Making Metrology Equipment with IronCAD
“We have replaced both AutoCAD and SolidWorks with IronCAD. Many different fixtures and tools have been designed at Hexagon. When it comes to 3D-design, we do see a big advantage by using IronCAD. Our experience has been that we design faster and easier compared to our earlier solution because we don’t need to struggle with parametric relations and constraints. With IronCAD, we can design a whole project in a single file and we also get great usage with the catalogs by dragging and dropping parts and assemblies into new designs whenever needed.”
Dissatisfied with their current CAD software – a mix of AutoCAD and Solidworks – Hexagon Metrology sought a new 3D design system that offered better performance and flexibility, and that would facilitate collaboration at the heart of the innovative design process they have developed for their metrology equipment. The new system also needed to have the capacity to work with large volumes of legacy 2D data.
After testing IronCAD, Hexagon’s engineers saw that the needs for performance, flexibility and collaboration would be met. Due to IronCAD’s Innovative Design technology, Hexagon’s engineers were free from the limitations of traditional 3D modelers such as always having to work with constraints and parametric relationships. Innovative Design means they can choose when and where to use design intent, providing far greater speed at the time of creation and far greater flexibility when making design changes.
Another factor was IronCAD’s ability to work with multiple parts and assemblies within a single file, making data management much simpler and reducing the need for time consuming mates and constraints. Modelling in the context of your assembly means your parts are sized and positioned precisely to other components in the model, so every thing fits perfect the first time around. In traditional 3D systems each part is a single file on your hard drive or network. When creating large assemblies, you are literally managing thousands of files which is time consuming and very prone to errors. With IronCAD, you can have as many parts and assemblies you want inside one file. The user has complete control over how they want to store their data. IronCAD also uses customisable catalogs, adding items to and from a catalog is as simple as drag & drop and these catalogs can be shared across the network with other IronCAD users.
Finally there was the issue of working with the volumes of legacy 2D data Hexagon had accumulated over the years. IronCAD Draft, included with IronCAD, helped address this by offering a fully compatible DWG editing tool with a very similar interface to AutoCAD, making the transition to IronCAD almost seamless.
Hexagon saw a 75% increase in productivity over SolidWorks, and were no longer limited by the constraints and relationships required by traditional MCAD software.