1. Modern UI and simplified workflow

ZW3D adopts a modern user interface style to provide a friendlier, more enjoyable user experience. More widely used commands are available on ribbon interface.
The workflow was reorganized to make the most frequently used commands more logical and self-intuitive, while increasing user efficiency and decreasing complexity for beginners.
Updated managers are more reasonable, which enhances operation convenience and work efficiency, including history manager, assembly manager, layer manager,2D sheet manager, dimension style manager and CAM manager.

1.1 Multi-window display

ZW3D 2013 supports multi-window display, so designers can very easily transfer between files. In the window bar, there are new icons used for adding a new file or a new object into the current file. So operations become more efficient.

1.2 Fast user interface customization

Customize the user interface in seconds with the drag and drop operation. The interface layout, including style, ribbon tabs, and toolbars can be customized very fast.

2. Better visual effects

2.1 Upgraded the ZW3D display engine to OpenGL 3.0

Updated the ZW3D display engine to OpenGL3.0 completely, in order to achieve better display features (real time shadows, better lighting models, faster shaders, etc) and better performance.
The important point is that ZW3D automatically supports old/imbedded graphic chips. ZW3D’s minimum requirement is OpenGl2.0.

2.2Improved large model performance

The large model performance has been greatly improved, including lower memory consumption, faster model regeneration and other performances. It resulted in a more than 20% speedup in regeneration of the model.

2.3 Perspective datum, dimension and triad

ZW3D supports the perspective datum, the dimension and coordination axis (triad) in order to provide a more convenient working environment. It gives a more visual display and more efficient design. Designers can toggle the display status -- turn it on/off by the “Show Hidden” option in the visual manager.

2.4 Optimized arrow display

On previous versions, it is often the case that too many arrows are displayed on the model. Simplifying the arrows gives a more clear display.

3. Higher quality data exchange

3.1 High quality STEP, IGS and Parasolid import

Make remarkable improvements in importing geometry from other systems, which force on STEP, IGES and Parasolid formats. At the same time, the TransMagic integration has been upgraded, and the extra Parasolid translation has been removed to speed up import and reduce errors.
These reduce the occurrences of open edges and open faces to a level comparable to some good software in the market. All existing 3D format importers also benefit from this.

3.2 Enhanced color display for STEP

There are two improvements on color display on STEP format date.

  • For STEP203 import, the default color is changed into blue from black.
  • STEP214 export with model color is supported now. (It will be integrated later)

4. Efficient and friendly sketch

4.1 New arc length dimension

This new dimension constraint makes sketch definition more flexible. Combined with the angle dimension, sketch design could better meet actual demands.

4.2 New “Add constraints” feature auto deduce constraint types

The new “Add constraints” feature greatly speeds up the constraint definition. Now, users don’t need to take time to find the suitable constraint type and define the constraint for the selected geometry. Designers just focus on the design work not details feature operation.
With this new feature, ZW3D can automatically deduce available constraint types according to the selected geometry. Simpler operations give more efficient sketch definition.

4.3 More friendly constraint conflict prompts

Friendly constraint conflict prompts makes sketch design more visual and efficient. Designers don’t need to worry about the complexity of the sketch since ZW3D gives a clear tip.

4.3.1 New control options for constraint conflicts

Designers can control the conflicting constraint if it is added on the sketch with this new option. Configuration -> 2D -> 2D solver “Add constraints when dependent”

4.3.2 Conflicting constraints with color mark

While adding the constraints, the conflicting constraints will be marked by a red/pink color if it is allowed to be added on the sketch.

4.3.3 Updated “Constraint status” feature

There is a new feature to find all the constraint and dimension information as well as two new features to quickly solve dimension conflicts. Constraint management has never been so visual and efficient.

4.3.4 Prompt message for constraint conflicts/h3>

The prompt message is available when exiting a sketch with unsolved constraint conflicts. And this sketch is marked by red color in design manager.

4.4 Direct external reference

During modeling, designers always refer to the external geometry to draw the sketch. In the previous version, several operations are needed to do it. In ZW3D 2013, it becomes very easy. Directly use the external geometry (such as: center point, line) to draw the sketch. At the same time, some constraint relationships are added automatically in the sketch. So the sketch will be auto-updated when the external geometry is changed.

4.5 Other improvements

1)  Perpendicular constraints support the Spline.
2)  X-axis and Y-axis can be worked as the constraint object.
3)  Optimize the rules of auto-constraints.
4)  Constraints are not affected by the move/rotate operation.

