So I’m visiting the lad at the hovel he calls home in a little town in Washington where he goes to college. Two 20-year old guys in a cabin. They thought it was spic and span for the old man’s visitation. Anyway, the bulb was out in the fridge. I buy one and install it. They were amazed. They never knew that the fridge had such capabilities. Sometimes we get so accustomed to operating in the dark that we’re amazed at what we can see in a new light. Maybe it’s time to look at the way you do 2D and 3D design and collaboration in a new light.
IronCAD just today released the 2014 version of its IRONCAD Design Collaboration Suite. Many of the enhancements are user-driven. They embrace general productivity, 2D and 3D design, operating and system updates, and so on that are big news for existing users. But if you’re not an existing user, that might not be news that interests you. So what will interest you still in the dark about IronCAD is that you can try it for 30 days gratis. More on that in a second. First, the IRONCAD 101 riff.
The IRONCAD suite spans and integrates 2D drafting, 2D detail, 3D design, collaboration, 3D configuration, and file sharing applications. A couple applications deserve a callout since they illustrate how IRONCAD works from the engineer’s viewpoint. Take its 2D toolset, IRONCAD DRAFT. This is a 2D mechanical drafting tool with 3D integration capabilities. That means you can work in 2D and view, leverage, analyze, render, and reference 3D model data. Or take IRONCAD COMPOSE. It’s a no-charge file viewer for communicating concepts that also lets you develop models. You and team members can manipulate models and assemblies in real time. You can also interrogate geometry, add commentary, configure new assemblies, and create real-time renderings and animations.
IRONCAD seems to support you not only in your design and communications endeavors but also in whatever the Fates toss at you by integrating with the rest of the design systems out there. It has both the ACIS and Parasolid kernels so that you can leverage each as you design. Not one or the other. Each. Its Autodesk DWG file compatibility includes open, edit, and save.
It supports Spatial’s 3D InterOp for data translation, and Hoops for 3D visualizations. It integrates with KeyShot rendering and animation and GrabCAD for collaborating with the rest of the world. You can make live design modifications between IronCAD and Rhino, and access and use all the data from part catalogs on TraceParts. If IRONCAD doesn’t do a job or if you really need something unique, its list of solution partners includes the A-List of CAE, CAM, rapid prototyping, sheet metal, surfacing, and graphics software providers that you probably use already.
So, now, when you click on today’s Check it Out link, you’ll get to a page covering the new features in version 2014. Start scrolling down. There are something like 19 short videos; they’re just a minute or two plus long. Some of these presentations are geared toward existing users since you got to remember those who brung you. But that doesn’t matter, watch them. The first thing you see is a clean workspace with uncluttered options for the job at hand. This is a part of the operating philosophy of this software. You got the work to do and IRONCAD does not get in your way with distracting glitz.
The second thing you’ll note is that IRONCAD seems easy to use. Which brings us right back to the beginning of this message. Way up on top of the landing page at the other end of today’s Check it Out link, you’ll see a “Try It Now” tab. Hit it and sign up and download a copy. This is not a light version. It’s the full IRONCAD suite, and you can see for yourself if IRONCAD and all its application are really as easy for you to use as the videos indicate.
The short of it is that the announcement of IRONCAD 2014 is big news for existing users. For non-users, the announcement is a reminder that there could be something out there that shines a whole new light on what you understand the term integrated 2D and 3D design collaboration suite to mean. Hit today’s link to learn more.
Thanks, Pal. – Lockwood
Anthony J. Lockwood
Editor at Large, Desktop Engineering