Direct CAD News & Views from Kubotek USA

Why Industrial Designers like KeyCreator for CAID

Posted by Scott Sweeney on Fri, Jul 17, 2009

Most of today’s CAD packages are history based. The designer has to follow certain rules in the creation of the 3D model. The geometry is “linked” or is associative to the geometry that was used to create it. In this approach if the user makes a change to the initial geometry the “linked” geometry changes accordingly. This is great if everything that comes after the initial geometry updates or “rebuilds” properly. Many times this does not happen, leaving the designer to find and fix the problem or starting from scratch to make the change. On the other hand most of today’s CAID (computer aided industrial design) packages are non-history based or have limited history. The 3D modeling creation methods appeal more to industrial designers. Not having to deal with history gives the designer more flexibility. The downside to these types of packages is if the designer wants to change more basic things like fillets it becomes more time consuming. Say if a fillet needs to change, the designer would have to delete the fillet, untrim the surfaces that had the fillet, re-trim the surfaces to where the fillet needs to be and recreate the fillet.

With KeyCreator designers don’t have to be restricted to using just a “surfacing” only package or just a “solids” only package. KeyCreator creates both surfaces and solid in one hybrid environment. KeyCreator users can quickly create complex shapes using surfaces and then stitch them into a solid to add more mechanically features such as fillets, holes, etc. At any point the designer can turn the solid or faces of a solid into surfaces and vice versa. Using this hybrid approach gives designers greater speed and flexibility in their creations. Using KeyCreator’s geometry-based architecture designers can quickly change the shape of features or use the ReShape/Deform functions to adjust the overall shape of the model. Designers can quickly find/modify features without the need for history using KeyCreator’s FaceLogic technology.

America’s Youth in Manufacturing

Posted by Scott Sweeney on Thu, Jul 09, 2009

American manufacturing is eager and enthusiastic about competing on an international level, but how is it possible with such overwhelming obstacles.

Part 1 continued (again): America’s Youth in Manufacturing
I was on the phone with Governor Patrick today; telling him about our quest to bring passion back to manufacturing. I told him about a publication from Deloitte and the Manufacturing Institute published last month regarding the public’s view of manufacturing.

Here are a few stats from the report:

  • 81% of Americans strongly believe manufacturing is important to our standard of living.
  • 68% of Americans believe manufacturing is important to our national security.
  • Manufacturing Industry was ranked as the most important to maintain a strong national economy.
  • 77% of Americans want a more strategic approach to our manufacturing sector.

All great stats right!

In this same report, there were a few more troubling stats:

  • Just 30% of Americans want their children to pursue a career in manufacturing.
  • Only 17% of Americans believe our school system encourages students to pursue a career in manufacturing.

It is unacceptable to me that we say one thing but do another. We must find a way to make manufacturing more attractive to the youth of this country.

It’s time to realize that it’s okay to get our hands dirty.

PS, design contest will probably be this fall. More news to come.

KeyCreator + HyperShot = Awesome Photorealistic Designs

Posted by Scott Sweeney on Thu, Jul 02, 2009

Add world-class 3D photorealistic rendering and animation technology together with powerful hybrid 3D modeling. What do you get? A fast, inexpensive and easy way to create designs and bring them to life.

Experience it for yourself. See how Bunkspeed’s HyperShot creates stunning images from your KeyCreator designs in the time it takes to get a cup of coffee.

Watch the webinar: https://www1.gotomeeting.com/register/597614424

Parametric History Based CAD For Operation Sheets…Really?!

Posted by Scott Sweeney on Wed, Jul 01, 2009

People involved in process planning create operation sheets or process sheets using various tools. You know who you are….you work in…(look both ways)…..manufacturing -- Sh-h-h-h!…wink, wink, nudge, nudge…. that’s where stuff gets done!….know what I mean, say no more!

Some of you have been able to use a parametric history based system to create Op-sheets by turning off features as needed (and as advertised) to get your job done. Congratulations! You are a rare breed to actually have designers create the models while maintaining the GD&T as you need them for manufacturing with no history or constraint issues biting you in the buttocks. I salute you! …now for the bad news. You’ll never be able to improve your manufacturing process, reduce costs or use new manufacturing technologies. Why? Because your designers will need to change their modeling to accommodate you and that won’t be easy if it increases their time to finish a design or delays their schedules. It could get worse if you’ve just hired a new young CAD jockey & it takes them off their “clever” planned approach. ….know what I mean, say no more.


Some of you have realized that the original history & parametric constraints are of very little use to you & only get in the way. So you open the file & immediately export it out to import as a “dumb” model. Wow, what a clever way to use a parametric history modeler!…nudge, nudge, wink, wink. Now you can populate the tree with your “useful” history & constraints for someone else to deal with. Assuming you have the right tools to work with a “dumb” model, you can “hack & whack” the model apart to reorder it; use the time test “cover-up with booleans” and/or rebuild it for your manufacturing process sequence. How’s that working for you?

Some of you have seen the light and instead use an explicit, direct, open, history free modeler, or whatever Madison Avenue marketing gurus are calling it this month. So now you have a different & more flexible set of tools for dealing with “dumb” geometry. Why would you need to use one of “those”!? Hello!...Because you need to manipulate the geometry as you see it for what you need it to be without being tied to some one else’s needs & thought process. Nice! But you know what? Wouldn’t it be nice to have the ability to recognize & use features sometimes? Or even make dimensional edits when you want sometimes….

Welcome to the enlightened group of manufacturers…Masters of Geometry. This is the group who uses Kubotek’s KeyCreator, an explicit modeler since 2004 (earlier if you consider Cadkey!) using 2D & 3D wireframe (yes 3D wireframe), solids & surfaces…to get stuff done. In 2005 Kubotek developed feature & pattern inference tools that allow you to identify “features” that you need for editing, reuse, or whatever. I said “features” because you decide what feature. Imagine a tuning fork with 2 prongs. Were the 2 prongs built & spaced apart to form a pocket or a pocket booleaned out to form the 2 prongs? You decide & use as you see it. Shortly there after a prune function was developed to remove or copy “features” for modification, reuse and reordering. Allowing you to use the original design geometry…not rebuilding it. But wait there’s more! In 2007 dimension driven editing was added to KeyCreator. So what so special about that!? It doesn’t use history, sketches or pre-defined dimensions & constraints. It works on “dumb” geometry & you apply the dimension when & where you want them….across a tuning fork prong edge, across 2 prongs, across the pocket between the prongs, from another body or wireframe….all history free. Talk about hack & whack agility!....wink, wink, nudge, nudge…get stuff done!….know what I mean, say no more!