Through third party applications it has links to many other Product Lifecycle Management (PLM) technologies.
Originally developed and release 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 correspond 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 oct 2007.
Since Sep 2006 Siemens also offers a free 2D version called Solid Edge 2D Drafting.
- Solid Edge V1 (1995)
- Solid Edge V2 (1996)
- Solid Edge V3 (Spring 1997)
- Solid Edge V3.5 (October 1997 – introduced the sheet metal environment)
- Solid Edge V4 (1998)
- Solid Edge V5 (1998 – UGS + switched from ACIS modeling kernel to Parasolid )
- Solid Edge V6 (1999)
- Solid Edge V7 (1999)
- Solid Edge V8 (2000)
- Solid Edge V9 (2001)
- Solid Edge V10 (2001)
- Solid Edge V11 (2002)
- Solid Edge V12 (2002)
- Solid Edge V14 (2003 – « Rapid Blue »)
- Solid Edge V15 (2003)
- Solid Edge V16 (2004)
- Solid Edge V17 (March 2005)
- Solid Edge V18 (September 2005)
- Solid Edge V19 (June 2006)
- Solid Edge V20 (August 2007)
- Solid Egde with Synchronous Technology (2008)
For some time now Solid Edge has been in a curious place within the mainstream modelling market.
The organisational changes within UGS had seen a much greater concentration on the NX and Teamcenter product – but this changed with the release of the Velocity Series offering last year and a renewed commitment to Solid Edge from UGS (V19). This saw Solid Edge combined with industrial strength, production proven, management tools from Teamcenter and Nastran-based analysis from Femap to create a compelling offering that raised its profile massively.
Reviewing the sales figures with UGS, it’s clear that this has done wonders for Solid Edge sales in the last twelve months and while in terms of total numbers of seats, Solid Edge is still behind its competition (SolidWorks and Inventor), it is gaining ground – which is as things should be. It’s always been a capable tool whose development has been based on depth of functionality.
As with all software releases, the vendor has chosen to break down new functionality into specific workflows or areas of benefit, while we prefer to present things in terms of workflow and how each update applies to each area of a system’s functionality. The first area we’re going to look at are the updates made to the core part and assembly modelling tools within the system.
The focus for the core modelling tools of this release seems to be aimed at the handling of assemblies. While it might not sound much considering Solid Edge already has existing tools to do this, the workflow means that, as ever, the introduction of new functionality in one area to solve a specific task has downstream effects, particularly when you look at how it’s been implemented and integrated with other tools to create a raft of new functionality.
So, let’s start with the basics – motion simulation.
While Solid Edge has always been able to create intelligent assembly models and allow the user to inspect how mechanisms work, as with many mainstream modelling tools this type of tool has been limited in its usefulness. The last few releases, in part due to some acquisitions from the major vendors, has seen this change. Autodesk has acquired dynamic simulation tools and started their integration into Inventor and SolidWorks has taken over the reins of the Adams-based CosmosMotion product to bump it forward. As a response, Solid Edge V19 has taken on similar tools that allow users to take things a little further in terms of mechanism simulation, with two key new features – gears and motor assembly relationships.
Gear relationships, although quite specific in their name, are a new class of ‘super-relationships’ within Solid Edge and allow you to define interaction between rotary components and linear components. This single relationship type can create rotary to rotary, rotary to linear and linear to linear conditions. Components don’t need to be in contact, so you can define everything from gears, belts and chains, right through to rack and pinion set-ups and hydraulics/pneumatics – all using the same feature. Motor relationships, on the other hand, are used to put gears into motion. This allows users to define a rotary or linear input (direction, speed and travel where appropriate) to drive a mechanism or system and use that to drive the motion simulation.
While at present you can’t use these tools to conduct kinematic or load transfer analysis, they do allow you to achieve a much closer approximation of how your mechanisms are going to perform. Following on from this, and to extend this functionality further, there’s been a complete rework of the tools available to create exploded views, then subsequent renderings and animations of products – all wrapped up under the banner of Explode, Render and Animate (ERA).