Happy CADing: Design a Camera with Friendly New Features of ZW3D 2022

Quick Link


Happy CADing: Design a Camera with Friendly New Features of ZW3D 2022

Full Story

Happy CADing: Design a Camera with Friendly New Features of ZW3D 2022

ZWSchool 2021-06-29 15:14:00

Cameras play a very important role in not only our daily life, but also all kinds of industries. In this article, the key steps of designing a camera will be introduced briefly. Besides, tips on accelerating these steps with the new functions of ZW3D 2022 will also be touched upon.

Figure 1. The camera designed in ZW3D

A commonly used camera mainly consists of the below three subsystems, as shown in the table below.

Table 1. The camera structure

Normally, the detailed component design can be kicked off once the below procedures are done, they are:

·       The whole camera layout

·       The general size and exterior design

·       The performance and related interface parameters

After that, you can begin the design process which mainly includes modeling, assembly, and 2D drawing creation. Let’s break it down step by step.


Step 1: Draw the outlines of the lens barrel on the XZ plane, then add the dimensions.

Figure 2. Draw the outlines of the lens barrel

In this step, if you need to modify one or several dimensions, the new Dimension Editor in ZW3D 2022 is a big-time saver because it can keep the whole profile in proportion.

Figure 3. Modify dimensions in batch with Dimension Editor

Step 2: Revolve the profile as the base feature of the lens barrel, then add other features (zoom ring, focus ring, etc.) one by one.

Figure 4. Base feature
Figure 5. Create other features

Step 3: Draw the sketch and make the base feature of the top cover. Then, create a draft feature, which is simpler thanks to the optimized draft workflow of ZW3D 2022. Now in ZW3D 2022, the draft and asymmetric draft types have been integrated into one, meanwhile, multiple groups of drafting objects can be dealt with at the same time so that Draft is more usable.

In this case, you can use either the first type (edge) or the third type (parting edge) to make it quickly.

Figure 6. Add draft features on the base feature

Step 4: Add other features, such as speaker, strap mount, and hot shoe, until the whole top cover design is done.

Figure 7. The final top cover

Step 5: Design other components which can include the internal module, front and back covers, a dedicated flash, brackets, buttons, etc., as shown in the picture below.

Figure 8. Other components


Step 6: Insert the internal module which includes circuit boards, etc., and add the fixed constraints to it since it’s the first component.

Figure 9. Add fixed constraints to the first component

Besides, in ZW3D 2022, a new function, New to Insert is developed. It allows you to create new parts while you are inserting objects at the assembly level. It is very convenient and helpful, especially for top-down designs.

Figure 10. New to Insert function

Step 7: Assemble the lens barrel and roughly adjust the position. With the new coordinate frame handle function in ZW3D 2022, you could do that freely before adding a proper constraint.

Figure 11. Using the coordinate frame handle to adjust the position freely

Step 8: Assemble the rest of the components created just now one by one. How to view the components in real time when there are so many inserted objects? As the picture below shows, the newly added None-associated components option in ZW3D 2022 can help you with just that.

Figure 12. Display none-associated components

After all the components are assembled, you can make an exploded view of the camera to check its details.

Figure 13. The exploded view

2D Drawing Creation

Step 9: Select or create a drawing template. If you want to make your own one, normally you can select a template from the library of ISO or other standards, then customize and save it. In terms of customizing title blocks, in ZW3D 2022, the User Table function can be used at the sketch level. It means that you can insert a table and quickly edit the title block using all the user table functions.

Figure 14. Make title blocks with the User Table function

For example, you can now link cells with variables. The operations are: select a cell -> name the linked label -> go back to the drawing level -> fill the title block by selecting the existing variables.

Figure 15. Fill the title block by linking cells with variables

Step 10: Create the views and add dimensions. In ZW3D 2022, you can inherit all PMI, whether it is parallel PMI in the plane view, or all PMI in the 3D view.

Figure 16. Inherit all PMI in the ISO view

Plus, Revision Table is supported in ZW3D 2022. It helps you record every change of design or manufacturing information in order.

Figure 17. Revision table

Step 11: Generate the assembly drawing.

Figure 18. The assembly drawing

Now, the whole design of the camera is done. Have you got the tricks of making it efficiently in ZW3D 2022? With its powerful modeling, assembly, and 2D drawing creation tools, it’s just a piece of cake.


Download the latest ZW3D 2022 for free and start your creation! Also, feel free to share your masterpiece with peer designers in the Facebook ZW3D User Group.

More Official Channels