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New To CAD? No, but....

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GordonH16/05/2022 22:29:15
49 forum posts
7 photos


I don't want to fill the thread with chatter so will PM you while we try to sort this out, but it would help if you could put a picture of the SE screen in an album first..

When you clicked connect then the two line ends, did they join and the enclosed area turn blue? if so, the lines were all connected.

As you add relationships, symbols appear to shw their presence

Was it an ISO Metric Part file .par which you opened, that is the correct one.  "I do not see "Sketch 2D" 


Edited By GordonH on 16/05/2022 22:29:50

Edited By GordonH on 16/05/2022 22:50:37

Edited By GordonH on 16/05/2022 22:59:52

Nigel Graham 216/05/2022 23:47:53
2133 forum posts
29 photos

Gordon -

Found it, thank you.

I realised it was simply that I'd misunderstood your initial instructions and picked up a template rather than completely blank page, so I started again.

It works this time, and I now have a grey block floating through the datum plane. I observed the relationships signs appearing on the rectangle.

GordonH17/05/2022 00:00:43
49 forum posts
7 photos


I have used the Sketching Tab to draw my shape and it gives the same results as using the Home Tab, Wlll have to adjourn until tomorrow. If you have some spare time, to make things easier, please could you repeat the excercise, opening a new Iso Metric part .,par while recording a Video. The video does not require any equipment or software, it is all done within SE. The instructions are below

  1. Open SE
  2. Click the Application Button at top left
  3. On the window that opens, click the red "Record" button and a pop up opens
  4. Click the drop-down arrow in the box under area to record
  5. Click "Custom Area"
  6. Click "Define Area"
  7. The cursor changes to a Cross symbol
  8. Place the cursor so it is above and to left of SE Screen
  9. Left click and hold down the mouse button while dragging cursor to opposite corner of SE screen and enclosing any area where a pop up appears, you should see some borders around the dragged area, release the button.
  10. As you don't have a microphone, skip the sound
  11. Close the window
  12. On the SE screen press the red button,, a small pop up control window with stop and pause button and Duration & file size pops up
  13. Experiment with it to check it works and inclues any pop ups in video
  14. You can pause/restart or stop viedo, Discard the practice video or save the last recorded video
  15. click the SE icon in top left of SE window to get back to the SE Start page


I will PM you my email address tomorrow, if you send me a video of the screen while doing the excercises I'll be in touch in the afternoon


B******, just seen your reply, glad it worked, shutting down now..

Edited By GordonH on 17/05/2022 00:03:47

Edited By GordonH on 17/05/2022 00:04:23

SillyOldDuffer17/05/2022 08:33:19
8691 forum posts
1967 photos

I'm following along too, and finding the exercise useful. Even though I'm well into learning SE, Gordon's approach highlights other ways and means I was aware of but not exploiting, probably because I'm unconsciously following a method learned on am early version of FreeCAD. Old habits are hard to break!

A few observations:

As mistakes are likely, useful to know that typing ctrl-z undoes previous steps, and ctrl-Y is redo. (These are standard Windows shortcuts.) Undo and Redo are also available in SE as buttons (curled blue arrows)

Gordon refers to the 'Steering Wheel' tool which happened to be semi-hidden on my screen:


It can be moved to show the whole by pulling on the centre blue ball with the mouse,


I'll leave it to Gordon to explain how the extremely useful steering wheel is used!

Lastly, moving the hole command didn't wake up the edge ends and centre as expected, and as shown in the Hole animation. Odd, because this is the only time they've not appeared. They do appear if I hover one of the draw commands, like line. Sod's Law strikes again.

Keep up the good work



GordonH17/05/2022 09:18:48
49 forum posts
7 photos


Just a brief reply, I'm unable to go into details until tonight, too busy during the day.

Steering wheel form changes according to to placement. In simplest form its the extrusion arrow. Your bottom picture is its full 3D form. It can move and rotate features, be aligned to features then move or copy other features while maintaining that alignment, rotate surfaces and features. It is really more like an aircraft joystick than a Steering Wheel!

