GeoTools / CADPower 14.01 update for BricsCAD is now available on our web for download. This is compatible with 64-bit versions of BricsCAD V 13.2 released yesterday.
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GeoTools / CADPower 14.01 update for BricsCAD is now available on our web for download. This is compatible with 64-bit versions of BricsCAD V 13.2 released yesterday.
The day many BricsCAD users have been waiting for has arrived! BricsCAD V 13.2 is a major release that now has a 64-bit (X64) download, separate from its 32-bit (X86) counterpart. Support for .dwg 2013 (used by AutoCAD 2014) and better Chappoo integration are other features in this version.
For those of you who work with extremely large DWG files, create large rendering that require mammoth amounts of RAM or disk-space, having a 64-bit version makes a huge difference.
I find most users at some point of time in their work, inevitably run into the 32-bit wall, which prevents their software from accessing extended system resources that only a 64-bit enabled software allows.
I would strongly urge you to use the 64-bit version. You don't need to buy it separately - it is automatically available for all existing V13 users. You can download it direct from here.
Another change is with the installer. You now have a .msi based installer. The Release Notes say that the .msi installer will be added to the 32-bit version also but only from V14 onwards. The 32-bit version still sports the EXE installer.
Existing Lisp (both compiled and encrypted) applications as well as .DES applications will run with no change. BRX and .NET applications are source level compatible but must be recompiled for the 64-bit version. If you are a Lisp programmer and use the doslib libraries from McNeel, be sure to use the approproate 64-it doslib BRX application. You can download it here.
Improved cloud connectivity and project collaboration
BricsCAD V13.2 integrates a smart connection with the cloud-based Chapoo Free or Premium Services. Chapoo Free provides for casual document sharing, Chapoo Premium for complete project collaboration. The Chapoo connection tool automatically recognizes xrefs and keeps track of them in the cloud.
The BricsCAD release notes lists 50 other minor changes and improvements in this version.
I am one of the review authors on CADDigest.com and I, along with my colleague, Sanjay Jamalpur, had the opportunity to review the latest release of the MCAD software - IronCAD 2013. The reivew was published recently on CADDigest.com and I have reproduced here for the readers of this blog.
It is said that there is always the most appropriate tool for every task, one that is neither overkill nor inadequate for the purpose. After we completed our review of IronCAD 2013, we figured out the slot into which IronCAD fits. This review tells you about it, and makes some observations about this interesting but lesser-known modeling software.
(I am veteran .dwg CAD user with a GIS and AEC background, and so MCAD is new to me. However, after being in the CAD industry a long time, I did not hesitate to take this opportunity to run IronCAD on a test drive, seeing how far I could go. I teamed up with my colleague Sanjay Jamalpur, an MCAD specialist.)
After installing the software, we found that it sports a modern ribbon user interface and uses easy terminology, unlike some industry-leading MCAD software packages. We could see that IronCAD has made it easier for average drafters and designers to start working with the software immediately, being unimpeded by jargon-heavy lingo. In other words, the software does not prove intimidating, and is not designed for specialists alone. This is a plus for the times in which we live, where everyone expects new technology to be as easy as to use as a smartphone.
Upon start, we had the option to go to a Scene, Drawing or CAXA Draft (see figure 1). The Scene is where we build 3D models, the Drawing is where we can create various orthographic views, projections, and 2D representations, and CAXA Draft is both a full 2D drafting solution as well as a tool to create various associated views of the 3D models.
|Figure 1: Startup Screen menu|
We have come to realize that .dwg editors are indispensable for any CAD software. No vendor thinks their design environment is complete without a .dwg editor. CAXA Draft is not only a .dwg editor but can act as a standalone 2D mechanical design application that has a long history and client base in China. The 2D create-and-edit capabilities were crisp and good.
|Figure 2: Design Window with Feature Tree (left) and Catalog Browser (right)|
The Design Scene layout is clear and without clutter (see figure 2). There is a Catalog Browser on the right hand side and the Feature Tree on the left hand side, and our model occupies center stage. The Catalog Shapes Browser has two types of features, bosses and cuts.
