As part of what seems to be a reinvigorated focus on its Solid Edge CAD platform, Siemens PLM Software unveiled the latest in a string of special offers and enhancements -- this time, a Web portal that enables rapid configuration of precisely modeled commercial parts right in the native Solid Edge 3D format.
The new supplier parts catalogue Web portal is being made available thanks to a partnership with CADENAS Gmbh, a provider of parts management software. The portal, which serves up Solid Edge-specific versions of CADENAS' PARTsolutions 3D catalogue, gives engineers access to a library of millions of commercially available components and assemblies that users can purchase and download directly to place into their product designs without the need for additional modeling, looking up part numbers, or trying to figure out supplier product configurations.
Though the idea of a part portal isn't necessarily rocket science, it can really go a long way in simplifying the time-consuming grunt work associated with finding and modifying parts. Because the portal only showcases the part variations that are currently available, engineers are more likely to create accurate part lists and spec out more realistic assemblies the first time around.
What's also interesting about the portal is that it doesn't contain any actual solid models. The way it works is that each native Solid Edge 3D model is built to order in real-time, providing users access to massive numbers of parts, Siemens officials said, including values, actuators, bearings, and a host of others. There are over 300 catalogues available, and the system automatically configures only the possible product sizes, options, and features currently being offered by the specific manufacturers.
Users search for catalogue parts simply by employing a unique vendor or part number. The portal will be enhanced this year to allow searches based on geometric size. Once the user has selected the part, the portal delivers the complete package of data and geometry either via email, to be downloaded into a directory on the user's computer, or to be pulled directly into Solid Edge.
Along with the Solid Edge 3D model (which includes the feature tree and all the defined interfaces, so users can easily model connecting parts), the portal provides access to detailed electronic product sheets and 2D views, which may be used in engineering drawings.
The portal is just the latest in a flurry of activity around Solid Edge. On the heels of a recent Siemens PLM Software reorganization establishing three business units, each with direct profit and loss responsibility, the Velocity group introduced special student pricing and a free 45-day trial version of the CAD tool -- all efforts over the last two months to get the tool more exposure and traction.