Why are we still shy of synchronous? – The results!

So after a couple of weeks, I decided to put the polls into Numbers and produce a couple of pie charts on the figures. As with all statistics, you can make them as simple or as complicated as you like (someone once said 83.564% of statistics are made up ;-), but being a simple Valley boy from Wales, I like simple.

As we can see, 46% of the people who filled in the poll do use synchronous. Now thats a PLUS. It also shows that 54% still primarily use Ordered, even though 25% use ordered with a small amount of synchronous.

The other interesting point is no one uses purely synchronous.

So to drill down and find out what is stopping people migrating to synchronous, the pie chart below shows a very common thread…

It seems like its too difficult to migrate or doesn’t have a feature that needs to be used that only exists in ordered mode. There is not much that can be done about that until Dan Staples and the team fully migrate all of the functionality that exists in ordered to synchronous. Thats a few years away, but the training is an interesting point. There is training available for synchronous but it may need to be tuned to what people need to successfully migrate.

Training a new user to use synchronous is easier than trying to get an ‘ordered mindset’ to wrap around the new principles in synchronous. And with work getting in the way, we have little time to play with or get used to the synchronous lifestyle.

I was lucky, I had enough time and smaller projects for me to practice on. Attending PLM world in the years before the Solid Edge only events was a huge benefit as there were only a handful of SE users there and I got some one-on-one time with Dan Vincent and Kyle Aruda (who I am glad to say is back at Siemens!) and learned an awful lot about the steering wheel, as I understand it was Dan Vincent’s lovechild. Carrying forward to today, attending SEU12 I learned a lot, but I think in synchronous anyway. Thats all I use (with a lille bit of ordered).

So what I think I get from the poll is this. Ordered users need specific training geared at them and the way they think. Retraining is difficult, especially when you can do the job anyway so why would you need to use synchronous? In my view, synchronous technology is the future of 3D CAD. Its not there yet, but Solid Edge wasn’t quite there in version 5 either. We have a few more years for it to be complete but there is more than enough there now to make the job easier and to stretch the boundaries of our designs and the time we can do it in.

Why are we still shy of Synchronous?

After coming back from SEU12, excited for the launch of ST5, meeting new friends and connecting with old friends, I had one thing on my mind that still kind of shocked me. The adoption of current users to using Synchronous Technology.

With the type of crowd at SEU12, I was sure it wasn’t shyness when the small amount of hands went up when the question was asked “Who uses Synchronous Technology?”

So with this I created 2 polls for my own peace of mine to find out what is it that is missing and if Siemens could do anything to accelerate the adoption in current license user base.

and the second poll…

Let me know in your comments if there is something I missed in the questions and I’ll see if I can add them quickly.

Solid Edge ST4 for Designers Book


After looking for books (with no joy) on Solid Edge ST 3 and above online and in Barnes and Nobles, I came across a tweet from Sham Tickoo about the new book release “Solid Edge ST4 for Designers”. Obviously there being a lack of books for the product and an obvious lack of people who want to write for it, I sent in my order to Amazon for a whopping $65 (plus shipping). Apart from the price tag, I was excited to get the book and work through it. This is about the only book I have come across that deals with an up to date release of Solid Edge (all others deal with V18 and V20).

After working through the book I found it great for those who are new to SE and are wondering when to use ordered mode and synchronous and how to deal with the mixed environment. The book takes the reader through the following:

  • Sketches for solid models
  • Adding relationships and dimensions to sketches
  • Editing, extruding and revolving the sketches
  • Working with additional referenced geometries
  • Advanced modeling tools – 1
  • Editing features
  • Advanced modeling tools – 2
  • Advanced modeling tools – 3
  • Assembly modeling – 1
  • Assembly modeling – 2
  • Generating, editing and dimensioning the drawing views
  • Surface modeling
  • Sheet metal design
  • Student projects

Throughout the book there are exercises and questions based on the chapter.

