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Solid Edge fundamentals Volume 1

Publication Number
mt01413-s-1000
Proprietary and restricted rights notice

This software and related documentation are proprietary to Siemens Product


Lifecycle Management Software Inc.
© 2008 Siemens Product Lifecycle Management Software Inc. All Rights Reserved.
All trademarks belong to their respective holders.

2 Solid Edge fundamentals Student Guide Volume 1 mt01413-s-1000


Contents

Getting started in Solid Edge . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1-1


Objectives . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1-1
Solid Edge Overview . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1-1
Interface basics . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1-5
Basic file operations . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1-22
Material Table . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1-29
Managing Data in Solid Edge . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1-30
Basic viewing operations . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1-31
Basic Window Operations . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1-32
Making the Most of the Solid Edge Help System . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1-33
Solid Edge Technical Support . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1-35
Lesson review . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1-37
Instructor demo — Creating, saving, and closing a file . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1-39
Instructor demo – Opening and searching for files . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1-51
Lesson summary . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1-55

Feature modeling overview . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2-1


Objectives . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2-1
Getting started with part modeling . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2-1
Lesson review . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2-6
Activity – Creating a simple solid model . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2-7
Lesson summary . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2-16

Reference planes . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3-1


Objectives . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3-1
Reference planes . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3-1
Lesson review . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3-22
Instructor demo – Reference plane creation . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3-23
Activity – Defining reference plane orientation . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3-37
Lesson summary . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3-43

Profiles and sketches . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4-1


Objectives . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4-1
Drawing 2D elements . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4-1
Lesson review . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4-95
Activity – Using IntelliSketch . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4-97
Activity – Applying sketch relationships . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4-111
Instructor demo – Profile/sketch tools (relationship assistant) . . . . . . . . . . . . 4-129
Activity – Using construction elements in profiles . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4-137
Lesson summary . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4-143

Base features . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5-1


Profile-based features . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5-1

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Contents

Lesson review . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5-31


Activity – Creating a revolved protrusion . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5-33
Activity – Constructing a model from sketches . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5-37
Activity – Creating a loft and swept protrusion . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5-45
Lesson summary . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5-55

Profile-based features . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6-1


Drawing profiles . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6-1
Cut Command . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6-4
Hole command . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6-4
Lip command . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6-9
Mounting Boss command . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6-11
Mounting Boss Location command . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6-12
Rib command . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6-14
Vent command . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6-15
Web Network command . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6-17
Activity – Creating profile-based features . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6-19
Activity – Vent, web network and lip features . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6-39

Treatment features . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7-1


Treatment features . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7-1
Round command . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7-2
Add Draft command . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7-2
Chamfer Command (Feature) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7-3
Thin Wall command . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7-6
Thicken command . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7-6
Thin Region command . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7-7
Threaded Features . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7-10
Embossed Text Features . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7-15
Constructing normal features . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7-17
Boolean Operations . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7-18
Lesson review . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7-19
Activity – Constructing a mouse base . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7-21
Instructor demo – Embossing text . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7-39
Activity – Modeling a machined part . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7-43
Lesson summary . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7-77

Reusing features . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8-1


Using PathFinder in a Part model . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8-1
Reusing Features . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8-11
Inserting part copies . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8-49
Activity – Constructing a bracket . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8-59

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Lesson

1 Getting started in Solid Edge

Objectives
After completing this lesson, you will be able to:
• Use the Solid Edge interface.

• Find and open Solid Edge documents.

• Create and save Solid Edge documents.

• Access and use Solid Edge Help.

• Use Solid Edge learning tools.

Solid Edge Overview


Solid Edge is a computer-aided design (CAD) system for mechanical assembly, part
modeling, and drawing production. Developed with STREAM technology, Solid
Edge is designed to increase software performance with an interface that ensures
maximized user productivity and return on investment.
Solid Edge STREAM technology boosts essential CAD user productivity by
capturing engineers’ solid modeling design intentions through inference logic and
decision-management concepts. STREAM technology makes Solid Edge easy to
learn, easy to use, and more productive than any other mid-range CAD system
on the market.

Solid Edge Environments


To make the commands you need more accessible, Solid Edge has separate
environments for creating parts, constructing assemblies, and producing drawings.
Each environment is self-contained. For example, all the commands you need
to create a drawing are in the Draft environment. The environments are tightly
integrated, making it easy to move among them to complete your designs.

Insight Connect
Insight Connect brings together Solid Edge Revision Manager, Solid Edge View and
Markup, and built-in document management functionality that allows you to easily
manage your documents. Insight Connect works in conjunction with Microsoft
SharePoint Server software, but adds the capability to manage the document links
that are common between Solid Edge documents.

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Lesson 1 Getting started in Solid Edge

The Part environment


The Solid Edge part modeling environment allows you to construct 3D solid models
with true features.
The Solid Edge part modeling environment allows you to construct 3D solid models.
The part modeling process starts with a base feature, such as a block or cylinder,
which you build upon with part features to create a part model. Part features include
protrusions and cutouts (extruded, revolved, swept, and lofted), holes, thin-walled
solids, rounds, chamfers, draft angles, and so forth.
When you design parts in Solid Edge, all geometry is created in the context of
constructing features. The software keeps track of construction elements for you,
making them available when you edit the feature but hiding them from view while
you work on other parts of the design.
You can also add your own construction geometry, such as extruded, lofted, and
swept surfaces, intersection curves, projected curves, and intersection points.

PathFinder And Feature Playback


The PathFinder tab displays the make-up of a solid part in an outline format. You
can use the PathFinder tab to select part features for editing and to re-order part
features. You can use Feature Playback to run an animated playback of feature
construction. PathFinder and Feature Playback are especially helpful when you are
working with parts constructed by other designers.

PathFinder
The PathFinder tab displays the make-up of a solid part in an outline format. You
can use PathFinder to select part geometry for editing, to hide or display geometry,
and so forth.

Command bar
The flow of each feature command is controlled by the command bar—a user
interface element that guides you through each step of creating a feature. Command
bar also allows you to return to a step you have already taken. For example, after
creating a rib, you can quickly modify its profile or change its thickness.

Intelligent Sketching
IntelliSketch helps you draw precision 2D sketches for use in feature construction.
As you draw, IntelliSketch gives you instant feedback about relationships between
the elements you are drawing and other sketch elements or part edges. You can use
IntelliSketch to make elements horizontal or vertical, to make an element parallel or
perpendicular to another element, or to connect a profile element to a part edge.

QuickPick
If you have used a CAD system in the past, then you are probably familiar with the
tedious process of trying to locate a particular element among a crowd of others—you
usually have to reject many choices as the software tries to find the element you
want. QuickPick puts you in control and lets you pick the element you want.

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The Sheet Metal environment


Solid Edge has a separate sheet metal part modeling environment to better
accommodate the unique requirements of sheet metal parts.
As in the Part environment, the sheet metal modeling process starts with a base
feature which you build upon with additional features. The base feature can be a
flat section or include one or more bends. The added features can be flat sections,
simple or complex flanges, and edge breaks such as chamfers and rounds. Feature
commands available in the Part environment are also included, such as holes,
cutouts, and feature patterning and mirroring commands.
When completed, the sheet metal part can be quickly flattened, using industry
standard formulas or custom programs you define.

Consistent User Interface


If you are already familiar with the Part environment, you will find the same
industry-leading user interface tools in the Sheet Metal environment, such as
PathFinder, command bar, IntelliSketch, and QuickPick. Specialized commands that
automatically manage sheet metal-specific properties such as material thickness,
bend radius, and bend relief make the Sheet Metal environment instantly familiar to
designers of sheet metal parts.

The Assembly environment


Solid Edge can manage large, complex assemblies containing many parts and
subassemblies. The Assembly environment contains commands for fitting parts
together with natural assembly techniques such as mate and align. Solid Edge
accommodates the fact that most parts are designed in the context of an assembly. To
support this workflow, Solid Edge provides tight integration with the part modeling
environments , visualization tools, data management tools, and part-to-part
relationship management tools. Solid Edge makes it easy to manage assembly data
from the earliest phases of project planning, through revision cycles, manufacturing,
project maintenance, and archival.

2D assembly layouts
The 2D assembly sketching capability in the Solid Edge Assembly environment
supports assembly-focused design. This capability allows you to sketch 2D elements
in the assembly document. You can include assembly sketch geometry to construct
or edit 3D parts.

Assembly relationships
The Assembly environment allows you to create assembly relationships between
parts. These relationships are automatically maintained throughout the
development of the design to preserve your design intent. For example, when you
mate two part faces, they remain mated when either part is modified. Solid Edge
automatically maintains these relationships throughout the development of the
design.

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Lesson 1 Getting started in Solid Edge

PathFinder
The Pathfinder tab makes working in an assembly view easy. PathFinder is a tool
that helps you navigate assembly models. PathFinder contains text and symbolic
representations of the components of an assembly, and the relationships between
components, in an outline format. You can use PathFinder to find and activate the
parts and relationships that make up the assembly, and to control their display.
PathFinder gives designers and engineers an uncluttered view of assemblies and
provides tools for working with assemblies more efficiently. It is also useful for
project managers whose primary involvement with assemblies is administrative.

QuickPick
QuickPick is a unique selection tool that makes it easy to locate parts and
subassemblies within complex assemblies. When you move the cursor over an area
dense with parts, the cursor displays a prompt (A) to let you know that QuickPick is
available.

By clicking the mouse button indicated on the QuickPick prompt, you can display a
dynamic list with an entry for each part in the vicinity of the cursor. Passing the
cursor over the entries highlights each related part—even parts that are not visible
in the view. Clicking an entry selects the related part.

Interference analysis
Solid Edge provides interference analysis to verify whether space is occupied by more
than one solid. If interference is detected, you can use one of several methods to
analyze the results, such as creating an ASCII report file, displaying the interfering
volumes, and highlighting parts that interfere with each other.

Document management
Solid Edge offers a robust set of functions for managing documents throughout a
project life cycle. Document properties provide for easy tracking and maintenance.
You can save documents in alternate formats and import documents from other

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Getting started in Solid Edge

systems. You can easily create parts lists, exploded bills of materials, and other
types of reports. Document routing and status settings allow for revision control
throughout the review and approval cycle.

Exploded views
Solid Edge enables you to create exploded views while maintaining your assembly
structure and part-to-part relationships. You can have the system automatically
explode an assembly in a defined direction and then manually move and position
parts as needed.

The Draft environment


Solid Edge provides a separate drafting environment for producing engineering
drawings directly from 3D part or assembly models. Solid Edge drawings are
associated with the 3D model, so that the drawing reflects changes in the model as
the design progresses.
These model-to-drawing links minimize drawing maintenance in response to
engineering changes, so that you can easily keep drawings up-to-date with the part
or assembly model. Hidden line representations are properties of the drawing view,
they do not affect your view of the solid model in the Part, Sheet Metal, or Assembly
environments.
You can create drawings that display various views, sections, details, dimensions,
notes, and annotations. You can also add feature control frames, datum frames, weld
symbols, and surface texture symbols to your drawings.
Ensuring that the dimensions and annotations on your drawings conform to your
company’s standards or international standards is easy as in Microsoft Office
products, you can capture these settings in styles and templates.

Interface basics

The Solid Edge program icon


To start Solid Edge, look for this program icon on your desktop and double-click it.
The version number changes with each release.

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Lesson 1 Getting started in Solid Edge

The start-up screen


The Solid Edge start-up screen provides user assistance, such as tutorials and Tip of
the Day. It also provides access to basic operations, such as creating and opening
files.

The Solid Edge start-up screen includes a link to Solid Edge support. You can click
Add or Remove Links to edit the Links list.

The Solid Edge application window


Many elements of the Solid Edge user interface work just like those in Microsoft
Office 2007.
• Each environment contains contextual commands, tools, and utilities designed to
simplify the workflow in that environment.

• The command ribbon gives you quick access to commands.

• Many commands launch command-specific options that are displayed on the


vertical command bar.

• The Solid Edge Application menu contains commands for opening, saving,
printing, and managing documents.

To learn where the user interface elements are located and what they are used for,
see Tour the Solid Edge user interface.

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Solid Edge tips


The Solid Edge command tips provide contextual assistance in text boxes as you
work with Solid Edge. You can enable them on the Helpers tab of the Options dialog
box. On the Helpers tab of the Options dialog box, select the Show Command Tips
check box.

To learn more about command tips, Command Finder, and other user assistance,
see these Help topics:
• Finding commands in Solid Edge

• User assistance

Touring the Solid Edge ST user interface


The Solid Edge application window consists of the following areas.

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Lesson 1 Getting started in Solid Edge

A: Application button
Displays the Application menu, which provides access to all document level
functions, such as creating, opening, saving, and managing documents.
B: Quick Access toolbar
Displays frequently used commands. Use the Customize Quick Access Toolbar
arrow at right to display additional resources:

• Add or remove standard document-level commands.

• Fully customize the Quick Access toolbar using the Customize dialog box.

• Control the placement of the command ribbon.

C, D: ribbon with commands grouped on tabs


The ribbon is the area that contains all application commands. The commands
are organized into functional groups on tabs. Some tabs are available only in
certain contexts.

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Some command buttons contain split buttons, corner buttons, check boxes, and
other controls that display submenus and palettes.
E: command bar
A docking window that displays command options and data entry fields for the
Select Tool or any command in progress.
F: docking window with tab sets
This docking window contains tab sets that group functionality according to the
type of document you are working in. It also lists the contents of the active
document, sorts them by name or type, and controls their visibility.
Example
• In a part document, the default docking window displayed here is
PathFinder, and its tab sets include the Feature Library, Layers,
and Sensors. The contents of a part document may include sketches,
reference planes, PMI, features, and user-defined face sets.

• In a draft document, the default docking window displayed here is the


Library, and its tab sets include Layers, Groups, Queries, and the
Library. The contents of a draft document may include blocks, layer
names, and drawing view names.

G: graphics window
Displays the graphics associated with the 3D model document or a 2D drawing.
H: PromptBar
A scroll-able, movable docking window that displays prompts and messages
related to a command that you have selected.
I: status bar
Displays messages related to the application itself.
Provides fast access to view-control commands—zoom, fit, pan, rotate, view
styles, and saved views.
Houses Command Finder, a valuable tool you can use to locate a command in
the user interface.

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Lesson 1 Getting started in Solid Edge

Arranging your work space


You can arrange the Solid Edge work space in several ways:
• Move windows around on the screen. Dockable windows include command bar,
PathFinder, and PromptBar.

• Adjust text size and text display area for prompts displayed in PromptBar.

• Display, hide, or customize commands and keyboard shortcuts using the


Customize Quick Access Toolbar menu. You also can minimize the size of the
command ribbon.
The Quick Access toolbar is located at top-left of the application window.

• Set viewing options for the active window using the Options dialog box.

Quick Access toolbar


The Quick Access toolbar at top-left of the application window enables you to specify
which commands you want to make available with a single click.
There are several ways to add commands to the Quick Access toolbar:
• Right-click a command icon on the ribbon. Use this method when you want to
add a single command to the Quick Access toolbar.

• Right-click a command group on the ribbon. Use this method when you want to
add all the commands in the group to the Quick Access toolbar.

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• Use the Customize dialog box. Use this method when you want to add multiple
commands, reorder command, or when you also want to add or change a
keyboard shortcut for a command.

Use the Customize Quick Access Toolbar arrow to display additional resources for
customizing the user interface.

• Add or remove standard document-level commands.

• Move the Quick Access toolbar above or below the ribbon.

• Minimize the command ribbon.

Note
The changes you make are set per environment, so you can use different
settings in different environments. This also means that when you change
documents between Draft and Part, for example, you need to customize your
settings in both places to keep the same options available.

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Lesson 1 Getting started in Solid Edge

Using the command bar


The command bar is a docking window that contains a context-sensitive set of
command options. You can use the command options to direct how a command is
applied.
The command bar title bar displays the name of the command in progress, and each
command option is labeled for easy identification. If you position the cursor over an
option, an enhanced tooltip describes how the option is used.
For commands that contain a variety of options, the options are grouped by category.
Each group is separated from the others by a group button.
Example
This is how the command options are displayed in command bar when you are
adding a Smart Dimension.

To hide or show the options available for a group, such as the Format group or the
Properties group, click this icon , which is located on the group button. The
direction that the icon points indicates whether the options will be rolled up and
hidden under the group button, or rolled down and made visible.

Using command bar group buttons in a process


In some cases, the command bar uses a group button to indicate step-by-step options
in a multistep process.

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• If the group button is yellow, then it is the active step. You must select an option
under the button to provide input to the process.

• If the group button is blue, it is a completed step. However, you can click the
group button to activate the step and change your input.

Example
This is how the command options are grouped under group buttons in
command bar when you are extruding a face. The Extent Step is the active
step.

Customizing command bar


You can adjust the size and visibility of command bar so that it suits your needs as
you work. To learn how, see the Help topic, Manipulate command bar.
The default location of command bar is at the left side of the graphics window, but
you can move it and manage it like other docking windows. To learn how, see the
Help topic, Managing docking windows.

PromptBar
PromptBar is a prompt and message area capable of showing multi-line text,
illustrations, images, and links that access additional information. Its default
location is directly below the graphics window, but you can move it and then re-size
it to suit your needs. You can also turn it off.

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At the right side of the PromptBar window are controls for text display.
• You can change the prompt font size by clicking the Grow Font and Shrink Font
buttons.

• You can expand and collapse the number of lines available to display information
by clicking the Multi-line arrow.

• You can use the Auto Hide feature to gain more graphics window working area,
yet still benefit from prompting. Auto Hide collapses the window to a tab state
until you move your cursor over it.

PromptBar is a docking window, and can be managed like other docking windows.

Zoom slider overview


The Zoom slider is located at bottom-right of the application window. Use it to zoom
in and out of the active window with one simple control. If you selected a graphic
element, the Zoom slider zooms in or out using the center of that geometry.
• The plus (+) side of the slider zooms in.

• The minus (-) side of the slider zooms out.

• For dynamic zoom, you can do either of the following:


– Move the slider right (to zoom in) or left (to zoom out).

– Hold the plus (+) button or minus (–) button.

• To zoom one step at a time, you can do either of the following:


– Click the plus (+) button to zoom in or the minus (–) button to zoom out.

– Click the slider line once to zoom in or out, depending upon whether you click
on the plus side or the minus side.

You can remove the Zoom slider from the status bar using the Customize Status Bar
command on the status bar shortcut menu.

User assistance
Solid Edge user assistance makes command information available as you perform
tasks. You can access command, conceptual, reference, and instructional information
any time during a design session.

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User interface help features


• The Solid Edge start-up screen provides user assistance, such as tutorials and a
link to Solid Edge support. It also provides basic operations, such as creating
and opening files. The Tip of the Day displays hundreds of suggestions for using
Solid Edge more proficiently.

• Tooltips help you identify a user interface element, including command icons,
option buttons, and other gadgets. When you point the cursor at a user interface
element, a label displays the name of the command and a brief description of
what it is. Where appropriate, the accelerator key combination that you can use
to invoke the command is displayed. There may also be an informational graphic
as well as a pointer to additional online Help. You can turn tooltips off and on
using the Show Tool Tips option on the Helpers page of the Options dialog box.

• The command tips provide contextual assistance as you work with Solid Edge.
You can enable them on the Helpers page of the Options dialog box.

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Learning tools
• A comprehensive library of tutorials is available in every Solid Edge release.
You can find them on the startup screen, as well as by clicking the Solid Edge
Tutorials link in the Help window.

• Self-paced training courses and instructor-led training are available for Solid
Edge. You can find them when you click the Solid Edge On The Web link in
the Help window.

• You can use the About Solid Edge link on the Help window to see the software
version and license information.

Online Help
Solid Edge provides links to online Help, tutorials, and online training from the Help
window displayed when you click the Help Index icon . The Help Index button is
located at top-right on the command ribbon.
You also can press F1 whenever you need online Help during a design session. When
a command is active or if you have selected something in the graphic window, the
Help topic for that command appears. If no command is active, then the table of
contents for the Help topics appears.
There are different books of online Help available.
• Explore the What’s New information available in online Help. This also contains
links to Try It! exercises that you can use to quickly become familiar with the
most important new features in Solid Edge.

• If you are used to working with AutoCAD, you can benefit from the special Help
topics for AutoCAD users.

• For topics on customizing Solid Edge, use the Programming with Solid Edge
command on the Help window.

• Each Help book provides a structured table of contents, an index, and full-text
search capabilities provide easy access to Help topics.

• If you open Help by pressing F1, the appropriate Help book is opened
automatically.

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Search tips for online Help


One of the most widely used features of online Help is the search function. Follow
these tips to get the most out of searching Help.
• To narrow your search results—Group elements of your search using double
quotes or parentheses.
Example
To get information about the Zoom slider but not the other zoom functions,
type “zoom slider” in the search box, and then click the List Topics button.

• To widen your search results or when you are not sure what something is
called—Use wildcard expressions to search for words or phrases. Wildcard
expressions allow you to search for one or more characters using a question
mark or asterisk.
Example
The search string dimension* displays topics that contain the term
"dimension," "dimensional," and so on.

• Further specify your search criteria—There are several things you can do to
tailor the search to get more specific results.
– Narrow your previous results by searching within the subset of topics using
the Search Previous Results option.

– To search for topics that include all forms of a word, use the Match Similar
Words option.
Example
For example, a search on the word "add" will find "add," "adds," and
"added".

– To find topics where the keyword is of primary focus, set the Search Titles
Only option before you search.

• Sort results alphabetically—After you have searched, click the Title column
header to sort the generated topic list alphabetically.

• Searches are not case-sensitive.

• Punctuation marks such as the period, colon, semicolon, comma, and hyphen
are ignored during a search.

• You cannot search for quotation marks.

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Finding commands in Solid Edge

Using tooltips to learn about commands and controls


Enhanced tooltips are available for most user interface controls. When you pause
your cursor over a command button, options on command bar and QuickBar, items
within galleries, and view control options on the status bar, the tooltip displays the
command name, description, and shortcut keys, if applicable.
Here are some examples of the kinds of information you can find in tooltips.
This tooltip for a command button provides a brief description of what the command
does.

This tooltip for a command on the Quick Access toolbar indicates an alternative
shortcut key sequence is available.

When you pause your tooltip over a design aid, the tooltip identifies it. This tooltip
for QuickPick shows you what it looks like and explains how to use it.

You can turn tooltips off using the Show Tooltips option on the Helpers tab of the
Options dialog box.

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Finding commands quickly with Command Finder


To find commands quickly, use the Command Finder located on the status bar. You
can search for the command by command name or by capability.

Command Finder also aids more experienced users migrating to Solid Edge from
other products. Typing a search term or keyword from a competing product will find
the matching command in Solid Edge.

When you type a term and click Go , the Command Finder dialog box displays
results that contain your search term.
For available commands, you can use the results shown in the Command Finder
dialog box to:
• Locate the command in the user interface.

• Read the associated Help topic.

• Run the command.

To see results in other environments, you can use the Show Matches Outside
Environment option on the dialog box.
You can click the Help button in the Command Finder dialog box to read the
associated Help topic. Help works even for commands not available within the
current environment.
You can turn Command Finder on and off using the Command Finder option on the
Customize Status Bar shortcut menu.
To learn more, see the Help topic, Find a command with Command Finder.

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Using command topics to get more help


Command topics connect you to other types of information in Solid Edge Help. At
the bottom of the topic are links to the following additional information:
• Procedures that explain how to use the command.

• An overview topic that explains how the command fits into a workflow.

• The dialog box or command bar topic that contains command options.

Note
You can also get Help on a Solid Edge command, by pressing F1.

Using the mouse


You can use the left mouse button to do the following:
• Select an element by clicking it.

• Select multiple elements by dragging to fence them.

• Drag a selected element.

• Click or drag to draw an element.

• Select a command.

• Double-click to activate an embedded or linked object.

In most cases, if an object is locatable and selectable, you can position the cursor
over the object and click the right mouse button (right-click) to do the following:
• Display a shortcut menu. Shortcut menus are context-sensitive. The commands
on the menu depend upon your cursor location and which elements, if any, are
selected.

• Restart a command.

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You can use the middle mouse button to do the following:


• Rotate the view. Drag the middle mouse button to rotate the view about the
center.

• Pan the view. Press the SHIFT key while you drag the middle mouse button
to pan the view.

• Zoom. Scroll the mouse wheel to zoom in and out. Press the CTRL key while
scrolling to reverse the zoom direction.

You can also use the cursor to locate objects. As you move the cursor around on the
drawing sheet, objects under the cursor change to a highlight color to indicate that
they have been located. When you move the cursor away from a highlighted object,
the object returns to its original color.

The Microsoft IntelliMouse and Solid Edge


You can use the Microsoft IntelliMouse with Solid Edge so that you can manipulate
views and windows faster and more efficiently. You can use the mouse wheel to easily
scroll through the contents of a Solid Edge Find Files window or many standard
dialog boxes used in Solid Edge.

In the Assembly, Part, and Sheet Metal environments, you can use the Microsoft
IntelliMouse to zoom in and out with the Zoom command.
When you do this: The drawing view does this:
Roll the mouse wheel Zooms in at the current cursor location
forward
Roll the mouse wheel Zooms out at the current cursor location
backward

Note
There is no action in Solid Edge when you click the wheel just one time.

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Basic file operations

Creating Documents and Using Templates


You can create new documents in the following ways:
• Open one of the Solid Edge environments from the Start menu. For example,
when you open the Part environment, NORMAL.PAR is used as the starting
template for a new part document.

• Use the New command on the Application menu and then select the
environment-specific template you want from the New dialog box.

Both English and metric templates are delivered with Solid Edge for each
environment:
• Assembly

• Draft

• Part

• Sheet Metal

• Weldment

Creating, Modifying, and Saving New Documents


When you start the software, a new, blank document opens and is displayed on
your screen. The new document is given a temporary file name and extension that
corresponds to the environment you are in. For example, if you create a new part
document using the NORMAL.PAR template, the document is given the temporary
name PART1.PAR. You can use the creation commands to add information to your
document, and you can use the edit commands to modify the information in your
document.
Any changes you make to the document are temporarily stored in memory. You have
to save the document to preserve the changes to your document. The first time you
save the document, you can define a permanent document name and folder location
using the Save As dialog box.

Using Templates as a Starting Point


Regardless of the method you use to create a document, a document template is
used as a starting point. A template is a document that provides default settings
for text, formats, geometry, dimensions, units of measurement, and styles that are
used to produce a new document.
You can edit the property set of the standard templates to include default values
for some of the properties as well as the additional custom properties you need to
manage your documents. For example, to make it easier to create drawings that
conform to your company’s standards, you should consider defining a custom Draft
document template where the dimensioning and annotation standards for your
company have been defined.

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Extracting Property Text into Template Title Blocks


Property text is text that is associative to properties in the current file, as well as to
properties in models attached to the current file. You can use property text strings to
retrieve file or model-related data and display it in your drawing border template
or title block. Using property text ensures that the information remains updated
without manual editing.
All standard Solid Edge file properties, such as title and file name, are available for
use as property text. Properties that can be computed from data in the file, such as
active sheet and number of sheets, are also available. Properties such as Company,
Project, Revision Number, Document Status, and Last Printed Date can be extracted
directly into the title block of a drawing border template.
To learn more about property text in blocks, see the Help topic, Using Blocks. To
learn how to create and edit property text in general, see Using Property Text.

Template Folders
When you create custom templates for your company, you can put them in the
Solid Edge version#\Template folder or you can create your own company-specific
template folder. If you create a company-specific template folder, the folder should
be a subfolder in the Solid Edge version#\Template folder. For example, if your
company’s template folder is named Custom Templates, the path to the folder would
be Solid Edge version#\Template\Custom Templates. When you create a subfolder
within the Solid Edge version#\Template folder, a tab is added to the New dialog
box with the same name as the subfolder. This makes it easier for your company to
access your custom templates.

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Using AutoCAD Colors and Templates


Solid Edge provides a color scheme and document templates specifically designed
to emulate the AutoCAD environment. The AutoCAD Model color scheme sets the
sheet color to black, and it sets default highlight, element selected, element disabled,
and handles colors.
Color scheme is set per sheet type: working sheet, 2D Model sheet, and background
sheet. For consistent graphics display, you should select the same color scheme for
each sheet. To select and apply the AutoCAD color scheme, first display the working
sheet or the 2D Model sheet. Then, from the Color Scheme pulldown list on the
Tools®Options®Colors tab, select AutoCAD Model.
Note
Changing the color scheme may cause all your graphics to disappear. If this
happens, change the color scheme setting back to Solid Edge Default. Then
you can experiment with individual color overrides using the Properties
command on the shortcut menu of a selected element, or make global changes
using the Format®Style command.

Note
Important—Before you use the AutoCAD Translation Wizard, be sure you
have selected the AutoCAD Model color scheme! Graphics color assignment
during translation is based on the current background color setting of the
window.

The AutoCAD templates set global styles for dimensions/annotations,


text, lines, hatches, and fills to display as white elements on a black
background. You can use an AutoCAD template by selecting a template file
with this appended to it: “_black_background.” For example, you can select
NORMENG_BLACK_BACKGROUND.DFT from the Templates folder when you
create a new draft document in Solid Edge. Then, you can drag and drop AutoCAD
.dxf and .dwg files onto Solid Edge, and they will display using the AutoCAD color
scheme and template colors.
When you translate an existing document using the AutoCAD Translation Wizard,
you can choose an AutoCAD template in Step 2 of the wizard.
There also are Solid Edge drawing border block files that support the AutoCAD
color scheme and drawing templates. These block files contain drawing borders
in different sizes, as well as default title blocks. You can select and place these
AutoCAD-friendly drawing borders on the 2D Model sheet when you select the
Drawing Area Setup command.

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Quicksheet Templates
For 3D models, the Quicksheet template is a special kind of template that you can
use to quickly generate 3D views once you have configured drawing views in Solid
Edge. The Quicksheet template is a drawing template that contains drawing views
that are not linked to a model.

You can drag a model from the Library docking window or from Windows Explorer
onto the template, and the views populate with the model.
To create a Quicksheet template, configure drawing views of the type and with the
properties you want, then select the File®Create Quicksheet Template command. A
message box is displayed advising you to save your current work before the drawing
views are emptied. When you click Yes, you can save the file with the name and
location you want, and the Quicksheet template is ready for use. When you create
a Quicksheet template, all drawing views on all sheets are emptied, including
parts lists. Almost all view properties, including general properties, text and color
properties, and annotation properties, are maintained.
To learn more about creating drawing views, see the Help topic, Drawing View
Creation.

Opening and saving Solid Edge documents

Opening documents
The Open command opens existing documents. Solid Edge keeps track of the
documents you worked on last, so you can open them quickly. These documents are
listed at the top-right of the Application menu; just click the name of a document on
the list to open it. You set the number of documents displayed in the list with the
Solid Edge Options command on the Application menu.
You can also open a document by double clicking the document name within
Windows Explorer.

Opening specific types of documents


There are some options on the Open File dialog box that pertain only to specific
types of Solid Edge documents.

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When opening draft documents, for example, you can specify that the file opens in
inactive mode for viewing and printing. To learn more, see Opening and saving
draft documents.
You can use the options on the Open File dialog box to improve performance
when opening a large assembly document. For example, you can choose to hide or
inactivate components or to open simplified representations of assembly parts. To
learn more, see Working with large assemblies efficiently.
When you use the Open command to open a document in a managed library, the
document is checked out and copied to the local cache. Options on the Open File
dialog box let you specify which revision of the document you want to open. To learn
more, see Opening and saving managed documents.

Opening documents in View and Markup


View and Markup, an Insight Connect application, allows you to share Solid Edge
3D models and 2D drawings electronically. For example, View and Markup enables
OEMs and suppliers to review, add markup and comments, and take measurements
from your model or drawing, without requiring them to have Solid Edge installed.
To learn about this collaborative workflow, see Managing Change Processes with
Insight.
To open any active Solid Edge document in View and Markup, choose
Applications®View and Markup from the menu. To open a document from Windows
Explorer, click the right mouse button on the document you want to view, and then
click Open with View and Markup on the shortcut menu.
If a draft document or a referenced part document has been modified outside Solid
Edge, data in the title block and elsewhere may be missing or not current when the
.pcf file is opened in View and Markup. To update this information, open and save
the draft document in Solid Edge, and then send it to View and Markup.
Before you can open a draft document in View and Markup, you must save the
metafile data file in a special format. To learn more, see Opening and saving draft
documents.

Document availability
In Solid Edge, the availability of a document is displayed in the Status bar of the
Open File dialog box. The availability is read-write or read-only. You can choose to
open a document as read-only by setting the Read-Only box on the Open File dialog
box.
You can also use the operating system to set a document to read-only. For example,
using Windows Explorer, you can set a document’s properties to read-only. This
setting overrides the available status assigned in Solid Edge. If a document has an
available status, but has been set to read-only in the operating system, then you will
not be able to get write access to the document.

Searching for documents to open


The Search button on the Open File dialog box allows you to search for documents.
You can search any folder, network drive, or managed library. You can search for
documents using defined properties or a number of criteria, including mathematical
operators and standard Boolean expressions. For a list of valid expressions, see
Search criteria list. To learn more, see Searching for documents.

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Saving documents
When you first save a new document, Solid Edge provides a default name and folder
location. You can give the document a meaningful name and specify where you
want to store the document on the disk. You can quickly save changes to an open
document by clicking Save on the Application menu.
Note
If you use the Save As command to save parts that are linked to an assembly,
the saved-as copy of the part is not linked to the assembly.

Setting a reminder time to save documents


You can set an option on the Save page of the Options dialog box to have Solid Edge
prompt you to save all open documents. The Save All Documents Every <XX>
Minutes option allows you to define a time interval in which to be prompted. When
this option is set and the time interval has expired, a dialog box is displayed when
you select a new command. The dialog box prompts you to save all open documents.
If you click Yes, the open documents are saved. If you click No, the time interval
is restarted.
This option does not automatically save your documents for you, create backup files,
or interrupt you while you are using a command. It waits for you to click a new
command in Solid Edge before prompting you to save. This approach allows you to
work in other applications without being interrupted, and prevents file corruption
problems associated with automatic save options in other applications. There are
some commands that do not react to the reminder interval. Commands that work
within another active command, such as the view manipulation commands, do not
react to the reminder interval.

Opening a non-Solid Edge document


When you open a document that was not created in Solid Edge, such as an AutoCAD
.dwg or .dxf file, a Microstation .dgn file, or a Pro/E part or sheet metal file, a
translation wizard runs automatically to import the file into the appropriate Solid
Edge environment, whether that is Part, Sheet Metal, Assembly, or Draft. To learn
more about the types of files you can open, see Opening foreign files in Solid Edge.
For some input formats, there are translation options you can set. For a list of the
available translation-option dialog boxes, see Open command.

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Printing documents
As you work on a document you may need to send a copy of it to a specified printer,
plotter, or file. With the Print command, you can:
• Print an entire document or specific sheets from a document

• Print a Draw In View window

• Print a 2D Model Sheet

• Print a draft copy of a document

• Set printing options, such as the range of sheets or number of copies to print

Solid Edge supports WYSIWYG plotting, using standard Windows plotting


capabilities. It also supports pen plotters, subject to the limitations of the device
driver.

Viewing File Properties


The properties of a file help you determine how it will behave in Solid Edge,
understand how it is used within projects, and manage it within your local and
networked work spaces.

File Properties command

Accesses general information about the current document. You can review and edit
the following document information: the document summary, statistics, associated
project, status, units, and symbol properties. You can also preview the document’s
contents.
The information you add to the tabs on the File Properties dialog box can also be
used to populate a parts list or a bill of materials.

Recent Documents command

Opens one of the documents that you worked on most recently. The file names are
listed at the top-right of the Application menu. You can change the number of files
listed on the Application menu on the General tab on the Solid Edge Options dialog
box.

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Material Table

The Material Table, available for Part and Sheet Metal documents on the Application
menu when you point to Properties, defines the material and mechanical properties
for a part.

The material and mechanical properties are used when you calculate the physical
properties for a part or assembly, place the part in an assembly, render the assembly
with Advanced Rendering, create a parts list on a drawing, define a bill of materials,
and so forth.
When working with a sheet metal part, you also use the material table to define
the properties for the sheet metal stock you are using, such as material thickness,
bend radius, and so forth.

Material Library Property file


The material names and property sets are stored in an external file, material.mtl.
The material.mtl file location is defined in the Application menu®Solid Edge
Options®File Locations and is used to populate the property set for each material
on the Solid Edge Material Table dialog box. You can use the Solid Edge Material
Table dialog box to create new materials and edit the values for an existing material.
In a managed environment, the material.mtl file can be placed in a common folder
where an entire design group can share a common definition.

Mapping Material property for synchronization with Insight


By adding a Material column to the SharePoint document library, the Material
property is visible on the Edit Profile dialog box when an Insight-managed document
is uploaded into the database. The list of Materials displayed is from the Solid Edge
Material Library. Add the column to the SharePoint document library defining a
column name of Material and setting the type to Choice. The column does not need
to be populated with values.

Mapping Material property for synchronization with Teamcenter


By using mapping definition files, Solid Edge attributes like Material can be stored
in the Teamcenter database and displayed and modified in both Solid Edge and the
database. This synchronization allows an attribute in one application to be updated

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automatically when a modification is made to the corresponding attribute in another


application. Refer to the Sold Edge Embedded Client User’s Guide, for Teamcenter
to Solid Edge attribute mapping syntax and examples.

Managing Data in Solid Edge


Solid Edge is fully compatible with Microsoft Office applications. You can transfer
text, numbers, or intelligent graphics between Solid Edge and other Microsoft Office
applications. You can move information around by cutting and pasting, copying
and pasting, linking, and embedding.

Cutting, Copying, and Pasting


You can cut or copy data from one document and paste it into another document.
Cutting deletes data from the source document and copies it to the Clipboard.
Copying moves data to the Clipboard without changing the data in the source
document. Once on the Clipboard, you can paste the data in another document.

Linking and Embedding Data


Through linking, you can store data in a source document and use it in another
document. When you link a document, you create a connection between the data
in the source document and the document linked to it.
Embedding allows you to copy data from a source document and place it into a
container document. Once the data is embedded, it becomes part of the container
document. For more information on linking and embedding, see the Related Topics.

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Basic viewing operations


Quick-access viewing commands are conveniently located at bottom-right of the
window frame, on the status bar.
A Zoom slider enables you to zoom in and out quickly with one simple control.

Some commands are always available no matter which environment you are working
in. These commands help you adjust which parts of your model you see in the
window.
• Zoom Area

• Zoom In and Out

• Fit

• Pan

Additional view manipulation tools are available as you design or modify your 3D
model in the Part, Sheet Metal, and Assembly environments. There are also 3D
viewing operations that let you reorient the view of your model. These include:
• Rotate a 3D model

• Spin the model around a face or axis

• Align the view to a selected face

• Create and name your own views for reuse

• Control the depth of the model displayed in a 3D window with a clipping plane

In the Draft environment, there are similar tools that let you manipulate the 2D
drawing views of the model. These include:
• Use the Zoom Tool command to zoom, pan, and fit 2D views on the drawing sheet

• Change the view alignment so that you can reposition drawing views on the
drawing sheet

• Rotate the drawing view

• Crop the drawing view

• Remove geometry from the drawing view by setting a display depth for a back
clipping plane

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Basic Window Operations


Solid Edge windows are of two general kinds: the windows that contain Solid Edge
part, assembly, sheet metal, and draft documents, and the docking windows that
contain functions and tools you use to modify your model and draft documents.

Document windows
Commands on the View tab®Window group create and arrange new document
windows, enabling you to see more than one section of a document or more than
one document. You can minimize open windows and display them as icons in the
application work space.

Docking windows
Docking windows can be added to or grouped with other windows, or they can be
moved so that they float alone. When a docking window is dropped into a suitable
container window, the tools of the dropped window are added to the container
window, and the icon representing the newly dropped window is displayed in the
tab set.
Examples of docking windows include PromptBar, command bar, and PathFinder, as
well as each tabbed page within the PathFinder container window.
Each docking window has its own set of on-demand controls, which you can use to
auto-hide, resize, collapse vertically or horizontally, and close the window. There
is also a set of globally available docking stickers, which you can use to precisely
reposition docking windows. These are displayed only when you are moving a
docking window.

New Window Command


Opens a new window that displays the same document as the active window. The
new window appears on top of all the other windows and becomes the active window.
If you change the contents of the open document in one window, the other windows
that contain the same document reflect the changes.

Arrange command
Displays all open documents in windows that do not overlap on the screen. It is
easier to move windows if you first arrange them.

Collapse All command


Collapses all open windows to the lower left corner.

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Restore All command


Restores all windows to their former states, when you run Restore All after you
have already run Collapse All.

Switch Windows command


Displays a split menu. The top part of the menu, above the separator, lists the Solid
Edge documents you have open. You can easily access another open document by
selecting one of the window names on the list.
The bottom part of the menu, below the separator, lists the docking windows
available in the currently active document. You can turn docking windows on and off
by selecting and clearing the check mark or icon in front of the window name.

