ZW3D 2022: Next-Level CAD/CAM Features at Your Fingertips

ZWSOFT today announced the official launch of ZW3D 2022, the latest version of its flagship integrated 3D CAD/CAM solution. Packed with new features and enhancements, this long-awaited version will surprise you with its G3 curve continuity, piping design module, and countless improvements that culminate in higher modeling and machining efficiency as well as friendlier interaction.

The Breakthrough in G3 Continuity Boosts Modeling Capabilities

The ZWSOFT R&D team take the modeling capabilities to the next level this time—generating G3 continuous curves is feasible in ZW3D 2022. It means that you can create fairer curves and lays a solid foundation for creating surfaces of higher continuity level.

“This breakthrough indicates that ZW3D is prepared for tackling the demands for the intricate design of high-quality surfaces of high-end products such as automobiles and planes.” The ZW3D product manager explained that raising the continuity level of surfaces makes the creation of more aesthetically appealing yet practical products easier. “In ZW3D 2022, you are free to choose the G3 curve continuity option for commonly used commands, such as Blend, Point Curve, and Modify in the sketch and part environments.”

Catering to the Needs of More Professional Fields

As an integrated 3D CAD/CAM solution, ZW3D is widely applied in areas including product design, mechanical design, mold design, manufacturing, etc. The latest ZW3D 2022 approaches even more professionals with its new piping module for designing gas and liquid transmission equipment.

There are flexible routing ways in this new piping module, which allow you to set not only pipe files, but also pipe diameter, thickness, and material. Also, these piping parameters can be specification driven or non-specification driven, so that you don’t need to go out of your way to create and route pipes. Moreover, you can create pipe paths by multiple means, such as Drag, Orthogonal, Two Points, and Offset. Flanges, gaskets, and reducers can be automatically added; while the flow direction can be adjusted in an intuitive way.

A Myriad of New CAD/CAM functions to Lift Efficiency and Quality

Furthermore, the new and enhanced CAD/CAM functions of ZW3D 2022 will give you a leg-up in designing and machining products. For example, the newly added Flatten command allows you to check the flattening results of sheet metals in real time, thus, generating relevant 2D drawings becomes way easier.

Meanwhile, new Profile Roughing path pattern in Offset 2D roughing machining operation, Flat Detection in QuickMill roughing machining operation, etc. have been added, while the lace operation machining order, Full Machine Simulation, etc. have been improved. Therefore, your machining efficiency and quality will soar remarkably, as the ZW3D product manager pointed out, “We adopted the multi-threading technology and perfected the algorithm to make toolpath generation faster in this version. The calculation time, in particular, is reduced by an average of 50% and will be more obvious when users process larger parts.”

With features more than the above-mentioned ones, ZW3D 2022 will further satisfy the 3D CAD/CAM needs of various industries and professionals. Feel free to download ZW3D 2022 and start your free 30-day trial. Meanwhile, don’t hesitate to share your input with your peer designers and engineers in the ZW3D User Group as well!

EMU Designs Batteries and Power Systems with ZWCAD

EMU, one of the largest European battery suppliers, has been using ZWCAD to design batteries for demanding applications since 2011.

With 29 years of industry experience, over 10 thousand customers worldwide, and several recognized brands (EUROPOWER®, ACUMAX®, ALARMTEC, and DYNASTY), EMU is one of the largest manufacturers of valve regulated lead-acid (VRLA), absorbed glass mat (AGM), and gel batteries in Europe. Moreover, since 2012, EMU has been specializing in battery packs, providing services during the whole process of research, design, production, and prefabrication of both small battery sets and complex industrial power systems.

Diverse and Demanding Needs of Battery Design

Apart from those that you can find in a convenience store, batteries that EMU supplies can cater to the needs of demanding and diverse applications, such as alarm systems, armies, banks, stadiums, and telecommunications. Also, EMU designs a wide range of accessories, including battery racks, battery chargers, rectifiers, etc., and even the buildings for the storage of them. Therefore, they attach significance to the design tool.

Figure 1. The demanding applications of EMU batteries

Aspiring to offer satisfying service to their customers, EMU in turn stresses the services provided by the software supplier when selecting a CAD program. “The great customer service provided by SZANSA (a Polish ZWSOFT partner) convinced us to buy and try ZWCAD out. We were very happy with the smooth communication, and that was important to us when choosing a CAD program,” appreciated Przemysław Kujaszewski, a sales engineer of EMU.

The Useful and Powerful ZWCAD Meets All the Requirements

During the trial, they found the functions of ZWCAD familiar, which slashes the time required to train employees who are new to it. In addition to the smooth switch, they also consider that ZWCAD functions are useful and powerful, as Mr. Kujaszewski praised, “When it comes to creating, sending, amending files we have yet to stumble across a problem.”

As regards creating drawings, the handy features of ZWCAD help them simplify the design process. For example, the HATCH function saves them much time annotating or marking objects, like the roofs of the battery storage building. Besides, its Layer Properties Manager makes working on a large number of layers convenient.

