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Solid Edge ST5: A CAD Software Review

The release of Solid Edge ST5 CAD software saw the Siemens PLM team hit two milestones in terms of customer relationship and its commitment to providing the CAD community updated with a constant release of its major product, the 2D/3D drafting tool, Solid Edge. These two landmarks met by Solid Works are:

  • Integrating approximately 1300 features which were requested by the Solid Works community of users into the ST5 and
  • Releasing a memorandum stating that the software will now be released annually following the pattern already set by AutoCAD and MicroStation.


Approximately 5 years ago, the Synchronous Technology methodology in mechanical CAD software was used extensively in developing 2D and 3D designs. This methodology was incorporated into all releases by Siemens PLM from 2008 till today and the synchronous technology of Solid Edge follows the following algorithms in its modeling process:

Ordered/Regeneration Based Modeling

This is the initial design process that involves the use of basic features to draft either a linear, revolved, or swept extrusion of a model in a way that allows each succeeding feature of a model to be built on a previous model. This limits the adding of any constraints to future geometries of a model.


This feature allows users make changes to a model geometry without the user been constrained by the geometrical or topological features of the model. This simplifies the problems that may arise with imported models having their own constraints.


The CAD software provides parametric driven modeling due to its ability to synchronize a model’s geometry, parameters and rules. According to the Siemens PR release statement, the Object Action Interface provides users with the ability to directly manipulate objects or models.

siemens cad software

Solid Edge

Solid Edge ST5 Features and Functionalities

Solid Edge raised its 3D modeling bar in this version by providing features and tools to allow for more in-depth 3D modeling than its previous releases. These features include:

  • Multi-body Modeling: for mesh modeling, extrusion and generating 3D models from 2D drafts.
  • Wire Harnessing: for mechanical and electrical engineers, Solid Edge has always provided tools and features to assist with complex wiring problems and the ST5 is no different. It allows users design wiring components, nail boards for harness designs.
  • Advanced Simulations: with the ST5 CAD software, engineers can use its simulation tools and features to create simulations for thermal and mechanical systems as quickly as possible while eliminating the need to create a prototype before testing products level of performance.

Solid Edge ST5 Networking Features

Discovering the need to make the ST5 an integrated building platform, Siemens PLM proceeded to incorporate extra features such as file sharing, networking between multiple users and enabling the import and export of different file formats on the interface. Solid Edge currently supports all major file formats which include; DWG, DWF, PDF etc.


The wide spread use of mobile CAD software applications to remotely control workspaces as well as conduct some simple editing and drafting assignments by AutoCAD and other CAD applications spurred Solid Edge’s decision to create an iPad application known as the iPad Viewer for users to perform the following activities:

  • Hide or showcase the dimensions, assembled components and annotations of an already designed model
  • Manipulate how a model is viewed with the use of touch features to rotate, move or pan or zoom a particular model
  • Save images, designs or models and transfer them through mailing
  • Check out superficial information about a model such as, file name, size etc.

[box]About the author:

Matthew Williams is a cad designer and writer at IndiaCADworks. His favorite blogs subjects are CAD Conversion and Cad Software.  He loves sharing his knowledge with others.[/box]