3D Modeling Techniques 
IRONCAD vs Solidworks Lesson Fifteen
Drag and Drop Design
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.

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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.

Please watch a Solidworks user model this part!

It is tortuous, you would think he would have at least practice once. With all the tedious constrained sketching for this simple part for the Absolute Beginner, you can imagine a complex part?

SolidWorks 2020 2d to 3d Parametric Modeling Tutorial with Explanation

While creating 3D models from drawings 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.

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 and other major CAD systems, 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 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?

As I watch the Solidworks user tortuously sketch this part, I am amazed at the way he does it. I just can't understand struggling with all the constrained dimensioning. This IronCAD exercise took a few minutes and allows for faster and much easier modification. Again these exercises turned into a study of modeling techniques even though most of this model is Feature Based Modeling not available to most of the Solidworks clones.

Here is IronCAD. My default is inches, so we will set the units to mm. Let's get started.

I put the cursor in the scene and right click and select show and pick show the size box dimensions it makes it much easier to work with setting the dimensions. You can save your custom configurations if you want. 

I am going to drag and drop "Part of a Cylinder"  from the catalog into the scene, rotate it into the correct orientation with the Triball and size it. It automatically drops to X0Y0Z0.

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 drag and drop a hole block on the front face and locate and size it. Using the Triball we mirror link the feature.

Using the Extrude Wizard we create a sketch. We will not set the depth, we will define the width and location later.

We project the outside arc and create an offset arc. We create a horizontal line through the center of the arc and create two offset lines. We then project the left vertical edge and we have our basic sketch done.

We trim/extend and delete the reference entities.

We now edit the width of the cut.

Done with sizing the cute we drag and drop a hole cylinder on the side face locate and size it .

We now drag and drop a hole block on the front face and locate and size it.

We drag and drop a block to any square face and size the block.

We drag and drop a block to this face. I will tell you why next.

I We now size the block, by pulling or pushing the handles. There is a small arrow in the upper left corner of the block. We drag and dropped the block no the side assuring that the block was oriented this way.

All of the Intellishapes we drag and drop from the catalog are based on sketches. We will edit the sketch that makes up this block to create the diagonal face.

I will leave it in the Iso View.

We will add the line and set the angle.

We just trim the two lines and delete the vertical line.

We say okay and our web is complete. Except it sticks in to the cavity. I did this on purpose to show how easy it is to revise the location of a feature. Notice the highlited block is not moved before the cuts.

We drag and drop a cylinder on the mid point of right face of the lower block size it and using the Triball we lock it into the plane and move it to the center of the arc and pull it to the 94mm.

We just drag the other end of the cylinder into the arc. Drag and drop a hole cylinder to the center of the boss size it. We now add the fillets on the outside edge of the arcs. I would probably just put them in on both sides but I want to show you again how you can just move them to a prior step. You can see I moved the blend before the center the rib block.

We go to the custom hole function in the tools catalog and drag a hole to the mid-point on the upper left face. We define the hole.

We revise the location of the hole with the Triball, move the Triball only to the center of the arc and mirror link it.

Now we drag and drop a hole cylinder on the top face of the bottom block size it and locate it, then move the Triball only to the mid-point of the bottom block and mirror link it.

We now put in all of the blends. The Solidworks presenter seem to struggle with the blends.

And we are done with the part. No constraints and just two sketches.

Here is the drawing if you would like to create the 3D model.
the small cut at the left side the side view.

You can see more on modeling techniques here.

3D Modeling Techniques Defined

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