The Guru Becomes The Noob

Getting Started with the Tutorials

It’s a little disorienting flipping from guru to noob, depending on which software I open up. Am I asking or answering questions today? Am I confident or confused? Learning or teaching? It’s definitely humbling taking a step back and putting myself in the learner’s seat, starting from scratch. Well, not quite from scratch. It’s pretty much just the interface and the workflow and the details that I have to learn, I’m familiar with the overall concept. One of the things that seems important to me to know is where the boundaries of the software are. How far can you push it? What are its limitations? This is not usually something that any software company puts in writing, but it’s definitely something you have to know, and it will definitely be something that we explore on this blog.

I’m going to start with Solid Edge as if I were a new user. Although I’ve used the software a bit, I’ve mainly just jumped into the deep end. I started with trying to find edits that Synchronous can’t do, evaluating the interface, dissecting sheet metal, and examining surfacing, stuff that no beginner would really do. I’ve always told new users they should go through the tutorials provided with the software as they start to learn, and now I’m going to take my own advice. I’m definitely fond of third party learning materials, but I think you should start by “drinking a little bit of the koolaid” just to see what it tastes like. This should do a couple of things. First, it should get me started using the proper terminology right off the bat, which should avoid a good bit of confusion later on. Second, I’ll learn the official way of doing things before I start experimenting too much.

Here’s the first thing I’m noticing, starting with the tutorials. If I were a brand spanking new 3D or CAD user, I would just follow the workflow as presented in the tutorial. But I’m not a complete noob. I know enough to know that having custom templates can save me a lot of time. So while I’m using the default templates like the good little direction follower that I am, I’m wondering about templates. How to create templates. What kind of stuff I can change in templates. So for you Edgers out there, any tips on using templates? We’ll come back to this in a later post, but it would be great to get the discussion warmed up a little bit.


7 Replies to “The Guru Becomes The Noob”

  1. Matt,

    I appreciate that you just jump right in and become a “noob” as you said. I think that reveals that you’re ultimately interested in learning rather than simply being the guy in the know.

    Do you have any stated goals or reasons for doing Solid Edge? Curious if you’ll continue to use SolidWorks and contribute to your SolidWorks blog? You’ve always have good information so I’d hate to lose your input, though I realize there’s more to your CAD software than writing blog posts.

    Enjoy the journey on the Edge,


    1. Thanks for the comment. Yeah, it’s kind of humbling to be the noob. But even with SW, I was always trying to learn stuff. There is always something to learn.

      As far as a stated goal, one would have to be that I’m getting paid, just to be completely straight. But what led me to seek out this gig was that I saw in SE a company that had some renewed energy because of the new product, especially with ST3. I tried to like the original ST release, and just couldn’t do it. It was one or the other. When ST3 came around, and I saw what it was, it completely removes objections of people entrenched in history.

      I intend to keep writing the Dezignstuff blog, but it may take a different direction. I started by rewriting some of my old user group presentations as blog posts. And I’ll probably stop trying to convince SW to do the right thing, because with DS now, that’s a losing battle. You can only complain for so long before you have to do something.

  2. To add more to the templates topic

    Still in the Solid Edge options, look for the Helpers section. You will find a Set Default Templates and Edit create options.

  3. Hi Matt regarding the templates, let’s warm up by understanding a little bit how it can be setup.

    In the installation folder you will find a template  folder.


    Copy this folder to any location

    Then open a Solid Edge environment and go to Solid Edge options, you will find an entry “File locations” Point to the new location of your template folder.

    Any new sub-folder will show as a tab. Only the first level of sub-folder will show up

    1. I copied my Template directory into my ‘Dropbox’ folder and it works a treat.  Anywhere, any machine I use Solid Edge on now and I’m working from the same set of templates.

      This means that I’m much more likely to invest time in developing a good set of template files because I know I can use them anywhere and that the directory will be there (and backed up) whenever I upgrade, buy a new machine etc.

  4. Hi Matt,

    I’m glad to see you in this new project. I’ll try to participate here as much as I can.

    Regarding templates, you can simply create a template based on an existing template and then save it on the “Solid Edge ST4Template” folder and, the next time you push the “New” button, you can choose the “Custom Template” tab and select the template from there.



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