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1305, 2019

Simcenter Amesim 2019.1: top 4 reasons to upgrade


We are proud to introduce Simcenter Amesim 2019.1


With this version, we accelerate the software delivery model to provide access to new enhancements every 6 months, while maintaining focus on the technical excellence.


The latest release helps you build digital twins faster and earlier in the design cycle by democratizing access to system simulation. By further extending Modelica® support and integration with other Simcenter solutions, version 2019.1 enables you to set up a unique toolchain throughout various development phases and teams.


Among many other enhancements, new capabilities in Simcenter Amesim 2019.1 focus on the 4 main areas:

  • vehicle electrification,
  • aircraft systems performance engineering,
  • controls engineering
  • system simulation efficiency and ease of use.

Find out top 10 functionalities in 3 minutes:



Let us walk you through the major new capabilities in these 4 areas.


 #1 Vehicle electrification


  • Simcenter Motorsolve model import
  • Simcenter Battery Design Studio import for equivalent circuit battery models
  • Ready-to-use air cooled battery pack demonstrators

Many industries, such as automotive, aerospace, off-highway and marine, are making the shift toward e-mobility. After introducing the capability to import from Simcenter SPEED in the previous release, the latest Simcenter Amesim version reinforces its integration with other Simcenter solutions that support electrification challenges.




Using the same app for linear and nonlinear variants, you can import permanent magnet synchronous motor (PMSM) parameters from Simcenter Motorsolve to test your machine in the vehicle context earlier in the design cycle. 


Find out more in this blog post.



Moreover, battery equivalent circuit models from Simcenter Battery Design Studio can be imported into Simcenter Amesim 2019.1 to obtain a shared battery model. You can visualize parameters of the imported model before using them in Simcenter Amesim. For more details, read this article


New demonstrators allow you to easily re-use the complete battery pack model based on geometry, identify critical temperatures for controls design, apply a documented methodology for model reduction as well as integrate the reduced battery model into your vehicle energy management analysis.



#2 Aircraft systems performance engineering 


  • Upgraded CAD import capabilities for fuel systems
  • Enhanced postprocessing apps and scaling tool for aircraft engine and gas turbine
  • New rotorcraft engine demonstrators with the recuperated cycle and series hybrid variant

To support the aerospace industry, the latest release of Simcenter Amesim comes with upgraded CAD import Simcenter-Amesim-2019.1-CAD-import.PNGcapabilities that enable users to easily create rib submodels and generate all the required tank and rib data files. Therefore, you can drastically reduce the time required for creating data files and organizing your output files. Moreover, the new rib submodel allows users to account for flowing areas, speeding up parameterization while improving accuracy.

By using the enhanced postprocessing apps and scaling tool when exploring new gas turbine configurations, users can easily derive scaled performance maps starting from reference maps and looking at the surge margin.


Users can benefit from two rotorcraft engine demonstrators that are derived from a validated engine model. The first derivative is a recuperated engine cycle and the second is a series hybrid variant assessed during an oil and gas mission.



#3 Controls engineering


  • Extracting a nested signal bus
  • New tool for proportional–integral–derivative (PID) controller calibration
  • New real-time components for thermal and valvetrain systems

With the industry shift towards connected, software-intensive, complex products, Simcenter Amesim 2019.1 offers a large set of new or enhanced capabilities for controls design and validation to enable you to simultaneously optimize the mechanics, electronics and software as an integrated system.


You can now use signal buses to manage data transfers between physical subsystems. This redesigned capability facilitates visualization of all data flowing through any given bus component and simplifies information propagation across nested buses.


In addition, the latest release comes with a new tool for PID controller calibration, which is associated with two demos for speed and position control. Hence, you can visualize closed-loop step response and check the robustness with stability margins. 

Whether you are a system designer who just wants to quickly make the PID controller work, or a control expert interested in stability margins, find out the step-by-step process in this article



Additionally, new real-time components of thermal and valvetrain systems will allow you to greatly reduce CPU time and run hardware-in-the-loop (HiL) simulations.


#4 System simulation efficiency and ease of use 


  • New Modelica compiler and full Modelica Standard Library (MSL) v3.2.2 support
  • Model conversion from hydraulic to thermal-hydraulic domain
  • Two-phase flow thermodynamic cycle analysis app 
  • Valve builder

To boost the efficiency of your system simulation activities, Simcenter Amesim now offers you full MSL 3.2.2 support and greater openness thanks to Modelon’s compiler, which is integrated into this Simcenter Amesim version. You can easily couple Modelica and native Simcenter Amesim library components: Using Modelica Editor enables you to automatically import Modelica models into Simcenter Amesim and get the best of both.



Moreover, existing hydraulic models can be converted into thermal-hydraulic models with one click while maintaining model structure and parameters. 

With a new app for two-phase flow thermodynamic cycle predesign, within just a few seconds you can assess steadystate cycle performance by adapting your design points from predefined cycles. Watch how this app works in the demo here. 

