As automotive models iterate faster, the standards of auto parts become higher. To remain competitive, auto parts suppliers would opt for professional CAD software to guarantee that they deliver quality products quickly. When it comes to auto parts design, engineers would turn 3D models into 2D engineering drawings and then edit and plot them in a 2D CAD program. In this article, I’ll give you three tips on how to produce the factory-ready engineering drawing of an engine start button in ZWCAD Mechanical.
Figure 1. Different views of an engine start button
Tip 1: Customize Frames
To create an engineering drawing, you must first load the frames. In your company, there might be a set of custom frames. Wondering how to deploy them if you switch to a new CAD program? Don't worry because ZWCAD Mechanical allows you to customize frames and synchronize them to every workstation. Here’s how you can easily do it. Simply invoke the Frame setup dialog by clicking Border Setup in the Layout panel under the Mechanical Annotation tab. Then, you are free to adjust the options. You can also preview the results. As it’s shown in the figure below, I modified the style group to GB, frame style to non-partition, as well as checked the Addition and Code options. After that, layers of thick and thin lines, annotations, texts, etc. will be automatically created. The objects you created will be automatically assigned to the corresponding preset layers. For instance, you can find all the dotted lines are already in the dotted lines layer.
Figure 2. Frame setup
Such customizations can standardize designs within the enterprise and decrease repetitive operations. It’s worth mentioning that even if extreme situations occurred, like the PC’s settings are changed or deleted, engineers can quickly restore ZWCAD Mechanical to the custom status with the settings on other computers instead of manually doing that step by step.
Tip 2: Leave Annotation to the Software
After you add the frames, it’s time to add annotations to the drawing. Since you can annotate with not only the regular leaders, dimensions, etc., but also tables and formulas, annotating will be just a cinch. Here’s an example: by inputting QDIM, you can use the Quick Dimension command to add different types of dimensions to various objects, like diameters for circles. This easy-to-use function frees you from frequently jumping from one command to another. Plus, some specific annotative symbols are available in ZWCAD Mechanical, which allows you to utilize the commonly used Surface Texture, Geometric Tolerance, and Welding ones. Besides, the size of symbols and texts will intelligently fit the frame, boosting the annotation efficiency.
Figure 3. Annotative tables
Tip 3: Smart Plot
The last step is to plot the completed drawing to files of other formats like .pdf. Generally, the size of an engineering drawing would be A4, A3, A2, A1, and A0; while there could be occasions where lengthened or widened frames are used. In reality, engineers who plot drawings manually would have to do it one by one. Contrary to this not so productive method, the Smart Plot feature of ZWCAD enables the plotting of multiple frames all at once. It also facilitates the automatic identification of the scale and the automatic arrangement and rotation of the drawing to make full use of the paper. Moreover, ZWCAD can be integrated with enterprise systems like PLM via its APIs like ZRX so that the management of design data is more efficient.
Figure 4. Batch plot frames with Smart Plot
Every complicated design project needs breaking down to be successful. Auto design is no exception: a car can’t be made without mechanical, electrical, and electronic parts. Since factors like appearance, performance, and powertrain matching take up much of the engineers’ efforts, ZWCAD can spare them from the trouble of finetuning and plotting the design of auto parts.