As to explaining it, I'll try later but I'm still learning bmyself. It can be quite confusing and it's behaviour can be sensitive to the order of mouse and key strokes


ps Siemens have some useful resources concerning it



Edited By GordonH on 17/05/2022 09:21:01

GordonH17/05/2022 10:28:05
49 forum posts
7 photos


Re your no-appearing midpoint, had you locked the plane with F3? If I use the hole command without the F3 press, hovering over the edge of a plane does not show any end or mid points initially, slowly hovering along the line around the mid point does display the mid point symbol at the cursor, together with the mid point in orange on the line. Moving off the line, these dissappear but no red alignment marks are shown as I track along thecentre. My laptop F3 key is showing its age and not responding today but my USB keyboard is elsewhere now, certainly displays when F3 is working


IanT17/05/2022 11:12:45
1993 forum posts
212 photos

You need to lock the plane using F3 otherwise SE will not know what you are trying to reference.

Examples of locating holes are shown in this recent YouTube by Dr Seif. It's probably more advanced than you need just now but ignore the first part and just jump to timeslot 13.22 for the hole placement part....

Solid Edge Tutorial - Bearing Base - Exercise 8 - YouTube

I'll repeat my view that you need to be systematic when learning a modern 3D CAD system - jumping in without establishing the basic skills is going to be very frustrating.



SillyOldDuffer17/05/2022 12:15:59
8691 forum posts
1967 photos
Posted by GordonH on 17/05/2022 10:28:05:


Re your no-appearing midpoint, had you locked the plane with F3?...


Yes - I've long since realised the value of F3.

Sussed it out though! The Keypoints button on extreme right of the Hole toolbar controls what points will be used to locate the Hole. Mine - don't know why - was set to circle mid-point, which is meaningless on a box. Selecting 'All' restored normal operation.


If I have any more questions I'll start a SolidEdge Query Thread to avoid confusing Gordon's effort.



PatJ17/05/2022 12:26:36
367 forum posts
410 photos

It is interesting to read this thread, and compare it with my own trials and tribulations with learning 3D modeling.

One thing that comes out of these conversations is that there is the part where you learn the general approach to 3D modeling, and another part of the learning curve where you have to learn how your particular software works with all the various and often not obvious features.

So much about 3d modeling is non-intuitive in my opinion, but once you figure it out, I would say that 3D modeling is not very difficult at all, I guess depending on the complexity of the part you are trying to model.

When I get stuck, I sometimes watch videos online, and I specifically choose Solidworks, so that I can learn using native commands.  Sometimes I have to search for a tutorial in Solidworks 2012, so that the commands are exactly the same as what I use.  Diddo for 2D CAD work that sometimes stumps me.


Edited By PatJ on 17/05/2022 12:29:07

blowlamp19/05/2022 11:57:15
1616 forum posts
105 photos

Nurbs modelling basic principles to get you started.


Versaboss19/05/2022 16:28:50
490 forum posts
69 photos

Now, Martin, can you please show us how to produce a workshop drawing with MOI (as that's what Nigel finally wants!)

Kind regards,

Nigel Graham 219/05/2022 17:05:20
2133 forum posts
29 photos

I've had a bit of rest for my brain to recover, but may I ask a basic question please?

MOI stands for...?

lee webster19/05/2022 17:26:32
66 forum posts
5 photos

Moment Of Inspiration

It's the name of a CAD programme. I did try the time limited demo version, but not enough time to get to grips with it. Same with Alibre last year.


Nigel Graham 220/05/2022 00:34:29
2133 forum posts
29 photos

Lee -

Thank you.

Err, Oh No, no not another make of CAD! Oh for a simple life. I want to be able to get to grips with what I have, not act as a sort of reviewer of relative difficulty by trying one wretched programme after another.

I wonder if I can put my drawing-board back together?

Steviegtr20/05/2022 02:34:28
2432 forum posts
336 photos

In the 80's i did Electrical installation work for a Company called Nestle. There engineers had Autocad installed on 2 Computers. This was before Windows. It used DOS 5.1 from memory. It ran using a dongle to stop copywrite. Using a Puck on a board with the various electrical & engineering symbols on it. No-one could actually get there heads around the system. I asked if i could help & they let me have a look at the system. I 1st copied the program & then took it home & worked on de dongling the system , which i did after a few days.

All i can say is that Cad program sorfware has so many commands. It is simple , but also very complicated to use. There are literally 1000's of commands. Best of luck guys.

