Australian Design & Drafting Services provide excellent service for CAD Design and Drafting. Contact Us for more info
How Music Industry impacted by 3D Printing
Australian Design & Drafting Services provide excellent service for 3D Printing and Prototype Design.Contact Us for more info
What is difference between IGES and STEP Files?
- Both are "neutral file formats". They were developed to be compatible with different 3D packages
- The oldest is IGES (Initial Graphics Exchange Specification). It was developed in the mid '70s by the defense industry to solve compatibility issues between different software packages
- STEP (Standard for the Exchange of Product data) was created in the '80s by ISO as an improvement on IGES
- The most widespread format is IGES but it can only contain basic 2D or 3D data
- STEP is more versatile and contains additional information such as material information and tolerances
For most design engineers, the following scenario should look familiar: Peter, the lead designer for company X, needs to send a CAD model to Mary, the design engineer for company Y. Peter designed the part using Solidworks and Mary only works in Pro Engineer. Peter’s Solidworks file can’t be opened in Mary’s software, so the simple transfer of a part file has now become a problem.
This issue of non-interchangeable proprietary file formats for CAD data has been around for decades. Software companies want to promote the use of their own modeling packages, and one way to do this is to ensure that only their package can open a file created in their software. Unfortunately, every major 3D modeling software company has done this, so communicating between them is a problem.
Luckily, a solution exists in the form of neutral file formats. A neutral file format is one that can be passed between different modeling software packages. Bob could use a neutral file format to pass his CAD model to Susan, who could then open it and work with it as needed.
The most common variants of these neutral file formats are the IGES (pronounces eye-jess) and STEP formats. You can recognize these formats because the file name will end in .iges, .igs, .stp, or .step.
The History of Neutral file Formats
In the mid-seventies, the United States government realized that it had a problem. With all of the unique proprietary CAD programs used by its different contractors, millions of dollars and countless hours were wasted on the tedious process of sharing and converting data between all the systems. You can imagine how many times this scenario played out on a large project like an aircraft carrier or missile delivery system with hundreds of suppliers!
So, the Air Force launched a project in conjunction with Boeing and several other large industry partners to create a neutral file format. The result was IGES (Initial Graphics Exchange Specification), which is a flexible file format that codifies drawing, 3d geometry, and other critical CAD data in a format that can be shared between all major CAD systems.
Since the eighties, the US Department of Defense has required that the IGES format be used for all weapons and defense contracts, and it has been adopted in other industries as well.
STEP (Standard for the Exchange of Product data) was created in the eighties as an improvement on the IGES standard by ISO (the International Standards Organization), with the goal of creating a global standard for a range of CAD-related data types. Due to the complexity of the undertaking, it has taken years of development and is still being continuously upgraded. It is currently the largest of all of ISO’s standards.
Difference Between IGES and STEP
IGES is the most widespread standard, and is supported by nearly all major CAD systems worldwide.
An IGES file contains basic CAD information:
- 2D and 3D geometry (curves, surfaces, and wireframes)
- Presentation elements (drafting elements like lines and annotations)
- Electronic and pipe schematic elements
- Finite element modeling elements
- Language and product definition data
STEP is a newer standard, and is therefore not as widespread as IGES. However, most major CAD programs recognize STEP and its ubiquity is steadily growing as the standard improves.
STEP files contain the same product definition information as IGES, with the following additions:
- Material properties
- Other complex product data
In most cases where solid models or drawings are being shared, either file format will work fine. For compatibility it is safest to start with IGES, since it is the more common format and therefore more likely to work with the receiving party’s software.
However, a designer should also consider the information being shared. If the file being sent needs to contain more product definition (for example, geometric dimensioning and tolerancing data, material properties, etc), then STEP would be a better choice.
It is not uncommon for one supplier to have trouble working with one format, and to request its alternative. Depending on your industry and software, you will likely become familiar with one or the other and stick to it in most situations
Australian Design & Drafting Services provide excellent service for CAD conversions for IGES and STEP file to native file format.Contact Us for more info
The New Dimension in Electrical Design Evolution or Revolution?
how electrical engineers moved from paper sketches to 3d
Hi Folks! Its chilling winter here in Australia, so let's have some warms up from electrical design and drafting news..
