3D Modeling Techniques IRONCAD vs Solidworks Lesson Two
Drag and Drop Design
No Sketching Please!
When I introduce IronCAD's very
flexible design paradigm I have a hard time to get the Pro/e clone
users, like Solidworks and other programs, to understand the drag and
drop design paradigm.
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 IronCAD
comparison lessons, there are some very stark differences. Please watch
a Solidworks user model this part! It is funny how they call 3D
modeling drawing! Probably all the sketching!
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. 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.
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. IronCAD 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 IronCAD support to create one. They are
This part in IronCAD takes five basic
Here is IronCAD. My default is inches,
so we will set the units to mm. Let's get started.
I drag and drop a
block in to the scene and size it by clicking one of the handles.
Note: Why does IronCAD
call it a scene instead of a workspace? IronCAD was first released
as a graphic design program called Trispectives. It still has much
of the graphic design functionality. It truly is a wonderful mixture
of professional 3D CAD and graphic design, which puts it in a much
more flexible category as compared to the very mechanical
engineering focused Solidworks clones.
We drag and drop
another block, locate and size it.
drag and drop another block, locate it and size it. Yes, I know the
right edge is not sized correctly. But it is there for a reference
in the next step.
drag and drop a hole block on the lower left corner.
pull the bottom of the hole block to the bottom face by holding down
the shift key and selecting any edge.
sized the block only for clarity of the next process. I have turned
off the catalog. It is usually set to auto hide. I am sure this kind
of modeling is very new to many of you in the sketching only world.
Note: The triball is the most sophisticated feature, part and
assembly manipulator in the industry. It has been with IronCAD since
the days of Trispectives in 1995. Most systems have a very
simplistic copy of the Triball. Now you know where the idea
With the triball we lock the horizontal axis and rotate it 45
Now you will see why we did not size the last block.
we select the diagonal axis and select the smaller handles inside
the triball and select the upper right hand corner this will rotate
the hole block to the correct orientation.
just pull it to fully cut the part.
resize the last block to 12mm and we are done with the part.
This is one of the most stark examples
of how IronCAD's drag and drop of editable shapes from a catalog and
the use of the Triball can increase productivity 10X in this case. I
usually estimate 5X increased productivity in conceptual design and
10X in changes, and I believe I am being conservative. IronCAD can
edit most of the Solidworks clone parts and assembly faster than it
can be done in the native CAD system.
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 IronCAD. It
truly is the very best conceptual 3D CAD system.
If you are interested in adding professional
hybrid modeling capabilities or looking for a new solution to
increase your productivity, take some time to download a fully
functional 30 day evaluation and play with these packages. Feel free
to give me a call if you have any questions or would like an on-line