After designing, as part of their business operation, they need to outsource some of their workloads. Thanks to the full DWG compatibility of ZWCAD, they have no trouble exchanging all types of CAD files with their suppliers. Once they receive the drawings from the suppliers, they would review and revise them with abundant editing features in ZWCAD. What’s more, to their amazement, the time of opening drawings has reduced drastically by around 20-30%, depending on the drawing size. “Right now, there is nothing that stands in our way when designing. The program works flawlessly,” concluded Mr. Kujaszewski.

Figure 2. Batteries and battery racks designed by EMU (Image courtesy of EMU)

A Brighter Future Powered by ZWCAD

Nowadays, almost all areas of life are related to or even depend on batteries, and people have become more aware of their ecological impact, which emphasizes the safety, reliability, and long service life of the energy source. To meet these challenges, EMU trusts that the huge amount of ZWCAD functions provide them with a unique approach to designing and promise them many other new possibilities. With ZWCAD, they will keep ensuring the functioning of daily life and the continuity of the most important processes in many industries with their high-quality batteries and related products.

A Workflow for Early-Stage Architect-Engineer Collaboration

A Workflow for Early-Stage Architect-Engineer Collaboration

It’s the paradox of early design: the most important decisions are made when architects have the least time to evaluate them thoroughly or engage with the broader team. And yet, early collaboration can unlock significant benefits for the client and design team.

Adding to the complexity are the number of parties who should ideally be involved in early decisions. They typically include:

  • The architect, who makes most of the early design decisions, and is the primary contact with the client, responsible for communicating ideas and recommending an approach.
  • The mechanical engineer. Architects often look to engineers for early feedback on performance. But typical engineering software is not designed for early-stage analysis, so engineers are hard-pressed to keep pace with frequent design changes.
  • The sustainability specialist. Most architecture firms an in-house specialist, or team of specialists, with special expertise in building performance. But like the engineer, they struggle to provide feedback quickly enough.

So how can the design team collaborate in these harried early days — without duplicating work or holding up the design? While each firm is different, below is a basic early-stage workflow and division of responsibilities. This workflow takes full advantage of Sefaira’s collaborative capabilities, but is general enough to apply broadly.

Collaborative Workflow

Click image for downloadable version.

Early-Stage Workflow

1.) Establish performance goals — architect. The architect works with the client to establish performance goals related to energy, comfort, daylight, energy cost, or other criteria. Part of this step is making the client aware of what’s possible. For example, the client may be interested in occupant productivity, but unaware of the link to daylight and comfort.

2.) Establish metrics and benchmarks — specialist. The sustainability specialist helps to translate the broad goals (e.g. “good daylight in office spaces”) to specific metrics and targets (e.g. “Spatial Daylight Autonomy of 55%”). These are documented in the Owner’s Project Requirements (OPR).

Early Stage Workflow

Standard baselines and benchmarks can help establish realistic targets.

3.) Set up the baseline — engineer. The baseline case is the “control” against which design options are compared. For example, the baseline for many energy simulations is ASHRAE Standard 90.1. These inputs can be set up in Sefaira before the architect begins design. Having the engineer or specialist involved in this step ensures accuracy and acceptance of early results. A generic 3D model can be used at this stage to generate initial information about the building’s likely energy profile and potential strategies the design team should consider.

3D Model and Baseline Inputs
Fig.2 A generic 3D model and baseline inputs can be used to generate preliminary results.

4. Conceptual design studies — architect. With the baselines and targets defined, the architect can freely explore early design moves: building form, program layout, facade design, floor-to-floor heights, and the like. Designers can be trained to quickly create study models that can be used for design, analysis, and presentation. For more complex simulations they can lean on the specialist for support.

comparative massing models
A design team at Stantec used conceptual massing models to compare energy and daylight performance for a new high school. Image courtesy of Stantec.

5. HVAC studies — engineer. Once a smaller set of options is defined, the architect uploads the designs to Sefaira and shares them with the engineer. The engineer explores HVAC system options and their interactions with the envelope. Early sizing studies can help reduce size and capital cost of systems — one of the key benefits of early collaboration. The architect and engineer may go back and forth several times at this stage to work out the design.

HVAC Comparison
The mechanical engineer studies HVAC system options.

6. Envelope optimization — specialist. When the schematic design is defined, the specialist can assist in further optimizing and fine-tuning envelope assemblies, shading elements, and facade design. Depending on the project and firm, the architect or engineer may also assist in this process. It can be helpful at this stage to maintain a “smart model” that can be analyzed at any point.

Response Curve
Parametric analysis can be used to optimize various elements of a design, such as the length of horizontal shading devices. 

Design teams that have implemented this type of workflow have reported improved architect-engineer relationships, better communication, and the ability to arrive at a solution more quickly. Architects are better positioned to communicate with their clients about performance.

Who Builds the Model?

Who has the responsibility for creating the 3D geometry for analysis? We’ve seen a few scenarios work:

Architect creates the 3D model. This allows the engineer to respond very quickly, removing one of the major obstacles to early-stage collaboration. It also means that the model can stay up-to-date with design changes. But it requires that architects are able to create appropriate models. (Sefaira’s Knowledgebase and Learning website can help.)