Over the past 260 years, the way we light our homes and power our businesses has changed dramatically. We’ve traded candles for light bulbs, abandoned the abacus for super computers, and swapped selenium wafers for energy-efficient solar panels. We now have a generation of products that are connected to the internet to improve the quality of our lives–think smart appliances, fitness monitors, and intelligent trash cans. These innovations reflect advances in scientific thinking—and advances in the way engineers design increasingly complex electrical design systems.
1752: Lightning in a … Kite?
Benjamin Franklin was an inventor, writer and statesman, but he was also an engineer who developed electrical systems using hand sketches. His best-known feat? Verifying that lightning is actually electricity.
In June 1752, history says that Benjamin Franklin sent a key attached to a homemade kite into the air. “As soon as any of the thunder clouds come over the kite,” he wrote, “the pointed wire will draw the electric fire from them, and the kite, with all the twine, will be electrified.” While there’s a good chance Franklin made up the tale, his theory was ”electrifying.”
1879: A Little Menlo Park Magic
Picking up where Franklin left off, Thomas Alva Edison (aka the Wizard of Menlo Park) held more than 1,000 patents. In 1879, he introduced the electric light bulb. It lasted longer than previous models and employed a carbonized cotton thread filament.
Edison made a host of other contributions to electrical design, including the system of power stations now called General Electric, and schematics continued to be the planning tool of choice.
Although a true technological genius, Edison wasn’t all butterflies and rainbows— he electrocuted puppies, a horse, and an elephant in an attempt to label alternating
current (AC) power as dangerous. He lost this campaign and Nikola Tesla’s AC induction motor won, mechanizing factory work and powering household appliances.
But that (admittedly creepy) anecdote hardly tells the full story of Edison’s life. He went on to improve life for generations of Americans with the phonograph, motion pictures, the storage battery, and more.
1907: Vacuum Tubes
Throughout the 20th century, electrical engineers used schematics to represent increasingly complicated systems for radio, medical devices, and computers. In 1907, Lee De Forest patented the audion, which enabled clearly audible sounds such as a human voice to be relayed and amplified using a three-electrode vacuum tube–the world’s first triode.
1929: Machine Packs Serious Voltage
Wiring diagrams based on physical connections entered the electrical engineering vocabulary in 1929, when Alabama native Robert Jemison Van de Graaff built the first working model of an electrostatic accelerator.
Its purpose: accelerate particles, break apart atomic nuclei, and unlock
the secrets of individual atoms. Van de Graaff’s invention is used widely in science classrooms and paved the way for future electrical research.
1947: Transistor Transition
Schematics advanced yet again when electrical engineers began creating them based on logical connections. A major breakthrough occurred in 1947 when John
Bardeen, Walter Brattain, and William Shockley collaborated to demonstrate the transistor— which amplifies or switches electrical signals—at Bell Laboratories. The semiconductor, which paired two gold contacts and a germanium crystal, represented an upgrade from cumbersome vacuum tubes.
1977: We’ve Gone Digital!
By the late 1970s, functions such as placement and routing became available in automatic physical
electronic design automation (EDA)— marking the birth of the digital schematic. Bell Labs, along with companies such as IBM and RCA, held advanced tools that operated on mainframes or 8-bit minicomputers. In 1977, super minis provided massive amounts of memory for designs.
Today: Entering a New Dimension
For decades, companies have developed products that feature both mechanical and electrical components. The traditional product development process for an electromechanical product has created long design cycles due to sequential electrical and mechanical design, as well as the discontinuities which occur when different groups use different names for common elements.
There are challenges in keeping the Bill of Materials (BOM) accurate through the use of so many spreadsheets. Often, once the electrical design piece has been completed,
it is then handed off to the mechanical design team. After they complete their part of the design, the entertaining part happens when it comes to figuring out how the electrical pieces fit into the product. A physical prototype is built at this point and
the designers get out a ball of string or a measuring tape to figure out how the wiring will fit. Given all the powerful software design tools we have, it’s ironic that we have fallen back to low-tech ways of integrating the electrical and mechanical pieces of the design. As you might expect, this method is prone to introducing lots of errors
and delays into the production process, product documentation, and BOM.
Things have evolved a bit over the last couple years. Electrical schematics entered the third dimension in 2012, when SOLIDWORKS introduced powerful and affordable 3D electrical CAD software for Windows, merging the logical connections championed by Benjamin Franklin with the modern day need to build 3D physical connections.
Using SOLIDWORKS® Electrical software, you can easily design electrical schematics and transform the logical schematics into 3D physical models which integrate into the overall design. SOLIDWORKS Electrical 3D™ integrates with SOLIDWORKS 3D CAD modeling software to enable bi-directional and real-time integration of electrical components within the 3D model maintaining design synchronization and an accurate BOM. In this way, the entire engineering team can collaboratively work on a project concurrently, which not only produces a more integrated design; it can also lower project costs, and shorten time to market.
Another benefit of the integrated SOLIDWORKS solution for electro-mechanical design is the ability to analyze or simulate the operation of the entire model against real-world conditions, such as thermal stress or physical vibration–all without having to build a physical prototype. This seems like “common-sense” (which even a man like Benjamin Franklin would appreciate if he were alive today).
From light bulbs to intelligent trash cans—and from handwritten notes on paper napkins to 3D modeling—one thing is clear: electrical design has entered the next dimension.
Australian Design and Drafting services provides excellent quality Electrical Design and drafting services around Australia in major cities like Brisbane,Sydney,Melbourne,Perth,GoldCoast,Newcastle etc..Feel free to contact us for any requirements.
What You should know about Solidworks and its History?
In the following article, I will describe you in short sentences the genesis of SOLIDWORKS. How did it happen and why SOLIDWORKS until today has been so successful.
In December 1993, Mr. Jon Deer Tick founded together with a team of engineers SOLIDWORKS in Waltham Massachusetts / USA.His goal was to create a 3D CAD software (computer-aided design), therefore to develop a computerized program that volume body based modeling and to create technical drawings digitally. In addition, this software should be as user-friendly and do not require costly hardware.
Deer Tick opted for the Windows platform, in the very successful release of Windows 95. He and his team developed and programmed over a year and came up with the "initial release" 1995th first edition.
The friendly interface and intuitive handling of the parametric features made SOLIDWORKS quickly became popular. SOLIDWORKS was Distributed by certified resellers, offered in 1996 for the small machine builders in Germany at affordable prices and became the German success story.
In 1997, the French software company Dassault Systèmes took notice of SOLIDWORKS success stories and bought it for 310 million US dollars. There were initial doubts by SOLIDWORKS users, whether Dassault SOLIDWORKS would be implemented in the CAD program Catia or would give up entirely, but the Dassault Systèmes quickly realized the potential of SOLIDWORKS and focused on its further development.
Since SOLIDWORKS is continuously developed and expanded modularly. There are a variety of additional applications and industry-supporting functions. Such as the Sheet metal features or the weldment features.
Currently SOLIDWORKS is worldwide, more than 3,073,600 licenses in 23,400 locations in 80 countries.
Various SOLIDWORKS product range Available
3D CAD Packages
SOLIDWORKS Premium is a comprehensive 3D design solution that adds powerful simulation and design validation to the capabilities of SOLIDWORKS Professional, as well as ECAD/MCAD collaboration, reverse engineering, and advanced wire and pipe routing functionality.
SOLIDWORKS Professional builds on the capabilities of SOLIDWORKS Standard to increase design productivity, with file management tools, advanced photorealistic rendering, automated cost estimation, eDrawings® Professional collaboration capabilities, automated design and drawing checking, and a sophisticated components and parts library.
Get up to speed quickly with SOLIDWORKS Standard and unlock the benefits of this powerful 3D design solution for rapid creation of parts, assemblies, and 2D drawings. Application-specific tools for sheet metal, weldments, surfacing, and mold tool and die make it easy to deliver best-in-class designs.
SOLIDWORKS Visualization Products
SOLIDWORKS Visualize Professional
An extensive tool set to easily create images, animations, and interactive content.
