3D Modeling Techniques IronCAD vs Solidworks Lesson Three Smart Shapes & Sketching
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.
I have created nine
Fusion 360" lessons to show the difference between IronCAD
and Fusion 360. It soon turned into a study in modeling techniques.
I found the Fusion 360 presenter was wasting massive amounts of time
with overly complex sketching procedures. I was so unimpressed that
I decided to model an assembly, showing my modeling techniques plus
IronCAD's superb design system.
I was quite pleased to have found these exercises from a
Solidworks dealer and thought I would show the difference in my
modeling technique plus the highly productive modeling method
offered by IronCAD. I again find modeling techniques that can easily
be streamlined even within their existing system. I call it feature
based design. Please review a few of the above IronCAD vs Fusion 360
lessons, there are more very stark differences.
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 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.
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 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 sketch, sketch, constrain,
constrain world are truly limited by not using the freedom of
feature based design, 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? This part in IronCAD takes seven basic
Here is IronCAD. My default is inches,
so we will set the units to mm. Let's get started.
I drag and drop a
torus in to the scene and size it, then we set the spin angle.
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.
All of the
intelliShapes are based on sketches, some with modifiers. We just
edit the the cross section. We add the necessary lines and trim the
original circle that the torus was based.
have a filled torus. If there is such a thing??
drag and drop a cylinder to the face of the filled torus and size
shell the shape to 10mm.
This is what
I call feature based modeling. Just editing an existing sketch from
a standard shape dragged and dropped from the catalog. The
Solidworks fellow could have created the filled torus and extruded a
hole, then shelling it, cutting his sketching time immensely. It is
not just IronCAD that is productive it is the modeling techique.
for the holes.
We will drag and drop a hole cylinder on to
the flat portion of the part. We are not worried about the size or
With the triball we correctly locate the hole at the center, size
the hole and rotate it to the correct position.
Now we will move the triball, by tapping the shift key, to the
center of the part and set it to global orientation since the last
move made it catawampus. We now rotate the hole 10 degrees.
rotate and link the other 4 holes.
can see the holes selected in the scene browser. You can pick them
from the scene or the browser. We again move the triball to the
center of the torus, we select the smaller axis handle inside the
triball and mirror link the new holes and we are done, before the
Solidworks presenter is finished with his first sketch.
Here is the part.
another stark examples
of how IronCAD's drag and drop of editable shapes from a catalog and
the use of the Triball can increase productivity 10X in this case. 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