For instance, the Block feature creates a solid box, while and the H Block feature creates a cut slot (see figure 3). There are additional catalogs for additional features, tools, images, and animations as well as user created custom items.
|Figure 3: Boss (box) and Cut (slot)|
One major notable advantage of IronCAD is its hybrid design abilities, which combine the best of direct modeling and history-based modeling under one roof. To follow either approach, we didn’t need to switch between two modules: the choice is automatic and happens seamlessly. History-based features and direct modeling features that are truly mixed without the need, such as other CAD software, to divide them into two independent groups in the feature tree. In doing so, we note that IronCAD took the democratic path to please the fans of both design streams, while allowing each design method to be practiced with ease. IronCAD uses dual kernels, ACIS and Parasolid to improve interoperability on import/export as well as using kernel collaboration during design operations to improve modeling functions.
Cut and extrude operations are intelligent enough to recognize design elements created using both technique, and so update appropriately (see figure 4).
|Figure 4: A 3D part with its history tree (left)|
IronCAD can import geometry with a variety of model formats, like STL, STEP, and from other MCAD packages. Once a model is imported, making changes is easy. Predictive editing is offered at all possible points by the software. For example, holes laid out in a circular pattern are recognized automatically so that a change made to the diameter of one hole is applied automatically to all. The relative circular arrangement also is recognized and so holes can be moved in or out along the radial pattern as if the inter-play relationship already existed.
This kind of design pattern recognition is determined automatically by IronCAD, and it offers edits as the default behavior. Of course, sometimes the software gets it wrong or, perhaps, our design may be different in a unique way. IronCAD provides an override to doing edits manually.
The included tool palette of standard design parts, called IntelliShapes, shortens the learning curve significantly, especially for first-time users like ourselves. IntelliShapes are available from the Catalog Browser.
Extruding 2D profiles is a common modeling operation. IronCAD makes this step more intuitive by packaging it with the Extrude Wizard, a tool that does more than just extrude shapes (see figure 5).
|Figure 5: Extrude Feature Properties|
We could apply a number of additional fine-tuning adjustments during the extrude operation, like fillet, chamfer, bevel, shell, and add or remove materials. The Wizard allowed us to look ahead in our design and pre-specify some of the downstream tasks. This cleverly eliminates the many other steps that would otherwise be required after the usual, simple extrude operation. We guess this also helps the software better record the design history, as it is all done under one command.
Going back to IntelliShapes, we found smart tools for beveling and shelling (see figures 6 and 7). They capture common design intent, and pack many common operations into one wizard. We found this approach smart, because it was crafted with the most popular moves designers have in mind.
|Figure 6: Beveling IntelliShapes|
|Figure 7: Shelling IntelliShapes|
After spending some time with IronCAD, we found that it is an especially amazing tool for rapid prototype designing. As first time users, we did not have any difficulty in getting our basic design stuff done. We struggled a bit when it came to precise coordinate positioning of the model parts. While IronCAD offers a powerful TriBall interface tool (activated by pressing F10) to assist in positioning and alignment, we found we may need a bit of training to take more advantages of its full capabilities.
We tried our hand at some of the sheet metal tools and it was not a bad experience. A vast library of pre-defined constructs makes it easy for users to choose the shapes to work with and develop them into the required shapes (see figure 8).
|Figure 8: Sheet metal design|
We were able to come up with the above piece in a few minutes. Overall, the tools looked impressive, were easy to use, and produced results.
IronCAD has a single-scene environment in which both parts and assemblies can be created without the need for separate files, in contrast to most other MCAD systems which have separate environments for creating parts and their assembly. Users can easily change the structure through assemble/disassemble.
IronCAD designs can be analyzed easily using NASTRAN FEA software. NEi Nastran for IronCAD is a powerful finite element analysis solution designed to run inside of the IRONCAD and INOVATE interfaces. The company told us that users are able to use the standard IronCAD 3D product functionality to design products and then perform analysis simulations directly within the application eliminating the need to launch any additional standalone applications.
Translation is a $700 add-on that allows IronCAD to import and export (for CATIA native files) native formats of all top end MCAD systems, such as CATIA V5, Pro/E (Creo), NX, SolidWorks, and Inventor. IGES, STEP, ACIS, Parasolid, CATIA V4, Pro/E (pre 2000), and a variety of graphical formats are included in the base IronCAD product.
