MCAD Tech News (#347)

27 Jun, 2013 By: Cadalyst Staff

Solid Edge University 2013, Part 1: Solid Edge ST6 Adds 1,300 User-Requested Features

Announced this week at the annual user conference, the "greatest version ever" is said to increase performance sixfold on some tasks.

By Nancy Spurling Johnson

Solid Edge University 2013

The team behind Solid Edge software is committed to giving users options, and Solid Edge ST6, announced this week, comes with lots of them — including options for how to use the software, how to learn it, and soon, how to pay for it.

Solid Edge is the midrange 3D mechanical design solution from Siemens PLM Software, the company that also develops products including the high-end NX mechanical design software and Teamcenter for product lifecycle management (PLM). The software is notable for its synchronous technology, which offers fully integrated constraint-driven modeling and history-free (or "direct") modeling within the same interface.

Solid Edge ST6 was introduced to the 500 attendees at Solid Edge University 2013, the user conference that runs through today at the Northern Kentucky Convention Center in Covington. It incorporates 1,300 user requests, enhancing design, simulation, learning, and collaboration.

Also announced this week were Android and iPad mini support for the free Solid Edge Mobile Viewer app; a rental program for those who wish to use a cloud-based version of Solid Edge for a monthly fee (coming in August); and Solid Edge SP for design management and collaboration in Microsoft SharePoint environments. Read more »

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Nancy Spurling Johnson is editor-in-chief of Cadalyst.

Create a Plugin for AutoCAD

Expand your customization skills as you program a command using Visual Studio.NET.

By Andrew G. Roe

In my previous articles about AutoCAD programming, we learned how to use the .NET programming environment to extract drawing information, create and modify AutoCAD entities, and modify entities programmatically. We primarily focused on running applications from the .NET environment, accessing AutoCAD with component object model (COM) interoperability. In a nutshell, this means we were using both .NET and COM technologies to manipulate AutoCAD in ways similar to those of the built-in VBA environment of years past.

In this article, we will create an AutoCAD plugin, a custom command that can be run directly from the AutoCAD environment. We will focus on .NET techniques, introducing a new concept called Transactions to create AutoCAD entities programmatically. Specifically, we will develop a custom command that creates a circle object and some accompanying text in one fell swoop.

As before, this example uses the Visual Basic.NET programming environment, although you can use Visual C#.NET instead. To complete this exercise, you'll need either Visual Studio.NET or the free Visual Studio Express. (If you're using AutoCAD 2013, you should also download the ObjectARX software development kit [SDK] to run this example. Even though it's not an ObjectARX example, the necessary references are located in the SDK for 2013.) Read more »

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Cadalyst contributing editor Andrew G. Roe is a registered civil engineer and president of AGR Associates.


Mark Your Calendar: MCAD Events

Innovation in 3D Technology Showcase
July 18, 2013
London, United Kingdom
This one-day event will showcase the various 3D laser-mapping technologies available today and provide attendees the opportunity to get hands-on with the systems and software. Read more »

CMSC (Coordinate Metrology Systems Conference)
July 22–26, 2013
San Diego, California
Hosted by CMS (The Coordinate Metrology Society), this event caters to users of portable 3D measurement solutions applied by manufacturers and science laboratories. Read more »

Bluebeam EXtreme Conference
August 2, 2013
Los Angeles, California
Attendees of this conference can learn best practices from industry experts, connect with fellow Revu software enthusiasts, and participate in discussions. Read more »

For a complete list of CAD meetings, conferences, training sessions, and more, check out our calendar of events on Are you hosting an event that you would like to include in our calendar? Submit details at least two weeks in advance to


What’s New at

First Look Review: Contex IQ 4490
High-quality 44" wide-format scanner makes it fast and easy to digitize documents.  »

IMAGINiT Launches Health Check for Civil 3D Firms
New service examines current workflows and recommends a path to increased productivity. Read the blog post »

Event Report: PTC Live Global 2013, Part 1
Technology is key to getting ahead of the forces driving massive transformation in the manufacturing market, says company CEO at annual user event. Read more »

Event Report: Siemens PLM Connection 2013
The annual user conference previews NX 9, reviews the Curiosity rover project, and promotes product lifecycle management. Read more »

About the Author: Cadalyst Staff

Cadalyst Staff

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