November 29, 2017
Dear DE Reader:
2D technical sketching and drafting is still the bee’s knees for all sorts of mechanical designers despite all the buzz you hear about 3D CAD. Today’s Editor’s Pick of the Week looks at the latest release of a widely deployed 2D drafting solution that you can try out.
The lead is that the 2018 edition of ZSOFT’s ZWCAD Mechanical is now available and you can download a trial copy to see what it can do.
The short description is that ZWCAD Mechanical 2018 is a professional-level DWG-compatible mechanical drawing system. For those of you familiar with the company’s ZWCAD design solution, think of ZWCAD Mechanical as the same software extended with the specialized tools you need for mechanical and manufacturing design.
That entails what? To start, ZWSOFT says that ZWCAD Mechanical 2018 provides tools for just about every facet of the mechanical engineering and design process. In part that means expected features like tolerance dimensioning, surface texture symbols, layer management and layer mapping. It also means that the software provides a standard-based drafting platform that supports international drafting standards, such as ANSI, DIN, GB, ISO and JIS. It comes with a library of standard parts—screws, nuts, washers, pins, rivets, springs, bearings and so forth.
ZWCAD Mechanical 2018 also features some 32 options for creating construction lines and seven options for construction circles. It supports working with multiple border drawings, and it has a number of ways to draw grooves, including crack groove, shaft and hole reliefs. You can also create your own shafts and gears.
ZWSOFT says that ZWCAD Mechanical 2018’s intelligent balloons and BOM (bill of materials) capabilities let you draw standard-based balloons quickly then align and renumber them easily. When you change a balloon, it can update the BOM. ZWCAD Mechanical automatically recognizes standard parts and summarizes them in your BOM.
Another neat feature is the software’s Power Dimension smart annotation capability. This helps make dimensioning easier by giving you abbreviated dialog boxes that control and expand only the variables relevant to manufacturing. Complementary to that is a feature that lets you create multiple dimensions with minimal ado.
You can learn more about ZWCAD Mechanical 2018 from today’s Editor’s Pick of the Week. But your best learning tool is trying it. So download the trial copy from the link at the end of the main text and give it a test drive.
Thanks, Pal. – Lockwood
Anthony J. Lockwood
Editor at Large, DE