More About Solid Edge from Another Non-Native

Solid Edge is getting its share of attention from users of other software. I’ve made the jump. Feeling the stagnation of a product about to take a different direction, I knew that for my own peace of mind, I needed to keep growing, and Solid Edge has provided that opportunity for me. Chris McAndrew wrote a 5 part article on Solid Edge in which he went through various areas of the software in some degree of detail and gave his honest opinions. More recently we heard from Jeff Mirisola about the 3DSync portion of the Solid Edge software. We’ve heard several times from the inimitable Josh Mings on various Solid Edge topics. Josh (aka Solid Smack) makes the effort to be CAD neutral, but he has a good deal of experience in CAD programs other than Solid Edge. We have also seen John Evans write quite a piece on the usability of Solid Edge and Synchronous Technology.  Even Evan Yares has had a few words to say about why a CAD program well into its second decade is still relevant and still pushing the boundaries.

The latest CAD user turned reviewer is Atillio Colangelo writing about large assembly drawings in Solid Edge. This is one of the few articles written on drawings in Solid Edge, which has traditionally been one of their strongest suits. I’m interested to see Atillio writing, as he was one of my customers when I worked at a CAD reseller in Western NY state. His first article looks promising, as he takes a practical approach to the software, solving problems with Solid Edge that he has seen in other packages. With 25 years experience, he’s not a one trick pony. Read the article, it will be worth your time.

I didn’t really set out to gather a list of prominent CAD users who have taken up the task of evaluating Solid Edge, but once I got going with it, I was a little amazed. These guys aren’t serious writers (aside from Josh and Evan), and because they make a good part of their living on the business end of a CAD display, I think their words take on some extra weight.  The fact that so many devotees of OtherCAD are willing to spend a great deal of time working with Solid Edge to write articles about it speaks volumes of the appeal of the software, and the second wind being pumped into it by the company. While other competing packages are being pushed out to pasture, Solid Edge and in particular the Synchronous Technology innovation have breathed new life into the software, the company, and its customers.

17 Replies to “More About Solid Edge from Another Non-Native”

  1. Hey do you pro guys think I should start doing CAD reviews?
    It would kind a like naked alligator wrestling in comparison to the lame stuff your typical journo puts out.
    Lots of action, cursing and mud. Yeah the mud. Man I could rate the CEO, do bug counts, just try to break stuff…it would be just hot and sweaty from go to woah. A few random politically incorrect jokes and off the wall punctuation and loose stuff just for spice and sometimes relief from the serious business at hand.
    What do you say? Probably increase your readership 10 fold straight off.

    1. …hmmm…then again I’m gonna have to get past those reckless typos first. It’s the passion breaking out.
      DEATH TO WALLPAPER CAD JOURNALISM! Someone give me an G, give me a R, an’ a I, an’ a T. GRIT baby!. Y-e-a-h!
      OK call me at the zoo…

    2. Neil,
      I’d pay to see that. I prefer to read something from someone who really cares and knows about a subject rather than someone who just knows when to use “their”, “they’re”, or “there”. I don’t know passive voice from past tense, but I can tell if someone cares about the subject.

      1. Yeah true. Too many people bringing 2 neatly packed jam sandwiches but buttered both sides and with the crusts cut off to work 5 days a week. They write for people who scim and scan while nibbling on jam sandwiches and what does the whole scheme pay for? More jam sandwiches all round. If forests are going to die to support this sadly vapid addiction then we should cut it short and urge people to move to Twitter where they can banter, exchange photos of jam sandwiches, even inspect virtual jam sandwiches in their browser. Calling it CAD reporting is only a cover for a very serious problem IMHO.

          1. Neil,
            “sublime” is such a strong word. “Off-topic” may be closer to the truth. While donkey droppings and getting eaten by an alligator are a lot of fun, we’re kinda here for something else. Sorry to be such a killjoy.

          2. Sorry yeah it probably comes across like that. I do make a point though in the midst of the fun I hope. In reaching way out to the twilight zone for endorsements, pretending a product is perfect and will leap tall buidings for you if you only buy it as soon as possible is not useful to anyone out here in the real world. Jeff’s grandmother saw and liked SE immediately. Dave has no failures even tiny passing ones. Hmmm. And I’m not picking on SE here. All I was saying is if people review or promote a program do so with honestly and with substance and not deference to where your pay or beer comes from. CAD press in particular don’t have a lot of credibility. In fact its a joke or more correctly an insult how weak and safe the articles are. About 98% of what is written seems like recycled press releases or is so ineffectual as to resemble infomercials. The press ought to be ashamed of themselves for allowing this situation to develop. Its absurd for another journalist to take a swipe at this blog for the content. It is known to a SE sponsored space. The recent change is that Matt has gone into the castle and come out wearing a Siemens cap. I guess his articles reflect that commitment. I think Matt still has personal integrity though. OK so my apologies for giving the alligator an outing. Carry on, carry on..

  2. Dave

    Nice work there. Let’s get a few things straight. “The honest gate keeper for CADCAM users saving us from evil corporate interests” where’s that from? I’d never claim to do anything of the sort. I own a magazine. Not a gatehouse. And evil corporate interests? That makes no sense. Or you don’t understand the word evil properly.

