IronCAD provides the ability to design different types of parts in a single modeling environment to fit the needs of the designer and the task at hand. INOVATE can load IRONCAD files and edit Structured Parts. However, INOVATE does not support the ability to create Structured Parts.
Each part design types have unique behaviors that benefit different aspects of design as follows:
- Innovative Part Design - Innovative Part Design allows users to build a non-restrictive history of features that make up the design aspects of the part. Although it has a history of features, the system allows the user the ability to dynamically change the history order without inverse effects of feature dependency rules and restrictions. SmartUpdate technology within Innovative Part Design aids the users by intelligently managing the feature history giving predictable results when changes are made by the user. Innovative Part Design also provides a level of flexibility by allowing the user to refer to geometry elements regardless of the history order in which the geometry appears. This flexibility allows the user to work as if they were working with a physical object in their hands eliminating rules implied by the system.
Since the Innovative Part Design supports features, users are able to add specific design rules to create parametric design intent. The advantage in this approach is to apply intent when needed allowing the user to place only the critical design intent during their design process without the need of system applied rules that may not apply to their design task.
In addition to the non-restrictive history based capabilities, users are able to directly edit the geometry regardless of the underlying definition of the feature. This capability allows the user to work on imported data containing no feature information directly as well as the Innovative Parts with feature information. Unlike other direct geometry systems, IRONCAD INOVATE will maintain the feature design information that is not effected by the direct geometry modification, creating the only application that can truly support a mixed feature environment.
- Structured Part Design - Structured Part Design is a history-based structure of features that build the design following a intended design order determined by the user. This part design allows the user to define a rigid sequence to their design that can be predictably changed based on the intent provided by the user. During the design process, users can "rollback" to any stage of the design to edit the feature definition at the stage in which the feature was created. After this modification, the remaining features will update accordingly to the changes applied.
Structured Part Design also provides a powerful multiple body capability to aid the user in designing the part that could be made up of 2D Sketches, features, 3D curves, and surface features. Using command tools such as Boolean, users can combine the multiple bodies as a feature operation event which allows the user to fully edit the underlying definition at any stage to alter the design.
In addition to the feature-based design, users can apply direct modeling edits which can be additional feature of the design or they can convert the design into an Innovative Part Design to have additional flexibility in modifying the design regardless of the feature order.
Structured Part Design - Feature Behavior Rules
Structured Part Design is designed to take advantage of many Innovative Part Design concepts like handles, catalog drag & drop, and TriBall positioning. However, certain rules are applied as follows:
- TriBall Feature Behavior - The TriBall positioning tool can be used to position features that do not have any association references applied to the feature sketch. This allows for quick positioning of non-associated features. Once a feature's sketch contains either positional sketch placement references or constraints to 3D elements, the TriBall positioning will become inactive. In Structured Part Design, design intent and references are applied to maintain consistent updates and changes in the design. Once this design information is applied, the free-form position capabilities are not valid.
- Feature Linking - Linked feature support is not valid in the Structured Part Design. The Innovative Part Design linked feature concept allows the user to place related copies of the features in various locations on the part. However, this concept is not valid for a rigid structure where the user will need to define intent for the placement of the features so that modifications can consistently maintain when they are made. This is the current behavior, however we are always investigating ways to improve productivity in the future.
- IntelliShape Handles - IntelliShape handles continue to be part of the flexibility in Structured Part Design for catalog based features. However, sketch based features will only support "Profile" handle editing (no access to sizebox handles).
- Catalog Drag & Drop - Catalog Drag & Drop functionality is still valid in the Structured Part Design. Users can continue to drag & drop features to and from the catalog.
- Anchor Behavior - Anchors are created within the Structured Part Design, however the "Attach to Surface" behavior is not supported. The "Attach to Surface" behavior is a temporary constraint behavior that is powerful in the Innovative Part Design, but is not a valid constraint method for the Structured Part Design. The "Attach to Surface" behavior however can be achieved through feature profile associations.
Structured Part Design - Reference Association Rules
Structured Part Design is based on a rigid ordered history structure to enable an ordered design intent in the design. This design concept implies that reference associations in the features can only apply to geometry/features that are recorded prior to the feature being edited. Reference associations cannot refer to geometry that is created after the feature in the structure and cannot refer to elements outside of the part (this is a planned enhancement to support in a future version). This design rule makes it easy to enable predictable and understandable design intent into the feature design and updating process. Warning messages will appear when a reference association has been lost due to changes to the design to help rebuild the model to the desired intent.
Turning on Structured Part Design
IRONCAD provides the ability to create a new scene environment that can contain a mixture of parts resulting from different design types. There are two different methods to determine which part type to create:
- Status Bar Part Design Toggle - Located on the status bar, users can designate the part type that will be created when creating new features through drag & drop from catalogs or when starting new features/sketches. This approach is used primarily when designing in a bottom-up design manner to build the parts and assemblies of the design.
Part Type Toggle Option
- Create Part Command - Located on the Assembly Ribbon Tab, users can select to create an empty part into the scene environment in which the part type is determined by the current status bar part type setting. This command is useful in creating a top-down assembly structure. It allows the user to build the entire structure from the start, then complete the design information for the parts at a later stage.