December 12, 2005
UGS Releases Second Version Of Solid Edge This Year
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Jeff Rowe - Managing Editor

by Jeff Rowe - Contributing Editor
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UGS Corp. announced it is shipping the English version of Solid Edge Version 18 software to customers worldwide. Solid Edge is UGS' value-based 3D computer-aided design (CAD) system.

Solid Edge digital product development software is part of the new UGS Velocity Series portfolio, the industry's first comprehensive, preconfigured portfolio of digital product design, analysis and data management software for the PLM mid-market. UGS will ship Solid Edge in nine additional languages throughout the next 10 weeks.

"With a new packaging model as well as hundreds of enhancements for V18, Solid Edge once again raises the bar on delivering performance-enhancing tools that are of immediate value to our customers," said Adrian Scholes, director of Solid Edge Product Marketing, UGS.

New Functionality includes:
  • New Standard Set in CAD/PDM Integration: A new Solid Edge Embedded Client provides seamless and transparent connectivity between Solid Edge and Teamcenter software, including the newly announced Teamcenter Express solution for more advanced workflow needs.
  • Analysis Key to New Enhancements: Solid Edge V18 builds in preconfigured, best practices for finite element analysis with Femap Express software. Engineers can now analyze and validate designs much earlier in the design cycle. Femap is the world's most popular PC Based CAE application.
  • 2D Diagramming Provides Comprehensive 2D and 3D in one System: V18 provides a new diagramming capability that leverages industry-standard 2D libraries. This extends Solid Edge's already robust standalone 2D drafting and 3D design capability to eliminate the need to maintain separate 2D and 3D CAD systems for AutoCAD users.
This is the second major release of Solid Edge this year. Like its competition, Solid Edge lets you create parts, assemblies, and drawings, but unlike much of its competition, it captures actual design intent through a unique combination of inference logic and decision-management concepts - something the company calls STREAM technology. Although STREAM has been around since version 6, it continues to be a productivity enhancer in the way it can reduce the number of steps required to perform certain kinds of tasks, such as constraining profiles with dimensions that can be directly edited in its sketch mode.

Also, like much of the competition, Solid Edge is a so-called hybrid 2D/3D modeler that lets you combine 2D and 3D techniques to best suit the way they work best for you. Although I'm never been enamored with the nomenclature, a couple versions back Solid Edge introduced the "Zero D" concept and capability to the hybrid 2D/3D design environment. This capability lets you define a product structure before committing to any geometry. While not totally unique, this capability includes new workflows that let you convert 3D parts into 2D profiles for 2D design layout. In essence, this enhanced capability lets you bring parts into the hybrid 2D/3D environment.

The last few releases of Solid Edge have emphasized data exchange. For example, Solid Edge has UGS Xpres Review, an email-driven tool within Solid Edge for collaboration and design reviews. It can be used for 2D/3D view and markup, and full design interrogation. There is also now a version of eDrawings that can be used with Solid Edge for those who have experience with it on other CAD packages. As important as these couple of things are, probably even bigger is the fact that Solid Edge parts and assemblies are bi-directionally interchangeable and usable with its big brother - NX. Also, the connections with Teamcenter and Femap are additional plusses.

As I said earlier, this is the second major release of Solid Edge this year. While impressive in terms of software product development, I have to wonder how many existing customers are impressed enough to try and keep the pace with the release cycles. Given enough time, just about everybody upgrades, eventually, but I wonder just how many actually acquire and implement the twice-yearly releases.

That said, though, Solid Edge is good CAD tool and a good choice for new users, especially those who interact with NX parts and assemblies. The overall application and its interface continue to get more streamlined, therefore, making it easier to use, yet sophisticated enough to perform a wide range of design tasks, and I'm sure this will be the case with V18.

The Week's Top 5

At MCADCafé we track many things, including the stories that have attracted the most interest from our subscribers. Below are the five news items that were the most viewed during last week.

UGS Sponsors First PACE 2006 Vehicle Collaboration Project
UGS Corp. announced its sponsorship of the PACE (Partners for the Advancement of Collaborative Engineering Education) 2006 Vehicle Collaboration Project. The PACE 2006 Vehicle Collaboration Project is a first-of-its-kind partnership between the corporate and academic sectors to use commercial PLM software to conceptualize and develop a ground-breaking vehicle that provides students with real-world experience in New Product Development and Introduction (NPDI). This is the first global design engineering course with a real-time web collaboration tool used on a common vehicle platform for credit bearing curriculum in several countries. In cooperation with co-sponsors General Motors, EDS, and Sun Microsystems, UGS is providing Teamcenter software to support the collaboration of 14 universities worldwide on the NPDI initiative.