5. Modeling and assembly

Great improvements were made on the ZW3D manager, which is a new tool to manage feature history, assembly constraints and drawing sheets/views properties in a very consistent way. This information is organized into a tree control, in a very self-intuitive way.

5.1 Flexible and friendly history manager

The updated history manager provides new way of interaction. Model information is more visible; operations become simpler and more efficient. Design experience has never so better.

5.1.1 Drag and drop feature editing

Efficient design work starts with free drag and drop feature editing. To inserting a new feature in the modeling history, or reordering the feature history, you just need to drag and drop.

5.1.2 New management for deleting features with associated operations

When deleting features with some associated operations, there is a prompt dialog for confirming them. Designers can choose to delete all operations or suppress all according to different requirements.

5.1.3 Auto suppression of failed features in regeneration

During the regeneration, some failed features will be suppressed automatically without more manual process. It speeds up the model regeneration.

5.1.4 Speeding up of feature history regeneration

Apply the new technology (auto-cache management) to speed up the part regeneration. Designers can control the cache management with two new parameters which are “Auto-cache part states for faster history rollback” and “Max interval (seconds)” in the Part table of Configuration. (Configuration-> Part)

Regeneration is speeded up substantially through various strategies, including dependency and relationship analysis, and using DE strategy.

5.1.5 Independent dialog for inquiring feature dependencies

For each operation, designers can obtain the feature dependencies information from the right menu. Simple dialogs show the intuitive information. It is a useful query tool.

5.1.6 Customized folder management

For any complex model, all the basic geometry information is clearly displayed in this new manager, including the Solid, Surface, Wireframe, Dimension and History. Visual solid and surface information can help designers to check if the model is the solid part or open geometry.
In the part table of configuration, users can set the folder display status according to demands.
(Configuration-> Part)

5.1.7 Adjustment of the right menu

The option features of the history manager have been moved into the right menu of History. “Play history” is also added into the right menu. The “Backup” feature was renamed “State”.
The items in the tree control will support the mini-bar and context menu. Users can use these shortcuts to finish the most frequently used operations on the selected items. E.g. relocating a sketch to other datum plane; resizing datum plane, etc.

5.2 More organized assembly manager

5.2.1 More Organized Assembly and Component Relationships

The new assembly manager shows clearer information of the assembly model. The history manager and assembly manager have been strictly separated.

  • Components alignments display in the assembly manager. Alignment and corresponding components names are displayed together. It is a very visual way.
  • Some unnecessary information that does not need to be recorded in the history manager and assembly manager, include:
  • Move relevant commands
  • Change component commands
  • Alternate component relevant commands
  • Assembly configuration relevant commands
  • Interference check command

5.2.2 Synchronous highlight for components and alignments

Pick the component or the alignment in the assembly manager, and the related object will be synchronous highlighted in the working area. On the big assembly model, designers can easy distinguish the selected component and alignments.

5.2.3 Name of editing component displays in color

In the ZW3D assembly environment, it is very convenient for designers to edit any component. The updated assembly manager provides clearer hints for designers: the names of editing components display in blue color in the assembly manager.
Each small improvement can give a better design feeling.

5.2.4 Over-defined information marked in red color

The conflicting constraints and over-defined components are marked in red color. It helps designers to solve the alignment problems fast and improves the work efficiency.

5.2.5 Components list supports drag and drop operation

It’s possible to drag and drop any component to change the assembly relation. It makes assembly definition more flexible. At the same time, some alignments are auto changed. To get the right assembly, it is needed to redefine the changed alignments after reordering components.

5.2.6 Multi-show type

To conveniently get the most effective information, there are three different show types: show all, show components and show alignments.

The most important point is that alignments can be listed in two different methods: Alignment preference and Component preference.

5.2.7 New option for compatibility with old assembly models

The new assembly manager is more reasonable. At the same time, there is a new option for designers to create an assembly file with or without a new assembly mode.

5.3 Visual layer manager

More visual layer manager is available in ZW3D 2013. All layer operations become simple and efficient.

5.3.1 New interface of layer manager

There are two ways to access new layer manager: The “Layer manager” icon in the Document aware toolbar; Or “Tools->Layer Manager”.

Except for the common items of layers (name, display & frozen statue, object count and description),  there are three more attributes (color, line type and line width) in the drafting environment. All layers information display more visual.

On new layer manager, more operations have become easier and more convenient, including activate/new/delete operation, editing layer attribute.