Engineer creates the model. This gives the engineer the ability to ensure that the model is created correctly, but can slow down the feedback process and increase costs.

Architect creates model, and specialist or engineer checks & uploads. This hybrid solution gives the architect freedom to explore, but provides quality control at key points in the process.

ZW3D: Eligible and Practical for the Manufacturing of TAÇ® Kitchenware

TAÇ MUTFAK, a long-established Turkish kitchenware manufacturer delivers quality and pretty cookware with ZW3D.

To match the growing market demands for cookware, all kinds of tools, utensils, appliances, etc. are springing up to attract consumers’ attention. For a 60-year-old kitchenware brand, how to stay competitive and innovative? TAÇ MUTFAK from Turkey attaches great importance to product R&D, design, and manufacturing with ZW3D.

Double-sided frying pan designed by TAÇ MUTFAK with ZW3D
Figure 1. Double-sided frying pan designed by TAÇ MUTFAK with ZW3D

Kitchenware Design: All About the Patterns

Founded in 1960, TAÇ Porselen ve Mutfak Eşyaları (TAÇ MUTFAK for short) is a renowned Istanbul-based kitchenware manufacturer with several famous sub-brands such as Vallena® and Aksu®. Via more than a thousand dealers worldwide, TAÇ MUTFAK aspires to reach more customers with more tasty products.

According to Mr. İlker Coşkun, R&D manager of TAÇ MUTFAK, patterns are crucial to kitchenware design and take up much of their work time. Therefore, besides the price tag, they need to take the variety and specialty of flexible modeling into consideration when choosing a design program. To find out whether one is suitable, two tests are inevitable: a) the pattern must not be deformed when it is applied to different parts of the model; b) automatic threading operations must be available. He recalled, “ZW3D is famous for designing patterns, and I have been using it since 2007 because it is the most eligible program.”

ZW3D Accelerates Product Iteration without Sacrificing Quality

At first, they had some hurdles getting their bearings. But the after-sales services offered by Grup Otomasyon, a Turkish ZWSOFT partner quickly dispelled their misgivings. “I am so pleased with the technical support and service of ZWSOFT and your local partner. You reach me every time I need it,” Mr. Coşkun appreciated.

Once they can start to create, the advantages of this integrated CAD/CAM solution available in Turkish manifest themselves. During the modeling stage, a bunch of handy CAD features such as Hole, Morph, Wrap, and Direct Edit help boost their productivity. Mr. Coşkun cheerfully added, “BOM is one of my favorite ZW3D functions. It is particularly useful for us to sync information with our ERP system. We usually need to do cost accounting for our different products. Since our products come in different sizes and materials like granite, steel, and glass, ZW3D is very practical for this: we can export BOMs as Excel® files rapidly and directly.”  

Also, ZW3D’s mold design functions come in handy. For example, analysis tools enable the automatic detection and healing of unnoticeable mismatched faces, open edges, and gaps; while Parting helps them create parting faces and split the mold effortlessly. Moreover, after the design is complete, they can move on to machining straightaway, shortening the time to market. In the CAM environment, Pocket, Rough Milling, etc. allow them to generate toolpaths and NC codes fast. Mr. Coşkun praised, “ZW3D makes it very easy to transmit from CAD to CAM. Plus, I am very satisfied with its CAM features. The calculating speed is very high.”

Mold Parting in ZW3D
Figure 2. Mold Parting in ZW3D

The Success Will Span Generations with ZW3D

Innovation, fashion, technology, and the expectations of consumers are the core ingredients of TAÇ MUTFAK kitchen and tableware. To continue this recipe for success, TAÇ MUTFAK will keep blending ZW3D into their product design and manufacturing processes. “Our collaboration with ZWSOFT will proceed. I have already suggested ZW3D to our partner companies, and 2 of them have bought and are using ZW3D now,” concluded Mr. Coşkun.

(Image courtesy of TAÇ MUTFAK)

ZWSOFT Backs Dongfeng Liuzhou Motor up in Automotive Industrial Revolution

The Key to Evolving Under the Reform of Auto Industry

Nowadays, the entire automotive industry is under reform, resulting in competitions more intense than ever before.

As a long-established automaker, Dongfeng Liuzhou Motor Co., Ltd. (DFLZM for short) has always been at the forefront of advancing auto manufacturing technologies. Benchmarking their models against mainstream products, DFLZM maintains its competitive advantage by improving the fuel economy, comfort, and safety of automobiles.

“The products of DFLZM always sell by word of mouth. We insist on winning the recognition of various market segments with highly cost-effective and practical products.” Director Mo from the technical center has more in-depth insights into informatization, which he oversees and is crucial to strengthening DFLZM. He explained, “To achieve our development goals in the challenging industrial revolution, we have prioritized the integration of informatization and industrialization to build up our core strengths and elevate manufacturing management. Only by doing so can we become more innovative in design and speedier in responding to the market.”

The headquarters of DFLZM covers an area of nearly 3.5 million square meters

Figure 1. The headquarters of DFLZM covers an area of nearly 3.5 million square meters

Rise to Industrial Challenges with Upgraded ZWSOFT Solutions

Manufacturing vehicles is utterly complex with a high degree of specialization and technicality. As introduced, the R&D at DFLZM starts from model planning and involves a multiplicity of CAD, CAM, and CAE software in steps like product definitions, general layout design, system design, trial production, product testing, small-batch pilot production, pilot sales, and mass production.

“Our model design is multi-disciplinary, accompanied with a complicated internal informatization environment and a large amount of data sources that need integrating. It led to a situation where a single CAD program is insufficient for us,” Director Mo continued to say, “Therefore, we will choose software according to specific applications. We require that the CAD software must be practical, easy-to-use, and highly compatible. Also, its supplier should provide professional, reliable, and timely technical support.” Moreover, because of the rapid IT development and software iteration, enterprises would attach importance to the development path of suppliers, to cater to their business development and phased informatization goals.

After careful consideration, DFLZM decided to introduce ZWSOFT solutions to the core departments, including ZWCAD, ZWCAD Mechanical, ZW3D, etc. “So far, over 300 designers and manufacturers at DFLZM make good use of ZWCAD and hence improve their productivity. At the same time, ZWCAD and our PLM system have been seamlessly integrated. It means that the attributes in drawings can be automatically extracted to the PLM system, the design data are shared promptly, and the collaboration becomes more efficient,” Director Mo continued to point out, “More importantly, ZWSOFT is prospering steadily and owns robust self-developed technologies, which lays a solid foundation for our long-term collaboration.”

Engineers at DFLZM designing with ZWCAD

Figure 2. Engineers at DFLZM designing with ZWCAD

ZWSOFT Maximizes Software with Leading CAD Technologies and Customization Service

“The relationship between DFLZM and ZWSOFT has lasted for almost 13 years. Thanks to the consistent efforts of the ZWSOFT R&D team, products like ZWCAD and ZW3D have become more powerful. As a corporate user, DFLZM has benefited a lot from their solutions in terms of business growth,” Director Mo acknowledged.

According to him, ZWSOFT solutions help further improve the efficiency of design and innovation as well as solve the “inefficient data conversion” issue between the informatization system and CAD software. What’s more, along with ZWSOFT’s application R&D team, they developed an add-on that automatically converts .dwg drawings into .pdf files. With this tool, the approved DWGs in their PLM system can automatically turn into PDFs and be sent to third parties. Plus, since recognizing frames, selecting suitable paper sizes, toggling printing modes, selecting plot styles, etc. have been automated, drawing conversion is greatly simplified and the quality of PDF output guaranteed. Director Mo praised, “The customization development service of ZWSOFT meets the practical needs of manufacturers, helps us improve efficiency and ensure design quality.”

After all these years’ testing, ZWSOFT solutions have proven to be helping DFLZM yield good returns: product designs are created efficiently with useful functions; the perpetual licenses streamline license management and save them software overheads. At present, they have informatized major businesses and data coordination, so that the collaboration among R&D, production, and business together drive their business to prosper.

A showcase of DFLZM models

Figure 3. A showcase of DFLZM models

In the face of challenges in the new era, Director Mo has high hopes for ZWOSFT, “We have faith in ZWSOFT because it is a leading engineering solutions provider who can address user needs, upgrade its self-developed core CAx technologies, better the quality and applicability of its products, and satisfy the demands for intelligent manufacturing.”

ZWCAD 2021 Review by Melanie Stone at Engineering.com

ZWCAD 2021 Review
This article is attributed to Engineering.com and Melanie Stone.

ZWSOFT has been around for over 20 years—about the same length of time the author has been using CAD software. In this article, we review ZWCAD 2021, the latest edition of ZWSOFT’s 2D CAD software.

We got off to a good start. It only took 17 minutes from the time I searched for their site, to the time that the installation file finished downloading to my hard drive. The size of the installation executable was a little over 400mb.

Installing the 30 day trial took only 10 minutes. So overall, it took less than a half an hour to become operational with ZWCAD 2021.

There is an option for setting up a deployment under the Advanced settings during installation. See the Help file for their Network Licensing Guide.
There is an option for setting up a deployment under the Advanced settings during installation. See the Help file for their Network Licensing Guide.

We normally prefer testing software on a newer computer, but due to unresolved hardware issues, we are instead testing ZWCAD on a 10-year-old secondhand laptop that tends to not work with some newer software. However, despite initial concerns, 2021 has had zero issues with installation or operation.

There are not many choices to make during the install process. You have the option to change the installation location, you can create a deployment if needed, and at this point you can change from the ribbon interface to toolbars, if you like. Overall, this program was fast and painless to download and install.

I was able to open drawings and modify and create new drawings, all without hesitation. Experienced CAD users migrating to this software won’t have any issues getting their bearings and starting to produce on some level.

You have all of the expected drawing and editing tools, as well as the ability to load customization files and a ribbon tab for plug-in apps. If you want to learn more, there is a section for developers in the Help file, guiding users in scripts, VBA, LISP and DCL.

Without making any changes during installation, the workspace defaults to 2D drafting and annotation, which is very familiar. The other out-of-the box option is the ZWCAD Classic workspace.
Without making any changes during installation, the workspace defaults to 2D drafting and annotation, which is very familiar. The other out-of-the box option is the ZWCAD Classic workspace.

The least intuitive portion of the interface for AutoCAD users will be figuring out how to change views through the Views tab, as AutoCAD users have been spoiled by the View Cube being so prominent and easy to use. However, overall it is not something which will slow anyone down for long.

In ZWCAD 2021, you have the option to save in DWG, DWX and DWT formats, up to the 2018 format.

When it comes to opening, inserting or referencing, you have the following formats at your disposal:

  • DWG
  • DWT
  • DXF
  • DWF
  • DWFX
  • SAT
  • STL
  • DGN
  • PDF
  • JPG
  • PNG
  • TIF
  • and more

Some of the files being tested are new and some are quite old. Their file sizes are between 3 Mb and 15 Mb. There was no lag or slowdown opening any of the files, even the ones cluttered with hatches and text. During the week spent reviewing this program, the only time I experienced a delay was when I was inserting a large floor plan as a block. There was a slight delay at each prompt for insertion point, scale and attributes.

Now that we can use the program with some confidence, it is time to check out the ZWCAD 2021 new features.

Graphics

ZWCAD has improved their graphics engine and updated for a 4k display which should, with the latest computers, provide as much vibrancy and crispness as possible.

Transparency

There is now an ability to assign adjustable transparency to objects or to layers. Transparency is not something every CAD user does day-to-day, but when you need a nice, clear illustration, it is so much more convenient to have tools like this available in your CAD program, so that you do not have to switch to a raster graphics program.

Reference Manager

The XREF manager now manages multiple formats, including DWG, DWF, PDF and PNG from a single interface.

Viewport Layers

ZWCAD 2021 now has the ability to modify layer settings on a per viewport basis. Highlight the most important pieces of your work in the output, without having to affect your working area.

Formulas

Formulas to draw in data and perform calculations can now be added to tables and fields.

Shade Plot

This is a new feature to plot 3D objects in their visual style.

Group Grips

ZWCAD has groups, and now in ZWCAD 2021, you can manipulate them with grips.

Align Multileaders

MLeaderAlign allows you to line up mleaders. They can be arranged with four different options: Distribute, Parallel, Specify Spacing and Use Current Spacing. Well-balanced annotation is not always appreciated; use the tools when you have them.

ZWCAD for Facilities

As a Facilities person, the only thing I was really hoping to see—and did not—was a Sheet Set Manager. Something like that provides a simple and consistent way to organize, duplicate and navigate through homogenous sets of documentation. That desire might be specific to large scale settings, so please do not be discouraged by my disappointment, if that is not something you currently use heavily.

Mouse, Voice and Plot Get Smarter

I was somewhat surprised by their Smart Mouse feature, in which you can make gestures or draw letters with your mouse in order to call commands. There are out-of-the-box gestures, as well as the ability to create custom shortcuts. Their documentation specifically mentions the mouse, so I will assume that this feature is not compatible with touch screen monitors yet.

SMARTMOUSECONFIG Dialog Box.
SMARTMOUSECONFIG Dialog Box.

They also have a Smart Voice feature, which I assumed was a way to input commands through your microphone. Instead, it turned out to be a function to insert voice memos into your drawings, rather than relying on revision clouds and separate meetings to relay instructions. This was a very interesting application of voice technology.

Keeping with ‘smart’ commands, the Smart Select Palette is an improvement over AutoCAD’s Quick Select dialog box in the following respect. Your selection is shown immediately in the ZWCAD Smart Select Palette, whereas with AutoCAD’s Quick Select, the selected entities show only after you click OK.

I did not spend time evaluating their Smart Plot command, which allows you to plot frames in batches from within model space, for a couple of reasons. As a facilities person, we moved away from paper drawings quite a while ago, not needing to print them out for approval or collaboration. This is also because the one CAD Standards requirement I was able to put into effect successfully was to get our contracted firms to use paper space layouts. However, I recently saw a discussion about more efficient ways to plot from paper space, in order to preserve their existing workflows, so I can acknowledge the demand for such a tool is still out there.

There are two more interesting features I had to dig into before finishing my review.

The Undo Snapshot feature lets you preview the results of the Undo command. To use this feature, the UNDOSNAPSHOT setting must be set as 1.

For facility management, it is important to be able to quickly access unique IDs in the field. Barcodes and QR codes have long been a great way to make accessing and updating data much easier, especially with when using consumer devices such as smartphones. ZWCAD has the ability to convert information into these formats and embed them into your drawings. That was a pleasant surprise.

Overall Impressions

From the perspective of a long-time CAD user, ZWCAD 2021 seemed familiar, even enjoyable. It did not require a huge time investment to learn. There was no struggle with a new interface, new entities or conversions to a new file format. The program was more than sufficient for most of the work it was tested on (that which did not rely on plug-ins).

After my time using this system, I can say that if you are not bound by a long term commitment, or need to purchase a perpetual license without breaking the bank but don’t want to have to go through an extensive relearning period, downloading the ZWCAD 2021 30-day trial and giving ZWCAD a try is worth serious consideration.

Try ZWCAD for free for 30 days!

