PLM, PDM, MBE, MBD, PMI, realistic rendering etc, have little to do with increased productivity, more than likely hinders it. Yet, these are the things the Major CAD systems are focused. 3D modeling functionality basically has hit its end, probably around 2010. I use that date, because it was the year that Solidworks included direct edit functionality.
The Major CAD systems know that and have to make 3D CAD more than modeling parts, just to keeping your maintenance current. Autodesk and PTC have even given up on that and just went directly to subscription only. It truly time to break the hold they have on us!
You are Not Stuck with Autodesk
3D Modeling is the basis for our engineering. That is the only place where productivity is paramount. You can have all the PLM/MBE gurus debating data management in their ivory towers, but it does not add one smidgen of productivity to the design process.
I have coined two design processes that I have found I use as compared to the conventional sketching and modeling practices used by the Solidworks and Fusion 360 users in the exercises below. I have found a few that do use these techniques and wonder why they are so much faster with their work. We are talking an increase of 10X in productivity and more.
This is where there are no constrains required. Mostly applying descriptive geometry to your sketching techniques. This process alone can increase productivity 10X. Don't believe me? Review a few of the exercises below. It shows up in both Solidworks and Fusion 360 below. Both of the presenters have learned the Pro/e constrain, constrain, sketching process. Very time consuming. Many are in this box and it is time to step out into a much more productive sketching process.
Here is an example of what PTC calls a 3D modeling challenge that consisted of only two sketches and some blends. This is an example of the limited view from the Pro/e clones which dominate our Industrial/Mechanical industry today.
High Speed Sketching in Creo? What?
Feature Based Modeling
I have watched the Solidworks and Fusion 360 presenters in the following exercises sketch features that could have easily been put in later. They sketch fillets or blends and other shapes that take up a huge amount of time consuming constraining. I will use the shelling command instead of sketching profiles. You will also see how I use primitive shapes to cut 30% of our design time. Sketching is part of our design process but not the whole process. Take some time to review the following exercises and see if you can incorporate some of these very productive design techniques.
This is one of the more blatant examples of feature based modeling as compare to extensive sketching.
IRONCAD vs Solidworks Lesson Three
ZW3D vs Solidworks Lesson Three
Here are some interesting comparisons with IronCAD and ZW3D and Fusion 360 and Solidworks. It started as product comparisons and quickly moved to a study in modeling techniques. Review a few of the exercises. Be sure to review both package comparisons it is an eye opener.
Effective 3D CAD Modeling Techniques
Top Down or In-Context Modeling
I have gone one step further and created some more modeling technique lessons based on this Assembly. You can see the differences between these two packages. Take a look, it was a lot of fun.
Here are other Viewpoints on the 3D CAD Industry
TECH-NET Engineering Services!
If you would like more information or to download ZW3D or IronCAD
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.