Finally, the latest improvements in valve builder functionality allow users to create pilot-operated directional valves and connect them to the hydraulic or pneumatic pilot stage, as well as integrate nonreturn valves into the design of your directional valve to avoid unnecessary volumes and dynamics.



Stay tuned


Those are only a few of the major capabilities introduced to Simcenter Amesim 2019.1. For instance, a large set of capabilities has been introduced for shipbuilding as well as for internal combustion engine vehicles helping automotive manufacturers to meet the RDE standard. 


Want to know more?

- Don't miss our blog posts and how-to articles

- Contact your local Siemens PLM office

- Upgrade your Simcenter Amesim license



1305, 2019

Turning up the heat: ensuring efficiency in high temperature processes

Humans have used fire for thousands of years. From cooking meat to make it easier to eat and digest, to firing pottery to make watertight containers, to managing grass or moorlands through controlled burning, fire has been a vital tool for many aspects of human existence. These days, combustion is used in many industrial processes. These may be less visible to the general public, but are essential to produce materials and products used by everyone on a daily basis. Coal burners, dryers and kilns, and steel furnaces are just some of the areas where high temperature processes and combustion are used.


GettyImages-178607562.jpgIndustrial gas furnaces are used in many chemical processes

Today, process engineers must ensure these high temperature processes are as efficient as possible: inefficient processes lead to costly and excessive energy consumption, with the potential of excess emissions and non-optimal product yields. The use of Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) to virtually investigate high temperature processes is now an established design tool in many industries, including the process industry, but are you using it to its full potential?


This on-demand webinar takes a look at recent advances in simulation capabilities in Simcenter STAR-CCM+, which make simulation and optimization of combustion processes even easier. Our technical experts will cover:

  • Recent advances in CAD maneuverability for geometry setup
  • Different reaction modeling approaches available in Simcenter STAR-CCM+
  • Combining CFD and design space optimization for intelligent geometry optimization

HighTempSim_1980x1080.jpgOptimize burner geometry via simulation

Successful use of simulation is enabling process engineers to reduce design costs and create innovative, efficient designs. Join us to learn more, and discover how CFD can help to optimize your high temperature processes.

1305, 2019

Simulation Automation



There’s no doubt about it: simulation is delivering value in product development.


Some are avoiding multiple rounds of prototypes. Some are reducing the cost of goods in products. Some are making designs both lighter and stronger simultaneously. Some are coming up with more innovative designs that work functionally. Overall, many companies are reaping the benefits of applying simulation early and throughout the design cycle. And if there are any issues with simulation, it’s that managers seem to want more.


So how can an engineering team get more productivity out of their analysis tools? One clear answer is automation. It removes repetitive tasks from users hands, allowing them to concentrate on the value-added aspect of simulation. It also promotes standard best practices across a company. Here are some capabilities that do just that.




One of the most simple, yet valuable, ways to automate a simulation process is to leverage macros.

The idea is straightforward. A user can record a sequence of user interface interactions, such as selecting menu options or entering values. This sequence of actions is then mapped to a trigger, often a specific combination of keyboard keys or mouse buttons. Then, whenever the users want to initiate that sequence of actions, they simply hit the trigger.


This approach provides the most value when applying repeated actions within the same model. It reduces repetitive work for the user. However, it also eliminates any potential human error likely to occur in a heavily repeated action. Furthermore, executing macros happens very quickly, far faster than the sequence of actions could be executed by hand. Lastly, macros are an opportunity to apply analysis standards across a company.


In all, macros allow users to avoid repetitive work, reduce human error, accelerate their simulation processes, and distribute analysis standards.




Where macros automate repetitive tasks within a simulation model, analysis templates automate entire sets of tasks by offering an accelerated starting point.


Analysis model templates include standards that should be included in all simulations of that type. For some cases, a template might include a parametric model of a pump that has already been meshed to the correct level of detail. For other cases, a template might include standard loading cases based on data collected from physical tests. For yet others, a template might encompass all of the standard materials and their properties that are officially approved by a company.


Templates, however, do not just apply to entire models. Loads and boundary conditions can be applied as templates. Solver selections, method selections, and their corresponding parameters might be included in a template.


The value in templates is also straightforward. Templates simply allow users to avoid creating everything from scratch. They start their process several steps farther than a clean sheet. But just as importantly, templates are another way to distribute best and standard practices within a company.


Simulation Workflows


A different kind of automation builds on top of templates. Simulation workflows apply the concept of workflows to simulation.


The idea here is that each analysis template requires several inputs to be run. Once those are provided, the simulation can be solved, producing a number of outputs. With simulation workflows, the outputs from one analysis is fed as inputs to another analysis. This chain of simulations can be used to connect disparate types of engineering physics that are interrelated. For example, a fluids dynamics analysis of a wing would yield loads that are then passed on to a structural analysis of the internal stringers. In another example, a complex combustion analysis of a turbine engine would pass temperature fields to a structural analysis of a turbine blade.