    Yes. Altair advertise in the magazine. They did before I looked at their products. I’ll send you the POs for the advertising insertions. Same with quite a few of the vendors. Quite a few also don’t spend a bean. That’s life. Personally I’d prefer it if they all did.

    SolidWorks and it’s parent company doesn’t account for a good portion of income unfortunately. And never really has. We started the magazine in 2008, by which time they were dominate.

    Solid Edge and a chip on my shoulder? Really? I’ve been writing about it since 1998. I’ve written more words about it than most of their staff. So. hrankly, you can stick that one.

    It’s funny how if you’re a blogger and get paid, it’s all good. If you happen to print the same words on dead trees suddenly you’re a corporate shill. Make your mind up.

    And for the record, I’ve not questioned what Matt does. Ever. Disagreed. Yes. Sometimes pathologically. Yes.

    Anyway. As for the twitter stream, well done Dave. You found the unfollow button. Congratulations.


  3. AMEN to that Matt. I was asked a while back if I wanted to do a review of SolidThinking. A program Al was I presume paid to review in their magazine in Feb of this year and perhaps even receive advertising money as a result. I did not read it but while doing a search this turned up so I thought I would mention it. The value to me would have been $200.00. In order to correctly do this I would have had to spend a few weeks with the program and actually become familiar enough with it to not do a superficial window dressing fluff piece review on it. So lets see, maybe 80 hours to become conversant on some sort of real user level with the program to be able to write a meaningful article to potential customers divided by $200.00 plus me not earning money from my real job in the mean time. Sounds like a real bribe to write a biased article does it not? Obviously I turned it down because I was not interested. It was kind of flattering to be asked but I WAS NOT interested. If I personally would have been I would have written like I do with SE.

    Matt asked you something you dodged Al so I will ask you point blank. Why the chip on your shoulder for SE? Even when you write something about SE that is halfway complimentary it is interspersed with snide comments. Do you post these same kinds of comments with the independent SW bloggers who have been hired by SW and are now employees there?

    I figure that SW is a good sized part of your income through Develop3D. Your superficial fluff pieces on way to many things tells me all I need to know about how seriously you take being the honest gate keeper for CADCAM users saving us from evil corporate interests. Honestly some are so bad I figure it is copy and paste from someone’s PR dept. I used to read your tweet stream on occasion too until it became offensive and apparently written while in various pubs or recovering from them.

    What is your real reason for asking this here when Matt has been up front about what he is doing and why?

  4. Miller Lite. The European Union banned it. Because it’s mislabelled as an alchoholic beverage. Kids won’t even touch that stuff over here. Stephen has a way with words and sarcasm that baffles me. Unjust wish he’d leave the penguins alone.

    Writing is addictive and yup, a 1,500 word article can sap your very mortal soul. Or it can be an interesting exercise in putting your thoughts to paper/ word doc/ whatever and attempting to make them understandable for the masses. If you can make a few bob while you’re at it, all the better. But the publisher has a responsibility to straight about funding.


      1. Yeah, well, that’s why I said they are obviously getting something out of the experience other than money.

        I really didn’t revive this blog to give you a platform to rip at your competitors, Al. It’s perfectly legitimate to give amateur writers who also happen to be design professionals some writing experience and exposure.

  5. Curious thing that half these articles (and this is by no means a reflection on the folks writing them) come from the Team Editorial/CADDigest stable..

    I mean, it’s perhaps no wonder that folks are writing about Solid Edge – they’re being paid to… Have a read: – and draw your own conclusions.

    I’m not disputing a writer’s (whether full time, part time, whatever) need to earn a living, but let’s be clear. If the content is paid for, it’s advertorial, however cleverly it’s worded – and should be flagged as such.

    Just a thought, Matt


    1. Yeah, and we appreciate all those community service reviews you do too;o) I’ve done enough writing to know that writing itself doesn’t pay much. Certainly not compared to engineering, or waiting tables. I don’t know why these folks are doing it, but when I did it, I had two things in mind: First, writing had become a habit, and I was gonna do it one way or another, so I was just doing it because some folks I liked asked. Second, just for the practice of a different style than my normal. I didn’t write about things that didn’t interest me or I didn’t know anything about. For someone who doesn’t write all day, a 1500 word article on software you have to download, install, and learn is going to take 10 – 20 hours. At that point you’re at or under the fast-food hourly wage. I doubt people do this for the money.

      I’ve been wanting to ask you, what was up with this guy? Can’t you get Miller Lite over there?

  6. Matt, I’d like to read about how Solid Edge handles all types of External References please.

    Thanks, Devon Sowell

    1. Devon,

      I haven’t investigated everything, but from what I’ve seen, all of external references happen in the Ordered environment, so not in Synchronous mode. Synchronous mode allows you to make edits referencing other parts in an assembly without creating external references. So you can move faces from several parts at once up to another part’s face without any external reference, and then take one of the faces and move it independently without the need to break any references. You can even do a boolean between parts in an assembly without creating any references. So it’s got it pretty good in that respect.

      They do have the equivalent of in-context, called interpart, where they copy faces from one part to another in the context of an assembly. You can also insert one part as a body into another. These both create external references. I haven’t dug into them in detail to see how much you can investigate the references, and how much they slow things down, complicate file management.

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: