Beyond Direct Edit: Surface and Hybrid Modeling
I was just
talking to fellow that is looking to ZW3D for some furniture
design and had bought the wrong CAD system because he wanted to
do free form surfacing.
I was introduced to surfacing
decades ago with a 3rd party add-on to Cadkey called Fastsurf.
We had to learn surfacing because it was the only way to create
machinable surfaces for the new 3 axis CNC. We used surfacing
from 1988 until 1995 when solid modeling showed up for the PC.
Surfacing is not simple like solid modeling, it is very
tedious precise design that take quite a bit of knowledge
depending on the job. It the beginning it was just putting
surfaces on wireframe, today we are designing auto bodies in
But I don't see generic surfacing training
available. Like solid modeling there are basic processes that
are the same through out all of the standalone surfacing
packages. It is presented like everyone understands the basics
or not at all.
I am looking to create some basic training
based on ZW3D. ZW3D can be a standalone surface design package
integrated with solid modeling on a hybrid level.
an eye out, I will be posting these lesson soon. Luckily we have
Phil Procario, Jr to help us out. He is one of the more
knowledgeable surface designers.
Feel free to give us a
call for any information and would like to be put on a list to
Back to the Article
Part design is the basis of engineering. PLM, PDM, MBE, PMI,
realistic rendering etc, have little to do with increased
productivity, more than likely hinders it. Yet, these are the
things the Major CAD systems are focused.
industrial/mechanical design can be done with the sketch,
sketch, constrain, constrain world with the popular Solidworks
Clone. A few have stepped out of that box are are using direct
edit functionality with a standalone package or add-on direct
edit functionality if viable in their solid modeling package.
But very few programs have access to standalone freeform
A hybrid modeler has to be designed from the
ground up. There are very few programs that are considered true
hybrid modelers. It requires 2D/3D wireframe, freeform surfacing
and both history and direct edit solid modeling. ZW3D is the only
systems that meets those requirements and includes
precision morphing. The only other system that comes close is
NX. It is still a kluged together system where all of these
features do not work smoothly together.
opens doors to a more flexible design process. It offers much
more design freedom than the current Solidworks clones. They can
only imitate this functionality with separate modules or 3rd
Who Needs Hybrid Modeling?
Only about 15% of engineering need
Industrial Designers/Product Designers
Many industrial designers think they need clunky
advanced surfacing programs, like alias. After the concept is
done, you have to move it to a solid modeling program to create
the documentation to deliver to manufacturing. There is probably
less than 3% that "need" advanced surfacing. Much of advanced
surfacing seems to be so much fluff. When, what they truly need
a good hybrid modeler can do the complete job. Add the
Multi-Object environment and integrated documentation you have
cut the project design time in half.
Boat designers have to use both surfacing and solid modeling
to achieve their goals. I have seen many boat design companies
only using Rhino and Autocad or they have opted for an overkill
with NX or Catia. But they only look to others in the same
industry and none ever step out
of the box. I just sold a ZW3D Standard to replace Fusion 360 to an individual that is designing a boat.
This is what he
Peter Doering, was having a problem with some surfacing. Peter rented a
seat of ZW3D Standard and within a couple of days I got this email.
Thank you very
As it pertains to examples this project is
what Phil and I am working on.
The initial hull design was done in Rhino,
which for some reason is a standard in the boat industry. The surface
already had a few problems!
It was imported into Fusion 360 and I did
some of the early concept design work, but when it came to surfacing, I
hit road blocks every way I tried it.
At this time Phil was not part of the
project, but I suggested to my client that we needed Phil's help.
Phil also hit road blocks in Fusion 360 even
using some of his unique re-topologizing workflows and T-Splines.
The rest is history, as they say.
Thanks to ZW3D paired with Phil’s surfacing
skills we now have tooling for the hull created.
You should see the images. Perfectly smooth
This is hybrid modeling success.
Phil actually referred ZW3D to Peter. Phil also moved from
Fusion 360. Phil is one of the most talented 3D CAD
designers I have ever seen. We will soon have some images of
his projects with ZW3D. I think I have had two support
requests. ZW3D is very familiar to the Solidwork clone user
which Fusion 360 is one.
Much of the aircraft design came out of the boat design
industry. Boeing built boats before moving to aircraft.
Aircraft design is not conducive to the sketch, sketch,
constrain, constrain, limitations of the Solidworks clones.
It needs a hybrid modeler to keep from being put in design
corners. Very few straight lines in aircraft.
an example of an aircraft design. This started in Solidworks
and the designer instantly hit road blocks with its
limitations. I sold Jeff a hybrid modeler and he is now
doing a great job with no limitations. Look at the image not
one straight line. Hybrid modeling is a much, much simpler
design process. There is good reason the Solidworks designer quit.
Today, the automotive industry
mostly jumps through the many hoops that
Catia demands. I am sure it is a
horror show. They probably don't even know it. Will they
investigate? Some have moved to NX from Catia, a great move,
but it is only from the fire to the frying pan. The level of
ignorance in engineering today is truly shocking to an old
draftsman. Beside the limited 3D CAD packages, the
documentation and document control it truly a
You can see how easily a complete car can be created. Take a look at what I consider
one of the best presentations of hybrid modeling. Selcuk uses
every function ZW3D has to offer to do his creations. Nope, this
isn't a $20,000.00 program of even a $5000.00 program it starts
at $3000.00 or an annual rental of $900.00. You truly cannot
afford not to at least take a look.
When you are done with the
conceptual design, you just take the surfaces and move it
into reality with the history/direct edit solid modeling in
the same integrated hybrid modeling system, including
integrated documentation. Imagine all of the sub-assemblies
in a Multi-Object environment in a single file? Of course,
you can't. But I can assure you that the engineering systems
based on this design paradigm would cut overall engineering
costs 30% minimum. Go ahead trust those that have not spent
one moment in engineering and have virtually no applicable
knowledge of engineering. Sadly, this lack of knowledge is
now infiltrating the engineering design process.
companies now depend on the CAD company for guidance and in
Boeing's case Dassault has even have taken over the complete engineering
process. It is quite shocking that large companies like
Boeing with a rich history in engineering would allow these
CAD companies with a complete lack of applicable knowledge
Why don't we already have
the popular 3D CAD systems are based on a dated paradigm
designed in 1988 by PTC called Pro/e. Its selling point
was faster documentation (drawings). It can never become an effective hybrid
modeling system due to its strict parametric and feature
based history. Sadly, the feature that brought Pro/e (Creo)to
fame is now the feature that will lead to its demise. NX is the closest of these packages
to hybrid modeling but still
a mish mash of functionality.
Watch this slide show as Selcuk designs a car before our
eyes!! Truly, amazing. Using all of the graphic tools 3D CAD
Hybrid modeling has to offer.
Selcuk shows the design process here!
If there is a "Master" in the art of 3D CAD, Selcuk Ozmumcu is it.
Besides offering great Conventional History and Direct Edit
design, ZW3D Standard offers much more design flexibility with it's powerful surfacing,
morphing and wrapping.
surface modeling, such as: Blend face, UV curve mesh
• Surface matching, merging, smoothing and control point editing
• N-Sided & FEM blends with continuity control and gap detection
• Smart surfacing - rails, splines, drive curves
Advanced lofting & variational sweeps
• Emboss a high
precision surface from a raster image
solid, surface and STL data to do flexible morphing and wrapping