SOLIDWORKS Visualize Standard
The fastest and easiest way to photo-quality images for anyone that needs to take "photos" of their 3D data.
SOLIDWORKS Simulation Premium
Ensure product robustness using the range of powerful structural simulation capabilities in SOLIDWORKS Simulation Premium. It goes beyond SOLIDWORKS Simulation Professional and includes additional tools for simulating nonlinear and dynamic response, dynamic loading, and composite materials.
SOLIDWORKS Simulation Packages
SOLIDWORKS Flow Simulation
Efficiently simulate fluid flow, heat transfer, and fluid forces critical to your design's success with SOLIDWORKS Flow Simulation. Driven by engineering goals, SOLIDWORKS Flow Simulation takes the complexity out of computational fluid dynamics (CFD) and enables Product Engineers to use CFD insights for making their technical decisions in a concurrent engineering approach.
Predict and avoid manufacturing defects during the earliest stages of plastics part and injection mold design using SOLIDWORKS Plastics simulation software. Companies that design plastic parts or molds can improve quality, eliminate costly mold rework, and decrease time-to-market.
Conduct life cycle assessment (LCA) on parts or assemblies directly within the SOLIDWORKS 3D design window. Search for comparable materials, see in real time how they affect environmental impact, and easily document your findings.
Product Data Management Packages
SOLIDWORKS PDM Professional
SOLIDWORKS PDM Professional is a full-featured data management solution for organizations large and small. SOLIDWORKS PDM Professional helps your team more easily find and repurpose files, parts, and drawings; share design information; automate workflows and ensure manufacturing always has the right version.
SOLIDWORKS PDM Standard
SOLIDWORKS PDM Standard is a new data management solution for smaller workgroup environments in one geographic location. Included with SOLIDWORKS Professional and Premium, SOLIDWORKS PDM Standard helps SOLIDWORKS and DraftSight users easily and efficiently organize and manage their data. SOLIDWORKS PDM Standard can be easily upgraded to SOLIDWORKS PDM Professional if and when needs change.
EXALEAD OnePart helps engineers and designers decide between design creation or design reuse in just one min. EXALEAD OnePart is a business discovery application that accelerates reuse of parts, designs, specifications, standards, test results and related data for engineering, manufacturing, and procurement activities. Leveraging the proven web semantics, analytics, and big data management technologies of EXALEAD CloudView™, OnePart locates information from multiple sources and makes it available instantly.
Technical Communication Packages
SOLIDWORKS MBD helps define, organize, and publish 3D Product Manufacturing Information (PMI) including 3D model data in industry-standard file formats. It guides the manufacturing process directly in 3D, which helps streamline production, cut cycle time, reduce errors, and support industry standards.
SOLIDWORKS® Inspection helps you streamline the creation of inspection documents by leveraging your existing 2D legacy data, regardless of whether files are SOLIDWORKS, PDFs, or TIFFs.
SOLIDWORKS Inspection software automates the creation of ballooned inspection drawings and inspection sheets for First Article Inspection (FAI) and in process inspections. Save time and virtually eliminate errors by speeding up this repetitive manual process.
SOLIDWORKS Composer™ enables you to easily repurpose existing 3D design data to rapidly create and update high quality graphical assets that are fully associated with your 3D design.
SOLIDWORKS Composer users can routinely create technical documentation parallel with product development, simplifying their process and accelerating time-to-market. Manufacturing Engineer Rob Schwartz of ARENS Controls, LLC relates that for one of their products “I had the instructions done before the first parts arrived on the dock. Not only was I freed from having to wait for parts or assemblies, I was able to put together better content in a fraction of the usual time.”
SOLIDWORKS Electrical Solutions
SOLIDWORKS Electrical solutions are integral parts of the SOLIDWORKS design and simulation portfolio that help Design Engineers reduce the risk inherent in innovation and get their products to market faster with less physical prototyping to decrease costs. With a consistent, powerful, intuitive set of electrical design capabilities, all fully integrated with the SOLIDWORKS solution portfolio, designers can establish an integrated design early in the design process and avoid costly design rework.
