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Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Solid Edge Productivity Tip - Drag models into shape without any commands

You can create 3D models from sketches, or you can modify 3D parts or assemblies quickly with the steering wheel. This high-performance handle is an integral component of synchronous technology and it's easy to use. 
Here's how to get started.

Let's start by turning 2D sketches into 3D models. Use the sketching tools to draw a closed region (a circle or square). Then, select the 2D region and a "steering wheel" handle will display. Grab either arrow and drag it to form a 3D model.

To create a revolved feature from a sketch, drag the sphere on the steering wheel to any linear element, and then drag its torus to create a revolved part. 

This same method can be used to convert imported 2D sketches into 3D models. You also can extrude or revolve multiple regions with a fence select, Shift+click or Ctrl+click.

You can modify native or imported 3D parts with the steering wheel. Open a part ("Frame3.par" located in your Solid Edge ST4\Training folder is a good example) and select a face; the steering wheel will display. Drag the arrow to move the face, or enter a dimensional value.

Faces can also be rotated by dragging the steering wheel sphere to a linear element. The steering wheel will change to display a rotation wheel; drag it to change the angle of the face. 

Move or rotate multiple faces with a fence select, Shift+click or Ctrl+click, or duplicate 3D geometry by pressing the Ctrl key before you select the steering wheel axis.

The steering wheel can also be used to manipulate parts in an assembly. While in an assembly, simply select a component and the steering wheel will display handles for moving or rotating components. Remember, you can press the Ctrl key before clicking the axis to duplicate parts.

With synchronous technology, you can make fast, flexible edits without knowing how a model was constructed. Next time I'll give you a few pointers on making precise changes with 3D driving dimensions.

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