IRONCAD Tutorial Video Deconstructed!
3D Modeling Techniques Defined
A New Level of 3D CAD Design!
Far Beyond Drag and Drop!

I got into a discussion with Richard Serna, Sales VP of IronCAD. I told him the way I do IronCAD tutorials, showing a documented step by step process, while he the preferred the video based approach. Finally we agreed that both together should provide a much better learning experience.

You can see all of my comparisons to the major products in this article.

3D Modeling Techniques Defined

I this article Solidworks claims you can learn "Solidworks in 5 minutes. We claim you can learn IronCAD in 1 minute! It is quite humorous!

Learning IronCAD in ONE Minute!

Now Richard is no stranger to doing video here he took the above article and created this video "Learn IronCAD in Two Minutes"! Richard is English and is also know as  “IronCAD's Geico Gecko!” When you watch the video you will see why!

IRONCAD Tutorial Video Deconstructed!

I saw this IronCAD Tutorial Video presented by Cary O'Conner IronCAD VP of Marketing. Both Cary and I have been with IronCAD since the very beginning. He is very familiar with IronCAD and give a great presentation. Myself, I have been selling, supporting, training and using the product in my own mechanical design business.

As a user, you don't keep up on most of the latest features and don't dig into many of the capabilities you are mostly focused on getting job done.

I have worked closely with another IronCAD dealer that was doing the Webinars. He is great with doing live presentations. As I would watch I would see many things I did not use or even realize were there.

That is one of the wonderful things in watching a Video of another person using a CAD system that you use. But Videos are fine, but unless the presenter is meticulously going through each step it is a bit difficult to follow.

One fellow that represents another CAD system said I should create videos, because I compared his product in a couple of articles to step by step instructions with images. Well, in his videos that are comparisons to Solidwork doing the same model showing how his product is faster. Nothing surprising there there are many products that out perform Solidwork especially IornCAD and ZW3D.

His Videos show him going to obscure icon to obscure icon, yes, showing it being done much faster, but leaving you in mystery about how he did it.

Here is Cary's video. As I watched I could not keep up with the commands he used. He went very fast and was using command I was not familiar. So I decided to "deconstruct" the process and show it to you as a step by step tutorial.


So let's get deconstructing

We start with a new file. I have locked the catalog so we can see it. You mostly work with it with the auto-hide option to have more space to work.

The first thing we do is drag and drop a block into the scene and size it.

Why does IronCAD call it a scene instead of a workspace? IronCAD was first released as a graphic design program called Trispectives. It still has much of the graphic design functionality. It truly is a wonderful mixture of professional 3D CAD and graphic design, which puts it in a much more flexible category as compared to the Pro/e (Creo) clones.

We now drag and drop a cylinder to the mid-point of the block. IronCAD offer a variety of points mid-points of feature like here, ends of lines, mid-points of lines, centers of circles automatically. We set the height to match the block the pull the handle to match the edge of the block. We do this by holding down the shift key to recognize these point.

We now drag and drop a cylinder to the top face and set the size. The nice thing about watching someone else model is you learn a new trick or two. I have been using IronCAD for 21 years and just found we could do this. We just hold the shift key down and move it into place with the quadrant tangent with the edge.

We size the cylinder to match the block

We drag and drop a custom hole from the tool catalog.

We select the boss and hole.

We activate the Triball and hit the space key to move the Triball only to the center of the cylinder.

We turn the Triball on by hitting the space key and select the relative small handle inside the Triball and select mirror link.

We turn off the Triball and select the new hole and boss turn on the Triball and mirror link the selected features.

We set the feature selection to intellishapes and window the complete part. We turn on the Triball and deactivate it and move it to the center at the bottom of the shape and up 20mm and activate it.

Like Cary says planes are not part of IronCADs history. Planes are implied or part of the feature. The Triball is used through out the design process in the place of defining planes.

Again we select the relative inside handle and mirror link. Linking allow the ability to change either of the shapes and the other will also change.

Now we will create the loft. I have found that we use extrude about 70% of the time, spin/revolve 15%, sweep 10% and loft about 5%. So in this case, Cary is showing how the the loft feature works. I would probably use a spin/revolve which would be much easier to define and control.

We select the Loft Wizard and locate the origin in center of the bottom shape that will bring up dialog box! Which we will select Add Material.

