3D Modeling Techniques 
ZW3D vs Solidworks Lesson Twelve
Primitive Shape Design
Streamlined Sketching/Feature Based Modeling

Modeling note:

It is funny, you may not realize how you model because you have many ingrained processes from the past. I have been doing Boolean (direct edit) design since the beginning of solid modeling in CAD. As I have been doing these comparisons I realized that I design in shapes. ZW3D has primitive shapes and robust direct edit functionality. I look at the drawing and pick out the basic shapes of the part instead of creating a sketch. You can see that in this part.

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.

Please watch a Solidworks user model this part!

With all the tedious constrained sketching for this simple part for the Absolute Beginner, you can imagine a complex part?

SolidWorks 3d Modeling Tutorial - Automobile Engine Case

(Actually this is a model airplane engine since is only 60mm (2.4 in))


While creating 3D models from drawings 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. IronCAD is all top down due to the single 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 history based modeling system released in 1988. I sold Pro/e years ago and found it 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 sketch, sketch, constrain, constrain 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?

Since ZW3D is a sketch based product with a primitive shape option I will create the model in both processes. The sketched based model will be done with StreamLined Sketching to show the incredible simplicity and productivity over the de facto constrained sketching.

I create a new Part/Assembly file.

Note: When doing production design you can use the Multi-Object file to create a part file under a top file. You then could keep a legacy of modifications or similar parts in a single file

Modeling with Primitive Shapes

We are already in millimeters so lets get started.

Again I instantly differ from the Solidworks presenter by inserting a primitive cylinder at X0Y0Z0 and sizing it. 

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.

We create an extrusion using the face of the main cylinder and setting the length and draft and set to add

We have to use extrusion since the primitive cylinder has not draft capabilities. I put that in for a new enhancement.

We create a plane by offsetting 60mm.

We don't have to create a sketch, just go to the wireframe menu and create a circle on that plane.

We use the extrude command to set the diameter and length, we set the draft to 6 degrees and set to add.

We no set up the cylinder block by offsetting XY plane

We create the sketch of the outer shape.

We now copy and edit the sketch for the main engine block by offsetting the graphics by 2mm.

We extrude the inside sketch to the correct height and set to add

We move the outer sketch .5mm

We extrude the outer sketch 1mm

We pattern the new extrusion for 12 copies.

We now just extrude the bottom 20mm with a 6 degree draft and set to add

We will create the front block by setting a plane.

We create a sketch on the plane.

We sketch the block.

We extrude the sketch

We put the fillets and we are done with the block and we will create the ribs.

We will sketch the rectangle on the front face.

We will extrude and pattern the rib.

We create the draft.

We add the fillet on the edges of the ribs

We now create the supports but creating a sketch on XY plane. And create the profile. Notice that there are no constraints!

We exit the sketch and extrude the profile and set to add

We will put the fillets on the ends and set the sketch for the flanges. I sketched the flange vertical and rotated it into place.

Exit the sketch and extrude the profile.

We use the pattern feature to create the other 3 flanges.

Now for the exhaust port.

We create a plane and locate it, we create the sketch. Again I use no constraints.

We extrude it and set it to add.

We add the fillets to the exhaust port. We copy the previous sketch and edit it since it is already located.

We extrude the profile and set to remove.

Now for the major holes. We use the primitive cylinder to create them
First hole the piston cylinder

The main hole

The front hole

The boss hole.

We will now put in the 3mm holes.

The holes in the aft flange

The holes in the support flange

We now put in the fillets

Here is a more correct AID (drawing).

You can see the two process that ZW3D offers are both hugely more productive than the tedious constrained based sketching.

You can see more on modeling techniques here.

3D Modeling Techniques Defined

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