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.
With 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.
Because 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.