Are you living in a 3D CAD Wagon World?
By Joe Brouwer from TECH-NET INC. 35+ years of CAD experience, SolidWorks, Inventor, ProE, CATIA, & many more.
There are few 3D CAD users with more experience than me.
I started with 3D Computervision CADDS 4 (Computer Aided Design and Drafting System) in 1982 at William Research. Then I was introduced to PC based 3D CADKEY in 1986 while on contract at Boeing. Seeing the writing on the wall, I quickly became a dealer. Talk about being in the right place at the right time.
Solid modeling showed up in the 1990’s.
Fastsolid was a third party solid modeling application developed for CADKEY. This was the introduction of the first PC Based Pro/e Clone: Solidworks. At the same time I was introduced to Trispectives which turned into IronCAD. This was not a Pro/e Clone, it now appears it was to be years beyond the Pro/e paradigm. A uniquely different productive flexible design system.
By the 2000’s all 3D CAD moved to the PC. Virtually all of the 3D CAD programs were nothing more than Pro/e knockoffs. I tried to sell and use them but they just could not match the productivity provided by IronCAD.
Solidworks smartly used the Autocad “Perpetual Evaluation Marketing” which was based on “No Copy Protection”. IronCAD put on heavy copy protection and ended up as a 2nd tier program along with Solid Edge, KeyCreator, SpaceClaim, Inventor etc. Having the program freely available for years moved Solidworks, a marginal Pro/e clone, to the most popular CAD product just behind the only other program that used this marketing scheme: the poorly designed electronic drafting package, Autocad.
I have tried and tried to show the industry the incredible productivity of IronCAD since it was introduced in 1998. I have taken Pro/e, Solid Edge, Solidworks and Inventor on as products and tried to use them in our own engineering division. They were just too clunky and
But I think I may have finally found a truly representative way to present IronCAD as compared to the Pro/e Clones. I know many of you are married or dedicated to these 3D CAD packages for a variety of reasons. But it may be time to face facts and realized you should be demanding so much more from your 3D CAD package.
For years people were happy just driving around in a wagon pulled by horses. They had no idea that
The Pro/e Clones are like horse-driven wagons.
We have the Creo, Catia and NX 3D CAD Carriage. So beautiful, fit for a queen! Very complex to operate. Nothing this expensive can be easy. You then have to add incredibly costly complex options just to make it functional. It requires an incredible amount of support and maintenance $$ just to operate. Why do they cost so much?
PLM!! They promise to run your complete company, sadly into the ground!
The Utility Wagon
Then we have the Utility 3D CAD Wagon, Solidworks, Solid Edge and Inventor. While a bit Spartan they can usually provide equal or better performance than the high price 3D CAD Carriage systems. These wagons hardly have the pomp and grandeur of the carriages, but are half the price and a bit easier to maintain and operate!
For years the industry has been happy plodding along and not one of these wagons offers any more productivity than the other. They all operate exactly the same way, thus the moniker “Pro/e Clones”.
Sadly, management is oblivious to their engineering
IT (InfoTech) is definitely freaked out with any change to the complicated data management within the 3D CAD system with the separate part, assembly and drawings and the added problem of how to maintain the documentation to deliver to other departments: Like purchasing, sales, marketing and of course manufacturing. When asked they say “Change, no fricking way”.
IT is usually only found in the 3D CAD Carriage world and wheels some heavy power. Putting this kind of power in their hands has cost companies like Boeing and Airbus and complete industries like the auto industry, Million$ if not Billion$ in complicated unworkable engineering & manufacturing systems. The IT department at Boeing rents Catia 5 to each engineering group at thousand$ a month.
The User just stumbles along. Why in the world would the user care? Today, the 3D CAD engineers are thrown on to the company 3D CAD Wagon system. “This is what we
If you do ask management why?
We are using the 3D CAD Carriage!! It is the best. Here is the bill we pay. It better be the best.
We are using the 3D CAD Utility Wagon. We know It is the best, it is the most popular.
We are using basic CAD. Just shut up and do your work.
If they even have an answer!!
So there you go. All of the above work identically. None have any more productivity than the other.
Welcome to the 3D CAD Sports Car World!
But there is another 3D CAD system that can only be called a sports car. It has a modeling process that offers 2X productivity in conceptual design, up to 5X with a highly productive overall process. But there is more! It offers 10X productivity when you introduce the need to modify your parts and assemblies.
We all know the only constant in engineering design is CHANGE!
