"If you want to save time and money, just use KeyCreator. I wouldn't use anything else." -Wayne Thuy, independent CAD designer
As the former owner of a small tool & die company in Ontario, Canada, Wayne Thuy understands that time is money. And when you are making automotive stamping dies, you don’t want to spend extra time on CAD design. Thuy chooses KeyCreator because he can often get the work done twice as fast as his customers expect him to get it done.
Progressive stamping dies are Thuy's specialty and after selling his business and taking a well-earned break, he wanted to jump in and get back into customer work but didn’t know where to start. So, he started what was the beginning for him with 3D CAD/Solids design.
Thuy completed his first 3D drawing, but he knew the project took longer than it needed to. So he signed up for a two-day class with Synergetics, a design house and developers of Expert Mold Design (XMD) Software, that runs in KeyCreator.
The training opened up a new world of solids from his 2D experience. “The simplicity of working with solids in KeyCreator was amazing, even for an old dog like myself,” Thuy said.
The training also allowed Thuy to take on projects he couldn't have ever imagined before learning solids, which lead to a two-pronged project from an old competitor in 2015.
“Because of my progressive die expertise, a former competitor came to me with a need for two tooling designs,” Thuy said. “Both were automotive stamping dies for Big 3 (General Motors, Ford, and Chrysler) customers, via my customer, a tool and die shop.”
Thuy found that the biggest challenge was, in simplest terms, constant changes by the Big 3 customer. They had rigorous die standards that were being changed on the fly. Design review meetings were in excess of five hours, leading to pages and pages of changes.
"The changes were not because of poor design, but due to changing GD&T (Geometric Dimensioning & Tolerancing) parameters and process requirements," Thuy added.
However, these on-the-fly challenges didn’t stump this 2D-veteran-turned-3D-newbie.“KeyCreator made these changes easy and simple,” Thuy said. “Some changes were an entire remodel of the stations and locations. The first set encompassed over 40 hours of changes. They would have been a nightmare in other parametric-based software.”
In fact, Thuy said he was able to get each design done in 150 hours—less than half of the hours the client had estimated it would take with their in-house CAD systems, with constraints and history trees. "You do the math, 300 hours in KeyCreator vs. 700 hours in a parametric CAD system? Easy choice,” he said.
Thuy didn’t stop there, citing the speed as not only a time-saver but a cost-saver as well, reducing the typical tryout period and potentially saving tens of thousands of dollars in wasted man hours.
“Tool and die has historically had a try-out period after the initial build," he said. "When I finish my designs, I am confident that they can go directly to CNC machines for complete 100 percent manufacturing and less than average try-out time."
Beyond the time and money saving aspects, Thuy said that the customizability and intuitiveness make his move to KeyCreator a boon to his tool and die business, which can be very complex with hundreds of components.”
“The design process with KeyCreator is simple – I don’t have to think it through completely before I start. I can model, remodel and change at will if I don’t like what I see,” Thuy said. “It’s like modeling a piece of putty. You can push it, pull
it, squeeze it, stretch it. And working with changes to a file is seamless.
Thuy enjoys telling others about how he feels about his CAD software. “If you want to save time and money, just use KeyCreator Direct CAD. I wouldn’t use anything else.”