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Editor’s Pick: ARES Commander Edition 2013 Released

Dear Desktop Engineering Reader:

I guess it was in the Spring of 2010 when the news about ARES Commander from Graebert came out and set the CAD, engineering, and the Mac communities all abuzz. ARES Commander was — rather, ARES Commander is — real CAD for the Mac (and Linux and Windows for that matter). So real in fact that it uses the same CAD engine that Graebert developed for some other CAD applications that you’ve heard of. Version 2013 of ARES Commander Edition for Linux, Mac, and Windows was recently released, and you might like to give it a spin to see for yourself what all the buzz is about. Here’s why.

ARES Commander Edition is a low-cost DWG-compatible CAD system that offers ACIS-based 3D modeling and a comprehensive programming environment. I’ll explain “low-cost” in a couple of paragraphs. For now, the point is that ARES Commander Edition provides all you closet Mac mavens with a cost-effective AutoCAD alternative. And you guys — you know who you are — who built a home Linux or Windows box with Lucite sides and blue running lights, the same thing. And no matter what your preferred platform, anybody into programming will find ARES Commander a code jock’s paradise: It’s fully programmable and customizable using C/C++, COM, Delphi LISP, Visual Studio, and the like.

Version 2013 has been updated to support Windows 7/8, Mountain Lion, and a bunch of Linux OSes. All flavors look and function the same as much as the different OSes allow. It can read those DWG 2013 files you need to review. Writing DWG 2013 files is coming soon, the company reports. You can write DWG 2012 and earlier formats already. Among its new commands is one called “Explode Ellipses and Splines.” This lets you convert ellipses and splines into polylines, which should make prepping and exporting drawings to applications that do not support ellipses or splines easier.

A neat feature that ARES Commander Edition has is called VoiceNotes. You use VoiceNotes to record then embed comments into a drawing for later playback. Other features include a customizable user interface, an in-place text editor for entering and formatting text in a drawing, and the ability to align viewports by selecting the geometry inside a viewport. Version 2013 is said to be faster than earlier versions, especially when loading large files. And I should mention that there’s an optional rendering package as well.

OK, low-cost. Normally, ARES Commander Edition goes for $795. Until February 1, you can get it for $495. Pricing includes a year of tech support and any upgrades. But if you’re still wondering if it’s for you, download the 30-day trial version from the link at the end of today’s Pick of the Week write-up. So, go ahead and learn more about version 2013 of ARES Commander Edition from the link over there. It created a lot of buzz for a lot of reasons.

Thanks, Pal. — Lockwood

Anthony J. Lockwood
Editor at Large, Desktop Engineering

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About Anthony J. Lockwood

Anthony J. Lockwood is Desktop Engineering's Editor-at-Large. Contact him via de-editors@deskeng.com.