By Anthony J. Lockwood
Dear Desktop Engineering Reader:
Not so long ago, yap-a-lots proclaimed that once the old guys crossed the bar of their chronological allotments everything would be in 3D. Then we said that 2D drafting and design would vanish because it was about as useful as chopped liver in a vegan’s kitchenette. Funny thing, but engineers didn’t listen. 2D commands a huge role throughout engineering and manufacturing — layouts, assembly drawings, and technical illustrations leap to mind. Sometimes, 2D is just a better way of doing stuff. So, it struck me as a highly interesting bit of news when SofTech and SpaceClaim jointly introduced the CADRA for SpaceClaim Engineer Integrator. Here’s why.
The Integrator is an add-on for CADRA Design Drafting, which is a stand-alone application that’s part of the CADRA mechanical design and drafting system. The skinny on CADRA is that it sits among the top-shelf of design and drafting systems. It is what drafters, designers, and engineers at leading outfits from Airbus to Whirlpool leverage to make detail, layout, and assembly drawings as well as 2.5D designs, including isometrics, and technical illustrations. And then there’s SpaceClaim. Well, let’s say it has pushed and pulled direct modeling onto center stage and, in the process, added an entirely new dimension to the definition of 3D mechanical CAD.
That said, what does this integration mean to you? Foremost, the CADRA Design Drafting and SpaceClaim solid modeling combination gives you quite the CAD/CAM setup for a reasonable investment. But, in hands-on terms, say you use SpaceClaim for 3D work. CADRA Integrator links you to a full-featured 2D detail drafting toolset that you can use to, say, produce industry-standard engineering drawings or technical illustrations — and probably do so easier than ever before. Or, if you work with CADRA, this integration means that you can expand your work, or portions of your work, into a 3D modeler that’s easy to operate. This enables you to do things like virtual prototyping or make photorealistic images. And both sets of users get more ways to import the different data and file types that confound you all the time.
In short, this bi-directional relationship recognizes that 2D and 3D are complementary, powerful tools that you need to do the job right, and it gives you the flexibility to flow between the environments as the moment requires. That sounds like a good deal to me.
You can learn more about the CADRA for SpaceClaim Engineer Integrator from today’s Pick of the Week write-up. Check out the videos linked at the end to see examples of how this all operates. There’s a link to a free trial sign-up on the CADRA features link after the main. This is a good one.
Thanks, Pal. — Lockwood
Anthony J. Lockwood
Editor at Large, Desktop Engineering
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