SECTION B2 - Myths of CAD 3D Design, and our
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Myths of 3D Design Return to Home Page

Dispelling Some Common Myths

A/ By using this FREE online 3D training you will already know that views do not have to be re-drawn to achieve the traditional 2D projections. 2D views are derived from looking at the Autocad 3D models from their tops, sides or ends. Once the 3D Autocad models exists, the draftsman can create as many views as he would like and each projection is "free." Pictorial 3D views can co-exist with projection views, and all of them can be created at any time during, or at the end of, the design phase.

B/ Engineers, Architects and Designers are still needed to create the end product on screen. This is because 3D Cad software does not have intelligence, so users still need to draw on their experience and knowledge to ensure a Cad 3D design meets the requirements.

C/ 3D design does not automatically mean working with solid modeling software or parametrics. 3D design means working in 3 dimensions. This includes Wireframe methods, Surfaces methods or indeed Solid modeling. As awareness of Cad 3D design grows, a widespread miss-belief is that the CAD software will need changing, and that any new 3D software must have all the latest 3D capabilities such as parametrics and solid modeling. This view is unfortunate for two reasons. Firstly, the most significant single benefit comes from simply working in 3D - the functionality of latest releases merely adds a little extra convenience. Secondly, changing CAD systems is hugely inconvenient and costly in terms of lost productivity time as well as money.

The first of the two points in C/ above needs to be clarified. Companies that first started using 3D design techniques with 'top end' systems in the early nineties did not have solid modeling capability, or even surface modeling capability either. Despite this, it quickly became obvious that the benefits of using any 3D design far outweighed the learning curve and high cost disadvantages - in those early days - of having 'new 3D Design technology' of that era. It was abundantly clear that 3D capability (a very basic capability indeed when compared to today's Autocad and AutoCAD LT versions) is far superior to 2D methods.
An analogy can be drawn with using public transport versus a private car. Any car will increase the convenience and comfort of a journey and be quicker and cheaper too. The car doesn't have to have all the latest equipment such as heated seats and electric windows to give the journey these major benefits, a small family saloon is enough. The same is true for 3D design. Any 3D method is far superior to 2D, even without the latest solid modelling software.

D/ AutoCAD and Autocad LT are more competent than hugely expensive 3D software that was available in the early nineties and are an excellent springboard to 3D design with solid modelling software.

E/ 3D Autocad models should duplicate the end product as closely as possible. Center lines, dimensions and notes have no place on a 3D model. Autocad 3D models should not be seen as a medium for creating some drawing data. They should be seen as an electronic prototype so Drawing features such as center lines and notes should remain with convention and only appear at the drawing creation stage. The reason for this is that 3D Autocad models closely resembling the final product can be a great deal of use in other ways such as 3D Line diagrams for use in product manuals, envelope info for crating packaging, and quantifying bill of material information. Adding drawing data (Centerlines etc) on an Autocad 3D model simply creates confusion and extra work because it clutters the model with un-neccessary entities and will inevitably need to be removed again at some later stage to ensure the component is represented without ambiguity.

F/ Designing in 3D is far easier than 2D because Cad 3D design methods tie in with peoples' natural visualization. This improves the quality of the design immensely, and thus allows projects to be concluded more quickly and cheaply. It is one of many powerful benefits that Cad 3D design brings.

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