I did catch a few errors in the book when the text was referring to certain drawings but apart from that, a great learning resource for students and those learning SE. For those wondering when to use ordered and when to use synchronous, Sham takes you through a few scenarios on this but by no means covers all scenarios.

I did find a couple of things missing that I thought the book could have. 1 is an explanation on how to use and orient the steering wheel. Who knows, perhaps we could be looking at a regular release here and an early update to ST5. There is always something to learn from books like this but the price tag is a little steep for students and does require a few edits before release to get rid of the print errors.

For those that want to look up the book, the ISBN is 978-1-936646-16-6 or go to http://www.cadcim.com or http://www.cadcimtech.com

Solid Edge University Keynote Speaker

Community Designed Rally Fighter

John “Jay” Rogers, president, CEO and co-founder of Local Motors, will speak about Solid Edge and its key role in this new American car company. Local Motors is setting an exciting and sustainable course to design, manufacture, and sell cars for niche markets. Local Motors co-creates new purposeful vehicles and components with its community of 14,000 designers, engineers and enthusiasts using open source principals.

check out http://www.local-motors.com

Solid Edge University 2012

Image The Siemens PLM Team responsible for Solid Edge have announced the user based “Solid Edge University” for June 2012. Of course, following on from the excitement of last years successful ST4 event, I can’t wait to attend and have put in my registration already. Hopefully we will see a lot of familiar faces and have the same level of commitment from the users, giving their success stories using synchronous technology. Having used ST4 for almost a year, it has been a very productive time, with the imminent release of MP3 hopefully which will address a few of the issues with this release. I look forward to the continued development with ST and am excited to see what Dan and his team have come up with for ST5! See you there…

Rendered Images

Presentations for ST4 event now available

The folks at solid edge have posted the presentation online for those that couldn’t make it to the ST4 Launch event.

You can get them here.



Solid Edge ST4 Event – Be sure to make it next year!

I was fortunate enough to be invited as a guest speaker for the Solid Edge ST4 event in Huntsville, AL. I didn’t really know what to expect and after going to PLM world over the past few years, I was wondering if the rest of the SE community would respond to this event. There were well over 200 attendees and a great mix of Siemens PLM staff there as well. The Siemens PLM staff were great and wherever you turned there was an expert there to discuss any ideas or issues the users may have had.

The morning was opened up by Karsten Newbury and the event kicked off with a bang. Tony Affuso gave an honest and very down to earth presentation which I have to give him a lot of credit for. Sometimes when your in a position like Tony’s its hard to try and keep everyone happy, especially when you have NX, Teamcenter and Technomatix under your belt. But Tony connected with the audience and was very frank about the fact that the connection with Solid Edge users had been lost in the past. This event was the start of putting things back on track.

The keynote was interesting from the engineering perspective to see how the team met the challenges of MPG and how they won the X Prize. I wonder how the company intends on taking this forward. My personal view is to open it up to the public. Sites like local-motors.com would probably love to collaborate and everyone wins! Pointless doing all that work for an engineering exercise if you don’t get the rubber on the road and see it in everyday use. Its always the toughest challenge to see great engineering ideas make it into the mainstream public.

Dan staples then took the stage and gave us a run down of the new release, ST4. This for me is always the highlight of the event as I love to see how Dan and the team will make my life easier in the upcoming year. They certainly did that with this new release. If you are ever thinking to upgrade and adopt an ST version, ST4 is the one to do it with.

The event in general was filled with a buzz, a general happiness that it was finally happening and to top it off, the enhancements with ST4 are fantastic. You can see the change in the focus of the solid edge brand with the new management team at Siemens Velocity (yes I said the “V” word). Kudos to Karsten and to John Fox who put this on in only a few months.

Solid Edge. Design Better.

New Solid Edge Branding Logo

There would be one thing I would do to make it better. We could have had it one day longer. I heard that from a number of people. The “Hands On” sessions need to be doubled so the users can attend everything and not have to pick and choose.

So what about next year? Well, they intend to do the same again so if you are a Solid Edge user, no matter what version you are using, I would highly recommend attending.

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