Making the Most of the Solid Edge Help System


Solid Edge on-line help is a highly navigable information system consisting of
right-at-your fingertips information on how to use Solid Edge commands, dialog
boxes, and programming interfaces. In most cases, topics that apply to the active
command or dialog box are available simply by pressing the F1 key or by clicking a
Help button. Content is cross-referenced, indexed, and fully searchable to help you
find just what you need when you need it.
The Solid Edge on-line help system uses HTML Help technology. Navigating the
system is similar to navigating a web site—simply point and click. The help window
consists of the toolbar, the navigation pane, and the topic pane.
The toolbar, which is located below the help window title bar, enables you to
Hide/Show the Navigation pane, go back and forward through the topics displayed
within a session, and print help topics.
The Topic pane is located on the right side of the help window. It displays the
help content and buttons and hypertext to help you find information related to the
displayed topic.
The Navigation tab, located on the left side of the help window, has five tabs: the
Contents tab, the Index tab, the Search tab, the Favorites tab, and the Glossary tab.
The Contents tab displays an arrangement of topics that is similar to the table of
contents in a book. The Index tab displays Keywords on which you can search to
find related topics, much like the index of a book. The Search tab provides access to
a full-text search. This differs from a keyword search in that it will search across
every word in the help file—literally thousands of topics of information—to help you
find just what you’re looking for. The Glossary tab provides you a list of terms and
definitions used in the Solid Edge product and help. The Favorites tab enables you to
store a list of your favorite or most frequently used help topics.

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Lesson 1 Getting started in Solid Edge

Using the Search Feature


Solid Edge on-line help supports advanced full-text searches. The following search
options are available: basic search, wildcard search, nested search, or boolean
search. You can also search for similar words, or you can search through a previous
results list.
The basic rules for formulating queries are as follows:
1. Searches are not case-sensitive, so you can type your search in uppercase or
lowercase characters.

2. You can search for any combination of letters (a-z) and numbers (0-9).

3. Punctuation marks such as the period, colon, semicolon, comma, and hyphen
are ignored during a search.

4. Group the elements of your search using double quotes or parentheses to set
apart each element. You cannot search for quotation marks.

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Solid Edge Technical Support


The Global Technical Access Center (GTAC) provides technical support for Solid
Edge customers.

Accessing Support from Solid Edge


You can access many support functions directly from Solid Edge. On the Help
pulldown menu, click Technical Support. Then click the appropriate option to
request a WebKey account, to access the online support library, and so forth.

Contacting Support
In the USA and Canada, call 1-800-955-0000 or 1-714-952-5444. Outside North
America, please contact your local Siemens PLM Software office. For more
information or the telephone number of an office near you, call 800-807-2200.
You can also access GTAC on the Web:
http://support.ugs.com/
For problems relating to Microsoft SharePoint, you should contact Microsoft support
on the Web:
http://support.microsoft.com/directory

Premium Service

Full support for Solid Edge software


Our Premium Service plan features:
• Software upgrades

• Software fixes; service packs

• Unlimited telephone support services

• Toll-free line for opening support calls

• Live first-call support

• On-line Bulletin Board services

• Electronic call logging via the Web browser

• Easy payment plan

The Premium Service plan is the best value for software maintenance.

SEEC diagnostics
Solid Edge Embedded Client diagnostics enables you to easily create a collection
of information regarding your Solid Edge Embedded Client configuration. The
application is delivered with Solid Edge Embedded Client and collects client

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Lesson 1 Getting started in Solid Edge

information such as software location, database connection, cache information,


registry details, and log files into one location to share with product support in
the event assistance is needed.
To run the diagnostics application, from the Start menu, choose Programs® Solid
Edge ST®SEEC®Diagnostic Application. The SEEC Diagnostics dialog box
displays. Your current Teamcenter connection configuration information is shown,
you only need to provide a location for the output of the scan. Once the scan is
run, read-only output from the scan appears in the Detail portion of the SEEC
Diagnostics dialog box. If multiple versions of an application are installed, the scan
reports the details for each version.

Workflow for performing a scan


1. Start the SEEC Diagnostic application.
The connection type, 2–tier or 4–tier, defaults to the database you last worked
with.

2. Supply either your TC_ROOT and TC_DATA information for a 2-tier


configuration or your server’s URL for a 4-tier configuration.

3. Define the diagnostic package folder location that will hold the files created
by the scan.

4. Start the scan and log into Teamcenter when prompted.


Caution
You should exit Solid Edge, Structure Editor, and Add to Teamcenter
prior to running the scan.

5. When the scan completes, close the application.

The SEECDiagnostic log file


One log file generated by the diagnostics scan is
SEECDiagnostic_YYYYMMDDHHMMSS.txt where YYYY is the year, MM is the
month, DD is the day, HH is the hour, MM is the minute, and SS is the second the
scan was started. Types of information the SEECDiagnostic log file can include are:
• System hardware and software information

• Disk size and free space

• Teamcenter preferences

• Template filenames

• Environment variables

The SEECDiagnostic log file and other output generated by the scan is stored in a
folder in the diagnostic package location you define. The data in the diagnostic
package folder should be zipped along with an export of your Teamcenter attribute
mapping and sent to product support for analysis in the event assistance is needed.

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Lesson review
1. What is the function and location of the menus, main toolbar, ribbon bar, and the
environment-specific toolbar?

2. Where can information about a file, such as author, be entered?

3. What are the default templates delivered with Solid Edge?

4. List three ways to open a document. List three ways to save a document.

5. List the environments that make up Solid Edge.

6. How can you find information about the Protrusion command?

7. What must be drawn before the software can derive the base feature of a solid
model?

8. What is the SmartStep ribbon bar?

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Getting started in Solid Edge

Instructor demo — Creating, saving, and closing a file


Objectives
In this demo, you will learn how to start Solid Edge and how to manage files. You
will learn how to create, save, and close files, how to apply property information that
makes files easier to manage, and how to open existing files.
After observing this demo, you will be able to:
• Open any of the Solid Edge environments.

• Create a new Solid Edge file.

• Save a Solid Edge file.

• Define Part properties.

• Apply material properties to a part.

• Close a Solid Edge file.

• Set user assistant control options.


Note
For this class, all students will be working in a common local folder on each
machine. The class files are delivered on CD. The class training folder will
be used when saving files. It is also assumed that Solid Edge was installed
with the metric template to be used as the default.

Demo
Step 1: On the Start menu, choose Programs®Solid Edge ST®Solid Edge.

A start up screen is displayed. Any of the Solid Edge environments


can be opened from this screen by creating a new document. Open an

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Lesson 1 Getting started in Solid Edge

existing document or select a document from a list of recently used


documents. Launch tutorials and also read the Tip of the Day.

Step 2: A new file can be created from the Application button or with the Create
options on the start up screen.

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Use the start up screen to create a new Traditional Part file. Click
Solid Part under the Create options.

Step 3: A blank part file is open with Metric units loaded, but the file has not
been saved or named. Save the file and define part properties.
Click the Save button.

The Part Properties dialog box is displayed where information can be


entered to make the file easier to manage. Click the Summary tab
and enter newdoc in the Title field and your name in the Author
field.

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Lesson 1 Getting started in Solid Edge

Click OK.

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On the Save As dialog box, set the Save in: field to the class folder
location. In the File name: field, type newdoc. Notice that a file
extension is put on the end of the file name by default when you
save the file, but it is not necessary to do so manually. Solid Edge
automatically adds a file extension based on the type of file you are
saving. Click Save.

Step 4: Define material properties for the new part.

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Lesson 1 Getting started in Solid Edge

Click the Application button. At the lower right of the application


menu window, click Solid Edge Options. On the General page,
notice the option “Prompt for material in new model documents”. If
this option is checked, the Material Table automatically displays
when a new file is created. Do not check this option. Click OK.

Apply material properties manually. Click the Application button


and then click Properties®Material Table.

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Click the drop-down list and select Aluminum, 2024–T4 and then
click Apply to Model.

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Lesson 1 Getting started in Solid Edge

Step 5: Close the file. On the application menu, click Close and then click Yes
to save the changes.

Step 6: Reopen the file just created and saved.


On the start up screen, click Existing Document under the Open
options.

On the Open File dialog box, set the Look in box to the class folder
where the file was saved.

Set the Files of type field to Part documents (*.par).

Select newdoc.par but do not click Open.

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On the Preview pane of the Open File dialog box, set the Properties
option. Notice the information we entered in the Part Properties
dialog box when we saved the file is now displayed. This aids in
selecting and opening the appropriate files.

Click Open on the Open File dialog box.

Step 7: Save and close the file.

Step 8: Create a new document using a different template. The default template
is Metric. Create a document using an English template.
On the application menu, click New.

The New dialog box displays. Click the General tab and notice that
there are iso XXX templates available for each Solid Edge document
type. ISO standard was selected as the default during Solid Edge
installation. These template files define measurements in Metric
units. Solid Edge provides other standards templates for all of its
document types.

Click the More tab of the New dialog box. Notice the other available
standards templates.

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Lesson 1 Getting started in Solid Edge

Select the ansi part.par template and click OK.

A blank part file is open with English units loaded.

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Step 9: Look at the control settings for user assistance as you use Solid Edge.
On the application menu, click Solid Edge Options.

These settings on the Helpers page control how Solid Edge starts up,
toolbar options and status bar location.

Step 10: Click OK on the Helpers page. Save and close the file. This completes
the demo.

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Lesson 1 Getting started in Solid Edge

Demo summary
In this demo, you learned how to start Solid Edge and how to manage files. You
learned how to create, save, and close files, how to apply part property information
that makes files easier to manage, and how to open existing files. You also learned
how to apply material properties to a part and how to set the user assistant controls
for Solid Edge.
Now you will be able to:
• Open any of the Solid Edge environments.

• Create a new Solid Edge file.

• Save a Solid Edge file.

• Define Part properties.

• Apply material properties to a part.

• Close a Solid Edge file.

• Set user assistant control options.

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Getting started in Solid Edge

Instructor demo – Opening and searching for files


Objectives
In this demo, you will learn how to open a Solid Edge file and then use the Search
command to find a particular file based on a set of search criterion that you define.
After observing this demo, you will be able to:
• Open any of the Solid Edge environments.

• Open a Solid Edge file.

• Execute a search to find particular Solid Edge files.


Note
For this class, all students will be working in a common local folder on each
machine. The class files are delivered on CD. The class training folder will
be used when saving files. It is also assumed that Solid Edge was installed
with the metric template to be used as the default.

Demo
Step 1: On the Start menu, choose Programs®Solid Edge ST®Solid Edge. Solid
Edge displays the start up screen.

Step 2: Search for and open an existing document.


On the start up screen, click Existing Document under the Open
options.

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Lesson 1 Getting started in Solid Edge

The Open File dialog box displays. A file location (Look in:) and
file name (File name:) are required. In this demonstration, the
location of the file wanted is not known. Search to determine the
file’s location. On the Open File dialog box, click Search.

Click the Browse button to the right side of the Look in folder: field.

In the Browse dialog box, specify the Program Files folder on the
C: drive and click Add to move that folder to the Available folders
column.

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Click OK to dismiss the Browse dialog box and accept the search
location.

Check the search for results in subfolders option.

In the Property field, click Filename from the drop down list.

In the Criteria field, type = heatsink* and then press the <Enter>
key.

Click Search.

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Lesson 1 Getting started in Solid Edge

Note
On the Search dialog box, notice that you can search for
property conditions. For example, if you want to open a
bolt made of steel rather than one made of copper, set the
Material property to steel. These properties are defined as
Part Properties. Therefore, you can see how important it is to
define properties when you save a file.

In the search results list on the bottom of the Search dialog box,
single click the document name shown heatsink.par. A preview box
of the file is displayed.

Right-click the file heatsink.par in the results section. Click Open


with Editor and open the file in the Solid Edge Part environment.
Close this file without saving.

This completes the demo.

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Demo summary
In this demo, you learned how to open a Solid Edge file and then use the Search
command to find a particular file based on a set of search criterion that you defined.
Now you will be able to:
• Open any of the Solid Edge environments.

• Open a Solid Edge file.

• Execute a search to find particular Solid Edge files.

Lesson summary
The best way to learn Solid Edge is to spend time using it. Experience with Windows
products adds familiarity to many of the commands in Solid Edge. Tools such as
Apprentice Mode (on the start up screen), IntelliSketch, QuickPick, and SmartStep
ribbon bars also make it easy to learn and use Solid Edge.
Things to remember:
• Templates are available with measurements defined in both Metric and English
units for each of the Solid Edge environments.

• Use the right mouse button to access shortcut menus and to restart commands.

• The status bar guides you through a command sequence. It is located in the
upper left corner of the Solid Edge window.

• Arrows on pull down menus indicate a fly-out for that menu with more options.

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Lesson

2 Feature modeling overview

Objectives
In this lesson, you will:
• be introduced to the creation and use of a reference plane.

• follow the workflow for creating a simple solid.

Getting started with part modeling


When constructing a 3D model in Solid Edge, it is helpful to evaluate the basic shape
of the part, and develop a plan as to how you want to construct the model.

You should consider the following questions when starting a new model:
• What is the best profile for the first feature on the part?

• Which reference plane should it be drawn on?

• Are there symmetric features on the part?

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Lesson 2 Feature modeling overview

Constructing the base feature


The first feature you create for a part or sheet metal model is called the base feature.
Several commands are available for creating base features, but one thing they have
in common is that they are profile-based features.
You construct a profile-based feature by drawing a profile (A) on a reference plane (B).

Reference planes
A reference plane is a flat surface that is typically used for drawing 2D profiles in 3D
space. Although the size of a reference plane is theoretically infinite, it is displayed
at a fixed size to make it easier to select and visualize.
Three default, or base reference planes, are available in Solid Edge part and sheet
metal documents for defining the base feature.

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Feature modeling overview

Choosing the best profile for the base feature


When evaluating the part you want to construct, the profile for the base feature
should generate as much of the basic shape of the part as possible. Most models
present several choices for constructing the profile for the base feature, but often one
alternative is better than others.
As you gain experience, it becomes easier to see the best choice. In the example
model, you could construct the base feature using each of the three profiles shown.

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Lesson 2 Feature modeling overview

Profile A:
The L-shaped profile of the model is a good choice, but would require extra features
to finish defining the tapered end of the model. In many cases this could be the best
choice, especially when working with standard shapes and extrusions.
Profile B:
The rectangular profile would require many extra features to remove the material
around the stiffening rib and tapered end of the model. This would be a poor choice
for this model.
Profile C:
For this model, this would be the best choice. It defines the basic length and width
of the model and includes the tapered end. Two additional protrusion features
complete the basic shape of the part. A hole feature, a cutout feature, and a round
feature complete the part.

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Choosing the reference plane


After you decide on the best profile to use for the base feature, you should decide
which reference plane you want to draw the profile on.
As discussed earlier, there are three base reference planes you can use for the first
feature. These planes are oriented to the top, front, and right views. The three base
reference planes intersect at the exact center, or global origin, of the model space.
When choosing the reference plane, you can consider how the finished part will
be displayed in the graphic window, or how it will be arranged in the assembly or
the drawing.
The default view orientation in the graphic window is the isometric view, so orienting
the profile for the base feature such that the finished part is easy to visualize in
the isometric view is a good approach.
The following examples illustrate the results of using the Top (A), Front (B), and
Right (C) reference planes to draw the first profile. For this part, using the Top
reference plane (A) results in a part that is easiest to visualize in the isometric view.

As your modeling skills increase, and when modeling parts in the context of the
assembly, choosing the best reference plane becomes less of a concern. You can use
the Rotate command to rotate the graphic window to an easy to visualize orientation.

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Lesson 2 Feature modeling overview

Taking advantage of part symmetry


Because the three base reference planes are fixed (they can not move), when
modeling symmetric parts, you should also use the base reference planes to take
advantage of symmetric features on the part. For example, when drawing the profile
for the base feature, you can use dimensions and relationships to symmetrically
orient the profile about the Front (A) and Right (B) reference planes.

Orienting the profile for the base feature symmetrically with respect to the base
reference planes makes it easier to construct the rest of the model because you can
also use the base reference planes to symmetrically orient the subsequent features.

Lesson review
1. In Solid Edge, what is the name of the first feature created in a new part file?

2. What is the purpose of SmartStep and how does it assist you in creating a
feature?

3. What are reference planes used for in creating a feature?

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Feature modeling overview

Activity – Creating a simple solid model


Objectives
In this activity, you will use the Protrusion command to create a solid model. This
will become the base feature for the part. You will accomplish this by drawing a
base profile and extruding it.
After completing this activity, you will be able to:
• Create and save a new file.

• Create a 2D profile using geometry creation commands.

• Create a solid model with the Protrusion command.

• Perform basic window manipulations.

• Define part properties.

Activity
Step 1: On the Start menu, choose Programs®Solid Edge ST®Solid Edge. Solid
Edge displays the start up screen.

Step 2: On the start up screen, click Traditional ISO Part from the Create
options.

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Lesson 2 Feature modeling overview

Step 3: A blank part file is open with Metric units loaded, but the file has not
been saved or named. Save the file and define properties for that file.
Determine if Metric or English units are being used. On the
application menu click Properties ® File Properties.

On the Part Properties dialog box, click the Units tab.

If the Units page shows metric units, click OK. If the Units tab shows
English units, follow the steps covered in the “Getting Started”
Lesson which explained how to create a file with units that differ
from the default. Use metric units in this activity.

Step 4: Use the on-line Help information available with Solid Edge to find
information on particular topics.

On the ribbon, choose the Help command . The cursor displays

with a question mark .

On the ribbon in the Solids group, choose the Extrude command


to display the help information.

Note
Display and read Help topics for commands as needed during
activities.

Review Help’s description of the Extrude command.

On the Help window, click How To.

From the Topics Found dialog box, select the topic, Construct a
Protrusion or Cutout, and click Display.

Review the information and then close Help.

Step 5: Use the Extrude command to create a 3D solid base feature.

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Feature modeling overview

In the Solids group, the Extrude command should still be active. If it


is not, click the Extrude command.

Note
While in the Extrude command, the Command bar, as
shown in the following illustration, changes to display the
Extrude command steps. Command bar is a convenience that
Solid Edge feature commands provide. Also notice that on
Command bar, the Plane or Sketch Step is active. This is the
default mode.

In the upper left corner of the Solid Edge window, the PromptBar
prompts to select a plane to draw the 2D profile on.

Notice that the default plane selection option is Coincident Plane.


Other plane options are available by clicking the arrow as shown.

Using the default plane option of Coincident Plane, notice that the
default reference planes highlight as the cursor moves over them.

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Lesson 2 Feature modeling overview

Move the cursor over the Front (zx) reference plane shown, and when
it highlights, click to select it.

Note
The system displays a profile window with the selected
reference plane parallel to that window. The other two
reference planes display as single lines that form a plus sign.

In the Draw group, choose the Rectangle command.

The PromptBar prompts to define the first point of the rectangle.

Position the cursor in the bottom left corner of the profile window, as
shown, and click to place the first point of the rectangle.

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The PromptBar prompts for the second point of the rectangle. Move
the cursor to the right, as shown, and click. The exact location is not
important, but position the dotted line close to horizontal.

The PromptBar prompts for the third and last point of the rectangle.
Move the cursor up and notice that a dynamic version of the rectangle
is attached to the cursor. Move the cursor to the approximate location
shown, and click to create the rectangle.

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Lesson 2 Feature modeling overview

The profile is complete. In the Close group, choose Close Sketch.

The third and final step (Extent Step) for creating an extrusion is
active.

Notice that the solid is now attached to the cursor, and dynamically
changes as the cursor moves to either side of the profile. Move the
cursor to the side of the profile as shown, and click. The distance is
not important.

On the command bar, click Finish.

Step 6: Turn off the display of the reference planes.


Right-click in the part window. Click Hide All ® Reference Planes.

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Step 7: Choose the Fit command to resize the view and display the entire part.

Step 8: Save the file just created.


Click the Save command.

On the Part Properties dialog box, click the Summary tab. Type
Primitive Block in the Title box and then type your name in the
Author field.

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Lesson 2 Feature modeling overview

Once this information is entered, click OK to dismiss the Part


Properties dialog box.

On the Save As dialog box, navigate to the C:/Fundamentals folder


where the class files are located.

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Save the file with the name Primitive Block.

On the application menu, click Close.

This completes the activity.

Activity summary
In this activity you learned how to create a new part and place the base feature as an
extrusion. To create the extrusion, you selected a reference plane, then drew a profile
containing 2D geometry, and then extended the profile to form a solid extrusion. You
also practiced writing information in the file properties that can be used later to
search for unique part characteristics.

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Lesson 2 Feature modeling overview

Lesson summary
Solid Edge provides the tools that make creating 3-D models extremely easy and
efficient. Solid Edge provides several different features for creating solids. These
include features like:
• Protrusion

• Revolved Protrusion

• Swept Protrusion

• Lofted Protrusion

One of the most helpful tools in Solid Edge is SmartStep. The SmartStep ribbon
bar tracks your progress through the feature creation workflow. SmartStep
automatically moves forward as you complete each required step. You can also use
SmartStep to go back to a previous step, or to go to an optional step. Although
feature construction is a sequential process, you do not have to start over if you want
to change something you did in an earlier step.
Solid Edge also provides several ways of creating reference planes so that proper
placement and orientation of features is easier. The three types of reference planes
in Solid Edge are:
• Base

• Global

• Local

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Lesson

3 Reference planes

Objectives
After completing this lesson, you will be able to understand the creation and use of
reference planes.

Reference planes
A reference plane is a flat surface that is typically used for drawing 2D profiles
in 3D space.

Although the size of a reference plane is theoretically infinite, it is displayed at a


fixed size to make it easier to select and visualize.
There are three types of reference planes:
• Base reference planes

• Local reference planes

• Global reference planes

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Lesson 3 Reference planes

When you create local and global reference planes, you specify the orientation and
position of the new reference plane relative to an existing reference plane or a
planar face on a part. For example, you can specify that the new reference plane is
coincident to (A) or parallel to (B) a part face.

Base reference planes


The base reference planes are the three orthogonal reference planes at the origin of a
new part or assembly document. They define the Top (xy), Right (yz), and Front (xz)
principal planes.

You can use the base reference planes to construct profile-based features. You can
also use them to position a part in an assembly or to define the x-axis for a new
reference plane you define using a part face. You can display and hide the base
reference planes individually or as a group.

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Local reference planes


You create a local reference plane when you construct a new profile-based feature.
There are reference plane options on the feature command bar that allow you to
specify the position and orientation of the new reference plane so you can draw the
profile where you want it. For example, you can specify that you want to create a
reference plane that is coincident to a face on the part. With the Coincident Plane
option, you position the cursor on a part face, and a dynamic representation of the
new reference plane is displayed (A). When you click the mouse button, a profile view
is displayed that is oriented according to the x-axis of the reference plane (B).

Local reference planes are used only for the feature being constructed. The display
of local reference planes is managed automatically. When you finish constructing a
feature, they are hidden, and when you edit a feature they are displayed.

Global reference planes


You create global reference planes individually, outside the context of constructing a
feature. You can use global reference planes in many ways. For example, you can use
a global reference plane as a mirror plane when mirroring features.

You can also use global reference planes to construct a complex feature that requires
several sketches or profiles, such as a lofted feature, or to position a part in an
assembly. You can display and hide global reference planes individually.

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Lesson 3 Reference planes

Reference plane X-axis orientation


When you create local or global reference planes using the Coincident Plane and
Parallel Plane options, an x-axis orientation is defined automatically, based on the
geometry you select.
When you create a new reference plane based on an existing reference plane (A),
the x-axis orientation of the new reference plane (B) matches the x-axis orientation
of the existing reference plane.

When you create a new reference plane based on a part face (A), the x-axis
orientation (B) of the new reference plane is automatically defined using a linear
edge (C) on the part face.

If the face you select does not have any linear edges, the x-axis orientation of the
new reference plane is defined using one of the default reference planes (A).

When you create a new reference plane using a part face, you can define a different
x-axis orientation using the following hot keys:

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Reference planes

• An upper or lower case N to rotate counterclockwise to the next linear edge


(A), (B), (C):

• An upper or lower case B to go back to the previous linear edge (A), (B):

• An upper or lower case T to toggle the x-axis orientation (A), (B) to the opposite
end of the current linear edge (C):

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Lesson 3 Reference planes

• An upper or lower case P to use a base reference plane that intersects with
the reference plane you are defining. When you press the P key, the software
automatically selects one of the intersecting base reference planes (A). If you
want to use a different base reference plane, press the P key again (B). An
advantage to this approach is that the x-axis orientation remains constant. (The
P option is not available in the assembly environment.)

• An upper or lower case F to flip the normal direction of the reference plane,
which changes the x-axis orientation.

When you need more control over the x-axis orientation for a reference plane, you can
use the Coincident Plane By Axis option. With this option, you define the orientation
of the reference plane by selecting a face (A), an edge (B), and then an endpoint (C)
on the edge to define the start point and origin of the reference plane x-axis.

Although there are many different options and shortcut keys for defining the x-axis
of a reference plane, fundamentally there are two basic choices: using an existing
model edge or an existing reference plane. Both options work well for most models,
but at times one method may be more suitable than the other.

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Reference planes

Which method is best?


If you are working on a conceptual model, or a model that is subject to drastic
changes, defining the x-axis for a reference plane using one of the base reference
planes has one distinct advantage. Since the base reference planes are fixed in space
and cannot move, the x-axis for a reference plane defined using a base reference
plane is also fixed.
For example, a feature constructed using a reference plane whose x-axis was defined
using a part edge (A) can shift or change shape if the edge used to define the
reference plane x-axis changes orientation (B).

A feature constructed using a reference plane whose x-axis was defined using a base
reference plane (A) will not shift or change shape if edges on the part face used to
define the reference plane change orientation.

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Lesson 3 Reference planes

Reference plane X-Axis and profile view orientation


The reference plane display includes a small rectangle in the bottom, left corner,
which indicates the x-axis origin of the reference plane. The x-axis origin indicator
is useful when drawing a sketch or constructing a profile-based feature, since it
indicates how the profile view will be re-oriented when the Orient the Window To The
Selected Plane option is set on the View tab on the Options dialog box. For example,
when drawing the L-shaped sketch, you would first select a reference plane (A), then
a new view is displayed (B), which is oriented according to the x-axis origin of the
reference plane you selected. This makes it easier to draw in the correct orientation.

Resizing reference planes


You can change the size of a reference plane in several ways. You can change the
size of the base reference planes by specifying a new size on the General tab on the
Options dialog box. The size you specify is applied to all three of the base reference
planes. This option is useful when you are setting up custom template files and the
default reference plane size is either too large or too small for the types of parts
your company typically models.
You can dynamically edit the size of a base, global, or local reference plane by
dragging the reference plane handles (A) located at the endpoints and midpoints
of the reference plane.

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Reference planes

The cursor display indicates whether you can resize the reference plane
symmetrically (A) or asymmetrically (B).

Some reference planes can only be resized symmetrically. You can only resize a base
reference plane symmetrically. Other reference planes can be resized symmetrically
or asymmetrically depending on whether certain types of relationships have been
applied to the reference plane.
For example, you can only resize a global reference plane asymmetrically until you
apply an endpoint connect relationship between a profile element and the reference
plane. Then you can only resize the reference plane symmetrically. Other types of
relationships or dimensions can also affect how you can resize a reference plane.
Note
When you apply dimensions or relationships to a reference plane, then resize
the reference plane, the model geometry can sometimes change.

You can also use the Auto-Resize button on the Command bar to resize a reference
plane. How the reference plane is resized depends on the reference plane type:
• Base reference plane—Resizes the reference plane to match the current setting
for Reference Plane Size on the General tab of the Options dialog box.

• Global reference plane—Resizes the reference plane with respect to its parent
reference plane or face.

• Local reference plane—Resizes the reference plane with respect to the profile
geometry.

Angled Plane command


Creates a reference plane at a specified angle to a part face or reference plane.
To create an angled plane based on a part face, the software rotates the face about a
selected part edge. To create an angled plane based on an existing reference plane,
the software rotates the existing reference plane about the intersection of the new
and existing reference planes.

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Lesson 3 Reference planes

Coincident Plane command


Creates a new reference plane that is coincident with a selected part face or an
existing reference plane. When you create a new reference plane based on an
existing reference plane (A), the x-axis orientation of the new reference plane (B)
matches the x-axis orientation of the existing reference plane.

While you are creating a new reference plane based on a part face (A), the x-axis
orientation (B) of the new reference plane is automatically defined using a linear
edge (C) on the part face.

If the face you select does not have any linear edges, the x-axis orientation of the
new reference plane is defined using one of the default reference planes (A).

When you create a new reference plane using a part face, you can define a different
x-axis orientation using the following hot keys:

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Reference planes

• An upper or lower case N to rotate counterclockwise to the next linear edge


(A), (B), (C):

• An upper or lower case B to go back to the previous linear edge (A), (B):

• An upper or lower case T to toggle the x-axis orientation (A), (B) to the opposite
end of the current linear edge (C):

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Lesson 3 Reference planes

• An upper or lower case P to use a base reference plane that intersects with
the reference plane you are defining. When you press the P key, the software
automatically selects one of the intersecting base reference planes (A). If you
want to use a different base reference plane, press the P key again (B). An
advantage to this approach is that the x-axis orientation remains constant. (The
P option is not available in the assembly environment.)

• An upper or lower case F to flip the normal direction of the reference plane,
which changes the x-axis orientation.

Note
When you run this command from the References group, it creates a global
reference plane. When you run it from a command bar, it creates a local
reference plane for the current feature.

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Reference planes

Coincident Plane By Axis command


Creates a new reference plane that is coincident to a selected part face or an existing
reference plane. For example, you can define the new reference plane by selecting a
part face (A), then specify the x-axis by selecting a part edge (B), and then specify
the x-axis origin and direction by positioning the cursor near the end of the x-axis
(C). A dynamic representation of the new reference plane is displayed.

Note
When you run this command from the Home tab®Reference group, it creates
a global reference plane. When you run it from a command bar, it creates a
local reference plane for the current feature.

Examples: Defining Reference Plane Orientation

You can create global reference planes using the commands on the Home tab, or you
can create local reference planes using the reference plane options on the command
bar when constructing a feature.
When you create a new reference plane based on an existing reference plane (A),
the x-axis orientation of the new reference plane (B) matches the x-axis orientation
of the existing reference plane.

When you define a new reference plane based on a part face, you can quickly
create a new reference plane where the x-axis orientation and origin is determined
automatically or you can define the x-axis orientation and origin yourself.

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Lesson 3 Reference planes

Defining the Reference Plane X-Axis and Origin Automatically


To quickly create a new reference plane where the x-axis orientation and origin is
determined automatically you can use the following options:
• Coincident Plane

• Parallel Plane

When you use these options to create a new reference plane based on a part face
(A), the x-axis orientation (B) of the new reference plane is automatically defined
using a linear edge (C) on the part face.

If the face you select does not have any linear edges, the x-axis orientation of the
new reference plane is defined using one of the default reference planes (A).

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Reference planes

Defining the Reference Plane X-Axis and Origin Yourself


To create a new reference plane where you control the x-axis orientation and origin,
you can use the following options:
• Coincident Plane By Axis

• Angled Plane

• Perpendicular Plane

• Plane Normal To Curve

• Plane By 3 Points

For example, suppose you wanted to define a new reference plane relative to the top
face of the part , and you want it to be oriented as shown on the right side.

Using the Coincident Plane By Axis option, you can do this by selecting the top face
(A) as the planar face, then the bottom edge (B) as the x axis of the new reference
plane. Then click near the left end of the plane (C) to define the origin. Notice that
when you position your mouse near the left end, a dynamic representation of the
new reference plane is displayed.

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Lesson 3 Reference planes

Coordinate System command


Creates a custom coordinate system. This allows you to manipulate data relative
to a coordinate system other than the base coordinate system. You can define a
coordinate system relative to another coordinate system or to model geometry.
Coordinate systems defined relative to model geometry are associative to the model
geometry. For example, if you define a coordinate system such that its origin is
aligned with a hole on the model, and you modify the dimension controlling the hole
location, the coordinate system also changes location.
The coordinate system can serve many functions. It can be used as an alternate
frame of reference for constructing profiles, or the origin of the coordinate system can
be used for input just like keypoints. For example, you can define a new reference
plane by selecting the plane inferred by the x-y axes of a coordinate system.

You can measure distances relative to a coordinate system with the Measure
Distance and Measure Minimum Distance commands.
You can use a coordinate system to move and rotate part copies. For example, you
can place a coordinate system, then use the Part Copy command to place a part copy.
You can specify that the part copy is attached to the coordinate system using the
Part Copy Parameters dialog box. You can then edit the origin or orientation of the
coordinate system to move or rotate both the coordinate system and the part copy.

In the Assembly environment, you can also use a coordinate system to position
parts in the assembly.

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Reference planes

Parallel Plane command


Creates a reference plane parallel to a part face or reference plane at an offset value
you define. You can define the offset value using the cursor or by typing a value in
the Distance box on the command bar.

While you are creating a new reference plane based on a part face (A), the x-axis
orientation (B) of the new reference plane is automatically defined using a linear
edge (C) on the part face.

If the face you select does not have any linear edges, the x-axis orientation of the
new reference plane is defined using one of the default reference planes (A).

When you create a new reference plane using a part face, you can define a different
x-axis orientation using the following hot keys:

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Lesson 3 Reference planes

• An upper or lower case N to rotate counterclockwise to the next linear edge


(A), (B), (C):

• An upper or lower case B to go back to the previous linear edge (A), (B):

• An upper or lower case T to toggle the x-axis orientation (A), (B) to the opposite
end of the current linear edge (C):

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Reference planes

• An upper or lower case P to use a base reference plane that intersects with
the reference plane you are defining. When you press the P key, the software
automatically selects one of the intersecting base reference planes (A). If you
want to use a different base reference plane, press the P key again (B). An
advantage to this approach is that the x-axis orientation remains constant. (The
P option is not available in the assembly environment.)

• An upper or lower case F to flip the normal direction of the reference plane,
which changes the x-axis orientation.

Perpendicular Plane command


Creates a reference plane perpendicular to a part face or plane.
To create a perpendicular plane based on a part face, the software rotates the face
about a selected part edge. To create a perpendicular plane based on an existing
plane, the software rotates the plane about a selected line.
Note
When you run this command from the command ribbon, it creates a global
reference plane. When you run it from a command bar, it creates a local
reference plane for the current feature.

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Lesson 3 Reference planes

By 3 Points command
Creates a reference plane by three points.
Note
When you run this command from the Reference group, it creates a global
reference plane. When you run this option from a command bar, it creates a
local reference plane for the current feature.

Normal to Curve command


Creates a reference plane normal to a curve or part edge. You can position the
reference plane at any point along the curve.

You can use an upper or lower case N to define a different X-axis direction for the
new reference plane.
Note
When you run this command from the Reference group, it creates a global
reference plane. When you run this option from a command bar, it creates a
local reference plane for the current feature.

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Reference planes

Tangent Plane command


Creates a reference plane tangent to a face.

The following face types are valid when constructing a tangent reference plane:
• Cylinder

• Cone

• Sphere

• Torus

• B-Spline surface

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Lesson 3 Reference planes

When constructing a tangent reference plane to a surface that is not a cylinder or


cone, you must select a keypoint on the surface to which you want to attach the
reference plane. The keypoint can be from an element that was used to construct
the surface or from an element that was projected onto the surface. For example,
you can project a line (A) onto a b-spline surface to create an curve (B) on the
surface. You can then use a keypoint on the curve to define the tangency point for
the reference plane (C).

Note
When you run this command from the Reference group, it creates a global
reference plane. When you run it from a command bar, it creates a local
reference plane for the current feature.

Lesson review
1. What are the three types of reference planes in Solid Edge?

2. What is the difference between a local and global reference plane?

3. Can you delete a base reference plane?

4. How do you control the display of reference planes?

5. Can a reference plane be used by more than one feature?

6. What does the small rectangle in the bottom left corner of a reference plane
indicate?

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Reference planes

Instructor demo – Reference plane creation


Overview
The process for creating reference planes will be demonstrated.

Objectives
This demo introduces you to reference planes and how to create them.
The three types of reference planes are classified as:
• Base

• Local

• Global

Demo
Step 1: Open rp_demo.par.

Step 2: In PathFinder, move the cursor over the planes Top (xy), Right (yz) and
Front (zx) and notice as each plane highlights. These are referred to
as the "base" planes.
Note
These are the three default planes that are in each file created in
the Solid Edge Part, Assembly and Sheet Metal environments.

Note
Base planes cannot be deleted.

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Lesson 3 Reference planes

Step 3: The next classification of reference planes is referred to as "global"


planes. These planes are user-defined and can be used by any feature
construction command that requires a reference plane. Global planes are
important when the base reference planes do not provide the necessary
design intent control. These planes are listed in PathFinder and their
display can be turned on or off by clicking the check box. These planes
can be renamed from a system generated name to more useful name
(i.e. mirror plane).
To create a global plane, use the reference plane commands on the
Reference group.

Step 4: Create global reference planes. The decision of which type of plane
is needed will become more evident as solid models are built and
features are added. The reference planes that are most commonly used
(Coincident Plane, Parallel Plane, Plane by 3 Points) will be covered. The
creation process for the other planes should be easily understood when
the need arises.
Create a coincident plane. On the Reference group, choose the
Coincident Plane command.

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Reference planes

Position the cursor as shown and click. A global reference plane is


now created that is coincident with the angled face selected.

Note
The coincident plane is associative to the face selected. The
plane will maintain the same orientation as the face if the
face is edited.

Rename the coincident plane. Choose the Select Tool. In PathFinder,


right-click over the plane and click Rename.

Type “Plane A” and press the <Enter> key.

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Lesson 3 Reference planes

Notice the rectangle on the global reference plane (the part and base
reference planes are temporarily hidden for visualization purposes).
When a plane is selected for sketch or profile creation, the sketch or
profile window is oriented with the rectangle at the bottom left of the
window. The user has control of this orientation when creating the
plane. The orientation definition can be changed later if needed.

Step 5: Create another coincident plane and observe how the plane’s orientation
can be controlled.
Choose the Coincident Plane command.

Pause the cursor over the face shown.

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Reference planes

Notice the highlighted edge on the face. The reference plane


orientation will be parallel to the highlighted edge if you click while
it is highlighted. Notice the orientation options available in the
PromtBar.

(n–goes to the next edge, b–reverses direction for the next edge,
t–toggles the orientation, f–flips the orientation and p–orients the
plane parallel to a base plane)

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Lesson 3 Reference planes

Type “p” and observe the plane orientation choices. Continue to type
“p” until you get the orientation shown and then click.

Rename the plane to “Plane B”.

Step 6: Create a global parallel plane. Parallel planes are used quite often in
the modeling process.
Choose the Parallel Plane command located under the More Planes
list.

Select the face as shown.

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Reference planes

Notice the plane is attached to the cursor. The plane can be dragged
in either direction parallel to the selected face. Position the cursor at
the approximate location as shown and click.

Step 7: Edit the parallel plane’s distance value.


Notice the dimension placed defining the distance the parallel plane
is from the selected face.

Edit the distance value of the parallel plane. Click the Select tool.

Select the parallel plane.

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Lesson 3 Reference planes

On the command bar, click Edit Definition. Type 25 in the Distance


field. Position the plane on the right side.

Rename the plane to “Plane C”.

Step 8: Create a global plane defined by 3 points.


Turn off the display of all reference planes. Right-click in the part
window and select Hide All®Reference Planes.

Choose the By 3 Points command under the More Planes list.

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Reference planes

Define the three points (use keypoint to select the points shown).
Point 1 is the origin. Point 2 defines the X–direction. Point 3 defines
the Y–direction.
Note
Use the endpoint point symbol to select the points shown.

Rename the plane to “Plane D”.

Step 9: The last classification of reference planes is referred to as "local" planes.


These planes are user-defined inside a feature construction command.
These are created in the same way as "global" planes, but are created and
are only present within the feature command. If a reference plane can
be reused in other feature construction operations, it is recommended
to create a global plane to keep from having to redefine the plane for
each operation.
Note
In order to demonstrate the local reference plane creation process,
we will have to use some commands that have not been covered
up to this point.

Choose the Extrude command in the Solids group.

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Lesson 3 Reference planes

Select the Parallel Plane option from the plane drop-down list on
the command bar.

Select the plane as shown.

Type 25 in the Distance field. Click for the side as shown.

The local parallel plane is oriented normal to the window. In the


Draw group, choose the Circle by Center command.

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Reference planes

Draw the circle shown. Exact size and position is not necessary.

On the ribbon, choose Close Sketch.

On command bar, click the Through Next extent option and position
the red direction arrow as shown.

Notice the local reference plane is visible at this point. On command


bar, click Finish.

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Lesson 3 Reference planes

Notice the local reference plane is not viewable outside the feature
construction mode.

Step 10: The last command to demonstrate will be the reference plane
Auto-Resize. This command will resize the local reference plane to fit
the sketch/profile geometry.
Choose the Select tool.

On PathFinder, select the Protrusion feature.

On command bar, click Edit Definition.

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Reference planes

Select the local reference plane shown.

Notice the display of the reference plane. Handles are present to


use to manually resize the reference plane. Automatically resize
the plane.

On command bar, choose the Auto-Resize command.


Notice how the local reference plane adjusted to the profile/sketch
geometry.

The completes the demonstration.

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Lesson 3 Reference planes

Demo summary
The demonstration showed the three classification types of reference planes—base,
global and local. The understanding of these reference plane types will help you
during the part modeling process. The decision of what type to use will become
evident as you gain experience with Solid Edge.

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Reference planes

Activity – Defining reference plane orientation

Objectives
In this activity, you will learn to orient local reference planes using the planar faces
of an existing solid. This solid contains alignment indicators, which will show you
the results of orienting a reference plane in a particular manner. As you build solid
models, you will often need to draw profiles and sketches on existing faces. This
activity shows you how to control the orientation of reference planes created with
the Coincident Plane option.
After completing this activity, you will be able to properly orient a profile plane
based on faces and edges of existing geometry and features. However, you will not
draw a profile in this activity.

Activity
Step 1: From the start up screen, open the existing document rp_orientbox.par.

Step 2: Orient local reference planes from within the Extrude command. Select
planar faces of the solid and orient the local reference plane.
Choose the Extrude command.

