3D Modeling Techniques Defined ZW3D vs Fusion 360 Lesson 10
Streamlined Sketching Exposed
Exercise in Streamlined Sketching I have done quite a few comparisons
with all of the major CAD products and I have found in all the presentations an extremely
complex sketching process.
Sketching has always been a
secondary process in my design.
With IronCAD most of your
design is dragging and dropping what are called IntelliShapes in the
scene and pulling and pushing them together into a shape. We have a
Extrude Wizard that allows you to project edges for a new feature or
part. So my sketching has never utilized constraints, even though
they are available.
With ZW3D it has been a bit different. It
is a sketch based system with some robust primitive shape
functionality you can use in
your design. I now use the primitive shapes more than the sketching.
Both IronCAD and ZW3D have full constrain functionality.
But with these
comparative exercises with the major CAD products I have seen
that constrained sketching it very time consuming. I now realize
that I sketch much differently. I realized I have transferred my descriptive
geometry skills from the drafting board (36 years ago) when
introduced to Computervision CADDS 4 then CADKEY. I have coined this "Streamlined Sketching".
eliminate the Autocad-ish sketching with any constraints. Point to
point drawing is basically an architectural process not an
industrial/mechanical process where you would slide triangles, use
T-Squares or drafting machines. This is probably where the Pro/e
people defined this convoluted sketching process, costing the
industry millions of lost man hours.
I have been having a
conversation with a Industrial Design professor that seems to be
quite 3D CAD literate and he did agree that my sketching technique
was much faster but still had a hard time letting go of the
constraining function thinking it offered more precision. It is
truly too time consuming for any benefits, it there are any, it
So take a look at this exercise and tell me what you
If you are interested in this subject, please free to
give me a call.
Here is the Video of the Fusion 360
presentation. It is truly shocking how this poor fellow struggles
with such a simple sketch. ZW3D offers much more
intuitive user friendly sketching than Fusion 360. You can
Download ZW3D and give it a try.
ZW3D is very similar to Fusion 360 and the Pro/e
clones with differences that make it much more streamlined. It is very easy for those users
to get up and running with ZW3D. The unique benefits over the other systems
is the multi-object environment, for easy top down design, with the integrated drawing. You can
do complete projects (parts, assemblies and drawings) in one file.
seems to be a functional 3D CAD system. I tried it years ago when
they offered it for free. I didn't like the user interface with the
history directly on the work space. I much prefer the separate
history dialog box on the left that seems to be somewhat of a
standard. Like many Autodesk products, all are just a bit too
AutoCADish for me.
The problem with Fusion 360, like all
Autodesk products, is that you can only get it by subscription. This
is not a viable option to access your CAD system. This makes
Autodesk your partner forever, and forever is a long, long time.
Let's say you own a company and you have a large amount of
engineering information. If you sell your company or a product they
have to purchase a subscription. With a perpetual system, you just
include the license or they can purchase a seat, they don't have to
be married to a system, that they may not even use.
I would do a
video, but I really am not good at it. So I will show you step by
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 Pro/e-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 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 Fusion 360 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? This is an
exercise in sketching. For the life of me, I do not understand how
this simple sketch can be as difficult the Fusion 360 fellow makes
We will just create a sketch on XY plane.
I put in the first
circle R .32 you can see we can input the radius at creation.
We add the top horizontal line. ZW3D
allows to also input the length at creation. This ability alone is
an incredible time saver.
create the angled line 45 degrees again we just input the angle and
We create an offset of the angled line .400
create the lower horizontal line to .72 which is the center of the
I create the R .20 circle.
last R 1.30 circle
the final sketch before trimming, extending or deleting. In this
case we will just trim the affected entities.
Trim the graphics and we are done. I
really don't understand all of this constraining. If it was my
company, those that designed like that would be trained in "Feature
Based Design" and "Streamlined Sketching" saving hours and hours.
Now for the holes. I create a horizontal and vertical lines and
create offsets for the center of the holes. So incredibly simple.
Now just to place the holes at the
intersections of the lines. Delete the lines and we are done. So easy, so fast.
just extrude it and we are done, way before the Fusion 360 fellow is
done with his convoluted sketch. Yes, we probably could had done the
same thing in Fusion 360.
Now to detail the part. Any time you
create parts from a drawing you should re-detail it especially if it
It is very important that you look into
how you or your engineers are creating the parts. Streamline
Sketching and Feature Based Modeling is easy to learn and implement.
It, alone, can increase productivity 10X. Now, ZW3D with its unique
history and robust direct edit functionality can increase your
productivity another 5X or more with changes! Again, time is money
More on Streamlined Sketching and Feature Based Modeling.
To experience this increased level of
productivity, please download ZW3D for a 30 day evaluation. Legacy
data is no problem, ZW3D can read the native files of all of the
popular programs including the PMI data of NX, Solidworks, Catia and
Creo. ZW3D is a great replacement for the subscription only Autodesk
and PTC products.
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