ZWCAD Software Co. Ltd., (ZWSOFT, Guangzhou, P.R. China and Melbourne, FL) has announced its intention to release the 2011 version of its ZW3D CAD/CAM system in late May. A company spokesperson indicated to Desktop Engineering that May 23 is the target release date, although a complimentary beta evaluation download is available immediately.
ZWSOFT says that the SmoothFlow design paradigm in ZW3D 2011 combines direct modeling with the precise control of dimension-driven designs.
ZW3D, which is described as a complete CAD-to-CAM system, is capable of being used for complex part and assembly modeling as well as 2- through 5-axis machining. Version 2011 reportedly offers new tools, upgrades, and enhancements in every aspect of its operation. According to the company, a new Direct Edit Design paradigm and Auto-Feature Machining functionality are key new technologies incorporated in this major new version of the software.
The QuickEdit feature in ZW3D 2011 makes editing geometry context-sensitive, according to ZWSOFT.
ZWSOFT says that its engineers worked for more than "two years to create [the] wholly new Direct Edit Design paradigm" introduced in version 2011. Called SmoothFlow, the direct editing technology is said to combine the speed and flexibility of direct modeling with the control of dimension-driven designs, losing none of the features and functionality of history-based modeling. SmoothFlow, says ZWSOFT, works with history-based modeling seamlessly, and users can modify features on native or imported geometry without history regeneration.
New and improved modeling capabilities in ZW3D 2011 include a grab and drag shape modification feature that allows quick construction of 3D geometry by creating parametric dimensions automatically during the design process. A new SnapPick option takes a point pick and drives it from intersections, critical points, and axis direction automatically. Additionally, by eliminating the need to preselect an editing tool, ZW3D 2011's QuickEdit feature "essentially ... makes ... editing geometry context-sensitive," says the company. Further explaining the QuickEdit feature, the company says that it presents editing tools based on the geometry users touch -- e.g., if a user touches a face or surface on a 3D part, the offset tool is presented.
The PARTsolutions part library has been integrated within ZW3D 2011.
Additional modeling enhancements include broken views on 2D drawings, which allows users to display a drawing view in a larger scale on a smaller size drawing sheet. The software's DWG import/export has been improved, and the fillet modeling engine is new. A new configuration option that compacts sweep surface data automatically is said to bring greater efficiency to the software's NURBS features.
ZW3D 2011 now comes with the PARTsolutions parts library, which enables users to access and insert predefined parts based on ANSI, DIN, ISO, and other international standards into their models. Further improvements in the area of assembly design include a new command, Synch BOM (bill of materials) with part attributes, which enables users to update 3D parts by making changes to the 2D drawing. ZW3D 2011's Mold & Die features now offer one-step Core & Cavity calculations, the ability to create one blank electrode for several electrodes simultaneously, and two new methods to create slides or inserts: trim to surface and join to shape.
The ability to create one blank electrode for several electrodes at the same time is offered in ZW3D 2011.
The purpose of Auto-Feature Machining, says ZWSOFT, is to enable users to create efficient 3D CNC machining plans based on automatically detected features as well as optimized tool and strategy selections. (Users have the option of manipulating results as needed.) The software identifies features, such as slots and holes, which it then associates with data on your available machining processes contained in a linked knowledge base. The company estimates that ZW3D's combination of tools, automation, and machining logic can reduce machining cycle times by up to 30%. Other enhancements to ZW3D's CAM functionality include toolset optimization, updated calculation for rest rough areas, and strategy optimization.
ZW3D 2011 runs on Windows-based systems. A series of introductory webinars on ZW3D 2011 are planned for early June. For more information on ZW3D 2011, the worldwide introductory webinars, as well as to register for the complimentary beta download, visit ZWSOFT.
Access video tutorials on ZW3D 2011.
Sign-up for a complimentary 30-day trial version of ZW3D.
Download a PDF brochure on what's new in ZW3D 2011.
See why DE's Editor's selected ZW3D 2011 as their Pick of the Week.
Sources: Press materials received from the company and additional information gleaned from the company's website.