SOLIDWORKS PCB Powered By Altium
A professional PCB design tool capable of meeting the demands of today’s products, which allows you to develop the most efficient schematics for your board layouts. Integration of PCB design seamlessly with SOLIDWORKS CAD, with a managed ECO change process and distinct workflows to keep you at your most productive.
SOLIDWORKS Electrical Schematic Standard
A powerful, stress-free, easy-to-use single user schematic design tool helps rapid development of embedded electrical systems for equipment and other products. Built-in and web-enabled libraries of symbols and manufacturer part information provide common re-usable materials optimizing design re-use. You can streamline and simplify an array of tedious design tasks, from terminal block to contact cross reference assignments, with our automated design and management tools.
SOLIDWORKS Electrical Schematic Professional
A powerful, stress-free, easy-to-use suite of collaborative schematic design tools drives rapid development of embedded electrical systems for equipment and other products. Built-in and web-enabled libraries of symbols, manufacturer part information, and 3D component models provide common re-usable materials optimizing design re-use. You can streamline and simplify an array of tedious design tasks, from PLC and terminal block to contact cross reference assignments, with our automated design and management tools.
SOLIDWORKS Electrical 3D
Integrate electrical schematic design data with the SOLIDWORKS 3D model of a machine or other product—bidirectionally and in real time. SOLIDWORKS Electrical 3D enables you to place electrical components and use advanced SOLIDWORKS routing technology to automatically interconnect electrical design elements within the 3D model. Determine optimal lengths for wires, cables, and harnesses, all while maintaining design and bill of materials (BOM) synchronization between electrical and mechanical designs.
SOLIDWORKS Electrical Professional
Combine the electrical schematic functionality of SOLIDWORKS Electrical Schematic with the 3D modeling capabilities of SOLIDWORKS Electrical 3D and do it all in one powerful, easy-to-use package. SOLIDWORKS Electrical Professional is ideally suited for the user that supports both the electrical and mechanical design integration.
Share data between electrical CAD (ECAD) and mechanical CAD (MCAD) designers using the CircuitWorks™ tool in SOLIDWORKS 3D CAD software. Circuitworks™ enables users to share, compare, update, and track electrical design data so users can more quickly resolve electrical-mechanical integration problems.
Australian Design and Drafting services provides excellent quality solidworks services around Australia in major cities like Brisbane,Sydney,Melbourne,Perth,GoldCoast,Newcastle etc..Feel free to contact us for any requirements related design and drafting till then Stay cool,stay stronger..
What are the Main fundamental Issues for 3d Designer/Drafter?
There are some very confusing fundamental issues encounter by designer/drafter during design process and It should be address properly during process itself. If a 3d designer/drafter create his drawings separately from the production regardless of the manufacturing process, incurred costly and time-consuming delays.
For example, if a drawing with incorrect dimensions or incorrect material properties given in the production, the drawing must be reworked with time consuming and the process flow is massively disrupted ,
Therefore, make sure that your design and manufacturing work on a common basis, when it comes to integrating the entire process chain of product development. There are lots of intelligent 3d design and drafting software available for producing accurate manufacturing drawings. We will talk about Solidworks today.
SOLIDWORKS provides you the answers to two important questions you should ask during the design process.
1. Is this product financially feasible?
The total cost of producing a product are influenced by a variety of factors, such as material and labor costs.This means that even a seemingly small change can have a large impact on the overall cost structure.
SOLIDWORKS Costing helps you ensure that no cost-related surprises to come to you when your model goes into production. It allows 3d designer/drafter, project managers and the Engineers to pursue new product development. It gives clear cost perspective with regard to compliance with the pre-calculated structures that can be monitored and impact of changes are transparent and clear.
Another advantage of SOLIDWORKS Costing is the ability to work with both original SOLIDWORKS models and drawings from other 3D CAD programs or neutral formats like IGES or STEP. The user can define different materials, make changes to drawings or relocate the place of manufacture. All changes to the model are displayed immediately in cost per piece.
2. Can this product be manufactured?
SOLIDWORKS supports 3d designer/drafter and mold makers with respect to the feasibility of your products by SOLIDWORKS Simulation .
In the development process, there are complicated shape models that changing regularly. The export process and repair of data having high probabilities of error and often contain inaccuracies.
