Dear Desktop Engineering Reader:
IronCAD recently released the 2011 edition of its Design Collaboration Suite of product development applications. This series of products receives short-shrift from the US CAD/CAM media, but it deserves more attention. The IronCAD line is widely deployed outside the US, especially in China, a nation which, I admit, has hardly had an effect on US manufacturing over the years (not!). Snarks on all of us aside, IronCAD's Design Collaboration Suite 2011 XG (Next Generation) deserves a bit of your time. Here's why.
IronCAD Design Collaboration Suite 2011 XG has three major components that install simultaneously: IRONCAD for full-featured detail design; INOVATE for creating, modifying, interrogating, and communicating 3D designs; and an interesting new product called IRONCAD DRAFT, which I'll get back to in a moment. There's also an integrated EDM solution for managing CAD and related engineering project data in-house and over the web, viewers, add-on native file translators, and optional third-party applications for extended functionality like CAE. Worthy as the entire suite is, I'm going to let you learn about it from today's Pick of the Week write-up because it's IRONCAD DRAFT that you'll really want to know about.
From its name, you correctly infer that IRONCAD DRAFT is production-level 2D mechanical detailing component. Yes, it has all the 2D creation and editing tools for lines, arcs, circles, polygons, splines, reference entities such as centerlines and hatch patterns, and whatnot that you'd expect.
What makes IRONCAD DRAFT cool is that it has an integrated 3D collaboration component that lets you view, assemble, analyze, annotate, render, and reference 3D model data with full associativity with the 3D data. In other words, you can leverage associative 3D data in your 2D detailing. Combine this with IronCAD's well-regraded file translators and editing flexibility, and this means you have an integrated multi-CAD 2D/3D development process. Tell the sales engineers they can reach out to wider bunch of potential clients.
A developer that earned its chops in 3D recognizing that 2D is not only a vital component of the process but that 2D technology is not, never was, and ain't gonna be dead and then weaving 2D/3D functionality together sounds like good stuff to me. And that's why I recommend that you should take a break and get acquainted with IronCAD Design Collaboration Suite 2011 XG. You might even want to sign up and download an evaluation unit from the links in the write-up. (I did. It's a painless affair.) Also go to the Support Center link, scroll down a hair, and go the IronCAD Learning Annex and watch a few videos to see how various parts of the suite operate.
I should also mention that IronCAD has a promotion going on until the end of the year that gets you IRONCAD DRAFT inexpensively (around $600) when you get the company's Translation Read bundle which supports native file reading of most major MCAD formats.
Thanks, pal. -- Lockwood
Anthony J. Lockwood
Editor at Large, Desktop Engineering
Read today's Pick of the Week write-up.
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