Such simulation workflows can be used to automate very complicated analyses, but they can also provide guidance to novice users as well. They simply ask for standard inputs and produce standard outputs that can be interpreted.

The value here is more advanced than in other cases. Expert users can automate an entire complex simulation process. Novice users get guidance on how to complete a range of analyses, ranging from the simplest to incredibly complex. Both use cases deliver value.


Application Extensions


The last, but not least important, means of automating simulation is through application extensions.

Here, a company will build out new functionality by coding software extensions to an analysis application. This is done using an Application Programming Interface (API) toolkit, which often is an externally available version of the code used to build the analysis application by the software provider.


This toolkit can be used to build brand new functionality on top of the solution. This functionality can dramatically automate simulation processes and procedures. It can add completely new interfaces such as dialog boxes and menus. It can tweak or modify how the application prepares models and passes them to solvers.


The toolkit can also be used to integrate with specialized homegrown simulation tools. Doing so allows data and other information to be passed back and forth between the applications. This is applicable when the company is dealing with custom calculations, ranging in complexity from programmed spreadsheets to their own internal software.


The value here is strong. Companies that seeking new ways to automate the simulation process has an opportunity to build it the way they want with the API. Companies with custom applications for specialize calculations can wrap their work into the simulation software.



  • Companies that are looking to get more value out of simulation can look to automation, which comes in a variety of flavors.
  • Macros allow users to record and then execute a sequence of actions through a trigger. This is of value to users repeatedly applying the same actions within an analysis model.
  • Templates allow users to accelerate their simulation process, applying and reusing prior analysis work.
  • Simulation workflows stitch the output of one analysis to the input of another, enabling the automation of several interconnected simulations.
  • Application extensions add new capabilities to existing tools by coding with the software’s API toolkit. This is an opportunity for automation or integration with a company’s custom analysis application.

Automation can provide a lot of additional value to companies already leveraging analysis. What has your experience been with simulation automation? Let me know your thoughts in the comments.


Siemens PLM provides a range of capabilities that directly address automation of modern simulation processes. For more details on how FEMAP addresses these needs, download our complimentary eBook.

1305, 2019

Electric vehicle NVH challenges: The mindset and tools you will need



The question of the day is – would you buy an electric vehicle (EV) today?

Maybe. Although, during the upcoming years, you are more likely to answer: “Yes!”. Let’s face it. Avere, the European association for electromobility, estimates that there are already 1 265 441 passenger electricity powered cars driving around the Europe, using 161 426 public charging points. And both numbers will increase in near future. Countries world-wide are introducing the mobility visions promoting and supporting electric cars (e.g. Electromobility in Germany: Vision 2020 and Beyond,etc.). According to Bloomberg New Energy Finance, 55% of all new car sales and 33% of the global fleet will be electric by 2040.


Electric car development hits bumps in the road

However, there are also some important bottlenecks that cause reluctance to switch to electric cars. One of the most important is the driving range of the electric vehicles. The EV development teams strive to reduce the vehicle weight to increase the driving range. But reducing weight of the vehicle chassis and body is not given! Finding the optimal balance between vehicle weight and performance attributes, such as durability, NVH, ride and handling, becomes more important than ever. Yes, you need to increase the driving range, but on the cost of reduced durability performance that could lead to earlier vehicle damage. Also, reducing vehicle weight can deteriorate handling performance. It means your vehicle may lose stability when performing certain driving maneuvers.

Here is another engineering dilemma - how do you balance the vehicle body stiffness while keeping up with the right NVH characteristics? At Siemens Simcenter, we recognize these challenges and we aim to provide our customers with solutions for different vehicle development teams to tackle all these problems and help to find optimal lightweight vehicle conditions without loss in performance.
What are the other electrical cars development shifts?


Simcenter Sound Camera for EV Development.jpg


Electric vehicle noise in the spotlight

The trend towards electrical vehicles poses both challenges as well as opportunities for car developers. The absence of the internal combustion engine (ICE) changes the signature of the interior cabin noise dramatically. The most obvious game changer is the fact, that the withdrawal of the traditional powertrain unveils the other noise contributors or make them more audible and prominent. In 2011, G. Goetchius (Leading the Charge – The Future of Electric Vehicle Noise Control, Sound & Vibration) estimated the noise contributors in ICE vehicles and predicted the noise morphology in the electrical ones. According this publication back then, in the traditional ICE vehicles, the biggest noise contributor is the powertrain followed by the road, wind and ancillary system noise. While in electrical vehicles, the road noise and wind are the most dominant noises. And what’s more, the new structure reveals noises that were originally masked by the combustion engine (such as ancillary system - whine gears, steering rack, air conditioning system, wipers, ABS module, pumps etc.).


