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

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.

Solidworks Bracket Lesson 10

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.

We will set ZW3D to millimeters!

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

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

Under Bracket 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 center and height primitive block at X0Y0Z0and size it.

We will create a sketch on the YZ plane.

we define the reference diagonal base line and create the sketch. Notice there are no constraints.

We delete the reference line and exit the sketch and create our extrusion and set it to add.

We put the 32 fillets and insert a primitive cylinder at the center, size it and set it to add.

We again create a sketch on the YZ plane

We sketch the rib made up of a couple of offsets, again no constraints

We extrude the profile and set it to add

We create the main fillets.

For the hole in the boss we insert a primitive cylinder at the center, size it and set to remove

Now for the holes in the base, we use the  hole feature. Locate the first hole.

We now mirror pattern the hole on the YZ plane.

Now for the final fillets

We are done!!

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

We open -2 and delete all of the fillets and edit the main cylinder and edit the first sketch. We create our reference line and move the graphic from to then rotate 10 degrees

We trim/extend the related lines and delete the reference line, again no contstraints.

We exit the sketch and the upper fillets and boss are updated

We now fix the rib by editing the sketch

Exit the sketch and we just add the fillets and we are done.

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.

While in the assembly I created these 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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