Arena Solutions Unveils New On-Demand PLM Enterprise Edition
Arena Solutions introduced Arena PLM Enterprise Edition, a new product that extends the benefits of Arena's on-demand PLM to manufacturing companies who require PLM for their increasingly complex and unique business requirements. Arena PLM Enterprise Edition introduces features for advanced customization to model customers' unique business requirements; an adaptable compliance management solution that addresses current, pending and future regulatory mandates; advanced reporting features for product performance visibility; and integration into other enterprise applications, such as CAD, EDA, and ERP. Arena PLM Enterprise Edition joins Arena PLM Workgroup Edition and Arena PLM Professional Edition to complete the suite of on-demand PLM products.

OneSpace 2006 and Lean Product Development
CoCreate Software Inc., a provider of PLM and CAD software announced the forthcoming release of OneSpace 2006 -- a platform for lean product development. Lean product development, like lean manufacturing, calls for companies to cut fat and maximize flexibility in development. One way that the 2006 release cuts waste in PLM is by eliminating redundant tools and processes. For example, while PLM systems could manage product definition, most people prefer to use their Microsoft Office tools, like PowerPoint, and Excel to gather and communicate requirements. Furthermore, most companies already have an ERP system in place. In short, CoCreate feels that PLM systems are overkill. For the most effective and newest generation of PLM, CoCreate sees companies leveraging what they use already. Then, add a revolutionary solution that brings flexibility and efficiency to what lies between product definition and ERP: product development.

Second Boeing Rotor/Wing Prototype Completes Hover Flight
The Boeing Co.'s second canard rotor/wing (CRW) technology demonstrator - the X-50A Dragonfly unmanned air vehicle - has successfully completed a four-minute hover flight at the U.S. Army's Yuma Proving Ground in southwest Arizona. The aircraft reached an altitude of about 20 feet above ground. Under joint development by Boeing Phantom Works and the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), the CRW is a revolutionary aircraft that combines the speed and range of fixed-wing flight with the flexibility of rotary-wing flight. It also incorporates tip jet propulsion and stopped rotor technologies. The test program will culminate with the first ever "conversion" from rotary wing flight to fixed-wing flight and back again to rotary wing flight for landing. The conversion requires the main rotor to stop turning in flight, and lock in place to become a fixed wing for high speed flight.

Thales Group Standardizes On UGS Teamcenter
UGS Corp. announced Thales Group, a leading international electronics and systems group serving defense, aerospace, security and services markets worldwide, extended its agreement with UGS to globally implement Teamcenter software for digital lifecycle management. Thales Group originally deployed Teamcenter technology in several divisions to optimize the company's processes and workflows worldwide, enabling more efficient, simplified access to product data, as well as to create a more homogeneous enterprise-wide IT environment. With the global implementation, Thales Group will use Teamcenter for change management, validation cycles, and all data generated by the Thales Group's extended enterprise. In addition, Teamcenter will be deployed as part of the company's ERP-MRP exchange platform.

Jeffrey Rowe is the editor and publisher of MCADCafé and MCAD Weekly Review. He can be reached here or 408.850.9230.

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-- Jeff Rowe, Contributing Editor.

Review Article
  • Re: UGS Releases Second Version Of Solid Edge This Year December 14, 2005
    Reviewed by 'Greg Morehouse'
    Jeff Rowe questions whether 2 releases of updates per year is too much. While some users may be satisfied with the functionality they currently have, we always find important enhancements in each release, and implement them as soon as a stable version is available. Stable version is the key there, and I must say SE has gotten it right for the last 8 releases or so, fixing more bugs than their enhancements create, so we are ususally good to go by service pack 1. Impelementing new releases is an area where the stream technology really helps, because old tools can gain functionality w/o changing the workflow, and new tools follow a similar workflow so are easy to learn. The more often UGS is willing to update their software the happier we are here at Motovated Design and Analysis, and the more value we recieve from our maintenance dollars.

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