EV vs ICE vehicles NVH challenges.jpgEV vs ICE vehicles NVH challenges


Without any surprises, the structural changes in electric vehicle noise will need new engineering approaches to optimize the NVH performance with appealing sound quality.
Here are three strategies you should focus on to make the ride in your electrical vehicle to sound as a symphony.


Act on the present noise source

Firstly, you may need to find the noise root cause and act on it. Depending of the origin of the noise source, different NVH analysis techniques are required. Reducing wind noise, for instance, happens most effectively in wind tunnels. These allow to effectively isolate the wind noise from other noise sources and find the most effective measures to reduce this annoying source. However, as these tests are extremely costly, it is crucial to test with extremely efficient measurement techniques. The use of industrialized testing processes based on large beamforming arrays that allow identification of the exterior noise sources, and use this data to decide what to test next, becomes more and more a reference.


Road noise needs to be handled with effective and reliable techniques, such as transfer path analysis (TPA). This technique allows to pinpoint the noise critical paths on the chassis and car body contributing to the interior noise. To be able to handle the complexity and closely spaces loads of suspension systems, more advanced techniques such as strain-based TPA becomes another necessary building block.

For other auxiliaries, the key information can be provided by wide toolset of NVH tests and analysis techniques. And again, for many of these subsystems the traditional transfer path analysis (TPA) can help to identify the component or structure causing the noise issue.
Acting on the noise source, however, does not always provide solutions early enough. In case it is not too late in the vehicle development cycle, the responsible team can proceed with component design adaptations and improvements. But in real life, there are situations, when design adaptations are impossible or cause conflict with other attributes (such as weight, durability, etc.). Or often, the results of the TPA leads to pragmatic and expensive additions of damping and trimming to the vehicle. The disadvantage is that damping material increases the vehicle weight - which will directly reduce the vehicle range, add extra cost and prolong the vehicle assembly. What’s more, this strategy is limited and doesn’t offer an optimal solution in all the cases.


Master the electric vehicle sound quality including active sounds

There is good news. The shifted noise structure of the electric vehicle brings an option to add new noises. This opens an opportunity to create new and pleasant driving experience for your customers. From this perspective, sound quality engineering is the key tool to develop high-performing sounds within the vehicle. This technology is currently gaining ground in the automotive industry.
It all starts with the acquisition of realistic sound data, including for instance binaural recording. Secondly, to be able to analyze the acquired sounds, you can proceed with audio replay, using different filtering and analysis through different sound quality metrics. And finally, you shall organize a Jury testing, which is based on subjective audio perception. Sound quality engineering combines objective analysis metrics with subjective analysis. This strategy will provide you with detailed insights to find answers to questions like – what do the customers like to hear? What sounds do they prefer in different corners of the world?


Simcenter Testlab Neo Jury testing.jpgSimcenter Testlab Jury testing for EV NVH development

Another application, where sound quality is currently gaining importance, is the exterior artificial sounds generated by the acoustic vehicle alerting system (AVAS). This system warns pedestrians of an approaching vehicle. Developing new exterior warning sounds is something of a novelty. Different countries around the globe currently impose new certification requirements for electrical cars. Car producers need to design and certify warning sounds that the electrical cars must exceed traveling at low speeds.  Anc at the same time, automotive OEMs are highly concerned about the perception of the new vehicle sounds. Designing new artificial sounds that reflect the brand DNA requires the right toolset for sound quality engineering.


Speed up vehicle development time by blending simulation and testing together

To keep up with the market, automotive OEMs need to react fast and develop advanced vehicle models rapidly. This creates the need to take control of the vehicle NVH performance as quickly as possible, earlier in the development cycle ever. This translates into the demand to be able to predict the component or subsystems behavior before integrating them into the vehicle. In practice, this also leads to introduction of new technology that merges the simulation and physical testing together throughout the vehicle development cycle. While in the past simulation and testing where two separate worlds, the future evolves more into hybrid approaches. This concept can drastically impact and improve the development time.
Component-based TPA is one example (here you can find a related white paper). The compelling combination of test and simulation enables the NVH engineers to predict the final vehicle NVH performance before assembling the first full prototype. In a nutshell, this technology enables you to predict a component or subsystems behavior prior to integration. Consequently, it enables the dream to create a virtual vehicle prototype by assembling different components (e.g. electrical engine, suspension system, body, etc.). Component-based TPA is very powerful concept not only because you may get an accurate prediction of the vehicle NVH behaviour in development stage, when implementing design improvements is still easier. But also, the component-based TPA enables you to work with a standardized platform to virtually assembly countless vehicle variations with much lower time investments.

Another example is the trend to combine 1D simulation and test in a more hybrid approach, so called Model-based system testing (MBST). With MBST technology, the use of physical component in combinations with 1D models becomes more and more the industry standard. 


