The A in CAD has got a Whole New Meaning

By Tushar Suradkar

Unless you have been vacationing on Mars or hiding under a rock, that Synchronous Technology is 10 years old now and has matured and improved by leaps-and-bounds should not come as a surprise.

Many of us have been designing since times computers were not around. Then came along CAD making life easier by freeing us from the laborious process of drafting.

But how and when we embraced this notion about the A in CAD aiding or assisting in design, especially in development of a new product is still an enigma. If you are one of those still subscribing to this old school thought, join me to witness the jaw-dropping and awe-inspiring benefits that Synchronous Technology brings to new product design.

Today I am designing a critical component of my new product assembly. Ideas are bubbling in my head and all that my CAD system – Solid Edge – gives me is this: a humble coordinate system lying in the middle of nowhere. But that’s all I need to begin exploring.


With commands at my finger tips, I can quickly lock on to a virtual plane formed by two of its axes.

Drag to create shapes. Pick them and drag to create the initial block in a jiffy. Now that is real fast aid in developing a new design idea – With Synchronous Technology, you can get straight down to the task!


Draw another line and drag the bounded region to add more metal.


Is that not a very intuitive way of interacting with a 3D solid model ? Does any other CAD program pamper you with such ease of use?

Solid Edge supports open sketches and overlapping sketches. Form any bounded regions and you are good to go. Create some more regions, drag them to chisel out material.


3D solid modeling commands in Solid Edge are content aware. They have a sense of their surroundings and act accordingly. Retro CAD systems need me to figure out commands in menus and ribbons then search for a suitable plane in the history tree before I decide whether to start a pad or pocket command.

Rounds and holes can be made without resorting to bulky dialog and can also be changed on-the-spot without loading or looking up clumsy databases.


Solid Edge with Synchronous Technology aids in rapid initial development. So satisfying to see my new design shaping up so fast.

CAD systems not having Synchronous capabilities force me to add multiple features, for example a round, when different edges need to be assigned different radius values. With Solid Edge, I can go out and click a round on the model and specify a new radius. no clutter, no confusion – this goes a long way in assistingin my Computer Aided Design.


When it comes to tweaking my nascent design, I cannot afford to lose a moment nor does Solid Edge force me to dig out sketches to figure out which ones will affect the intended change. Note that I can drag a single face and the adjoining face moves in tandem. And so do the associated rounds and holes.

Are you not amazed how Solid Edge is really justifying the A in CAD – how does it know my intended change ? Behind such helpful gestures is the power and ingenuity of Synchronous Technology.


Solid Edge with Synchronous Technology – knows my design intent.

History-only CAD systems do not really aid in designing, since they are adamant and insist on following a well-defined procedural way for selecting features and subsequently modifying them. Synchronous Technology gives me the freedom to pick a bunch of features that were created in different eras when the design was evolving and lets me move them with precision.


Solid Edge thinks with me, works with me!

Finally when I wish to quickly explore some freakish design iterations like deleting features altogether or pulling faces that would consume other features wholly or partially, Synchronous edits come to my rescue again allowing me to perform face operations without affected features complaining or failing.

Synchronous Technology is synonymous with hassle free direct edits.

I have summarized all the above virtues in a easy to consume video:

If you have any challenge edit with your designs at work or hobby activity, bring it on. Post aimage or exported model in the comments and I’d be glad to help you with realizing it with minimum efforts and hassle free using Solid Edge with Synchronous Technology.

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