The first step in the Extrude command is to select a plane to draw a


profile on. Notice the PromptBar.

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Lesson 3 Reference planes

A planar face or a reference plane can be used. When a planar face


is selected, the small rectangle (A) will be positioned at the lower
left of the profile window.

If another profile plane orientation is needed, the orientation can be


defined by cycling through all of the possible orientations on the
planar face. Notice the PromptBar.

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Reference planes

While the cursor is positioned over the planar face, entering an ‘n’
will cycle to the next edge (displayed as yellow) (A) of the planar face
resulting in a new orientation. Notice the small rectangle moves
showing new orientation.

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Lesson 3 Reference planes

Clicking the planar face at this point will result in the following
profile plane.

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Reference planes

Clicking planar face at this point will result in the following profile
plane.

While the planar face is highlighted, typing a ‘b’ will go back to the
previous displayed orientation. Typing a ‘t’ will flip the orientation
180°. When the desired orientation is displayed, click to enter the
profile step.

Click the Close Sketch button to close the Profile window. Dismiss
the profile window without drawing a profile.

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Lesson 3 Reference planes

Step 3: Continue creating profile planes on the remaining planar faces of the
solid. Orient each plane with the arrow pointing up.

Step 4: Close the file without saving. This completes the activity.

Activity summary
In this activity you learned how to correctly position a reference plane so that
creating geometry can be done efficiently, and the many options available to help
you in positioning the plane. Solid Edge provides many tools for productivity
enhancement, and the ability to orient a profile or sketch so that the critical
dimensions can be entered, is important in using Solid Edge efficiently.

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Reference planes

Lesson summary
Solid Edge provides several methods of creating reference planes so that proper
placement and orientation of features is easier. The three types of reference planes
in Solid Edge are:
• Base

• Global

• Local

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Lesson

4 Profiles and sketches

Objectives
After completing this lesson, you should be able to:
• create profiles and sketches

• understand degrees of freedom and how to eliminate them

• use IntelliSketch

• control the size and shape of sketches

• apply geometric relationships to sketches

• place and edit dimensions

• use relationship assistant

Drawing 2D elements
In Solid Edge, you can draw 2D elements to help you complete a variety of tasks. For
example, you can use 2D elements to construct features in the Part environment and
to draw layouts in the Assembly environment.
In the Draft environment, you can use 2D drawing tools to complete a variety
of tasks such as drawing sketches from scratch on the 2D Model sheet or in 2D
views, creating background sheet graphics, and defining cutting planes for section
views. The drawing commands, relationships, and dimensions work similarly in
all environments.

Drawing Commands and Tools


You can draw any type of 2D geometric element in Solid Edge—lines, arcs, circles,
and other primitives.

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Lesson 4 Profiles and sketches

Solid Edge also allows you to do the following:


• Move, rotate, scale, and mirror elements

• Trim and extend elements

• Add chamfers and fillets

• Create precision graphics from a freehand sketch

• Change the color of elements

Tools that work with the drawing commands—IntelliSketch, Intent Zones, and
Grid—allow you to easily relate elements to each other, define your drawing
intentions as you sketch, and provide precise coordinate input relative to any key
position in the drawing.

Drawing Command Input


Solid Edge drawing commands allow you to provide input by clicking with the mouse,
or by typing values in command bar boxes. No strict input order is required.
It is often productive to use a combination of graphic and command bar input. For
example, you can type a line length in the command bar box to lock the length value,
press the Enter or Tab key to lock the value, then set the line’s orientation angle
graphically. Or you can use the drawing command dynamics to get a graphic idea
of the size and orientation you want, then type values in the command bar boxes
to provide more precise input.
You can use the Line Color option on the element selection command bar to apply
colors to 2D elements. To change the color of an element, select it, and on the
command bar click the Line Color option to set the color you want to apply to the
element. You can click the More option on the Colors dialog box to define custom
colors.

Drawing Dynamics
As you draw, the software shows a temporary, dynamic display of the element you
are drawing. This temporary display shows what the elements will look like if you
click at the current cursor position.

Until you click the point that completely defines the element that you are drawing,
values in the command bar boxes update as you move the cursor. This gives you
constant feedback on the size, shape, position, and other characteristics of the
elements you draw.
When you lock a value by typing it into a command bar box, the dynamic display of
the element you are drawing shows that the value is locked. For example, if you lock
the length of a line, the length of the dynamic line does not change as you move the
cursor to set the angle. If you want to free the dynamics for a value, you can clear
the value box by double-clicking in the box and pressing the Backspace or Delete key.

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Applying and Displaying Relationships


As you draw, IntelliSketch recognizes and applies 2D relationships that control
element size, shape, and position. When you make changes, relationships help the
drawing retain the characteristics you do not want altered.
When a relationship indicator is displayed at the cursor, you can click to apply that
relationship. For example, if the horizontal relationship indicator is displayed when
you click to place the end point of a line, the line will be drawn exactly horizontal.
You can also apply relationships to elements after you draw them.

Relationship handles displayed on the geometry show you how elements are related.
You can remove any relationship by deleting its handle. You can display or hide the
relationship handles with the Relationship Handles command.

Maintaining Relationships
Solid Edge allows you to draw and modify 2D elements in the way that best suits
your design needs. You can make your assembly layouts and drawings associative by
applying relationships, or you can draw them freely, without relationships. When
you draw 2D elements in a part document, 2D relationships are maintained.
Maintaining relationships between 2D elements makes the elements associative (or
related) to each other. When you modify a 2D element that is related to another
2D element, the other element updates automatically. For example, if you move a
circle that has a tangent relationship with a line, the line also moves so that the
elements remain tangent.
You can draw elements freely, or non-associatively. When you modify a
non-associative portion of an assembly sketch or drawing, the changed elements
move freely, without changing other portions of the design. For example, if you move
a circle that is tangent to a line (but does not have a tangent relationship with the
line) the line does not move with the circle.
To control whether you draw and modify 2D elements freely or associatively in
layouts and drawings, use the Maintain Relationships command in the Assembly
and Draft environments.
Note
When you construct a 3D feature using the 2D elements, the sketch elements
are moved to the Used Sketches list in PathFinder.

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How 2D Relationships Work


An element that has no relationships applied can be moved and changed in various
ways. For example, when there are no relationships between two lines (A), the lines
can be moved and changed without affecting each other. If you apply a perpendicular
relationship between the two lines (B), and move one line, the other line moves
with it.

When you apply a relationship between elements, the relationship is maintained


when you modify either element. For example:
• If a line and an arc share a tangent relationship, they remain tangent when
either is modified.

• If a line and arc share a connect relationship, they remain connected when
either is modified.

Relationships also maintain physical characteristics such as size, orientation, and


position.
• You can make the size of two circles equal with an equal relationship.

• You can make the orientation of two lines parallel with a parallel relationship.

• You can connect a line and an arc with a connect relationship.

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A relationship can also maintain a physical characteristic of an individual element.


For example, you can make a line horizontal. The line remains horizontal even
if you change its position and length.

Construction Elements
For 2D elements you draw in a part or assembly document, you can specify that the
element is a considered a construction element. The Construction command on
the Sketching tab allows you to specify that an element is a construction element.
Construction elements are not used to construct features—they are used only as
drawing aids. The line style for a construction element is dashed.

Drawing Sketches of Parts


Drawing sketches allows you to establish the basic functional requirements of a part
before you construct any features. You can draw a sketch on any reference plane
using the Sketch command in the Part and Sheet Metal environments. Then you
can use these sketches to create profile-based features.

Sketching a part before modeling it gives you several advantages:


• Allows you to draw multiple profiles on one reference plane.

• Allows you to define relationships, such as tangency or equality, between profiles


on different reference planes.

• Allows you to draw the profiles you want without creating the subsequent
features until later.

Drawing sketches
When you click the Sketch button and then select a reference plane or planar face,
a profile view is displayed. You can then use the drawing commands to draw 2D
geometry.
The sketch elements you draw are assigned to the active layer. For example, when
working with a complex sketch that will be used to construct a lofted feature, you
may want to arrange the elements on multiple layers.

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You can add dimensions and relationships to control the positions and sizes of the
profiles. You can also define functional relationships using the Variables command.
You can use the Save and Save All commands to save the sketch while you create
them. When you have finished drawing, close the profile view using the Return
button on the command bar.

Sketches and PathFinder


Sketches are represented in the PathFinder tab just like features are. You can
display or hide them from the feature tree with the PathFinder Display: Sketches
command on the shortcut menu. You can use PathFinder to reorder or rename a
sketch just as you would any feature.

Displaying sketches
You can control the display of all the sketches in a document or individual sketches.
To display or hide all sketches, use the Show All: Sketches and Hide All: Sketches
commands. To display or hide individual sketches, select a sketch in the application
window or PathFinder, then use the Show and Hide commands on the shortcut menu.
You can also control the display of elements in a sketch by assigning the sketch
elements to a logical set of layers, and then display or hide the layers to control the
display of the sketch elements.
When a sketch is active, it is displayed using the Profile color. When a sketch is not
active, it is displayed using the Construction color. You can set the colors you want
using the Options command.

Using sketches to construct features


You can use sketches to construct features in the following ways:
• Directly, by clicking the Select From Sketch button on the feature command bar.

• Indirectly, by clicking the Draw button on the feature command bar and then
associatively copying sketch geometry onto the active profile plane using the
Include command.

Using sketches directly


You can use sketch profiles directly if no modifications to the profile are required.
When constructing a feature, click the Select From Sketch button on the feature
command bar. You can then select one or more sketch profiles. When you click the
Accept button on the command bar, the profiles you selected are checked to make
sure they are valid for the type of feature you are constructing. For example, if you
are constructing a base feature, the profile you select must be closed. If you select an
open profile or more than one profile, an error message is displayed. You can then
select the Deselect (x) button on the command bar to clear the selected profiles.

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Features constructed using sketched profiles are associative to the sketch and will
update when the sketch is edited.

Using sketches indirectly


If the sketch profile requires modification before using it to construct a feature, you
must first copy it to the active profile plane using the Include command. When you
click the Draw Profile button on the feature command bar, and define the profile
plane you want, a profile view is displayed. You can then use the Include command
to copy elements from sketch profiles to the active profile plane.
After you have copied sketch elements, you can use the drawing commands to modify
them. For example, you may need to add elements to the profile not contained in
the sketch. You can also add dimensions and relationships between the elements on
the active profile plane and the sketch.

The sketched elements you copy are associative to the sketch and will update if the
sketch dimensions are edited.

Editing and modifying sketches


You can modify sketch elements using the command bar or the element’s handles.
When you modify an element, other elements may also change.

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Selecting Elements

You can use the Select Tool to select elements in several ways:
• To select an individual element, position the cursor over the element and
click when the element highlights.

• To select multiple elements, press the CTRL or the SHIFT key while you
select the elements.

• To select all 2D elements, press CTRL+A. The Select Tool command does not
need to be active for this to work.

• To deselect an element, press the SHIFT or CTRL key and click the element.

• To select multiple elements using a fence, drag the cursor to define a


rectangular fence. You can use the Selection Options button on the Select
Tool command bar to specify the selection criteria you want.

Command bars

After you select an element, you can modify it by changing its values on a
command bar. For example, you can change the length of a line by typing a new
value in the Length box on the command bar.

Element handles

You can use an element’s handles to modify an element. A element handle is


represented by a solid square on the element, such as the end of a line or the
center of an arc. You can dynamically drag a handle to modify an element. First,
select the element, then drag the handle to modify it.
• Lines - Drag a handle to modify the length or angle of a line.

• Arcs - Drag an endpoint, midpoint, or center point handle to modify an arc.

• Fillets and Chamfers - Drag the handle to modify the size of a fillet or
chamfer.

Sketches and revolved features


Sketches that are used for constructing revolved features must have an axis
defined in the sketch. If you select a sketch profile that does not have an axis, an
error message is displayed. You will have to cancel the revolved feature you are
constructing, then open the sketch to define the axis.

Sketches and the swept and loft commands


Drawing sketches can be especially useful when constructing swept and lofted
features. Because the Sketch command allows you to define relationships between
profiles on separate planes, you can more easily define the relationships you need
to control these features properly. Additionally, the ability to exit a sketch profile
window without creating a feature can be especially useful when drawing the profiles
for swept and lofted features.

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Converting 2D drawing view data to a 3D sketch


You can use the Create 3D command to convert two-dimensional drawing view data
into a three-dimensional sketch.
The command displays the Create 3D dialog box that prompts you for the drawing
view elements you want to include in the sketch.
Before selecting the elements that you want to include in the sketches, you need to
select a template to create a part, assembly, or sheet metal file. After you select a
template file, specify the projection angle that you want to use when the sketches are
created in the new document. After you specify the projection angle, select the view
type of the elements you want to include in the sketch:
• Folded principal views are orthogonal or aligned with the primary view. You can
select this view type to define the primary view.

• Folded auxiliary views are true auxiliary views that are generally derived from
principal views and require a fold line to determine the edge or axis around
which you want to fold the view.

• Copy views are not orthogonal and they may not actually align with the primary
view. These views are placed as sketches on the same plane as the last principal
view defined in the draft file.
After you define this information, you are ready to select the geometry to create
the sketches. You can include lines, arcs, circles, curves, and polylines and line
strings created with imported data. You can drag the mouse to fence elements or
press the SHIFT key and click each element to select more than one element.

If you select the Fold Principal Views option or Fold Auxiliary Views option and
it is not the primary view, you can click the Fold Line button after you select all
of the elements for the view. The Fold Line button allows you to define a line or
point in an orthogonal or auxiliary view on which to fold the primary view.

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If you want to define another view, click the New View button and select the
next view.

Continue this process to define any additional views.

After you define all views, click the Finish button to launch the Part or Sheet
Metal environment to create the model file in which the views are placed as
sketches.

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Sketch Commands

Sketch command

Opens a profile true view window so you can draw a sketch on a reference plane.
You can use a sketch as a profile when constructing a feature. A feature constructed
using a sketch is associative to the sketch. For example, if you edit the length of a
line in the sketch, any features using that line in their profiles will also change.

Tear-Off Sketch command

Copies or moves sketch and layout elements from one reference plane to another.
This allows you to divide a large sketch into a series of smaller sketches, which can
make it easier to complete the part or assembly you are documenting. For example,
you can associatively copy a single sketch to a series of sketches using reference
planes normal to a curve.

You can then use the resulting sketches as cross sections for constructing a feature
such as a swept surface.

You can use the Tear-Off Sketch Options dialog box to:
• Copy sketch elements associatively

• Copy sketch elements non-associatively

• Move sketch elements

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When you copy sketch elements associatively, a special symbol (A) is added to the
copied sketch elements to indicate that the copied elements are associatively linked
to the original sketch elements. If you modify the original elements, the associative
elements also update.

When selecting the sketch to tear off, you can select a single sketch element or a
chain of sketch elements. You can only tear off sketch elements within the same
sketch. If you select multiple sketch elements, all the elements are copied or moved
either associatively or non-associatively. You cannot copy some of the elements
associatively and some of them non-associatively.
After you copy or move the elements to the new sketch, you can use the Reposition
button on the Tear-Off Sketch command bar to connect keypoints of an element
profile to a pierce point that passes through the target reference plane. In the
Assembly environment, the pierce point option is not available.
You can connect multiple keypoints on a torn off sketch to multiple keypoints. For
example, you can connect keypoints on a sketch to multiple guide curves. You have
to select the Reposition button for each new position definition.

Sketch View command

Orients the active view normal to the command plane and aligns the orientation so
that it is easier to work with the current horizontal and vertical view settings.
This command is useful when you have rotated the profile or sketch view to another
orientation or you have cleared the Orient the Window to the Selected Plane option
on the General page on the Options dialog box.

This command is also available as the keyboard shortcut Ctrl+H.

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Include command
Copies part edges or sketch elements onto the current profile plane. You can include
elements associatively or non-associatively.
You are not limited to locating elements in the profile window. You can locate part
edges in the 3D window also.
For example, you can select a part edge (A) to include onto the current profile plane
(B). The included edge can then be used in the current profile.

Included Elements and Associativity


Special relationship handles are used to indicate that an element is associatively
linked to another element. The handles indicate whether the element is associatively
linked to an element in the same document (local) or another document (peer-to-peer).
Link (local)
Link (peer-to-peer)

An included element from the current part is always included associatively. An


included element from another document can be associative or non-associative.
You can break the associative link on included elements by deleting the link
relationship symbols.
You can trim and modify associative or non-associatively included elements, and
incorporate associatively included elements into a profile that contains newly created
non-associative elements.
This allows you to create features on one part that react to design changes to another
part. This builds intelligence into a model and allows you to ensure that mating
parts with common characteristics fit properly.
You can also add relationships or dimensions to associatively included elements, but
if the relationship or dimension conflicts with the associative relationship to the
parent element, a warning message is displayed.

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Including elements from other documents


Including elements from another part can be useful when two parts share common
characteristics. For example, you can use the Include command to copy the edges
on an existing part to create the 2D geometry required to define the base feature
for a new part.

If you are editing a part in the context of an assembly (you have in-place activated
the part), you can include elements from the assembly into the profile for a feature.
For example, you can include elements from an assembly sketch or an edge from
another part in the assembly.
Note
An Inter-Part Associativity tutorial is available that demonstrates how to
create associative inter-part features.

When working outside the context of an assembly, you can also include edges from a
part copy feature you created using the Part Copy command .
To associatively include an assembly sketch element or edge from another part, you
must first set the Allow Inter-Part Links Using: Include Command From Part and
Assembly Sketches option on the Inter-Part tab on the Options dialog box. Then set
the Allow Locate of Peer Assembly Parts and Assembly Sketches option and the
Maintain Associativity When Including Geometry From Other Parts in the Assembly
option on the Include Options dialog box. For more information on inter-part links,
see the Inter-Part Associativity Help topic.
To associatively include edges from a part copy, you must set the Link to File option
on the Part Copy Parameters dialog box when you insert the part copy.

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Geometric Relationships
Geometric relationships control the orientation of an element with respect to another
element or reference plane. For example, you can define a tangent relationship
between a line and an arc. If the adjoining elements change, the tangent relationship
is maintained between the elements.

Geometric relationships control how a sketch changes when edits are made.
IntelliSketch displays and places geometric relationships as you draw. After you
complete the sketch, you can use the various relationship commands and the
Relationship Assistant to apply additional geometric relationships.

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Relationship Handles
Relationship handles are symbols used to represent a geometric relationship
between elements, keypoints, and dimensions, or between keypoints and elements.
The relationship handle shows that the designated relationship is being maintained.
Relationship Handle
Collinear

Connect (1 degree of freedom)


Connect (2 degrees of freedom)
Concentric
Equal
Horizontal/Vertical
Tangent
Tangent (Tangent + Equal Curvature)
Tangent (Parallel Tangent Vectors)
Tangent (Parallel Tangent Vectors + Equal Curvature)

Symmetric
Parallel
Perpendicular
Fillet
Chamfer
Link (local)
Link (peer-to-peer)
Link (sketch to sketch)
Rigid Set (2-D elements)

In some cases, more than one relationship may be required and displayed at the
same location on the profile. For example, a connect relationship and a tangent
relationship can be used where an arc meets a line.

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Displaying Parents for a Relationship


When modifying a profile or sketch, it can be useful to determine the parent
elements for a relationship. When you select a geometric relationship, the parents
highlight. For example, when you select the horizontal relationship shown in the
first illustration, the left vertical line and the circle are highlighted as the parent
elements.

This can be useful when multiple relationships are in the same location and you
need to delete one relationship. In this situation, you can use QuickPick to highlight
the relationship, and the parent elements are displayed using a dashed line style.

Collinear
The Collinear command forces two lines to be collinear. If the angle of one of the
lines changes, the second line changes its angle and position to remain collinear
with the first.

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Connect
The Connect command joins a keypoint on one element to another element, or
element keypoint. For example, you can apply a connect relationship between the
endpoints of two elements. Establishing a connect relationship between element
endpoints helps you draw a closed sketch. The symbol for connected endpoints
displays a dot at the center of a rectangle.

You can also use the Connect command to connect the endpoint of an element to any
point on another element, not necessarily an endpoint or keypoint. This is called
a point-on-element connection, and the symbol resembles an X. For example, the
endpoint of the top horizontal line on the right side of the profile is connected to
the vertical line, but not at an endpoint.

When drawing profiles, pay close attention to the relationship indicator symbols
that IntelliSketch displays, and try to draw the elements as accurately as possible.
Otherwise, you may accidentally apply a connect relationship in the wrong location,
which can result in an invalid profile. For example, for a base feature you may
accidentally create an open profile, rather than the required closed profile.

Tangent
The Tangent command maintains tangency between two elements or element groups.

When you apply a tangent relationship, you can use the Tangent command bar to
specify the type of tangent relationship you want:
• Tangent

• Tangent + Equal Curvature

• Parallel Tangent Vectors

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• Parallel Tangent Vectors + Equal Curvature

A simple tangent relationship is useful when you want a line and an arc, or two arcs
to remain tangent. The other options are useful in situations where a b-spline curve
must blend smoothly with other elements. The Tangent + Equal Curvature, Parallel
Tangent Vectors, and Parallel Tangent Vectors + Equal Curvature options require
that the first element you select is a b-spline curve.
Note
You can also apply a tangent or connect relationship to an end-point connected
series of elements to define a profile group. For more information on profile
groups, see the Working With Profile Groups topic.

Perpendicular
The Perpendicular command maintains a 90-degree angle between two elements.

Horizontal/Vertical
The Horizontal/Vertical command works in two modes. In one mode, you can fix the
orientation of a line as either horizontal or vertical by selecting any point on the line
that is not an endpoint or a midpoint.

In the second mode, you can apply vertical/horizontal relationships between graphic
elements by aligning their midpoints, center points, or endpoints so that their
positions remain aligned with respect to each other.

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Equal
The Equal command maintains size equality between similar elements. When this
relationship is applied between two lines, their lengths become equal. When applied
between two arcs, their radii become equal.

Parallel
The Parallel command makes two lines share the same angled orientation.

Concentric
The Concentric command maintains coincident centers for arcs and circles.

Symmetric
You can use the Symmetric command to make elements symmetric about a line or
reference plane. The Symmetric command captures both the location and size of
the elements.

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Rigid Set
You can use the Rigid Set command to add a rigid set relationship to a group of
2-D elements.

Working With profile groups

You can use the Connect or Tangent commands to define a profile group. A profile
group is an endpoint connected series of lines, arcs, elliptical arcs, or open b-spline
curves that behave as one element with respect to the geometric relationship that
defines the profile group.
A profile group exists only within the context of the tangent or connect relationship
that defines the group. Profile groups can be open or closed, but cannot be disjoint.
A profile group allows you to define a single relationship that applies to more than
one element. For example, you can apply a tangent relationship (A) between circle
(B), and a series of endpoint connected elements (C), (D), (E), and (F).

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When you move circle (B) using the Select tool or by editing a relationship that
controls the position of the circle (B), it remains tangent to elements (C) through (F).

Defining profile groups


You define a profile group by holding the SHIFT key within the Tangent or Connect
commands, then select the elements you want to be in the profile group. For example,
to apply a tangent relationship to the profile group shown previously, first select
circle (B), then hold the SHIFT key and select elements (C), (D), (E), and (F).
When you define a profile group using a connect relationship, a single degree of
freedom connect relationship (A) is applied. For example, you can connect the center
of circle (B) to elements (C), (D), (E), and (F). When you move circle (B), its center
remains connected to elements (C) through (F).

You can also apply a connect or tangent relationship to two groups of elements by
pressing the SHIFT key while selecting the first group of elements, then release
the SHIFT key and press the SHIFT key again while selecting a second group of
elements.
After you define a profile group, you cannot add more elements to it. If you want to
add another element, you must first delete the relationship that defines the profile
group, add the elements you want, then redefine the profile group by reapplying a
tangent or connect relationship.
If you delete an element from a profile group and the group remains valid, the group
remains in place. If you recompute the group and validation fails, the relationship
that defines the group is dropped.

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Relationship Assistant command


Automatically places dimensions and relationships on selected elements. You can
specify which dimensions and relationships to apply with the Relationship Assistant
dialog box.

You can use the Show Variability button on the command bar to calculate the
number of relationships required to fully constrain the shape and show you how the
shape can change in the graphics window.

When you select elements and then click the Show Variability button, the number of
relationships needed is displayed on the command bar, and a temporary image of the
shape is displayed to show one possibility of how it can change. You can click the
Show Variability button repeatedly to see other variations.
Related User Interface
Note
• This command is available only when you have locked a sketch plane.

• Use the IntelliSketch command to place dimensions and relationships


automatically on any new 2D elements as you draw them.

IntelliSketch
IntelliSketch is a dynamic drawing tool used for sketching and modifying elements.
IntelliSketch allows you to sketch with precision by specifying characteristics of
the design as you sketch.
For instance, IntelliSketch allows you to sketch a line that is horizontal or vertical,
or a line that is parallel or perpendicular to another line or tangent to a circle. You
can also draw an arc connected to the end point of an existing line, draw a circle
concentric with another circle, draw a line tangent to a circle—the possibilities
are too numerous to list.

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IntelliSketch places dimensions and geometric relationships on any new 2D elements


as you draw them. You can use another tool, the Relationship Assistant, to place
dimensions and relationships automatically on existing profile elements.

How IntelliSketch works


As you draw, IntelliSketch tracks the movement of the cursor and shows a temporary,
dynamic display of the element you are drawing. This temporary display shows what
the new element will look like if you click at the current position.

IntelliSketch gives you more information about the element you are drawing by
displaying relationships between the temporary, dynamic element and the following:

• Other elements in the drawing

• Horizontal and vertical orientations

• The origin of the element you are drawing

When IntelliSketch recognizes a relationship, it displays a relationship indicator


at the cursor. As you move the cursor, IntelliSketch updates the indicator to show
new relationships. If a relationship indicator is displayed at the cursor when you
click to draw the element, the software applies that relationship to the element. For
example, if the Horizontal relationship indicator is displayed when you click to place
the second end point of a line, then the line will be exactly horizontal.

IntelliSketch relationships
You can set the types of relationships you want IntelliSketch to recognize on the
Relationships page on the IntelliSketch dialog box. IntelliSketch can recognize one
or two relationships at a time. When IntelliSketch recognizes two relationships, it
displays both relationship indicators at the cursor.

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IntelliSketch locate zone


You do not have to move the cursor to an exact position for IntelliSketch to recognize
a relationship. IntelliSketch recognizes relationships for any element within the
locate zone of the cursor. The circle around the cursor crosshair or at the end of the
cursor arrow indicates the locate zone. You can change the size of the locate zone
with the IntelliSketch command on the Tools menu.

Alignment indicators
IntelliSketch displays a temporary dashed line to indicate when the cursor position
is horizontally or vertically aligned with a key point on an element.

Infinite elements
IntelliSketch recognizes the Point On Element relationship for lines and arcs as if
these elements were infinite. In the following example, IntelliSketch recognizes
a Point On Element relationship when the cursor is positioned directly over an
element and also when the cursor is moved off the element.

Center points
IntelliSketch displays an indicator at the center point of an arc or circle to make this
keypoint easy to locate.

Snapping to points
When drawing and manipulating 2D elements, you can use shortcut keys with
QuickPick to snap to keypoints and intersection points. This also applies the point
coordinates as input to the command in progress.
Once you have highlighted the element you want to snap to with the cursor, you can
use these shortcut keys to snap to points:
• Midpoint - press M.

• Intersection point - press I.

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• Center point - press C.

• Endpoint - press E.

To learn more, see Selecting and snapping to points.

Sweep angle lock at quadrants


When you draw tangent or perpendicular arcs, the arc sweep angle locks at quadrant
points of 0, 90, 180, and 270 degrees. This allows you to draw common arcs without
typing the sweep value on the command bar.
A temporary dashed line appears from the arc endpoint to the center line of the arc
to notify you that the arc is at a quadrant.

Automatic dimensioning
You can use options on the Auto-Dimension page in the IntelliSketch dialog box
to automatically create dimensions for new geometry. The page provides several
options to control when the dimensions are drawn as well as whether to use
dimension style mapping or not.
You can use the Auto-Dimension command as a quick way to turn automatic
dimensioning on and off.

Relationships page (IntelliSketch dialog box)


Sets which relationships are recognized by IntelliSketch as you draw. Set the
relationships you want to recognize, and clear the relationships you do not want to
recognize. Clear all relationships to turn IntelliSketch off.
End Point
Recognizes the endpoint of an element. For example, you can draw a new line at
the end point of another line or arc.

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Midpoint
Recognizes the midpoint of an element, such as the midpoint of a line. For
example, you can draw a new line at the midpoint of an existing line. You can
also use midpoint to align two elements to one another. For example, you can add
a vertical relationship between the midpoint of one line and the center of a circle.

Point on Element
Recognizes a point along an element. For example, you can draw a new line at
a point on an existing element. You could then use a dimension to control the
exact distance along the element you want.

Center Point
Recognizes the center point of an arc or circle. For example, you can draw a new
circle at the center point of an existing circle or arc.

Silhouette Point
Recognizes the silhouette points on an arc, circle or ellipse. For example, when
you draw a new line, you can touch the silhouette point on a circle. When you
click, the new line is connected to the silhouette point on the existing circle.

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Intersection Point
Recognizes the intersection of two elements, such as two lines or an arc and
a line. For example, you can draw a new line at the actual or theoretical
intersection of two existing elements.

Edit Point
Recognizes the edit points on a curve.

Curve Control Vertex


Recognizes a control vertex point on a curve.

Pierce Point
Recognizes where a 3D curve, a sketch, or an edge passes through (pierces) the
active profile plane. For example, you can use a connect relationship to position
the element you are drawing to where a profile element on another reference
plane pierces the current profile plane. A pierce point is useful when drawing
the sketches required to create the cross sections and path curves required for
a swept feature.

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Ellipse Axis Point


Recognizes an axis point on an ellipse or partial ellipse. For example, you
can apply a horizontal relationship to axis points on an ellipse to control its
orientation. You can also apply dimensions to ellipse axis points.

Parallel
Recognizes whether a line is parallel to another line. For example, when you
draw a new line, you can touch another line that you want the new line to be
parallel to, then move the cursor to be approximately parallel to the first line.
When the parallel indicator is displayed, click, and a parallel relationship is
added to the new line.

Perpendicular
Recognizes whether a line is perpendicular to another line, or a whether line is
perpendicular to an arc or circle. For example, when you draw a new line, you
can position the cursor such that the perpendicular indicator is displayed. When
you click, a perpendicular relationship is added to between the two lines.

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Tangent
Recognizes whether an element is tangent to an adjacent element, such as a
line, arc, or circle. For example, when you draw a new line that is connected to
an existing arc, you can position the cursor such that the tangent indicator is
displayed. When you click, a tangent relationship is added between the line
and arc.

Horizontal or Vertical
Recognizes whether a line is horizontal or vertical with respect to the x-axis of
the profile plane. For example, you can position the cursor such that the vertical
indicator is displayed when you are drawing a line. When you click, a vertical
relationship is added to the line.

Extensions (Point-On and Tangent)


Allows you to display an extension of a line that creates a point-on or tangent
relationship with another element.

Intent Zones
Solid Edge uses intent zones to interpret your intentions as you draw and modify
elements. Intent zones allow you to draw and modify elements many ways using few
commands. You do not need to select a different command for every type of element.

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How intent zones work


When you click to begin drawing certain elements, the software divides the region
around the clicked position into four intent zone quadrants. For example, when
drawing a line that is connected to a circle, four intent zones are displayed around
the point you clicked (A).

Two of these intent zones allow you to draw the line tangent to the circle. The other
two intent zones allow you to draw the line perpendicular to, or at some other
orientation relative to the circle.
By moving the cursor through one of these intent zones on the way to your next click
location, you can tell the software what you want to do next. This allows you to
control whether the line is tangent to the circle (A), perpendicular to the circle (B), or
at some other orientation (C).

The last intent zone you move the cursor into is the active zone. To change the active
intent zone, move the cursor back into the zone circle, and then move the cursor out
through the intent zone quadrant to the position where you want to click next.

Intent zone size


You can change the size of the intent zones with the IntelliSketch command. The
Intent Zone option on the Cursor tab on the IntelliSketch dialog box allows you to
set the intent zone size.

Drawing lines tangent or connected to curved elements


Using intent zones with the Line command, you can draw a line tangent to a circle or
arc. Or you can draw a line that is connected to the circle or arc, but not tangent to it.

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To draw an line tangent to a circle, first click a point on the circle (A) to place the first
end point of the line. Then move the cursor through the tangent intent zone. As you
move the cursor, the line remains tangent to the circle. Position the cursor where you
want the second end point of the line (B), then click to place the second end point.

If you do not want the line to be tangent to the circle, you can move the cursor back
into the intent zone region and out through one of the perpendicular zones (A) before
clicking to place the second end point of the line. When you move the cursor through
the perpendicular zones, you can also draw the line such that it is not perpendicular
to the circle (B) and (C).

The Line command also allows you to draw a connected series of lines and arcs. You
can use the L and A keys on the keyboard to switch from line mode to arc mode.
When you switch modes, intent zones (A) and (B) are displayed at the last click point.

The intent zones allow you to control whether the new element is tangent to,
perpendicular to, or at some other orientation to the previous element.

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Drawing tangent or perpendicular arcs


You can use intent zones to change the result of the Tangent Arc command. To draw
an arc tangent to a line, first click a point on the line to place the first end point of
the arc. Then move the cursor through the tangent intent zone and click to place
the second end point of the arc.

If you do not want the arc to be tangent to the line, you can move the cursor back
into the intent zone region and out through the perpendicular zone before clicking to
place the second end point of the arc.

Drawing arcs by three points


When you use the Arc By 3 Points command, intent zones allow you to input the three
points in any order. You can also use intent zones to change the arc direction. The
intent zone used with the Arc By 3 Points command is not divided into quadrants.

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Working with grids


The grid helps you draw and modify elements relative to known positions in the
working window. It displays a series of intersecting lines or points, and X and Y
coordinates, which enable you to draw 2D elements with precision. You can use the
grid with all sketching, dimensioning, and annotation functions. It also works with
IntelliSketch and the Select command.
For example, you can use the grid to:
• Draw elements at known locations, draw elements known distances apart, and
so forth. For an example, see Draw a line with a grid.

• Align dimensions and annotations by snapping them to grid points or lines. Only
bolt hole circles and center marks cannot be snapped to a grid. For an example,
see Place a dimension or annotation using a grid.

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Displaying the grid and setting options


Use the Grid Options command to open the Grid Options dialog box, where you can
turn the grid on and off. When the Show Grid option is set, the grid is displayed
whenever you create or modify 2D elements.
You also can use the Grid Options dialog box to:
• Turn alignment lines on and off.

• Turn snap-to-grid on and off.

• Turn coordinate display on and off.

• Change grid spacing.

• Change grid line color.

To change the grid origin line colors, you must change the Select and Highlight
colors on the Colors page in the Solid Edge Options dialog box.

How grids work


The grid is displayed in Draft and in profile and sketch mode as you draw, dimension,
and annotate 2D elements. The X and Y coordinates it displays are relative to an
origin point (A), which you can position anywhere in the window. The origin point is
marked by the intersection of the X and Y origin lines.
As you move the cursor, the horizontal and vertical distance between the cursor
position and the origin point is dynamically displayed (B).
If the Snap To Grid option is on when you add dimensions and annotations, they will
snap to grid lines and points.

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Recognizing the grid origin


The grid origin is marked by the intersection of the X and Y origin lines.
• In profile and sketch, the default display mode is a red dashed line for the X axis
and a green dashed line for the Y axis. The user-defined grid origin point is
marked by a circle and dot. The default origin is at the center of the profile or
sketch reference plane.

• In Draft, the default display mode is a red dashed line for the X axis and a
magenta dashed line for the Y axis. The user-defined grid origin point is marked
by a concentric circle and dot. The default origin is the (0,0) location of the
drawing sheet.

Moving the grid origin


You can move the grid origin point using either of these commands:

• Use the Reposition Origin command to move the origin to a user-defined


location. This is helpful when you want to do any of the following:
– Draw lines and other elements at a precise distance from another element
at a known location.

– Offset a series of elements by the same distance from a known location.

• To automatically reset the origin point to match the origin of the drawing sheet
or working plane, use the Zero Origin command .

See the Help topic, Reposition the grid origin point.

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Changing the grid orientation


In profile and sketch, the default orientation for the x-axis of the grid is horizontal to
the profile or sketch reference plane. You can reorient the x-axis to any angle using
the Angle option on the Grid Options dialog box.

• Change the grid angle. See the Help topic, Reposition the sketch plane origin.

• Ensure that dimensions placed on coplanar geometry remain horizontal and


vertical. See the Help topic, Set sketch plane horizontal and vertical for
dimensioning.

In Draft, the default orientation for the X-axis of the grid is horizontal. You can
reorient the X-axis to any angle using the Angle option on the Grid Options dialog
box.

Projection lines
Projection lines are extensions of lines that assist in 2D drawing.

• You can use projection lines to help you create new geometry, and any constraints
you create with them remain active even after you turn projection lines off.
For example, in a drawing, you can use projection lines on an auxiliary view to
enable creation of additional views with proper alignment and size.

• You can create a line with the projection line option set, or you can edit an
existing line and set the projection line property later.

• You can place dimensions and annotations to projection lines. Dimensions and
annotations connect to the defining segment of the projection line (the original
2D line on which the projection line is based).

Projection lines are available as a line property on the Line command bar and on
the Format page of the Element Properties dialog box.

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Modifying 2D elements
Solid Edge provides a wide range of tools for modifying 2D elements. 2D drawing
and modification tools work together smoothly, so that you can modify your profiles,
sketches, and 2D drawings as you work.

Using element handles


You can change the size, position, or orientation of an element with the cursor. When
you select an element with the Select tool, its handles are displayed at key positions.

You can change the shape of a selected element by dragging one of its handles. The
first figure shows the effect of dragging an end point handle. The second figure
shows the effect of dragging the midpoint handle.

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Moving and copying elements with the mouse


You can also drag a selected element to move it without changing its shape. Position
the cursor so it is not over a handle, then drag the element to another location.

To copy an element, hold the Ctrl key while you drag.

Applying relationships between elements


You can apply geometric relationships as you draw or after you draw. To apply a
geometric relationship onto an existing element, select a relationship command and
then select the element to which you want to add the relationship. When you apply a
relationship to an element, the element is modified to reflect the new relationship.

If a line and arc are not tangent (A), applying a tangent relationship modifies one or
both elements to make them tangent (B).

When you use relationship commands, the software allows you to select only elements
that are valid input for that command. For example, when you use the Concentric
command, the command allows you to select only circles, arcs, and ellipses.

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Changing relationships
You can delete a relationship as you would delete any other element by selecting a
relationship handle, then press the Delete key on the keyboard.

Dimensions as relationships
Driving dimensions are relationships that allow you to maintain characteristics
such as the size, orientation, and position of elements. When you place a driving
dimension on or between elements, you can change the measured elements by
editing the dimensional value. You do not have to delete or redraw elements at
different sizes.
For example, you can dimension the radius of an arc to maintain its size (A), and
then edit the value of the radius dimension to change its size (B).

To create dimensional relationships, select a dimension command and click the


elements you want to control.

Changing elements with relationships


When you modify 2D elements, elements with maintained relationships
automatically update to honor the relationship. For example, if you move an element
that shares a parallel relationship with another element, the other element moves
as needed to remain parallel. If a line and an arc share a tangent relationship, they
remain tangent when either is modified.
If you want to change an element by adding or removing a relationship, and the
element does not change the way you expect, it may be controlled by a driving
dimension. You can toggle the dimension from driving to driven, then make the
change.

Element modification: trimming, extending, splitting, filleting, chamfering,


offsetting, and stretching
Whether your sketching technique is to start big and whittle away or to start small
and build up, relationships make it possible to sketch and evolve, rather than draw
every element to its exact measurements. Solid Edge modification tools allow you to
change a sketch and still maintain applied relationships.

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Solid Edge provides commands to trim, extend, or split elements.

The Trim command trims an element back to the intersection with another element.
To use the command, click on the part to trim.

You can trim one or more elements by dragging the cursor across the part to trim.

You can also select the elements you want to trim to. This selection overrides
the default option of trimming to the next element only. To select an element to
trim to, press the Ctrl key while selecting the element to trim to. For example, in
normal operations, if you selected line (A) as the element to be trimmed, it would be
trimmed at the intersection of the next element (B). However, you can select the
edges (C) and (D) as the elements to trim to and the element will be trimmed at
the intersection of those edges.

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The Trim Corner command creates a corner by extending two open elements to
their intersection.

The Extend to Next command extends an open element to the next element. To do
this, select the element and then click the mouse near the end to extend.

You can also select an element to extend to. This selection overrides the default
option of extending to the next element only. To select an element to extend to,
press the Ctrl key while selecting the element to extend to. For example, in normal
operations, if you selected line (A) as the element to be extended, it would be
extended to the intersection of the next element (B). However, you can select edge
(C) to extend the line to that edge.

The Split command splits an open or closed element at the location you specify. When
splitting elements, appropriate geometric relationships are applied automatically.
For example, when splitting an arc, a connect relationship (A) is applied at the split
point, and a concentric relationship (B) is applied at the center point of the arcs.

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Fillet and Chamfer commands combine drawing and trimming operations.

The Offset command draws a uniform-offset copy of selected elements.

You cannot select model edges with this command. If you want to offset model edges,
use the Include command.
The Symmetric Offset command draws a symmetrically offset copy of a selected
center line.

The Stretch command moves elements within the fence and stretches elements
that overlap the fence.