Simcenter EV NVH testing.jpg


These are the key trends in NVH testing that will drive electrical vehicles development in near future. Besides, it is important to realize, that is not only the product changing. It is also the OEM’s frame-work that will change soon too. There will be new requirements and expectations that team members will have to fulfil and skills the engineers will need to learn.
Are you interested to understand the EV development trend in more detail? Check out this website to find more details.




Pss, one more tip. Subscribe for the automotive newsletter. In this way you will get the latest industry insights and you will never miss a free webinar invitation.


1305, 2019

E2M Technologies Reduces Lead Time Through Virtual Testing

One of my favorite games at the arcade growing up was a full motion boat racing simulator. Every time I took a seat in the game, I was fascinated by the motion it provided and wondered what it would be like to design that system. In today’s ever advancing world, complex motion simulators are used to assist with learning and perfecting many specialized tasks. These systems generally have long lead times, undergo many revisions and take quite some time to deliver the finished product.

Now there is a new company, E2M Technologies, that is changing the industry with their quick to market, customizable motion systems for simulators. From conceptual phase to feasible end product in a very short frame of time, their durable, smooth electronic actuation products are used in product testing, flight simulation, medical training and the entertainment industry to name a few.

The company utilizes a variety of Simcenter software to design, test and stay organized when creating new products for customers. Watch this video to see how E2M Technologies employs these Simcenter products to ensure that they are developing and manufacturing top quality mechatronics products:

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1105, 2019

99 Uses of the Control and Shift Keys in Solid Edge – Part 2


...from Part 1


Using the Shift and Control keys with the Steering Wheel


If there is one feature in Solid Edge that has harnessed the power of the Shift and Control keys to the fullest, it is undoubtedly the Steering Wheel.


The following video demonstrates the basic usage of the Steering Wheel in conjunction with the Shift and Control keys:



The video below shows all combinations of the Steering Wheel with the Shift and Control keys:



The video below illustrates an advanced Steering Wheel technique where using the Shift key is indispensable:




Dimension Edit Behavior using the Control Key


When you click a dimension on a synchronous model, the dimension value appears in a popup text box right at the cursor so you can continue turning the scroll wheel on the mouse to change the selected dimension which in turn updates the model in real time.


Outside the dimension text box, scrolling zooms in/out the on the model. You can override this behavior with the control key pressed when scrolling.


This setting can, however, be changed from the Solid Edge Options dialog and the video below illustrates both the modes. So pay careful attention as you may have to watch the video several times to fully understand the behavior.




Using the Shift Key in the Chamfer Dimension


When there are grooves or slots on a chamfered face, using the Chamfer Dimension command for the full slant edge can be tricky. Watch this video that shows how the Shift key comes to rescue.




Sounds... Camera Rolling...  and... Action!


TipIcon.png Did you know Shift + F9 starts video recording of the Solid Edge screen and Shift + F10 stops recording so you don't get the record dialog itself in your videos:




The best way is to first start the video recorder by clicking the red dot in the bottom right corner of the Solid Edge window and setting the options like the area to record, audio, codec, etc. then using the Shift keyboard shortcuts to actually record the video.





TipIcon.pngCool Tip: If pressing F1 in every other software brings up the help, then try Shift + F1 in Solid Edge. This attaches a question mark to the cursor CSSE01.png after which click on any button on the ribbon, or Quick Access Toolbar or the View commands in the bottom-right corner.


This opens the help topic for the clicked command and is called Context Sensitive help.


Everyone loves Ctrl+C and Ctrl+V


This is perhaps the most popular key combos for any Solid Edge user.


You can Cut-Copy-Paste literally every visible object in Solid Edge from sketches and drawing views to features and assembly components, for example.


  • Copy-Paste features in synchronous mode.
  • Copy-Paste 2D objects in a drawing sheet.
  • Control + drag 2D objects in Draft.


  • Copy-Paste from and to the Library Pane in Draft.
  • Copy-Paste from and to the Library Pane in Ordered mode.


  • Copy-Paste from MS Word to Solid Edge.
  • Copy-Paste from Solid Edge to MS Word - Vector Vs. Raster.
  • Copy-Paste from Excel to Solid Edge - OLE Table Vs. Solid Edge Table.


All these techniques are illustrated in this 3-minute video:





Copy-Paste Components in the Assembly


In the assembly environment, when the Shift and Control keys are used while dragging components from the Pathfinder or the Parts library they get inserted in various orientations and places. The following video shows all available features:




Callout Re-attachment Behavior Using the Control Key


When a callout is attached to an edge or a face in the Draft environment, then the Control key plays an important role in the callout behavior. Learn how to set this in the video below:





Using the Control key in Docking Stickers


The Control key is useful when customizing the Solid Edge UI. The following video shows how to disable docking stickers when dragging and dropping panels around in the UI:




Advanced Design Intent Panel


Besides, there are several Control keyboard accelerators in the advanced design intent panel if you ever delve down so deep.