Linglong Tire Integrates ZWCAD into Its Global R&D Strategy

The powerful ZWCAD and the professional support that comes with it have been satisfying the R&D and design needs of Shandong Linglong Tire Co., Ltd. since 2014.

Tires are indispensable to automobiles. High-quality tires can guarantee a safe and smooth ride while reducing noise to provide comfort for the passengers. The rapid development of vehicles has brought diversity to the use of cars, raised the bar for the unique performance of tires, and led the tire industry towards producing radial and tubeless tires of a lower aspect ratio.

Prioritize R&D and Innovation to Win in the International Tire Market

Founded in 1975, Shandong Linglong Tire Co., Ltd. (Linglong Tire for short) is one of the Top 20 Tire Manufacturers in the world with several manufacturing bases in China, Thailand, and Serbia, R&D centers in China and North America, and a testing office in Europe. Its flagship products, including passenger car radial (PCR), light truck radial (LTR), truck and bus radial (TBR) tires, etc., are well-received by world-class automakers, such as Audi®, Volkswagen®, General Motors®, and Ford®.

The Headquarters of Shandong Linglong Tire Co., Ltd.
Figure 1. The Headquarters of Shandong Linglong Tire Co., Ltd.

“Heavier investments in innovative R&D and improving product quality are inevitable for a tire manufacturer to expand internationally.” According to Mr. Li Jianxing, director of the IT Department, Linglong Tire has absorbed the cutting-edge radial technology, established its R&D centers and labs by collaborating with universities and research institutes, and devised an international R&D strategy.

Mr. Li continued to point out, “So far, we have built a trinity of an open R&D and innovation system that is headquartered in Shandong, covers China, and operates internationally.” Linglong Tire has planned and strategized in advance, been promoting the R&D of new materials, technologies, and formulas, as well as improving its independent innovation capabilities.

Linglong Tire ranked 9th on the TYRES 10 2020 list by Brand Finance®
Figure 2. Linglong Tire ranked 9th on the TYRES 10 2020 list by Brand Finance®

International R&D and Manufacturing Put ZWSOFT to the Test

“As a latecomer in the industry, Linglong Tire faces great challenges in the process of internationalization,” Mr. Li said frankly, “Global OEMs are very strict with our R&D efficiency, and our customers require prompt delivery of different models. Such timeliness is based on the control of product loss and quality. Hence, this requires us to continuously improve the ability of our R&D team, introduce and upgrade R&D tools and equipment to meet the needs for R&D and timeliness.”

Mr. Li Jianxing talking about ZWSOFT solutions in an interview
Figure 3. Mr. Li Jianxing talking about ZWSOFT solutions in an interview

According to Mr. Wang Guangqiang, head of the IT Department, they require that the adopted CAD tool should be equipped with intelligent design functions and mechanical drawing standards of different countries so that the efficiency and quality of design are improved while the R&D cycle accelerates. Besides, their global strategy calls for a CAD solution provider that offers software in various languages, network licenses, and local support in different countries and regions so as to meet the needs of R&D offices in China, Germany, the U.S., etc. “ZWSOFT is a mainstream player in the CAD market. We put ZWCAD to the test in different departments, which turned out that ZWCAD can satisfy our needs in R&D, engineering, design, etc.”

ZWCAD Helps Build an International Tire Brand

Linglong Tire has been collaborating closely with ZWSOFT since 2014. Mr. Li acknowledged, “ZWCAD helps increase our design productivity while decreasing the procurement and application costs of legal software.”

Linglong Tire design in ZWCAD Mechanical
Figure 4. Linglong Tire design in ZWCAD Mechanical

The feedback from the R&D engineers indicates that major standards such as GB, ISO, and ANSI are available in ZWCAD Mechanical. Also, its handy tools, for example, intelligent frame and BOM, allow them to customize the drawing environment, meaning that they can add frequently used tire patterns to their own library, reduce repetitive drawing work, and remarkably boost productivity. Mr. Wang stressed, “The tire pattern tools we developed based on the previous CAD program have been successfully ported to ZWCAD and running steadily and smoothly. More importantly, the multiple language versions of ZWCAD, global network licensing, and professional after-sales services fully meet the needs of our R&D facilities around the world.”

Software equals service. An international company like Linglong Tire has greater demands on the speed of software providers’ response to user needs. Mr. Li approved, “The technological strength and service of ZWSOFT are unparalleled. Its global R&D and support provide reliable backup for our international expansion.” In the long run, Linglong Tire will continue the in-depth collaboration with ZWSOFT and innovating the tire industry.

3 Reasons Why You Still Need 2D CAD in the 3D-Dominated Automotive Industry

Since Karl Benz invented the first vehicle, automobiles have brought huge convenience to our daily life. As the technologies and manufacturing process improve, the costs of producing a vehicle have slumped and cars are no longer the privileges of the rich and powerful. As regards designing automotive parts, I understand that now 3D CAD is the mainstream design method, but that doesn’t make 2D CAD useless. In fact, it is still important during the production of a part, especially after 3D modeling and before manufacturing. In this article, I would show you how ZWCAD can help engineers in the auto parts industry.

