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Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Free registration to Solid Edge University 2013 for presenters! Ally PLM will help you prepare!

How can you get FREE REGISTRATION to Solid Edge University 2013?

Ally PLM wants to help you earn free registration to Solid Edge University 2013 and help your organization be heard at the biggest Solid Edge event to date. As you all should know by now, Solid Edge University is being hosted in Cincinnati this year, right in Ally PLM’s back yard. Siemens PLM Software is calling for presenters for the event and offing FREE REGISTRATION, a $550 value, to those who present. Presentation topics might include, but are not limited to:

• Modeling Essentials
• Advanced Modeling Techniques
• Applying Synchronous Technology
• Productivity Tips and Tricks
• Design Automation
• Design Validation
• Data Management
• Designing Sustainable Products
• CAD Administration
• Your Success Story with Solid Edge

Introducing the Ally PLM Solid Edge University Mentorship Program for Presenters

Not sure if you can present?  …stage fright or lack of subject matter keeping you from presenting?
Ally PLM wants to help you!  We believe every user represents a unique and valuable point of view.  How do you use Solid Edge?  What environment do you work in the most (Draft, Part, Sheet Metal, Assembly)? Have you had an “ah ha” moment while facing a design challenge where Solid Edge really helped out.  How about your transition from History based modeling to Synchronous? …OR, What subject would you like to know better? Thru 1-on-1 mentorship with an Ally PLM Application Engineer we would love to help you learn more about Solid Edge functionality and help you present your findings at Solid Edge University.

If you are interested in talking more about presenting at Solid Edge University, Please contact Matt Johnson, Ally PLM Application Engineer and 10+ year Solid Edge user.  Matt will be presenting at this year’s event and will help you plan and prepare for your presentation as well. 

Matt Johnson
Application Engineer
Ally PLM Solutions Inc.
9155 Governors Way Suite B Cincinnati, OH 45249
Office: (513) 984-0480 x 15      Cell: (513) 312-8744

Not presenting but still planning on attending Solid Edge University? Save $100 until March 29, 2013.

Solid Edge ST5 Maintenance Pack 3 Download

Solid Edge ST5 Maintenance Pack 3 Announcement  

The latest Maintenance Pack (MP3) for Solid Edge ST5 is now available for download.
You can download the Maintenance Pack here:
A valid WebKey account is needed to access Maintenance Pack downloads.  To create a WebKey you need your Customer Sold-To ID and your WebKey Access Code, both found under Solid Edge Help, About.  

You can create your WebKey account here:

Installing Maintenance Packs is quick and easy. Some known security issues arise with installing any software on Windows 7 OS regarding User Access Control (UAC); these same issues exist when installing MPs.  Windows UAC should be turned off and after unbundling the download run the .exe as administrator by right mouse clicking on the file and selecting Run as Administrator from the quick menu. Most UAC security issues can be avoided by installing Solid Edge to a location on the client machine anywhere other than the default “Program Files” folder.  As long as the user has full write permission to a folder location such as C:\SolidEdge\ these issues should not arise.

Ally PLM encourages all of our customers to stay current with released Maintenance Packs.  Maintenance Packs deliver the most current updates and resolution of PRs to your software platform.  You can find detailed information regarding the PRs that a Maintenance Pack addresses in the “readme” .txt file found with the MP download.

The Ally PLM Technical Support Team is available to answer any questions and provide support for all of your needs; including Maintenance packs.  You can contact the Ally PLM Technical Support Team via email at or via phone at (513) 984-0480 Option: 4

Matt Johnson
Application Engineer
Ally PLM Solutions Inc.
9155 Governors Way Suite B Cincinnati, OH 45249
Office: (513) 984-0480 x 15      Cell: (513) 312-8744

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Simplify a multi body, multi feature model into a single body, single feature model in Solid Edge

A video demonstration of this workflow can be found here:

Simplify a multi body, multi feature model into a single body, single feature model.
Recently a user asked:  “A vendor sent me a .stp file of his part. When I try to open it, it comes up as a bunch of part copies for each part. Is there a way to make this one big part?”

In this Blog we will show you how to address this and point out some new functionality in Solid Edge ST5 that really aides us in doing so.

Here is our PathFinder after we have opened the file into Solid Edge part.

In Solid Edge ST5 we introduced new functionality to handle multi body designs.  Since the imported file was most likley an assembly, opened into a part template, we handle each body separatly within the part file.  Our intent is to combine all of these bodies and have only one feature.   To do this we will use the Unite command.

After selecting the Unite command, fence select the entire model and then accept the selection by selecting the green check mark.

If the model is able to process, it will.  Most of us can recall from prior attempts at uniting models that if a non-manifold condition exists, that the union operation will fail and we will be told so with no additional options.  Have any of you ever seen this warning from ST4 or prior? Screen shot from ST4

With the addition of multi body design in ST5 we now handle non-manifold conditions.  The benefits of this are evident.  We want to unite all of these features but because of some unknow non-manifold we have not been able to do so.  In ST5 we can handle non-manifold conditions and are also given some indication where the model is in the non-manifold condition.  In ST5 when a Unite command is run and encounters a non-manifild condition, instead of failing we will be presented multiple design bodies one body being the bulk of the union and the others being the non-manifold features that could not be united.  Once the Union dialog displays, drag it off the active view before dismissing it,  and make note of any areas of the model that are being highlighted (in this case it appears to be the ends of the fan shafts).