Solid Edge Annotation Alignment Shapes


This video shows how to add Annotation Alignment Shapes during Parts Lists placement and how the Shift key can be used to alter its edit behavior.




Solid Edge Dynamic Preview Feature Creation


A quick tip on using the Control and Shift keys for toggling the dynamic preview of feature creation. This can come especially handy when you have no or a low-end graphics card which creates a display lag when copying complex features in the synchronous environment.




Add Files and Macros to the Quick Access Toolbar


This video shows how to use the Control key when adding macros or data files to the Quick Access Toolbar or the QAT to reveal a hidden set of icons and also use custom bitmaps to ribbon buttons.




Don't forget to read another article on using the Mouse Scroll wheel in conjunction with the Control and Shift key.

Also, the uses of the Alt Key in Solid Edge are listed in this article



Do you have a tip to share that makes use of the Control and Shift keys? Share them in the comments below...


Tushar Suradkar




Solid Edge User Group on FaceBook:



1105, 2019

99 Uses of the Control and Shift Keys in Solid Edge – Part 1



When using the Shift and Control keys we tend to be creatures of habit. Often, there are a bunch of objects to be selected and we unknowingly press one of these keys. It could be files and folders in Windows Explorer or simply multiple items in a list box.


Solid Edge takes this to the next level where the Shift and Control keys when used individually and in combination with the mouse bring a large number of powerful features to your fingertips.


Selection in the Pathfinder


The foremost is the Pathfinder where the Shift key can be used to pick contiguous features. Click the first part in the list, then hold down the Shift key and select the last part in the list. The Ctrl key can be used similarly for non-sequential multiple features.


A potential use for this could be the Assembly PathFinder where you can use the Ctrl key to pick just a few components and start the Assembly Relationship Manager or A.R.M. which then shows the relationships for just the selected components instead of the entire assembly.


This is no doubt some smart behavior on part of the A.R.M. but using the Shift or Ctrl keys is the key here. No pun intended! The following video demonstrates the process.


It goes without saying, this technique can be used in the Part or Sheetmetal PathFinders as well.



Edge and Face Selection


When selecting edges or faces in a Solid Edge command, you can press the Shift or Ctrl keys to add to or remove from an existing selection, besides changing and restoring views, toggling the modeling mode, selecting multiple regions in synchronous all of which are demonstrated in this video:



TipIcon.png The above video shows that in the synchronous mode, Shift needs to be pressed only once to add the first object after which the add remove mode is ON and more edges/faces can be added to or removed from the current selection without keeping the Shift key pressed.


View Manipulation


Scroll wheel press-and-drag rotates the view SSE17.png


Keep the Shift key pressed and press-and-drag the wheel to Pan SSE18.png


Keep the Control key pressed and press-and-drag the wheel to zoom SSE16.png in a much smoother way as opposed to the jerky or incremental zoom with each tick of the scroll wheel.


Keep the Alt key pressed and press-and-drag the wheel to start the Zoom Area SSE19.png command.


Additionally keeping the Control key pressed allows zooming in an area centered around the drag start point.


The differences are illustrated below:



Did you know that in Solid Edge you can manipulate views i.e. pan, zoom and rotate all using just the keyboard?

A combination of the arrows keys, the Shift and Control keys makes this possible.


Arrow Keys = View Rotate

Shift + Arrow Keys = View Rotate about another axis

Ctrl + Arrow Keys = Zoom

Ctrl + Shift + Arrow Keys = Pan


The Zoom Fit command behaves differently when used in combination with the Shift and Control Keys.


Fit = Both Background Sheet and Drawing Objects

Shift + Fit = Only Drawing Objects and no concern for the Background Sheet

Ctrl + Fit = Only the Background Sheet


All the above techniques are illustrated in this video:



Perspective in a Jiffy


The View Overrides dialog on the View tab of the ribbon allows for a perspective view of the model with only 3 fixed settings, keeping the Ctrl + Shift pressed and scroll the wheel on the mouse to change the perspective of the model allows 12 values. 





Hip-Tip: Drawing View Power Update


TipIcon.png  If you hold Ctrl+Shift when you click Update Views CSSE10.png Solid Edge performs a full update, just as it would on initial view creation.  That is, it re-reads all of the model data to regenerate the view, rather than only the model data thought to have changed.


