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Issue Date: August 2005

Solid Edge V16 in practice

1 August 2005

Solid Edge V16 was recently introduced at John Malan Design, an industrial design consultancy (product design consultancy), specialising in new product development, product upgrades and enhancements.
The consultancy offers a full solution from brainstorming and concept development through detailed design, 3D rapid prototyping in-house to production drawings. He specialises in technical products, but handles styling projects through to mechanical and packaging solutions. Projects can cover children's toys to aerospace, timber to titanium.
3D digital imaging covering technical illustrations, photo realistic product rendering and high-end digital photography for manuals and marketing purposes is also provided. Additionally, 3D ABS plastic models are also grown/printed as a bureau service.
Rendering - Virtual Studio+
Solid Edge V16 takes rendering to a new level with the introduction of Virtual Studio+, an add-on application for creating accurate, authentic looking images more quickly.
"I am impressed with Virtual Studio's ease and speed. For generating effective presentations quickly, this is now a big asset and is long overdue", says managing director John Malan. "You will notice that in the images of the tongs and bowls, I evaluated reflection, refraction, texture application and soft shadows. The results are very effective using the standard materials, environments and lighting out of the box".
2D model space - within drafting
With the ever-increasing complexity of product designs, many remaining 2D users are finding they can no longer do their job with 2D alone, but also recognise that 2D is a useful and efficient way to perform some aspects of the design process. At the same time, experienced 3D users are recognising the benefits of doing more upfront work, such as machine layout, in 2D, before committing to complete virtual mock-ups. As such, both groups seek a design system that incorporates both technologies effectively, allowing the use of the right tool for the job at hand while continuing to keep all geometry in synch.
Solid Edge provides a unique 2D/3D hybrid approach to design that provides the ability to create assembly layouts (as well as parts) using familiar 2D concepts, adding 3D as the design progresses, mixing and matching 2D and 3D representations of parts, and adding 3D detail when required. To further build on this approach, Solid Edge V16 has added new levels of flexibility for solving 3D problems using 2D geometry. Users can quickly position 3D components using 2D relationships, while any changes to the 3D part will drive changes in the 2D layout geometry.
According to Malan, "This is a much-wanted feature if you are a 2D thinker and designer. The ability to do quick 2D drafting in a traditional sense is going to be very welcome to many users".
In general
The rapid growth of Solid Edge is due in part to the attention that Solid Edge pays to detail of how their customers do their jobs. Designed 'by engineers for engineers', Solid Edge drives industry-oriented workflows and a user interface designed to make it easy for designers of complex equipment. The latest enhancements in V16 are clear examples of this dedication to customer satisfaction.
"Rip edges and convert to sheet metal are two of my favourite improvements in V16. This is a great time saver allowing me to conceptually block up a design with simple stand-in parts and then 'Rip' this into sheet metal components", states Malan. "Mirrored Assemblies is another very nice feature that immediately saved time and effort. Variable parts such as springs at various compressions states is also something that I am finding useful in assemblies".

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