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Relationships are added or removed as necessary during element modification. If


you trim part of a circle and more than one arc remains, concentric and equal
relationships are applied between the remaining arcs.

For example, you typically begin designing with key design parameters. You would
draw known design elements in proper relation to one another (A) and then draw
additional elements to fill in the blanks (B).

As you draw, you may need to modify elements to create a valid profile, or to make
a drawing look the way you want it to (C-F). You can use modification commands
such as Trim and Extend to modify the elements. The relationships are maintained
and additional relationships are applied.

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Element manipulation: rotating, scaling, mirroring, copying, and deleting


Tools are provided for moving, rotating, scaling, and mirroring elements. These tools
can also be used for copying. For example, you can make a mirror copy, or you can
cut or copy 2D elements from another application and paste them into the profile
window, the assembly sketch window, or a drawing.

When you manipulate elements that have relationships, the relationships are
retained when possible. For example, if you make a copy of two related elements, the
relationship is also copied. However, if you copy one of two elements that are related
to each other, the relationship is not copied.
Relationships that are no longer applicable after a manipulation are automatically
deleted. For example, if you delete one of a pair of parallel lines, the parallel
relationship is deleted from the remaining line.

The Rotate command turns or turns and copies 2D elements about an axis. The
command requires you to specify a center point for the rotation (A), a point to rotate
from (B), and a point to rotate to (C).

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The Scale command uses a scale factor to proportionally scale or scale and copy
2D elements.
The Mirror command mirrors or mirror copies 2D elements about a line or two points.

The Delete command removes 2D elements from the profile or sketch window.

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Construction Geometry
You can use construction geometry to help you draw and constrain a profile, but the
construction geometry is not used to construct the surfaces for the feature. When the
feature is created, the construction geometry is ignored. The Construction command
is used to change a profile element or sketch element into a construction element.
• Construction elements use the double-chain line style so you can distinguish
them from other elements.

• For example, you can use 45 degree construction lines to control the location of
the tabs on the profile or sketch.

• The construction lines make it easier to edit the location of the tabs, but the
construction lines are not used to produce the solid model.

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2D Element Patterns
2D elements can be copied in a circular or rectangular pattern. The patterning
commands are located on the Features and Relationships toolbar.

Circular Pattern Command


Draws a circular pattern profile, which is used to define how a selected element
is patterned. A circular pattern profile consists of the circle or arc and x shaped
symbols that represent the positions of the patterned features. You can specify
the radial spacing, the radial count, the size of the circle or arc, and any pattern
occurrences you want to suppress.

Rectangular Pattern Command


Draws a rectangular pattern profile, which is used to define how a selected element
is patterned. A rectangular pattern profile consists of the profile rectangle and
x shaped symbols that represent the positions of the patterned features. You can
specify the x and y spacing, the x and y count, the pattern height and width, and any
pattern occurrences you want to suppress.

Note
A pattern profile is the same as any other profile. You must apply relationships
and dimensions so it will behave predictably.

Dimensioning elements overview


You can add dimensions to the 3D PMI model or 2D design geometry by measuring
characteristics such as size, location, and orientation of elements. You can measure
the length of a line, the distance between points, or the angle of a line relative to
a horizontal or vertical orientation. Dimensions are associative to the 3D model
or 2D elements to which they refer, so you can make design changes easily. Solid
Edge provides a full complement of dimensioning tools so you can document your
parts, assemblies, and drawings.
In synchronous models, you can add dimensions directly to 2D or 3D geometry in
the model using any of the dimensioning commands on the Home tab and on the
Sketching tab. You also can use the commands on the PMI tab on the ribbon to
add dimensions and annotations to a model. To learn more about adding product
manufacturing information to the model, see the Help topic, PMI Dimensions and
Annotations.
In traditional models, you can add dimensions to the 3D model using the commands
on the PMI tab on the ribbon. You can use the Copy to PMI command to copy
dimensions from 2D sketches or profile-based features to the 3D model to create
model views that are dimensioned for PMI purposes.
In the Draft environment, you also can create dimensions by retrieving them from
part models with the Retrieve Dimensions command.

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You can use the dimensioning commands to place the following types of dimensions:
(A) Linear dimensions
(B) Angular dimensions
(C) Diameter dimensions
(D) Radial dimensions
(E) Dimension groups

Each dimension command has a command bar that sets options for placing the
dimension. When you select an existing dimension, the same command bar is
displayed so you can edit the dimension characteristics.

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Using dimensions to control elements


You can place a dimension that controls the size or location of the element that it
refers to. This type of dimension is known as a locked dimension . If you change
the dimensional value of a locked dimension, the element updates to match the
new value.

The value of an unlocked dimension is controlled by the element it refers to, or


by a formula or variable you define. If the element, formula, or variable changes,
the dimensional value updates.
Because both locked and unlocked dimensions are associative to the element they
refer to, you can change the design more easily without having to delete and reapply
elements or dimensions when you update the design.

Using dimensions to control elements


You can place a dimension that controls the size or location of the element that it
refers to. This type of dimension is known as a driving dimension. If you use the
command bar to change the dimensional value of a driving dimension, the element
updates to match the new value.

Dimensions that are not driving dimensions are called driven dimensions. The value
of a driven dimension is controlled by the element it refers to, or by a formula or
variable you define. If the element, formula, or variable changes, the dimensional
value updates.
Because both driving and driven dimensions are associative to the element they
refer to, you can change the design more easily without having to delete and reapply
elements or dimensions when you update the design.

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Locking and unlocking dimensions


In general, you can set or clear the lock option on the Dimension command bar or
on the Dimension Value Edit dialog box to specify whether a dimension is locked
or unlocked.

• The dimension is unlocked.

• The dimension is locked.


Note
• If the Lock button is not available, set the Maintain Relationships option
on the Tools tab.

In synchronous models, all dimensions are PMI dimensions. PMI dimensions are
unlocked when you place them, but you can change them to unlocked. If a dimension
cannot be locked because it would conflict with other dimensions, relationships, or
formulas, it is automatically placed as driven.
In the Draft environment, dimensions can be placed as either locked or unlocked,
depending upon the setting of the Maintain Relationships command. If Maintain
Relationships is set, the dimensions are locked by default. These exceptions apply:
• Dimensions placed on part views are always unlocked.

• Dimensions placed between a 2D view and an element on the drawing sheet


can only be unlocked.

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Changing dimension type


In general, you can set or clear the lock option on the Dimension command bar to
specify what type of dimension you want to create:

• When the lock option is cleared, the dimension is driven.

• When the lock option is set, the dimension is driving.

Note
• If the Lock button is not available, set the Maintain Relationships option
on the Tools tab.

In Part and Sheet Metal—When you are drawing a profile in the Part environment,
dimensions are driving by default, but you can change them to driven. If a dimension
cannot be placed as driving because it would conflict with other dimensions or
relationships, it is automatically placed as driven.
In Assembly—When you are drawing layouts in the Assembly environment,
dimensions can be placed as either driving or driven, depending upon the setting
of the Maintain Relationships command. (If the command is set, the dimensions
are driving by default.)
In Draft—The same is true for drawings in the Draft environment as in Assembly,
with two exceptions: dimensions placed on part views can only be driven, and
dimensions placed between a 2D view and an element on the sheet can only be driven.
Note
Exception: All dimensions added to the PMI model are driven dimensions.

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Dimension color
Driving and driven dimensions are distinguished by color.
When setting dimension colors in Part, Sheet Metal, and Assembly:
• The default color for driving dimensions is the same as the Handle color, which
is set on the Colors page of the Solid Edge Options dialog box.

• The default color for driven dimensions is the same as the Profile color, which is
set on the Colors page of the Solid Edge Options dialog box.

When setting dimension colors in Draft:


The color defined for each dimension type is part of the dimension style, which
you can edit wit h the Style command on the Format tab. On the General page of
the Modify Dimension Style dialog box, you can change these options:
• The default color for driving dimensions is set by the Driving Dimension
option.

• The default color for driven dimensions is set by the Driven Dimension
option.

Dimension color
Locked and unlocked dimensions are distinguished by color. The default colors are
different in the synchronous modeling environments than they are in the Draft
environment.
Changing dimension color in Draft

In the Draft environment, the color defined for each dimension type is part of
the dimension style, which you can edit using the Style command on the View
tab in the Style group. You can change the default color for locked and unlocked
dimensions on the General page of the Modify Dimension Style dialog box.
• The default color for locked dimensions—Black/White—is set by the Driving
Dimension option.

• The default color for unlocked dimensions—Dk Cyan—is set by the Driven
Dimension option.

To learn about PMI model dimension color In synchronous models, see Setting global
PMI color and text size.

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Not-to-scale dimensions
You can override the value of a driven dimension by editing its dimensional value.
This makes the dimension not-to-scale. For example, if you override the dimensional
value that is 15 millimeters (A) to be 30 millimeters, the actual size of the line
that you see would still be 15 millimeters (B). Solid Edge underlines the values of
not-to-scale dimensions.

Placing dimensions
To add dimensions to elements, you can use a dimension command, such as Smart
Dimension, and then select the elements you want to dimension.
As you place dimensions, the software shows a temporary, dynamic display of the
dimension you are placing. This temporary display shows what the new dimension
will look like if you click at the current cursor position. The dimension orientation
changes depending on where you move the cursor.
For example, when you click the Distance Between command and select an origin
element (A) and an element to measure to (B), the dimension dynamically adjusts its
orientation depending on where you position your cursor (C) and (D).

Because you can dynamically control the orientation of a dimension during


placement, you can place dimensions quickly and efficiently without having to use
several commands. Each of the dimension commands uses placement dynamics that
allow you to control how the dimension will look before you place it.
Note
When the IntelliSketch Intersection option is set and you select Distance
Between, you can place a driven dimension that measures to the intersection
of two elements.

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Snapping to keypoints and intersection points


When placing a dimension, you can use shortcut keys to select and snap to keypoints
or intersections. After you locate the line, circle, or other element that you want to
snap to, you can press one of these shortcut keys to apply the point coordinates to
the command in progress: M (midpoint), I (intersection point), C (center point),
and E (endpoint).
To learn more, see Selecting and snapping to points.

Placing driving dimensions to an intersection


Sometimes you need to place a driving dimension to the intersection of two elements.
You can do this using profile lines (A) or a profile point (B).

When using profile lines, any profile elements that are not part of the feature you
are constructing must be toggled to construction elements using the Construction
command.
When placing a profile point, you can set the Intersection option on the IntelliSketch
dialog box so the profile point stays at the theoretical intersection.
Note
The button for the Point command can be displayed through customization.

Placing dimensions with the dimension axis


The Dimension Axis command sets the orientation of the dimension axis on the
drawing sheet or profile plane. You can use the new dimension axis, rather than
the default axis of the drawing sheet or profile plane, while you use the Distance
Between or Coordinate Dimension commands. After you define the dimension axis,
you can place dimensions that run parallel to or perpendicular to the dimension axis.

Dimensioning with a grid


You can easily create and align dimensions using a grid and the Snap To Grid options
on the Grid options dialog box. You can snap to a grid point or to a grid line.
While modifying an existing dimension, you can select any part of the
dimension—line, text, or handle—and drag it, and it will snap into position. When
you turn off the grid, you turn off the snap-to-grid feature.

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Dimensioning automatically
There are two ways you can add dimensions automatically and generate geometric
relationships to constrain the geometry:
• You can use the Relationship Assistant command when editing existing
profiles. This is a quick method of dimensioning and setting simple geometric
relationships for any 2D information brought into Solid Edge, including
information from other systems.

• You can use the Auto-Dimension command when drawing new elements. The
options on the Auto-Dimension page of the IntelliSketch dialog box control when
the dimensions are drawn as well as whether to use dimension style mapping or
not.

Using the Relationship Assistant


The Relationship Assistant command helps you finish a profile or sketch, or make
it fully parametric. After applying all critical dimensions and relationships to the
shape, you can use the Relationship Assistant command to apply any missing
geometric or dimensional relationships to help fully constrain the model. It is a good
idea to check the profile with the Show Variability option to check for degrees of
freedom.
You can also use the Relationship Assistant command bar to show you how many
additional relationships are required and how the shape can change based on the
current relationships and dimensions.
To determine how many additional relationships are needed and how the profile or
sketch can change, drag a fence around the profile, then click the Accept button on
the command bar. You can then click the Show Variability button on the command
bar to display the number of relationships needed. A temporary display of the profile
using the highlight color is also displayed to illustrate one possibility of how the
profile can change. You can click the Show Variability button repeatedly to see
other variations.

Formatting dimensions
If you want two or more dimensions to look the same, you can select the dimensions
and apply a style with the command bar. If you want to format dimensions so that
they look unique, you can select a dimension and edit formats with the command
bar or the Properties command on the shortcut menu.
To learn how to format dimension terminators, see Set Terminator Size and Shape.
You can add prefix, suffix, superfix, and subfix text and supplementary information
to a dimension value using the options in the Dimension Prefix dialog box. You
can use this dialog box while you place or edit a dimension. To learn how, see Add
and edit dimension text.

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Adding breaks to dimension projection lines


Dimensioned drawings can become cluttered and difficult to read when dimensions
intersect one another. Using the Add Projection Line Break command, you can
add breaks to projection lines on a selected dimension (A). The result is that break
gaps (D) are inserted into the projection line (B) wherever it intersects another
dimension (C). Visually, the break is represented by not drawing the projection
line at the point of intersection.
(A) = selected dimension

(B) = projection line (broken)

(C) = intersecting dimensions (unbroken)

(D) = break gaps

The purpose of the projection line gap is to add visible white space and improve
legibility. The size of the gap is set by the Break option on the Lines and Coordinate
tab (Dimension Properties dialog box).
To add a break around dimension text that intersects other dimensions, set the Fill
Text With Background Color option on the Text page (Dimension properties dialog
box).
You can cut, copy, and paste a dimension with projection line break gaps as long as
you select both the breaking and the broken dimensions along with the geometry.
Dimension projection lines that you have broken retain their setting during view
updates, and also when you reposition the dimension text or lines for aesthetic
reasons.
You can remove dimension line breaks using the Remove Projection Line Break
command.

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Copying dimension data


In the Solid Edge Draft environment, you can copy data such as prefix strings,
dimension display types, and tolerance strings from one dimension to another. To
copy dimension data, use the Prefix Copier.

Using the mouse scroll wheel to change dimensions


You can use the mouse scroll wheel to change a driving or system dimension. As you
scroll the wheel, the dimension increases or decreases in 5 percent increments.
For example, if the dimension is 100 mm, the dimension will increase or decrease
by 5 mm.
To use the mouse scroll wheel to change a dimension, click the dimension you want
to change, and scroll the wheel forward to increase the dimension or backward to
decrease it.
To control the scroll wheel dimension editing capability, set or clear the Enable
Dimension Changes Using the Mouse Wheel option on the General page of the
Options dialog box.
Note
Depending on the mouse driver you have installed, if you are in an active
draft window you may scroll the view instead of the dimension value. In this
case, you may need to move the mouse cursor away from the draft window to
scroll the value.

Using expressions in dimensions


There are many instances when the dimensions of individual features in a design
are related. For example, the bend radius used to manufacture a sheet metal part is
usually a function of the stock thickness. You can define and automate these types of
design relationships with expressions. You can select a dimension and then use the
Variables command on the Tools tab to enter a formula. When the formula is solved,
the dimensional value changes to the value that the formula calculates.
You might want to use dimensions with expressions for the following purposes:
• Drive a dimension by another dimension; Dimension A = Dimension B

• Drive a dimension by a formula; Dimension A = pi * 3.5

• Drive a dimension by a formula and another dimension; Dimension A = pi *


Dimension B

Setting or modifying units of measure


To set the units of measure for a dimension, select the dimension and use the
Properties command on the shortcut menu. To set the units of measure for a
document, use the Properties®File Properties command on the Application menu.

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Showing variability
The Show Variability command determines how 2D elements can change based on
their dimensions and relationships. Use this command to see the types of changes in
a shape allowed by existing degrees of freedom. To show variability, use the Tools
tab®Assistants group®Relationship Assistant command. Select the element, and
then click the Show Variability button on the command bar.

Tracking changed dimensions and annotations


When a drawing view is updated in the Solid Edge Draft environment, you can track
dimensions and annotations that have been changed or deleted from the model. To
open the Dimension Tracker dialog box so you can identify these changes, use the
Tools tab®Assistants group®Track Dimension Changes command.
• On the drawing, every changed dimension and annotation is flagged by a balloon.

• In the Dimension Tracker dialog box, changed items are displayed in columnar
format. You can sort the changes by clicking a column heading.

• You can select one or more items in the list and assign a revision name to the
balloon labels on the drawing.

To learn more, see Tracking dimension and annotation changes.

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Types of dimensions

A linear dimension measures the length of a line or the distance between two
points or elements. You can place linear dimensions with the Coordinate, Distance
Between, Smart Dimension, and Symmetric Diameter commands.
An angular dimension measures the angle of a line, the sweep angle of an arc, or the
angle between two or more lines or points. You can place angular dimensions with
the Angle Between and Smart Dimension commands.
A radial dimension measures the radius of elements, such as arcs, circles, ellipses, or
curves. You can place a radial dimension with the Smart Dimension command.
A diameter dimension measures the diameter of a circle. You can place a diameter
dimension with the Smart Dimension command.
A coordinate dimension measures the distance from a common origin to one or more
keypoints or elements.
you can use the following commands in Solid Edge to place dimensions:
• Smart Dimension command

• Distance Between command

• Angle Between command

• Coordinate Dimension command

• Angular Coordinate Dimension command

• Symmetric Diameter command

• Chamfer command

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The components of a dimension are as follows:

(A) Projection line (E) Break line


(B) Dimension line (F) Symbol
(C) Dimensional value (G) Connect line
(D) Terminator

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Coordinate dimensions

You can use the Coordinate Dimension command and Angular Coordinate Dimension
command to place dimensions that measure the distance from a common origin
to one or more keypoints or elements.

You can place coordinate dimensions in any order and on either side of the origin.
You can also add, remove, and modify jogs on the dimension line to make it easy
to position all the dimensions.

Coordinate dimensions that refer to a common origin are members of a coordinate


dimension group.

Placing coordinate dimensions


To place coordinate dimensions, you first select an origin element to establish a
measure-from point (A), and then position the origin symbol (B).

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You then select an element away from the origin as a measure-to point (C), and
position the dimension (D). The dimension measures the distance from the origin
element to the measure-to element.

To make it easier to accurately align the dimension text for a group of coordinate
dimensions, several built-in snap alignment positions allow you to align the text
when placing or modifying coordinate dimensions.

You can add additional coordinate dimensions to an existing coordinate dimension


group by selecting any dimension in the group as the origin, and then select an
additional element to dimension.

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Moving coordinate dimension groups


In the Draft environment, you can move a group of coordinate dimensions by
dragging the track point on the origin symbol. Select the origin, position the cursor
over the track point, then drag the group to a new location.

Placing coordinate dimensions with jogs


To add one or more jogs while placing a coordinate dimension, first select the element
you want to dimension, then hold the Alt key and click to add the jogs. For example,
to place the following 12 millimeter dimension as shown, you would first select the
circle as the element to dimension (A), you then hold the Alt key and click points
(B), (C), and (D) to add the jogs. You then release the Alt key and click points (E)
and (F) to finish placing the dimension.

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Adding jogs to coordinate dimensions


To add a jog to an existing coordinate dimension, use the Select Tool to select a
coordinate dimension (A). Position the cursor over the dimension line where you
want to insert the jog (B). Hold the Alt key and click.

Two vertices and a jog segment are added (C). You can modify the jog by dragging a
vertex handle (D). You can also modify the jog by dragging the jog segment.

To make it easier to place coordinate dimensions with multiple jogs, the cursor
snaps into alignment when the last dimension line segment (A) is aligned with the
first dimension line segment (B).

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Modifying jogged coordinate dimensions


You can modify the jog on a coordinate dimension by dragging a jog vertex (A) and
(B), or by dragging a jog segment (C).

The modification behavior for each jog vertex is different when you drag it. For
example, when you drag the vertex farthest from the dimension text (A), you change
the jog segment position. When you drag the jog vertex closest to the dimension text
(B), you change the jog segment angle.

When you drag the jog segment (C), you also change the jog segment position.

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Snapping coordinate dimensions to a grid


After you place coordinate dimensions using the built-in snap positions, and if you
have exceeded the number of built-in snap positions, then you can adjust their
alignment using a grid. To activate the grid, select the Tools®Grid command, and
then set the Snap To Grid options to use grid lines or points.
If you added jogs, then you can use snap to grid to modify the location of jog handles.

Removing jogs from coordinate dimensions


In the Draft environment, you can remove all the jogs from a coordinate dimension
using the Jog button on the Dimension command bar. Use the Select Tool to select a
coordinate dimension, then click the Jog button on the command bar.
You can also remove a single jog from a coordinate dimension using the Select Tool
and the Alt key. Select a coordinate dimension, then position the cursor over a vertex
on the jog you want to remove. Hold the Alt key and click.

3D drawing dimensions

You can add 3D dimensions to a pictorial drawing view. On a drawing, 3D


dimensions use the associative model to determine true distance, rather than the
space on a 2D drawing. You can place a linear, radial, or angular Smart Dimension
as a 3D dimension.
Note
To add dimensions and annotations to 3D models, use the commands on
the PMI tab on the ribbon. See the Help book, Product Manufacturing
Information (PMI).

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Linear 3D dimensions

Radial 3D dimensions

For radial 3D dimensions, if the dimension is on the inside of the 3D circle or arc,
then the tail of the dimension is tied to the center of the 3D circle or arc. If the
dimension is on the outside of the 3D circle or arc, then the dimension line is aligned
with the center of the 3D circle or arc.

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Angular 3D dimensions

For angular 3D dimensions, the model planes and adjacent face planes of the lines
are valid dimension planes.

Workflow
You place a 3D dimension on a pictorial drawing view using the same workflow as
when you place a 2D dimension. However, if the drawing view is out of date, you
must use the Update View command to make it up to date with the model before you
can dimension it.
Dimensions in 3D are created relative to a dimension plane. In a drawing, this
is determined by the element you select. You can change the plane at any time
during dimension placement. In a drawing, change the dimension plane with the
N and B keys.

Drawing View Properties dialog box


The Create 3D Dimensions In Pictorial Views check box on the General page of the
Drawing View Properties dialog box controls whether 3D dimensions are placed. By
default, 3D dimensions are enabled for pictorial views.

Placement guidelines on drawings


Because 3D dimensions measure actual model space, it is important to consider the
perspective of the view when evaluating apparent conflicts between dimensions.
For example, a cutout that appears circular in a pictorial view may actually be
elliptical, and have proximate radial dimensions with different values. Moreover,
when you look at a drawing, there is no way to distinguish at a glance between a 2D
dimension and a 3D dimension (unless the 3D dimension has a placement that is
impossible for 2D dimensions).
Therefore, it is possible to create a drawing with both 2D and 3D dimensions on
which dimension values seem to conflict, because the 2D dimension is measuring
drawing sheet space and the 3D dimension is measuring actual model space. Keep
this in mind and use your knowledge about your situation and workflow to avoid
creating potentially confusing drawings.

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Dimension Groups
You can place dimensions in dimension groups with the following commands:
• Distance Between

• Angle Between

• Symmetric Diameter

• Coordinate Dimension

This makes the dimensions easier to manipulate on the drawing sheet. All members
of a stacked or chained dimension group share the same dimension axis.

(A) Stacked dimension group


(B) Chained dimension group

A coordinate dimension group is another type of dimension group. Coordinate


dimensions measure the position of key points or elements from a common origin.
All the dimensions within the group measure from a common origin. You should
use coordinate dimensions when you want to dimension elements in relation to a
common origin or zero point.

When you place dimension groups with the Distance Between or Angle Between
commands, the cursor position determines what type of dimension group will be
placed. After you place the first dimension in a group and click the second element
you want to measure, if the cursor is below the first dimension, then the dimension
group will be a chained group (A). If the cursor is above the first dimension, then the
dimension group will be a stacked group (B).

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Zero and negative dimensions


You can use zero and negative values to manipulate geometry in the following
dimension types:
• Smart Dimension between two elements (or keypoints from two elements)

• Distance between two elements (or keypoints from two elements)

• Smart Dimension angle between two elements (or keypoints from two elements)

• Angle between two elements (or keypoints from two elements)

After you place one of the above dimensions, you can change it to zero or a negative
value to control element placement. When you select a dimension, its parents
highlight.

Zero and negative dimensions work best on fully constrained geometry. When a
profile or sketch is not fully constrained, negative dimensions can be unpredictable
(unexpected change of side, for example).

Unsupported dimensions
Zero and negative values are not supported for any group dimension, including linear
coordinate, angular coordinate, linear stacked, linear chained, angular stacked, and
angular chained. Zero and negative dimensions are also not supported for radial
dimensions, diameter dimensions, and chamfer dimensions. Point constraints do
not allow negative offsets.

Controlling zero and negative dimensions


Because positive and negative values need not follow the X axis or Y axis, there is
no set positive or negative direction when you use zero and negative dimension
values. Rather, the direction is determined by how the dimension is placed with
respect to the other relationships affecting the geometry. When you change the sign
of a dimension (from positive to negative, for example), the direction the distance is
measured changes relative to the geometry only. A positive value is measured in the
direction in which the dimension was originally placed.

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If you toggle a dimension from driving to driven when its value is negative, the
dimension is displayed as positive. A driven dimension can never be negative.
Dimensions retrieved from part models are positive because they are always driven,
and zero dimensions are not retrieved.

Displaying zero and negative dimensions


The following conditions apply to the display of zero and negative dimensions:
• Text positions are processed as if the dimension were positive or non-zero
(above, embedded, and so forth). Text position for zero values behaves as if the
dimension were a very small positive value.

• Zero dimensions do not move or change the dimension break position.

• Dual unit display shows both united values with a negative sign.

• Zero angular dimensions between two non-intersecting elements display as


linear dimensions (but with a degrees symbol). You can drag the ends of the
extension lines with handles or move the text position as shown below.

Dimension and Annotation Standards and Formats

Style mapping applies standard or custom style formats to lines, hatches, fonts, fills,
dimensions, annotations, and views as you place objects that use these styles in the
document. The element-to-style mapping table on the Dimension Style tab of the
Options dialog box allows you to choose which style to map to which element, or it
allows you to assign one style to all elements.
When the Use Dimension Style Mapping option is set on the Dimension Style
tab, then the Dimension Style Mapping option is also set by default on the
relevant command bars and dialog boxes used to place individual elements. You
can override the mapped style for an individual element by clearing this option on
the command bar.
For global impact across all design documents and drawings, you can specify drawing
standards and styles in the template files used to create part, assembly, sheet metal,
and draft documents. This ensures that designers apply standards that conform
with company style guidelines.

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Standards
The default, standard styles available are:
• ANSI

• ANSImm

• BSI

• DIN

• ISO

• JIS

• UNI

In addition, you can create and name custom styles. The style format is defined in the
Style dialog box (Format-Style-Dimension style type-New button or Modify button).

Style Format Options


New and modified style formatting options vary widely between the type of element.
Some of the style formatting options include the following:
• Lines (e.g., style, color, width)

• Units (e.g., inch, mm)

• Spacing (e.g., in a pattern)

• Delimiters (e.g., period or comma)

• Terminators (e.g., arrow, circle, dot)

• Round-off

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Using variables
You can use the Variable Table to define and edit functional relationships between
the variables and dimensions of a design in a familiar spreadsheet format.
When you select the Variables command, the Variable Table is displayed. Each
row of the table displays a variable. A series of columns is used to list the various
properties of the variable, such as Type, Name, Value, Rule, Formula, and Range.

You can use variables to do the following:


• Control a dimension with another dimension (Dimension A = Dimension B).

• Define a variable (pi=3.14).

• Control a dimension with a formula (Dimension A = pi * 3.5).

• Control a dimension with a formula and another dimension (Dimension A = pi


* Dimension B).

• Control a dimension with a formula that includes a function (Dimension A =


Dimension B + cos(Dimension C)).

• Control a dimension with a value from a spreadsheet, such as a Microsoft Excel


document, by copying the value from the spreadsheet into the Variable Table
with the Paste Link command. You can use any spreadsheet software that can
link or embed objects.

Note
You can use a VBScript function or subroutine in the formula. The trig
functions available in the variable table always assume input value for the
function is in radians and returns the results in radians, not in degrees. An
example function might be sin(x)=y, where x and y are always in radians.

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Types of variables
There are three types of variables displayed in the Variable Table:
• Dimensions (2D dimensions)

• User Variables

• PMI dimensions (model dimensions)

Dimensions
You create Dimension variables when you place a dimension on a 2D element,
when you define an assembly relationship, or when the system creates a
dimension automatically, such as the extent dimension for a protrusion or cutout.
Dimension variables can be displayed and selected in the graphics window or in
the Variable Table. You can use Dimension variables to control and edit a design.

User Variables
You create User Variables when you type a name and value directly into the
Variable Table, or when you define values within certain commands. For
example, when you define the properties for a counterbore hole with the Hole
command, user variables are added to the Variable Table. Other user variables
are created automatically, such as the Physical Properties Density and Physical
Properties Accuracy variables.
User variables have no graphic element you can display and edit in the graphics
window. They can only be accessed and edited through the Variable Table. You
can use user variables to control and edit a design.

PMI Dimensions
PMI Dimension variables are created automatically in the Variable Table
when you place dimensions on the model. PMI dimensions are always driven
dimensions, but they can be used to control other elements in the design in
certain circumstances.

PMI Dimensions
PMI Dimension variables are created automatically in the Variable Table when
you place a dimension on a sketch element or model edge in a synchronous
model document.
PMI dimensions are created initially as unlocked dimensions, but you can lock a
dimension so it can be used to control other elements in the design.
Note
You can lock a dimension only if all variables that it is dependent upon are
also locked. Similarly, you cannot unlock a dimension that is controlled by
a formula or is used within the formula of another dimension or variable.

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Entering data into the Variable Table


When you create the dimensions for a design, variables for these dimensions are
placed into the variable table automatically. If the Variable Table is open, any
dimension that is placed by you or the software will display in the Variable Table
after the dimension is placed.
Working with the Variable Table open allows you to change the dimension name
that is generated by the software to a more logical name as you work. When you
rename variables, the variable name should begin with a letter, and should contain
only letters, numbers, and the underscore character. You should not use punctuation
characters.
Note
Variable names are not case-sensitive. For example, if you create the variable
VAR1, you cannot create another variable named var1.

Identifying dimensions in the design


When reviewing or editing dimension names and values through the Variable Table,
you may need to know which variable name is associated with which dimension in
the design. This is true especially when you are editing a design you are not familiar
with, or if the 2D geometry and dimensions are placed on many different layers.
With the Variable Table open, you can click a cell labeled Dim in the Type column,
and then look in the graphics window for the highlighted dimension.

Editing data in the Variable Table


You can directly edit variable names, values, and formulas in the Variable Table as
long as the information exists in a cell with a white background. If the information
exists in a cell with a gray background, you cannot edit it directly. It means the data
is controlled by another variable, dimension, or formula.
To change data in a cell, click in the cell, type the new information, and then press
Enter.
In the same manner that dimension variables are entered in the Variable Table
automatically when you add dimensions to the design, dimension values are changed
automatically when you edit your design.
• The value of a locked dimension is updated when you change the dimensional
value of a dimension.

• The value of an unlocked dimension is controlled by the element it refers to, or


by a formula or variable you define. If the element, formula, or variable changes,
the dimensional value updates.

• The values of area and perimeter are updated when you use the Area command
bar to change the size of an area object.
Note
If the background color in a Value cell is orange, it means that the value of
a dependent variable could not be changed because it would have violated
a rule limiting its range of values.

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Restricting the display of variables


You can control the display of variables in the table with the Filters button on the
Variable Table or the Filters command on the shortcut menu. For example, you
can display only the Dimension type variables that were named by users. You can
also display variables that are associated with elements in the current document,
elements in the active window, or a set of elements that you have selected in the
document.

Creating rules for variables


When you select a variable in the Variable Table, you can click the Variable Rule
Editor button to define a set of rules for a variable using the Variable Rule Editor
dialog box.
Note
You also can access the Variable Rule Editor dialog box using the Edit Formula
command bar shortcut menu.

Defining rules for a variable restricts design changes to a more controllable set of
values. You can define a discrete set of values, or a range of values for a variable
using the Variable Rule Editor dialog box. For example, you can specify that only the
values 10, 20, 30, and 40 millimeters are valid for a variable.
The rule type you define for a variable is displayed in the Rule column in the
Variable Table, and the numerical values for the rule are displayed in the Range
column in the Variable Table.
You can also define a discrete list or limited range of values for a variable by typing
the proper characters into the Range cell for a variable in the Variable Table. The
following table and examples illustrate how to do this:
Character Meaning Where Used Variable Type

( Greater Than Beginning Only Limit


) Less Than End Only Limit
[ Greater Than or Beginning Only Limit
Equal To
] Less Than or Equal To End Only Limit
{} Encloses a Discrete Use both as a set Discrete List
List
; Separates values Between values in a Limit and Discrete
limit or discrete list List

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Examples:

• To define a variable that must be greater than 5 and less than 10, type the
following in the Range cell:
(5;10)

• To define a variable that must be greater than or equal to 7 and less than or
equal to 12, type the following:
[7;12]

• To define a variable that must be greater than or equal to 6 and less than 14,
type the following:
[7;14)

• To define a variable that must be limited to the following list of values: 5, 7,


9, and 11, type the following:
{5;7;9;11}

Editing variables that have rules defined


The edit behavior of a variable changes when you have defined a set of rules for
the variable.
• If a dimension variable has a discrete list of values applied, you also can access
the list of values on the Dimension command bar.

• If an driving variable has a rule applied, and if you type a value in the command
bar or Variable Table that violates the rule, a message is displayed to warn you
that the rule has been violated, and the value you type is not applied.

• If an unlocked variable cannot be resolved because the rule conflicts with the
formula result, the background color of the Value cell changes to orange to
notify you of the conflict. See the When rules and formulas conflict section for
more details.

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Creating expressions (formulas)


You can create expressions (formulas) to control variables using the Formula
column in the Variable Table. The expressions can consist of variables only or of
mathematical expressions that contain any combination of constants, user-defined
variables, or dimension variables that the software placed.
You can create expressions by typing them directly into the Formula box for a
variable, using the Function Wizard, or using the Formula option on the Variable
Rule Editor dialog box.
The system provides a set of standard mathematical functions. You can also select
functions that you wrote and saved. The functions can be typed in with the proper
syntax or you can use the Function Wizard to select and define the function. The
Function Wizard is convenient when you forget the proper syntax for a math
function. You start the Function Wizard by clicking the Fx button in the Variable
Table.
You can link VBScript functions and subroutines to variables in the variable table.
To see an example, at the bottom of this topic, click Creating a Variable with an
External Function or Subroutine.

Displaying the expressions (formulas) graphically


You can use the Show All Formulas, Show All Names, and Show All Values commands
on the dimension shortcut menu to change the display of dimensions to make it
easier to define expressions between dimensions. For example you can use the Show
All Formulas command to display the dimension names and formulas you define.

You can also use the Edit Formula command on the dimension shortcut menu to
define formulas between dimensions.

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When rules and formulas conflict


You can also define rules for variables that are controlled by formulas. During edits,
it is possible that the formula-driven value for an unlocked variable conflicts with
its defined rules.
When this occurs, the rule will not be violated, but the Value cell color for the
variable changes to the orange color to indicate there is a conflict. For example, you
can define a simple formula that states that DimA=DimB. The dimension text color
for DimA changes to indicate that the dimension value is controlled by another
dimension. The Value cell for the dimension in the variable table turns gray to
indicate that its value is controlled by another variable.

You can then specify a discrete list rule for DimA where the only valid values are
{50; 60; 70}. If you then edit DimB to 55, the discrete list rule for DimA is violated.
When this occurs, the value for DimA will not change to the invalid value. The value
cell for DimA in the Variable Table turns orange to indicate that there is a conflict
between the limit rule and the formula.

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Examples
Suppose you draw a sheet metal bracket and you want to build a relationship
between the bend radius and stock thickness. You can use a formula in the Variable
Table to build and manage this relationship. The following example illustrates how
the Variable Table would look if you built a relationship that changes the bend
radius when the stock thickness changes.
Type Name Value Formula
Variable Stock_thickness .25
Dimension Bend_radius .375 1.5 x stock_thickness

Here are some more examples of how you might set up the Variable Table:
Type Name Value Formula
Variable c 2.0 kg
Variable d 10.0 rad @c:\bearing.xls!sheet1!R6C3
Variable e 20 mm @c:\bearing.xls!sheet1!R6C3
Dimension f 8.5 mm (1.5 + Func.(func1(c,d)))^2

Variables d and e are controlled by an external document, in this case an Excel


spreadsheet. You can also control a variable using a variable in another Solid Edge
document.
Variable f is controlled by a formula that includes variables c and d and function.

Argument conventions
The following argument conventions are used in the Variable Table:
• In the syntax line, required arguments are bold and optional arguments are not.

• Argument names should follow the rules for Visual Basic.

• In the text where functions and arguments are defined, required and optional
arguments are not bold. Use the format in the syntax line to determine whether
an argument is required or optional.

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Using driven and driving dimensions within expressions


When creating expressions between dimensions, you cannot use a driven dimension
to drive the value of a driving dimension when both dimensions are within the same
sketch or profile. For example, if the profile circles HA and HB for the cutout feature
shown are on the same profile or sketch plane, you cannot use DmA to control the
value of DmB, because DmA is a driven dimension. (DmA is driven because the
location of profile circle HA is controlled by geometric relationships between the
midpoints of the part edges).

In this example, there are two approaches you can take to work around this issue.
• You can use two cutout features rather than one to create the circular cutouts.

• You can use driving dimensions and expressions to keep profile circle HA
centered on the part, rather than geometric relationships.

As shown below, reworking the relationship scheme allows you to draw profile circles
HA and HB on the same profile plane, and then use DmA in an expression to control
the value for DmB (DmB=DmA*.6). Rather than controlling the location of profile
circle HA using geometric relationships, a driving dimension that controls the
base feature length (PL) and an expression is used to ensure that profile circle HA
is centered on the part (DmA=PL/2). This allows you create an expression where
DmA controls DmB.

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Accessing variables for other parts within an assembly


The Peer Variables command, on the Tools menu under Variables, gives you access
to part and subassembly variables for the other parts and subassemblies within an
assembly. You can use the Peer Variables command while you are in the assembly,
or when you have in-place activated a part or subassembly within the assembly.
The parts can be contained directly in the assembly or in a subassembly. To edit a
part or subassembly variable, click the Peer Variables command, select the part or
subassembly, and then edit the values in the Variable Table.
You can edit values, create user-defined variables, enter equations, and copy and
paste variables between parts and subassemblies within an assembly. All the
functionality of the variable table is available, with the increased convenience that
you do not have to in-place activate the peer part.
After you open the Peer Variable Table for a part, you can access the variables of
any assembly occurrence by clicking the occurrence in Assembly PathFinder or in
the graphics window. The Peer Variable Table will update to display the variables
of the occurrence you select. The title bar of the Peer Variable Table also lists the
name for the selected occurrence.
To display the variables of the active document, click the Active Model button on the
Peer Variable command bar with the Peer Variable Table open.

Linking variables between parts in an assembly


You can also use the Peer Variables command to associatively copy and paste
variables between parts within an assembly or subassembly. For example, you can
control the flange thickness of Part B using a variable in Part A. When you edit
the value for the variable in Part A, the flange thickness in both parts is changed
simultaneously. To take advantage of associative copy and paste, you must first set
the Paste Link To Variable Table option on the Inter-Part tab on the Options dialog
box.
To associatively link a variable between two parts in an assembly, use the Peer
Variables command to select the part containing the variable you want to copy (Part
A). In the Variable Table for Part A, select the variable row you want to copy, and
then click the Copy command on the shortcut menu. Then select the part in which
you want to paste the variable (Part B). Select the variable table row in which you
want to paste the variable, and then click the Paste Link command on the shortcut
menu.
After the relationship is established, any changes made to the parent variable for
Part A will update the linked variable for Part B. To ensure that the link is updated,
use the Update All Links command. When you link Solid Edge variables between
parts in an assembly, the document names and folder path should contain only
letters, numbers, and the underscore character. You should not use punctuation
characters.
For more information, see the Link variables between parts in an assembly Help
topic.

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Creating variables with a link to a spreadsheet


You can use Microsoft Excel or other spreadsheet software to link Solid Edge
variables to a spreadsheet. Before you can link variables to a spreadsheet, you must
first create the variables you want in the Solid Edge document. When you link
Solid Edge variables to a spreadsheet, the document names and folder path for the
spreadsheet and the Solid Edge document should contain only letters, numbers, and
the underscore character. You should not use punctuation characters.
To successfully edit the linked Solid Edge variables from the spreadsheet later, you
must open the Solid Edge and spreadsheet documents in a specific order:
• You can open the spreadsheet document first, then open the linked Solid Edge
document.

• You can open the Solid Edge document first, then click the Edit Links command
on the shortcut menu when a linked formula is selected within the variable
table. You can then use the Open Source option on the Links dialog box to open
the spreadsheet document.

For more information, see the Create a variable with a link to a spreadsheet Help
topic.

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Accessing the Variable Table using property text


You can use property text to extract system and user variables, values, and
dimensions from the Variable Table into design annotations.
In this example, property text in callouts reference weight and force values
calculated for the crane, crate, and force.

To extract property text from the Variable Table, on the Select Property Text dialog
box, select Variables From Active Document as the property text source. The new
property text string has the format %{Variable_name|V}, where Variable_name
converts to the current value of the named variable.
Example: The Crane = 1000 kg annotation in the illustration is a result of this entry
in the Callout dialog box: Crane = %{Crane_mass|V} kg.