Universal Commands


Solid Edge supports all standard keyboard accelerators that use the Control key like:


Ctrl + N for New

Ctrl + O for Open

Ctrl + S for Save

Ctrl + P for Print

Ctrl + Z for Undo

Ctrl + Y for Redo

Ctrl + A for Select All, in Draft and Sketcher


Create New Keyboard Shortcuts


Any keyboard shortcut which is standard in your other favorite program, for example, Ctrl + W for closing a file, and is not supported by Solid Edge can be easily added using the Customize dialog as shown in the video below. The video begins with a handy shortcut Ctrl + Tab to cycle through all open docs and Ctrl + Shift + Tab to reverse the direction:




Standard Views


Sold Edge's Control+First Letter system is perhaps the simple and the most elegant of all CAD programs for switching to standard views and are listed below:


Ctrl + I for Isometric


Ctrl + T for Top

Ctrl + B for Bottom


Ctrl + R for Right

Ctrl + L for Left


Ctrl + F for Front

Ctrl + K for Back


Ctrl + J for Dimetric

Ctrl + M for Trimetric






More Tip and Tricks


Some miscellaneous uses of the Control and shift keys in lesser used commands are:

  1. Keeping the Shift key pressed when drawing a rectangle turns it into a square.
  2. Same with box command, but this does not apply when specifying the height.
  3. When drawing a line, keeping the shift key pressed, increments the angle in steps of 15°
  4. When inspecting the area of closed regions, keeping the Shift key pressed additionally displays the total area.
  5. When applying a Smart Dimension to an inclined line, the Shift key allows toggling between horizontal, vertical and aligned dimensions.


All these techniques can be seen in action in the following video:




Selection Manager


Pressing Shift + Spacebar starts the Selection Manager mode in the synchronous environment. This reveals a menu with over a dozen methods to intelligently select faces and features in imported models.




The video below illustrates several methods from the menu above.


LoudSpeaker.png Note: This video has a voice-over.



More tips...

More tricks...

More videos...


For more videos tip about the Shift and Control keys in Solid Edge, go to part 2 of this article...



Tushar Suradkar




Solid Edge User Group on FaceBook:


905, 2019

Startup Spotlight: 2Pi Design


Solid Edge helps many people and companies design and build amazing things. But some of the most interesting, innovative stuff comes from our community of startup users.


Today, I want to highlight one of our rockstar startup users, 2Pi Design.


2Pi Banner.jpg


Meet Dave Gaffney: The Brains Behind 2Pi Design


Dave has always wanted to create products. From a portable wheelchair elevator to a new variant of a mountain bike chainring, his ideas are innovative and varied. As Dave puts it, he was “one of these kids that just, if it was broke, I’d would take it apart and try and fix it. And if it wasn't broke, I’d probably take it apart and break it. I was just really curious and interested in how stuff works.”



Dave Gaffney, the founder of 2Pi Design, works as a freelance mechanical design engineer. Recently, 2Pi Design worked on a drinking water treatment plant project. The plant was being installed in Scotland, and 2Pi Design served as the middleman between a sheet metal fabrication company in southwest Ireland charged with building some of the equipment for the plant, and, on the other hand, a company that actually specializes in installing water treatment plants (this company actually design and build equipment too, they just needed extra capacity) that would actually complete the plant installation.

What was missing, you might ask? Design. That’s where Dave and 2Pi Design filled in the gap.

Both companies involved on the project needed extra design capacity for the project, so 2Pi Design was able to provide the kind of design for manufacturing and assembly they needed. 2Pi Design was in between trying to make it work — a style of working “very different,” Dave told us, “compared to past projects.” But that’s the business of freelancing and working in a startup setting. You have to be able to adapt and innovate quickly to delivery what your customers demand from project to project.


Why Solid Edge?


2Pi Design got started with the Solid Edge for Startups program after having worked with SolidWorks previously. At the outset, Dave was looking for learning resources to get started up with Solid Edge. According to Dave, “Others simply don’t provide that level of support. To be honest, when I was using other software, the vibe I had was excellent - there were great resources, but the service provided is not much at all, you know?

Dave told us he began using the Solid Edge Forum after we met up to interview him, and he found it to be an excellent resource, where users of all levels were more than willing to help, and that “it was also a surprisingly fast way to find solutions to problems.”

Solid Edge users like Dave, who operate in a dynamic startup environment, depend on our free resources to hit the ground running. That’s why we work extremely hard to make sure there are ample resources and support mechanisms available to our users from the start.

When asked how he found out about the Solid Edge for Startups program in the first place, here’s what Dave had to say:

“I was searching high and dry, and heard that Solid Edge is actually better than other software that’s out there, but I hadn't looked into it. There’s this old, unspoken rule that you have to use the same system your employer does. You usually don't have a whole lot of say in it. So, when I was spending my own money, I thought long and hard about which software to pick, but realized I couldn't evaluate all the different pros and cons of various packages even if tried. I could spend three or four months evaluating just one package. So, I read through web forums and it was very hard to find anything negative about Solid Edge, even from Solid Edge users. It just seemed really good… if there are an awful lot of happy customers, that’s good enough for me. I rely on word of mouth more than actually comparing.”

Unlike other software that has great marketing to lure users in, only to provide a low-performing product, Solid Edge really delivers on the promises. We pride ourselves on that level of quality.

