation habits can be difficult. I usually depend on a lt6.png3DConnexion Space Pilot for getting around the screen, and when I have to depend on the mouse I get turned around quickly. Enter the Quick View Cube. You can see, identify, and select the view you want quickly and clearly.

Pick the corners to get an isometric, the flat faces to go orthogonal, or one of the arrows to rotate the view.  Really nice. Imagine 3D Sketches with this tool – perfect match. Bingo. Love it.

Dynamic Dimensions while Sketching

lt7.pngClick click click. Enter. Now it takes fewer clicks to make a sketch with the exact dimensions you need. Dimensions are automatically displayed for sketch entities. To take advantage of it, just start typing numbers – the cursor focus is already right where you need it. You might not appreciate what a good job Solid Edge did with this until you’ve seen another CAD company royally mess it up.

If you don’t want all that on the screen, there is of course a setting to turn it off.



Ok, so you might not see these referred to officially as “primitives”, but that’s what they are. 3 clicks to create a 3D box or cylinder. 2 clicks to create a sphere. A couple more if you want dimensions on them. This is of course best used with Synchronous where you might not want the extra sketches sitting around anyway. Big time saver. Boxes and cylinders are a huge percentage of machine design geometry.

 So even in the little things, Solid Edge scored with ST7. There are many more little things, but these were some that I thought were highlights.


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