ZW3D vs Fusion 360 Lesson 4 Assembly
3D Modeling Techniques Defined
Streamlined Sketching/Feature Based Modeling

These articles started out as product comparisons, but quickly turned into a study in 3D modeling techniques.

I am not sure if it is due to these exercises but I have replaced a few Fusion 360 with ZW3D. Listen to what one of the fellows said.

"We spoke a year and a half or so ago about ZW3D. I took the Autodesk Fusion 360 but am becoming increasingly unhappy with it… It’s not very productive for me, just too slow and cumbersome to get things done quickly. On on the strength of your recommendations I am ready to give ZW3D Standard a shot, probably as a rental for the first year.

Bottom line is, Fusion 360 is “free” but not really free… I am finding that the slow, clumsy pace of design with it is counterproductive… time is money."

Thanks much, Brian

Again I follow up my IronCAD lesson with a ZW3D lesson. This is a bit different and quite simple. ZW3D has Boolean primitive shapes you can use, nothing like IronCAD but offers an added flexibility.

I saw the following video challenges on LinkedIn and thought I would give them a try on IronCAD. I got a great response and decided to do it in ZW3D. I was very familiar with the parts and did it a bit easier. It shows more the difference in the level of the 3D CAD experience than the CAD system itself. You can Download ZW3D and give it a try.

Fusion 360 Challenge of the Month: December 2016 - Part1

Fusion 360 Challenge of the Month: December 2016 - Part2 

Fusion 360 Challenge of the Month: December 2016 - Part3 

Fusion 360 Challenge of the Month: December 2016 - Part4 

Here is the drawing.

ZW3D is very similar to Fusion 360 and the Pro/e clones with differences that make it much more streamlined. It is very easy for those users to get up and running with ZW3D. The unique benefits over the other systems is the multi-object environment, for easy top down design and the the integrated drawing. You can do complete projects (parts, assemblies and drawings) in one file. Imagine how much this would simplify PDM?

ZW3D vs Fusion 360

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 ZW3D support to create one. They are very good.

Here is ZW3D. We set the units to millimeters.

We will create a multi-object file with the top assembly called the "Pivot Assembly". Like Fusion 360, ZW3D allows all of the parts and assemblies in one file. Neither one are true single model environments since they have a top assembly. Even though parts are separate they still are available for top down or in context design. We did the parts in context for mostly just location, eliminating the need to mate them.

We now insert our components. We do not have to have any graphics to do this. They are basically place holders until we create the parts. We can add parts and subassemblies at any time. We will make the Post Handle and Handle an assembly. Imagine how much easier this is as compared to the clunky process of the other Pro/e clones that force you to have external parts?

Now that we have all of our parts defined we can start creating the part. We will open the Box Pivot.

I have to admit that the Fusion 360 presenter made this part incredibly complicated. If this is the way 3D CAD design is being done, we are wasting thousands of engineering hours.

Fusion 360 could be used much, much more effectively used with feature based design. It looks like many are stuck in this wasteful sketch, sketch, constrain, constrain world. Even when the system offers more productive options, they seem to stick with this convoluted level of design. You can see how I do this simple part in ZW3D which is very similar to Fusion 360. I suppose my familiarity with feature design started with my past experience, first 2D/3D wireframe, Boolean and direct edit design. When I finally did go to history, it was with IronCAD where history and direct edit are completely integrated.

This is mostly design technique, not so much ZW3D. While we do start by creating a Boolean primitive block, the basic functionality of this design process is in all systems.

Let's start with the "Box Pivot" We select a block shape and locate it at X0Y0Z0 and size it.

This part is so simple that it strains all credulity to watch how the Fusion 360 fellow modeled it. We will put in the blends and shell the part. That's it. You can see the 3 steps to do this process in the history tree!

Again we avoid sketching by creating a block at X0Y0Z0 and sizing the block.

We create the fillets and add the holes. Nope, no sketching, in fact, there was not one sketch needed to create this part. We are done with the Box Pivot

We will edit the Post Handle in the Handle Assy. This allows us to create the part with the other parts available for reference. This is called top down or in context design.

I will create a sketch on the XZ planne

We now extrude the bottom part of the Post Handle.

Now add the two Boolean cylinders and we are finished with the part and we rotate it.

Now the handle. We create a reference circle on the mating face. We drop a Boolean sphere on the center and offset 26mm and set the radius to 30mm.

We create a rectangle in the sketch and then extrude. The size is not important since it is to just cut the bottom face.

We then put the hole in the bottom of the handle.

We are now done with the Handle Assembly

Now to create the link. We will edit the part and have the handle assembly available for reference. It is nice to have the mating parts available it eliminates the need to move the part later.

My sketching is a bit simple I created a reference vertical line in the center of the existing circle then offset another line 94mm. Then created the outer circle and created the tangent horizontal lines and extended and trimmed as necessary. All of the dimensioning must drive these guys crazy.

Again I create a sketch by offsetting lines and trimming with a few projected reference lines. No dimensions.

Extrude the sketch.

We drop a block on the end, size it, put on the fillets and put in the hole on the center of the fillets.

All done!! Just too simple.

Might as well put in the pins.

It is very important that you look into how you or your engineers are creating the parts. Streamline Sketching and Feature Based Modeling is easy to learn and implement. It, alone, will increase productivity 10X. Now, ZW3D with its unique history and robust direct edit functionality can increase your productivity another 5X or more with changes! Again, time is money in engineering.

More on Streamline Sketching and Feature Based Modeling

3D Modeling Techniques Defined

To experience this increased level of productivity, please download ZW3D for a 30 day evaluation. Legacy data is no problem, ZW3D can read the native files of all of the popular programs including the PMI data of NX, Solidworks, Catia and Creo. ZW3D is a great replacement for the subscription only Autodesk and PTC products.

For more information of to download ZW3D

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 ZW3D. It truly is the Ultimate CAD/CAM System.

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