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Low-cost CAD software

Monday, November 8th, 2010

The race is on in the low-cost CAD market – this week three of these CAD software products announced new releases. Two of them have  the option to download and try the product for a limited amount of time.

2.5D DoubleCAD™ XT Pro v3 from IMSI/Design is the newest version of DoubleCAD, an AutoCAD LT clone . It now has a Redway rendering engine to take advantage of GPU-based graphcs cards, and now supports scripting. It sells for $695 and upgrades are $199. You can learn more about this product here

VariCAD 2010 3.0 claims to offer improvements in STEP file import and includes a number of minor improvements.
To update a version of VariCAD or to evaluate a free 30-day trial version, download it here. The current version is 2010 3.02.

ZWCAD Software Co. announced the release of ZWCAD 2011 Beta software with the ZWCAD 2011 Free upgrade program. Download ZWCAD 2011 Beta here

Free downloads

Tuesday, November 2nd, 2010

A preview standalone version of Bentley’s Generative Components design software no longer requires MicroStation for installation. You can download it at no charge. 

Bentley’s Integrated Structural Modeling (ISM) tools -ISM Structural Synchronizer v8i (shared repository of common structural model data) and ISM Structural Dashboard v8i (manages workflows for common project types) are available for free download.

 

There is also an ISM Revit plug-in v8i for integrating Revit Structure and Architectural models with Structural Synchronizer v8i.

Open Source CAD programs

Friday, October 29th, 2010

While Open Source software can often start out as free, it can incur costs later on in terms of hiring developers to build and implement applications. However, it offers opportunities for creative development and customization that are sometimes not available in an out-of-the-box CAD program.

 

Here are some Open Source CAD programs:

 

Open CASCADE Technology, 3D modeling & numerical simulation

Open CASCADE Technology has been around since 1990, and is a software development platform freely available in open source. It includes components for 3D surface and solid modeling, visualization, data exchange and rapid application development.

 

QCAD

QCAD is an application for 2D drafting, for creating technical drawings such as building plans and interiors. The source code of the QCAD community released under the GPL Open Source. QCAD works on Windows, Mac OS X and many Linux and Unix Systems.The current version of QCAD is 2.2. QCAD 3 is scheduled for release Q1 of 2011.

 

Cademia CADEMIA can used both by experts and occasional users. It is written in Java and runs on platforms such as Windows, Mac, Linux. CADEMIA is an Open Source product of free software licensed under the GPL. “Applications of arbitrary complexity can be efficiently implemented as Plug-Ins in Java.”

 

BRL-CAD

BRL-CAD is solid modeling system developed by the U.S. Army Research Laboratory (formerly known as the Ballistic Research Laboratory, or BRL) that includes an interactive geometry editor (MGED), a ray-tracing library with support for rendering and geometric analysis, network distributed framebuffer support, an embedded scripting language, image- and signal-processing tools, and a host of additional utilities.

 

 

Data at the heart of Crossrail

Monday, October 25th, 2010

connecting_crossrail“Data is the blood that runs through cross rail veins,” said Be Inspired Conference guest keynote speaker, Malcom Taylor, P.E., and head of technical support services, Crossrail. “It is at the heart of what we’re doing in crossrail.”

 

Crossrail was also the winner of the Be Inspired Award in the category “Connecting Project Teams,” winning over two other Crossrail fnalists.

 

 

Bentley press conference, Wednesday, October 20

Monday, October 25th, 2010

CEO Greg Bentley held a press briefing on October 20 at the Be Inspired event in Amsterdam, where he made several announcements: one being the launch of the Bentley Infrastructure 500 – modeled after Fortune 500 – which would identify Bentley customers who are especially successful. Bentley said their business represents $13 trillion in revenue.

 

This determination is made based on reported net tangible fixed assets – the balance sheet view of the infrastructure. “ 

 

These are some of the facts about the companies:

 

– 92 of top 100 are Bentley Subscribers

– 61 of the top 100 have adopted ProjectWise

– 40 of the top 100 have adopted Navigator

 

Most top candidates are private companies, coming from geographically diverse locations – all over the world. 

 

The economy is a player in this situation – during a year like this one, the exchange rate is volatile. Many public entities are valued based on cost and others may be valued for what they could sell for. Because of the economy, many infrastructure companies have been working off backlog and have been resourceful in this way. Bentley said this may coincide with employment statistics.

 

He went on to say that “flat” pretty much describes Bentley’s financial growth right now.

 

Revenues went down almost 10% in 2009. In 2010 to date, revenues have been reported to be “within sight of 2008 revenues. By the end of the year  Bentley predicts their run rate will be back to what it was before 2009. “Maybe our organic growth is the new growth,” he said.

 

New Bentley products coming up:  

 

– The V8i portfolio extends through various disciplines and operations.

 

– OpenPlant Modeler extends breadth of applications offerings.

 

– Navigator v8i addresses information modeling in construction – constructors want to resolve conflicts with “dynamic collaboration”. New functionality in upcoming release will deliver bidirectional schedule synchronization with Microsoft Project or Primavera and introduces new markup templates.

 

– Interest in 3D cities requires the ability to relate information together in a BIM model.

 

– Civil Engineer for Geotechnical Analysis passport subscription – geotechnical professionals will get to pick from a variety of modules from a dashboard – cantilever wall, spread footing, slope stability, etc.

 

– ProjectWise v8i SelectSeries 3 introduces a Navigator web part to view i-models in a browser or SharePoint 2010 web parts.

 

– ProjectWise Dynamic Plot v8i SelectSeries 2 enables dynamic plots to be published from PDFs as well as from DGNS and DWGs.

 

-ConstructSIM will be integrated with ProjectWise Navigator in the next release.

 

– Bentley Substation v8i is a standalone application with deeper integration with ProjectWise to increase enterprise support for i-models. It also includes embedded point cloud capability.

           

– Bentley Pipe Renewal Planner

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