3D Modeling Techniques
IRONCAD vs Onshape Lesson One
Streamlined Sketching/Feature Based Modeling
When I introduce IronCAD's very
flexible design paradigm I have a hard time to get the Pro/e clone
users, like Solidworks and other programs, to understand the drag and
drop design paradigm.
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I saw some Fusion 360 exercises online and I decided to compare
IronCAD. It quickly turned into a study in modeling techniques. I have created
many comparisons to Fusion 360, Solidworks, Solid Edge, NX, Creo,
Catia and Inventor
lessons to show the difference between
IronCAD and my modeling techniques. I found the presenters working
identically wasting massive amounts of time
with overly complex constrained sketching procedures. I was so unimpressed that
I decided to model the parts or assemblies showing my modeling techniques plus IronCAD's superb design system.
3D Modeling Techniques Defined
Many of these modeling techniques can easily be implemented even
within their existing system. I call it Streamlined Sketching and
Feature Based Modeling. Please review a few of the above IronCAD
comparison lessons, there are some very stark differences.
I remember when I first
heard of Onshape. I was contact by them to show them IronCAD. I gave
them a presentation. These were some pioneers in the industry even
though they did nothing but plagiarize Pro/e (Creo). I was quite
excited how they were going to implement some of IronCAD's great
features. To my surprise it was nothing but another Solidworks
Now, I realize the goal was to replace Solidworks,
they didn't want the product to look much different and work mostly
the same. This just added another clunky history only, constrained
sketching program to the already crowded field! In my viewpoint it
was a huge mistake, they could have created a new CAD paradigm. They
didn't even put in primitive shapes. As you will see in this
comparison there is nothing new with Onshape.
I thought the
cloud based CAD was very cool. But it was short lasted, I quickly
found this was a history, constrained sketch based system. What was worse you couldn't
save your files locally, in fact there was no file at all. I quickly
took if off my recommendation list. Being a subscription service you
have to pay to access your information. They make your precious
engineering information public if you do not keep your payments up.
If you closed a business, you will have to pay $1500.00 forever to
keep your information private.
Here is the AID that is done in the IronCAD documentation
module. IronCAD's single model environment allows you to do full
projects in one file. The documentation module allows multiple
drawings from the modeling modules so you can do full projects in
two files. Making PDM/PLM much simpler. See this done in this
While creating 3D models from drawing is the very best
way to learn 3D CAD and maybe some design techniques it does not
expose the designer to the design flexibility necessary in design. IronCAD is all top down due to the single model environment.
Creating mating parts is a cruise. But modeling is just one aspect of a
well designed productive 3D CAD system.
is a marginal 3D CAD system based on the dated Pro/e (Creo) history
based modeling system. I became a partner but quickly found
it, like all of the other Solidworks clones, not productive enough
for our engineering department. We use what we sell. That gives us
the experience to effectively support our user base.
try to use it as a collaboration tool, but even that became a
I would do a
video, but I really am not good at it. So I will show you step by
step. I will try and get IronCAD support to create one. They are
As with my Ironcad vs Solidworks exercises
I have found the same problems with Onshape. The modeling
technique is hugely responsible for the level of productivity. Those
of you that are only trained in the complex and time consuming
constrained sketching world are truly limited by not using the freedom of
Streamlined Sketching and Feature Based Modeling, that is available in even the most
Solidworks-ish of CAD systems. If your
designers are designing in these very unproductive and time
consuming processes it might be time to review your standard design
processes. Don't have any do you?
These lessons have actually turned into exercises in
modeling techniques as compared to showing a more productive CAD
systems. Again, I say, there are many different ways to model a part.
I see with my exposure to direct edit modelers like CADKEY, I
rarely sketch like you see the Solidworks fellow doing. I have always
created my basic sketches by mostly creating offsets and extending
and trimming or. It seems to be much easier. I never put in a fillet that
can be created later. What do you think? Let's get started!
We are using the newly released IronCAD
We are set the units to millimeters.
I drag and drop a
block in to the scene and size it.
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 very mechanical
engineering focused Solidworks clones.
Then we drag and drop another block on the top face and size it.
We drag and drop a hole cylinder on
the corner of the block and size it.
will shell the shape by selecting the open faces and select 15mm for
the sides and 25 for the bottom.
for the square boss. We just drag and drop a block and size it.
Now for the center cut. We use the extrude wizard, we place the
sketch plane on the inside face and project the edges.
create our 9mm offset and delete the original entities.
select okay and set the depth. We will drag a Custom Hole to the
midpoint of the square block from the Tool Catalog and size it in
the dialog box.
IronCAD recognizes corners, centers and
midpoints of lines and shapes.
I have pinned the catalog to
the open position so you can see the tool catalog. Most of the time
you work with it hidden, bringing it up when necessary.
for the large bosses. We drag and drop the cylinders on the midpoint
of the top
relative edge. IronCAD drops them perpendicular to the face that you
are looking into in the scene. We size them.
we just drag to hole cylinders to the center of the existing
cylinders and size them.
now add the blends and chamfers and we are done. Just see how much
simpler, easier and faster this design process was. One sketch!
another stark examples
of how Streamlined Sketching and Feature Based Modeling utilizing IronCAD's drag and drop of smart editable
Intellishapes from a catalog and
the use of the Triball can increase productivity easily 5X. I
usually estimate 5X increased productivity in conceptual design and
10X in changes, and I believe I am being conservative. IronCAD can
edit most of the Solidworks clone parts and assemblies faster than it
can be done in the native CAD system.
Give me a call if you have any
questions. I can set up a skype or go to meeting 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.
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