I’ve learned to my own delight that Dave is a pretty funny guy. Here’s what he had to say about useability of Solid Edge for a synchronous design edit at assembly level:

“It took me a while to get it the first time, but to do it again then was literally seconds, and the edit would have taken days in other programs. I was absolutely blown away. It was so powerful. So, yeah, mind blowing. It really is. And then you kind of wonder… people should be shouting about it from the rooftops because it’s so impressive.”


Looking Ahead: What’s Next for 2Pi Design?


We asked Dave about his goals for the company in terms of growth, products, and generally what he’s like to accomplish the next few years. Here’s what he shared with us:

“With the freelance business, the aim is to finance product development. So, what I am excited for is to do some products. Long term, I'm hoping in the future the wheelchair elevator product would be something that could serve a need for people. That’s the kind of business I’d like to work for - one where you're making a difference and improving people's lives.”

When asked if there’s anything else the Solid Edge team could do to support 2Pi, here’s all Dave had to say (this really made me very proud):

“Wow. Honestly, I can't believe what I'm getting already, to be honest with you. I do hope that I can make this business work and that I can become a long term Solid Edge customer. And I can't actually think of anything. Honestly, I'm very happy with what I've already gotten.”

Like so many Solid Edge users in the startup space, 2Pi Design is a work in progress. But we know the company is in great hands with Dave at the helm. We’re excited to see what’s next from Dave and wish him nothing but the best on the journey that lies ahead.

If you haven’t already, check out our Solid Edge for Startups program today!

205, 2019

Blurring the lines between electrical and mechanical design


In modern products, electrical systems design is an absolutely critical part of product development. That means more traditional mechanical components and smart, innovative electrical components have to all work together as a unified whole in order to deliver a quality end product.


But how can you ensure that your systems work together well if your design teams are not connected? When issues are identified, how can teams work collaboratively to fix them?


Chad Jackson from Lifecycle Analytics has answers to some of these questions:



If you find this topic interesting, and want to learn more about the blurring lines between mechanical and electrical engineering, go ahead and register for our upcoming live webinar with Chad to dive deeper.


Electrical systems design at the forefront of product development


It's no secret that electronics allow modern products to do amazing things, such as perceive their physical environment and operation; to react intelligently with circuit boards, processors, and embedded software; to affect the physical world with motors and actuated components; to communicate with the Internet of Things (IoT), and so much more. All of these electronics are connected by complex electrical systems, which make up the product's nervous system.


Supply too little power, and your most complex electronics won’t run properly. Supply too much and a fuse will be blown, or electronics will be damaged. Too little network bandwidth and data packets will be dropped, undermining control systems or efforts to leverage IoT analytics.


Modern products simply don’t work without good electrical systems.


Latest Siemens eBook: Resolving Electrical System Changes


Our latest eBook on resolving electrical system changes sheds light on this complicated area of modern product development. We aim to provide you with a better understanding of what's required to stay competitive in an era during which product development is rapidly evolving.





In the eBook, you’ll learn...


  • Why electrical systems are critical in modern products
  • Collaborative and iterative electrical design processes
  • Common approaches to electro-mechanical design, and their challenges
  • Better ways to support collaborative product development


Download the eBook for free today.

105, 2019

Manage Annotations Using Alignment Shape

Solid Edge provides many tools to help users with 2d drafting. In this post, I’ll share information about one such tool available in Solid Edge that helps you align and manage annotations in 2D drafting.


Drafting plays an important role in conventional manufacturing. Drawing views, part list tables, dimensions, and annotations are crucial features of 2D drafting. Parts in drawing views are marked by a balloon annotation which helps to identify the part in the assembly. The balloon annotation contains information about item number, quantity, etc.


In cases where the assembly has too many parts, the number of balloon annotations required to denote all parts are also too many. Solid Edge offers a great tool called Alignment Shape to manage these balloons. To illustrate the use of Alignment Shape, I have created a drawing view of an assembly having 74 parts.


The dotted line which passes through all balloon annotations is the alignment shape. The alignment shape is tightly associated with the drawing view. When the drawing view is moved, the alignment shape moves as well. When the drawing view is scaled, the alignment shape scales. Alignment shape keeps the balloons at the same relative positions with respect to drawing view.


The alignment shape is nothing but a series of lines to which balloons and other annotations can be attached. The below example shows how alignment shape can help you manage part list balloons.


I created four alignment shapes in this case and hid the display of alignment shapes. This makes the balloons look neatly aligned.


Alignment shape can also be used for other annotation types. You can decide the minimum spacing between annotations, or set the annotations at a uniform distance considering the entire length of the alignment shape.


Alignment shape can be modified using handle drag, as shown below.


Square handle drag moves all the lines away or near to from the center of the alignment shape.


Round handle drag modifies the individual point.


Shift + Square handle drag changes the position of the current line.


Having capabilities like these is what makes Solid Edge a powerful tool to manage and align annotations, and provides the support required for the detailing of sheets.


Whether you need to use 2D CAD software across your company or for a specific 2D design process, Solid Edge provides production-proven software - for free.

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