Exposing variables as custom properties


You can select variables from within individual part and assembly files and expose
them as custom properties using the Expose and Exposed Name columns in the
Variable Table. The variables you expose are then displayed in the Properties list in
the Custom tab in the File Properties dialog box.
This also makes the variables available in the Draft environment (for inclusion
in annotations, for example), in Property Manager, and in Insight Connect and
associated SharePoint interfaces.
The exposed variables are displayed in the Properties list in the Custom tab in the
order in which they were exposed in the Variable Table. If you want to change the
order in the Properties list, clear the check marks for all the exposed variables, then
check the variables you want to expose, in the order you want them displayed in
the Properties list.

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Suppressing features using a variable


You can suppress and unsuppress a feature using the Variable Table by adding
a suppression variable to the variable table using the Add Suppression Variable
command on the shortcut menu when a feature is selected. If you link the
suppression variable to an external spreadsheet, you can then suppress and
unsuppress the feature using the external spreadsheet.

Edit Formula command


Displays the Edit Formula command bar so you can define a formula for a
dimension. You can use the Show All Formulas, Show All Names, and Show All
Values commands on the dimension shortcut menu to change the graphical display
of dimensions to make it easier to define formulas between dimensions.

Note
• A dimension must be locked before a formula can be applied to the
dimension.

• You also can define and edit formulas for dimensions using the variable
table.

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Engineering calculation tools

Overview
Engineering calculation tools are available in the 3D environments and while
drawing 2D geometry in profiles, sketches, and in the Draft environment. These
tools are located on the various groups in the Inspect tab.
You can:
• Measure distance, area, and length using the Measure commands.

• Compute area, perimeter, centroid, and moments of inertia for one or more
closed regions using the Area command.

• Create a persistent area object with its own set of variables using the Area
command.

• Resolve what-if questions in 2D drawings, profiles, and design sketches using


the Goal Seek command.

• Automate engineering calculations based on dimensioned geometry to achieve a


specific design goal using the Goal Seek command.

• Reference 3D design variables in the Variable Table using the Variable Name
property text string. Size values, for example, can be extracted into 2D
dimensions in a sketch.

Measurements
You can measure distances or areas even when you are in the middle of another
task. To learn how, see these sections within the Help topic, Distance and Area
Measurement:
• Measure linear distance in 2D drawings, sketches, and profiles

• Measure distance and angles on a 3D part, sheet metal, or assembly

• Measure minimum distance

• Measure length

• Measure area

• Perimeter, as well as area, is measured by the Inspect®Area command.

To set the units for measuring distances and areas, use the File®File Properties
command, and then set the options on the Units page of the File Properties dialog
box.

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Area calculations and information


On the Inspect menu, both the Measure Area command and the Area command
calculate the area inside one or more closed boundaries, but the Area command
does much more.
If you select the Create Area option on the Area command bar before you compute
the area, the filled area becomes an object that is associative to the boundary used to
define it. The quantitative information is retained and can be reviewed on the Area
Properties page of the Info dialog box. You can manipulate this area object and it
will update the area and other calculations.
Use the Area command if you want to:
• Calculate additional quantitative information about the region, such as
perimeter and moments of inertia.

• Display centroid (X,Y) and principal moments of inertia (PX,PY) coordinate


systems for the area.

• Use the handle point generated for the region included in the area object to
select and drag the area fill into another closed boundary.

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• Select automatically generated area object properties for perimeter or area


as the dependent variable whose value you want to calculate in goal seeking
calculations.

• Reuse the area object and its information in further calculations or in other
processes. For example, you can dimension to the keypoint at the origin of the
area coordinate system located at the centroid of the area object.

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• Calculate the discrete area of overlapping elements, and then add or remove
geometry and recalculate, as illustrated by examples (A) and (B).

Modifying area display properties


To distinguish area objects from other 2D elements, you can set different display
properties for them using options on the Area command bar and the Info dialog box.
Coordinate system axes
Independent controls for the centroid coordinate system and the principal
moments of inertia coordinate system are available on the Coordinate Systems
page of the Info dialog box. You can turn the coordinate systems on and off and
change the display colors and characteristics of the leaders and text.
Even when the coordinate system axes are turned off, you can still see and select
the center-of-area keypoint located at the centroid of the area object. You can use
this keypoint to connect other objects to it, such as dimensions.
The overall size of the coordinate system is controlled by the font size in the
dimension style.

Area fill color and pattern


Prior to creating an area object, you can select a fill style from the Fill Style
list on the Area command bar.
You also can make independent changes to the line, color, and pattern used to fill
an area object using the options on the Fill page of the Info dialog box.

After you have created an area object, you can select an area and modify its fill
and coordinate system properties by selecting the Properties button on the Area
command bar or by choosing Properties from the area object shortcut menu.

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Goal seeking
The Goal Seek command automates engineering calculations to achieve a specific
design goal. These can be based on dimensioned geometry. For example, you can
use the Goal Seek command to find the appropriate dimensions given a desired
target area value.
Goal seeking finds a specific value for a dependent variable (dependent by formula,
for example) by adjusting the value of another variable, until it returns the result
you want. Goal seeking shows you the effect on the geometry and it also updates
the Variable Table with the new value.
The Goal Seek command operates on driven and driving formulas, variables, and
dimensions attached to 2D geometry. The type of dimension you add—driving or
driven—determines what you can solve for.
Driving variables and dimensions, which are independent, can only be used for the
Variable To Change. Driven variables and dimensions, which are dependent, can
only be used for the Goal Variable. For example, when you create an area object, you
generate driven variables for perimeter, area, and moments of inertia in the Variable
Table. These can be selected as the Goal Variable. The Variable To Change should
be related to the Goal Variable so that when a change is made to the Variable To
Change, it causes the Goal Variable to change through a formulaic or geometric
relationship. For more information, see the Best Practices in Goal Seeking section in
the Engineering Calculation Tools Help topic.
When you are ready to run goal seeking, use the options on the Goal Seek command
bar to:
• Select the dependent Goal Variable that you want to calculate or modify.

• Set a Target Value you want to achieve.

• Select the Variable To Change.

• Select the check mark to begin the calculation.

The dimensioned geometry updates to show the results of the calculation.


You can change the Goal Variable, the Target Value, and the Variable To Change to
achieve different goals.
Many calculations based on geometry can be solved in more than one way. You can
extend the length of time the goal seeking operation runs by editing the limits set on
the Goal Seek Options dialog box. For more information, see the Controlling Goal
Seeking Attempts section in the Engineering Calculation Tools Help topic.
A tutorial is available to assist you in learning how to use the goal seeking workflow.
To access this tutorial, choose Help®Tutorials, and then look in the Draft Tutorials
section.

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Interaction with the Variable Table


System-generated variables, user-defined variables, and values are maintained in
the Variable Table. The Variable Table defines functional relationships between the
variables and dimensions of a design. When you create an area object with the
Area command, a corresponding set of variables and current values are generated
automatically in the Variable Table. Similarly, when you place a driving dimension
on a sketch or profile element, a dimension variable and value are generated.
• Dimensions and area objects that you add to the 2D and 3D geometry are also
added automatically to the Variable Table.

• When you add a dimension, you can choose the type of dimension you
add—driving or driven—determines what you can solve for.

• All area object variables for area, perimeter, and coordinate systems are driven
(dependent) variables.

• You can type formulas directly in the Variable Table to reference any dimensional
and area object variables and values.

As you add dimensions to your drawing, you may want to work with the Variable
Table open. This way, you can change each system-generated variable name to a
more logical name as you work. When you rename variables, the variable name must
begin with a letter, and it should contain only letters, numbers, and the underscore
character. Do not use punctuation characters.
You can show variables and values in your 2D design using annotations that
reference the Variable Table through property text. In this example, property text in
callouts reference weight and force values calculated for the crane, crate, and force.

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To extract property text from the Variable Table into an annotation, in the Select
Property Text dialog box, choose Variables From Active Document as the property
text source. To learn how to do this, see the Help topic, Extract Variable Table data
using property text.
You can open and review the Variable Table contents by selecting the
Tools®Variables command.

When reviewing or editing variable names and values through the Variable Table,
you may need to know which variable name is associated with which dimension in
the design. This is true especially when you are editing a design you are not familiar
with, or if the 2D geometry and dimensions are placed on many different layers.
With the Variable Table open, you can click a cell labeled Dim in the Type column,
and then look in the graphics window for the highlighted dimension.

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Best practices in goal seeking


There are several things you can do to ensure the goal seeking operation succeeds.
• Add geometric relationships—As you draw, IntelliSketch adds geometric
relationships automatically. You also can use the Relationship Assistant
command to add geometric relationships to profiles so that the geometry is fully
constrained. Fully constrained geometry ensures more predictable results.
The Relationship Assistant is particularly useful when working with geometry
that you import from other systems.

• Add driven variables and dimensions (for the Goal Variable)—For a variable
value that you want to be able to modify or calculate, add a driven dimension,
or create an area object, or define a formula using driven variables. The value
of a driven variable or dimension is controlled by the element it refers to, or
by a formula or variable you define.

• Add driving variables and dimensions (for the Variable To Change)—For a


variable value that you want to allow to change, add a driving dimension
or variable. The value of a driving variable or dimension controls the size,
orientation, or location of an element. Changing this variable must cause the
Goal Variable to change, too.
Note
– Driving variables, which are independent, can only be used for the
Variable To Change.

– Driven variables, which are dependent, can only be used for the Goal
Variable.

– The Variable To Change should be related to the Goal Variable, so that


when a change is made to the Variable To Change, it causes the Goal
Variable to change through a formula or geometric relationship.

– To learn about the different types of dimensions, how to recognize


them, and how they can be used to control the design, see the Help
topic, Dimensioning elements overview.

• Set up the problem—Sometimes, if the initial conditions set on the command bar
are too widespread, goal seeking will not find the target value or it may require
too many iterations. If you start the goal seeking operation with the value of the
Variable To Change set such that the Goal Variable is close to the Target Value,
the iterative process generally will be faster and more successful.

• Set numerical limits—You can use the Variable Rule Editor dialog box, available
within the Variable Table, to set upper and lower limits on the domain of possible
values that can be used for the Variable To Change. You can define a discrete set
of values, or a range of values, for a variable. This allows you to restrict design
changes to a controlled set of values.

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Example
• Example 1—If you are seeking a value for the diameter of a circle or the
length of a line, you should set a limit that their value be greater than 0.

• Example 2—If you are seeking the diameter of a pipe, then you should set
a limit that the outer diameter is greater than the inner diameter.

• Example 3—If you are seeking an angle, then you should define a rule
that limits the possible solutions to an acceptable range, such as between
5° and 90°, or between 90° and 180°.

To learn how to set limits on variables, see the Help topic, Define limits for a variable.

Controlling goal seeking attempts


The Goal Seek command is an equation-solving algorithm that works through an
iterative process to find the target value for a goal. Numerical solution techniques
such as these can fail to solve the equation or produce numerical instabilities. The
Maximum Time and Maximum Number Of Iterations set in the Goal Seek Options
dialog box limit the amount of time that goal seeking will run should it fail to find a
solution.
When an equation fails to produce a solution, it may be due to any of these factors:
• There may not be a solution for a given set of inputs.

• The maximum number of iterations was reached before a solution was found.

• The maximum time limit was reached before a solution was found.

You can adjust the maximum time or maximum number of iterations to suit the
needs of the particular situation you have. Select Goal Seek Options on the Goal
Seek command bar to open the Goal Seek Options dialog box.

Lesson review
1. How does IntelliSketch help you draw sketches?

2. What are intent zones?

3. What purpose do geometric relationships serve?

4. When and why is the Show Variability command used?

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Activity – Using IntelliSketch


Objectives
You will create a sketch in this activity. You will apply relationships, dimensions
and variables to the geometry so that you can reliably and predictably change the
shape of the profile by editing dimensions.
• The sketch will be in the shape of a cross-section of an I-beam.

• Relationships, dimensions and variables will control the width of the web and
flanges of the “I” shape.

Activity
Step 1: Create a new Traditional ISO part file.

Step 2: Draw an “I” shaped sketch.


On the Home tab, in the Sketch group, choose the Sketch command

Select the reference plane shown.

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On the Tools page, in the Assistants group, choose IntelliSketch.

On the Relationships page, set the options shown. Click OK.

On the Home tab, in the Draw group, choose the Line command.

Draw the first line by positioning the cursor below and left of the
reference planes as shown and click to place the first point of the line.

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Place the second point by moving the cursor to the right. When the
horizontal indicator is shown and the line is approximately in the
same position as shown below, click to place the line.

Continue drawing the “I” shape with the following considerations.


Draw each segment with the horizontal or vertical indicator
displayed. Exact lengths of the lines are unimportant at this stage.
Note
If you make a mistake, you can delete a line by first clicking
the select tool, selecting the line, and pressing the <Delete>
key on the keyboard.

Also by choosing the Undo command, you can step back


through the creation of the sketch.

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Draw the rough shape of the “I” in a counterclockwise order. Use the
alignment indicator to position the endpoint of the next to the last
line above the left endpoint of the first line as shown. To activate the
alignment indicator for the last segment, brush (move the cursor
over without clicking) the horizontal line.

To place the last segment, click on the endpoint of the first line when
the endpoint indicator is displayed as shown.

Step 3: Add relationships to control the behavior of the shape. When you
anticipate the need to make a shape symmetrical, it is useful to establish

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relationships between the geometry of the shape and reference planes.


Line segments will be referenced by numbers as shown.

In the Relate group, choose the Horizontal/Vertical command.

Position the cursor over middle of segment 1. When the midpoint


indicator displays, click.

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Move the cursor to the top of the vertical reference plane, and when
the endpoint indicator displays, click.

A relationship has been applied represented by a dashed line that


forces the midpoint of segment 1 to remain vertically aligned with
the endpoint of the reference plane.

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In the Relate group, choose the Equal command.

Select segment 1, then select segment 7. This applies an equal


relationship to the lines, which keeps their lengths the same while
other constraints alter the shape of the profile. Line segment 1 will
be made equal to line segment 7.

Continue applying the equal relationship between the following lines:


2 and 12

8 and 6

8 and 12

11 and 3

9 and 5

9 and 11

10 and 4

Step 4: Add dimensions to control the size of the shape.

In the Dimension group, choose the SmartDimension command.

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Select segment 1, position the dimension below the line, and then
click to place it.

Dimension segment 12 in the same way.

Choose the Distance Between command .

Select segment 10, select 4, position the dimension above the ”I”
shape, and then click to place it. Right-click to restart the Distance
Between command.

Dimension the distance between segments 1 and 7 in the same way.

Step 5: Edit the dimensions placed in the previous step. Because of the
dimensions and relationships defined, the shape responds to dimensional
changes predictably.
Choose the Select Tool command.

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Select dimension A. Type 15 and then press the <Enter> key.

Select dimension B and change the value to 120.

Select dimension C and change the value to 12.

Select dimension D and change the value to 95.

Practice altering the shape by editing the values of the dimensions


A, B, C and D and observe how the shape responds. Return the
dimension values to those shown above.

Step 6: Dimensions and relationships make it easier to control the shape of


a profile. Variables can also be used to make the shape of a profile
parametric. Formulas can be applied that define mathematical
relationships between variables and dimensions. In this step, make the
width of the web (dimension C) 2/3 the thickness of the flange (dimension
A), and make the flange height (dimension B) 3/4 the flange width
(dimension D).
Each time a dimension is placed, a randomly named variable is created to
represent it. Rename the variables and assign mathematical expressions
to further control the behavior of the shape.

Double-click on the 95 mm dimension. The Edit Formula command


bar displays to edit the dimension name and formula. Change the
variable name to D and then press the <Enter> key. Click the Select
tool to end the dimension edit.

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Repeat the previous step to make the following dimension edits:


15 mm dimension Name=A
120 mm dimension Name=B
12 mm dimension Name=C

Note
To enter a formula, click the formula field, type the formula,
and press the <Enter> key. Basic mathematical operators in
formulas can be used:
+ to add

- to subtract

* to multiply

/ to divide

Mathematical functions can be grouped with parenthesis if


necessary. Many functions are available. See the Help topic
for variables for more information.

Assign a mathematical expression to dimensions named B and D.


Double-click the 120 mm dimension. In the Formula field, enter
3/4*D and press the <Enter> key.

Repeat the previous step by double-clicking the 12 mm dimension.


In the Formula field, enter 2/3*A and press the <Enter> key.

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The Edit Formula ribbon bar can also be accessed by right-clicking


on the dimension. On the short-cut menu, click Edit Formula.

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Lesson 4 Profiles and sketches

Notice on the short-cut menu above that the Show All Values is
selected. All variable names or formulas can be shown.

Step 7: The same operations performed in step 6 could also be done using the
Variable Table.

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On the Tools menu click Variables®Variables… to display the


Variable Table.

Notice the same fields as in the Edit Formula ribbon bar are
available. Click the field to edit, type in the appropriate value and
then press the <Enter> key.
Note
The shadowed values represent values that cannot be
directly changed because they are controlled by relationships,
dimensions or formulas.

Close the variable table by clicking the X in the upper right corner.

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On the sketch, modify the dimension values of A and D and observe


how the sketch responds.

Step 8: Save the sketch.


Choose Close Sketch to complete the Sketch.

On the command bar, click Finish.

Close and save this file as Ishape.par. This completes this activity.

Activity summary
In this activity, you learned how to use dimensions and relationships to control
the size and position of 2D geometry in a profile. You also learned how to use
mathematical formulas within the variable table to establish relative behavior
between geometry. This is useful in establishing design intent within a model. If a
critical dimension changes, the profile will adjust itself predictably and accordingly.

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Activity – Applying sketch relationships

Objectives
When you complete this activity, you will be able to use more relationships in the
profile/sketch environment.
In this activity, two sketches are provided for you to apply relationships to. This
activity covers the following relationships:
• Collinear

• Parallel

• Equal

• Symmetric

Activity
Step 1: Open pr_sketch.par.

Step 2: Turn on the display of the first sketch.


In PathFinder, right-click on Sketch A and click Show.

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In PathFinder, right-click on Sketch A and click Edit Profile.

Step 3: Apply relationships to control the E shape.


Note
No horizontal/vertical relationships will be used. This will allow
the sketch to be rotated at any angle and maintain the E shape.

Define the shape by applying parallel relationships. The first element


selected will be made parallel to the second element selected. In the
Relate group, choose the Parallel command.

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Select the line segments as described below.


• Click C, then click A.

• Click E, then click A.

• Click G, then click A.

• Click I, then click A.

• Click K, then click A.

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Step 4: Continue to add parallel relationships to the remaining line segments.


Apply the parallel relationships shown:
• Click J, then click L.

• Click H, then click L.

• Click F, then click L.

• Click D, then click L.

• Click B, then click L.

Step 5: Apply collinear relationships to align line segments. The first line
segment selected will be made collinear to the second line segment
selected.
Choose the Collinear command.

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Select the line segments as shown.


• Click G, then click K.

• Click C, then click K.

• Click E, then click I.

Step 6: Apply equal relationships to control the thickness of the E shape.


Choose the Equal command.

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The first line segment selected will be made equal to the second line
segment selected.
• Click line segment E, then click line segment C.

• Click line segment G, then click line segment C.

• Click line segment I, then click line segment C.

• Click line segment K, then click line segment C.

Step 7: Add dimensional constraints to complete the E shape.


Choose the SmartDimension command.

Dimension the line as shown. The value is not important at this


point.

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Choose the Distance Between command.

On the command bar, click the By 2 Points option.

Dimension the two line segments as shown. Click on the lines (do
not click the endpoints or midpoints).

Choose the SmartDimension command and dimension the line


segment shown.

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Step 8: Align the midpoint of the left line segment to the center of the reference
planes.
Choose the Horizontal/Vertical command.

Click on the midpoint of the left line segment as shown.

Click on the midpoint of the reference plane edge as shown.

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The midpoint of the left line segment is now aligned with center of
the reference planes.

Step 9: Edit the dimensions to complete the E shape.

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Edit the dimensions as shown.


• Dimension A = 200

• Dimension B = 50

• Dimension C = Dimension B
Note
How to make two dimensions equal

Step 1: Double-click on dimension C.

Step 2: On the Edit Formula command bar, in


the Formula field type = and then click on
dimension B.

Step 3: Click the Accept button.

Step 4: Click the Select tool to end Edit Formula.

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The result should be as shown.

Step 10: Add angular dimensions which will control the shape and orientation
relative to the horizontal reference plane.
Choose the Angle Between command.

Place the dimension shown by clicking on the two lines (do not select
any keypoints).

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Place an angular dimension between the horizontal reference plane


and the bottom line segment to control the E shape orientation.
First right-click to restart the Angle Between command. Click the
horizontal reference plane and the bottom line segment as shown
(again do not click any keypoints).

Step 11: Edit the angular dimensions to observe the control over the shape and
orientation.
Orientation angle = 45, shape angle = 90

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Orientation angle = 0, shape angle = 60

Click Close Sketch. On the command bar, click Finish.

In PathFinder, right-click on Sketch A and click Hide.

This completes this portion of the activity.

Step 12: The next portion of the activity utilizes the symmetry relationship. In
PathFinder, right-click on Sketch B and click Edit Profile.
Place the lines as shown. Lines are connected to the centers of the
circles and center of the reference planes.

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Change the two lines to construction elements. In the Draw group,


choose the Construction command. Select the two lines just placed.

Dimension the circles and lines as shown.

Step 13: Place six circles in the remaining three quadrants of the main circle.

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Place the circles as shown. Position and size do not matter. Be sure
not to pick up any relationships from other geometry while placing
the circles. If you have problems doing this, place a circle outside the
main circle and then drag it inside the main circle.

Step 14: Apply symmetric relationships between the circles.


In the Relate group, choose the Symmetric Relationship command.

Click the horizontal reference plane (C). Click circle A1 and then
click circle A. Circle A1 is now symmetrical to circle A. Click circle
B1 and then click circle B. Circle B1 is now symmetrical to circle B.

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Apply symmetric relationships to the remaining circles using the


vertical reference plane as the symmetry axis. In order to do this you
must select a new symmetry axis. Choose the Set Symmetry Axis
command.

Click the vertical reference plane.

Click the Symmetric Relationship command and then click the


remaining circles to apply symmetry as shown.

Step 15: Edit the dimensions and observe the results.


Edit the 40 dimension on the angled construction line to 50.

Edit both 25° dimensions to 30°.

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Edit the 15 diameter to 10.

Step 16: Choose the Close Sketch command. On the command bar, click Finish.

Step 17: Close the file and do not save.

Step 18: This completes the activity.

Activity summary
In this activity, you learned how to use dimensions and relationships to position a
profile containing interior features. Relationships were used to position various
features relative to each other. By varying the dimensions, you are able to control
the size and position of the interior features and maintain design intent.

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Profiles and sketches

Instructor demo – Profile/sketch tools (relationship assistant)


Overview
This demonstration will introduce you to the Relationship Assistant tool for profiles
and sketches.

Objectives
This demonstration will enable you to:
• Understand degrees of freedom for under-defined sketches.

• Manually constrain geometry.

• Use the Show Variability command within the Relationship Assistant.

• Understand the Relationship Assistant options and sketch relationship colors.

• Use Relationship Assistant to automatically constrain a set of geometry.

Demo
Step 1: Open pr_tools_demo1.par.

Step 2: In PathFinder, right-click Sketch A and click Show. Fit the view.
Note
Sketch A is fully-defined. There are no degrees of freedom for
geometry movement. The behavior of the geometry is predictable.

Step 3: Edit the sketch to observe the constraints applied.

Click the Select tool and then select Sketch A .

On command bar, click Edit Definition.

Click any dimension and edit its value (±5).

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Use the scroll wheel on the mouse to edit dimension values.

On the command bar, click Finish.

Hide Sketch A.

Step 4: Edit a sketch that is under-defined.


In PathFinder, show Sketch B. Fit the view.

Click the Select tool. Select Sketch B and then on the command bar,
click Edit Profile.

Fit the view.

Step 5: Use Relationship Assistant to constrain the sketch geometry.


On the Tools tab, in the Assistants group, click Relationships.

Select the geometry with a fence.

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On the Relationship Assistant command bar, click the Show


Variability button. Notice that there are seven degrees of freedom
needed to fully-define the sketch geometry. Continue to click the
Show Variability button to observe how the geometry can move
(displayed in red).

Step 6: Remove degrees of freedom by adding a dimensional constraints.


Choose the SmartDimension command. Select the arc.

Repeat Step 5 and notice that there are now six degrees of freedom.

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Place a SmartDimension on the bottom horizontal line.

Repeat Step 5 and notice that there are now five degrees of freedom.

Step 7: Automatically remove the remaining degrees of freedom by using


Relationship Assistant.
Relationship Assistant should still be active. Fence select all sketch
geometry. Accept the geometry by right-clicking or by clicking the
Accept button on the ribbon bar.

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On the command bar, click the Relationship Assistant options button

.
Note
These options provide control over how geometric relationships
and dimensions are applied.

Use the default option settings. Click the Dimension tab and then
click OK.

Apply dimensional constraints to the reference planes.


The PromptBar informs you to select the horizontal dimension
origin. Click the reference plane shown.

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The PromptBar informs you to select the vertical dimension origin.


Click the reference plane shown.

The sketch is now fully-defined. Use Show Variability to confirm.

Step 8: Another method to use to determine if a sketch is fully-defined is by


turning on the Sketch Relationship Colors.
On the Inspect tab, in the Evaluate group, click Relationship Colors.
Note
This is an on/off sketch/profile display setting.

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Notice the sketch displays with the color black.

The sketch colors are set on the Application menu ® Solid Edge
Options ® Colors page.

Step 9: Remove a dimensional constraint to observe the sketch display setting


for under-defined.
Select the 70 radius dimension and then press the <Delete> key.
Notice how the display of the arc changes to the color blue as set for
under-defined geometry.

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Step 10: Choose the Close Sketch command. On the command bar, click Finish.
Close the file and do not save.

Step 11: This concludes this demonstration.

Demo summary
In this demonstration you learned how to use the relationship assistant to determine
degrees of freedom in a parametric sketch. Dimensions and relationships were
automatically added to constrain the geometry.

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Activity – Using construction elements in profiles

Overview
In this activity you will learn to use construction elements when drawing a profile or
sketch in order to capture design intent.

Objectives
After completing this activity, you will be able to:
• Use construction elements to simplify profile or sketch construction.

• Use the construction elements to drive the resulting geometry (a cutout feature).

In this activity, you will examine a specific feature within a part. You will not
construct the part in this activity, but you will draw the profile for the feature. To
simplify profile creation, you will use a construction element in the Sketch drawing
environment. As previously mentioned, construction elements aid in profile creation
but are ignored during profile validation checks.

Note
Construction elements serve as skeletal elements that helps drive the other
elements in the profile.

Examining the Problem

Examine the patterned cutout feature (A) shown below.

Each of the four cutouts must sweep 90°. A narrow web of material must
occupy space between each cutout to avoid breakout. To create this model, use
construction elements to locate the cutout, provide the mechanism for the sweep
angle, and provide the distance between each cutout.

Activity
Step 1: Create a new Traditional ISO part file.

Step 2: Define the sketch plane.

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Lesson 4 Profiles and sketches

Choose the Sketch command .

Select the reference plane shown.

Step 3: On the status bar, click the Pan command. Hold the left mouse button at
the center or intersection of the reference planes. Move the cursor from
position 1 to the lower right corner of the Sketch window (position 2).
This moves the reference planes out of the way and prevents unwanted
relationship placement between a profile element and a reference plane.

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Step 4: Construct a sketch.


Choose the Line command. Draw the three lines as shown in the
illustration.

Add the dimensions and edit their values as shown.

Make each of the lines construction geometry.


In the Draw group, choose the Construction command and select
each of the three lines.

The angled lines are attached to the horizontal line at its midpoint.

Using the Equal relationship, make each of the angled lines equal to
the horizontal line.

Step 5: Add lines using the Offset command.


In the Draw group, choose the Offset command.

Type a value of 10 for the offset distance.

Set the Offset Select box to Chain.

Offset the two angled lines as seen in the illustration below.

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Click the Accept button to confirm selection. Move the cursor to the
interior of the “V” shape as shown and click.

Step 6: Place two arcs.


Choose the Arc by Center command. Place two arcs as shown in
the following illustration.

• Both arc center point origins should be the midpoint of the


horizontal construction line.

• Small arc Point-2 should be on the left angled line, Point-3 on the
right-angled line.

• Large arc Point-2 should connect to the end point of the


left angled line, and Point-3 connect to the end point of the
right-angled line.

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• Use SmartDimension to dimension the two arcs and edit the


values of the dimensions to those shown in the illustration.

Step 7: Trim the sketch elements.


Choose the Trim command.

Trim away the offset lines below the small arc. The result of the
trim is shown.

Step 8: On the Tools page, in the Assistants group, choose Relationships. Use
the Show Variability command to verify that the profile has only two
degrees of freedom.

Step 9: Resolve the two remaining degrees of freedom.

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In the Relate group, choose the Connect command and place


a Connect relationship between the midpoint of the horizontal
construction line, as seen in the illustration to the left, and the
midpoint of a reference plane, as seen in the illustration to the right.
This anchors the profile and eliminates any remaining degrees of
freedom.

Edit the dimension values as shown in the illustration and then


change them back to the original values. This sketch is ready to be
used in a feature function such as cutout.

Step 10: This completes the activity. Close the file and save as cutout.par.

Activity summary
In this activity, you learned how to use construction elements, dimensions and
relationships to position a profile. Design intent is maintained by positioning the
construction elements. Construction elements do not become a part of the feature
but are handy in controlling the position of the geometry.

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Lesson summary
The key to successful 3D parametric modeling is building models that can be
edited for design intent. The profiles and sketches throughout the model drive the
features within the model. When drawing the profiles and sketches, think about
how the profile/sketch will behave when edited. If the edits are predictable and are
compatible with design intent, you will be successful in modeling. Maintaining
this thought process will help you determine how relationships should be applied
to the profiles/sketches. Therefore, when drawing profiles and sketches it is very
important that you develop a thorough understanding of geometric and dimensional
relationships, especially with regard to how and when they should be applied.
We recommend that you consider the following when deciding to draw a profile
within a command or else a sketch outside of a feature command.
• Profile: Draw profiles within a feature command when the feature in construction
is simple and will not see multiple instances of use.

• Sketch: Draw sketches when you expect to use the feature multiple times, when
the feature in construction requires multiple profiles, and when the profile
requires a high degree of complexity.

When Solid Edge Assembly is discussed later in this course, you will learn that a 2D
layout can be drawn within the assembly environment. This is similar to sketching,
and a complete design layout can be drawn without enforcement of profile validation
rules. Individual part models can be constructed when the layout is complete.

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Lesson

5 Base features

Profile-based features
Many features use profiles to define the shape of material to be added to the part
or removed from the part. Profile-based features are associative to their profiles; if
you change a profile, the feature automatically updates.

You can draw the profile as part of the feature construction process, or select a profile
from a sketch you drew earlier. You draw a profile or sketch on a reference plane.
You can use one of the default or base reference planes, or you can define a new
reference plane using a face on the model.
Solid Edge provides commands to add material and to remove material. For example,
you can use the protrusion commands to add material by:
• extruding a profile along a linear path,

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Lesson 5 Base features

• revolving a profile about an axis,

• sweeping a profile along a user-defined path,

• or fitting through a series of profiles.

All of the protrusion commands can be used to construct a base feature.

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Base features

Profile-based feature workflow


All profile-based features are constructed with the same basic workflow. For
example, when you construct a protrusion feature using an open profile, the Extrude
command bar guides you through the steps described below:

• Plane or Sketch Step—Define the profile plane by selecting a planar face or


reference plane.

• Draw Profile Step—Draw the profile in the profile view. The Draw Profile Step is
automatically activated when you construct a feature.

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• Side Step—Define the side of the profile you want to add material to by
positioning the cursor so that the directional arrow points towards where the
material is to be added. The Side Step is skipped if you use a closed profile.

• Extent Step—Define the extent of the material to add with the cursor (A) or by
typing a value in the command bar (B). You can also use keypoints on another
feature or another part in the assembly to define the extent for a feature. See the
Using Keypoints to Define Extents section for more details. When working in
the context of an assembly, many features also allow you to select a keypoint on
another part in the assembly to define the feature extent associatively.

• Treatment Step—Define the crown or draft angle treatment you want for the
feature. This step is optional. See Applying Draft Angle and Crowning to
Features for more details.

• Finish Step—Process the input and construct the feature. The profile and
dimensions are hidden automatically when you click the Finish button.

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Profile validation
Each type of profile-based feature has a set of requirements for the type of profile
geometry it can use. For example, a protrusion that is the base feature must have a
closed profile, but subsequent features can have open or closed profiles. When you
finish drawing a profile, or accept a profile you select from a sketch, the feature
command checks to make sure the profile is valid for the feature type. If the profile
or sketch used to create the feature is invalid, the Profile Error Assistant dialog
displays a description of the profile error. When you move the mouse cursor over
the description, the element containing the error highlights in the profile window.
You can click the error description to select the invalid element and zoom to the
element, delete the element, change the color of the element, change the element to
construction geometry, or save the geometry as a sketch or failed feature. You can
make corrections to the profile and then click the Validate button to re-validate the
profile. If the profile is valid, you are returned to the next feature creation step. If
the profile still contains errors, the description list is updated to display any errors.
You can also save the profile as a failed feature or sketch. Construction and reference
elements are ignored during profile validation.

Open profiles
When you construct a feature with an open-ended profile, the ends of the profile are
extended toward intersections with the existing model. Lines are extended linearly
(A); arcs are extended radially (B). Material is added or removed along the full
length of the extended profile, in the selected direction.

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Lesson 5 Base features

Multiple profiles
When constructing a feature using more than one profile, all the profiles must be
closed. The following feature commands allow you to construct features using
multiple closed profiles:
• Protrusion command, when constructing a base feature or adding a feature.

• Revolved Protrusion command, when constructing a base feature or adding a


feature. All profiles must share a common axis of revolution.

• Cutout command.

• Revolved Cutout command, all profiles must share a common axis of revolution.

Using keypoints to define feature extent


When you use a keypoint on another feature or another part when working in the
context of an assembly, the feature extent is associative to the keypoint on the
feature or part to selected. If you modify the parent feature or part, the feature
extent updates.
When you select a keypoint on another part, an inter-part link is created between
the current document and the other part in the assembly. For more information on
inter-part links, see the Inter-Part Associativity Help topic.

Extending features dynamically


The Dynamically Preview Feature Creation option on the View tab of the Options
dialog box allows you to dynamically display a feature during the Extent step of
feature creation. You can override this option by pressing CTRL+SHIFT+D.
When selected, this option allows you to set the result color and tool body color. The
result color is the color for the resulting feature. The tool body is the color of a cutout
when it is not intersecting model geometry. In the following example, notice that
the area in which the extent does intersect the model is the default tool body color.
Once the extent intersects the model, the portion intersecting the model changes to
the default result color.

Note
When working with an assembly, only the Tool Body is shown during feature
creation.

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When a feature fails during dynamic feature creation, a warning and tool tip are
displayed to provide information about the failure.

Extrude command
Constructs a protrusion by extruding a profile along a straight path.

Note
When constructing a protrusion using more than one profile, all the profiles
must be closed.

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Lesson 5 Base features

When constructing protrusion features, you can also apply draft angle or crowning to
the faces on the feature that are defined by profile elements. For more information,
see the Applying Draft Angle and Crowning to Features Help topic.

Protrusions in Assemblies
When working with a weldment assembly, you can use this command to construct
an assembly feature to define weld bead material. For more information, see the
Weldments in assemblies Help topic.

Examples: Constructing Protrusions With the Through All Option

Through All is one of the extent options for protrusion and cutout features. The
following examples show the effect of using Through All for protrusions.
The first figure shows a profile extruded through all, to one side.

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The next figure shows the same profile extruded through all, to the other side.

The next figure shows the same profile extruded through all, to both sides.

For protrusions, the through all extent option must result in a feature that
completely intersects the part. The next figure shows an invalid case for using
through all. To create this type of protrusion, use the From/To or Finite extent option.

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Lesson 5 Base features

Examples: Constructing Protrusions With the Through Next Option


Through Next is one of the extent options for protrusion and cutout features. The
following examples show the effect of using Through Next for protrusions.
The first figure shows a closed profile extruded through next, to one side.

The next figure shows the same profile extruded through next, to the other side.

The next figure shows the same profile extruded through next, to both sides.

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The next figure shows another example of a profile extruded through next. Notice
how the profile is extended as far as necessary to form a closed intersection with the
part, but does not extend past the intersection.

You can construct a through next protrusion using an open profile, as shown in
the next figure.

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For protrusions, the through next extent option must result in a feature that
completely intersects the part. The next figure shows an invalid case for using
through next. To create this type of protrusion, use the From/To or Finite extent
option.

Through Next Extension Fails

A Through Next protrusion must completely intersect the solid in the extent
direction. If a portion of the profile is outside the solid, the protrusion fails as shown
in the next illustration.

A solution is to use the From/To Extent option and use the front face as the To face.
The face is extended upward to intersect with the protrusion, as shown in the
next illustration.

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Examples: Constructing Protrusions With the Finite Option

Finite is one of the extent options for protrusion and cutout features. The following
examples show the effect of using Finite for protrusions.
The first figure shows a closed profile extruded a finite distance from a part face,
to one side of the profile plane.

The next figure shows a profile extruded a finite distance from a profile drawn in
a plane perpendicular to the part. The profile is extruded to one side of the profile
plane.

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Lesson 5 Base features

The next figure shows an open profile extruded symmetrically a finite distance on
both sides of the profile. Notice that the Distance value is the total extent of the
extrusion. Notice also that the ends of the profile are extended to meet the curvature
of the part face.

The next figure shows how you can use an open profile protrusion to lift a portion of
a part face. Sketch the profile on the face and then give use a finite extent distance
for the lift. This is useful for constructing lips, feet, and other small protrusions
along the outside edges of a part.

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The next figure shows an open profile extruded to lift a portion of a face in the corner
of a part.

Constructing revolved features

When constructing a base feature using the Revolved Protrusion command, you
must use a closed profile. When adding a revolved feature to a model, you can use
open or closed profiles.
When drawing the profile for a revolved feature, you also must define an axis of
revolution. Each revolved feature can have only one revolution axis defined. You can
select a profile line or a reference plane using the Axis of Revolution command on
the Home tab in the Draw group. The revolution axis is displayed using a dashed
line style.

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When using an open profile to construct a revolved protrusion (A) or cutout (B),
the Side step allows you to define which side the material will be added to (A) or
removed from (B).

The Extent Step allows you to specify how many degrees you want to revolve the
feature. You can type a value in the Angle box (A) or you can click the Revolve 360
button (B) to automatically revolve the profile 360 degrees.

When constructing revolved protrusions (A) and cutouts (B) which have extent values
that are less than 360 degrees, you can use the Symmetric Extent or Non-Symmetric
Extent button to apply the extent value to both sides of the profile plane.

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Constructing Swept Features


You can use the Swept Protrusion, Swept Cutout, and Swept Surface commands to
create swept features.

Swept features are constructed by extruding one or more cross sections (A) along one
or more path curves (B).

You can define the paths and cross sections by:


• Drawing a profile

• Selecting elements from an existing sketch

• Selecting edges on the model or a construction body

• Selecting derived elements, such as intersection curves and derived curves

Tips for path and cross section creation

• When working with swept features that have more than one path and cross
section, you should consider drawing sketches first, rather than drawing the
profiles as you construct the feature. This approach can make it easier to
construct and edit the feature.

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• You can use a different method for each path and cross section in the same swept
feature.

• If you use sketches, you can only select elements from one sketch for each cross
section, and you cannot combine elements from a sketch with model edges in
any cross section.

Regardless of the approach you use, the feature is associative to the elements you
select to define the paths and cross sections.

Using Sketches
The ability to define paths and cross sections using sketches is especially useful
when working with swept features and lofted features. Drawing sketches first allows
you to draw the wireframe geometry without constructing the feature. Since a sketch
profile is not validated when you close the sketch window, you can also save your
work before you complete the design. This approach also allows you to experiment
with both swept and lofted features using the same sketch geometry.
You can also define relationships between sketches on different planes. For example,
you may need to use connect relationships (A) between path and cross section
keypoints. You cannot define relationships in this manner if you draw the profiles
within the swept feature commands.

You can also use the Include command to include part edges into a profile or sketch,
then use the profile or sketch in a swept feature.

Using Part Edges and Derived Elements


You can use edges of existing surface and solid geometry to define path curves or
cross sections. You can also use derived elements, such as intersection curves,
contour curves, cross curves, wrapped curves, and so forth to define path curves
or cross sections.

Path Curves
You can define up to three path curves. You can define open or closed path curves.
When constructing swept features with more than one path curve, select the
elements for the first path curve, then click the Accept button. Repeat this process
for the second path curve. When constructing a swept feature using three paths,
after you define the third path, the command automatically proceeds to the cross
section step.

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When using more than one path or cross section, each path curve must be a
continuous set of tangent elements or edges. For example, if you define a path curve
using a profile or sketch, the elements must be tangent at their connect points (A).

Note
The path curve does not have to be tangent for a swept protrusion constructed
with a single path and a single cross section.

Path sequence
When using more than one path curve, the order in which you select the path curves
can affect the shape of the feature.
A swept feature is allowed to deviate from the first path curve you select. The
swept feature typically will not deviate from subsequent path curves. Because of
this, you can change the shape of a swept feature by changing the order that you
select the path curves.
Path selection order can also determine whether the feature is constructed
successfully, or fails to recompute properly.
In some cases, you also may want to consider constructing a loft or BlueSurf feature
instead of a swept feature. For more information, see the Comparing Swept, Lofted,
and BlueSurf Features section.

