This guest post comes courtesy of Mark Burhop, Social Media aficionado and Director of 3rd party Ecosystems at Siemens PLM. You can find Mark on Twitter, LinkedIn and near any coffee machine with the majority of components developed using Solid Edge.

Hide your spouses. Get your kids under the bed. Solid Edge ST4 is out and it means business. This is not your grandmother’s CAD. Not by a long shot. But before I go too far, I’m must tell you. I’m not Josh Mings. Rumor has it he off in the remote Texas wilderness setting up peace treaties between Jeff Mirisola and packs of angry squirrels. Yeah, that was an inside CAD industry joke, but no worries. My name is Mark Burhop, Director of 3rd party Ecosystems at Siemens PLM. I’ve studied Josh for a long time and I think I can channel his brilliance for a few paragraphs. Are you ready?

Solid Edge ST4

It’s new! It’s bigger! It bites! It’s a sheet metal expert of Ginsu knife wielding proportion. It’s Direct… with its history. It takes the parts other CAD systems throw at it, modifies them, assembles them and then explodes them in your face. It parameterizes the unparamerteriable. It puts the FEA in FEA FI FO FUM! And, it renders… you SPEECHLESS.

If The Stig was a CAD user, this would be the only steering wheel he would use. Steve Jobs wants to call it iSynchronous and Chuck Norris had to call for backup TWICE when he saw it in action. Am I getting the point across?

Now, to be fair, the development schedule for ST4 was shorter compared to ST3, so I don’t want to over hype ST4 (I know, it’s a little late for that now). Plus Mr. Mings will release the Kraken if I keep up with the marketing. [Editors Note: Kraken released.] So let me hit a few things that are new in each area:

Solid Edge ST4 Display
To start with, what about a prettier display? This is NOT a rendering, just the normal display. Yeah, it doesn’t make you a better designer but it does make you feel good about that new graphics card.

Solid Edge ST4 Assembly
Do you think real CAD folks only use the assembly application? Do you think “part” is for wimps? Then skip it. Apply those rounds and champers to the parts in your assembly without leaving the assembly application. Then you know they match.

Assembly + Sheet metal + Simulation
How about when you want to analyze your sheet metal assemblies? You know 2D meshes are the way to go, but it’s such a pain going into each sheet metal part to create the mid-surface. And what if you want to joint them together? Now, you can do all this this all at the assembly level. Mid-surface, trim and extend surfaces, and model them with the new NX Nastran Edge Face glue connection. It’s Ginsu fast.

How about some FEA beam goodness in ST4? This is the third release of Solid Edge Simulation with big jumps in functionality each release.

Now I’ve mostly left the synchronous stuff out, so how about a new synchronous web network? This tool brings synchronous technology to the creation of ribs in your parts. Generated from sketches, you have more options and the joy of controlling them with Live Rules. Go ahead, smack your grandma.

Drafting is dead and we don’t care. I lie. We do care! Where do I start… SO many updates… All I can say, is that I saw more developers working on drafting than there are speckled ducks on the Yangtze River. We also know in drafting, it’s not about the big things. Drafting is about the details (our drafting product manager taught me that joke.) Originally, I typed out a long list of Solid Edge ST4 drafting enhancements, but it doubled my post size. So, I recommend you go to this ST4 Drafting Youtube playlist (4 videos just on drafting!)

OK, the Josh Mings I’m trying to channel is going “Dude! I’m not this wordy!” There is more to ST4 and you’ll likely be seeing other talking about the ST4 Event we are having for the release. Join me on Twitter and keep your eyes open. Susan Cinadr, our fab Marketing Manager at Siemens PLM, has a post here. Oh, and looky, a SlideShare below with more information.

Solid Edge ST4

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Josh is founder and editor at, founder at Aimsift Inc., and co-founder of EvD Media. He is involved in engineering, design, visualization, the technology making it happen, and the content developed around it. He is a SolidWorks Certified Professional and excels at falling awkwardly.