A friend who ran classes at a college rang me & asked a question of a particular command. It was to do with a interupting a circle at a specific point. He looked up to me as a genius with Cad. It was a few years after i had stopped using it. I could not answer the simple question.

So guys if you are going to use Cad , keep at it as you get rusty very quick. Especially if you are an old F-rt like me.


Nealeb20/05/2022 08:55:00
81 forum posts

One of the secrets of using any of this software, at least when you are still learning, is to understand the minimum number of commands that you need - and where to find them! - and mentally label the other 95% as "do not touch!" A lot can be done with relatively few commands but the trick is to find someone or something that can guide you through. Once you start climbing the learning curve you start to get a feel for how things work and can explore more ambitious areas of the software.

At first glance, the range of menus and commands is intimidating - you could almost do with a mask to put over the screen to hide the bits you don't need yet - or possibly ever!

I think that that is one reason why I think F360 is easier for someone starting from scratch - the number of tabs, drop-downs and so on in Solid Edge is pretty off-putting.

Michael Gilligan20/05/2022 09:01:37
20182 forum posts
1053 photos
Posted by Nealeb on 20/05/2022 08:55:00:

One of the secrets of using any of this software, at least when you are still learning, is to understand the minimum number of commands that you need - and where to find them! - […]


Which reminds me that the early versions of Autocad came with a slim booklet:

How to get started in Autocad without reading the Manual

[or some-such friendly title]


Nigel Graham 220/05/2022 09:47:00
2133 forum posts
29 photos

The last few posts have identified one of the possible difficulties in learning to use CAD is the sheer flood of tools and commands, daunting even before you recognise by their names and squiggles, what they do, which ones to use and how to use them.

In that regard being able switch menus on and off easily is an advantage.

I see SolidEdge appears to do that by a tab system, but that does obscure common application basics like File - Open / Save / Copy / Print. That is one I think should stay like a Victorian child, seen but not heard until needed, in its usual spot top-left. I know "Print" might be a bit more demanding in CAD, so may need its own route.

TurboCAD uses a master tool-bar menu that is simple to use, but use it without care to close short-term selections after use and you can create very cluttered borders hard to search. (I think MS 'Word' is slightly similar in that respect, though without the index.) Bit like my workshop then....

Nicholas Wheeler 120/05/2022 09:55:34
930 forum posts
87 photos
Posted by Nealeb on 20/05/2022 08:55:00:

At first glance, the range of menus and commands is intimidating - you could almost do with a mask to put over the screen to hide the bits you don't need yet - or possibly ever!

I think that that is one reason why I think F360 is easier for someone starting from scratch - the number of tabs, drop-downs and so on in Solid Edge is pretty off-putting.

F360 uses the modern approach to a UI, so you choose a basic function like an extrude, and decide as you use it whether to change the suggested result of cutting, adding, creating a new body etc. The same applies to joints, you pick joint, then the components, then the relevant features, then the type of joint, instead of getting your magnifier to find the three separate functions to make one part rotate around another. F360 actively removes things you can't do, like apply parallel or perpendicular constraints to a circle. My initial reaction on installing Solidedge was no wonder it took so long, it's reinstalled Windows 98! All those tiny icons covering the screen; one for each separate function. Although F360 does fall into the modern trap of considering tarting up the icons every couple of years as an important and exciting upgrade, which has happened recently.

Neither approach is wrong, as people think differently. The same applies to other devices; look at electronic indexers that use 4 keys to scroll up/down/across a tiny screen instead of a 16 keyboard to directly enter the number you want.

SillyOldDuffer20/05/2022 10:48:32
8691 forum posts
1967 photos

Posted by Nigel Graham 2 on 20/05/2022 09:47:00:


I know "Print" might be a bit more demanding in CAD, so may need its own route.


Not really, but it took me a while to find out how to print from Solid Edge. Turned out to be easy! Just type ctrl-p, which is the standard print keyboard shortcut.

The menu print option is a little hidden, but is easily revealed by clicking the button in the top left corner. Look for 'Paper Print'.

Earlier in the thread Ian drew my attention to Solid Edge's "Find a Command" search box, bottom left of the CAD window. Typing 'print' into this answers the question immediately. Not perfect, but pretty good. Recommended


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