3D Modeling Techniques 
ZW3D vs 2 Solidworks Lesson Eight
 Streamlined Sketching/Feature Based Modeling
 Two Similar Parts and AIDs: Single File

I saw some Fusion 360 exercises online and I decided to compare IronCAD. 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 IronCAD 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.

Solidworks Swing Arm

Comparison II

It really is tough for me to sit through a constrained sketching lesson. I wonder if PTC had any draftsman with any descriptive geometry skills when developing this concept. There should have been an alternative sketching process. I was trained in 3D CAD prior to the constrained sketching and we basically did it like we did on the drafting board. I am sure many of you have experienced non-constrained sketching with Autocad.

You can see here how tortuous and time consuming constrained sketching is.

Solidworks Model Mania 2000

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

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?

Let's get started!

You will see with Streamlined Sketching and Feature Based modeling is much more productive and flexible. It gives you a more real world feel to your design process and is a much more pleasurable and productive experience.

Modeling Technique Note:

There are two similar parts. In IronCAD we have a single model environment, ZW3D offers a Multi-Object environment. As I started these parts I realized I would have two parts to define. So I will start with an assembly that include the two parts. I am wondering it this would also be a viable solution for the Solidworks clones, unless they are already doing it.

So we open an new file by selecting a Multi-Object file type and name it Swing Arm.

We will open a part and name it Swing Arm. This will serve the purpose as the top file.

Under Swing Arm we will insert a component -1

We can now start creating -1. We will insert -2 later when we are done with -1

We insert a primitive cylinder and size it.

We insert a primitive sphere at the center of the top face of the cylinder, set it to add and size it.

We create a sketch on the XZ plane

We create our first boss. We use a reference line to locate the centers of the circles and add the tangent lines. No constrained sketching. I call this streamline sketching.

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

We extrude the profile to 2.75 and set it to add.

We inserts primitive cylinder at the top center circle set to remove and size it. We use the pattern feature and rotate the top hole 180 degrees.

We take those features and pattern them by rotating 45 degrees.

We create a plane at 45 degrees to set up the other boss and create a sketch. We create a line offset -2.4 X 2.35 and set the angle and length to the center of the cylinder.

We insert a primitive cylinder at the end of the line we just created and it automatically set the cylinder parallel we set it to add and size it. How easy!

Now for the hole, just insert another cylinder using the center of the boss, set to remove and size it.

We now insert the main boss hole and pattern it.

The Solidworks presenter misses this step and has to use direct edit to remove extraneous graphics later. ZW3D has robust direct editing but it should be used as a last resort not just for convenience. It is poor design practice.

Now for the bottom ring. Again we insert a primitive cylinder on the center of the bottom of the main cylinder and set it to add, locate it and size it.

Now just insert another cylinder at the center of the bottom of the main cylinder and set to remove and size it.

We insert a primitive sphere at the center of the new feature set it to remove and size it.

We are done with the part now we just add the radii.

Now for -2. We will insert a new component. We will take the -1 copy it and name it -2 and locate it to X0Y0Z0

We open -2 and delete the fillets and edit the main cylinder.

Then the sphere

We got to the main boss sketch and relocate.

That moves the bosses into place

We now edit the sketch for the centerline of the single boss.

Exit the sketch and the boss is moved to the new location.

We edit the inside cylinder

We delete the sphere and insert a new one at the center of the upper face of the inside cylinder and we are done and just need to add the fillets.

Here is the the new -2 part, both in a single file.

Time for the AIDS. ZW3D is the only history based system with a multi-object modeling system with integrated AIDs. Imagine the PDM Problems this would solve.

I created these two sheets with a right mouse click and selecting 2D Sheet so I would have the two sheets in one document. I will not go into the detailing process, but it is a relatively easy robust documentation system.

I just select -1 and set up and detail the AID.

Then we add a new sheet and select -2 set up the sheet and detail the AID.

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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