There are many reasons for switching to drawing in 3D. We hear most shop owners say that they want to upgrade to 3D for marketing to their consumers. The true benefits are often overlooked and below are a few to consider:
- Because it’s an actual prototype, a well developed 3D model helps to assure the project’s success – especially with complex geometries
- It allows every part of the assembly to be easily isolated for evaluating properties, for part drawings or for coordination of subcontracted work
- Because every part has its own material characteristics, it provides true useful data output (size, mass, cost, etc)
- It provides accurate geometries for 5 axis CNC part milling
- Curved faces can be flattened for layout and processing
- Changes and alterations naturally update in all drawing views and data output so many drafting errors are eliminated
- Part data is easily ported to spreadsheets, databases or cutting optimization programs
We use SolidWorks®, which is a substantial CAD integrated database lending itself well to customizable manufacturing systems and far beyond the limitations of 2D CAD line drawing.
What are Parametrics?
Parametrics are a very different way of defining the geometry. In the past, a draughtsman, carpenter or machinist would typically use measuring tools to define geometry; manually defining the distances point to point and so on. This process is slow, prone to errors and doesn’t update as geometries change.
On the other hand parametrics define the geometry via parameters and equations. So once the geometries are defined (be they for tangency, concentricity, perpendicularity, etc.), they remain constrained and will only grow/adjust as defined. For example, a line broken into 3 equal segments and defined as equal lengths will only grow and shrink accordingly as 3 equal lines. This approach results in fewer errors, with improved drawing consistency and accuracy.
Please click on the video below for an example of parametrics in practise: