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Thread to discuss Solid Edge 2D and 3D

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Barrie Lever13/05/2020 12:57:58
688 forum posts
76 photos

There is an increasing interest in the free CAD offerings from Siemens Solid Edge now that they have added a community edition to the existing free of charge 2D offering.

Any questions then just ask, I will say that there are more experienced SE drivers on the forum than me and hopefully they will support this message thread.

I will upload some screen shots a bit later.


Versaboss14/05/2020 22:56:27
458 forum posts
51 photos

I did just see that Barrie Lever started this thread as promised. So I jump in, full force.
Also, because I'm stuck quite hard atm.

Perhaps a word about me and my CAD 'experience' if I can call that like this. I never used any program professionally, but learned/used/dabbled in Autocad, TurboCad, GraphicsWork, TrueCad, ChoiceCad, AllyCad... and maybe some I have forgotten. I was one of the first 100000 users getting Xcad for free, which then later became Alibre. In none of these programs I got over more than a couple of simple drawings. Now, since some years, I'm using Onshaape and love it. So why trying to learn another program? Maybe just curiosity, and maybe because some things are integrated which in Onshape need paid extensions.

Jump forward to Solid edge now.
After I downloaded Solid Edge, nothing worked, as I had written before, but in this I was not alone. After a couple of days this problem was solved, and I started checking the tutorial videos. First disappointment was, that I found nothing about how to set up the program, as it has gazillions of 'levels' as it seems. It is very difficult to find a line in these videos. I had also a look into waht is available on Youtube, and there is some interesting stuff. But it is not easy to follow which actions someone executes on a video.

And this leads me also to the first problem. Almost in every video I see the Toolbar looks different, and these toolbars look Very different from that on my screen. To clarify, what I call Toolbar is the array on top of the screen, where the drawing tools are arranged.

Tutorial 1:videotutorial.jpg

Tutorial 2:anothertutorial.jpg

My Toolbar:mytools.jpg

And the clean Onshape-Toolbar:onshape_toolbar.jpg

So, what's the matter here?

Problem #2 maybe tomorrow

Kind regards,

Steviegtr15/05/2020 00:45:04
1524 forum posts
167 photos

No nothing of that program but in autocad those top graphics change as you click on the different functions on the top line. Tutorial 2 is showing the sketching icon lit up, so I guess that is the menu for sketching.


Steviegtr15/05/2020 00:45:59
1524 forum posts
167 photos

On your top tutorial 1 it has home clicked & so on. Same as autocad.


Raymond Anderson15/05/2020 07:03:21
777 forum posts
152 photos

Hans, Yes the customise options are very extensive far too much for me to write up here. If you go to the areas marked on my screenshot you will find all the help you need there. You can customise the GUI to suit your workflow.

Not sure what the GUI is by default in the Community edition [ is that the default shown in your pic ? ] either way you will be able to get it to suit your way of working.

Solid Edge is far , far removed from any of the programmes you have mentioned. It is a full blown commercial Mcad programme extremely powerful, Robust, Stable and flexible. [ don't let the extremely powerful bit put you off ] The User forum that I mentioned in another thread is a gold mine of info from Pro users of the software. also Siemens Solid Edge official forum is another first class site. Also, if you press the area at the top where the arrow is pointing that will take you directly to the GUI customise options Hover over it and press F1 will take you to a extensive help area.silid edge help areas..jpg

Paul Lousick15/05/2020 08:20:19
1553 forum posts
583 photos

Learnin to use a 3D CAD prrogram is not an easy task. It is a new language and will take time to master. (how long would it take you to be proficient in Mandarin or Russian, etc).

I have not used Solid Edge but have been a CAD draftsman for 10+ years, now retired. It took us 3 months to master Pro Engineer when it was introduced. When I changed jobs and used Solidworks, I was sent to a full week of training to learn the basics and later anther week to learn the advanved features and still learning.

Software is more friendly now but still takes a lot of study and practice. Stay with it as it is a great resource and has saved me heaps of time in the workshop. Cheaper and quicker to find problems and fix them in the computer than on a lathe oe mill.


IanT15/05/2020 10:21:35
1620 forum posts
151 photos


I'm busy trying to learn SE too - so absolutely another Newbie too. But about the different toolbars....

When I installed SE it asked me what level of experience I had (I forget the exact terms) but it was something like 'New to CAD', 'Used some CAD before' or 'Experienced CAD User' - I was probably 'used some before' (Intermediate level?) but decided to jump right into 'Experienced'. I'm pretty sure though that the UI wold have been simplified if I'd have chosen one of the other options.

The Toolbars do change interactively as you select a tab (e.g. Home, Sketching, 3D Sketching, Surfacing etc) but 'Home' seems to be a kind of summary toolbar - the others are more complete but also more complex (and maybe harder to use at first). Always look to the 'Hint/Guidance' at the bottom of page that will tell you your next move -it's very helpful. Hover over an icon and a help box will also appear...

I've been watching some excellent YouTubes by Design Fusion (a Canadian SE Partner I think) which are very good but up to 8 years old - so I've assumed that there will be some differences in the product version - although the basics of the UI seem the same. The Siemens videos will be more up to date I assume but the ones I watched had some sort of robotic female voiceover that I guess they use to automate translations (??).

I prefer the DF guy - he's very good but he packs a lot into each video. I try to play them through once (just watching) then a second time (to take notes) - then go and actually try the stuff - then watch again and try to understand what I just did wrong! 

Hope this helps - keep at it!   



Edited By IanT on 15/05/2020 11:29:51

Barrie Lever15/05/2020 16:32:30
688 forum posts
76 photos
Posted by Versaboss on 14/05/2020 22:56:27:

I did just see that Barrie Lever started this thread as promised. So I jump in, full force.
Also, because I'm stuck quite hard atm.

Kind regards,


I think it is worth checking what assistance level that Solid Edge is giving you, see the photo below, the screen shots you posted of tutorial 1 and 2 are what I would expect to see in the standard installation.

I attach a screen shot showing where you set the assistance level provided by Solid Edge. If you have the same setting then we will have to scratch our heads a bit more !!themes.jpg



Versaboss17/05/2020 23:09:44
458 forum posts
51 photos

Hello all,

Sorry for the delay, other matters went in-between, and I'm also unsure about what I want to write.
To begin with the last contribution from Barrie, I don't understand the last sentence. I found the 'settings' button on the left side, I think it is the same as also in the top line with the triangle mark. When I choose the first 'theme' which is 'First steps' (sorry I have German names, but I think that's what I used), then I get that reduced toolbar. I checked the other 'themes' also, there are changes all over the place, but I can't say if these are functionally equivalent. Anyhow, I switched now to the 'balanced theme', which here is called S.E. standard.

Stand now is the following: I tried to re-create a 'thing' I did in Onshape and which I found quite difficult to do, in the way I did it. Inagine a L, lying on the long side, but the short side not vertical. Like that perhaps: ___/
I could draw the L and give it the dimensions I wanted (easy in S.E), and then I found a tool to rotate it, with two sub-tools. The first I don't remember (and can't find that tool atm.), and the second was '360°'. That's what I wanted anyway, but to my surprise it did not a 360° rotation, but I could sweep it around with the mouse. I stopped at about 270°, and then tre resulting body stood here on the screen, but all in deep read! From other programs I know that red usually means something is wrong, but I couldn't see any error message. That's where I am at the moment.
Experimenting with the themes, I hit on another problem. In Onshape there is also a build tree on the left side, and in any moment it is possible to go back in this tree and make changes, if something looks not right. How it is possible to do that in the S.E. tree I did not find out. I would like to go back to the 2D sketch (have to use this Onshape name) and redo it from there, but how? Naturally it would be simple to draw it again, only 6 lines, but sometimes the begin is a bit more complicated...

Some other points: - I tried to find these Youtube videos by Design Fusion, but all except two are for Fusion360, and the S.E. video is about surface modelling.
I had a look into the S.E. Forums and went straight back. There's not really a chapter for beginner's question, but what I found are people complaining about the way the forum works. In Onshape (yes, again...) I could ask questions and sometimes even got answers back directly from the developers.

Ok, enough for today. I will be away for 2 or 3 days, but I will come back!

Kind regards

Clive Foster25/07/2020 15:58:33
2388 forum posts
77 photos

After a good deal of intermittent effort and creative commentary over the last few weeks I eventually managed to get Solid Edge 3D Community Edition up and, apparently, running in VirtualBox on my Mac Pro. Even after selecting the newbie level the learning curve looks to significantly extend the concept of vertical. 10.30 pm on a Friday night didn't seem a good time to start.

Immediate queries to help me get my head round what to expect.

1) During the installation process it asks what units and style you want to set up. ISO metric was ticked so I left it as was. Presumably this is just the default setting so imperial units can be set if needed for other drawings.

2) Can the drawing title / information / version panels be customised?

3) Can you build a set of blank template drawings with appropriate settings to use a a basis for new drawings. In my current drawing program, Vectorworks, I have metric and imperial templates in both landscape and portrail formats for A4 and A3 size paper.

4) How does Solid Edge deal with drawings either too large for one sheet or multiple sheet drawing sets? Even after 15 years I've never really got my head round the proper way to do such in Vectorworks. Probably beacuse almost everything I do can be fitted on one sheet.

5) Brief investigation of the Help side of things gives references to printable documentation. Is it worth finding these and printing them out? I tend to do poorly with on screen help unless its very specific.

A major reason for my difficulties in getting things running turned out to be having loaded Solid Edge 2D first. Attempting to load the 3D Community Edition afterwards merely bought up the repair mode of the installer wizard. Invoking the removal process shifted all the Solid Edge 2D files letting Community edition generate an empty folder for installation.

Is there a way to install Solid Edge 2D as well as the 3D Community Edition? Perhaps in a separate folder as both 2D and Community Edition seem to whan the same installation path. If so do I have to make the new folder first or will it generate it by simply changing the path. (I'm not aWindows guy!)

I wanted to run 2D as, hopefully, giving an easier introduction to the Solid Edge way of doing things and to let me make my currently normal drawings without going back to a different program. In my preliminary explorations I was unable to find libraries of standard components like fasteners, threads, gears sprockets et al ready to drop into drawings and modify via dialog boxes. The Vectorworks standard set is pretty good, albeit limited. Hatches and patterns suck tho'. Does Solid Edge 2D not have such refinements or wasn't I looking in the right places.



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