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Beginner Tips for Setting up Solid Edge

Solid Edge with Synchronous Technology is a POWERFUL tool...almost too powerful. The ability to stretch and pull, move, and cut without the use of a traditional "feature tree" and history-based commands and this new-fangled "steering wheel" to make edits is what I am referring to. To the beginner, casual user, or those switching from other history based software (Inventor, Solid Works, etc), it's almost overwhelming if you are not used to it. Though as great as it is, in Solid Edge, you are will not be stuck or forced to use Synchronous Technology, however, out-of-the box, Solid Edge will be geared towards the use of Synchronous. Below, I will show you some settings that I change on almost every new install of Solid Edge that I come across to make life easier.

Switch Solid Edge to "Ordered"

As mentioned, Solid Edge will be set to use Synchronous out-of-the-box. So we will peruse the settings to toggle the behavior. This will change it so that you do NOT have to change it back every time that you launch Solid Edge.

1) Start a new Part File, any one (Ansi Inch or Ansi Metric)

2) Click on Application Button

3) Go to Settings>Options>Helpers Tab

Solid Edge Options

4) Click on "Ordered" radio button. This will permanently turn on your history-based modeling style that so many are accustomed to.

Easily Identify Constrained Sketches

One of the golden rules of 3D modeling is to Fully Define/Constrain Sketches. I am pretty sure it's carved in stone somewhere. With that said, Solid Edge is a little lacking default wise in making it easy to know that a sketch is fully constrained. With a few clicks of the mouse, we will change that.

1) Go to Application button>Settings>Options>General Tab

2) Click Check Box that says "Indicate Under Constrained profiles in PathFinder.

So what does this do? This will provide a visual cue to let the user know that the said feature is "under-defined" or not fully constrained with dimensions/relationships. In a PathFinder, the visual cue will be a red pencil icon next to the feature like so:

When you see this, you should immediately go back and add dimensions or mates or relationships to the sketch of that feature. However, there is one more setting that we can change that should ensure that we never get to see this icon...bear with me it is a little more involved than simply going to the settings menu.

Relationship Colors

This setting that we will be looking for will be hidden in sketch mode within a feature.

1) In any open part file, click on Sketch icon.

2) Left-Click on plane or existing face.

3) Click on Inspect Tab up top.

4) Toggle on Relationship Colors.

This will ensure the user that when a line in any sketch is fully constrained, it turns black from the default blue color.

Once changed, it will not need to be activated again unless manually turned off.

Automatically Dimension

If you are coming from AutoCad or just want to make life easier, I highly recommend turning on Auto-Dimension. It was very hard for me to get used to drawing a shape THEN dimensioning, especially coming from AutoCad. Solid Edge has a setting that will allow me to Auto Dimension when I need it to though so that as I am drawing lines or shapes, a dimension gets added therefore taking the amount of times it takes to constrain less:

1) In any open part file, click on Sketch icon.

2) Left-Click on plane or existing face.

3) On the IntelliSketch panel, click on the yellow light bulb. This is Intellisketch Options.

When the dialogue box appears, Change it to reflect the below options:

Take notice though. I do NOT want Solid Edge to dimension EVERY line or entity that I draw. I ONLY want lines that I KEY -IN values to auto-dimension because if I am keying in numbers, I mean for it to be that length. If you have it set to every line to auto-dimension, it will create a sketching nightmare.

While we are in this setting box, I recommend turning on one of the IntelliSketch relationships as well. IntelliSketch can be thought of as something similar to OSNAP in AutoCad or Keypoints in SolidWorks. It allows the user to lock on to end points, midpoints, etc... Out-of-the-box, Solid Edge does not lock onto Quadrant points very well, so here we turn it on.

While in IntelliSketch Options, click on the "Relationships" tab. And reflect it to look like this. By default it almost does, but it lacks "Silhouette Point" which will allow you to snap to quadrant points of arcs and circles.

Sums it up

Although few, the above tips will tremendously increase productivity in Solid Edge. You may find that these features are not for you, but I'd be willing to put money on it that you will love them.

There are countless other settings that I change, but then it comes down to a personal preference. So I recommend you to go browsing all of the tabs in the Settings>Options dialogue box and change and play around with settings until Solid Edge looks and feels like you want it to.

Our next blog article will cover how to set up custom Themes in Solid Edge.

#solidedge #cad

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