IRONCAD vs Fusion 360 Lesson 12
3D Modeling Techniques Defined
Feature Based Modeling

These articles started out as product comparisons, but quickly turned into a study in 3D modeling techniques.

I truly cannot believe that a part this simple can be as complex as the Fusion 360 presenter makes it. You can see it takes at least 10 times as long as I take with what I have coined "Streamlined Sketching". If you model this way I could not hire you. I can only imagine how long a complex part would take with this heavy sketching and constraining. Constraining is not necessary in any case, what every you gain in modifying by editing the sketch is defeated by the time it takes to set it up.

First watch the Video.

Fusion 360 Challenge of the Month: August 2017

Here is the drawing.

IronCAD vs Fusion 360

Watch how simple this part can be with "Streamlined Sketching".

Here is IronCAD. My default is inches, so let's get started.

For this part we will start with a sketch. Using the Extrude Wizard create a standalone sketching plane into the scene using the extrude wizard.

Note: 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.

As you can see it sets it up ready for your sketch. We could set the extrusion depth but we can easily do that later. This is called feature based modeling.

We will Sketch the two base lines using the right mouse button allows us to edit the lines as we enter them. You can see I have set the horizontal length to 3.38 and angled line length to 1.5 by 120 degrees.

Now we offset the lines .38.

Then just connect the ends and we are done with the sketch. I do this in steps to show you the process. You can see how simple and fast this is. Red dots indicate that the profile is not complete and ready for the extrusion. We also have a sketching only function that does not automatically create the part and allows the sketch to be free form.

I really have no idea why the Fusion 360 presenter would do it any other way. It seems so obvious to me even in Fusion 360 this would be a better and faster way to model this part.

We select finish and edit the size to 1.76.

We put in our .88 and .43 blends and we are done with the basic shape. The Fusion 36 fellow is still sketching the bottom shape.

Now for the slot. We drag a hole slot from the catalog on to the bottom face and size it by defining it in the dialog box.

We move the triball to the center of the right radius and locate it to the center of the .88 radius. This is what makes IronCAD the fastest conceptual 3D CAD design program. Most of the sketching is not required. You can compare this step to the amount of time the Fusion 360 presenter took! Again this is an example of feature based design.

I am not sure why the Fusion 360 presenter made putting in a custom hole so complicated. Doesn't Fusion 360 recognize centers of existing features? Hard to believe.

We go to the tools tab in the catalog and drag a custom hole on the affected face. We define the hole we want from the dialog box to the center of the fillet. No need to move it later.

We now, using the Triball, link the hole to the center of the other fillet and we are done. The triball is incredibly sophisticated and works with features, parts and assemblies. It alone increases your productivity 2X. Don't let the Triball imitators fool you this feature adds an incredible level of flexibility no other 3D CAD system match.

We are now ready for the rib. This rib is just too simple to use a rib function we will drop a sketch on the front fact and do our basic sketch, again using the extrude wizard. This time we will set the depth to .25.

All we do is project the two edges and edit them.

Now to connect the ends and we are done. When we finish the sketch our rib is complete.

Now as you can guess we use the Triball to move it into place and we are done. Feature based design is incredibly productive.

We are done with the part in one tenth the time. Go ahead send it off the manufacturing. They surely don't care how the part was modeled they are probably getting a STEP file.

I know much of this seems a bit strange. I get arguments about constrain sketching only for them to have to agree it is not necessary. Even the most experienced Creo and other Solidworks clone users have to face facts. I know this is not the way they taught you. But most of you have not taken any descriptive geometry classes and are wasting incredible amounts of time.

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 CAD Modeling Techniques

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.