Mechanical design is the combination of strictness and flexibility – designers should strictly abide by different standards, while at the same time, personalization is also needed to meet special needs. What’s more, mechanical design is not just about design. Design-for-machining is extremely important to ensure efficiency and accuracy. So, is there a tool that can satisfy both the requirements for standardization and personalization? In other words, both abundant standard parts and flexible design tools are available, and more importantly, product design and machining are integrated. ZW3D is the answer. Let’s check how it can help with your mechanical design from the above perspectives. Data Exchange: Basic Yet Crucial To start with, you may need to import design data, no matter 2D drawings or 3D models, to smooth and accelerate the latter 3D modeling and editing. At this first step, the importance of a powerful data exchange system cannot be overemphasized. ZW3D can directly read 3D models from CATIA®, NX®, Creo®, SolidWorks®, SolidEdge®, Inventor®, etc., and also 2D drawings from CATIA® and SolidWorks®, to maximize data reuse and facilitate data exchange with suppliers and other departments.
The Win-Win of Standardization and Personalization After importing 2D drawings, you need to convert them into 3D data by 3D modeling. Parametric technology and top-down assembly technology, which enable parts and the assembly to be updated simultaneously after making changes to one variable or one part, and Direct Edit, which helps quickly edit the parts without history data, both make it a piece of cake for designers to conduct 3D modeling and edit mechanical parts.
Figure 1. Directly edit parts without history
Also, every mechanical designer will love the part libraries, in which millions of ready-made standard parts are accessible so that they don’t need to design from scratch, increasing design efficiency, ensuring the standardization of parts and smoothing the collaboration with part suppliers. The good news is that ZW3D not only has its own standard part library, but also the 3rd-party ones, like PARTSolutions®, Traceparts®, MISUMI®, etc.
Figure 2. PARTSolutions® in ZW3D offers 800+ catalogs and 17 national standards
Except for standardization, personalization is also required in mechanical design, to satisfy diversified customer needs and realize creative design. In ZW3D, with flexible design tools like Emboss, Wrap and Twist, designers can easily adjust mechanical parts to meet different needs. As the example below shows, the mechanical linkage can be twisted and tapered flexibly.
Figure 3. Easily personalize the design of the mechanical linkage by Twist and Taper
The Synchronization of CAD & CAM Now that the part design is finished, we now enter the machining process. Here, the communication between the design and machining departments is key, because a small change of a mechanical part not only influences other parts, but also the whole machining process. If the mechanical design doesn’t meet the machining requirements, the work efficiency could be ruined, causing losses for most mechanical design companies. Therefore, machining should be well considered in advance during the design process. But how to realize this synchronization between designing and machining? You’ll need an all-in-one CAD/CAM solution. Integrating CAD and CAM into the same system, ZW3D helps associate machining changes with design changes, which means that the machining program can be updated simultaneously according to the part revision by one-button recalculation of toolpaths. Also, sharing the same database in ZW3D, the CAD and CAM data can be included in the same file, making the collaboration between designing and machining seamless and convenient.
Figure 4. The design changes can be updated to the machining program by one click
Mechanical design is never easy. On one hand, part design should strictly conform to specific standards for smoother collaboration and different regulations. On the other hand, based on standardization, there are also personalized demands for unique design. More importantly, the synchronization between designing and machining means a lot to higher accuracy and efficiency. Taking all these key elements in mechanical design into account, I would say that ZW3D would be an ideal choice, offering abundant standard part libraries, flexible design tools, and an integrated CAD/CAM environment. If you are undertaking mechanical design, why not give it a chance?