3D Modeling Techniques 
IRONCAD vs Solidworks Lesson Ten
 Streamlined Sketching/Feature Based Modeling
 Two Similar Parts and AIDs: Two Files

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.

Download IronCAD/Inovate and take the one day and 17 lesson course. I get rave reviews from my new customers. Give it a try, this is a fully functional 30 day evaluation with all of the native translators so you have access to your legacy engineering information.

IronCAD Self-Pace Training Course

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, Onshape, 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.

Solidworks Bracket Lesson 10

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.

Solidworks is a marginal 3D CAD system based on the dated Pro/e (Creo) history based modeling system. I have sold this product years ago and 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.

Is 3D CAD Productivity an Oxymoron?

IronCAD vs Solidworks and the Pro/e Paradigm

29 Years of 3D CAD Incompatibility - The New Generation of 3D CAD!!

IronCAD vs Solidworks

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 very good.

As with my Ironcad vs Fusion 360 exercises I have found the same problems with Solidworks. 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?

Let's get started!

You will see with Streamlined Sketching and Feature Based modeling is much more productive and flexible. It gives you a more real world feel to your design process and is a much more pleasurable and productive experience.

We will start with -1 Bracket

We set the units to mm

We drag and drop a block from the Standard Shapes Catalog into the scene and size it.

Many of you Solidworks and similar system users will notice we don't have any planes available. IronCAD is not based on defined planes. The plane is part of the the feature.

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.

We now drag and drop a Cylinder to the mid point of the aft edge of the block and size it. This makes the move of the cylinder to the correct location an no brainer.

Using the Triball we move the cylinder into the correct location and rotate it.

We drag and drop a block onto center of the boss and size it as shown

We drag and drop a cylinder at the center of the boss and size it.

We drag and drop a on to the aft block and size it.

We pull the two blocks together to create the common edge

Now we create the center rib with two blocks and size them.

We put in the blends

Now for the holes. For the hole in the boss we just drag and drop a hole cylinder to the center and size it. But for the two counterbored holes we will use the Custom Hole Tool. We drag and drop a Custom on the mid-point of the face and size it in the dialog box.

Again using the triball we locate the hole using the "Edit Distance from Point"

Again using the Triball we will mirror link the hole. We move the Tribal to the mid-point of the part by selecting the space bar, onces set we will again hit the spacebar that makes the Triball active and select the inner relative axis and use the mirror link option.

Now we just add the blends. We turn off the catalog. Usually we use it in autohide mode.

We are done with the part!

This part was done with no sketching. IronCAD has robust sketching but with IronCAD you usually design in a specific order. Now you can always start with a sketch and go from there but usually your start by dragging and dropping shapes.

  • Drag and Drop
  • Sketching
  • Direct Edit
  • Surfacing

Now to create a similar part -2

First thing we do is copy and paste the part. I renamed the first part -1 and the new part -2 and suppress, we can do this because IronCAD is a single model environment.

We suppress the blends. We select all of the feature we are going to move we deactivate the Triball and set it to global and locate it to the center of the boss and move it using the "Edit Distance from Point".

We rotate 10 degrees.

We pull the blocks to the common edges,

We unsuppress the blends. We have to edit the 2mm blends as did the Solidworks presenter. We are done with the part.

Now we are ready for the AIDs (drawings)

We have two files for the two parts and AIDs.

Here is -1 detailed

When we create sheet 2 and set it to configuration -2 Bracket

This is 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.

Is 3D CAD Productivity an Oxymoron?

Five Functions that Increase 3D CAD Productivity!!

Please review the earlier exercises.

IronCAD vs Solidworks

You can see more on modeling techniques here.

3D Modeling Techniques Defined

If you would like to try IronCAD, please download for a 30 day evaluation.

If you would like more information or download IronCAD

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.

TECH-NET Engineering Services!

We sell and support IronCAD and ZW3D Products and
provide engineering services throughout the USA and Canada!

 Why TECH-NET Sells IronCAD and ZW3D

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.