Figure 1. An Engine Part
Figure 1. The Engine Part

Seamless Compatibility Enables File Exchange with No Data Loss

When it comes to drawing import, basically, there is only one standard format for 2D CAD drawings—DWG. No matter which 3D software you use, eventually, you will need to send a .dwg file to your auto parts supplier for examination and confirmation. With the native DWG compatibility of ZWCAD, you can rest assured that almost all the auto part models generated in whichever 3D software can be exported to a .dwg drawing accurately. Moreover, if you’re using ZW3D, an integrated CAD/CAM solution, to build models, the data exchange will be seamless and lossless as the figure below shows.

Figure 2. Exporting Different Views of a 3D Model in ZW3D to ZWCAD
Figure 2. Exporting Different Views of a 3D Model in ZW3D to ZWCAD

Annotate the Parts Easily with Assorted Features

After importing the DWG drawing, designers would need to add annotations to the auto part. And 2D CAD software makes the job easier in comparison with 3D CAD programs. When you need to fine-tune the drawing, it’s convenient to modify the lines, circles, or other elements with commands such as ARRAYEXTEND, and MLeaderAlign. What’s more, in ZWCAD, annotating your part with linear/radius dimensions, texts, leaders, or even tolerances is no sweat. Also, you can customize the annotation standards in accordance with your company standards.

Figure 3. Annotating the Automotive Part
Figure 3. Annotating the Automotive Part

Actually, I’ve written an article on how you can generate different views of a 3D model and annotate them coherently in a 2D CAD program utilizing the handy multiple view creating features of ZW3D, the powerful dimensioning functions of ZWCAD, and the compatibility between them. I’ve also prepared two tutorial videos for you to better understand the process. Go check them out!

Save Printing Time with Pre-Defined Settings

After you finish editing the drawing in ZWCAD, normally you will need to print it to paper so that every party of the project can have a better idea of the auto part. Thanks to the 2D CAD standard format and a universal plot style file that can be exported and reused on other CAD software, you don’t need to adjust the plot settings again even if you’re working on another computer. Apart from saving you much time and effort, ZWCAD allows you to choose between two plot styles: the color-dependent one and the named one. In this way, you can manage your plot styles flexibly.

Figure 4. Plot Settings
Figure 4. Plot Settings

In case you didn’t know, frames can be automatically recognized according to blocks, layers, or scatter lines (closed rectangles) with the Smart Plot feature of ZWCAD. In other words, you can collectively print them, convert them into PDF files, or even turn each frame into an individual DWG file. Plus, in ZWCAD 2021, you can adjust the plotter and print style settings in the roaming folder. You can refer to this article for detailed explanations.

ZWCAD X the Automotive Part Industry

All in all, I believe that ZWCAD can aid auto engineers in delivering their designs more efficiently with its DWG compatibility and easy-to-use functions. And undoubtedly, it will co-exist with 3D CAD software in the industry for the foreseeable future.

Try ZWCAD for free for 30 days!

3 Tips for Fine-tuning and Plotting the Design of an Engine Start Button

As automotive models iterate faster, the standards of auto parts become higher. To remain competitive, auto parts suppliers can opt for professional CAD software to guarantee that they deliver quality products quickly. When it comes to auto parts design, engineers would turn 3D models into 2D engineering drawings and then edit and plot them in a 2D CAD program. In this article, I’ll give you three tips on how to produce the factory-ready engineering drawing of an engine start button in ZWCAD Mechanical.

Figure 1. Different views of an engine start button

Tip 1: Customize Frames

To create an engineering drawing, you must first load the frames. In your company, there might be a set of custom frames. Wondering how to deploy them if you switch to a new CAD program? Don’t worry because ZWCAD Mechanical allows you to customize frames and synchronize them to every workstation.

Here’s how you can easily do it. Simply invoke the Frame setup dialog by clicking Border Setup in the Layout panel under the Mechanical Annotation tab. Then, you are free to adjust the options. You can also preview the results. As it’s shown in the figure below, I modified the style group to GB, frame style to non-partition, as well as checked the Addition and Code options. After that, layers of thick and thin lines, annotations, texts, etc. will be automatically created. The objects you created will be automatically assigned to the corresponding preset layers. For instance, you can find all the dotted lines are already in the dotted lines layer.

Figure 2. Frame setup

Tip 2: Leave Annotation to the Software

After you add the frames, it’s time to add annotations to the drawing. Since you can annotate with not only the regular leaders, dimensions, etc., but also tables and formulas, annotating will be just a cinch. Here’s an example: by inputting QDIM, you can use the Quick Dimension command to add different types of dimensions to various objects, like diameters for circles. This easy-to-use function frees you from frequently jumping from one command to another.

Plus, some specific annotative symbols are available in ZWCAD Mechanical, which allows you to utilize the commonly used Surface Texture, Geometric Tolerance, and Welding ones. Besides, the size of symbols and texts will intelligently fit the frame, boosting the annotation efficiency.

Figure 3. Annotative tables

Tip 3: Smart Plot

The last step is to plot the completed drawing to files of other formats like .pdf. Generally, the size of an engineering drawing would be A4, A3, A2, A1, and A0; while there could be occasions where lengthened or widened frames are used.

