All machines that are in use today were once nothing but ideas conjured from the mind. These ideas first go through the process of visualization, which occurs in the form of a drawing/sketch before the actual machine fabrication takes place. It is no surprise that people often ask how engineers created machine designs before the arrival of CAD software?
Well, the simple answer is that engineers created these machine designs by hand, and it is obvious that such a manual method was tedious and time-consuming. Today, 3D mechanical drawings dominate a large section of the machinery industry, and some may wonder how this came about.
In this article, we take a closer look at how 3D mechanical drawings have impacted the machinery industry.
3D Mechanical Drawing in the Past: Methods and Limitations
Technical drawing burst forth as a discipline to visually communicate ideas in construction and engineering. With time, it advanced beyond simply sketching to the use of different specialized equipment.
As machines became more complex, so were their visualization requirements, which gave rise to the adoption of 3D mechanical drawings. 3D mechanical drawing solved several problems associated with machine designs, as it took into cognizance different perspectives and the complexities of modern machines. But manual 3D mechanical drawings were not easy to create since they generally involved a lot of 3D mechanical thinking, superb painting skills, and countless sketches to visualize every plane in different views.
Making a manual 3D mechanical drawing is riddled with a lot of challenges, some of which are:
- Expertise: The more complex a machine is,the more expertise it requires to create a practical model. Sometimes, two or more designers are required to get the desired model.
- Time: Some 3D mechanical drawing requires plenty of hours to achieve even a single section or perspective. Hence, an entire machine design may take days to weeks to complete.
- Modification: What happens when there’s an error in your hand-made design? They have to be erased and re-drawn, and this takes additional hours, worse if the error transverses more than a single view. Even a small mistake requires painstaking efforts, let alone the constant revision requests.
- Organizationand storage: Due to the clutter associated with manual designs, it is often stressful to organize and store these hand-made 3D mechanical designs.
3D Modeling Software and How They Impact the Machinery Industry
Advancement in computing technology resulted in the creation of 3D modeling software packages. Since the launch of the first 3D program, SketchPad way back in 1969, 3D modeling programs have evolved to keep up with the diverse demands of the machinery industry and thereby replaced the use of manual 3D mechanical drawings.
As enthusiasts, one may be wondering how the use of 3D modeling software packages has impacted the machinery industry?
So let us provide some insights. Besides the fundamental 3D modeling capabilities these software packages offer, they also render extensive and detailed visualization options for viewing even the smallest details in machine designs.
Taking it a step further, 3D software programs contain pre-loaded data on numerous material properties, dimensions, tolerance, and manufacturing process specifics, which helps engineers efficiently create more practical and more accurate machine designs for real-life use.
ZW3D: An Integrated 3D CAD/CAM Solution
Today, the design universe includes numerous CAD software that promise all kinds of features. But there is only a handful of design software created solely for the purpose of machinery design. ZW3D is one of the select few. The software package is built with the machining process in mind, handling everything from the initial product conceptualization to the product design and assembly, mold design and machining and more.
As you would expect, the ideal 3D machining modeling software has to do much more than just 3D mechanical drawings. Here are some of the features of ZW3D:
- Modeling Capabilities:ZW3D utilizes unique solid-surface hybrid modeling and parametric modeling technologies to enforce design flexibility and efficiency when conducting machine designs. Moreover, cutting-edge non-solid mold parting technology allows you to create core and cavity faster than ever delivering a better modeling experience to you.
- Advanced Libraries: With ZW3D, you have untethered access to a host of product design, molding, and machining libraries that were created for use in different industries of machining. The most crucial part is that all these libraries can be applied and customized to fit your desired end-use.
- Operational Functionalities: ZW3D makes it very easy to apply machining operations to your design in order to give a clearer picture of your desired end-product. Users can carry out simulated procedures like outside and inside roughing, finishing, grooving, threading, and a lot more on your machine designs, all from the click of your mouse.
- Compatibility: 3D mechanical designers don’t work in isolation. They require the ability to communicate with their team members, clients, and the engineers from the other departments or units. Therefore, one needs a modeling software that stores designs in general formats such as STEP/IGES and other file formats so that it is accessible even using other CAD software.
- Adaptability: There’s a different version of ZW3D for everyone, from the standard version, professional version, 2-axis machining version, 3-aixs machining version, premium version, and even an academic version for students and educational institutions. This allows different users to go for the option that best suits them.
As we come to the end of this post, one thing that is clear for all to see is the impact of 3D mechanical drawings on the machinery industry plus the use of CAD software packages takes the entire design experience to a whole another level while saving ample time.
If you are ever in the market for an efficient CAD software for machine designs, ZW3D surely stands out because of its robust design modules and extensive features. ZW3D and ZWCAD are products of ZWSOFT, a reliable and innovative engineering software provider. We are committed to providing engineers and machine design professionals with reliable and innovative yet affordable CAD software solutions crafted with the end-user experience in mind.