Since Karl Benz invented the first vehicle, automobiles have brought huge convenience to our daily life. As the technologies and manufacturing process improve, the costs of producing a vehicle have slumped and cars are no longer the privileges of the rich and powerful. As regards designing automotive parts, I understand that now 3D CAD is the mainstream design method, but that doesn’t make 2D CAD useless. In fact, it is still important during the production of a part, especially after 3D modeling and before manufacturing. In this article, I would show you how ZWCAD can help engineers in the auto parts industry.
Figure 1. An Engine Part
Seamless Compatibility Enables File Exchange with No Data Loss
When it comes to drawing import, basically, there is only one standard format for 2D CAD drawings—DWG. No matter which 3D software you use, eventually, you will need to send a .dwg file to your auto parts supplier for examination and confirmation. With the native DWG compatibility of ZWCAD, you can rest assured that almost all the auto part models generated in whichever 3D software can be exported to a .dwg drawing accurately. Moreover, if you’re using ZW3D, an integrated CAD/CAM solution, to build models, the data exchange will be seamless and lossless as the figure below shows.
Figure 2. Exporting Different Views of a 3D Model in ZW3D to ZWCAD
Annotate the Parts Easily with Assorted Features
After importing the DWG drawing, designers would need to add annotations to the auto part. And 2D CAD software makes the job easier in comparison with 3D CAD programs. When you need to fine-tune the drawing, it’s convenient to modify the lines, circles, or other elements with commands such as ARRAY, EXTEND, and MLeaderAlign. What’s more, in ZWCAD, annotating your part with linear/radius dimensions, texts, leaders, or even tolerances is no sweat. Also, you can customize the annotation standards in accordance with your company standards.
Figure 3. Annotating the Automotive Part
Actually, I’ve written an article on how you can generate different views of a 3D model and annotate them coherently in a 2D CAD program utilizing the handy multiple view creating features of ZW3D, the powerful dimensioning functions of ZWCAD, and the compatibility between them. I’ve also prepared two tutorial videos for you to better understand the process. Go check them out!
Save Printing Time with Pre-Defined Settings
After you finish editing the drawing in ZWCAD, normally you will need to print it to paper so that every party of the project can have a better idea of the auto part. Thanks to the 2D CAD standard format and a universal plot style file that can be exported and reused on other CAD software, you don’t need to adjust the plot settings again even if you’re working on another computer. Apart from saving you much time and effort, ZWCAD allows you to choose between two plot styles: the color-dependent one and the named one. In this way, you can manage your plot styles flexibly.
Figure 4. Plot Settings
In case you didn’t know, frames can be automatically recognized according to blocks, layers, or scatter lines (closed rectangles) with the Smart Plot feature of ZWCAD. In other words, you can collectively print them, convert them into PDF files, or even turn each frame into an individual DWG file. Plus, in ZWCAD 2021, you can adjust the plotter and print style settings in the roaming folder. You can refer to this article for detailed explanations.
ZWCAD X the Automotive Part Industry
All in all, I believe that ZWCAD can aid auto engineers in delivering their designs more efficiently with its DWG compatibility and easy-to-use functions. And undoubtedly, it will co-exist with 3D CAD software in the industry for the foreseeable future.