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Etching in Solid Edge

Tuesday, November 15th, 2011

Engraving or scribing with a laser machine can be achieved with the Solid Edge Etch command. The Etch command is supported in both the Ordered and Synchronous sheet metal modes. It is available in both the folded model and in the Flat pattern.


A Sketch must exist in the model for the command to be active. Remember text can be entered into a sketch with the Text Profile command. (See a previous entry, on our blog at


Creating an Etch

Once you have created the sketch the Etch command becomes active.


 The Etch command allows the user to select single or chained sketches


Note:  With the single option selected, multiple sketches may be selected with a fence selection, if they are part of the same merged sketch.

Etch options are provided to allow the user to control for colour, line width and line type.


Note:  Etches can be created in the folded model state or in the flat pattern state. If the etch is created in the folded state it will transform position with the Flat pattern. Etches created in the flat pattern only exist in the Flat Pattern node and do not exist in the folded model.


Editing an Etch

Ordered etches can be edited using the standard edit, edit profile, or dynamic edit commands.


Synchronous etches are procedural features. When you select the feature an edit handle appears.


When you click on the edit handle the Feature Origin appears. This allows you to move or rotate the etch using the steering wheel. The Edit Profile handle also appears allowing you to edit the etch profile.


Note:  PMI (3D dimensions) can be placed to the Etch feature, or to the Etch feature origin, to drive or lock the features position.

In the edit mode, the user can specify a new layer face to which to apply the Etch.

Note:  Etches cannot span across bends or multiple layer faces.

Etches in Draft

The Etch features in Draft are treated as a construction object and are listed in the Construction section of the Drawing View properties.

Etches are automatically displayed by default.

Exporting to DXF

Options have been added to the Save as Flat command allowing you to export the etch feature to a .dxf file and also to control how it is exported to a .dxf file.



Benefits of switching to ST4 for Traditional/Ordered Users

Thursday, November 3rd, 2011

Some Solid Edge Users have questioned the benefit of switching to the newer versions of Solid Edge. They do not wish to use the new Synchronous Technology, therefore feel that there is no benefit to upgrading. Admittedly, in the last few releases, Siemens marketing has focused on the introduction of their new, and industry changing, Synchronous technology, primarily because it is revolutionary technology, which our competition simply doesn’t have. However, they have not forgotten or ignored the Solid Edge Users, who still need or prefer the traditional parametric approach to modeling. Below is a list of just the highlights of enhancements made to the ordered paradigm: 

