Direct CAD News & Views from Kubotek USA

Andy Beaupre

Recent Posts

#TechTipTuesday-- Creating a solid model from an image

Posted by Andy Beaupre on Tue, Apr 25, 2017


This week's TechTipTuesday video provides a detailed example of quickly creating a solid from a photo image of a physical part and a few measurements.  

 #TechTipTuesdsay: Designing from an Image


Buy KeyCreator Today and get FREE KeyCreator Essentials Online Training (a $1,150 value) or Targeted Technical Training (a $895 Value)! 



Buy KeyCreator Today and Get FREE KeyCreator Essentials Online Training (a $1,150 value) or Targeted Technical Training (a $895 Value)! 

I want to learn more about learning KeyCreator for FREE! 





Create a 3D model of a razor scraper

Start with a few measurements...

... and an image file

Import and scale the image

The image should be approximately the same size as the actual part...

... adjustments can be easily made to the solid model 

Use a horizontal line to establish the centerline of the scraper

Draw 2D Profiles using the image as a template

The profiles will be used to generate the solid model

Profile 1/2 the part then mirror the profiles to ensure symmetry

Use blend splines to fill gaps in the profile that cross the centerline and are not vertical

Position and approximate the size on any holes

Actual sizes can be defined on the solid model

Use your elevation measurements to extrude the profiles into solid models

Use your profiles to cut and shape the design

Add chamfers and blends

Establish the thickness of the part

Cut out holes, slots and pockets

Use dimension driven edits to adjust the design

Complete the design


For more information visit or call 800-372-3872 Option 2





Topics: Direct CAD, Engineering Design Changes, CAD Geometry, #TechTipTuesday

#TechTipTuesday-- Meeting & Exceeding Boeing's D6-51991 Requirements for Validating Translated CAD Data

Posted by Andy Beaupre on Tue, Apr 04, 2017


Take a two-minute tour of Kubotek's Validation Tool [which is on sale for only $2,995, including first year's maintenance] and how it can help you with quality compliance and standards such as  Boeing's D6-51991. [Transcript at bottom]





For a limited time, Get Validation Tool for only $2,995 (including first year's maintenance).
Click below to get more info, a demo or to purchase yours today! 

I Want to Learn More About Validation Tool




The Kubotek Validation Tool was built from the ground up for validating CAD data for quality system compliance.

It uses industry leading all-inclusive geometric comparison providing the most accurate method of validating CAD translations.

A flexible set of compare options lets you define the types of geometry to be validated and compare tolerances.

The MASTER and COPY (translated) data sets are identified and tracked throughout the validation and reporting process to insure complete traceability.

The simple step-by-step procedure facilitates a quick and efficient validation process.

Visual feedback and results indicate that the validation is complete.

The final output of the process is a quality document with complete traceability.

The document includes:

  • File Data;
  • Compare option data; and
  • A complete results summary

If you need help passing the Boeing D6-51991 or other quality standards, call us at 800-372-3872





Topics: CAD Validation, Direct CAD, Engineering Design Changes, CAD Geometry, Boeing, #TechTipTuesday

What's New in KeyCreator 2017 Version 14.5

Posted by Andy Beaupre on Fri, Feb 03, 2017

Take a look at this 17-minute video to learn about the newest features found in KeyCreator version 14.5. 






Want to up your KeyCreator game? Register for the next KeyCreator Essentials Online Training. Click Below for more info. 

Teach Me More About Learning KeyCreator!



Topics: 3D Direct Modeling, 3D Direct CAD, 3D CAD, Direct CAD, Engineering Design Changes, 3D CAD Training, Assembly Modeling Direct CAD, CAD Geometry, 3D solid modeling, CAD for Tool design, CAD for Manufacturing, CADKEY, #TechTipTuesday, 3D CAD Software, 3D CAD System, software release

KeyCreator CAD CKD Format Revealed – More Flexible Than You May Think

Posted by Andy Beaupre on Thu, Jan 05, 2017

It’s worth discussing the flexibility of KeyCreator’s file format. It’s a benefit that may not be all that obvious and requires a little bit of “out of the box” thinking. Let’s start by asking a few Questions:

  • How do you want to design your assemblies? Top Down? Bottom up?
  • Do you need to Design Parts in context with each other?
  • During the design process, before releasing a design, do you ever have a problem finding all the files that are referenced in your assembly?
  • Do you have issues ensuring that you’re using the correct version of pre-release referenced file?