Cross Sections
For swept protrusions and cutouts, the cross sections must be closed profiles that
can be planar or non-planar and you can place them anywhere along the path. For
swept surfaces, the cross sections can be open or closed.

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The cross sections must intersect the paths.


If the cross section is a non-periodic element, you also must define its start point (A).
Position the cursor near the vertex that you want to use as the start point, then click.

You do not have to define the start point for a cross section that is a periodic element.

Section start points


When working with swept features that have multiple cross sections, you must
select the start point for all non-periodic cross sections.
Defining appropriate start points allows you to prevent or control twisting. For
example, different results are obtained when you define the starts points as (A) to
(A) or (A) to (B). In some cases, mismatched start points can result in failed features.

Cross Section Sequence


When constructing swept features with multiple cross sections, each cross section
you define adds an entry to the Cross Section Order dialog box.

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When you add new cross sections, the system adds them after the existing cross
sections, regardless of their physical orientation with respect to the path curve and
existing cross sections.
When you modify an existing swept feature by adding new cross sections, you can
use the Cross Section Order dialog box to define the cross section sequence to be
used when the feature is constructed. For example, you can specify that the feature
is constructed using cross section (1) first, then cross section (3), and finally cross
section (2).

Using the Sweep Options Dialog Box

For new swept features constructed in version 18 or later, you can use the Sweep
Options dialog box to set options that give you additional control over the shape of
the feature. You can use the dialog box to set options that control section alignment
with respect to the path curve, face merging, and face continuity.
For swept features that are constructed with only one path curve and one cross
section, there are also options available which allow you to define scale and twist
properties for the swept feature.

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Section Alignment
The Section Alignment options allow you to control how the faces defined by
cross section curves are oriented with respect to the path curves. Depending on
the input curves, some options may provide better results. If one option does not
give you the result you want, experiment with the other options.
For example, using the same input sketches, different results are achieved by
changing the Section Alignment option from Normal (A) to Parallel (B). In this
example, the bottom path curve P1 was selected first. Notice that the feature
deviates from the path curve when using the Normal option with this set of
sketches, but does not deviate from the path curve when using the Parallel
option.

Face Merging
The face merging options allow you to specify whether or not faces on the feature
are merged. Specifies the face merging option you want. You can specify that
faces are not merged (A), fully merged (B), or merged only along the path (C).
This can be seen more easily if Part Painter is used to change the surface color.

If you change the face merging options on a swept feature after downstream
features that depend on the original faces are constructed, the downstream
features may not recompute properly.

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Face Continuity
The face continuity options allow you to specify the degree of continuity between
adjacent segments within a swept feature.

Scale
The scale options allow you to specify that the cross section of the swept feature
is scaled as proceeds along the path curve. Values greater than 1 increase the
size of the feature, and values less than 1 decrease the size of the feature.
The examples below illustrate (A): no scale, (B): start scale of 1 and an end scale
of 1.5, (C): start scale of 0.5 and an end scale of 1.5.

Twist
The twist options allow you to specify that the cross section of the swept feature
is twisted as proceeds along the path curve. You can specify twist based on
the number of turns over the length of the feature, number of turns per unit
of length, or by start angle and end angle. You can also specify whether the
twist is applied in a clockwise or counter-clockwise fashion by enter positive
or negative values
The examples below illustrate (A): no twist, (B): 0.25 turns over the length of the
feature (clockwise), (C): –0.25 turns (counter-clockwise).

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Combining Scale and Twist


In many cases, you can also combine sweep options to achieve different results.
For example, you can combine the scale and twist options. The examples below
illustrate the different results possible for (A): scale, (B): twist, (C): scale and
twist.

Defining a Locking Axis


When you construct swept features with a non-planar path and one or more cross
sections you can define a locking axis for the cross section profile during the Axis
Step. A locking axis allows you to control twist in a swept feature. This option is
available only for new swept features constructed in V17 or later.

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When you select a locking axis (A), the cross section profile and resultant surfaces
maintain a fixed relationship with the plane that is normal to the locking axis
direction, which is constant (B). With no locking axis specified, the cross section
profile and resultant surfaces maintain a fixed relationship with the plane normal to
the path, which varies (C). In this example, you could also use the vertical line (D)
in the cross section profile to define the locking axis.

Note
The path cannot be parallel to the lock axis at any point.

Comparing Swept, Lofted, and BlueSurf Features

When working with models that require complex or free-form geometry, such as those
with multiple paths and cross sections, you may want to experiment with swept,
lofted, and BlueSurf features, and compare the results. Depending on the input
geometry and options you set, one feature type may you give more desirable results
than the other. The following outlines the major differences between these features.
• Swept features must always have at least one, but not more than three path
curves. They can have one or more cross sections.

• Lofted features must have at least two cross sections. They can have no guide
curves, or one or more guide curves.

• BlueSurf features must have at least one guide curve and one cross section, or
at least two cross sections and no guide curves. You can also create new guide
curves and cross sections dynamically within the command by intersecting a
BlueSurf feature with a plane.

For more information, see the Constructing Lofted Features Help topic.

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Constructing lofted features


You can use the Lofted Protrusion, Lofted Surface, Lofted Cutout, and BlueSurf
commands to create lofted features.

Lofted features are constructed by extruding two or more cross sections to construct
a feature.
Similar to the swept commands, you can define the cross sections by:
• Drawing a profile

• Selecting sketch elements

• Selecting edges

You can also use a curve, known as a guide curve, to define a path between the cross
sections of the loft. The end condition options allow you to control the shape of the
loft feature where it meets the first and last cross sections.
Because loft features are often used to define aesthetic elements in a model, you may
want to experiment with different settings to achieve the results you want.
Note
You can construct a loft feature with the BlueSurf command that contains
only one cross section and one guide curve.

The loft feature is associative to the input elements, regardless of the element type
you use to define the cross sections and guide curves.
If you use sketches, you can only select elements from one sketch for each cross
section. You cannot combine elements from a sketch with edges to define a cross
section.
When working with loft features that have many cross sections and guide curves,
you should consider drawing sketches first, rather than drawing the profiles as you
construct the feature. This approach can make it easier to construct and edit the
feature.

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Cross Sections

The cross sections must be closed when constructing a lofted protrusion or lofted
cutout, but they can be open when constructing a lofted surface or a BlueSurf feature.
As you define each cross section, you must select the start point for non-periodic
cross sections. You define the start points (A), (B), (C) by positioning the cursor
over a vertex when you select each cross section. Defining appropriate start points
allows you to prevent or control twisting. In some cases, mismatched start points
can result in failed features.

Closing Lofts
When constructing a lofted feature with three or more cross sections, you can
specify whether the feature closes on itself using the Closed Extent option,
available on the command bar during the Extent Step.

Using Points as Cross Sections


You can use points (A) as cross sections by setting the Select option on the
command bar to Point.

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Guide Curves

Guide curves (A) (B) allow you to control the shape of a lofted or swept surface
between the cross sections. You can use a sketch, the edge of an adjacent surface, or
a curve that has been projected onto a surface as guide curves.

The shape of a lofted surface with the same cross section elements changes
depending on whether there are no guide curves, one guide curve, or more than
one guide curves.

When you use a sketch as a guide curve, you can edit the sketch to change the shape
of the feature.

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Guide Curve Guidelines


• Every guide curve must touch every cross section in the loft.

• Guide curves may extend beyond either end of the loft. The loft will begin
and end at the end cross sections.

• All guide curves must be closed for closed lofts.

• Guide curves can meet in a single point on the first or last section. They
cannot meet at interior sections.

• Guide curves cannot cross one another.

End Conditions
You can control end conditions, the shape of the loft feature where it meets the first
and last cross sections, with several options. The options available for defining end
conditions depend on the type of element you selected to define the cross section.
For example, if you want to be able to control the tangency of a BlueSurf feature with
respect to an adjacent surface, use an edge on the surface as the cross section rather
than, for example, the sketch that was used to construct the adjacent surface.
Some end condition options add variables to the variable table, which you can then
edit to control the shape of the feature.

Constructing helical features

You can construct helical features with a cross section that is parallel to the helix axis
or perpendicular to the helix axis. The steps for the two options are slightly different.
With the Parallel option, the command bar guides you through the following main
steps:
Step 1: Axis & Cross Section Step—Define the plane or sketch for the helix axis
and cross section . Within this step you can define the axis and cross
section sketch.

Step 2: Draw Axis and Cross Section Step—This step is automatically activated
when you define the reference plane for the helix. When editing a helix,
you can select this step to edit the helix axis and cross section profile.

Step 3: Start End Step—Define start end of the helix axis.

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Step 4: Parameters Step—Define the parameters for the helical path.

Step 5: Extent Step—Define the depth of the feature or the distance to extend
the profile to construct the feature.

With the Perpendicular option, the command bar guides you through the following
main steps:
Step 1: Axis Plane or Sketch Step—Define the plane or sketch for the helix axis.

Step 2: Draw Axis Step—This step is automatically activated when you define
the reference plane for the helix axis. When editing a helix, you can
select this step to edit the helix axis.

Step 3: Cross Section Step—Define the plane or sketch for the helix cross section.

Step 4: Draw Cross Section Step—This step is automatically activated when you
define the reference plane for the helix cross section. When editing a
helix, you can select this step to edit the helix cross section.

Step 5: Parameters Step—Define the parameters for the helical path.

Step 6: Extent Step—Define the depth of the feature or the distance to extend
the profile to construct the feature.

For both options, when you have finished defining the path, cross section,
parameters, and extent of the helix, the last step is to preview and finish the feature.
Note
When constructing parts with industry standard threads, you should typically
use the Hole or Thread commands, not the Helical Protrusion or Helical
Cutout commands.
Helical features require significantly more memory to construct and display in
part documents, and take significantly longer to process in a drawing view.
You should only use helical features where the actual shape of the helical
feature is important to the design or manufacturing process, such as with
springs and custom or unique threads.

Applying Draft Angle and Crowning to Features


When constructing molded or cast parts, draft angle or crown properties are often
added to improve the appearance and physical properties of the finished part, and to
make the part easier to remove from the mold.

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The Protrusion, Cutout, and Extruded Surface commands allow you to apply draft
angle or crowning to the faces on the feature that are defined by profile elements.

You define draft or crown properties for a feature using the Treatment Step on
the command bar. The No Treatment, Draft, and Crown buttons available in the
Treatment Step allow you to specify which treatment option you want to use.
Note
You cannot define both draft and crown parameters for a single feature.

Lesson review
1. What profile types are valid for constructing a base protrusion?

2. What profile types are valid for constructing secondary features (after the base
feature is modeled)?

3. Why would you use an open profile?

4. What does the side step determine?

5. In what way does the Through Next option affect an extruded protrusion?

6. When you create a revolved protrusion or a revolved cutout, what can you use for
an axis of revolution?

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Activity – Creating a revolved protrusion

Overview
This activity demonstrates the process of creating a revolved protrusion.

Objectives
You will create a simple part to become familiar with the workflow.
In this activity you will:
• Learn to define a profile plane.

• Draw a simple profile that includes lines and arcs.

• Learn to use SmartStep.

• Define an axis or revolution.

• Shade a view.

Activity
Step 1: Create a new Traditional ISO part file.

Step 2: Create a revolved protrusion.


Note
The part is round, like a wheel. It is easiest to model a part like
this in one of two ways: by extruding a circular profile, or by
revolving a profile that represents the cross-section of the model.
In this case, use the second method.

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On the Home tab, in the Solids group, choose the Revolve command

Select the reference plane shown.

After the plane is selected, Solid Edge displays a profile view with
the selected reference plane parallel to the window. The cross hairs
in the center of the window are the edge view of the other two
reference planes.

Step 3: The next step in creating the model is to draw a 2-D profile that
represents the cross-section of the revolved protrusion.
Draw the profile shown in the illustration.

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In the Draw group, choose the Axis of Revolution command .


A revolved feature must have an axis of revolution that defines
how the profile will be revolved. Use one of the lines in the profile
to define the axis of revolution.

Select the line labeled A in the previous illustration as the axis


of revolution. Notice that the line changes from solid to dashed
indicating it has been identified as an axis of revolution. Only one
axis of revolution can exist for a revolved feature.

The profile construction step is complete. Choose the Close Sketch


command.

Step 4: The next step in creating the revolved protrusion feature is the extent
definition.
Note
Notice the command bar shows that the Extent Step of defining
the revolved protrusion is active. The extent can be defined by
dynamically dragging the profile to the correct position, typing an
angular value in the Angle box, or by clicking the Revolve 360
button.

Click the Revolve 360 button to complete the feature .

Note
The command bar shows that the feature is complete. Although
this activity does not demonstrate it, you could go back to a
previous step on the command bar to change the plane, profile,
or extent.

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On the command bar, click Finish to complete the revolved


protrusion.

Step 5: Change the window display of the part.


Choose the Fit command. Fit resizes the view to display the entire
part.

Hide all reference planes. In PathFinder, right-click and select Hide


All ® Reference Planes.

Step 6: Save the file. The initial save of a file provides an opportunity to define
part properties.
Click the Save command.

When the Part Properties dialog box displays, click Cancel.

Save the file with the filename guide.par.

On the application menu, click Close. This completes the activity.

Activity Summary
In this activity you learned how to create a revolved protrusion by defining both a
profile and an axis of revolution. The reference planes were hidden to better show
the finished feature.

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Activity – Constructing a model from sketches

Overview
This activity demonstrates how to construct solid models using sketches. The
sketches you will use to construct the individual features of the solid model are
provided.

Objectives
In this activity you will:
• Use the Extrude command.

• Create multiple protrusions from a single sketch.

• Use the Include command.

• Use the Trim command.

• Apply profile relationships.

Activity
Step 1: Open bracket02.par. Notice that this file contains a sketch. Use this
sketch to construct two protrusions. This will demonstrate how a single
sketch can be used to create multiple features.

Step 2: Use the Extrude command to construct the base feature of the part.
Rather than draw the profile of the protrusion, include elements from
an existing sketch.
In the Solids group, choose the Extrude command.

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Select the reference plane shown in the illustration.

Choose the Fit command.

Right-click in PathFinder and click Hide All ® Reference Planes.

In the Draw group, choose the Include command .

When the Include Options dialog box is displayed, set the options
shown in the illustration and click OK.

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The Include command bar is displayed as shown in the illustration.


Change the Select option to Single Wireframe.

Choose the Fit command.

Select the elements shown in bold in the illustration to include them


in the profile. Include all elements except for the top horizontal line.
The link symbols indicate that the elements have been included.

Step 3: The elements included from the sketch do not form a valid profile. The
elements must be modified. Trim an element and apply relationships
to create the final shape.
In the Draw group, choose the Trim command.

Select the bottom portion of the circle. The full circle is trimmed to
an arc with its endpoints connected to the two angled lines. Notice

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that only the element included in the profile is trimmed. The original
circle in the sketch remains intact.

In the Relate group, choose the Tangent command.

As shown in the illustration, select the intersection between the line


and the arc to place the Tangent relationship. Do this to both sides of
the arc. Notice the tangent relationship handles.

The profile step is complete. Choose the Close Sketch command.

Step 4: The next step is the extent definition.


Click the Symmetric Extent option. Type 25 in the Distance box and
press the <Enter> key.

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Click Finish to complete the protrusion. The sketch is still displayed


with the new protrusion.

Step 5: Save the file.


Choose the Save command.

Step 6: Construct another profile using the same sketch. Use the same profile
plane used in the previous feature.
Choose the Extrude command.

In the Sketch Step, select Last Plane. This uses the same reference
plane specified for the previous protrusion feature.

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Choose the Include command. Click OK on the Include Options


dialog box and select the elements shown in bold. Use the Fit
command to fit all of the profile elements into the profile window.

Step 7: Trim the included sketch elements to complete the profile.


Choose the Trim command.

Click and drag the cursor across the lines shown.

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When the mouse button is released, the trim completes. Notice that
the Link symbol on the two vertical lines moves.

The profile step is complete. Choose Close Sketch.

Step 8: Extent definition


Choose the Symmetric Extent option, type 100 in the Distance box,
and then press the <Enter> key.

To complete the protrusion, click Finish.

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Step 9: The two protrusions are complete. Turn off the display of the sketch to
show only the finished part.
Click the Select Tool, and then right-click in an open space of the
model window. The shortcut menu shown in the illustration is
displayed.

Click Hide All®Sketches to turn off the display of the sketch you
used to construct the protrusions.

Click the Fit command to view the entire part.

Step 10: Save and close the file. This completes the activity.

Activity Summary
In this activity you learned how to create features from sketch geometry. Because
the geometry is associative, changes in the sketch will also change the features
that are derived from the sketch.

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Activity – Creating a loft and swept protrusion


Objectives
In this activity, you will construct a solid model using the Loft (1) and Swept
Protrusion (2) commands. You will also edit end conditions and curves to adjust
the overall shape of the model.

Activity
Step 1: Open loft.par. This file contains sketches and curves that will be used to
model the part.

Step 2: Create a loft protrusion using sketches provided in the file.

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On the Home tab, in the Solids group, choose the Loft command

in the Add drop down list .

Hide the reference planes.

Select the sketch (labeled base sketch) at location (1) shown for the
first cross-section.
Select the sketch (labeled top sketch) at location (2) shown for the
second cross-section.

Note
It is important to select the cross-sections at start locations
where a twist will not be introduced in the geometry (or
self-intersecting results). If this condition occurs, the following
error message displays.

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On the command bar, click Preview. Do not click Finish.

Note
The result shown above used the default end-condition of
“Natural”. This is where the cross-sections are connected
using a linear vector.

On command bar, click the Extent Step.

Change the end-conditions of both cross-sections. Set both End 1:


and End 2: “Normal to section”. This setting will create a lofted
feature where the surface will start and end with a normal vector to
the cross-sections.

Click Preview and then click Finish. Notice the results [(A) Normal
to section, (B) Natural].

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Step 3: Add guide curves to further control the overall shape of the lofted
protrusion feature. Edit the definition of the lofted protrusion completed
in the previous step.
Turn on the display of curves. In PathFinder, click the check box
on the curves named side curve 1, mirrored side curve 1, side
curve 2 and mirrored side curve 2.

Click the Select tool and then select the protrusion in the part
window.

On command bar, click Edit Definition.

Click the Guide Curve step.

Select each curve and then click the Accept button. Select and accept
only one curve at a time. The right-mouse button or <Enter> on the
keyboard can also be used to accept the guide curve.

After selecting all four curves, click the Preview button.

Notice how the shape of the loft protrusion follows these guide
curves. Dynamically rotate the model to better observe the shape.
Click Finish.

Step 4: Continue to refine the loft protrusion shape by editing the guide curves.
When one curve is edited, the curve on the opposite side will adjust
automatically because it is a mirrored (associative) element.
Click the Select tool.

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Select curve named side curve 1.

On command bar, click the Dynamic Edit button.

Select the green dot on the curve. This will be the edit point on
the curve.

Click the Relative/Absolute Position button. Absolute uses the actual


X-Y-Z coordinates for positioning. Relative uses a delta distance for
positioning. Use relative positioning.

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Type 25 in the dX: field and press the <Enter> key. This moves the
edit point 25 units in the positive X direction and 0 units in the Y
and Z direction. The edit is made when the Enter key is pressed.
Each time the Enter key is pressed after this point will apply a move
again of the values displayed in the ribbon bar delta fields.

Click the Select tool.

Select curve named side curve 2.

Click the Dynamic Edit button.

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Select the green dot on the curve. This will be the edit point on
the curve.

Click the Relative/Absolute Position button.

Type -25 in the dY: field and press the <Enter> key. This moves the
edit point 25 units in the negative Y direction and 0 units in the X
and Z direction. The edit is made when the Enter key is pressed.

Continue to modify the shape on your own. This completes this


portion of the activity. Close and do not save the file.

Step 5: Open sweep.par. This file contains sketches and curves that will be used
to define swept protrusions.

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The curves provided were created using the project curve onto
surface command. This command will not be covered in this course.
These will be the trace curves for the swept feature. Lines, arcs,
curves, etc. can be used to define the path trace for the sweep.

On the Home tab, in the Solids group, choose Swept Protrusion

command on the Add drop down list .

On the Sweep Options dialog box, click the Single path and cross
section option. Click OK.

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Select the curve shown.

Click the Accept button (or right-click) to accept the trace curve.

The cross section select step is now active. Select the sketch as
shown for the cross section.

On the command bar, click Finish.

Repeat the previous steps to create a swept protrusion on the


opposite side.

Hide the curves and sketch. Right-click in the part window and click
Hide All ®. Curves. Click Hide All ®. Sketches.

This completes the activity. Close the file.

Activity Summary
In this activity you learned how to create both a swept protrusion and a lofted
protrusion. To better manage the geometry, sketches were used to define the cross
sections to be swept and lofted. Guide paths were used to control the transition of
geometry between cross sections.

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Lesson summary
• In Solid Edge, you construct solid models by first creating a base feature and
then adding and removing material from it.

• Features that add and/or remove material from the base feature are called
secondary features.

• Profiles and sketches determine the shape of base and secondary features.

• Open profiles and sketches simplify feature construction. Open profiles and
sketches capture design intent very effectively.

• Existing profiles or sketches can be copied and pasted in the part file. Only
profile dimensions are copied. No dimensions that use reference planes as
dimension locations are copied.

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Lesson

6 Profile-based features

Drawing profiles
Drawing profiles is part of the feature construction process. When you select a
profile-based feature command, the command bar first guides you to define a plane
to draw the profile on, and then displays a view oriented to the profile plane so that
you can draw the 2D geometry easily.

Note
For more information about 2D drawing in Solid Edge, see the Drawing 2D
Elements topic.

Solid Edge makes it possible for you to design as you draw. Profile modifications
are automatically reflected in the feature to which the profile belongs. Solid Edge
drawing tools make the process of drawing profiles fast and accurate.

Displaying a Profile window


You can set options on the General tab of the Options dialog box so you can specify
whether a new window is created when drawing profiles. When you set the Create
a New Window option, a new window is created, which is oriented parallel to the
profile plane. Working in the new window can make it easier for you to draw the
profile, especially if you are a new user. You can draw the profile in the new Profile
window or the active model window.

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After you gain experience, you can set the Do Not Create a New Window - Use the
Active Model Window option. When you set this option, the performance of Solid
Edge is improved, since a new window does not have to be created.
When you set the Do Not Create a New Window - Use the Active Model Window
option, you can also set an option that specifies whether the active model window is
reoriented to the profile plane. If you do not want to reorient the window, you can
clear the Orient the Window to the Selected Plane option.

Reorienting the Profile window


In some situations, reorienting the Profile window can make it is easier to visualize
a complex profile’s relationship to the surrounding model geometry. For example,
you can use the Rotate command on the View®Orient group, or the shortcut keys
to rotate the profile view to a different orientation. You can use the Sketch View
command on the View®Views group to quickly rotate the profile view so that it is
parallel to the screen.

Validating profiles
Each type of profile-based feature has a set of requirements for the type of profile
geometry it can use. For example, a protrusion that is the base feature must have a
closed profile, but subsequent features can have open or closed profiles. When you
finish drawing a profile, or accept a profile you select from a sketch, the feature
command checks to make sure the profile is valid for the feature type. If the profile
or sketch used to create the feature is invalid, the Profile Error Assistant dialog
box displays a description of the profile error. When you move the cursor over the
description, the element containing the error highlights in the Profile window.
You can click the error description to select the invalid element and zoom to the
element, delete the element, change the color of the element, change the element to
construction geometry, or save the geometry as a sketch or failed feature. You can
make corrections to the profile and then click the Validate button to re-validate the
profile. If the profile is valid, you are returned to the next feature creation step. If
the profile still contains errors, the description list is updated to display any errors.
You can also save the profile as a failed feature or sketch. Construction and reference
elements are ignored during profile validation.

Undoing profiles
At some point, you may make modifications to a profile that are undesired. At this
point, you do not want to finish the profile, since closing the Profile window implies
you are satisfied with the profile and want to continue with the feature creation.
The Undo All command lets you reset the profile to the state it was in when you

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entered the Profile window. You can then close the profile window without saving
any unwanted changes to the profile.

Importing profiles
You can paste 2D sketches with relationships, dimensions, and variable expressions
from Solid Edge Part and Draft documents into the Profile window. You can also
copy profiles onto the Clipboard from the Profile window and paste them into the
Draft environment.

Saving profiles
You can use the Save and Save All commands to save a profile when creating or
editing a profile feature.

Saving profiles during feature creation

When you save a profile during the initial creation of a feature, the feature is
saved as a failed feature. If you save a profile during a feature creation and then
delete all profile elements and attempt to finish the profile without creating the
feature, the feature is listed in PathFinder in a rolled back state. If you cancel
the command before completing the feature, the feature is deleted. If you exit the
file without saving, and then reopen the file, the feature appears in PathFinder
as a failed feature. If you save when exiting the file, you will have to delete the
feature the next time you open the file.
If you save a profile that would fail profile validation during feature creation,
then make corrections to the profile, and then finish the feature, the feature is
listed as a good feature in PathFinder. However, if you exit without saving the
profile, and reopen the file, the feature appears as a failed feature in PathFinder.

Saving profiles during feature edit

If you save a profile when you are editing a feature that was previously created
and saved to a file, the feature appears as a failed feature. The feature is then
treated like a failed feature. If profile validation occurs when you exit a profile
after saving the profile, you will be prompted to save the profile as a failed
feature and the feature will appear as a failed feature in PathFinder.

Saving unfinished profiles


If you attempt to finish a profile that is invalid for the feature you are constructing,
you can close the Profile window without losing the profile geometry. If your profile
is invalid, the Profile Error Assistant dialog box displays a description of the profile
error.
If the feature can be saved as a failed feature or can be converted to a sketch, the
Save as Failed Feature and Save as Sketch options are available. With features
involving multiple profiles on separate planes, such as sweep and lofts, the feature
cannot be saved as a failed feature. In these cases, you can only save the profile
geometry as a sketch.

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Cut Command
Constructs a cutout by extruding a profile along a straight path. You can use this
command to create simple circular holes, but for counterbore or countersink holes,
use the Hole feature command.

Note
When constructing a cutout using more than one profile, all the profiles must
be closed.

When constructing cutout features, you can also apply draft angle or crowning to the
faces on the feature that are defined by profile elements. For more information, see
the Applying Draft Angle and Crowning to Features Help topic.

Hole command
Constructs one or more holes. You can use the Hole command to construct simple,
threaded, tapered, counterbored, and countersunk holes.

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When you select the Hole command, the command bar guides you through the
following steps:
Step 1: Plane Step—Define the profile plane.

Step 2: Hole Step—Define hole parameters and position one or more hole circles.

Step 3: Extent Step—Define the extent or depth of the holes.

Step 4: Finish Step—Process the input and create the feature.

Hole types
The Type option on the Hole Options dialog box allows you to define the type of hole
you want. Solid Edge allows you to construct several types of holes:
• (A) simple holes

• (B) threaded holes

• (C) tapered holes

• (D) counterbore holes

• (E) countersink holes

You can only define one type of hole for a single hole feature. To construct a different
type of hole, you must construct another hole feature.
The options available on the Hole Options dialog box change, depending on the type
of hole you specify. For example, when you set the Threaded option, new options are
displayed, which allow to specify the thread type you want.

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Threaded holes
You can specify a straight thread, a standard pipe thread, or a tapered pipe thread
when you set the Type option to Threaded. You can also specify standard or straight
pipe threads when you set the Type option to Counterbore or Countersink.
For threaded holes, the size of the hole in the solid model matches the minor thread
diameter listed in the Holes.txt file or PipeThreads.txt file for the thread size you
selected. For example, when you construct a M24 x 1 metric threaded hole, the hole
diameter in the solid model will be 22.917 millimeters, as this is the minor thread
diameter listed for this thread in the Holes.txt file.
A different face style is used to indicate that a hole is threaded. The Color Manager
command provides an option to define the Face style for Threaded Cylinders. The
default value for the Threaded Cylinder option is the Thread style. With the Thread
style, you can also use the Rendering tab on the Format View dialog box to specify
whether a photo-realistic texture is applied to threaded features in a shaded view.

For more information, see the Threaded Features Help topic.

Hole profiles
You do not manually draw profiles for hole features. You use the Home tab®Solids
group®Hole Circle command and the Hole Options dialog box to define the hole
parameters, then position one or more hole circles that Solid Edge draws for you.
The hole circle is a graphic representation of the hole parameters, which means that
you do not need to add dimensions or relationships that define the hole size. If
you place a dimension on the hole circle to define its size, the dimension is placed
as a driven dimension.
You can add dimensions and geometric relationships to define the location of the
hole circle. If you add a geometric relationship to the hole circle that inadvertently
attempts to constrain the size of the hole circle, a message is displayed to warn you
that you are trying to over-constrain the profile.

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Hole patterns
You can place more than one hole circle when constructing hole features. A hole
feature with multiple profiles is treated as a user-defined pattern, similar to other
pattern features. For example, you can use a user-defined pattern of holes in a part
to place an pattern of bolts in an assembly.

Hole extents
Solid Edge allows you to use several extent types when constructing holes:
• Through All

• Through Next

• From/To Extent

• Finite Extent

The extents that are available depend on the type of hole you are creating. Simple
holes, counterbore holes, countersink holes, and threaded holes support all four
extent types. Tapered holes support only the Finite Extent option, but you can define
a finite extent length that exceeds the thickness of the part.
With counterbore holes, if you use the Finite Extent option, you define only the
hole extent. The counterbore extent is defined by the Counterbore Depth value
you specify on the Hole Options dialog box. With the From/To Extent option, the
counterbore extends from the profile reference plane to the "From" surface. The hole
extends from the profile reference plane to the "To" surface.

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V bottom angles
When you construct a hole using the Finite Extent option, you can use the V Bottom
Angle option to specify whether the bottom of the hole is flat or V shaped.

When you set the V Bottom Angle option, you can also type a value for the bottom
angle. The angle you specify represents the total included angle. You can also specify
how the finite depth value is measured.
You can specify that the depth dimension is applied to the flat portion of the hole
where the V bottom angle begins (A), or that the hole depth dimension is applied
to the V bottom of the hole (B).

Holes.txt and Pipethreads.txt files


The Holes.txt and PipeThreads.txt files are ASCII text files that are used to populate
hole size values on the Hole Options dialog box. You can use a text editor, such as
Notepad, to add or edit values in these files. By default, the files are located in
the Solid Edge Program folder.
You can instruct Solid Edge to look for these files in a different folder, including a
folder on another machine on the network. On the File Locations tab on the Options
dialog box, select the Hole Size File or Pipe Threads File entry, then click Modify.
On the Browse dialog box, specify the drive and folder containing these files. After
specifying the location, click Update.

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Saving commonly used hole parameters


The Saved Settings options on the Hole Options dialog box allows you to save
commonly used hole parameters to an external file, named CUSTOM.XML. You
can then use the Saved Settings drop list on the Hole Options dialog box or the
Hole command bar to select a saved setting later in any Solid Edge document that
allows you to construct hole features.
Similar to the Holes.txt file, you can use the File Locations tab on the Options dialog
box to specify a folder for the Custom.xml file.
When you specify a machine on the network for the Holes.txt, PipeThreads.txt, and
Custom.xml files, all users can use the same parameters for the hole features they
construct, which makes it easier to enforce company and industry standards.

Lip command
Creates a lip or groove on a part. You can specify whether material is added to form
a lip, or removed to form a groove. The cross section shape cannot be changed. Only
the dimensions that control the size of the rectangular cross section can be modified.

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Lesson 6 Profile-based features

Selecting edges
The first step in adding a lip or groove feature is to specify which edges to add it to.
You can select the edges individually, or you can select a chain of edges. The edges
must be connected.

Defining the shape and direction


After selecting the edges, type the feature height and width in the command bar
boxes. A dynamic representation of the feature is displayed. Move your cursor until
the lip or groove is in the position you want, then click.

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Mounting Boss command


Constructs a mounting boss. You can use the Mounting Boss command to construct a
simple cylindrical boss, or you can specify center hole, stiffening rib, draft angle, and
rounding parameters.
When defining the profile plane for a mounting boss feature, you define the profile
plane (A) above or below the surface to which you want the boss to extend. You then
define the extent direction (B) such that the feature extends toward the surface
(C) you want.

All mounting bosses constructed as part of the same feature must have the same
parameter settings, such as boss diameter, number of stiffening ribs, draft angle and
so forth. You define the parameters for a mounting boss feature using the Mounting
Boss Options dialog box. For mounting bosses with different parameters, construct
another feature.

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Rotating mounting boss profiles


When constructing a mounting boss feature with stiffening ribs, you can use the
Mounting Boss Properties dialog box to rotate a mounting boss profile to a different
orientation. When a mounting boss feature consists of multiple profiles, you can
define a unique rotation angle for each profile in the feature. One of the legs on the
mounting boss profile has a dot (A) to indicate the rotation angle of the profile.

Note
You do not manually draw a profile for a mounting boss. You specify the
properties you want using the Mounting Boss Options dialog box, then
position the profile using the Mounting Boss Location command.

Mounting Boss Location command


Draws the mounting boss profile that is used to construct a mounting boss feature on
your part. You can define a simple cylindrical boss, or you can specify center hole,
stiffening rib, draft angle, and rounding parameters.
The display characteristics of the mounting boss profile indicate the parameters you
applied. For example, the display of the profile changes depending on the diameter
of the boss, and whether or not you specify stiffening ribs.

You can also save the parameters you have defined for the mounting boss profile and
recall them later using the Mounting Boss Options dialog box.

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Rotating mounting boss profiles


When constructing a mounting boss feature with stiffening ribs, you can use the
Mounting Boss Properties dialog box to rotate a mounting boss profile to a different
orientation. Position the cursor over the center of the mounting boss profile, and
when it highlights, click the right mouse button to display the shortcut menu. On
the shortcut menu, click Properties to display the Mounting Boss Properties dialog
box. In the Angle box, type the value you want to rotate the profile.
When a mounting boss feature consists of multiple profiles, you can define a unique
rotation angle for each profile in the feature. One of the legs on the mounting boss
profile has a dot (A) to indicate the rotation angle of the profile.

Note
You do not manually draw a profile for a mounting boss. You specify the
properties you want using the Mounting Boss Options dialog box, then
position the profile using the Mounting Boss Location command.

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Rib command
Constructs a rib by extruding a profile. The Direction and Side steps allow you
to control the shape of the rib.

Constructing ribs
When you select the Rib command, the command bar guides you through the
following steps:
Step 1: Plane or Sketch Step—Define the profile plane for the rib or specify that
you want to use an existing sketch.

Step 2: Draw Profile Step—This step is automatically activated when you define
the reference plane for the rib. When editing a rib, you can select this
step to edit the rib profile.

Step 3: Direction Step—Define the direction you want to project the profile to
form the body of the rib.

Step 4: Side Step—Define the side to which you want to offset the profile to
form the thickness of the rib.
Note
By default, all ribs are offset symmetrically. If you do not want the
rib offset symmetrically, click the Side Step button, and define the
side of the profile you want to offset.

Step 5: Finish Step—Process the input and create the feature.

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Vent command
Constructs a vent. You construct a vent feature by selecting elements from a single,
existing sketch. The sketch defines the exterior boundary element (A), ribs (B), and
spars (C) for the vent feature. The exterior boundary must be a closed element and
cannot pass through any surfaces on the design model. The ribs and spars can be
open or closed elements.

You can use the Vent Options dialog box to define rib and spar properties, such as
thickness, depth, draft and rounding properties. You can also specify whether the
ribs or spars extend past the opening created by the boundary element, and whether
the ribs or spars are offset from the entrance surface.
Note
You must have both a solid body and a sketch in a Part document before you
can construct a vent feature.

Vent construction details


The top and bottom surfaces on the ribs and spars are constructed by offsetting the
first surface (entrance surface) that the boundary element cuts. For example, the
boundary element (A) for the vent shown cuts through a cylindrical surface (B) with
a radius value of 125 millimeters. The top and bottom faces of the ribs and spars will
then also be cylindrical.

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Lesson 6 Profile-based features

The cylindrical radius value of the top and bottom faces of the ribs and spars is
determined by the values you enter in the Vent Options dialog box for the rib and
spar properties for Offset and Depth.
Property Rib Spar
Thickness 8 mm 5 mm
Extension 8 mm 3 mm
Offset 2 mm 6 mm
Depth 8 mm 5 mm

For example, the top face of the rib has a radius value of 123 millimeters because
an offset value of 2 millimeters was specified for the top face of the rib. The radius
value of the bottom face of the rib is determined by the values for the Offset and
Depth property. In this example, the bottom face of the rib has a radius value of 115
millimeters (125 - (8+2)). Similar results are shown for the top and bottom faces on
the spar (119 mm and 114 mm). Also notice the rib extension value of 8 mm.

Draft angle for a vent feature is defined relative to the sketch and extent direction
for the feature. For the following vent feature, the sketch (A) is positioned above the
part, and the extent (B) is defined downward toward the part. The red faces on the
ribs and spars are then considered outside faces, and the draft direction was defined
as outward, which adds material.

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Web Network command


Constructs a series of webs. All webs constructed in the same operation become
part of a single feature.

The web network is constructed perpendicular to the profile plane. The web material
thickness is always applied symmetrically on both sides of the web profile. This
differs from the Rib command, which allows you to specify a material side for a rib.

When constructing complex web networks using the Extend Profile option, the
results can be affected by connect relationships on profile element vertexes. For
example, when no connect relationship is applied between the vertical profile line (A)
and the horizontal line, the corresponding web is extended to the edge of the part.

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Lesson 6 Profile-based features

If a connect relationship is applied to the vertex, the web is not extended.

You can also specify that draft is added to the faces on a web network feature that
are perpendicular to the profile plane.

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Activity – Creating profile-based features


Overview
This activity demonstrates the construction of profile-based features.

Objectives
You will construct a revolved protrusion and then you will add cutouts and secondary
protrusions.
In this activity you will use the following commands to create profile-based features:
• Revolve

• Extrude

• Cut

• Revolved Cut

• Select From Sketch

• Parallel Plane

• Profile

• Mirror

• Fillet

• Include (w/offset)

• Trim

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Lesson 6 Profile-based features

Activity
Step 1: Open bell.par.

Step 2: Create a revolved protrusion using the sketch provided with the file.
On the Home tab, in the solids group, choose the Revolve command

In the Sketch step, click the Select from Sketch option.

In the part window, select the sketch and then, click the Accept
button.

For the axis of revolution, select the vertical dashed line.

On the command bar, click Revolve 360°.

Click Finish.

Step 3: The sketch and axis of revolution are no longer needed. Turn off their
display.

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Right-click in the part window. Click Hide All®Sketches and click


Hide All®Reference Axes.

Step 4: Create a protrusion. Create the profile on a parallel plane.


In the Solids group, choose the Extrude command.

In the Sketch step, click the Parallel Plane option.

Select the reference plane shown.


Note
Throughout this activity, hidden lines and reference planes
have been removed from illustrations for clarity.

Type 82.5 in the Distance box and press the <Enter> key.

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Move the cursor to the bottom right of the window, and click to define
the location of the new parallel reference plane.

Choose the Fit command .

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In the Draw group, use the Line command to draw the profile shown.
Draw the profile with the same dimensional values and relationships
shown below. Notice the vertical relationship between the midpoint
of the vertical reference plane and the center of the profile arc.
Note
Within the line command, press A on the keyboard or click the
arc option on the ribbon bar to enter arc mode. Once the arc is
placed, the command reverts back to line mode. When in arc
mode, notice the intent zones available for arc placement.

Choose Close Sketch.

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Lesson 6 Profile-based features

Move the cursor so that the arrow points as shown and click. This
will add material to the inside of the profile.
Note
Notice the side step on the ribbon bar. When an open profile
is used, the side of the profile to add material to must be
specified .

On command bar, click Through Next.

Move the cursor so that the arrow points as shown and click.

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Click Finish to complete the protrusion.

Step 5: Remove material from the part using an open profile.


Choose the Cut command.

Select the reference plane shown.

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Lesson 6 Profile-based features

Draw the open profile.

Click Close Sketch.

Position the direction arrow as shown to remove material outside


the open profile.

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On command bar, click the Through All extent option. Position the
arrow as shown to remove material in both directions.

Click Finish.

Step 6: Mirror the cutout feature.


In the Pattern group, choose the Mirror Copy Feature command on
the Mirror drop down list.

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Lesson 6 Profile-based features

Select the cutout feature.

On command bar, click the Smart option and then click the Accept
button.

Select the Front (xz) reference plane as the mirror plane.

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Click Finish.

Step 7: Remove material from the middle of the part using a closed profile.

Choose the Cut command .

Select the reference plane shown.

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Draw the profile. Connect the midpoint of the top line segment to
the vertical reference plane (A).

Click Close Sketch.

Click the Through All extent option. Position the arrow as shown to
remove material in both directions.

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Click Finish.

Save the file.

Step 8: Round edges of the cutout features.


Note
Rounding will be covered in the Treatment Features lesson. It is
appropriate at this point to add rounds to the part.

In the Solids group, choose the Round command.

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Select the six edges as shown.

Type 10 for the radius and then click the Accept button.

Click Preview then click Finish.

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Place 19 mm rounds on the two edges shown.

Step 9: Add a revolved cutout to the part. To create this cutout, you will include
and offset an existing part edge.

Choose the Revolved Cut command .

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Select the reference plane as shown.

In the Draw group, choose the Include command .

On the Include Options dialog box, set the Include with offset option
and click OK.

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Select the arc shown, and on the command bar click the Accept
button.

