UGS has announced Solid Edge Version 10 of its mechanical computer-aided design (MCAD) software. And the new release features an impressive set of enhancements for designers of machinery, electromechanical products and automotive and aerospace tooling and fixtures. Version 10 (V10) of Solid Edge focuses on large-assembly design and draughting with high-performance modelling functions. Enhancements include: family of assemblies; alternative position assemblies; drawing view tracker; part/feature/assembly colour options; translator enhancements; surfacing; pipe threading; a new collaboration web portal service (Edge eXchange). “Enhancements across the product strengthen our ability to slice more time off our design cycle, allowing short product lead times to get even shorter,” says Bill Pearson, design engineer at Logan Fabricom, a developer of airport baggage handling machinery in Hull. “I like what I saw in large assembly management, sheet metal design and the continued development of user-friendly online tutorials.” With the ‘family of assemblies’ capability, designers can easily create and manage related assemblies with different components and sub-assemblies. And the ‘alternative position assemblies’ function allows designers to quickly model and evaluate variations in which part positions change during the operation of the assembly (particularly useful in assemblies that contain mechanisms with linkages and actuators). Solid Edge actually uses a ‘structured storage’ approach that makes the assembly variations readily accessible from a single file for display or drawing creation. Assembly restructure capabilities in V10 also dramatically reduce design time by enabling designers to create sub-assemblies, disperse sub-assembly components and change the order of parts while maintaining all positioning relationships. In the drafting environment, V10 also promises more innovation to speed drawing production and model-to-drawing integrity. A drawing ‘view tracker’ now provides designers with detailed feedback on drawing views and annotations that change when the design model is modified. The benefit to designers here is that they can now detect errors in drawings more quickly without the need for manual checking. There’s also a built-in Parasolid-to-ACIS bi-directional translator, which improves interoperability with CAD/CAM/CAE tools based on the ACIS solid modelling kernel. And Solid Edge’s new “healing” technology automatically finds and corrects faults and inconsistencies in imported 3D CAD data. For the automotive and aerospace supply chain, V10 enhances Solid Edge’s interoperability with Unigraphics, UGS’s high-end CAD system. And the software can now directly open multi-body Unigraphics files that remain dynamically associative with the Unigraphics model. And for Autocad users out there, V10 has several new data translation enhancements. OLE objects, such as Microsoft Excel and Microsoft Word files placed as embedded or linked documents in Solid Edge Draft, can now be saved to Autocad formats.