Direct CAD News & Views from Kubotek USA

10 reasons why assembly management in Direct Modeling is the BOMb!

Posted by Scott Sweeney on Sun, Jun 26, 2011

Direct Modeling 101 ebook

So you thought Direct Modeling was just for parts?

Well, just as you get ultimate flexibility in part modeling and editing from Direct Modeling, you also get ultimate flexibility in your assemblies.  Since different direct modelers handle assembly modeling differently, I will speak just about KeyCreator Direct CAD assembly modeling here. Feel free to add your own knowledge about your direct modeler below.

1. In KeyCreator you have a choice of creating assemblies as either flat (basic solids) or referenced assemblies. And KeyCreator can even read in assemblies using either method from other native CAD formats.

2. KeyCreator Direct CAD offers both level managed and reference managed assemblies.  Level managed assemblies are very intuitive using very simple drag and drop part organization.  This allows for ease in managing the assembly. And better yet, both methods can be used concurrently for the ultimate flexibility.

3. The file structure for assemblies is the same as the part file for KeyCreator Direct CAD.  This keeps things very simple and easier to use than the rigid file/part hierarchy method of history-based modelers.

4. Referenced parts can be converted to flat solids and flat solids can easily be converted to referenced assemblies.  Choose the method that works best for you or change to fit your needs.

5. Accessing and editing parts in an assembly is easy and will not result in complex rebuild errors of whether parts are referenced or not .

6. KeyCreator Direct CAD's ability to recognize patterns of parts allows the user to easily convert them to references on the fly or conversely break the references.

7. Mating and constraints are kept simple and will not cause rebuilding errors.

8. A referenced assembly can be burst down all the way down to its components or even solid  bodies and then can be reorganized at will.

9. You can selectively view and open the components in the assembly structure.

10. The Bill of Materials (BOM) can work off of referenced assemblies or multi-body level managed assemblies.

Interested in learning even more about Direct Modeling? Check out the new ebook here: Direct Modeling 101 interactive ebook

Topics: 3D Direct Modeling, 3D Direct CAD, 3D CAD, Direct CAD, Direct Modeling, Assembly Modeling Direct CAD

Why Manufacturing Should Throw Away their History-Based CAD Modeler

Posted by Scott Sweeney on Fri, Jun 03, 2011

History-based modelers: SolidWorks, Inventor, ProE, NX are the wrong CAD tools for manufacturing.

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Products are rarely designed in CAD with manufacturing in mind.Thus models often have to be re-created in Manufacturing.  This not only wastes time but introduces the possibility of more errors in the process of re-creating the model. So what seemed like a logical choice, particularly for the IT department - one system within the entire organization - actually has increased complexity and cost and reduced quality in the organization.

One could argue that history-based modelers are also the wrong tool for design conceptualization or creation, but we will leave that to another blog.

Another major step in the manufacturing process is the creation of new designs to support the manufacturing process. Tools, dies and molds are often one-offs - using a history-based modeler requires you to set up relationships and constraints to build this one-of-a-kind model.  This wastes much time and limits creativity. Many designers currently using a history-based modeler to do this work may will disagree with this.  But, I believe that this is simply because they do not understand the concept and simplicity of Direct Modeling.

History-based modelers do not support sharing and collaboration in the supply chain.  History-based modelers do not import non-native geometry that can be easily edited and changed for manufacturing.  If the geometry is imported, it is generally not very useful.  Once again, manufacturers are ofter forced to recreate models using their own history-based CAD system, wasting time and introducing the possibility of errors.

Direct modelers can import and use geometry as if it were created within their own system.  This allows manufacturers to accept any type of data from anywhere in the supply chain.  This reduces cost, saves time and increases quality

So before getting hoodwinked into tossing out the 2D CAD system that you are now using (to redraw your 3D CAD Models) and buying the history based system that your engineers are using, consider using a Direct Modeler. What?! you have already bought the History-based Modeler for Manufacturing and you are wondering why they are not using it. Throw It Out! and get them a Direct Modeling solution. Not sure about direct modeling? Want to learn more? Download the white paper: Direct Modeling 101 .

Thank you for reading,


photo by Ymmat - Creative Commons

Topics: 3D Direct Modeling, History-free CAD, History-based CAD, CAD for Manufacturing