Friday, May 30, 2014

Solid Edge ST7 3D Sketch… Why it isn’t exactly new.

Solid Edge ST7 introduced a new feature called 3D Sketch, but 3D sketching in Solid Edge isn’t exactly new…

Solid Edge has had a couple of add on packages for several years called XpresRoute and Harness which both have a 3D sketch tool included, but it could only be used for those modules.
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Also, all of the 3D environments in Solid Edge have had the Keypoint Curve and Curve by Table features which are also a form of 3D sketch but work by defining points to run a curve or sketch elements between, and of course you could always create a couple of intersecting 2D sketches and generating the 3D intersection curve between them but occasionally you would run into situations where a sketch would have to double back on itself causing issues with the intersection curve generation.


So what is new about the ST7 3D sketch?

ST7 3D Sketch is a new environment that creates a “3D Sketches” node in Pathfinder and each 3D Sketch created becomes a feature underneath it.  It contains some of the prior functionality of the 3D sketch tools in the XpresRoute and Harness modules, but also adds some new capabilities such as a  cursor with 3D alignment axis', the new sketch keypoint/dimension feedback, plus a volumetric feedback indicator to let you know if you are drawing within an XY plane or also translating in the Z direction (2D box vs. a 3D box).  Also expanded are the types of elements that can be created, the number of editing tools as well as relationships, and other properties such as Styles/Colors and Intellisketch settings (although 3D capable).
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So in conclusion, while the ability to create 3D sketches in ST7 isn’t completely new, the ST7 3D Sketch feature is, and it exposes some prior “add-on” capabilities to the the general application along with some new capabilities that simplify use and provide needed feedback to the user to create fast and accurate 3D sketch geometry easily.

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