We now specify how many sections we need.

We select the type of Cross-Sections and locator curve.

We set the type to custom cross-section and profile locater curve

We snap the length of the line to bottom of the top shape.

We create our first circle.

We use the Triball to locate the sketch plane at 15mm. Cary rushed through this function, it is very simple, but has defined steps. 

We use the circle radius command. If you use the right mouse button the dialog will come up and you can input the radius. The options is in all of the entity creation commands. Makes design much, much easier than constraining them.

We select next and locate the plane and create the circle. The Triball has many location options we use "Edit Distance from Center Point' and locate the sketch plane at

We do the same with the next section and then the final section.

We are done with our loft.

Now for the rib we drop it on the mid-point of the top edge of the bottom shape. IronCAD recognizes center, edge and mid-points. We set the size.

We just edit the relative handle by subtracting the 1.8mm

We now create the taper by just rotating the shape. We can adjust the size a bit if required after the move. You move the Triball only by selecting the spacebar.

We will now create a pattern by selecting the pattern command selecting the feature we want to pattern, select 4 and the axis which would be defined by any relative cylindrical feature.

You can also use the Triball, it has full move, copy and pattern functions.

You change the selection filter to edges of intellispheaps and pick one rib and the lofted shape and select blend and set it to one. 

I missed the 2mm radius change but we can change it later.

With the boss no one would design the way Cary since it would be impossible to detail. So I will take the dimension from the drawing to locate the end of the boss. I do this by creating the boss like Cary then moving the Triball to global so I can easily locate it.

The Triball allows a massive amount of design flexibility.

Now we just lock the Triball axis in the relative positions and select from point to define the location.

We pull the cylinder to assure it is inside the part.

And we are done with the feature. Now we will show you a bit of intellishape functionality. We can set the blend by editing the new cylinder intellishape. I probably don't use this funtionality as much as I should.

IronCAD Intellishape Deconstructed - What are we Dragging and Dropping?

We create a hole by dragging and dropping a hole cylinder on the face of the boss, size it a pull it into the part

We now will add some fillets. Cary must have had an immediate mode command but you can  easily turn on the hidden lines by a command on the Status Bar down below that allows you to set the rendering. You can also do it for the complete scene by right clicking in the scene that brings up the scene options dialog box

We turn the hidden lines off. Now we are going to create the last feature and we will do it by creating a plane and sketching it. Like Cary said we could drag and drop the shape by we want to show how to sketch it.

We create a sketch plane normal to the top face in the center of the circle.

We move it to the location from which we are going to extrude.

We now move to the middle of the top shape.

Now we will create using our center rectangle using the right mouse button which will bring up a input dialog box and we put in 30 x 2.

Using the extrude command we will extrude to faces. This is to avoid intruding into our holes. But we could just move the holes after the extrusion.

Cary shows off a bit with the intellishape funtionality. He should IronCAD is the only CAD system that has it. I am not sure who thought it up but they were incredibly clever. Lots of things in IronCAD are brilliant.

We now will add a through hole by dragging and dropping a hole cylinder to the center of the top shape and pull it through to the bottom and size it.

Now for the bottom counter bore. We drag a hold cylinder and hold the shift key down which locate it at the center we size it and we are done.

Here is our final part.

If you would like to do this exercize here is the AID (Associated Information Document) no drawing done here.

It is very important that you look into how you or your engineers are creating the parts. Streamline Sketching and Feature Based Modeling is easy to learn and implement. It, alone, will increase productivity 10X. Now, IronCAD with its unique integrated history/direct edit functionality can increase your productivity another 5X or more with changes! Again, time is money in engineering.

More on Streamline Sketching and Feature Based Modeling.

3D Modeling Techniques Defined

To experience this increased level of productivity, please download IronCAD for a 30 day evaluation. Legacy data is no problem, IronCAD can read the native files of all of the popular programs. IronCAD is a great replacement for the subscription only Autodesk and PTC products.

Give me a call if you have any questions. I can set up a skype or gotomeeting to show this part or answer any of your questions on the operation of IronCAD. It truly is the very best conceptual 3D CAD system.

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If you are interested in adding professional hybrid modeling capabilities or looking for a new solution to increase your productivity, take some time to download a fully functional 30 day evaluation and play with these packages. Feel free to give me a call if you have any questions or would like an on-line presentation.