I assume you are using a 3D CAD Carriage or 3D CAD Utility Wagon. Most are convinced by the 3D CAD Wagon vendors that they have to have the best. Of course, that is all in the opinion of the 3D CAD Wagon vendor, a well known bunch of scallywags with only their self interest in mind. Now add the new Subscription only scam, making Autodesk and PTC your business partner “FOREVER”. Imagine PTC (the sales junkyard dogs) and Autodesk (The wiz bang marketing Kings) as your partners? LOL
Okay, okay, Joe, you have made some bold statements.
NOW BACK ‘EM UP!!
So what is the big difference?
Here are the 5 unique features that are only combined in IronCAD.
1. The Single Model Environment
This is by far the most productive work environment. Imagine just designing your parts and assemblies. No worry about naming and maintaining parts until the project is done. Yes, of course, you can have referenced external parts. You can have multiple design iterations in the same file, it basically eliminates the term “Top-Down” design. It is incredibly easy to compare and present the different concepts.
2. Drag and Drop Design from Catalogs
Say goodbye to the constrained sketching world the 3D CAD Wagon World. Just drag and drop shapes to begin your designs. Yes, of course, you can sketch when necessary. But even sketching is a much simpler and productive process. You drag and drop features, parts and assemblies from standard and custom Catalogs. There are many other
In the following
3. Copy and Pasting from different files
One day I was just working away creating a new product and I had four or five assemblies up with parts that contained parts/sub-assemblies I would be using in my new product. I realized that I was just copying and pasting them into my new assembly for reference or for use. I realized that this is incredibly productive and should be included in functions that increase 3D CAD productivity.
4. Integrated Direct Edit
5. The Incredible Triball
This was the very first 3D CAD feature, part and assembly manipulator. It has been copied and is basically only available on the direct edit programs. This is not just some assembly alignment tool. This allows you to move, copy and link features, parts and assemblies. The
IronCAD can use any other systems 3D CAD models as if they were created natively in IronCAD with direct edit functionality a part of the design process. This is a huge benefit if you are a supplier that works with many different 3D CAD Wagons. If you do tooling, just import the part or assembly and start working. No worry about creating or maintaining the separate parts.
Incredibly Flexible and Productive Functionality!
So there you go. Imagine just one of those being effectively available in your 3D CAD Wagon World.
Are You a Manufacturing Supplier?
Outside suppliers can hardly afford to have a copy of very expensive programs like Creo (Pro/E), Siemens NX, Catia,
Designer, engineers or drafting checker are not the only people that
So what do they do? With
Add the capabilities of IronCAD you have an incredible 3D CAD tool for planning. You can bring in the parts and easily create your planning orders in the robust documentation module. Bring in full assemblies into one file.
Let’s not forget the Industrial Designer
IronCAD is the perfect system for the Industrial Designer! Flexibility not found in the 3D CAD Wagon World. Imagine the freedom from the bonds of
Easy to use.
Reuse Existing Data
Data Reuse is a new
Integrated Realistic Rendering and Animation
This program started out as a solid
Easy Fabrication, Weldments and Inseparable Assemblies
With the Single Model
We also include great sheet metal design, intermediate surfacing, mechanism kinematics, parametric design plus many more features!
IronCAD can easily create any level of engineering documentation. But it can also be easily used by planning, tech-pubs, marketing and sales.
Think of what you are doing now to provide
Legacy data? You can easily develop a system to access the native files in your original system while you move to the 3D CAD Sports Car system. Believe me, today’s overly complex PLM engineering system is costing the industry billion$. But that is a different subject.
So let’s see the objections and how to handle them as you consider moving to this highly productive new 3D CAD Sports Car Paradigm.
CEO, President or Owner
Today, you are faced with some new decisions as it relates to your CAD system. Autodesk and PTC are moving to subscription only. Have you looked at the ramifications? Do you really want to be at those two companies mercy with your precious Intellectual Property? You think they may raise the price of the subscription? Is the Pope a Catholic?
I know, I know this may be the engineering VP or manager’s problem. But many times it is only your direct investigation that can make this change. Those below you are not interested in
The IT Manager
You probably have been running the show too long managing the 3D CAD Carriage. Yes, maintaining the information may change a bit. I will tell you for the better as you handle the parts, assemblies and
The Engineering VP or Manager
You may be the only one in the company concerned with CAD productivity. No time for the “
“But it is so hard to change!”
What would the boss say if you walked up and said we can increase our design productivity at least 5X and any changes would be done promptly, much faster than we are doing today. Now you could be a star! You can introduce this unique productive solution or you could wait for
You better be proactive!