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Issue #14, 20 August 2010

Official CAD International Newsletter

A Long Time Between Drinks

If you are a regular reader of our newsletter you'll have noticed it's been quite some time since the last one was published. It's amazing how time flies. Some of you will have received a few email blasts with news articles in the last few months, but we figured it was about time we published the newsletter itself. So here we are again, full of news and itching to let you know.

We have new staff, new products, new software updates and a brand new international web site!

Sit back and relax for a few minutes whilst you check out the following articles.


G'Day Dani

A warm welcome to the newest member of our team, Daniel Ramiro, who joins us all the way from Madrid in Spain. Dani brings with him a happy disposition and extremely helpful nature (as well as a smugness about Spain's superior soccer skills!)

Dani will be heading up our support services from our Sydney, Australia office. Some of you may have already had the pleasure of chatting with him. He's on a rapid learning curve with many software products to master and absorb.

If you've ever worked closely with our staff you'll know that we're a fun team with a serious desire to provide excellence in everything we do. Whilst money is the reason we're in business in the first place, its our passion to give service that drives us day to day.


Best 3D Visualization Software

Informatix Software International, have announced CAD International as its distributor in the region for its famous Piranesi imaging software.

Pirenasi is software that allows you to capture a perspective snapshot of your 3D model from SketchUp, ArchiCAD, AutoCAD, RealCAD, LANDWorksCAD, Vectorworks and more, then paint the scene with a variety of realistic or artistic effects, in much the same way as you would with Photoshop - only with Piranesi every pixel in the scene 'knows' its position in 3D space relative to every other pixel. In this way when you paint a texture such as bricks or tiles or grass the texture automatically get smaller as your 'brush' gets 'further away' in the perspective.

Entourage objects such as trees, people and cars can be dragged in from the extensive library and when placed they get larger as you bring them seemingly closer to you - and the pixels that would be further away in the scene automatically get hidden. There is no need for masking or lasso selection either, the software just knows what is related to what and what should be painted and what shouldn't. Brilliant.

You do not get a second chance to make a first impression. Piranesi gives users the ability to deliver high quality renderings quickly and efficiently, creating an atmospheric, evocative, and exciting representations. Its a lot of fun to use and you are likely to win more business using it.

Anyone wishing to see some of the superb images that our customers have created in Piranesi is very welcome to enjoy a visit.



Fujitsu Develops World's First Ultra fast 3D CAD Engine

Fujitsu and iCAD in Japan, recently announced the development of the world's first computer aided design (CAD) engine, designed to be used as part of a 3D CAD system for designing machinery that is capable of processing data for one million parts in 0.2 seconds!

The new engine features processing performance that is 200 times the speed of existing 3D CAD systems, giving it the power to process large-scale machinery with one million parts in only 0.2 seconds. Although the processing performance limitations of existing systems have traditionally forced engineers to design mechanical, electrical, and control systems using separate systems, the new engine enables the design of these elements to be consolidated into one system, streamlining the task of designing large-scale machinery. more...


Close Tabs With Your Mouse

Now that just about every Internet browser is using tabbed browsing and the default setting is to open new windows in a new tab, chances are that at any given time you've got several tabs open.

When you try to close your browser, you get a warning message asking if you want to close all tabs or just the current one. If you need to choose which tabs to close, clicking that itty bitty 'x' on each tab takes some precise mouse moves.

An easier way to close those browser tabs, is to point to the tab (a bigger target) and click the middle mouse button (your mouse wheel) And if you start by clicking the leftmost tab you want to close, you can close most of the tabs without even moving your mouse.


DRC Software Challenge

Gary D'arcy was a clever man. He pioneered the DRCAuto software products starting with Smart Architect and followed up with a plethora of tools to enhance the use of basic AutoCAD in every day drafting.

Perhaps his greatest software triumph was to develop a unique LiSP enabling process that gave AutoCAD LT the ability to support third party applications which, it has been said, was removed at the eleventh hour by AutoDesk prior to its first release.

Many years on, Gary has sadly passed away leaving us a legacy of extremely useful software, but... his company no longer exists and the source code (now owned by CAD International) appears to have been deliberately crippled making it extraordinarily difficult to continue development in a timely manner.

Within weeks of the demise of Gary's family company, a new company emerged (owned by one of Gary's former employees) and has taken only a few months to release almost identically operating software that previously had taken many years to develop. If you are on our DRCAuto mailing list you will have received emails from them by now as they have also direct marketed to the same existing DRCAuto clients as we have on our list.

In the mean time we are reverse engineering the code to get it back to how is was before the employees left Gary's company and it closed its doors. Whilst we are making steady progress it is very slow, so we invite programmers wanting interesting and challenging work to assist us in speeding up the process and help develop the software into the future to contact us.


New Plant Symbols Released

Users of LANDWorksCAD will be pleased to know that we have a new set of plant plan symbols to add to the already large selection. The new symbols are sketchier and for the most part more appealing than the more rigid CAD-like ones that shipped with the software previously.

Many of the plants in the new symbol set have also had surface planes added on a separate layer so that they automatically obscure the line work underneath them. All symbols have been created with varying line weights and uniform colours and layers. To maximize the effective use of the symbols in your drawings you should set your Figure Options to Original: Layer, Colour, Style and Weight.

