3D Modeling Techniques 
IRONCAD vs Solidworks Lesson Seven
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.

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.

This lesson is a bit of a twofer. It is a comparison between KeyCreator (CADKEY) and Solidworks.

KeyCreator is a direct edit only CAD system. I sold CADKEY and KeyCreator for over 31 years in 1987 and lost the product in 2009 when they went to direct sales. I would be selling it today. It is a very flexible direct edit system but a bit clunky for design. You need both history and direct edit for highly productive modeling. I quickly moved to IronCAD in 1998 for all my solid modeling only using KeyCreator for some hybrid modeling. But our other product, ZW3D, offers much more hybrid modeling functionality.

The 1980's - 3D CAD - The Beginning

The 1990's - 3D CAD/CAM Moves to the PC!!

It works only with levels and the level management becomes quite a chore. Even though both IronCAD and KeyCreator are single model environment IronCAD has much better way of displaying and manipulating the parts, by hiding, showing and suppressing. ZW3D has just too many advantages over KeyCreator to even get into it.

But KeyCreator offers 2X productivity over Solidworks not only in ease of modeling but the single model environment, even with the levels is miles above the separate part and assembly environment of Solidworks.

Please watch both presentation separately. I have tens of thousand of hours on KeyCreator, being introduced to CADKEY in 1986 and I am a bit surprised how the presenter modeled this part. Much of KeyCreator modeling is done by sketching. By avoiding sketching and showing off a few unique commands, he makes this a much more complex process. He does not take advantage of earlier shapes and depends on what KeyCreator calls DDE (Dynamic Dimension Editing). I do have KeyCreator 2016 (Part of a consulting contract with Kubotek) and I could do it quite a bit simpler.

Direct edit is very fast modeling system with 2D to 3D conversions but suffers hugely as a design product without the flexibility of history design. You really need both to productive 3D CAD modeling.

Even with the use of the extra unique commands, KeyCreator easily outperforms Solidworks on this simple part.

TUTORIAL 54: Solidworks / KeyCreator (Tool Engaged)

Here is the drawing if you would like to give it a try.

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 vs KeyCreator

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?

KeyCreator offers a much different design experience. Designing with no history is relatively easy. Much simpler than the constrained sketched history based systems such as Solidworks. But direct edit only does not offer the flexibility of history based modeling. IronCAD with both history and direct editing integrated and available in the design process, then add the new dimension of drag and drop design it easily outperforms both.

Let's get started!

We are using the newly released IronCAD 2019!

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 front face and size it.

We add the 45R fillet! Now for the two bosses. We drag and drop a cylinder on the front face size it and located it with the Triball.

Now we take the existing boss, using the Triball copy, size it and move it to the new location.

We will now create a sketch for the wall. We will use the Extrude Wizard Tool that instantly create the extrusion. We project the original edge then create an offset and project the relevant edges. Trim or extend as necessary.

Notice: We did not constrain any of the sketched features. This is what I have coined Streamlined sketching.

We select okay which completes our wall. We drag and drop another block on the front face, locate and size it.

We select the rib and locate the Triball only by tapping the spacebar and move it to the front center of the boss. Then copy it to the center of the face of the other boss and rotate and then adjust the length to the back face.

The we drag a hole cylinder to the two faces of the bosses and size them.

We drag and drop the first hole size and locate it, using the Triball we link and locate the other holes. Linking them allows then to all reflect any changes to one.

Now for the most time consuming process adding the fillets.

There you go. So much simpler and faster than either the Solidworks or KeyCreator exercises.

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.