Type 6.5 in the Distance field and press the key.

Click inside the arc to accept the offset. Notice that the system
places a dimension between the offset element and the arc from
which it is offset.

Draw a horizontal line and a vertical line as shown.

Choose the Trim command .

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Trim away the lines and arc to produce the following profile shape.
If a mistake is made, click Undo on the Main toolbar and repeat
the step.

Choose the Distance Between command, and place dimensions as


shown. Edit the values of the dimensions to the values shown below.

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Click the Axis of Revolution command.

To define the axis of revolution, select the reference plane labeled A.

Click Return to complete the profile.

To define the direction of material removal, position the cursor so


that the arrow points to the outside of the part, and click.

On command bar, click the Symmetric Extent button. Type 30 in the


Angle field and then press the <Enter> key.

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Click Finish to complete the revolved cutout.

Step 10: Save and close the file. This completes the activity.

Activity summary
In this activity you learned how to create a base feature and then construct
additional features to complete the part. The include command used existing
geometry which made the features associative. Because the geometry is associative,
it will respond predictably to modifications. An open profile in the Revolved Cut
command was used to show that the profile adjusts itself to intersect the face of the
protrusion it is cutting.

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Activity – Vent, web network and lip features

Overview
This activity covers some of the specialized features available in Solid Edge, and you
will use them to finish the plastic part model shown. Refer to online Help for more
information on any command used in this activity.

Objectives
In this activity you will learn to place vent, web network and lip features.

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Lesson 6 Profile-based features

Activity
Step 1: Open cover01.par. Add treatment features to this part.

Step 2: Rotate the part in order to see the back face.

On the View tab, in the Orient group, choose the Rotate command
.

Select the Z axis.

On command bar, type 180 and then press the <Enter> key. Click
Close to dismiss the Rotate ribbon bar.

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Profile-based features

Step 3: Use the Thin Wall command to remove material from the interior of
the part.

In the Solids group, choose the Thin Wall command .

Set the common thickness to 5.

Specify the face (shown in gray in the illustration) as the open face
and click Accept.

Click Preview and then click Finish.

Return to the isometric view. Type <Ctrl> I.

Step 4: Add a vent feature to the part. The model contains a sketch called vent
sketch to use to construct the feature.
In PathFinder, right-click on vent sketch and click Show.

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Lesson 6 Profile-based features

In the Solids group, choose the Vent command on the Thin Wall
drop down list.

In the Vent Options dialog box, set the thickness and depth of the
ribs and spars as shown and click OK.

Select the chain shown to define the boundary for the vent and then
click the Accept button.

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Define the ribs. Select the 13 vertical elements (A) shown for the rib
definition and then click the Accept button.

Define the spars. Select the 5 horizontal elements (B) shown for the
spar definition and then click the Accept button.

Select the side shown for the extrusion direction. The vent feature
may take a few seconds to process.

Click Finish.

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Lesson 6 Profile-based features

In PathFinder, hide the sketch named vent sketch.

Step 5: Add a web network to the part. The model contains a sketch to use to
construct the feature.
To display the sketch for the web network feature, in PathFinder
show the sketch named rib network sketch.

On the Thin Wall drop down list, choose the Web Network command

On command bar, click the Select from Sketch option and set the
Select filter to Single.

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Select the three elements shown and click the Accept button. The
line end-points do not have to connect to the edges of the model. The
Web Network command will extend these segments automatically.
Notice that these three lines do not connect to the edges of the model.

For the Direction Step, specify the thickness of the web network
and how the sketch elements are thickened to form the ribs. In the
Thickness box, type 5 mm and press the <Enter> key. Make sure
the Extend Profile and Extend to Next options are set.

The first sketch element selected will have an arrow attached to it


giving the material direction. Click when the direction is pointing
towards the solid.

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Lesson 6 Profile-based features

Click Finish to complete the feature. In PathFinder, hide the sketch


named rib network sketch.

Step 6: Place another web network feature on the other end of the part. Use
the Mirror Copy Feature command.
Choose the Rotate command.

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Click the Z axis. Type –90 for the rotation angle and then press the
<Enter> key. Click Close.

On the Mirror drop down list, choose the Mirror Copy Feature

command .

On command bar, click the Smart option.

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Select the web network feature shown and then click the Accept
button.

Select the reference plane shown as the plane to mirror the feature
about.

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Click Finish.

Step 7: Add a lip feature to the part.

On the Thin Wall drop down list, choose the Lip command .

For the Select Edge Step, select the inside edge of the thin wall as
shown below and click the Accept button.

For the Direction Step, define the size of the profile and how it is
oriented with respect to the edge. Type 3 for the width, and type 5
for the height.

A rectangle is displayed where the lip will begin. It is relatively small


so look closely. After locating it, choose the Zoom Area command
to zoom in on this area. After zooming in on this area, right-click
to return to the Lip command.

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Lesson 6 Profile-based features

This profile changes position as the cursor moves. Position the profile
into the part as shown in the illustration below, so that it will remove
material, and click.

Click Finish to place the groove. The result is shown below.

Step 8: Save the file as mycover.par.

Step 9: Close the file. This completes the activity.

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Activity summary
In this activity you learned how to create a vent feature in a molded part. You
learned how to place a web network and mirror the features. The Lip command was
used to place a lip around the edge of the molded part.

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Lesson

7 Treatment features

Treatment features
You construct treatment features by applying face and edge treatments, such as
drafts, rounds, and chamfers to the part.

Types of treatment features


The following treatment features are available in Solid Edge:
• A draft feature tilts an existing part face to a specified angle relative to a
reference plane.

• A round feature applies a constant or variable radius to one or more part edges
or blends between two faces.

• A chamfer feature applies a setback relative to a selected part edge.


You can define the setback with an angle and a setback distance or with two
setback values.

When to add treatment features to models


For best results, add treatment features to your model as late as possible in the
design process. If a draft feature is critical for positioning other features, construct
the draft just before you construct the other features.
Although you can construct a treatment feature at any time, in complex models,
treatment features can have a significant effect on the time required to update
the part.

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Lesson 7 Treatment features

Adding draft angles


The angle of a draft feature is measured against the normal of a draft plane or
planar face. The drafted faces can be constructed by simply pivoting about the draft
plane, or by pivoting about a part edge, parting line, or parting surface.

Round command
Rounds the edges of a part. You can use a constant rounding radius, a variable
radius, or a combination of the two. You can also create a blend between edges,
faces, or a combination of the two.

Add Draft command


Adds a draft angle to one or more part faces.

To construct a simple draft feature, you first define a draft plane, then select the
faces you want to draft, and finally you define the draft angle and direction.

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Chamfer Command (Feature)


Constructs a chamfer between two faces along their common edge. Typically, you
should construct chamfer features as the model nears completion. On most parts,
you should not include small chamfers when drawing the profile for profile-based
features. This allows you to add the chamfers later as treatment features, which
makes changes faster and easier.

Chamfer Construction Methods


You can use the Chamfer Options dialog box to specify the chamfer construction
method you want to use:
• Equal Setbacks

• Angle and Setback

• 2 Setbacks

Chamfer Feature Workflow


When you select the Chamfer command, the command bar guides you through the
following steps:
Step 1: Face Selection Step—Defines the faces from which you want to measure
the setbacks or chamfer angle. This step is available only when you
set the Angle and Setback or the 2 Setbacks options on the Chamfer
Options dialog box.

Step 2: Edge Selection Step—Defines the edges you want to chamfer.

Step 3: Preview Step—Processes the input and displays the feature.

Step 4: Finish Step—Finishes the feature.

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Equal Setback Chamfers


When you construct Equal Setback chamfer features, you only need to select the
edges you want to chamfer. You can chamfer multiple edges in one operation if they
have the same setback value. When constructing chamfers where the setback value
is the same, it is usually better to chamfer as many edges as possible in one operation.

If you want to apply different setback values to different edges, you must construct
separate chamfer features for each chamfer size.

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Angle and Setback Chamfers


When constructing a chamfer feature using the Angle and Setback option, you must
first select a face (A), then select the edges you want to chamfer (B). The value you
type in the Setback box on the command bar is applied along the selected face and is
measured from the selected edge. For example, a 5 millimeter setback and 60 degree
angle chamfer is applied as shown (C).

Two Setback Chamfers


When constructing a chamfer using the 2 Setbacks option, you also must select a
face first. The value you type in the Setback 1 box is applied to the face you select,
and the value you type in the Setback 2 box is applied to the adjacent face. As in the
earlier example, if you select the cylindrical face and the circular edge at the top of
the part, and then specified a Setback 1 value of 5 millimeters, and a Setback 2 value
of 12 millimeters, the 5 millimeter value is applied along the cylindrical face, and the
12 millimeter value is applied along the planar face on the top of the part.

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Lesson 7 Treatment features

Thin Wall command


Constructs a thin-walled solid part of finite thickness, with or without open faces.

You can construct thin wall features inside, outside, or symmetrically about the
original surfaces of a solid. You can construct thin wall features with or without open
faces. You can make all walls the same thickness, or apply different thicknesses to
individual walls.

Thicken command
Thickens a part by offsetting one or more faces. You can use this command to
construct a solid from a construction surface or to modify an existing solid. Instead of
editing one or more features, you can use the Thicken command to add the necessary
material to the solid model, and achieve the same result in less time.

Note
A Thicken feature can be the base feature of a model.

Rather than create a solid from a construction surface, it is often easier and faster to
create the mid-plane of the desired model and then use the Thicken command.

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You construct thicken features by selecting the faces you want to offset, then specify
the offset direction by positioning the cursor relative to the selected faces. When
you add a thicken feature to a solid model, the faces adjacent to the face you are
thickening are modified, but the other faces are not affected. For example, when you
thicken the planar face (A), the faces that touch the thickened face are extended, but
the face at the bottom of the cutout (B) maintains its original position.

Thin Region command


Constructs a thin-walled feature of a selected region of a part. The region that is
thinned is based on a set of faces you select.

The combination of the inputs should always result in a closed volume. This volume
is formed by collecting all of the input faces, including the offset of thickness faces,
open faces, and capping faces.

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Capping faces
You can construct thin region features with or without capping faces. A capping face
can be a face or construction surface that defines how you want to cap the thinned
region.
You can use a capping face with or without an offset. When you specify a capping
face with no offset, the face is extended to cap the bottom of the thin region.

When you specify a capping face with an offset, the bottom face is offset a defined
distance to cap the bottom of the thin region.

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Thin Region feature workflow


When you select the Thin Region command, the command bar guides you through
the following steps:
1. Faces to Thin Step—Select the faces you want to thin and the common wall
thickness.

2. Open Faces Step—Select any faces you want to leave open.

3. Capping Faces Step—Select any faces you want to use to cap the thin region.

4. Unique Thickness Step—Select any faces you want to apply a unique thickness
to, and define the unique thickness.

5. Finish Step—Process the input and preview the feature. Since the open faces,
capping faces, and unique thickness steps are optional, you can preview the
feature any time after the common thickness step.

Note
A thin region tutorial is available to assist you in learning how to use this
command. To access this tutorial, on the Help menu, click Tutorials.

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Lesson 7 Treatment features

Threaded Features
When constructing part and assembly features in Solid Edge, you can use the Hole
and Thread commands to define threaded features.

The Holes.txt and Pipethreads.txt files determine which thread sizes are available.
Options are available to control whether threaded features are displayed simply or
realistically in a shaded view.
When creating drawings, you can set the thread depiction standard to control how
straight and tapered threaded features are displayed.
Note
For internal threaded holes, you should use the Hole command whenever
possible. For external threaded features, such as threaded rods, shafts, and
external pipe threads, you should use the Thread command.

Although you can use the Thread command to construct internal threads, there are
several advantages to using the Hole command:
• You can construct multiple threaded holes using one feature.

• The threaded hole feature can pierce a non-planar face.

• It is easier to define the thread size using the Hole command because you define
the hole size and thread size in one operation, rather than two operations.

When constructing external threaded features using the Thread command, you can
also define an offset value for the start end of the thread. The offset value you specify
will be graphically displayed in drawing views in the Draft environment.

Holes.txt and Pipethreads.txt files


The Holes.txt and Pipethreads.txt files are ASCII text files that are used to populate
thread size values on the Hole Options dialog box and the Thread Type box on the
Thread command bar. You can use a text editor, such as Notepad, to add or edit
values in these files. You can also print these files to make it easier to define the
correct matching cylinder diameter for the thread size you want to use.

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By default, the files are located in the Solid Edge Program folder. You can instruct
Solid Edge to look for these files in a different folder, including a folder on another
machine on the network. On the File Locations page on the Options dialog box,
select the Hole Size File or Pipe Threads File entry, then click Modify. On the Browse
dialog box, specify the drive and folder containing these files. After specifying the
location, click Update.
Note
If you edit the Holes.txt or Pipethreads.txt files, save a copy of these files
before you uninstall Solid Edge.

Thread families
There is a thread family column in the Holes.txt and Pipethreads.txt files, which
organizes threaded features into families of threads that have similar characteristics.
This allows you to change the nominal diameter of a threaded feature and then
have the appropriately sized thread characteristics automatically applied. For
English threads, family names for UNC, UNF, and UNEF have been defined in
the Holes.txt file.
You can also define new thread families for your company. Each family can only have
one entry for each diameter. For example, for the UNC Family, you cannot have two
entries with the same nominal diameter or internal diameter.

Available thread sizes with the Thread command


Because you use the Thread command to add thread information to an existing
cylindrical face, the cylindrical face diameter must match a value listed in the
Holes.txt or Pipethreads.txt files.
For external threads, the cylinder diameter (A) must match a value in the nominal
diameter column in the Holes.txt or the Pipethreads.txt files. For internal threads,
the cylinder diameter (B) must match a value in the internal minor diameter column
in the Holes.txt or the Pipethreads.txt files.

For example, to add a Rd 24 x 1/8 metric straight pipe thread to an external cylinder,
the cylinder diameter must be exactly 24 millimeters, which matches the nominal
diameter for this thread in the Pipethreads.txt file. To add the Rd 24 x 1/8 metric
straight pipe thread to an internal cylinder, the cylinder diameter must be exactly

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Lesson 7 Treatment features

21.142 millimeters, which is the internal minor diameter for this thread in the
Pipethreads.txt file.
Note
If the cylindrical face diameter does not match a value in the Holes.txt or the
Pipethreads.txt files, the Thread Type list on the Thread command bar will be
blank and a warning message is displayed when you click the Finish button.

Editing threaded features


You can edit threaded features using the command bar. In most cases, you can also
edit threaded features using the Variable Table:
• For threaded hole features, you can edit the nominal diameter with the Variable
Table.

• For external threaded features, if you placed a driving dimension on the sketch
circle for the cylindrical protrusion feature, you can edit the diameter using
the Variable Table.

When editing the nominal diameter of a threaded feature using the variable table, if
the new diameter matches an entry for the same thread family, the thread properties
for that size will be automatically applied.
For example, if the original threaded hole was defined as a .50 nominal diameter
hole with a 1/2–13 UNC thread, and you edit the nominal diameter in the variable
table to .75, a 3/4-10 UNC thread will be automatically applied.
If you want to apply a 3/4-16 UNF thread instead, you must edit the feature using
the command bar.

Displaying threads realistically in a shaded view


The Threaded Cylinder option on the Color Manager dialog box allows you to define
a face style for threaded features. Its default value is set to a style named Thread.
The Textures option on the Rendering tab of the Format Views dialog box supports
photo-realistic display of threads when you use the Thread face style.

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A threads.jpg file is delivered to the \Program Files\Solid Edge


ST\Images\Textures\Other folder, which you can also use to create your own thread
styles to display texture. You can make adjustments to the display characteristics of
the Thread style, and any other face style using the Style command on the View tab.

Thread extent definition and tapered threads


Both the Hole and Thread commands allow you to specify the length or extent of the
thread. You can specify that the thread extent is for the full length of the cylindrical
face or a finite extent you define. The thread extent you specify is accurately
depicted in the graphic window. When you edit the thread extent definition, the
graphic display updates.

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Lesson 7 Treatment features

Tapered threaded features


When constructing an external tapered, threaded feature using the Thread
command, you do not need to construct a conical face first. When you define a
tapered threaded feature to a cylindrical face, the taper angle is added to threaded
portion of the cylinder when you finish the feature.

You can use the Hole command to construct internal, tapered pipe threads. When
you set the Type option to Threaded on the Hole Options dialog box, you can set
the thread type to Tapered Pipe Thread.

Depicting threads on drawings


Most drawing views display both the minor and major thread diameter (except
pictorial and isometric views, where only the minor thread diameter is displayed).
You can set the thread depiction standard to ANSI or ISO with the Options command
on the Tools menu. You can then save these settings in a template, and use the
template to ensure that all your documents conform to the same standard.
You can also place information like thread size and thread depth on a drawing with
the SmartDimension and Callout commands. Use the Thread Reference buttons on
the Dimension Prefix dialog box or the Callout Properties dialog box to specify what
information you want to add.
Note
When constructing parts with industry standard threads, you should typically
use the Hole or Thread commands, not the Helical Protrusion or Helical
Cutout commands.
Helical features require significantly more memory to construct and display in
part documents, and take significantly longer to process in a drawing view.
You should only use helical features where the actual shape of the helical
feature is important to the design or manufacturing process, such as with
springs and custom or unique threads.

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Embossed Text Features


Solid Edge allows you to create features on a model that include text. This is helpful
when models of plastic, cast, or forged parts require labels or part numbers.

Creating profiles with text


You use the Text Profile command to draw a profile or sketch that includes text. The
Text dialog box is where you specify the text characteristics you want, such as the
font and size. You can use the Text Profile command bar to choose an anchor point
that provides the best alignment of the text.
When creating text features that go all the way through a part, such as with sheet
metal parts, you should use the Solid Edge Stencil font. This font was designed for
these situations, and ensures that the part can be manufactured.

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Lesson 7 Treatment features

To learn the different ways you can create and align text profiles, see these Help
topics:
• Text Profile command

• Place a text profile

• Edit a text profile

Creating features with text


When placing text on a flat surface, you can place the text profile while in the Profile
step for a protrusion or cutout feature.
When placing text on a flat surface, you can place the text profile as a sketch before
constructing the feature.

When placing the text onto a curved surface, you must place the text profile as a
sketch, then project the text onto the surface using the Wrap Sketch command
or the Project Curve command.

You can then create a protrusion or cutout using the projected curves with the
Normal Protrusion or Normal Cutout commands.

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Constructing normal features


When constructing parts, you can construct protrusions and cutouts using the
Protrusion and Cutout commands or the specialized Normal Protrusion and
Normal Cutout commands. If material needs to be added or removed normal to
curved surfaces on a part, consider using the Normal Protrusion or Normal Cutout
commands.
These commands are especially useful when adding and removing material for text
applications. For example, you can use the Normal Protrusion command to add
raised letters to a part face.

The Normal Protrusion and Normal Cutout commands are not profile-based. To
construct a normal protrusion or cutout on a curved face, you must first project
a sketch onto the surface. To project the sketch onto the surface, you can use
commands such as the Wrap Sketch or Project Curve commands.

You can then use the wireframe elements to construct the feature you want.

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Lesson 7 Treatment features

Boolean Operations

Feature Modeling and Boolean Operations


Although Solid Edge does not use boolean operations to add or remove material,
Solid Edge does include a Boolean Command to allow you to perform union,
difference, and intersection operations.
When performing the boolean operation, Solid Edge uses the current part as the
target body for the boolean operation. You can use construction geometry or a
reference plane as the tool body to perform the operation.
For example, you can use a reference plane (A) to perform a subtract operation
on a solid (B).

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Lesson review
1. Name some of the treatment features covered in this section.

2. Is a treatment feature considered a parent or a child?

3. What is the difference between common thickness and unique thickness in the
Thin Wall command? Which one is required?

4. Why must you identify a plane when using the Add Draft command?

5. Name some of the selection options for the Round command.

6. Name some of the placement options with the Chamfer command.

7. How do you control the setback angle and distance (think position) when using
the Chamfer command?

8. Name some of the different ways to copy a feature.

9. What tool do you use to manage the display and the editing of design features,
sketches, and reference planes?

10. When re-ordering a feature, how high in the feature tree can you move a feature?

11. When you delete a parent feature, what happens to a treatment feature?

12. When should you examine the ToDo list?

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Treatment features

Activity – Constructing a mouse base

Overview
In the following activity you will construct the computer mouse base shown in the
illustration. This activity reinforces the feature construction techniques you have
already learned, and it introduces new treatment features.

Objectives
In this activity you will learn how to:
• Construct a solid model with holes, cutout, and draft.

• Use the Thin Wall command.

• Use the Mounting Boss command.

• Use EdgeBar to select features.

Activity
Step 1: Create a new Traditional ISO part file.

Step 2: Create a protrusion as the base feature for the mouse.


Choose the Extrude command.

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On the command bar, click the Coincident Plane option, and select
the reference plane shown.

Draw the profile.

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Place Horizontal/Vertical relationships to center the profile on the


midpoints of the reference planes. If you cannot see the reference
planes, right-click and then click Show All ® Reference Planes.
Note
Fillets (R 10 and R 15) are in two places with equal
relationships applied.

Click Close Sketch.

Extend the profile upward 20 and click Finish.

Hide all reference planes.

Step 3: Change the display of the part.


In the Styles group, click the Visible and Hidden Edges display.

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Step 4: Create a cutout on the bottom side of the part.


Choose the Cut command.

Use the reference plane used to create the base feature. On command
bar, select the Last Plane option.

Draw the profile and apply the dimensional constraints.

Click Close Sketch.

On command bar, click the Finite Extent option, and in the Distance
box type 8.

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Project the cutout upward, and finish the feature.

Step 5: Save the file as mouse.par.

Step 6: Apply draft to the part.

In the Solids group, choose the Add Draft command .

For the Draft Plane Step, select the bottom face as shown.

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For the Select Face Step, select one side face of the mouse base. All
side faces of the mouse base should highlight. The default Select
option is set to Chain which selects all chained faces not parallel
to the draft plane.

Type 10 in the Draft Angle field, and click the Accept button.
Note
You can specify different draft angles for multiple faces in the
Select Face Step. If no other faces are to be drafted, click Next
to leave the Select Face Step.

Click Next.

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For the Draft Direction Step, orient the direction as shown so that
the draft is applied outward, and then click.

Click Finish.

Step 7: Add a round feature to the bottom edge of the part.

Choose the Round command .

For the Select Step, identify the edges to round. On command bar,
in the Select box, click the Chain option. This lets you select a
connected chain of edges with one click.

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Select the chain of edges around the bottom face of the part as shown.

Type 5 in the Radius field and click the Accept button.

Use the default parameters. Skip the Round Parameters Step. Click
Preview and then Finish.

Step 8: Save the document.

Step 9: Add draft to the cutout feature in the part.


Choose the Add Draft command.

Use QuickPick to select the bottom face to define the draft plane
as shown.

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Select the chain of faces that form the sides of the cutout. Click once
to select the three faces that are tangent to each other, and click once
more to select the remaining face.

Type 2 in the Draft Angle field and click the Accept button.

Click Next.

Orient the draft direction as shown, and then click to accept.

Click Finish.

Step 10: Save the file.

Step 11: Use the Thin Wall command to remove the interior material from the
part.
Choose the Thin Wall command.

For the Common Thickness Step, specify the thickness to apply to


all faces of the part. In the Common Thickness box, type 1 and
press the <Enter> key.

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For the Open Faces Step, select the top face of the part and the top
face of the cutout as the open surfaces.

Click the Accept button to accept the faces.

You can apply unique thickness to faces of the part. To skip this step,
click Preview to process the thin wall. Click Finish to complete the
feature placement.

Click the Shaded with Visible Edges display.

Step 12: Add a cutout to remove material from the top of the mouse base.
Right-click in the part window and click Show All ® Reference
Planes.

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Choose the Cut command, and select the reference plane shown.

Choose the Arc by 3 Points command , and place an arc that


touches the two sides and is tangent to the top of the part. Command
is located in the Draw group on the Tangent Arc drop down list.
Note
The first and second points define the arc sweep. The third
point defines the radius.

Place and modify the dimension as shown. Add a Horizontal


relationship to the two endpoints of the arc as shown.

Click Close Sketch.

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For the Side Step, position the cursor as shown in the illustration
and click.

On command bar, set the Extent to Through All. Position the cursor
so that arrows point from both sides of the profile and click.

Finish the cutout and save the file.

Hide all reference planes.

Step 13: Add another cutout. Since the part has been thin walled, the additional
cutout will not be thin walled unless it is constructed before the thin wall
step. The following steps demonstrate how to go back in the creation

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process to a point before the thin wall had been applied and place
another cutout.
Change display to Visible and Hidden Edges.

Choose the Select Tool.

In PathFinder, right-click on the feature named Cutout 1, and on


the shortcut menu, select the GoTo command.

Choose the Cutout command and use QuickPick to select the


reference plane shown.

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Draw the rectangular profile.

Click Close Sketch and project the cutout upward 5 using the Finite
Extent option.

Click Finish.
Note
Since this cutout was placed before the thin wall feature, use
the GoTo command to apply the thin wall to the new cutout.

Choose the Select Tool.

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Right-click on the last feature listed in Feature PathFinder, and


select the GoTo option from the shortcut menu. The part returns to
the thin wall state. The cutout just constructed has thin wall sides
because it was placed before the thin wall feature.

Step 14: Add mounting boss features to the part.

In the Solids group, choose the Mounting Boss command on the


Thin Wall drop down list.

On the Mounting Boss command bar, click the Parallel Plane option.

Select the bottom plane as shown.

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On the command bar, type 10 in the Distance field. Position the


parallel plane above the bottom plane as shown and click.

On the command bar, click the Mounting Boss Options button and
set the Mounting Boss Options as shown and click OK.

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Position the bosses as shown and then click Close Sketch.

Define the extent direction as shown.

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Click Finish.

Step 15: Save the document and close the file. This completes the activity.

Activity summary
In this activity you learned how to add draft to some of the faces of a molded part. You
learned how use the GoTo command to insert a feature at a desired location within
Feature Pathfinder. You learned to place bosses using the Mounting Boss command.

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Instructor demo – Embossing text

Overview
This demonstration covers the procedure of embossing text characters onto a simple
model of a casting.

Demo
Step 1: Open support.par.

Step 2: To emboss text on a part, create a sketch containing the text profile.

Choose the Sketch command .

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Select the face shown for the sketch plane.

On the Tools tab, in the Insert group, choose the Text Profile

command .

In the Text dialog box, set the values as shown. In the Text box,
type ACME MFG. and click OK.

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Position the text in the approximate position shown, and click.

Click Close Sketch to complete the profile.

Click Finish.

Step 3: Use the Cut command and the text sketch created in the previous step
to remove material from the part.
Choose the Cut command.

On command bar, click the Select from Sketch option.

Select the sketch (text) and click the Accept button.

In the distance box, type 2 and press the <Enter> key.

Click below the profile to extend the text into the part.

Click Finish to complete the cutout.

Hide all sketches.

Step 4: Save the file as myblock.par.

Step 5: Close the file. This completes the demonstration.

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Demo summary
In this demonstration you learned how to create and add embossed text to a part.

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Activity – Modeling a machined part

Overview
This activity uses the treatment feature commands covered in this lesson. This
activity is advanced and it might take a while to finish. There is a stopping point in
the activity where the instructor can decide to continue or finish later. Pay careful
attention to the instructions and illustrations.

Objectives
In this activity you will model a machined part that includes cutouts, rounds,
patterns, mirror copied features, ribs, lip and holes.

Activity
Step 1: Open a new Traditional ISO part file. Save the file as machine01.par.

Step 2: Begin the activity by creating a rectangular protrusion as the base


feature for this part.
Choose the Extrude command.

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For the plane step, select the reference plane shown.

Draw the profile and center the profile at the intersection of the
default reference planes.

Choose Close Sketch.

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Extrude the profile 50 mm below the reference plane and click Finish.

Step 3: Add a cutout to the base feature.


Choose the Cut command.

Select the Coincident Plane option and orient the plane as shown.

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On the right side of the part, draw the profile.

Choose Close Sketch.

Click as shown for direction to remove material.

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For the Extent step, on the command bar, select the Through All
option and click the direction as shown.

Click Finish.

Step 4: Create a second cutout on a side face created by the cutout in step 3. The
cutout will look like the one shown.

Choose the Cut command.

For the profile plane, select the right surface shown using the
Coincident Plane option on the command bar.

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Draw the open profile.

Choose Close Sketch.

For the Side step, position the cursor so the arrow points to the inside
of the profile, as shown, and click.

For the Extent Step, on the command bar, click the From/To Extent
button. Make the depth of the cutout from surface A to surface B.

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Click Finish.

Step 5: Mirror the cutouts created in the previous two steps about reference
plane C. Using this reference plane, which lies at the center of the part,
ensures that the two cutouts are mirrored symmetrically on the opposite
side of the part.

In the Pattern group, on the Mirror drop down list, choose the Mirror

Copy Feature command .

On command bar, click the Smart button.

Select the two cutout features in PathFinder and click the Accept
button.

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For the plane to mirror about, select reference plane C.

Click Finish.

Step 6: Create a cutout using two profiles created in a single profile step. This
allows removing or adding material of a complex shape in a single step.
Choose the Cut command.

Select the reference plane shown.

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Draw and dimension the two profiles as shown. The top and bottom
lines are coincident with the part edges. Notice that lines A and B
have equal relationships applied.

Click Close Sketch.

For the extent step, click the Symmetric Extent button and type
108 in the Distance field.

Click Finish.

Step 7: Construct a rib to strengthen the interior of the part.


In the Solids group, on the Thin Wall drop down list, choose the Rib

command .

On command bar, click the Parallel Plane option.

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Select the top face as shown.

On the command bar, type 3 and position the cursor so the parallel
plane is placed below the top face and click.

Draw the rib profile. Looking down from the top of the model, the
profile endpoints are connected to the cutout edges.

Choose Close Sketch.

On the command bar, type 3 for rib thickness.

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Select the direction shown.

Click Finish.

Step 8: Create a groove around the top inside edge of the part. Use the Lip
command. Use this command to add material to create lips or remove
material to create grooves.

On the Thin Wall drop down list, choose the Lip command .

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Select the four edges shown and then click the Accept button.

On the command bar, type 4 for the width and 3 for the height. Use
the Zoom command to adequately see this rectangle. This rectangle
defines whether material will be added to create a lip or removed to
create a groove. Position the rectangle as shown to create the groove.

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Click Finish.

Step 9: Create a circular-shaped cutout and remove a finite amount of material


from the part. The Hole command could be used here, however in this
step the Cut command and a circular profile is used.
Choose the Cut command.

Select the profile plane as shown.

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Draw and dimension the profile. Center the circle on midpoint of


line A.

Choose Close Sketch.

In the Distance box, type 40 for the extent and position the cutout
into the part.

Click Finish.

Step 10: Construct a hole at the rear of the cutout you created in the previous step.

Choose the Hole command .

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Select the profile plane as shown.

On the command bar, click the Hole Options button. Type 6.35 for
the Diameter, select the Finite extent and Hole Depth of 8. Click OK.

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Place the hole centered on circle A.

Choose Close Sketch.

Position the extent to the right as shown and click.

Click Finish.

Step 11: Create another cutout on the part. This cutout will surround the circular
cutout created earlier.
Choose the Cut command.

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Select the profile plane as shown.

Draw and dimension the profile. Use Horizontal/Vertical and Equal


relationships to center the square profile around the circular cutout
from step 9.

Choose Close Sketch.

Click the Finite Extent button, and type 3 in the Distance field.

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Position the cursor so that material is removed from the part and
click.

Click Finish.

Step 12: Add rounds to the cutout.


Choose the Round command.

Select the four edges as shown.

Type 3 in the Radius field, and then click the Accept button.

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Click Preview and Finish.

Step 13: Add a series of holes to the surface created by the rectangular cutout.
Choose the Hole command.

Select the profile plane as shown.

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Click the Hole Options button and set the options as shown. Click
OK.

Place four holes as shown (B). Center the holes on the rounds you
created in the previous step. The dashed line around the hole profile
indicates a threaded hole.

Choose Close Sketch.

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Position the direction arrow to point towards the interior of the


part and click.

Click Finish.

Step 14: Create a pattern of features. Pattern the five features, which include
the circular cutout, single hole, square cutout, rounds, and series of
four holes.
Choose the Pattern command and on the command bar, click the
Smart option.

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Select the features shown below to pattern. The feature names in


your model may differ from those in the illustration.

Click the Accept button.

Select the pattern reference plane as shown.

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On the command bar, type the following patterning parameter


values.

Define the pattern profile by selecting the first point in the center of
the small hole and then position the rectangle as shown.

Choose Close Sketch.

Click Finish.

Step 15: Use the Protrusion command to add material in the corner of the part. It
will serve as a boss for the model.
Choose the Extrude command.

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Select the profile plane as shown.

Draw and dimension the profile.

Choose Close Sketch.

Position the direction arrow as shown and click.

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For the extent step, on the command bar, click the Through Next
button. Position the cursor so that the material is added below the
profile as shown and click.

Click Finish.

Step 16: Apply a round to the material added in the previous step.
Choose the Round command.

Select the edge shown.

Type 3 in the Radius field, and then click the Accept button.

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Click Preview and Finish.

Step 17: Add a threaded hole.


Choose the Hole command.

Select the profile plane as shown.

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Click the Hole Options button and set the options as shown. Click
OK.

Place the hole concentric with the arc.

Choose Close Sketch.

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Position the cursor so that the extent is defined as shown and click.

Click Finish.

Step 18: Mirror the features created in the previous steps. These include the
rectangular boss, round, and hole.
Choose the Mirror Copy Feature command.

Click the Smart button.

In PathFinder, select the last three features constructed, protrusion,


round and hole. Click the Accept button.

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Select the reference plane shown as the plane to mirror the features
about.

Click Finish.

Choose the Mirror Copy Feature command.

Click the Smart button.

In the PathFinder, select the protrusion, round, hole and mirror


features. Click the Accept button.

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Select the reference plane shown as the plane to mirror the features
about.

Click Finish.

Note
In order to save class time, you may STOP at this point. The
remainder of the activity covers adding more rounds and holes.
Save the file at this point and finish later.

Step 19: Add rounds to the inside edges.

Choose the Round command.

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Select the edges shown.

Type 3 in the Radius field. Click the Accept button.

Click Preview and Finish.

Step 20: Add rounds to more of the interior edges of the part.
Choose the Round command.

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Select the edges shown.

Type 6 in the Radius field. Click the Accept button.

Click Preview and Finish.

Step 21: Add holes to the part.


Choose the Hole command.

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Select the profile plane as shown.

On the Main toolbar, click Fit.

Click the Hole Options button. Type 6.35 for the hole diameter and
click OK.

Place and dimension four holes.

Choose Close Sketch.

Click the Through All button.

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Position the cursor so that the direction arrow is displayed as shown,


and click.

Click Finish.

Step 22: Close and save the file. This completes the activity.

Activity summary
In this activity you modeled a machined part that included cutouts, rounds, patterns,
mirror copied features, ribs, lip and holes. In this activity, non profile based features
were used to more efficiently model the machined part.

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Lesson summary
For best results, add treatment features to your model as late as possible in the
design process. In particular, it is preferable to round edges after constructing
thin-walls. If a draft is critical for positioning other features, construct the draft just
before you construct the other features. Although you can construct a treatment
feature at any time, in complex models, treatment features can have a significant
effect on the time required to update the part. Non-critical drafts can complicate the
display of the part in orthogonal views.

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Lesson

8 Reusing features

Using PathFinder in a Part model


The PathFinder tab helps you work with the features that make up Solid Edge parts.
PathFinder is an ordered list of the features that comprise the model. The features
in PathFinder are listed in the order which they were constructed.

It provides alternate ways to view the features, besides looking at the part in the
graphics window, and allows you to change the way the part is constructed. The
feature viewing capabilities are especially helpful when you are working with a
model that someone else constructed—you can see exactly what they did, and locate
the feature responsible for any aspect of the part that you want to change.

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Determining the status of a feature


Symbols in the left column of PathFinder tell you the status of a feature. The
following table explains the symbols used in PathFinder:
Legend
Suppressed feature
Feature that is past the current "go to" location, and therefore not
displayed in the part windows
Failed feature (see the Errors command for details)
Feature with a profile problem (select the feature in PathFinder
and see the status bar for details)
Feature is associatively linked to another document (such as using
the Part Copy command)
Associatively linked feature whose parent document cannot be
found
Feature or sketch requires additional relationships to fully define
its size, shape, or position.

Using PathFinder
You can use PathFinder for the following operations:
• Selecting features, reference planes, sketches, construction surfaces, and
coordinate systems.

• Reordering features, reference planes, sketches, and construction surfaces.

• Inserting features by going to an earlier state in the part modeling process.

• Displaying reference planes, sketches, construction surfaces, and coordinate


systems within the graphic window.

Note
You can use the PathFinder Display commands on the shortcut menu to
control whether reference planes, sketches, construction surfaces, and
coordinate systems are listed within PathFinder.

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Selecting features
When you position the cursor over an item in the PathFinder list, the corresponding
feature highlights in the graphics window. To select a feature, click the left mouse
button.

You can select multiple features in PathFinder by holding the Ctrl key while selecting
the features individually. You can use the Shift key to select all the features between
the first and the last features selected. To deselect a feature from a list of multiple
features, hold down the Ctrl key and select the feature to drop from the select set.

Reordering features
PathFinder allows you to drag a selected feature to a different position in the list. As
you drag, PathFinder displays an arrow to show where you can move the feature. If
the change invalidates other features, they are placed on the Error Assistant dialog
box. You can use the Errors command on the Tools tab to display the Error Assistant
dialog box to find and fix the problems.

A child feature cannot be moved above its parent feature. For example, you cannot
move a round higher in the feature tree than the edge it was placed on. The round
cannot exist ahead of the feature it modifies.

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Lesson 8 Reusing features

Rolling back to a feature


You can use PathFinder to roll back the model to a feature you select. When you
select a feature, then click the GoTo command on the shortcut menu, PathFinder
returns the part to the state it was in right after that feature was constructed.

You can then construct a new feature as if you had originally constructed it at that
point in the part modeling process.

To return the model to its completed state, select the last feature in PathFinder,
then select the GoTo command again.

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Deleting features
To delete a feature in Feature PathFinder, first select the feature, and then press the
Delete key. You can delete multiple features by selecting them with the Shift key. If
the deletion invalidates other features, they are placed on the Error Assistant dialog
box. You can use the Errors command on the Tools tab to display the Error Assistant
dialog box to find and fix the problems.
You can also delete a feature by right-clicking the feature and choosing Delete on
the shortcut menu.

Renaming features
By default, Solid Edge provides names for every feature you create. You can change
this name before finishing the feature, or you can change it later.
To rename a feature later, right-click the feature whose name you want to change and
choose Rename on the shortcut menu. Type the new name in the PathFinder tab.

Grouping entries within PathFinder


You can define a named group for a contiguous set of entries within PathFinder. For
example, you can define groups for the sets of features that define the main body,
mounting locations, and rounds on a part.

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Creating a group for a set of PathFinder entries helps to consolidate long feature
trees and can make it easier to locate, select, and manipulate a set of PathFinder
entries as a unit. You can include any type of PathFinder entry in a group, such as
reference planes, sketches, and features. You can also create nested groups.
You define a group using the Group command on the shortcut menu when a
contiguous set of entries is selected. You can use the Rename command on the
shortcut menu to rename a group entry.
You can also ungroup a previously defined group using the Ungroup command on
the shortcut menu.

Repairing profiles with recompute problems


When you change a part model, the changes can sometimes prevent profiles from
recomputing completely. When this happens, a gray arrow is displayed next to the
affected feature in PathFinder.

To get more information about the problem, select the feature. A message that
describes the problem is displayed in the PromptBar. You can use the Edit Profile
option on the Select Tool command bar to display the dimensions, geometric
relationships, and profile components for the feature. You will notice that some
profile elements, such as the profile line, two dimensions, and the vertical
relationship, are displayed in the Failed color.
Note
You can set the Failed color using the Options command on the Applications
menu.

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Profile errors occur when changes in one feature make it impossible to successfully
recompute other subsequent features. In this example, when the base feature on
this part was modified, portions of the profile for the cutout feature could not be
updated properly.

Before the modification, there were dimensions and relationships between a linear
edge of the base feature (A) and a linear segment of the profile used for the cutout
feature. During the modification, that linear edge was replaced with an arc (B),
which invalidated some of the dimensions and relationships that were controlling
the cutout profile. The cutout profile could not be updated without additional
information, so it was left alone. As a warning, a gray arrow was displayed in
PathFinder next to the feature that depends on the out-of-date profile.

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To repair the cutout profile, you can delete the affected dimensions (A) and geometric
relationship (B), then reapply them. You do not need to replace the profile line. As
you apply the new dimensions and relationships, any profile elements displayed in
the Failed color should update to the Profile color.

Displaying under constrained features and sketches


You can specify that you want a symbol displayed adjacent to sketches and
profile-based features that require additional relationships to fully define their
size, shape, or position. When you set the Indicate Under Constrained Profile
in PathFinder option on the General tab on the Options dialog box, a symbol is
displayed in PathFinder that indicates that the sketch or feature needs additional
relationships.

This option can be useful when a design change to one or sketch feature results in
relationships being removed from another sketch or feature. For example, sometimes
when you delete or modify a feature, dimensions or geometric relationships on other
features are automatically deleted.

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Displaying parents and children


You can use the Show Parents and Children command on the shortcut menu to
display the parents (A) and children (B) of a selected feature (C). This can be useful
when evaluating an unfamiliar model.