For this reason, many mold makers tend to wait until the final design of a product is established and then only begin to develop final form. This costs valuable production time as well. Using SOLIDWORKS, mold makers can start early to make form. In addition, a correct form geometry including sketches audit and control of thickness and waste is ensured. For example, SOLIDWORKS Plastics can perform a detailed filling analysis and
determine the optimum position of the injection points also SOLIDWORKS Plastics can ensure proper filling pattern of the component and tracking where form weld lines and if necessary, correct the injection points.
3d designer/drafter can have complete product development process in SOLIDWORKS and ensure effective communication between design and production while the entire development process.
Australian Design and Drafting Services provides quality and cost effective Solidworks 3d design and drafting services across Australia..If you have any questions or inquiry regarding Solidworks or 3D modelling, Drop us an email at [email protected] or Call us 1800 287 223 (Toll Free) Australia Wide.
How to Protect Design Intellectual Property with Autodesk Inventor?
In the modern business world with millions of files coming and going in cyber space it is important for companies to protect their Intellectual Property (IP). This becomes even more important when manufacturing a product in which countless hours of engineer time has gone into, not to mention a company’s reputation if a “knockoff “product held to lesser standards hits the market. We have found that as industries go, we also may find the need to work with Architects or architectural design firms to bring solid mechanical models, such as boilers or mezzanines into Revit to represent placement, size or shape. Regardless of the situation we would like you to keep your Intellectual Property safe. This is why Autodesk has worked so hard to help you prevent this with Simplify in Autodesk Inventor, allowing the user to create a simple version for the consumer to use without giving them the real important design information. So please follow along as we help you learn this important tool and how it can help you.
The Full Model
Shown below, you can see in the section that I created in which there are internal items as well as external items that you may not want the customer to have when providing them with a model for their planning purposes in autodesk. They basically need the size shape and maybe a few connection points. This can be done a couple of ways, the first is creating a shell of the original model as a single part, and another is creating basic shapes to represent the model and the space it takes up.
The First step to protecting your Intellectual Property is going to the Simplify tab and choosing which components to include. You will do this with the Include Components command.
After selecting Include Components a mini tool bar will open, allowing you to select various options from the drop down menu. The first drop down is what you will view. In the drop down you have the option of viewing all Components, Included Components, or Excluded Components. I find it most helpful to switch between the three viewing options while making my selections, allowing for a review of any missing parts or parts that should not be included. I have shown in the screen captures below what each option does. The drop down option is for choosing Part, Component, or Parent Priority. After choosing your options and selecting what needs to be included, simply click the check mark to finish this part of the process.
When you finish the Include Components portion you will notice that you can no longer see the items that were not included, and if we look at our View Master the command automatically created a view called Simple View 1 (example is shown below). We can also right click on this view in the browser to edit our selections.
Create Simplified Part
The Third step is to select Create Simplified Part, this launches a new dialog box with the standard new part creation options such as file save location and name, but also includes options for what type of part you create using the combine style buttons. The options are as follows:
- Single solid body with seems between faces merged
- Single solid body with seems between faces maintained
- Maintain each solid as a separate body
For our purposes I will choose the second option. You will now see the BIM tab is open for further simplification.
Note: Simple View 1 must be the current view and I always create a Simple Folder for these simplified parts.
BIM Tab and Further Simplification
At this point your model is simplified a great deal, but we can still simplify it more using the Simplify section of the BIM Tab. We will cover the other half of the BIM Tab in my next paper.
We will first look at the Remove details command, using this will remove recagnized fillets and chamfers as well as custom- selected faces. It utilizes a mini tool bar for any of your options. When looking at the mini tool bar we have a few options for selecting items to remove. The All Faces Selectable allows us to select faces. We also have a Fillet and Chamfer selection box (these will be selected by default). Our last Option is Auto Select. Please see the screen captures below to understand how thease options work.
The second option to further simplification is Fill Voids, this option fills holes and spaces with surface patches, leaving a smooth surface. Our options on this tool bar for selection besides the auto Select are Select Loop, Select Edge, or Select Face.
See below to view how these tools function.