Depending on the CAD system that you’re using, all of these tasks can pose challenges.

Flexible File Format

KeyCreator’s (.CKD) file format has some unique features that make all of these scenarios possible and easy to manage. With the CKD file format, you have a choice on how you manage your CAD data plus you don’t need to commit to a single strategy. You can change your file management scheme at any time then finalize the strategy before releasing the design.

Let’s take a look at the Anatomy of a CKD file and a few potential design management strategies.

Single Part or Drawing Strategy

In its most basic form, the CKD file contains a 2D drawing or a 3D part with an associated drawing.

 single part drawing 1.png Pic 5D.png

The first benefits of the CKD become apparent immediately. Different Geometry types (2D, Solids, Surfaces) all reside within the same modeling environment in a CKD file. Sketches do not exist. All geometry maintains its purest form allowing all geometry to be treated as if created natively, even if it was imported from another file format.  Additionally, a 3D part design and its associated 2D drawing can be contained within the same file. This eliminates the process of hunting for an associated drawing not saved where you thought it was or trying to figure out if an associated drawing even exists. Once a design is released, you have options as it can remain in the same file as the model or saved as in a drawing only file.


Single File Assemblies or Projects


Consider another design management strategy. What if you needed to design an assembly and wanted to save all of the parts within the same “project” file? The CKD format was designed to do this very efficiently. The key to this is that multi-body files are the norm for KeyCreator as opposed to being a specialized design technique (used in other CAD systems). The format was design to handle multi-body level managed designs (non-referenced assemblies). Similar to the single part strategy, a CKD can contain a complete assembly with an associated drawing.

Pic 5.png

Using this approach there are no referenced files, so file management is simple. There’s no better way to do in-context top-down assembly design. There’s no dependency between parts designed in context, so it’s easy to save off parts to their own files as needed; there is no commitment to a single design management strategy. An assembly design using this strategy is also easy to share since it consists of a single file. Another not so obvious fact is that with this strategy, detailed associated drawings of each part can also be contained within the same file.

The next management strategy is unique to KeyCreator. The CKD file can Pic 2.pngcontain multiple independent parts, each within their own separate modeling environment and with an associated drawing.



The next management strategy is unique to KeyCreator. The CKD file can contain multiple independent parts, each within their own separate modeling environment and with an associated drawing.Pic 3.png

The application of this strategy may not be as mainstream as the others but offers some compelling benefits of its’ own. Consider a scenario where you’d like to keep a library of commonly used 2D profiles that you could import into a design and use to generate extrusions, pockets or cuts. You could save time by reusing profiles instead of re-creating them for each design. The multi-part CKD strategy would be perfect for this application. All of your profiles would be saved in a single, time-saving, shareable CKD file. 






Referenced Parts

When your design process requires you to have separate files for each part in an assembly (like many mainstream CAD systems work), that’s not a problem for the CKD format. The CKD format is built for bottom-up assembly design as well. CKD files can be referenced in other CKD files which facilitates the creation of designs using file-referenced lightweight assemblies.                        

With this strategy, each file can be released and revisioned independently. Don’t forget that a referenced assembly can easily be converted to a single file assembly. You’re never restricted to a single design management scheme. KeyCreator along with the CKD file format was designed to ensure maximum flexibility regardless of your file management needs.

We’ve discussed a few of the design management strategies that KeyCreator and the CKD format have to offer but the possibilities are endless.


Learn more by requesting a free demo today!

I Want to See KeyCreator in Action!



Topics: CAD, Manufacturing, KeyCreator, parametric modeling, Direct CAD, Direct CAD vs Parametric CAD, History-based CAD, history based modeling, history tree, contract manufacturing, CADKEY, Business Solutions,, Engineering Design, IMTS, Business Success, CKD