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Editor’s Pick: Low-Cost CAD System Improved

By Anthony J. Lockwood

Dear Desktop Engineering Reader:

progeCAD Professional 2010 from progeCAD USA is a low-cost, general-purpose 2D and 3D design CAD system appropriate for all the neat stuff you have to do from concept sketches to MCAD layout. It’s an AutoCAD-like application, meaning that it can handle DWG files easily and that it offers commands, interfaces, “feel,” and functionality that should make it readily accessible to seasoned AutoCAD users. The company just came out with a step upgrade that, in and off itself, is mostly a collection of bug fixes and miscellaneous updates, but it gives me an excuse to recommend that you give progeCAD Professional a whirl.

progeCAD Professional leverages the AutoCAD-compatible IntelliCAD engine, which those of you old enough will remember was the subject of much (now over with) controversy years ago. progeCAD is fully compatible with Windows 7, and it reads and writes DWG files including 2010 as well as many versions back in time. It has libraries with more than 11,000 blocks, photorealistic rendering, polygonal layout viewport, and the ability to be customized. The brochure that you can download without registration at the end of today’s Pick of the Week write-up goes into spec-sheet-like detail on the features and specifications of progeCAD Professional 2010.

OK, so what’s the difference between progeCAD and AutoCAD? Well, progeCAD might not have everything that you need. But it costs $399, which is not only substantially less but it may just be a price point that eliminates your rational for not having a home version of your work software or a go-to CAD system for everyone in the office who needs to fiddle with DWG on occasion.

The pitch that progeCAD USA – or progeSOFT as it was known previously – uses is that progeCAD is an AutoCAD-like application at far less cost. Yep. That’s true as far as I can tell.

But I actually think that progeCAD is a productivity enhancement system. Its cost enables you to spread AutoCAD-like functionality around your company relatively inexpensively. The hour here, the day there it can save you could return your investment in no time flat and that time-recouped effect can be the one little thing that gets you to market more quickly.

So, how do you really determine if progeCAD is a fit where you are? Try it. Off of today’s Pick of the Week write-up you’ll find a link for a 30-day evaluation unit. You’ll have to register for it, of course, but that is worth the investment too.

Thanks, Pal. — Lockwood

Anthony J. Lockwood
Editor at Large, Desktop Engineering

Read today’s Pick of the Week write-up.

About Anthony J. Lockwood

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