You can take advantage in both IRONCAD and INOVATE to edit almost any imported file without recreating geometry. This is a perfect fit for suppliers who work around designs from other engineers. IronCAD has a most complete set of data translators that allow both faceted and solid geometry to interchange with all leading systems.
In my role as a programmer, customizing capabilities is something I look for in every software package. IronCAD scores well here by offering the complete object model exposed via .NET and C++ libraries. I can build upon and extend the existing IronCAD capabilities. (I did not, however, have the time to look at any of the existing third-party developments built around IronCAD.)
Standard part tables are stored in an ASCII text files, which means they can be easily customized to add country- or project-specific part libraries. We found one caveat: the format has to fit into the structure mandated by IronCAD designers. For anything different, there is a bit of ASCII editing involved.
It would be good to see in the library more country-specific parts to match national standards for some future version of IronCAD.
The screen images you have seen so far in this review so were created by us. On IronCAD’s Web site, we saw some nice looking designs fully rendered which gave us an idea of what we could produce with IronCAD if we went through the entire design process (see figures 9 and 10).
|Figure 9: A Paper machine assembly|
|Figure 10: A 3D part in its full glory|
As someone who is new to MCAD, I found IronCAD 2013 to be a good bet as a mid-range modeler for small and medium enterprises. I can see these sorts of firms needing to quickly conceptualize a design, build a realistic model, and then create working drawings. At the current list price of $3,970 in the USA, IronCAD also provides firms with significant value.
For the majority of users in design and manufacturing, who need to create a concept quickly, get their assemblies in place and verified by CAD, IronCAD is the right tool for the job.
GeoTools & CADPower V14 released today!!
The fourteenth numbered upgrade since 1999, GeoTools and CADPower V14 are now shipping and available for download on our website.
The V14 upgrade of GeoTools & CADPower is FREE for all purchases of the V13 version made on or after January 1, 2013. This also applies to all GeoTools & CADPower upgrades from earlier versions made AFTER this date.
GeoTools & CADPower V14 runs on AutoCAD versions 2007-2013 and BricsCAD V13 (only). It is not yet compatible with AutoCAD 2014. We hope to announce AutoCAD 2014 compatibility during the life-cylce of V14.
Users wishing to use GeoTools on pre-AutoCAD 2007 software can still purchase V12.20 from us at the old, un-split price of USD 219 per license.
The V14 release is an immensely important release for us as well as our customers as we have added a large number of new features in this release.
Direct download links:
New Features Summary
GeoTools / CADPower Price list
New User license prices
GeoTools V14 (1-user license): US$ 169
GeoTools V14 (2-user license): US$ 289
GeoTools V14 (4-user license): US$ 559
GeoTools V14 (10-user license): US$ 939
GeoTools V14 (20-user license): US$ 1779
GeoTools V14 (unlimited site license) : US$ 4539
CADPower V14 (1-user license): US$ 139
CADPower V14 (2-user license): US$ 219
CADPower V14 (4-user license): US$ 439
CADPower V14 (10-user license): US$ 749
CADPower V14 (20-user license): US$ 1379
CADPower V14, unlimited site license : US$ 3539
GeoTools V14, 1-user license upgrade from V13: US$ 79
GeoTools V14, 4-user license upgrade from V13: US$ 209
GeoTools V14, 10-user license upgrade from V13: US$ 359
GeoTools V14, 20-user license upgrade from V13: US$ 719
GeoTools V14, unlimited site license upgrade from V13: US$ 1799
CADPower V14, 1-user license upgrade from V13: US$ 59
CADPower V14, 4-user license upgrade from V13: US$ 169
CADPower V14, 10-user license upgrade from V13: US$ 269
CADPower V14, 20-user license upgrade from V13: US$ 539
CADPower V14, unlimited site license upgrade from V13: US$ 1389
In one of my previous posts, I showed how you can identify (and fix) and broken COM interface in BricsCAD. I am pleased to see that Bricsys (Torsten Moses) has made this job even more easier now by providing an auto-detect to this problem with a brief suggestion how you can fix it.
