So What’s Next?


In the world of software, it seems there is always a push to move “forward”. After you’ve seen what’s next in the next version, your first question is what comes next in the version after that. While we haven’t really seen what’s next in ST6 yet, reports are coming in talking about drawings, surfacing, and assemblies. This is all great stuff. Really, I’m encouraged to see a CAD vendor who is interested in putting CAD functionality into their product. Call me old fashioned and quaint, but I like my CAD to be CAD.


So since we never rest pushing this kind of stuff, what do you want to see next?

Here’s my top 3:

  1. I assume there is going to be something missed in surfacing, or at least what they have done may inspire some more thoughts of stuff I just can’t live without. I want to reserve some space at the top of next year’s list for surfacing or complex shape stuff
  2. Primitives. ST is mainly about editing. Granted, design itself is 80% editing, and maybe only 20% creation. Still, I think creating things should be less of a bother. Not that sketching and extruding is much of a bother, but it could be less. Pick a face, pick a primitive, bang. If most of your work is prismatic stuff anyway, primitives should be a go-to tool.
  3. Interface tweaks. I feel a little uncomfortable requesting things like this. After all, I’m still a noobie, and this is the kind of thing a seasoned pro should be advocating. In what I’ve seen, the interface could use some work. The workflow should be one of two things: either 100% consistent, or 100% flexible. Right now it’s neither, which I think is one of the reasons noobs have some difficulty. Labeling and tooltips should be available. The Status Bar is great, but it could be improved. Maybe the select set needs to be more obvious or explicit. This select set thing is a huge difference between SW and SE interfaces. In SW, you can always tell what’s selected by looking at a list. In SE, you can tell visually by coloration.

So what do you guys want to see?

3 Replies to “So What’s Next?”

  1. It is somewhat reassuring to hear that Assemblies have gotten some attention. I will reserve judgement until after I’ve seen ST6, but….ST5 has some frustrating bugs in the assembly environment that ST4 did not.

    Interface, as you mentioned, needs some tweaks. I’ve heard that a lot of this is being addressed in ST6 as well, though. Specifically, Tab Order of commands is a biggie and drags down my workflow when I run into commands that are not optimized. More interface problems that could use some TLC are- places where Open/Save dialog boxes or file browsers in options are archaic implementations. The incredibly clunky timesink that is the ‘Browse for folder’ dialog box in the assembly ‘Create in Place’ command would be a good one to fix. For that matter, making that command have a ribbon (like every other command in the program) so you can back up a step if you screw up…well, that would be some great interface standardization.

    I am giddy about the possible surfacing improvements. Dan and SE team, here’s hoping I can forget about Rhino/SW for surfacing helpers!

  2. Mark:   “Call me old fashioned and quaint, but I like my CAD to be CAD”

    Neil: “I am generally apprehensive about the unstable global economic situation and looking for a return to rational and purposeful CAD as a foundation to my business endeavors.”

    I think both of these comments sum it up for me. Business is far from stable right now, as are many things around the world. I don’t what it is but I see a huge change in attitude and confidence that’s very unsettling. This is not a sign of my age but I see most of what’s considered new “technology” today to be nothing more then eye candy…. the exact criticism I placed on ST1 and Sync Technology back 4 years ago.  Although now I can see how really wrong I was, my reaction back then was that we had traded in a robust CAD product for something that was more smoke and mirrors. What made me feel this way, was not the concept of Synchronous Technology…. I mean who doesn’t want to directly edit their models without the overhead and serial nature of History based modeling? What unnerved me, and most other users, was the way Solid Edge/Development asked me to change my way of working. Now everyone here knows about my epiphany with Sync, so I won’t go on and on again here. But I’ll speak to what I think both Mark and Neil are talking about.

    Bottom line is that ALL Users want a sense of consistency, and as Neil correctly states “Slowly wins the race and patience is a virtue”.  We all want faster, better and even better tools to ply our craft, but there’s no free lunch. You can’t push into new territory without a little pain. What you need to ask yourself however is this: Does your CAD vendor respect it’s users, and do the Users trust their CAD vendor. If you don’t have that, You’re shit out of luck.

    Point is ALL Solid Edge users know how dedicated Dan Staples and his development team are to making Solid Edge better with every release…. When things looked pretty gloomy back in t he early days of Sync, they didn’t ignore the users they worked their asses off making the needed changes…. and that’s the key point here. They listen from Karsten on down. And although it might take a bit longer then we’d all like, they NEVER disappoint.

    So again quoting Neil: “I am happy this lifeboat has come along. Any stuff they put in SE related to my needs is going to be a bonus.” in these times of so much uncertainty it’s nice to know I look forward to working with Solid Edge and modeling in Sync… I know that every day I increase my skills, it’s betting on a company that values my investment with them, not only financially, but  with my time and emotions as well.

    Here’s looking forward to ST6, and in the immortal words of Buzz Lightyear: “To Infinity and Beyond” Yeah I know Buzz really couldn’t fly, but eh, he did have faith and did reach for the sky… and made it look fun.




  3. I am just waiting on ST6 to arrive and will give it a fair minded appraisal before I start hankering for still more goodies. It seems from ‘leaking’ user accounts they have made a decent effort to step up their game generally and perhaps go out of their usual way to deliver useful bits for compulsive surfacers as well. I like that. Its quite encouraging after… well…we probably don’t need to go there yet again. If they have done a reasonable job I would really just be looking for steady progress and refinements in succeeding releases I think. It will take a while to become a competant SE user anyway so I wouldnt want to be too critical or demanding of the bat. I am sure there are always going to be things we feel we ‘must have’ asap. SE will have a different flavour to SW. I think its best to assimilate some. My focus though will be endeavouring to make a smooth transition from one software to the other. If I discover there is something key that is missing from ST6 I might have to sit and wait on ST7 but I am hoping not. Slowly wins the race and patience is a virtue. I am generally apprehensive about the unstable global economic situation and looking for a return to rational and purposeful CAD as a foundation to my business endeavours. DS has come up with the wrong product at the wrong time and there doesn’t seem a lot I can do about it. I am happy this lifeboat has come along. Any stuff they put in SE related to my needs is going to be a bonus. I anticipate contributing some feedback and new ideas at some stage.

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