  • Double-click: activate the layer; modify the name
  • Singl-click: change display status or frozen status

For selection operations, it has the same habits of select operation with windows:

  • Ctrl+A ---SelectAll,
  • Ctrl-Select--- Multi-pick and unpick
  • Shift-Select--- Pick a range of layer by clicking the first one and the last one

5.3.2 Entities attributes by layers on 2D sheets

In the 2D sheet environment, ZW3D supports entities attributes by layers. The entities display changes with the layer attributes without regen. Supported entity types are following:

Entity Object

Attribute by layer

Linear geometry, dimensions and views

Color, Linetype and Linewidth

Hatch and text

Color and Linewidth

Point and table


Take dimension attribute for example:

5.3.3 Other improvements

1)  Click the attribute column (Name/Color/Object Count…) to order all layers.
2)  Assign the layer for the object: Pick the object first, and then select the layer from the list.
3)  Number of layers is no more than 256. Length of name is 32 characters at most and the length of description is less than 512 characters.
4)  Function optimization: Some unneeded features have been removed.

5.5 Added a new option “Extract history” to “Copy geometry to part”

Updated the “Copy geometry to part” feature, it extends functionality and makes geometry reference within parts becomes clearer. New option “Extract history” provides the geometry extract/copy with related modeling history.

Since integrated function, some features are simplified. “Extract geometry” & “Copy geometry” located in component toolbar of assembly module has been moved. Edit-> Copy ->”Assembly geometry” also has been deleted.

5.6 New free wrap functions

Powerful and flexible morph functions make product design more efficient and interesting. ZW3D 2013 provides two new features to speed up design and extend function.
The new feature is wrap shapes to faces, which includes three different types: wrap to faces, wrap to UV face, wrap by refolding an “Unfold” feature. They make creative design more flexible.
Another one is wrap pattern to faces, which also provides three types: wrap pattern to face with minimal distortion, fill face with wrapped pattern, wrap pattern to curve on face.

5.6.1 Wrap to faces

This new feature allows designers to directly wrap shapes, curves and STL data to target faces from the datum. Such as: it is useful for placing a 3D logo onto a set of face.

5.6.2 Wrap to UV faces

This feature is wrapping the geometry according to the UV isolines on datum face and target face. Also shapes, curves and STL data could be wrapped onto the target face. It is the suggested that datum face should be a planar face.

5.6.3 Wrap by refolding an “Unfold” feature

When there are wrapped geometry and an unfold plane/profile of target surface, designers can easy wrap the geometry onto target face with this feature.
Design work will more flexible and more interesting.

5.6.4 Wrap pattern to face with minimal distortion

This wrap pattern method allows designers to wrap the geometry to the target face along two orthogonal directions. Origin matches with datum origin; and horizontal direction matches with one direction of datum.

5.6.5 Fill face with wrapped pattern

When the geometry is needed to be wrapped to the whole face with a pattern, “Fill face with wrapped pattern” can do it. See the below image. In the product design industry, with this feature, we can achieve more attractive product modeling. Design work becomes easier and more interesting.

5.6.6 Wrap pattern to curve on face

“Wrap pattern to curve on face” can help designers to realize some work with specific requirements. Along the curve on the target face, wrap the geometry with the pattern to get the final modeling. Do anything just you want.

5.7 Upgrade Draft Analysis and new thickness analysis

Improve existing draft analysis functions to satisfy more requirements:

  • Use different colors to mark out different draft status areas: positive, negative, neutral;
  • Allow users to inquire about the draft status through mouse hovering;
  • Analyze drafts according to global geometry instead of local information of specified faces.

(Inquire-> Analyze faces -> Draft checking)

The new thickness analysis feature provides visual thickness information. The model is displayed in a different color. Except for min and max thickness values, designers can get detailed thickness information of any position by mouse hovering.
(Inquire->Thickness analysis)

6. Draft

6.1 New sheet manager

New sheet manager has a rich functionality for managing sheets, sheet attributes, sheet formats, views and integrated table manager functions. All operations have never been so easy.

6.1.1 Multi-sheet management

It is possible to create several sheets with different standard in one single file in ZW3D 2013. For designers, sheet management becomes easier.
In the manager, the non-activated sheet is dimmed. It’s very convenient to new / activate/ delete a sheet withthe manager or the new bar.

6.1.2 New sheet attribute panel and simplified drawing setting panel

In order to define fast or edit sheet attributes, ZW3D 2013 provides a new panel. From the right menu of the sheet, designer can define the sheet name, scale,background and other information.(2D Sheet Manager -> Sheet name-> Attribute from the right menu)
At the same time,the drawing setting panel is simplied since the scale parameter is moved into the sheet attribute panel and the sheet size parameter is added in the sheet format attribute dialog.(Edit->Preference)

6.1.3 Visual and easy edit sheet format

All sheet format information is visually displayed in the new sheet manager, including drawing border, title block and so on.

