3D Modeling Techniques 
IRONCAD vs Solidworks Lesson Twelve
 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.

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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, 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 Cover Lesson 12

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.

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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 Cover

We set the units to mm

This is going to be a fun exercise.

First thing were are going to do is drag and drop a block from the shapes catalog and size it to 350 X 350 X 120. It will all make sense in a bit.

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.

IronCAD's sketching planes are an integrated part of the feature. So we do not have starting planes. It does have a basic coordinate system with planes but they get more in the way then help.

This part is made up of two sketches will create the first standalone sketch at the middle of the block.

I will just create the sketch, it is very similar to all 3D CAD package.

The left button is explicit and the right button give you the option to set the size of most entities. I am creating a line and it is asking me the size and angle.

I am showing this function. We will mirror the line.

We project the edge since we will be set to remove. We clean up the sketch, notice we do not create any constraints.

Now I copy and paste the sketch to create the second sketch and name them both top and bottom.

I will edit the top sketch.

We clean it up.

We will now drag and drop a sphere from the catalog and set it to 340 at the middle of the bottom of the block.

Now we will drag and drop another sphere set it to 320 and locate it at center of the first sphere.

Of course we can see it. Now my method of my madness should be coming apparent.

We will suppress the 320 sphere and select the top sketch extrude options and set it to remove to create the top of the part.

We will now unsuppress the 320 sphere and select the bottom sketch extrude option and set it remove. We make sure the top extrusion is before the bottom.

We no drag and drop and hole block and size it to include the spheres and block. I call this feature based modeling. We will also suppress the top and bottom sketches for future use. You can set it to not consume the sketches.

We now have our cover ready for the next step of drafting the faces.

First will use the Draft Face function on the bottom faces.

Now for the top faces. We use the Draft Face function again but this time use the parting line option.

We will now add the blends.

We just shell it.

We are done with the part.

A different view. You many have noticed the catalog is gone. You mostly use it in the Autohide mode for more design area.

Now to create a similar part -2 Cover

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

We delete the the blends and all the three features that make up the top shape.

Now we have the base shape. We will copy the top sketch and rename it to top -2 cover.

We will edit the top -2 cover by deleting the outer edges since we are going to extrude add

we extrude the sketch to break through the shape and set to remove

Using the same sketch we are going to extrude add to 20mm

The next step is completely unbelievable to a Solidworks clone user. We are going to select the feature in the scene browser (history) or display with the right mouse button and select Surface Reshaping.

Each feature can be edited individually.

We select the end section, taper with the start taper at extreme point and set the angle at 20.

This is only a function that is unique to IronCAD.

You can learn more about this powerful functionality here.

Learning IronCAD! Lesson 4
IronCAD Intellishape Deconstructed
What are we Dragging and Dropping?

We draft the faces as shown on the -1 Cover

We create the blends.

Shell the part and we are done.

This was a fun part with some unique solutions.

Now we are ready for the AIDs (drawings)

When you create a 3D model from a drawing you have to do a detailed AID to assure you have duplicated the drawing. You should also have someone check it if it is in a production environment.

All You Wanted to Know About Drawing to 3D Conversions

We have two files for the two parts and AIDs.

Here is -1 COVER detailed

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

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

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