The third option to simplify the parts further is the Define Envelopes option, this option replaces a part or object with a solid object in the form of a cylinder or box. Our options on this tool bar are Bounding Box and Bounding Cylinder for our first button, Join or New Solid in the second button and our selection methods are faces and solid. See below for examples.
If you all need any help regarding design and drafting services, Please don’t hesitate to contact us at Australian Design and Drafting Services or call us 1800 287 223 (Toll Free) Australia Wide.
Best CAD Drafting Software
Computer-aided Drafting or simply CAD Drafting has wiped out and replaced almost all traditional hand drafting techniques used in many industries – especially within the realm of mechanical engineering and design. Neater and faster to conduct, computer-aided drawings are also fairly easy to modify and far less vulnerable to physical damages. For these sheer advantages, CAD drafting has become an essential standard for mechanical engineers to formulate comprehensive strategies about a product and its mechanical components as well as to demonstrate a visual illustration of how it needs to be constructed to allow a flawless and effective functioning. And need we say, in order to cash on the ever-rising popularity of these drafting techniques, many global brands have stepped forward and dished out their own sophisticated CAD drafting software – thus eventually making it difficult for customers to make up their mind which program to pick. In order to help you out with the cause, today we are going to have a closer look at 3 of the best CAD drafting software around in the market today:
What makes AutoCAD one of the best CAD drafting software
AutoCAD made its way into the market as an excellent CAD Drawing Software almost 3 decades back – in 1982, and ever since has been there at the top continuously ruling the charts. It is undoubtedly the best utility for documenting your design ideas – and thank the wide range of features and tools it brings along, the whole drafting process becomes more like a walk in the park. The program allows efficient editing and repurposing the drafting process in order to iterate and evaluate the available design options. Allowing the improvisation of existing geometries with easy-to-remember and easy-to-execute commands is another highlighting feature of this program. Now, let’s have a look at the key advantages that make AutoCAD the best CAD drafting software in the market today:
- It allows you to drive efficient design documentation and other important drafting practices.
- Efficient reuse of content is possible.
- You can work on either Windows or Mac platform – whichever you may prefer
- It allows you to customize your work environment as you prefer
How CATIA made it to the list of best CAD drafting software
CATIA – which happens to be the abbreviation for Computer-Aided Three-dimensional Interactive Application, also deserves to be there in the list of the 3 best CAD drafting software around today. It is a multi-platform suite written on the C++ language. Even though the first stable release was on March 2011, the origin of CATIA can be traced back to as early as 1977.
CATIA is a leading product development solution for manufacturing organizations across various industries, including aerospace, industrial machinery, electrical, automotive, electronics, plant design, shipbuilding and what not! Some of its highlighting aspects include:
- Easy drafting even in the context of rather large products or configuration
- Real-time drafting with adequate security, integrity as well as traceability
- Support for multi-disciplinary collaboration on diverse systems and products
- Cross-platform support
Three decades of excellence makes MicroStation one of the best software
Dished out by Bentley Systems, MicroStation is a computer-aided design software suite for both two as well as three-dimensional design and drafting purposes. This widely popular product across multiple industries has been around in the market since the 1980s. While earlier its focus was more at Apple’s Mac platform, the recent most releases of this CAD Drawing Software are exclusively aimed at the Windows OS. While DGN is its native format, MicroStation also extends its compatibility to other formats like DWG, DXF, AVI, JPEG, BMP, PDF, VRML and so on. As one of the best CAD drafting software, Microstation facilitates:
- Extensive format inter-compatibility, including the likes of DGN, DXF, PDF, 3DS, IGES, IFC, CGM and what not
- Real-time sharing of live design data across all project participants simultaneously
- The ability to view and render point clouds with bare minimum effort.
If you all need any help regarding design and drafting services, please don’t hesitate to contact us at Australian Design and Drafting Services or call us 1800 287 223 (Toll-Free) Australia Wide.
Can Google Sketchup replace AutoCAD?
If you spend any time at all using designing tools or rendering and model software, whether professionally or as a hobby in your free time, you’ve no doubt heard of Google Sketchup by now.
