3D Modeling Techniques 
IRONCAD vs 2 Solidworks Lesson Nine
 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.

Comparison I

Solidworks Swing Arm

Comparison II

It really is tough for me to sit through a constrained sketching lesson. I wonder if PTC had any draftsman with any descriptive geometry skills when developing this concept. There should have been an alternative sketching process. I was trained in 3D CAD prior to the constrained sketching and we basically did it like we did on the drafting board. I am sure many of you have experienced non-constrained sketching with Autocad.

You can see here how tortuous and time consuming constrained sketching is.

Solidworks Model Mania 2000

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

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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 and the other major systems. 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 SWING ARM

We are already in inches so let's get started.

We drag and drop a cylinder into the scene and size it.

Many of you Solidworks 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 Sphere on to center of the cylinder and size it.

We drag and drop another cylinder to the bottom of the shape, size it and locate it.

Using the Extrude Wizard we set up a sketch plane and orient it and sketch the shape.

It will automatically extrude to the set distance.

We drag and drop a hole cylinder to the center of the shape and size it.

We drag and drop a hole cylinder to the top center of the boss and set the size.

Using the triball we center and link the hole to the bottom of the boss.

We now select all of the features the make up the boss, turn on the triball, locate it to the center and rotate it 45 degrees and link it.

Linking make it an associated copy.

Now for the final boss. We drag and drop a cylinder to the center of the boss to orient it and size it.

Again using the triball we rotate it the 45 degrees and locate and rotate it the 6 degrees.

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

Now for the inside. We drag and drop a hole cylinder to the bottom face and size it. eWe do this last to makes sure all of feature were cleaned up, I was quite surprised that the Solidworks presenter used direct edit to remove the extraneous shapes.

Now we drag and drop a hole sphere to the center of the new hole cylinder size it.

We add the blends and we are done with the part.

Now to create a similar part -2 SWING ARM

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

The first thing we do is delete the blends. We resize the sphere and cylinder and move the base ring.

We move the the two bosses.

Now for the other boss. We use the triball since we are going to move it in a global move we set the triball to global and move it from the center of the bottom of the cylinder

We not have to resize the inside cylinder and sphere.

Now the blends.

We are done.

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

We copy sheet one and set the views for the -2 part configuration and all of the views and section views are updated.

You can see the dimensions are disassociated. We can reassociate many but in this case we are going to reference -1 and show the dimensions that have changed. You can see the section views are windowed and we are being asked if we want the section views updated.

We okay the upgrade and delete the unwanted dimensions.
We detail the differences.

Here is sheet 2 and -2 detailed

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?

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Please review other exercises

IronCAD vs Solidworks

IronCAD vs Fusion 360




IronCAD vs Inventor

IronCAD vs Solid Edge

You can see more on modeling techniques here.

3D Modeling Techniques Defined

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