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Solid Edge is a 3D CAD parametric feature solid modeling software. It runs on Microsoft Windows and provides solid modeling, assembly modelling and drafting functionality for mechanical engineers, designers and drafters. Through third party applications it has links to many other Product Lifecycle Management (PLM) technologies.
Originally developed and released by Intergraph in 1996 using the ACIS geometric modeling kernel it later changed to using the Parasolid kernel. In 1998 it was purchased and further developed by UGS Corp (the purchase date corresponds to the kernel swap).
In 2007, UGS was acquired by the Automation & Drives Division of Siemens AG. UGS company was renamed Siemens PLM Software on October 1, 2007. Since Sep 2006 Siemens also offers a free 2D version called Solid Edge 2D Drafting.
Solid Edge is a direct competitor to SolidWorks and Autodesk Inventor.
Solid Edge V1 was first released in 1995. In October 1997 the Sheet Metal environment was introduced with V3.5. UGS Corp switched from the ACIS modeling kernel to Parasolid kernel in 1998 with V5. Solid Edge with Synchronous Technology was launched in 2008. Solid Edge with Synchronous Technology 2 was launched in 2009. Solid Edge ST3 was released on October 13, 2010, and ST4 followed in July 2012 with either modelling mode (Synchronous or Ordered) being available from any part. The last version is Solid Edge ST5 with ST6 due in 2013.
The ordered modeling process begins with a base feature controlled by a 2D sketch, which is either a linear, revolved, lofted, or swept extrusion. Each subsequent feature is built on the previous feature. When editing, the model is "rolled back" to the point where the feature was created so that the user cannot try to apply constraints to geometry that does not yet exist. The drawback is that the user does not see how the edit will interact with the subsequent features. This is typically called "history" or "regeneration based" modeling. In both ordered and synchronous mode Solid Edge offers very powerful, easy yet stable modeling in hybrid surface/solid mode, where "Rapid Blue" technology helps the user to create complex shapes in an intuitive and easy way.
The Direct modeling features allows the user to change model geometry/topology without being hindered by a native model's existing - or an imported model's lack of - parametric and/or history data. This is particularly useful for working with imported models or complex native models. Direct modeling features are available in both Ordered and Synchronous mode. If used in the Ordered mode, the direct modeling edits are appended to the history tree at the point of current rollback just like any other ordered feature.
The software combines direct modeling with dimension driven design (features and synchronously solving parametrics) under the name "Synchronous Technology". Parametric relationships can be applied directly to the solid features without having to depend on 2D sketch geometry, and common parametric relationships are applied automatically.
Unlike other direct modeling systems, it is not driven by the typical history-based modeling system, instead providing parametric dimension-driven modeling by synchronizing geometry, parameters and rules using a decision-making engine, allowing users to apply unpredicted changes. This object-driven editing model is known as the Object Action Interface, which emphasizes a User Interface that provides Direct Manipulation of objects (DMUI). ST2 added support for sheet metal designing, and also recognizing bends, folds and other features of imported sheet metal parts.
Synchronous Technology has been integrated into Solid Edge and another Siemens commercial CAD software, NX, as an application layer built on the D-Cubed and Parasolid software components.
An assembly is built from individual part documents connected by mating constraints, as well as assembly features and directed parts like frames which only exist in the Assembly context. Solid Edge supports large assemblies (over 100,000 parts).
Shovel created on Solid Edge
A draft file consists of the 3D model projected to one or more 2D views of a part or assembly file.
Solid Edge integrates with Sharepoint and Teamcenter to provide product lifecycle management. Solid Edge also integrates with PLM products from third parties.
Solid Edge provides support for Finite Element Analysis (FEA) starting with Solid Edge ST2 version released in 2009. This functionality is based on Siemens PLM's existing Femap and NX Nastran technologies.
See also 
Screw Jack assembly in Solid Edge
External links