A fast, free, easy to learn designing tool that competes with AutoCAD (or does it?), Google Sketchup offers an extremely friendly user interface and a minimized look and feel that might, at first glance, seem to lack the horsepower of more well-known modeling software. However, like an old-school muscle car that’s been supercharged, the real power can only be seen when you pop the hood. But even though the user interface and capabilities of Sketchup might seem to be giving AutoCAD a run for its money, there are two large limitations that will need to be overcome before Sketchup can hope to take on the big dogs.
Sketchup is still wrestling with a few debilitating bugs. At last check, textures imported into Maya 6.0 or 6.5 had a tendency to reverse themselves. Any mesh system being transferred out of Sketchup will need to be recreated on the receiving machine. And if you’re thinking about exporting to Vasari, forget about it – the list of bugs is too long to list here. These issues will need to be addressed and remedied before Sketchup can hope to gain any kind of serious market traction against AutoCAD.
Limitation: Naming Conventions
Perhaps more than any other limitation, the forced truncation of file names for Google Sketchup textures poses a problem for users commanding large, complex, or sophisticated projects that require specific naming conventions. Google Sketchup is limited by the antiquated 8.3 DOS character maximums, so file names have to be shortened to eight characters or less. This poses a significant problem for high-end designers juggling hundreds or thousands of textures that have to be swapped in and out quickly and easily, since naming conventions will be far less intuitive with Sketchup than they would be with AutoCAD – or just about any other form of computer aided design software.
Advantage: Free Models
Google Sketchup hooks up to 3D Warehouse, which contains a seriously massive assortment or pre-designed models of all shapes and sizes. Hundreds of thousands of them. While AutoCAD typically ships with around 4,000 pre designed model templates – and users can easily access a few thousand more on one of the many AutoCAD user sites out there – the availability of pre-designed models from Sketchup is absolutely jaw dropping.
If and when Google manages to correct the compatibility and naming convention problems with Sketchup, AutoCAD will have a tough and determined competitor. Until then, serious designers are smart to stick with the big dogs.
If you all need any help regarding design and drafting services, Please don’t hesitate to contact us at Australian Design and Drafting Services or call us 1800 287 223 (Toll Free) Australia Wide.
How Businesses prefer 3D CAD over 2D CAD drafting software?
Choosing Between 2D and 3D CAD Applications
Amazingly, the argument over 2D vs. 3D CAD applications rages on, with developers and designers on both sides touting the merits of their preferences and the flaws of opposing CAD choices.
While this argument might seem academic to operations or project managers who have a minimal amount of exposure to the actual CAD interface, I’m drafting this article to provide a clear perspective of the debate.
To start with, the main difference between 2D and 3D applications should be rather self-explanatory: 2D works solely on a single plane, while 3D allows the construction of fully realized three-dimensional surfaces.
It’s important to note that 3D CAD allows all the usage and image building techniques available within most 2D CAD applications, as well as allowing the user to open the third dimension and construct solid objects. While this might seem like this should signal the end of the debate from the outset – after all, why argue that 2D CAD is superior in any setting if 3D CAD offers symmetrical capabilities – there are two other factors to consider when choosing between 2D and 3D CAD software.
First and foremost is price. 3D CAD applications are inarguably more expensive than older 2D software – sometimes to the tune of thousands of dollars. If you are managing a small business or sole proprietorship, and 2D CAD offers all the functionality you need, then a software upgrade may not be the wisest choice.
Second, 3D CAD applications are far more complex, and users must overcome a much steeper learning curve. Since moving an object from a 2D environment into a 3D environment means increasing surface areas and detail exponentially, the control systems in 3D CAD applications are much more difficult to master. If you’re running a small shop with fewer than four CAD users, you may want to consider the immediate decrease in capability your shop will experience if you changeover your software from 2D to 3D. Staggering 3D implementation might be the best choice – allowing a third of half of your design force to upgrade while you keep the others working on 2D applications should keep your overall output nominal. Once your designers have acclimated themselves to a 3D workspace, you can continue upgrading in segments.
Overall, there’s no real argument here – 3D CAD applications are far and away superior in any design situation. However, implementation can be costly and time consuming. Managers should be aware of this, and plan CAD software upgrades accordingly.
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