In reality, engineers who plot drawings manually would have to do it one by one. Contrary to this not so productive method, the Smart Plot feature of ZWCAD enables the plotting of multiple frames all at once. It also facilitates the automatic identification of the scale and the automatic arrangement and rotation of the drawing to make full use of the paper. Moreover, ZWCAD can be integrated with enterprise systems like PLM via its APIs like ZRX so that the management of design data is more efficient.

Figure 4. Batch plot frames with Smart Plot

In Conclusion

Every complicated design project needs breaking down to be successful. Auto design is no exception: a car can’t be made without mechanical, electrical, and electronic parts. Since factors like appearance, performance, and powertrain matching take up much of the engineers’ efforts, ZWCAD can spare them from the trouble of fine-tuning and plotting the design of auto parts.

Try ZWCAD for free for 30 days!

ZWCAD Helps ZONSON Deliver Intelligent Public Transportation Solutions

ZONSON SMART AUTO CORPORATION provides comprehensive intelligent public transportation solutions and services with ZWCAD.

In the garage, drivers use the automotive navigation system to plan the shortest route; on the highway, they turn up or down the automobile A/C through the human-computer interaction system; in the service area, the driver can charge the vehicle in a short time… Nowadays, the faster integration of automobiles and technologies in fields such as energy, materials, and information and communication is changing how people travel.

ZONSON SMART AUTO CORPORATION (ZONSON for short) is a subsidiary of the ZTE Corporation. Their businesses range from the design, manufacture, and sales of new energy buses to the development, installation, and operation of autonomous driving systems and the Internet of Vehicles.

figure 1.jpg

Figure 1. A collection of new energy buses produced by ZONSON

Enhanced R&D Capabilities to Cope with Fierce Competitions

With the rapid popularization of new energy vehicles come serious challenges for relative latecomers like ZONSON: the higher demands on auto safety require innovations in core technologies, while multinational carmakers are dominating with their accumulated technical advantages and sophisticated supply chain.

To prevail, ZONSON invests heavily in building a closed-loop value chain, integrating resources, and raising R&D standards. Meanwhile, they proactively collaborate with renowned software suppliers and introduce cutting-edge CAD software and management systems so that the whole “design–procurement–manufacture–sales” process is digitalized and more efficient. “By now, we are capable of developing new energy vehicles independently. From conceptual design, modeling, CAE analysis to engineering design, as well as the four typical techniques (parts blanking, welding, coating, and integrated assembly), we are in the lead,” director Sun of the ZONSON R&D center said confidently.

The Superb CAD Solution Supplier that Caters to Custom Needs

Based on the advanced technologies of ZTE, such as 5G, C-V2X, and new energy charging, the ZONSON products have been well received by the market. Ambitious to build on that success, ZONSON makes bigger investments in developing more popular models.

figure 2.jpg

Figure 2. The GTZ6107BEVB1 model produced by ZONSON

Therefore, ZONSON attaches significance to the tools, especially CAD and CAE software they adopt. “The CAD program is employed as an important tool in departments like product development, process, marketing, and technical support.” According to director Sun, they require that the CAD software must be compatible, practical, and easy-to-use. Besides, its APIs should be powerful enough for the design data to be integrated into the PDM system. Moreover, to ensure the bidirectional data exchange, it requires that the data of DWG drawings generated with the CAD software should conform with the data specifications in the PDM system.

“Since there are lots of special needs in our design process, we have higher requirements for the extensibility of the CAD software and the timely development service from the supplier.” Director Sun pointed out that such “unconventional requests”were not responded by the former supplier for a long time. “In contrast, ZWSOFT paid attention to and met our needs very quickly. With its strong R&D capabilities, it is undoubtedly the CAD solution supplier of choice.”

Improved Design Efficiency and Standardized Data Management

As expected, the ZWSOFT solutions help ZONSON achieve their goals: a series of intelligent design tools in ZWCAD Mechanical have simplified the design workflow, improving the design efficiency; thanks to the development service provided by ZWSOFT, their R&D department has established standard drawing templates, such as frames and title blocks, and a general parts library that is in line with their own standards, facilitating the management of drawings.

“Even since the pilot trial in 2017, we have been popularizing ZWCAD in more and more departments,” director Sun added, “Now, ZWCAD is essential to quickly modifying the 2D drawings exported from 3D CAD software and generating engineering drawings. More importantly, since BOMs can be automatically generated in ZWCAD Mechanical which has been seamlessly integrated with the PDM system, the integrity and accuracy of data is guaranteed and the ‘design–procurement–manufacture’ process more efficient.”

figure 3.jpg

Figure 3. Intelligent public transportation solutions delivered by ZONSON

On the way to intelligent manufacturing, ZONSON will keep incorporating ICT and contributing to intelligent transportation nationwide. Director Sun concluded, “The realization of intelligent manufacturing needs the participation of more software suppliers like ZWSOFT who is equipped with proprietary core CAD/CAM/CAE technologies. Their support is valuable for enterprises with diverse needs to enhance the capabilities of designing and innovating.”