Associatively linked features


Some functions in Solid Edge allow you to create features that are associatively
linked to another document. For example, the Part Copy command and certain
types of assembly-based features can create associative links between a part feature
and another document.
When working with linked features, you can break the link if you do not manage
the linked documents as a group. For example, if you move the parent document to
a different folder or rename it without using Revision Manager, you can break the
associative link in the child document.
If you break the link, a symbol is displayed in PathFinder adjacent to the feature to
indicate that the link to the parent document cannot be found, and the feature is
added to the Error Assistant list.

If the child document with the broken link is viewed from Revision Manager, the
missing Part Copy will be highlighted in red to indicate the broken link.
InSolid Edge, you can use the Errors command to evaluate the problem, and fix it.
For example, to repair the broken link for a part copy feature, you can select the part
copy feature in PathFinder, then redefine the link to the parent document using
the Edit Definition option on the Error Assistant dialog box. When you click Edit
Definition, the Part Copy command bar is displayed, and you can use the Select Step
button to browse to the parent document to redefine the link.
In Revision Manager, you can redefine the broken link using the Replace command.
Note
You should use Revision Manager to avoid breaking document links when
copying, moving, or renaming data sets that are associatively linked.

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Renaming and suppressing features


You can rename and suppress features on parts constructed in the Part and Sheet
Metal environments.

Renaming features
Renaming features can make it easier to communicate with other users about your
parts. For example, renaming a protrusion feature "Mounting_Pad_1" makes it
easier to tell another designer which feature should be used for placement when
the part is positioned in an assembly.
To rename a feature, first select it in a graphics window or in the PathFinder tab.
Right-click to display the shortcut menu, and then click Rename. Type the new
name you want within PathFinder.

Suppressing features
A suppressed feature is not displayed in the graphic window and does not recompute
when a feature it references is modified. The feature will recompute if it is
unsuppressed later.
The symbol in PathFinder indicates whether a feature is suppressed. Suppressed
features cannot be selected in the graphics window—use PathFinder to select them.
The Suppress and Unsuppress commands are on the shortcut menu.
You can also suppress and unsuppress a feature using the Variable Table by adding
a suppression variable to the variable table using the Add Suppression Variable
command on the shortcut menu when a feature is selected. If you link this variable
to an external spreadsheet, you can also suppress the feature using the spreadsheet.

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Feature playback
The Feature Playback tab displays controls for playing back the feature construction
process like a movie. You can use the Play button to show the entire construction
process from start to finish.
The playback proceeds from one feature to the next at the specified time interval. You
can stop the playback at any time. You can start the playback at any feature—click
the name of the feature you want to start with, or drag the slider.

Reusing Features
When constructing a part it is often helpful to reuse existing features. Reusing an
existing feature can make it easier to finish a model more quickly, or to duplicate a
complex feature more accurately.
You can use the following methods to reuse features:
• Cut, copy, and paste features

• Pattern or mirror features

• Create and use library features

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Lesson 8 Reusing features

Pattern features
You construct a pattern feature by copying a parent element in a rectangular,
circular, or mirror arrangement, or along a curve. The copies are associative to the
parent element. When you change the size or shape of the parent element, the copies
update. You cannot change the copies directly.

When patterning part features, the parent element for a pattern can contain more
than one part feature. For example, you can pattern profile-based features, such
as a protrusion (A), and a hole (B), and treatment features, such as a round (C),
in one operation.

The parent element is included in the occurrence count for rectangular patterns,
circular patterns, and patterns along curves. For example, if you construct a 4 by 3
rectangular pattern of holes (four holes in the x direction and three holes in the y
direction) the resulting pattern feature contains the parent feature and eleven copies.

Fast Pattern and Smart Pattern guidelines


When patterning features, Solid Edge allows you to construct fast patterns or smart
patterns. You should try the Fast option first in part and sheet metal documents
whenever possible, especially for large patterns. In cases where the pattern contains

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a large number of features, a fast pattern will process in a few seconds, where a
smart pattern may take several minutes.
• The Fast option processes significantly faster than the Smart option, but it
cannot be used if any members encounter different geometry than the feature
being patterned or mirrored. If a fast pattern or mirror fails, simply select the
Smart option and recompute the feature.

• The Smart option takes longer to process, but can handle more cases. The Smart
option can be used when individual members encounter different geometry than
the feature being patterned or mirrored.

Fast example
You should use a fast pattern when the patterned features modify the same set
of faces as the original features. The pattern of cutouts shown modifies the
same two faces on the part as the original cutout feature. A fast pattern is the
best choice here.

Smart example
Use a smart pattern where fast patterning is not feasible. You should use a
smart pattern when the patterned features modify a different set of faces than
the original feature. The pattern of cutouts shown modifies a different set of
faces than the original cutout. A fast pattern will not work in this situation, a
smart pattern should be used.

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Lesson 8 Reusing features

When creating pattern and mirror features, if the Fast option is not feasible, a
message is displayed, and you can set the Smart option.
When editing features, if the surrounding geometry changes in a way that causes
the Fast option to fail, a warning symbol is displayed adjacent to the pattern feature
in PathFinder. You can then edit the pattern feature, and set the Smart option.
Note
The Fast and Smart options are not available when patterning edges, surfaces,
and design bodies.

Mirroring features
You can mirror one or more features with the Mirror Copy Feature command. To
mirror features, select the features you want to mirror, then define the plane about
which you want to mirror. The mirror plane can be a reference plane or a planar face.

If you want to mirror treatment features, such as rounds and drafts, you should
include the parent features in the selection set to ensure complete success.

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Reusing features

Mirroring elements
You can mirror and copy edges, surfaces, or an entire part about a plane you select
with the Mirror Copy command.

This can be useful when working with axi-symmetric parts, because you can model a
portion of the part, then mirror it to complete the model. If the mirror copy touched
the original, the two pieces are automatically combined.

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Lesson 8 Reusing features

Patterning treatment features


You can pattern a treatment feature by itself or along with a profile-based feature.
When patterning a treatment feature by itself, you must set the Smart option, and
the part geometry can affect whether the operation will succeed. For example, you
can mirror the round feature (A) about the reference plane (B) to add a round to
edge (C). This operation succeeds because the parent edges are symmetric about
the reference plane.

Alternately, mirroring chamfer (D) about reference plane (E) to chamfer edge (F)
would fail because the parent edges are not symmetric about the reference plane. In
this situation, you could add the treatment feature using the Chamfer command or
by creating a reference plane at the midpoint of the two edges.

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Reusing features

Pattern command (3D features)


Note
In the Assembly environment, this command is named Pattern Assembly
Feature.

Constructs a rectangular or circular pattern of selected elements. You can select


part features, assembly features, edges, surfaces, or design bodies as the parent
elements to pattern. For example, you can construct a hole feature, then construct
a rectangular pattern of holes using the hole feature as the parent element of the
pattern.

In an assembly, you can pattern assembly features, which allows you to modify two
or more parts in one operation.

You can suppress individual pattern members to define gaps in a pattern to avoid
other features.

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Lesson 8 Reusing features

Patterning elements other than features is useful when constructing models that use
freeform surfaces. For example, you can construct a lofted surface, then construct
a circular pattern of the lofted surface.

Steps
The basic steps for defining a pattern feature are:
• Select the geometry to pattern.

• Draw the pattern profile or select an existing pattern sketch.

• Select the parts to be modified by the pattern (assembly documents only).

When constructing a pattern, you can also specify whether the pattern is a fast
pattern or a smart pattern using the Fast and Smart options on the command bar.
You can set these options at any point while creating or editing a pattern.
For more information on smart and fast patterns, see the following Help topics:
• Pattern Features

• Pattern Command Bar

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Selecting the elements to pattern


The first step in constructing a pattern is selecting the parent elements. In a part
or sheet metal document, you can pattern features, edges, curves, surfaces, or the
entire design body. In an assembly document, you can pattern assembly features.
Note
When constructing and editing pattern features, you cannot have more than
one element type in a single pattern. For example, you cannot pattern a hole
feature, a design body, and a curve in one operation.

The Select option allows you to specify what types of elements you want to pattern.
To pattern one or more surfaces or edges (model topology) that are part of a surface
or solid body, you can set the Single or Chain option. To pattern one or more features,
such as a cutout or protrusion, set the Feature option. To pattern a curve, surface, or
solid body, set the Body option.
The name in PathFinder indicates whether you constructed a pattern using features,
design bodies, or model topology (surfaces or edges).
Patterning part and sheet metal features
You can select part and sheet metal features before or after starting the Pattern
command. You can select the features in the graphic window or in PathFinder.
You can select profile-based features or treatment features, but special rules
apply when patterning a treatment feature by itself.

Patterning treatment features


You can pattern treatment features by themselves or in conjunction with a
profile-based feature. To pattern a treatment feature by itself, the part geometry
must allow it.

Patterning edges, curves, surfaces, and design bodies


When patterning other elements, such as edges, surfaces and curves, or design
bodies, you must start the Pattern command, set the Select option on the
command bar, then select the elements you want to pattern in the graphic
window.

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Lesson 8 Reusing features

Patterning assembly features


In the Assembly environment, you can pattern assembly features that remove
material, such as holes, cutouts, and revolved cutouts. If the assembly is a
weldment assembly, you can also pattern assembly features that add material,
such as fillet welds, groove welds, and protrusion features.
The Select option, available during the Select Features Step, allows you to
specify whether you can select material removal features, or material addition
features. The Feature option allows you to select material removal features; the
Body option allows you to select material addition features.
You can also specify which parts are included in the pattern feature. If you add
parts to a pattern feature which were not in the parent feature, a message is
displayed to instruct you the parts must also be added to the parent feature.
For more detailed information on constructing assembly-based features, see
Assembly-Based Features.
Note
You can only pattern assembly features that were created within the
current assembly. You cannot pattern assembly-driven part features.

Drawing the pattern profile or selecting an existing sketch


You can draw a new pattern profile or select an existing pattern profile from a sketch.
If you draw a new profile, you must first specify a plane to draw it on.
Pattern profiles (A) do not have to be drawn such that they are aligned with the
parent feature (B). This makes it possible to reuse pattern profiles.

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Reusing features

When working with large or complex patterns, however, you may find it easier to
construct the pattern if you draw the pattern profile so that it is aligned with the
parent elements.

Note
You can only reuse pattern profiles that were drawn as sketches.

Controlling the pattern profile


A Pattern profile is the same as any other profile in Solid Edge. You must apply
relationships and dimensions so it will behave predictably. You can also use the
Variable Table to define variables between pattern profile dimensions and other
dimensions on the model.

Specifying the pattern type


You can create rectangular and circular patterns with the Pattern command. With
the profile window open, select the pattern type by clicking the Rectangular Pattern
or Circular Pattern button on the Features tab. You can also draw lines, arcs, and
other elements as construction geometry to help you define the pattern profile.
Note
Any lines, arcs, and circles you draw will be automatically converted to
construction geometry when you close the profile window.

Rectangular patterns
You can construct rectangular patterns with the following placement options:
• Fit

• Fill

• Fixed

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Lesson 8 Reusing features

Fit example
With the Fit option, you specify the number of occurrences in the x and y
directions, and the height and width of the pattern. The X Spacing and Y
Spacing values on the command bar are calculated automatically, are read-only,
and are not required to be whole numbers.
For example, you set the Fit option and then specify an X Count of 4, a Y Count
of 3, a Width of 96, and a Height of 48.
The X Spacing between each occurrence is calculated automatically by dividing
the Width by 3 (the X Count minus 1), for a result of 32. The Y Spacing is
calculated automatically by dividing the Height by 2 (the Y Count minus 1)
for a result of 24.

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Fill example
With the Fill option, you specify the x and y spacing, and the height and width of
the pattern. The X Count and Y Count values on the command bar are calculated
automatically, are read-only, and will always be whole numbers. The Fill option
fills the area, but does not place the last row or column if the theoretical X or Y
Count value is not a whole number.
For example, you set the Fill option and then specify an X spacing of 33, a Y
spacing of 24, a width of 96, and a height of 48.
The X Count is calculated automatically by dividing the Width by the X Spacing,
then adding 1. Since the result in this example is 3.9, which is not a whole
number, there is not enough room for the fourth occurrence, so the X Count
is automatically rounded down to 3.
The Y Count is calculated by dividing the Height by the Y Spacing, then adding
1. The result in this example is 3, which is a whole number, so there is room for
the third occurrence.

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Lesson 8 Reusing features

Fixed example
With the Fixed option, you specify the number of occurrences in the x and
y directions, and the x and y spacing. The Width and Height values on the
command bar are calculated automatically, are read-only, and are not required
to be whole numbers.
For example, you set the Fixed option and then specify an X Count of 4, a Y
Count of 3, an X Spacing of 32, and a Y Spacing of 24.20.
The Width is calculated automatically by multiplying the X Spacing times 3 (the
X Count minus 1), for a result of 96.
The Height is calculated by multiplying the Y Spacing times 2 (the Y Count
minus 1), for a result of 48.40.
When you place dimensions on the pattern profile placed using the Fixed option,
the dimensions are driven, since the height and width values are calculated from
the values you enter for the spacing and number of occurrences.

Circular patterns
You can construct partial or full circular patterns.

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When drawing the pattern arc or circle, you specify a center point (A), a start point
(B) and a direction (C).

The center point defines the center of the pattern arc or circle and also defines the
axis of rotation for the feature you are patterning.
The start point defines the radius of the pattern circle. The physical size of the
pattern circle has no impact on the pattern you are placing.
The direction controls whether the pattern occurrences are copied in a clockwise
or counter-clockwise direction.
You can construct circular patterns with the following placement options:
• Fit

• Fill

• Fixed

The Fit and Fill options are available with both partial and full circular patterns.
The Fixed option is only available when placing partial circular patterns.
Fit example
With the Fit option, you specify the number of occurrences, and the radius of the
pattern circle. If you specify a partial circular pattern, you also specify the sweep
angle of the arc. The angular Spacing value on the command bar is calculated
automatically, is read-only, and it is not required to be a whole number.

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Lesson 8 Reusing features

Fill example
With the Fill option, you specify the angular spacing, and the radius of the
pattern circle. If you specify a partial circular pattern, you also specify the
sweep angle of the arc. The Count value on the command bar is calculated
automatically, is read-only, and will always be a whole number.
The Fill option fills the area, but does not place the last occurrence if the
theoretical Count value is not a whole number, and the product of the angular
Spacing times the Count minus 1 exceeds 360° for full circular patterns.
For example, you can create a full circular pattern with an angular Spacing of
47°, and still have a total of 8 occurrences in the pattern, since 7 times 47 equals
329. The angular spacing between the last occurrence and the parent feature
will be 31°.

Fixed example
With the Fixed option, you specify the you the number of occurrences, the
angular spacing, and the radius of the pattern circle. The Sweep value on the
command bar is calculated automatically, is read-only, and it is not required
to be a whole number.

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Defining the reference point


When you draw the rectangular pattern profile, the first point you click becomes
the default reference point. The reference point is shown as a bold x symbol (B).
Regardless of where you draw the pattern profile, the feature pattern is constructed
relative to the reference point and the parent feature. For example, when patterning
hole A, using reference point B, the pattern is constructed as shown.

You can change how the pattern is constructed by redefining the reference point. For
example, you can move the reference point to the center occurrence (C).

Staggered patterns
By default, rectangular pattern members are aligned with each other along both
axes. With the Rectangular Pattern Stagger Options dialog box you can stagger
rows or columns by a given value.

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Lesson 8 Reusing features

Changing the angle of a rectangular pattern


To change the angle of a rectangular pattern, first delete the horizontal relationship
(A) on the pattern rectangle, then place a dimension or relationship to control its
angular orientation. For example, you can apply a parallel relationship (B) between
the pattern rectangle and a part edge.

Suppressing pattern occurrences


You can suppress occurrences in rectangular and circular patterns with the Suppress
Occurrence button on the command bar. With the profile window open, select the
pattern profile, then click the x symbols to specify which occurrences you want to
suppress (A). The symbols change size and color to indicate that the corresponding
occurrences are suppressed.

You can individually select occurrences to suppress, or drag the cursor to fence any
number of occurrences.

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This option is useful for when you need to define gaps in a large pattern, for example,
to leave space for another feature.

You can also redisplay suppressed pattern occurrences with the Suppress Occurrence
button. Click the button and then select the suppressed occurrences you want to
redisplay.

Deleting pattern occurrences


When constructing smart patterns, you can also delete pattern occurrences. Position
the cursor over the pattern occurrence you want to delete (A), then pause. When the
ellipsis is displayed, click the left mouse button to display QuickPick. You can then
use QuickPick to select the pattern occurrence, then press DELETE to delete it.

When you delete a pattern occurrence, the software is actually suppressing the
corresponding x symbol on the pattern profile. Deleting, rather than suppressing,
an occurrence can be useful when working with large or complex models, because
you do not have to enter the profile window to suppress the occurrence. To restore
the deleted occurrence, you can use the workflow for redisplaying suppressed
occurrences.

Guidelines for creating pattern features


• You can pattern multiple elements in one operation.

• When patterning features, if the Fast option fails, click the Smart option on
the command bar.

• You can suppress individual feature occurrences in a pattern.

• You can delete individual feature occurrences in a pattern.

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Lesson 8 Reusing features

Cutting, copying, and pasting features


You can cut, copy, and paste part and sheet metal features using the Windows
clipboard. For example, you can copy the cutout feature (A), then paste it to a new
location on the part (B).

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Reusing features

Cutting and copying features


You can cut or copy more than one feature at a time. The following rules apply:
• You can copy one or more profile-based features. For example, you can copy and
paste the protrusion feature and the cutout feature in one operation.

• To copy features that are not profile-based, they must be completely defined
within a profile-based feature that is in the selection set. For example, you
cannot copy the rounds shown, unless you also copy the protrusion.

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Lesson 8 Reusing features

Pasting features
The Paste command allows you to insert features at a specified location. When you
paste features, the new feature reuses many of the characteristics of the original
feature, such as its profile and extent. But you must define some parameters for the
new feature. For example, you must define a profile plane for the new feature, and
define new edges for any dimensions that reference external edges.
When you paste the feature, a command bar and the Feature Set Information dialog
box are displayed to guide you through the placement process.
The Feature Set Information dialog box lists the required and optional elements
you must redefine. For example, to paste the cutout feature, the profile plane is a
required element (A), and the dimensions that reference external edges are optional
elements (B) (C). Optional elements can be defined when you paste the feature, or
you can skip them and redefine them by editing the feature later.

Pasted features are placed in the current position of the modeling sequence, as
defined in PathFinder. For example, if you have used the Go To command in
PathFinder to return to an earlier stage in the part modeling process, the feature
is inserted at the Go To point.
Note
You can also copy and paste features by dragging them from PathFinder and
dropping them into the graphic window.

Copying and pasting features uses a similar workflow as the feature library
capability in Solid Edge. For more detailed information on the rules and guidelines
for reusing features as they apply to features libraries, and copying and pasting
features, see the Feature libraries Help topic.

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Feature libraries
You can use many of the features used for modeling in Solid Edge in a similar
fashion in other designs. The Feature Library page provides a place for you to store
commonly used part and sheet metal features in an easy to access location so you
create new designs with less effort and more consistency.
For example, you can construct a cutout feature in one part, store the feature in a
feature library location you define, then reuse the feature in a new part later.

Note

What is a feature library?


A feature library is a folder on your computer or a network drive that is used to
store feature library members.

What is a feature library member?


A feature library member is a special type of Solid Edge part or sheet metal
document. Feature library members typically do not have a base feature.

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Lesson 8 Reusing features

Defining feature library locations


You define the location for a feature library using the Look In option on the Feature
Library page. Use the Look In option to browse to an existing folder on your hard
drive or a network drive. You also can use the Create New Folder button to create a
new folder where you can store library members.
To avoid confusion, define standards for which folders you use as feature libraries.
You should use these folders for feature library member documents only and not
store other Solid Edge documents in them.

Learn how to use feature libraries


A feature library tutorial is available for learning how to use feature libraries. To
access the tutorials, click Tutorials on the Help menu. The feature library tutorial is
located in the Sheet Metal section on the Tutorials menu.

Storing features in a library


The basic steps for creating a new feature library member are:
• Select one or more valid features and copy them to the clipboard.

• Paste the features into the Feature Library page.

• Define custom prompts and notes for the library member using the Feature Set
Information dialog box.

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A simple example
To create a new member in a feature library, select a feature (A), use the Copy
command to copy the feature to the clipboard, and then use the Paste command
on the Feature Library page shortcut menu to add the new library member to
a Feature Library folder (B).

When you paste the feature into the Feature Library page, the Feature Set
Information dialog box is displayed so you can review the required and optional
elements of the new library member, define custom prompts, and add notes for
the library member elements. This is discussed in more detail later.
The feature library stores each member you add as an individual document and
the software assigns a default document name.

Selecting features
You can select features in the application window or on the PathFinder page.
You can store a single feature in a library or you can store several features as
a unit. To store multiple features as a unit, hold the Ctrl or Shift keys when
you select the features.
When storing a single feature, only a profile-based feature is valid. When storing
several features, the lower-most feature in the feature set must be a profile-based
feature. Subsequent features can be profile-based or treatment features.

Pasting features onto the Feature Library page


To store the features as a library member, you must use the Paste command on
the shortcut menu in the Feature Library page. If you type Ctrl+V, the selected
features are placed in the current document instead.
When you click the Paste command, the Feature Set Information dialog box is
displayed so you can review the required and optional elements of the new library
member, define custom prompts, and add notes for the library member elements.

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Lesson 8 Reusing features

Feature Set Information dialog box


The Feature Set Information dialog boxFeature Set Information dialog box
displays the features, reference planes, and dimension elements in the same
sequence that will be used when the library member is placed. For example,
when defining a library member for a cutout feature, the cutout feature is listed
in the Feature Name column. Elements that belong to the cutout are listed in
the Type column. This can include the profile plane (A) and any dimensions that
reference edges outside the cutout profile (B) (C).
A Status column in the dialog box lists whether a library element is required
or optional. A required element must be redefined when placing the library
member. An optional element can be redefined when you place the library
member or can be skipped and redefined later.
You can use the Prompt column to define custom prompts for each element in the
Type list. This makes it easier for other users to place the library members.

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Dimensions that reference geometry outside the profile


When you create a new feature library member, dimensions that reference
geometry outside of the feature set are listed in the Feature Set Information
dialog box, but you will need to redefine the external elements for the dimensions
later. For example, the two 12 millimeter dimensions reference edges that are
outside the library member profile.

You can redefine the dimension edges when you place the library member, or you
can skip the dimensions and redefine the dimension edges by editing the feature.
This is discussed in more detail in the later in this topic.

Defining custom prompts and notes


To type custom prompts, double click a Prompt cell, then type the prompt you
want. The prompts you type are displayed in the status bar on the command bar
when you place the library feature. When you open a prompt cell, the message
area at the bottom of the dialog box is also activated, so you can type more
information about the element.

Closing the dialog box and renaming the library feature


When you click the Close button on the Feature Set Information dialog box,
a new library member is added to the Feature Library page using a default
document name. To rename a stored feature, select it in the Feature Library
page, then click the Rename command on the shortcut menu.

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Lesson 8 Reusing features

Placing stored features


You place a library member in a document by dragging the library member from the
Feature Library page and dropping it into the application window.

When you drop the member into the application window, the feature creation process
starts, similar to when you create a feature from scratch. A command bar and the
Feature Set Information dialog box are displayed, so you can define the required and
optional elements for positioning the library member on your model.

The basic steps for placing a library member include:


1. Define the required elements, such as the profile plane and profile orientation.

2. Define the optional elements, such as dimensions that reference external


elements.

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Defining the profile plane and the profile orientation


The profile for the member attaches to the cursor so you can position the feature
approximately where you want it. When you move the cursor over a planar
face or reference plane, the profile for the feature orients itself with respect to
the x-axis of the profile plane.

You also can select a different reference plane placement option using the
Create-From Options list on the command bar.
For coincident and parallel reference planes, you can reorient the profile for the
library member by defining a different x-axis for the profile plane. For example,
when defining a coincident profile plane, you can use the N key on the keyboard
to select the next linear edge as the x-axis. When the profile is oriented properly,
click to position the library member.

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After you define the profile plane and profile orientation, the profile is positioned
on the face, and the Feature Set Information dialog box updates to the next
element in the list. If dimensions that reference external elements are in the
list, the first dimension is displayed in the graphic window so you can redefine
the external edge.

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Redefining dimension edges while placing the library member


To redefine the external edge for a dimension while placing the library member,
simply select an appropriate edge in the graphic window (A). The dimension is
attached to the selected edge, using the dimension value that is displayed (B).
The profile updates its position, and if another dimension that references an
external element is in the list, it is displayed in the graphic window (C).

You can then select an edge for the next dimension (A), and the profile updates
again (B). If this is the last element in the Feature Set Information list,
the completed feature is displayed in the graphic window. The value of the
dimensions reflects the original dimension value when you defined the library
member.

If this is the only copy of the library member you want to place, you can click the
Close button to close the dialog box. If you want to place another member, you
can click the Repeat on the command bar.

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Lesson 8 Reusing features

Placing additional copies of the library member


After you place a library member, you can place another copy using the Repeat
button on the command bar. You can place a copy on the same face, (A), or a
copy on a different face (B).

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If you place another library member on the same face as the original member,
you will likely want to avoid placing both copies directly on top of one another. If
you select the same edges for the dimensions that reference external elements,
the second member will be placed directly on top of the first member. This can
cause the feature to fail, but you can fix it by editing the dimensions for the
feature later.
You can also avoid this by not selecting an edge for one of the dimensions during
placement of the library member. For example, you can skip the 12 millimeter
dimension shown (A), by clicking the next row in the Feature Set Information
dialog box (B).

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Lesson 8 Reusing features

The next dimension is then displayed in the graphic window (A). In this case,
you can select the same edge (B) as the first member. The profile and feature
are placed on the face, and the dimension you skipped is displayed in the failed
color (C) to indicate that it needs to have its external edge defined. You can
then close the dialog box and edit this feature to define the dimension edge
and edit its value.

Library members with multiple features


You can create library members that contain more than one profile-based
feature. For this type of member, the reference plane for each profile-based
feature is captured in the Feature Set Information dialog box as a required
element. You must redefine the profile plane for each feature in the library
member at placement time.

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Feature library member behavior after placement and feature groups


After you place a feature library member on a model, it is treated the same as
features you construct manually. You edit them in the same fashion. A feature
group is created in Feature PathFinder for library members that consist of
multiple features. In this example, there were three feature library members
placed on the model. Two with single features (A) and (B), and one with multiple
features (C). Notice that only one feature group was defined.

Redefining parent edges for dimensions later


When you bypass dimensions with references to external elements while placing a
library member, the dimensions are displayed using the Failed color (A). This makes
it easy to find and redefine parent edges for the dimensions. Bypassing dimensions
can be useful in the following situations:

• When placing two library members on the same face.

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• When redefining a dimension that references an external edge at placement


time would cause the feature to fail. For example, defining the 48 millimeter
dimension (A) during placement forces the library member profile off the
selected face, which causes the feature to fail temporarily. This can be easily
fixed by editing the feature later, but it is often easier to visualize placement of
a complex library member when you bypass source dimensions in these cases,
as shown at (B).

To redefine the parent edge for a dimension later, do the following:


1. Select the feature in Feature PathFinder or the graphic window (A), then click
the Dynamic Edit button (B) on the Select Tool command bar. The profile and
dimensions are displayed in the graphic window. Any failed dimensions (C)
are displayed using the Failed color.

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2. Select the failed dimension you want to reattach (A). The dimension handles
are displayed (B) (C).

3. Position the cursor over the appropriate dimension handle (A), then drag the
handle over the edge (B) to which you want to attach the dimension. Notice
that the dimension value updates to reflects the current distance between the
external edge and the profile element (C).

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4. Edit the dimension to the value you want.

Feature library guidelines


• The first feature for a library member must be profile-based feature.

• You can select one or more features.

• A library member that contains a treatment feature, such as a round or chamfer,


must also include the parent profile-based feature.

• Driving dimensions that reference edges outside of the select set are captured as
part of the library member definition.

• Geometric relationships that reference edges outside of the select set are not
captured as part of the library member definition.

• When you place a library member, a command bar and Feature Set Information
dialog box allow you to place the profile-based features onto reference planes
you select.

• A library member can contain suppressed features. When placed, the features
remain suppressed.

• Library members that use a sketch profile as input are allowed as long as a
feature exists on the same face as the sketch. Dimensions that reference edges
outside of the select set are not captured when using sketches.

• The library member can not contain external dependencies other than
dimensions. For example, you can not use edges of the model that are not
included in the select set to orient a reference plane that is used to create one of
the features for the library member.

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Inserting part copies


You can construct new parts using a copy of an existing part or assembly. The copied
part can be the base feature of the new part, or used as construction geometry. You
can copy the entire part or only the geometry you specify. The copy can be associative
to the original. You can also set options for scaling, mirroring, and flattening the
copied part.
For example, it is common for an assembly to contain both right hand and left hand
versions of the same part.

Using the Part Copy command, you can construct a mirror-copy that updates when
the original part is changed. You can also add features to the copy independently
of the original part, and still maintain an associative link to the base part you
started with.
The Part Copy command is also useful when working with in-process parts. For
example, you can insert a part copy of a machined part into a new document, and
then add the additional material required for constructing the casting.
You can create a copied part using the following file types as input:
• Solid Edge Part (.par)

• Solid Edge Sheet Metal (.psm)

• Solid Edge Assembly (.asm)

• Unigraphics Part (.prt)

• Parasolid native files (X_T and X_B)

• DirectModel (.jt)
Note
The .jt file is not supported as an input type in a Teamcenter-managed
environment.

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For more detailed information about working with part copies, see the Part Copy
command Help topic.

Part Copy command


Inserts geometry from another document into the current part or sheet metal
document. The geometry is inserted as a Parasolid body and can be placed
associatively or non-associatively. You use the Part Copy Parameters dialog box to
specify which geometry you want to copy and whether you want to mirror, scale,
or flatten the copied geometry.
Note
When naming a document that contains a copied part, you should avoid
using the same name as the original document, as this may cause problems
later. For example, if you place both documents into an assembly, problems
can occur during replace operations or other assembly revisions. Although
you can use the same name, a warning dialog box appears the first time you
save the copied part document.

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You can copy geometry from the following file types:


• Solid Edge Part (.par)

• Solid Edge Sheet Metal (.psm)

• Solid Edge Assembly (.asm)

• Unigraphics Part (.prt)

• Parasolid documents (.X_B, .X_T)

• DirectModel (.jt)
Note
The .jt file is not supported as an input type in a Teamcenter-managed
environment.

The part copy functionality also allows you to use a bottom-up design approach to
create and modify related parts outside the context of an assembly.

Inserting the copy


To create a part copy, you use the Select Part Copy dialog box to select the parent
document from which you want to copy the geometry. The part copy is converted
into a Parasolid body and is placed into the new document in the same position and
orientation it occupies in the original document.
If you insert the part copy before other design geometry is constructed, you can place
the part copy as a base feature or as construction geometry. If you insert the part
copy after other design geometry is constructed, you can place the part copy only as
construction geometry. For example, if the document in which you are copying the
geometry contains a model that consists of protrusions, cutouts, holes, and so forth,
you can only insert the part copy as construction geometry.
If the document in which you are copying the geometry contains only construction
geometry, or is empty, you can insert the part copy as construction geometry or as
the base feature.
Different colors are used to indicate whether the copied geometry was placed as
construction geometry or as a base feature.

Setting options
When copying geometry from a Part or Sheet Metal document that contains multiple
solid, surface or curve bodies, you can use the Part Copy Parameters dialog box to
specify which bodies you want to copy. Select the bodies you want to copy, then click
the Apply button to display the bodies in the graphic window. You can also use the
Part Copy Parameters dialog box to add or remove bodies from the document later.
You can only copy entire bodies, not portions of bodies.
To specify whether you want the part copy to be associative, or to mirror, scale, or
flatten the copy, set options on the Part Copy Parameters dialog box.

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Moving and rotating part copies


If you want to move or rotate the part copy, attach the part copy to a coordinate
system using the Part Copy Parameters dialog box. You can then move and rotate
the part copy by changing the offset values of the coordinate system.

Associative part copies and bottom-up design


By default, part copies are placed associatively. If you change the original document,
you can update the part copy. Associative part copies can be useful when using the
bottom-up design approach, because you can model a key component, then use an
associative part copy of that component in a new document to make it easier to
design and modify the second component.
Associative part copies are useful when working with tightly related components
that share common characteristics, such as parts that will make up a weldment.

After you complete the design of a key component (A.PSM), you can place an
associative part copy of the component into a new document (B.PSM).

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You can then use the part copy to make it easier to design the new component. For
example, you can use the Include command to associatively copy edges (A) onto the
profile plane (B) to create a profile (C) for the base feature (D) on the new part.
You can also add new elements to the profile and modify the associatively included
elements by trimming them where required to create a closed profile for the base
feature.

Later, you can open the original part, make design changes, and save the changes.

You can then open the part where you used the associative part copy (A). You can
update the part copy, and the associative geometry (B) in the part updates.

Using associative design techniques not only allows you to design mating parts
more quickly, it also can ensure that related components continue to fit properly
when design changes are made.

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Updating part copies


When using associative part copies, you can use the Part Copy Parameters dialog
box to specify how the part copy is updated when you open the child document:
• Automatically update part copies when you open the child document.

• Manually update the part copies. You can use the Update Links command on the
PathFinder shortcut menu to manually update a part copy.

• Prompt for update when you open the child document.

When part copies are not automatically updated, and a part copy is out-of-date with
respect to the parent document, the part copy feature is displayed on the Error
Assistant dialog box to warn you that it is out-of-date.
An out-of-date symbol is also be displayed adjacent to the part copy feature in the
PathFinder tab.

Managing associative part copy data sets


When working with associative part copy data sets, you need to manage the parent
and child documents as a group or you can break the associative link between the
parent and child documents. For example, if you use the Part Copy command to
insert an associative part copy of a part into another document, then move or rename
the parent document without using Revision Manager, you will break the link to the
part copy in the child document.
In the child document, a symbol is displayed adjacent to the part copy feature to
indicate the link to the parent document cannot be found.

If the child document with the broken link is viewed from Revision Manager, the
missing Part Copy will be highlighted in red to indicate the broken link.
To repair the link in Solid Edge, you can select the part copy feature in PathFinder,
then use the Edit Definition button on the command bar to display the Part Copy
command bar. You can then use the Select Step to browse to the parent document to
redefine the link.
In Revision Manager, you can redefine the broken link using the Replace command.
Note
You should use Revision Manager to avoid breaking document links when
copying, moving, or renaming associative linked data sets.

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Non-associative part copies


If you do not want the part copy to be associative to the original part, clear the
Link To File option on the Part Copy Parameters dialog box. Non-associative part
copies allow you to take advantage of existing geometry to speed the design of a new
part, but in a non-associative manner. This can be useful when you do not want an
associative relationship between the part copy and the new document.

Displaying part copies


You can use the commands on the PathFinder shortcut menu to control the display
of individual part copies in the document in which they are used. You can also use
the Show All and Hide All commands to show and hide all the part copies of a
particular type in one operation.

Adding features to a part copy


If you place the part copy as a base feature, you can add features to it just as you
would any other part. If the construction geometry encloses a volume, you can use
the Make Base Feature command on the PathFinder shortcut menu to define a
base feature.
If the construction geometry does not enclose a volume, you can typically use the
commands on the Surfacing tab to add the surfaces you need to enclose a volume.
You can then stitch the surfaces together using the Stitched Surface command and
specify that the enclosed volume be made a base feature. You can then add features
to the base feature.

Mirroring parts
When mirroring a part copy, you must specify a base reference plane to mirror the
part about. To specify the reference plane, use the Part Copy Parameters dialog box.
The selected reference plane highlights in the application window.

Scaling parts
You can reduce or enlarge the part copy with the Scale and Shrink options on the
Part Copy Parameters dialog box. You can scale the part copy uniformly, or set
different values for the x, y, and z axes.
With the Shrink Factor option, you can enlarge the part copy using a decimal value
based on the known shrink factor of the material from which the part is constructed.
This option can be useful for determining a more accurate material volume for
molded plastic parts, or for tooling construction.
Note
The value you type in the Shrink Factor box should be greater than 0.00
and less than 1.00. This value is used to update the X, Y, and Z Scale boxes
according to the following equation:
SCALEx,y,z=1/(1-shrink factor)
For example, if you type 0.01 in the Shrink Factor box, the value in the Scale
boxes will read 1.0101 and the part will be enlarged by that value.

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Inserting copies of sheet metal parts


Although you can insert a sheet metal part copy into either a part or sheet metal
document, you should insert it into a sheet metal document if you intend to add sheet
metal features to it. Make sure that the new document has the same settings on the
Part Properties tab of the Options dialog box as the original part. For example, the
material thickness and bend radius properties must be the same in both documents.

Flattening sheet metal parts


When flattening a part copy of a sheet metal part, you must specify a base reference
plane onto which the part copy is flattened. When you select a base reference plane
using the Part Copy Parameters dialog box, it highlights in the graphic window.
After flattening the part, you can use it to create a flat pattern drawing in the Draft
environment.

Updating flat pattern drawings


When making design changes to a folded sheet metal part, you can update both
the associatively flattened part and the flat pattern drawing by performing the
following steps:
• Save changes in the folded sheet metal part document

• Open and update the flattened part copy document with the Update Link
command, then save the document

• Open and update the drawing views in the flat pattern drawing with the Update
Drawing Views command

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Creating a part copy of an assembly


You can also use the Part Copy command with an assembly document. When you
create a part copy of an assembly, all the parts in the assembly are combined into a
single design body. If it is not possible to create a design body, a message is displayed
to warn you that non-manifold topology exists. You can then use the construction
body option instead.
If any of the parts in the assembly contain surface or curve bodies, the surface or
curve bodies are not copied. If you make design changes to the assembly, such as
adding or removing parts, the part copy can be updated with the Update Link
command.
When creating a part copy using an alternate assembly document, the Assembly
Member dialog box is displayed so you can select the assembly member you want.
If you convert an existing assembly to an alternate assembly, and that assembly was
used as the basis for a part copy document, the default member is used.

Update Link Command


Updates a part copy that was created using the Link To File option. When the
original part has been changed, a symbol in Feature PathFinder tells you that the
linked copy is out of date.

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Activity – Constructing a bracket

Objectives
In this activity you will construct a solid model and create holes, chamfer, and
pattern features.

Activity
Step 1: Create a new Traditional ISO part file.

Step 2: Create an L-shaped protrusion as the base feature. In subsequent steps,


use additional features to create the final part shown above.
Click the Extrusion command.

Set the Create-from option to Coincident Plane, and select the


reference plane shown.

Hide all reference planes.

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Draw the profile.

Use an equal relationship, as shown above, to make the two shorter


lines equal to one another.

Choose Close Sketch to complete the profile.

On command bar. click the Symmetric Extent button. Type 200 in


the Distance field and press the <Enter> key.

Fit the view.

Click Finish.

Step 3: Add a chamfer treatment feature to the base feature.


In the Solids group, on the Round drop down list, choose the Chamfer
command.

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Select the two short vertical edges on the front of the part as shown.

On thecommand bar, type 20 in the Setback field and click the


Accept button.

Click Finish.

Step 4: Change the chamfer option settings and add another set of chamfers
with an angle and setback.
Choose the Chamfer command.

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On command bar, click the Chamfer Options button. Click the Angle
and setback option and then click OK.

Notice that after setting the Angle and Setback option, the command
bar changes to include the Select Face step.

Select the top face and then on the command bar click the Accept
button.

Select the short edge on each end of the top face.

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Type 30 in the Setback field and type 15 in the Angle field.

Click the Accept button to apply these values.

Click Finish.

Step 5: Save the file as angle.par.

Step 6: Construct a cutout on the front horizontal face shown.


Choose the Cut command.

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Select the horizontal face shown to define the reference plane.

Draw the profile. Use the Line command and toggle between the
Line and Arc modes.

Choose Close Sketch.

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On command bar, click the Through Next option, and position the
cursor to project the cutout downward.

Click Finish.

Step 7: Add a chamfer to the cutout constructed in the previous step.


Choose the Chamfer command.

Select the top and bottom edges of the cutout.

In the Setback box, type 3 and click the Accept button.

Click Finish.

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Step 8: Pattern the cutout and chamfer. Since the cutout is the parent feature of
the chamfer, the cutout must be patterned with the chamfer.
Choose the Pattern command and on command bar, click the Smart
option.

On PathFinder, select Cutout 1 and Chamfer 3 as the features to


pattern. Click the Accept button.

Select the reference plane to place the pattern on. Use the same
profile plane that was used for the Cutout feature.

In the Features group, click the Rectangular Pattern command.

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Set the Pattern Type to Fixed. Set the X count to 3 and the Y count
to 2. Type 50 for the X spacing and 45 for the Y spacing. Press the
<Enter> key.

Click the center of the arc in the bottom of the cutout to define the
start point of the pattern profile (1), and then position the rectangle
defining the pattern up and to the right (2).

Choose Close sketch.

Click Finish to complete the feature.

Step 9: Save the file.

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Step 10: Add holes to the vertical front face of the part.
Choose the Hole command.

Select the front vertical face of the bracket as shown.

Click the Hole Options button and set the options shown and click
OK.

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Place a hole centered over each slot. Align the holes as shown.

Dimension the location of the holes as shown.

Choose Close Sketch.

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Specify the extent direction shown in the illustration.

Click Finish.

Step 11: Save and close this file. This completes the activity.

Activity summary
In this activity you learned how to create a chamfer feature and to create a pattern
consisting of more than one feature. You used the hole command to create the
counterbored holes in the bracket.

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