I managed to break my COM interface today because of the several configurations, versions and 32/64 bit BricsCAD that I am constantly installing and un-installing. I wa not aware of the break-down until I started BricsCAD and was pleasantly surprised to see a nice dialog box (see below) explaining the problem was.
In earlier versions, you would just get nasty, unexplained errors while using COM functions. Now, the problem and the solution are clearly communicated to the user. Great job!!
I must ask Torsten if any of these instructions change in the 64-bit version of BricsCAD.
The soon-to-come V 13.2.2 of BricsCAD is an important release for more than one reasons. While the native 64-bit installset is going to delight all users, the other important addition is support for the .dwg 2013 format.
BricsCAD uses the Open Design Alliance (ODA) Teigha libraries to read and write .dwg files. The Teigha libraries are normally updated about 6 months from the release of a new .dwg format by Autodesk. It takes another 6 months for ODA members like Bricsys to integrate the same into their products. Nearly a year since AutoCAD 2013 has been released, BricsCAD will supports the .dwg 2013 format very soon.
With BricsCAD V 13.2.2 onwards, you can have a bi-directional exchange of your .dwg files with AutoCAD 2013 and 2014 users without any problems.
The 64-bit version of BricsCAD V13 (X64) is now in beta and will soon be available for the general public from BricsCAD V 13.2.2 onwards. The main advantage of a native 64-bit version will be the ability to open and mange large DWG files faster and more efficiently.
The terms 32-bit and 64-bit refer to the way a computer's processor (also called a CPU) handles information. The 64-bit version of Windows handles large amounts of random access memory (RAM) more effectively than a 32-bit system.
The current 32-bit (X86) version of BricsCAD runs under 64-bit Windows OSes. However, it is not capable of exploiting the benefits offered by a 64-bit OS. It now runs as a 32-bit application in a 64-bit OS.
A 64-bit Windows OS is now default on all new laptops and even desktops. With native 64-bit support, BricsCAD V 13.2.2 onwards is able to access RAM and other resources offered by the 64-bit OS fully and more efficiently.
You will see significant improvements while open drawings that run into hundreds of megabytes, or while doing rendering operations that need multi-gigabytes of RAM.
I foresee that in the future 32-bit Windows OS will become obsolete and 64-bit will soon be the de facto standard.
What's New in GeoTools V14
The new Geographic menu in GeoTools adds a number of geographic functions.
GT_DWG2KML_BATCH1F: This is a batch process, command-line version of the KML export program, which allows a single feature export.
GT_DWG2KML_BATCHMULTF: This is a batch process, command-line version of the KML export program, which handles multiple feature export.
GT_INSPHOTO: With the ability to tag photos geographically using smart phones, cameras and tablets, we had users asking for geo-tagged photos to be geo-referenced and imported into CAD. GeoTools now has this ability. Know More...Discover BricsCAD, discover GeoTools-AutoCAD , GeoTools-BricsCAD, CADPower-AutoCAD, CADPower-BricsCAD, discover TechCenter. Brand new ways to work smarter in CAD!!
What's New in CADPower V14CP_READEXIF: Under the Miscellaneous tools section, we added a utility to examine EXIF meta-data from images and other files and display them in your drawing or export to EXIF report files.
The CADPower -> Mechanical Menu
Mechanical & Construction Engineering professionals have something new to look forward to in CADPower V14.
CP_STEELWORKS: For Steel Fabrication guys, we added an Indian Standard Steel section in which you can draw standard angles, channels, I, T and L beams from the steel tables. This is based on the ndian Standard Code of Parctice for Steel Construction.
CP_DESIGNPARTS: For the Design guys, we will be adding a section to draw hex bolts, nuts, washers, fasterners and so on. This is still in early beta and you should be able to see this in the early life-cycle of CADPower V14 later this year.Discover BricsCAD, discover GeoTools-AutoCAD , GeoTools-BricsCAD, CADPower-AutoCAD, CADPower-BricsCAD, discover TechCenter. Brand new ways to work smarter in CAD!!
A new menu category called Mechanical has been created in the CADPower V14. The first item in this section is the Indian Standard Steel Section, which allows drawing of Indian Standard Steel Angles, Channels, T-sections and more. You can select the section you need and it is inserted into the drawing.