  • New standard based templates
  • New interface base on Microsoft office 2007 interface
  • Show/Hide check box added to PathFinder.
  • Command Defaults Improvements
  • Command Finder Updates
  • Mouse Wheel Improved Input
  • Enhanced Middle Mouse Button Rotate
  • Fastener System Improvements
  • Frames Live Update on Drag (Global Undo)
  • Standard Parts Enhancements
  • An option was added to the curve Quickbar to create a closed Bspline curve
  • A new Hatch Style has been added called Radial
  • Unique behavior for TAB and ENTER within the same cell of the variable table. Made to work similarly to Excel
  • A Gage Table option, “Use Excel File”, has been added to the Material Table dialog
  • New sweep option added. Can now twist and scale a swept protrusion.
  • New suppress region control when patterning.
  • Improved cursor feedback – better graphic indicators
  • New sketch display option to deal with large sketches
  • New Polygon by Center command
  • New Rectangle by Center command
  • New Flat Pattern option for viewing deformed features
  • Enhanced flat pattern algorithm to flatten ruled surfaces from lofted flanges
  • New transparent option for PathFinder (Vista, Windows 7)
  • New Radial Mouse Menu made up of 16 customizable sections.
  • Added to ability to customize Command Ribbons
  • Overall customization improvements
  • Enhanced Solid Edge switch windows command to include previews
  • Solid Edge now has UI to control the application color scheme through the Solid Edge Options…Helpers tab
  •  Standard Parts has been moved to SQL Express 2008 allowing for improved performance and more options.
  • Closed Corner command now supports new corner treatment types
    • - New options include: 
    • - Circular with Offset – modification to existing treatment
    • - U-Shaped Cutout
    • - V-Shaped Cutout
    • - Square Cutout
    • - Miter
  • The ability to add tabs to the flattened model has been added.
  • New Etch Command has been added.
  • Parts that are currently open in Solid Edge can be easily added to an open assembly
  • Weld bead enhancements allowing for more successful results
  • Redesigned the display configurations. Allows for multiple configuration to be turned on simultaneously.
  • Item numbers for the Solid Edge BOM can now be defined in the assembly
  • Selection Performance Improvements
  • Improved selection filters
  • Assembly Relationship Enhancements
    • - Grounded Component Indicator
    • - Ground Relationship
    • - Tangent Relationship Flip option
    • - Edit Relationship Flip Option
    • - Relationship Command Processing
    • - Relationship Dimension Color
    • - Center Plane Relationship
    • - Range (Value Limits)
  • Key-point Processing Improvements
  • The “Round” feature has been added to the “Assembly Features” group
  • ERA – Flow Line Enhancements
  • Replace Part uses “Select Configuration” option
  • Auto scroll in PathFinder
  • Replace part can now use part with same name
  • Mass computation in Assembly (Qty Overrides)
  • IPA Shift+Click uses Assembly Coordsys planes as input
  • Simplified Assembly command processing
  • Assembly Pattern support pattern adjustable sub-assemblies
  • Weldment Assembly Icons
  • New dimension prefix on/off command
  • New ability to place dimension between draft views
  • New ability to add custom scale factors to the View Scale pulldown in Command Bar
  • New ability to see and change the scale of a block after it has been placed.
  •  Added to ability to control annotation break lines via a font scale
  • Added the Russian Standard (GOST) weld symbols
  • Added PMI Annotations option to the Drawing View Wizard when placing a PMI Model View
  • Detail views have been enhanced to give users more control over the detail envelope
  • Enhanced the Surface Finish Symbols not only to adhere to the ESKD standards, but also addresses other customer requests
  • Dimension enhancement allows you to specify a tolerance class for a dimension. When the dimension is placed on the geometry, it will automatically look up the tolerance values in the appropriate table for the size and measured class specified.
  • The edge condition symbol and UI has been updated to allow the selection of the direction of the edge (i.e. burr/undercut)
  • The Create 3D Tool has been enhanced to create PMI dimensions in the 3D Model from selected dimensions in the Draft file
  • Parts List – Just Under 250 Customer Requests Implemented
    • - Edit Item Numbers from Parts List, not just from balloons
    • - Combine Multiple Properties in Single Column
    • - Comments Columns – User defined text
    • - Split Parts List among Multiple Sheets
    • - Sort on Hidden Columns
    • - Manual Reorder Columns and Rows
    • - Resize Columns in Graphic Display
    • - Placement via cursor
    • - Title/Footer
    • - Assembly Structure – Exploded List
    • - Level Numbering – Also in Balloons
    • - Indent Each Level
    • - Deriving Item Number from Assembly
    • - Sort by Assembly Order
    • - Column Totals
    • - Frame Data
    • - Auto Balloon
    • - Table Titles
    • - Column Headers
    • - Headers Merging
    • - Header Rotate
    • - Cell Aspect Ratio
    • - Cell Formatting
    • - Overriding Disabled Cells
    • - Inserting User Defined Rows
    • - Convert Deleted Parts/Assemblies to User Defined Rows
    • - Display Control through Configuration
    • - Merge Vertical Cells with Same Value
    • - More…..
  •  When using the Drawing View Creation Wizard, use the “Custom” button to get to the Perspective Options
  • Added Model Edge Colors display options for drawing views
  • The Drawing View Creation Wizard now supports the placement of views based on an Assembly Zone
  • Bend Table/Callout enhancements
  • Improved Callout formatting
  • New Smart Measure command
  • The retrieve dimensions command now retrieves sketch dimensions and annotations from any assembly sketches (including PMI)
  • New Printing/Plotting process for printing multi-sheets
  • Angular Dimension to Center Marks
  • Enhanced Drawing View Caption control
  • Undo button is available if deleting the following:
    • - Drawing Views
    • - Parts Lists
    • - Bend Tables
  • Added a lock drawing view position command
  • Added support for both horizontal and vertical breaks in the same view
  • New ANSI ASME symbols and ISO equivalent symbols have been added to bring the standards up to date.
  • New JIS Weld Symbols
  • Overall improvements to Annotations
    • - Auto balloon – Fastener Systems –Stacked balloons
    • - Callout – Aspect Ratio
    • - Feature Control Frame enhancements
    • - Text Box enhancements
    • - Reattach Centerline and Center marks
  • Dimension control enhancements
  • Added Hole Callout to dimensioning
  • Added a 3D PDF Translator
  • Added Inventor Direct Translator
  • More…

These enhancements do not include all the improvements to the graphic display, or memory handling, for overall performance improvement. There have also been enhancements to the translators, and other add-on modules such as our Rendering and Xpresroute modules.

With all these improvements in the traditional parametric modeling paradigm, it should be obvious that Siemens continues to support and develop the “Ordered” modeling paradigm. For those Users who feel there is no benefit to upgrade, please feel free to contact us, so we can enlighten you on all the enhancements in the ordered paradigm. Our goal is to give you a powerful, easy to use, and reliable modeling experience, regardless of whether you model in the “Ordered” or “Synchronous” paradigm. We will continue to add enhancements to both paradigms in future releases.

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