Learning Solid Edge is much tougher than it needs to be because the
documentation is very poor, and they plan on you paying a VAR to teach you.
Join the Solid Edge newsgroup, a good bunch of people there. However you
can only join if you are a customer and your support is paid up. So let's
say you wanted to know more about Solid Edge before plunking down 5 grand.
You are just out of luck because you can't ask the real power users that
hang out in newsgroups. The more you look at this kind of crap the more
impressive Rhino's value becomes.
I've posted two documents that will help you. Ricks_Rules_Part 1 is very
good, there is no part 2, I keep hitting on him to write it. The Primer for Solid Edge I
wrote. It is basically all the stuff I learned the hard way that I simply
couldn't find documented anywhere.
I have only exported a few things from Rhino to Solid Edge. Individual
objects come into Solid Edge as Design Bodies. That means they are like
shrink wrapped, no parametric data, and are not adjustable. A few releases
ago they added editing of Design Bodies so that you can fillet edges, make
holes etc, and use a Design Body as a base that you can add or subtract
from. So you are kind of out of luck if you want adjustable parts. Solid
edge has surfacing tools now. However I find them incredibly crude compared
to Rhino's tools.
In Solid Edge every part is in a separate file. Solid edge relies heavily
on the Windows folder format for keeping track of everything. Every part is
ONLY linked into an assembly, unlike Rhino which actually loads a Block
definition. The good news is that the assembly files are very small, and
the likelihood of losing an entire model is very small. The bad news is
that every assembly references your library. In order to send an assembly
to a customer you must use Insight to package all the pieces. Then your
customer must either keep all the parts separate from his library, or put
the parts in the library and relink them.
I would like you to think long and hard about how you organize your parts
library. It seems obvious to have say all PVC elbows in the same folder.
However if you think about the workflow of designing piping you realize that
is a poor way to work. Better to organize them as: Plumbing\PVC\2\Fittings.
This way when you are piping 2“ PVC pipe you go in the library and instantly
have only PVC fittings, in size 2” and all kinds. You stay in that folder
until you are done 2“ and then move to another folder for the next material
or size. Our library is NOT organized this way and I have to constantly
move up and down through folders for every single part! You must
understand, one a part is named, and placed in a folder it can NEVER be
renamed or moved, or your assembly falls apart.
I have been using Solid Edge for about a year, and studying my ass off to
learn more. It has paid off in that I am now in charge of solid Edge
administration at our company, despite the fact that the original user has
been using it for 4 years. If I can help you get up to speed quickly please
don't hesitate to email me directly.
Gary H. Lucas