The new symbols are available for purchase at a very reasonable price for use with your existing LANDWorksCAD software. Take a look at the PDF file of the plan symbols here.


New Plant Database

If you would like to expand the list of plants in your database within LANDWorksCAD we now have over 2000 plants to choose from. The new database uses the new plant Figures discussed in the article above and also selects the plants from a different folder to the previous version so as not to get them mixed up.

 

To make using the new plant database particularly useful, we will be releasing a free video tutorial that will show you how it works and how to edit it to suit your own needs. The new video will also be useful for existing users who simply want to edit their existing database with existing or new plant symbols.

If you are interested in this new database, please drop us a line and we will let you know how you can get it and use it in your software.

Free Exposure

When you visit our NEW International web site, you'll see we have a range of fantastic new CAD created images supplied by users of our software. By providing us with images of your work we can give you free links to your web site and thus provide you with free advertising exposure.

You may have drawings, renderings or animations that could be worthy of publishing on our site, so send them to us and (subject to suitability) we'll place them on show, complete with links to your web site should you desire.

If you have a good story that goes with your submission then supply that too. Every one likes a good story! You will need to own the copyright for your images and give us permission to publish.

We have thousands of visitors pass through our site globally every week so this is a great opportunity for you to gain some free marketing exposure.


StrucPLUS New Version

It seems that each time we blink there is a new operating system, a new hardware architecture or a new version of AutoCAD released onto the market and each time this happens we busy ourselves tirelessly to update our software to match. So, we now have a new version of StrucPLUS for AutoCAD 2011 and Bricscad. It works with Windows XP, Windows Vista and Windows 7, 32Bit or 64Bit machines.

Those of you looking for a version to run with AutoCAD LT may have to wait a little longer whilst we wait for a solution to the LiSP enabler application to come on line. We strongly recommend switching over to Bricscad as this gives you more functionality and better handling of the commands in StrucPLUS as well as being more flexible with DWG files.


Free Yourself with IronCAD

CAD International has accepted reseller rights for IronCAD, the leading innovative solid modeller for mechanical and product design.

IronCAD fills a major need for CAD International's clients by providing the tools and intelligence of well known products like Autodesk Inventor and Solid Works whilst giving a significantly more flexible and easy to use methodology.


"In comparison to IronCAD, the other systems seem like you're trying to draw whilst being tied to a chair."

IronCAD is the the only professional MCAD software to provide the freedom of drag and drop, constraint-free modelling and the patented on screen Tri-ball device. It is the fastest way to precise 3D design.

The Tri-ball allows users to push, pull and modify the geometry in all directions without limitation. No longer is the user constrained to history dependent modelling or to gross parametric constraints nor to reverting to an underlying sketch to make modifications - And whilst you have access to these more rigid and traditional methods for the times you need them, typically everything you model can be created, moved and manipulated dynamically on-the-fly without having to think about it.

IronCAD is a solid, proven product with a huge following and attractive price. If you are a designer or engineer, don't settle for less. Ask for a demo


RealCAD Engine and SDK

Did you know that there is a software developers kit (SDK) for RealCAD that you can use to write your own applications using RealCAD as your CAD engine? RealCAD's powerful CAD engine can also be licensed for the creation of your own CAD software in specialized industries or specific geographical markets.

So if you need to create a software of your own using the power of a CAD engine like RealCAD give us a call to discuss the benefits of licensing your own CAD engine to drive your own applications in your business.


Operating Systems

On a PC, did you know that if you have a need to run Windows XP and also Windows 7 on the same machine, by installing VMWare Workstation you can have both at the same time! You don't have to boot up in one or the other either, simply switch between them on the fly. You can even drag and drop from applications in one operating system into another - cool!

And did you know that if you have a Mac machine, you can run Windows 7 and your Mac O/S at the same time using VMWare's Fusion software. This means you can have the best of both world's - a great looking Apple Mac machine and the right operating system to run CAD!


Real CAD for SketchUp

Whilst SketchUp is probably the easiest to use 3D sketch design software available, many are critical of its ability to make useful 2D documentation, even in the professional version using 'Layout' and of course no tools in the free version - Well we've fixed that!

Simply import the entire SketchUp model file from either the free or professional version of SketchUp directly into RealCAD - edit it if you wish, add features, text, accurate dimensions and even make new 3D views, then compose layout views or capture SketchUp scenes and paste them directly into RealCAD. This is the best of both worlds harmoniously together. Contact us directly for the special pricing we are offering on this for a limited time only.


New CAD Web Site


CAD Starter Packs

Following the success of two offerings, the RealCAD Starter Pack and LANDWorksCAD Starter Pack , we decided to let you all know about it in the newsletter.

The Starter Packs are the best and cheapest way to get into CAD. They provide training, support and the software for a full year, allowing clients time to bring CAD into their work flow and learn how best to use it, then at the end of that year clients have the choice to do nothing, or to rent the software for a further year or to purchase the software outright. It's an inexpensive and totally risk-free way to get CAD into any business.

If you are talking with colleagues who might be thinking of getting CAD, you can feel totally comfortable advising them to do it this way. The cost is very low, the software is provided, the training is provided and most importantly the support is provided.

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