We decided to write this article to show you not only WHAT the Solid Edge viewer does, but also HOW you can put it to use in your workflow to improve collaboration and speed your time-to-market.
The Solid Edge Viewer is designed to facilitate maximum collaboration between designers and manufacturers. With the free SE Viewer, anyone can view Solid Edge parts and assemblies in a 3D environment, and manufacturers can interrogate parts for any basic dimensions or PMI relevant to their manufacturing process while allowing Solid Edge users the ability to focus on communicating the unique design intent, rather than producing traditional 2D work files and drawings.
HOW DO I USE IT ?
To take full advantage of the Viewer’s feature set, a PCF (Package Collaboration File) must be created by the designer. Note that a PCF file is not necessary to do ALL of the geometry inspection that is available to the SE Viewer, but it enables a variety of tools and options for the designer to include additional information (Word Documents, Drawings, etc.) along with the 3D files.
LET'S GET STARTED
Once you are ready to begin making manufacturing specifications to a part or assembly, select “View and Markup Options” from the pull-down menu for “View and Markup” under “Tools” on your Solid Edge Ribbon. Check the information you want to be packaged, click “OK”, then “View and Markup” to launch the SE Viewer Utility.
All SE Files included in the PCF can take full advantage of SE Viewer’s feature set. Non-SE files will open in their default applications (ie. .doc files will open in word). To add files to a PCF, right-click on the Package List Tree and select “add”.
To create a new Markup, orient the model to the desired position and select “New Group” on your SE Viewer Ribbon (under “Home”). You can also right-click on “Markup Groups” in the Markup groups tree, and select “Create new”. Once a Markup group is created, re-orienting the model will cause you to leave the Markup Group. To rename a group, right-click and select “Properties”.
Markups provide the designer with an opportunity to clearly illustrate any aspect of the design that is of particular importance, or potentially unique. A markup group can display text, pictures, stored measurements, section views, and model PMI. It can also show simple geometry created using the line and shape tools similar to MS Paint. You can cycle between existing markups by clicking “Cycle Markups” on your SE Viewer Ribbon (just under “New Group”) or you can select the desired Markup from the tree.
When measuring 3D models, you may find it helpful to highlight part edges. To do so, right-click on the part to be measured and select “Show Edges”. You can also “Show Vertices”.
Below are 3 illustrations of the measurement tools. While they do work differently than Solid Edge’s inspection tools, they are fairly intuitive. It’s also worthy to note that measurements can also be included in Markups as well.
By the way, I forgot to mention that the SE Viewer also views DXF and DWG files… you can download the FREE Viewer here.