Edit the model as needed to rid the non-manifold condition.  Solid Edge Help defines non-manifold as “Two or more faces on one body that are connected at a theoretical point or line and form a zero thickness edge.”  Fix the model by adding or removing material from this theoretical thickness area.  In this example since the fan shaft appears to be the issue and we don’t need the shaft for anything critical in our application, let’s simply cut the shaft length down to absolve the non-manifold condition.  Note that Synchronous edits and live rules are honored across multiple Design Bodies, so editing one fan shaft will edit them both with the co-planar live rule being honored.

Now let’s look at the PathFinder again.   We previously had 13 Design Bodies - now we have unioned this down to 3.  We can see that DesignBody_1 contains all features except for PartCopy _5 & _6, representing the fans we just fixed.

Since we have already addressed what we believe to be the non-manifold condition, let’s run the Union command again.  Re-select Union, fence select the entire model and accept by selecting the green check mark.

The resulting PathFinder confirms that we have unioned all bodies into a single body.  Note that when only one body is present in our part file, no bodies collector will be present.

To combine all of the Part Copy features of this model into a single feature, we will translate the file out as a Parasolid and re-open it into Solid Edge.  This will create a single body, single part copy model.

Save as Parasolid:

Open from Parasolid:

Note the “information icon” in the PathFinder associated with Part Copy 1

ST5 offers new functionality to optimize the geometry.  Solid Edge Help tells us that optimize “Analyzes imported data and improves the quality and precision of the model geometry. The improvements are made by simplifying B-spline definition, healing edges, and identifying blend-like faces”.  If you look back to the beginning of this example all features contain this icon and could have been optimized.  Since the goal was to union all features, I chose to ignore the information and continue with our process.  At this time, however, let’s optimize the model.  From the Inspect tab run Optimize. Fence select the entire model and click finish.

Upon completion an Optimization report will be shown. In this example we see that multiple intersections and tolerant curves were optimized.

 The result removes the information icon from the feature in the PathFinder.

A final save as Solid Edge .par file finalizes our optimized, single body, single feature model.

Again, a video demonstration of this workflow can be found here:

Matt Johnson
Application Engineer
Ally PLM Solutions Inc.
9155 Governors Way Suite B Cincinnati, OH 45249
Office: (513) 984-0480 x 15      Cell: (513) 312-8744

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

New Features in Cortona3D RapidAuthor Suite

Cortona3D is a suite of Rapid Authoring tools used to create technical publications such as parts catalogs, manuals, work instructions and even training modules. The latest version, Rapid Author 6.3, was released in November and includes some significant product enhancements such as the Rapid Developer suite and a professional version of their 2D Editor. Below you will see some of the key features in this latest release.

     Register for an upcoming Cortona3D Overview Webinar HERE.

Introducing... The Cortona 2D Editor Pro 
RapidAuthor now contains an advanced 2D editor that introduces a range of time-saving features:

Visual interface for editing hotspot properties. Hotspotting allows the user to link areas on the 2D image to rows in the parts list.
Comprehensive context menu to add layers and edit their properties.
Snap objects to a grid to align them.
Grouping objects.
Property bundles enable you to define line, shape, text and marker property sets (bundles), assign property bundle to object(s), select objects by property bundle, and to exchange property bundles between computers.
A wide range of context commands for quick adding points and segments to various objects, object scaling, saving and replacing raster images, object converting.
Filters by object type that simplify the object multiple selection.
Improved CGM support.
Printing images.

*Note: Cortona2D Editor Pro is also available as a standalone product.

The Cortona3D Rapid product family has been expanded with a new tool, RapidDeveloper. This is a complementary product to RapidAuthor which enables RapidAuthor users to customize the data import process and the output format for RapidAuthor projects. RapidDeveloper consists of two products: RapidConfiguration and RapidSpecification.

RapidConfiguration component

This tool facilitates the analysis of source CAD data for controlling and customizing the data import settings. RapidConfiguration introduces support for loading sample 3D data, and user-friendly wizards guide you through the process of choosing the required settings. These enable the user to specify and map the data to fit the template also called specification component within RapidAuthor. Specifically the user will be able to customize the following properties:

Adjust the 3D data structure.
Choose the measurement units for correct scaling of 3D geometry.
Set the axes orientation.
Modify the surface properties.
Create custom level of details for each part.
Map the CAD metadata for reuse in the document.

RapidSpecification component

The RapidAuthor tools use a template (specification component) to determine the format and appearance of the created document. Specification components are plug-in elements and some industry standard specifications are supplied with RapidAuthor out of the box (e.g. DITA 1.1, ATA iSpec 2200, S1000D Procedural and IPD data module). RapidSpecification provides the user the ability to create custom specification components to meet their authoring requirements. This enables users to define:

The metadata used in the specification.
The document type (e.g. Parts Catalog, Maintenance Procedure, Computer Based Training).
The format of the document (e.g. column headings, column width, set of available actions).
The file format of the published output and its appearance.

      Learn More Information About Cortona3D Here.

Paul Mass
Application Engineer
Ally PLM Solutions