By Anthony J. Lockwood
Dear Desktop Engineering Reader:
It’s been a while since I sat down with Bob Mayer, the COO of IMSI/Design—the company that makes TurboCAD. Bob is one of the smartest guys you’ll meet, and he’s one of those people who just know what it is that CAD users will want as opposed to what he wants them to need. The insight that Bob has is why TurboCAD has been a steady, well-regarded general-purpose CAD system for years. Only I emphasize the phrase “general purpose.”
Just out in version 17, TurboCAD is, indeed, general purpose if you need design, drafting, detailing, and modeling but are loathe to cobble together two or three applications that cost at least as much as TurboCAD itself, yet offer mostly a lot of expense, bells, and whistles that you will never use. Only, this general-purpose system has most of those functionalities too, and it’s extensible to a Platinum edition that is pretty much as robust as anything you’d ever want. So, it’s general purpose in that it can do what you need to do and grow with you as your needs expand.
So, what have we got here? Well, you have advanced technologies—things like 3D ACIS Modeler from Spatial, Siemens PLM Software division’s D-Cubed 2D DCM constraint manager, the Redsdk drawing engine for GPU-accelerated 2D and wireframe display modes from Redway3d, and LightWorks photorealistic and non-photorealistic artistic rendering capabilities from LightWork Design—with TurboCAD but not with breaking the bank. Prices for the TurboCAD range start at about $1,300 to about $1,800, depending on the version that fits your needs. And there’s an SDK for you customize-it-yourselfers.
TurboCAD Pro includes all the general-purpose drawing and modification tools as well as 2D or 3D design parametric constraints and 3D solid and surface modeling, robust photorealistic rendering ray tracing, lighting and materials, and multiple CAD and graphics file import and export features. In version 17, you can apply patterns to spheres and cylinders, specify instructions on production tolerances, and leverage the speed of GPU-accelerated cards. You can read all about the new features in TurboCAD Pro 17 in today’s Pick of the Week write-up.
Still, the real deal with TurboCAD is price and performance. It’s fast, affordable, and does what you want. There’s a place in every shop where you need the tools but not the cost. TurboCAD could be the tool that gets you what you need at a reasonable cost. I recommend that you see what TurboCAD Pro 17 has to offer by signing up for a complimentary 30-day trial version from the links in today’s Pick of the Week write-up.
Thanks, Pal. — Lockwood
Anthony J. Lockwood
Editor at Large, Desktop Engineering