3D Modeling Techniques 
ZW3D vs Solidworks Lesson
Streamlined Sketching Defined

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 is my second lesson that is based on 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 still 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 powerful hybrid modeling functionality.

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KeyCreator is level based 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. The KeyCreator presenter is touting modeling without "2D". I assume he is talking about sketching. It is funny he says that he is doing 100% 3D yet starts with a sketch, go figure.

The Solidworks user is stuck in the world of constrained sketching.

Sketching Defined

As much as the KeyCreator present touts 3D CADKEY was based on sketching, first in wireframe, then surfacing and then solids. It did have primitive shapes but they were not flexible enough to use in design. I see now the KeyCreator presenter has them available and with those he easily out performs Solidworks.

Constrained Sketching is not parametric design. Many are confused on the nature of parametric design. Pro/e allows you to program your parts and assemblies. Which means your model is driven by parameters, hence, parametric. It really has nothing to do with constrained sketching. But the dimensions are designed in such a way that they can be use as variables.

Parametric Modeling Finally Defined

Not all sketching is equal. The Pro/e clones such has Solidworks train the individual to constrain all sketches. But they do not have to be constrained. I and the KeyCreator presenter uses what I have coined "Streamlined Sketching". Both of us have never used constrained sketching in CADKEY or KeyCreator because it wasn't available. Years ago CADKEY release the parametric module. If they would have stuck with it, we would all be using CADKEY "The Greatest Hybrid Modeling System". But they didn't and now ZW3D owns that mantle!

But that is in the past.

Sketching is part of modeling. If you have primitive shapes that is the first option, then sketching and then direct edit. I could create this part in ZW3D by using primitive shapes but I am going to do it with "Streamlined Sketching" and probably do it just as fast it only has two planes and three sketches.

Here is an example where sketching was the most productive way to make this part. This part is made up of two sketches. No 3D modeling here and there is no way 3D primitive shape modeling can be faster.

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KeyCreator's 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.

KeyCreator easily outperforms Solidworks on this simple part with sketching, Boolean shapes or direct edit on most design. If it was between Solidworks and KeyCreator, KeyCreator would be my tool of choice. But both IronCAD and ZW3D can easily out perform it in most cases. KeyCreator has some very powerful features. Too bad it is priced so high it is a great support tool.

The Solidworks presenter seems to really struggle with this simple part!

TUTORIAL 35: Solidwork / KeyCreator (Tool Engaged)

Here is the drawing if you would like to give it a try. ZW3D has an integrated drawing module, meaning it is included in the part file. You have the parts, sub-assemblies and drawings in one file. Imagine how that would reduce your PDM problem?

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?

I am going to do this model with "Streamlined Sketching"

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

We create a vertical line 75mm and a horizontal line 30mm.

We create a 20mm circle on the ends of the two lines and mirror copy the third.

We add the three tangent lines.

I trim the entities and I am done with my sketch. No constraints.

We exit the sketch and extrude to 10mm

What makes this an easy part to sketch is there are only two planes.

We extrude symmetrical 9mm.

We create the right feature in one sketch. Again notice I am not constraining any of the features. The two dimension were generated by my creating a rectangle 60mm x 44mm

We trim the entities and we are done with our sketch.

Extrude the sketch 32mm symmetrical.

We create the 20mm and 50mm fillets

I know I told you I was going to sketch this part but I cannot bring myself to sketch a hole. In ZW3D we have custom hole functions but I am going to use primitive cylinders. We insert the primitive cylinders and set them to remove and use the center of the arcs to locate.

We insert a primitive cylinder set it to remove size and locate it in one command.

Now for the most time consuming step the fillets and we are done. You can see this part is very simple requiring just three sketches.

Please review other exercises.

ZW3D vs Solidworks

ou can see more on modeling techniques here.

3D Modeling Techniques Defined

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