3D Modeling Techniques
ZW3D vs Solidworks Lesson Two
Primitive Shapes & Sketching
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 ZW3D comparison lessons, there are some very stark differences.

Please watch a Solidworks user model this part!

How Can I Draw? | 3D Part (exercise 3) Solidworks Tutorial

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. ZW3D is all top down due to the multi-object 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.

ZW3D 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 ZW3D support to create one. They are very good.

We are already in millimeters. So we can start modeling.

Again I instantly differ from the Solidworks presenter by inserting a primitive block at X0Y0Z0 and sizing it.  We have a variety of options for creating the blocks, we will use center and height.  This block makes up the base of the part. While he is concerned about sketching, I am thinking of basic shapes of the part. 

Note: Pro/e clones have been starting with the sketch for almost 30 years. Even today the sketch is the only option in most programs.

I will do the next step two different ways. One with inserting primitive shapes and the other by sketching. I only show the sketching to show feature based modeling.

Modeling with Primitives.

We insert a primitive block using corner and height on the lower corner locate and size. We use the lower corner so we can use the dimension in the drawing directly.

Note: It takes a bit of playing with the blocks to get proficient. I have introduced many of our user to this function. I believe using primitives effectively can increase your productivity 30%.

Now for the next block. You can instantly see the difference. We think in terms of shapes instead of sketches.

We are done with the basic shape in 3 functions. Compare that to the poor Solidworks presenter who is still sketching.

Modeling with sketches

ZW3D is very similar to Solidworks. In the beginning it was a sketching only package. I really never cared for all of the planes that had to be created with this design paradigm and it took me awhile to start using them. I would never use that kind of system for my design works and I used what I sold. When I picked up ZW3D I had to learn it.

Here is how I sketch, it is much, much different than the Solidworks and Fusion 360 presenters that look like they were trained by the same instructor. I have coined my sketching process Streamline Sketching. It can be 10X plus more productive than sketch, sketch, constrain, constrain!

We again insert a block and size it. It would be silly to sketch a block.

Now take a look at how I sketch. I do offsets from the bottom edge. ZW3D is incredible that you do not have to create a reference line to create the offset. I created the horizontal lines of 28mm from the bottom edge then 12mm from the new line. I do the same with the vertical lines. I create the end lines by just connecting the dots.

Now I just trim the lines and I am done with the sketch. Compare to the Solidworks presenter, putting in lines point to point the defining the lengths. You could easily do this in Solidworks hugely cutting the modeling time .

We exit the sketch and extrude the profile.

You can see the time savings involved modeling this way. It seems like those that designed the Pro/e paradigm were a bit architectural. Drawing from point to point. then constraining the lines and arcs with dimensions. Mechanical drafters slid triangles, used T-squares or drafting machines to create parallel horizontal and vertical lines to define the square parts. I, of course, continue in this tradition cutting my modeling time.

Both of the above process are much faster than, what seems to be, Conventional Sketching. I call this feature based, because we focus on the shape more than the sketch.

Now for the next cut. We actually do this very much like the Solidworks presenter. I create a 3D line and place it on the front face at 45 degrees.

I am not used to modeling this way so it was a bit of a learning curve.

I need to trim the line to the to upper front edge of the part. ZW3D does not recognize the intersection. I just create a line on the intersecting edge, then I use trim/extend to corners.

I deleted the construction line and create the vertical line. I use create line along direction the the correct height.

We will now create a plane with three points.

We insert a primitive block and pull it and size it.

We clean up the view by deleting or blanking the construction entities and we are done. You can see that I offer a much different, more efficient and productive modeling technique.

Please review other exercises.

ZW3D vs Solidworks

ZW3D vs Fusion 360

ZW3D vs Creo

ZW3D vs NX


ZW3D vs Inventor

ZW3D vs Solid Edge

ou can see more on modeling techniques here.

3D Modeling Techniques Defined

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