3D Modeling Techniques 
ZW3D vs Solidworks Lesson Six
Streamlined Sketching/Feature Based Modeling

I saw some Fusion 360 exercises online and I decided to compare ZW3D. 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 ZW3D 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 '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 ZW3D comparison lessons, there are some very stark differences.

This lesson is a bit of a twofer. It is a comparison between KeyCreator (CADKEY) and Solidworks.

KeyCreator is a direct edit only CAD system. I sold CADKEY and KeyCreator for over 31 years in 1987 and lost the product in 2009 when they went to direct sales. I would be selling it today. It is a very flexible direct edit system but a bit clunky for design. You need both history and direct edit for highly productive modeling. I only using KeyCreator for some hybrid modeling. But I have moved to ZW3D, it offers much more hybrid modeling functionality.

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It works only with levels and the level management becomes quite a chore. Even though both ZW3D and KeyCreator are single model environment ZW3D has much better way of displaying and manipulating the parts, by hiding, showing and suppressing. ZW3D has just too many advantages over KeyCreator to even get into it.

But KeyCreator offers 2X productivity over Solidworks not only in ease of modeling but the single model environment, even with the levels is miles above the separate part and assembly environment of Solidworks.

Please watch both presentation separately. I have tens of thousand of hours on KeyCreator, being introduced to CADKEY in 1986 and I am a bit surprised how the presenter modeled this part. Much of KeyCreator modeling is done by sketching. By avoiding sketching and showing off a few unique commands, he makes this a much more complex process. He does not take advantage of earlier shapes and depends on what KeyCreator calls DDE (Dynamic Dimension Editing). I do have KeyCreator 2016 (Part of a consulting contract with Kubotek) and I could do it quite a bit simpler.

Direct edit is very fast modeling system with 2D to 3D conversions but suffers hugely as a design product without the flexibility of history design. You really need both to productive 3D CAD modeling.

Even with the use of the extra unique commands, KeyCreator easily outperforms Solidworks on this simple part.

TUTORIAL 54: Solidworks / KeyCreator (Tool Engaged)

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.

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ZW3D vs Solidworks vs KeyCreator

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.

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 feature based design, 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?

These lessons have actually turned into exercises in modeling techniques as compared to showing a more productive CAD systems. Again, I say, there are many different ways to model a part. I see with my exposure to direct edit modelers like CADKEY, I rarely sketch like you see the Solidworks fellow doing. I have always created my basic sketches by mostly creating offsets and extending and trimming or. It seems to be much easier. I never put in a fillet that can be created later. What do you think?

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

We insert a primitive block and size it

We add a second block and size it and set it to add.

We add the 45R and proceed to create the bosses. We create the left boss first. We insert a primitive cylinder of the front face centered on the corner.

In the same command we locate it from the lower left point using offset: 83 in the "X" and 102 in the "Y" and set to add.

We do the same with the right boss.

We create a sketch to extrude the wall. We first project references of the necessary lines. We unlink the reference lines to create construction lines.

We offset the lines and arc to establish the inside face of the wall.

We trim the lines and our sketch is ready.

Notice: We did not constrain any of the sketched features. This is what I have coined Streamlined sketching.

We exit the sketch and extrude the wall.

Now for the webs we insert a block on the corner of the front face and size it. We use the offset command to locate it we set it to add.

We do the same thing on the other side.

We insert a cylinder size it locate it set to remove.

We pattern the hole

We insert the two holes in the bosses using center of curvature an size them.

Now for the most time consuming step the fillets.

There you go. So much simpler and faster than either the Solidworks or KeyCreator exercises.

Please review other exercises.

ZW3D vs Solidworks

ou can see more on modeling techniques here.

3D Modeling Techniques Defined

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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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