While the merits of history-free vs.
history-based or parametric CAD systems have been debated for years, 2009 was
the year vendors made huge strides in bridging the benefits of both modeling
technologies in one product. Perhaps no 3-D CAD company did as much to advance
the trend as Siemens PLM Software with the introduction of Synchronous
Technology, its next-generation modeling approach.
As part of Siemens' Velocity Series of
software, Solid Edge with Synchronous Technology delivers the speed and
flexibility typically associated with direct modeling tools with the precise
control and built-in intelligence of dimension-driven or history-based CAD
programs. By combining the "best of both methods," Solid Edge with Synchronous
Technology delivers what Siemens officials describe as history-free,
feature-based modeling - a modeling approach that promotes faster adoption of
3-D technology, while requiring less retraining for casual users of CAD.
popular history-based 3-D CAD systems, operations are captured in the order
that they're created, adding a layer of intelligence and automation to model
creation. Yet any edit to a single feature demands subsequent features to be
regenerated, a process that can slow performance and eliminate much of the
flexibility of direct modeling programs. Direct modelers, on the other hand,
offer easy creation of models, yet deliver less predictability around editing
since the lack of history means changes can only be applied to a very specific
piece of geometry.
Synchronous Technology, which is also available in Siemens' NX higher end CAD
tool, captures features independently, it preserves intent, but eliminates the
need to regenerate entire models when edits are made to a single feature. This
results in much higher edit performance and less feature cleanup, allowing
users to complete engineering change orders much faster, while facilitating the
overall design experience.