  • By the right menu, it is very fast to add side blocks and top blocks.
  • Double click each item to edit it. Also the right menu provides editing, eras and blank/unblank functions.
  • In sheet format attribute table, designers can easily change the sheet template, or customize the sheet format and sheet size.(2D Sheet Manager-> Sheet Format ->Sheet Format Attribute from thr right menu)

6.1.4 Integrated table manager

The new integrated table is simpler compared with the old one. It involves the BOMtable,Hole table, Electrode table and user table.All the table functions areavaliable in the right menu. At the same time, the uninserted table is displayed in gray for a clear distinction.

6.1.5 Improved view management

Model information associated with the view also is displayed in the manager, which is the subitem of the view.It includes modeling history and assembly information. It is possible to hide any component. View definition becomes more flexibile.

6.1.6 Powerful mouse functions

In the new sheet environment,ZW3D provides more abundant mouse actions.

  • Double-left click : Expand/collapse subitems;Edit attribute or edit selected item (Drawing border, BOMtable…)
  • Right click: Many features are moved into the right menu. Designers can quickly get the needed command. The convenient right menu replaces the old table manager. Sheet format customization is simpler.

6.1.7 Table and view supports synchronous highlight

A friendly user experience and high work efficiency is ZW3D’s target. In the 2013 version, there are improved sheet supports synchronous highlight for the tabe and view.

6.2 New dimension style manager

It is easy to define or modify sheet standards with the new style manager. It provides five different annotation styles, centerline/center mark and seven different dimension styles.
There are five default standards: ANSI,DIN,GB,ISO,and JIS, which couldn’t be changed. But designers can modify any style to save as a new style, and then flexibly configure styles to customize a new standard according to different requirements.
Another important thing is that new style manager supports real-time preview, which reflects most parameter changes.
Two access methods:Attribute->Style manager; Right menu of top item in sheet manager.

6.3 New annotation types

6.3.1 Center line dimension

This new feature supports lines, curves and points. And centerline style attribute could be customized by designers.

6.3.2 Arc length dimension

Except for the arc radius and arc angle, it‘s possible to dimension the arc length. Dimensioning becomes more flexible.

6.3.3 Updated chamfer dimension with more types

The updated chamfer dimension function supports a new format (<DIST1> X <ANGL>) and several different text position types. It can help designers to get a better 2D sheet, which meets the standard.

6.3.4 Datum target supports point, rectangle and line

The datum target feature is greatly extended. Two old features (Datum target point, Datum target area) have been merged into a new one –Datum target features. At the same time, it supports two new types: rectangle and line.

6.4 New DimTool feature

This new feature can help designers add some special symbols fast (such as: R, Ø, M) or modify dimension formats (such as: tolerance type, text box, reference flag).

6.5 Visual and Efficient Feature Control Symbol Editor

The optimized feature control symbol editor becomes more visual. FCS definition is so easy in the ZW3D 2013 version. It’s very convenient to insert special characters and symbols. The most important point is that designers can get a real-time preview to check definition results. Work efficiency is greatly improved.

6.6 Visual surface roughness symbol panel

Visual interface makes surface roughness symbol definition easier. And the real-time preview is available in the sheet area.

6.7 Extended dimension and annotation attribute

Many new options are added in the attribute function to meet more different standards. Such as:

  • Bold text, underline text
  • Alignment method of multi-lines text: Left, Center, Right
  • Circle and rectangle datum target with target area and hatch
  • Customized datum symbol size
  • Feature control symbol adds the second tolerance option.
  • New display ways for zero tolerance
  • ……

For convenience, to modify dimensions or annotation attributes, the corresponding attribute parameters are added into command panel. 2D sheet work is more efficient.

6.8 Auto-update Part attributes and sheet attributes

Except for default part attributes, user attributes also are available in the variable browser. So designers can easily insert the needed attributes into the sheet.
All part attributes, including user attributes could be updated automatically in the sheet when they have been defined in sheet the template.
ZW3D 2013 not only provides auto-update of part attributes, but some new sheet attributes can be updated automatically together, including sheet scale, sheet sequence/sheet amount, sheet name and sheet projection.  

6.9 Other improvements

1)  Improve the projection view of holes and threaded holes.