Welcome to the thirteenth edition of World of CAD, Scan2CAD’s monthly roundup of CAD-related news. In this edition, we’re focusing our attention on a host of new software releases. This includes the upcoming release of Solid Edge ST10, Siemens’ competitor to Dassault Systèmes’ SolidWorks. There’s also a new version of TurboCAD Deluxe out, plus new features built in to BricsCAD.
In hardware, we’ll be taking a look at HP‘s new line of ZBook workstations aimed at the CAD community. Finally, we’ll examine MakeVR, the 3D modeling software that’s recently come to the HTC Vive VR platform. Read on for the full stories!
Anticipating Solid Edge ST10: Siemens reveals new features
One of the industry’s leading 3D CAD applications is about to undergo a major upgrade. This summer will see the release of the latest edition of Solid Edge—and with it, a host of new features.
With the release of Solid Edge ST10, Siemens is aiming to improve every stage of product lifecycle management. For starters, the new version makes it easier to take into account a wide range of factors during the generative design process. This helps the user make more informed design decisions and visualize their optimized products more clearly.
Solid Edge ST10 simplifies the process of optimizing parts for 3D printing. It even integrates quotes and delivery times from service providers, letting you bring your parts to life. The software also includes Siemens’ Convergent Modeling technology, which aims to bring together mesh-based geometry with solid and surface geometry.
Additionally, Siemens have included topology optimization tools in the new software, as well as FloEFD. This tool is a computational fluid dynamics tool that lets users conduct simulations within Solid Edge.
All in all, this is an impressive new release from Siemens, who hope it can take the fight to competitors such as SolidWorks. See a demo of Solid Edge ST10 in the video below.
“Beyond AutoCAD”: BricsCAD expands support for BIM
There was once a time in the history of DWG when users had nowhere to turn but AutoCAD. Nowadays, however, that’s no longer the case. Amongst the many companies developing software which supports DWG, one of the leading lights is Belgium’s Bricsys. Though still a small company, their flagship product, BricsCAD, is offering a notable alternative for DWG users frustrated with Autodesk’s shift to a pricey subscription-only business model.
While the history of Autodesk is marked by rapid, global expansion, Bricsys had a rocky start, with slow growth, setbacks, and relative obscurity. After 15 years, however, BricsCAD is ready to burst onto the scene. CEO Erik de Keyser now believes his company has “substantially different technology” to competitors such as Autodesk, whilst still being able to provide CAD functionality that is 95% the same as that of AutoCAD.
Bricsys has also aimed to distinguish its flagship software from those of its competitors. It’s done this by building in distinct modules which offer support for BIM, sheet metal design, and plant design. Through its innovative program, Bricsys is aiming to help the DWG community move “beyond AutoCAD” and transition to BIM. CEO de Keyser has also confirmed that the company will still offer perpetual licenses for its software, despite the recent industry-wide trend towards subscription-only packages. Check out Bricsys for more information.
Secure new mobile workstations from HP
In hardware news, the last month has seen the release of four new mobile workstations from HP. The models form part of the company’s ZBook line of workstations, following on from the release of the ZBook 15u Ultrabook in January. Complete with top-of-the-range security features and impressive specs, the new models are sure to find favour in the CAD community.
- The HP ZBook Studio G4, includes its 15.6″ DreamColor screen, 4K resolution, and an NVIDIA Quadro M1200M graphics card. As such, it’s aimed squarely at the architecture and engineering communities. Starting from $1,399, the machine comes with either a Xeon or 7th-gen Core processor up to 3.1GHz. It even includes 2TB of storage, and memory of up to 32GB.
- For those looking for a more powerful machine, with up to 64GB of ram and 3TB of storage, HP offers the ZBook 15 G4. Users of this machine will also be able to choose between NVIDIA Quadro and AMD RadeonPro graphics options. This machine starts from $1,419.
- At $1,519, the priciest new machine is the HP ZBook 17 G4. With a 17″ screen, this workstation is grabbing the headlines due to its VR capabilities—though a VR-ready configuration starts from $3,438. A range of processing and graphics options are available, and the model includes a fingerprint scanner and smart card reader.
- There’s currently no available price for the fourth model, the HP ZBook 14u G4. This is the smallest and lightest of HP’s workstations, but still comes equipped with 7th-gen Core processors, up to 32GB of memory, and up to 2TB of storage.
All four machines incorporate features such as a self-healing PC BIOS, threat detection, malware protection and encyption. Additionally, the entire line is ISV-certified for major CAD applications. They’re definitely worth checking out for CAD professionals—but if you’d rather build your own machine, check out our guide to how to build the ultimate CAD PC.
IMSI Design releases TurboCAD Deluxe 2017
There’s yet another major software update to talk about this month, as IMSI Design released TurboCAD Deluxe 2017. As the entry point to the company’s TurboCAD range, the software gives users 2D drafting, 3D modeling and rendering for the low price of just $149.99.
Though the software may be the cheapest in the TurboCAD line, it’s still a powerful application. TurboCAD Deluxe comes with a complete set of drafting, design and modeling tools, including line, arc, curve, and spline tools. IMSI have also added in a host of new features for the 2017 edition. On the usability side of things, there’s a new image management palette, options to display block names, and a new timestamp feature that aids security and collaboration.
TurboCAD Deluxe 2017 also makes 2D drafting simpler through the addition of associative center lines and center marks, and a new relative angle field. There are also improvements to the existing intelligent scaling feature and multi-text editor. For photorealistic rendering, IMSI have also included new Redsdk 4.2 engine migration. Meanwhile, architects can benefit from the improved house builder wizard.
3D design in virtual reality
At first, the idea of a CAD application for a VR environment may seem like something of a novelty. However, Californian startup Sixense are on a mission to prove that VR can help “democratize 3D modeling” and remove the steep learning curve associated with 3D CAD.
The idea started from a near-universally accepted truth: most major 3D CAD software can be challenging for newcomers to learn. Sixense wanted to change that. They aimed to create a 3D modeling software with a shallow learning curve. The result was MakeVR.
MakeVR runs on HTC’s Vive platform rather than a traditional PC. As such, there’s no need to learn any commands or keyboard shortcuts. Instead, users enter a virtual space where creating 3D geometry is simple and intuitive. Using the two Vive controllers, users can easily create virtual solid objects by simply pulling, pushing, and stretching. Compared to traditional modeling software, users gain a much greater sense of their object in a real space, and a much more tactile approach to object creation.
Once created virtually, users’ objects can then be made real using 3D printing. MakeVR supports .sab and .sat files, and can export .stl files, ready for 3D printing. However, 3D printing is far from its only potential application. You can even export objects created in MakeVR to other modeling tools. This means that there’s real potential for this software to make an impact in fields such as game design. See MakeVR in action in the video below.