AEC Mechanical BIM Design Hardware Collaboration

Current Filter: Cad>>>>>


   Current Article ID:3759


The CADLogical Choice

Editorial Type: Review     Date: 01-2014    Views: 2402   

CADLogic has released Version 4 of its DRAFT IT 2D CAD solution, a low cost and fully compatible alternative to AutoCAD, with a free trial version to get you started in CAD

One of the first things you need to consider when looking at low cost alternatives to AutoCAD is whether they can work within an Autodesk environment, with a relatively similar and easy to use interface and the ability to import and export 2D drawing files between the two applications.

As a company that has had a long relationship with AutoCAD software, providing plug-in applications that enhanced earlier versions of the software, CADLogic can justifiably claim that their latest offering, Version 4 of DRAFT IT, a powerful 2D CAD system, can sit happily in an Autodesk environment, sharing files with registered Autodesk users.

This enables architectural and other offices to speed up previously time consuming drawing tasks, without having to invest a considerable amount in additional CAD seats. CADLogic also provides a standalone system free of charge, which represents a no risk trial for any potential users of 2D CAD software.

The free software is a full CAD system which allows you to create, print and save your drawings without restriction. There is no time or usage limit, jyou can ust download and run it for as long as you like. Or you can try out any of the three low cost upgrades, DRAFT IT PLUS, DRAFT IT PRO & DRAFT IT ARCHITECTURAL.

DRAFT IT is easy to use yet sophisticated enough for all stages of drawing creation, with a variety of input modes, and includes custom set dynamic dimensioning which displays Cartesian (X, Y) or Polar coordinates, enhancing drawing efficiency. It comes with a comprehensive set of 'snaps' to end points, mid points, intersections, apparent intersections etc., with DRAFT IT displaying various symbols to identify snaps (endpoints, intersections etc.) and when editing items the different 'Entity Handles' denote the type of modification that can be done for both single or multiple entities - to move, copy, stretch or trim objects without selecting a specific command.

All of these features, combined with the flexibility of the user input, complement the powerful DRAFT IT drawing tools are accessible using the slick and uncluttered ribbon style interface, where Individual commands are logically arranged around the drawing area.

The architectural version of DRAFT IT is just £199+VAT. This includes all of the many commands and features in the FREE, PLUS and PRO versions as well as other powerful achitectural design tools. Walls are easy to draw in a range of styles, with the automatic addition of dimensions, wall joining tools, wall teeing and breaks. The software includes fill and hatching options that can be changed in user settings.

Doors and windows are placed parametrically, creating openings and capping wall ends. Jamb offsets for single and double doors can be set, and can include single double swing, double double swing, single and double bifold doors. Windows can include inner and outer sill settings, options for bay windows, wall break tabs can reflecting cavity and solid walls, and other openings.

DRAFT IT enables users to create stairs in a number of configurations; straight, quarter-turn and half-turn staircases at predefined or custom sizes. Roofs can include gable, hipped, barn hip, lean to corner hip and lean to gable roofs, after specifying roof pitch. Users can also tee one roof into another.

The software automatically creates elevation views directly from the drawing plan with elevation hatching. It also includes a 3D Viewer to view and rotate a 3D model calculated from the plan, an orthographic view toggle, and a rendering option (solid, textured, wireframe, transparent).

DRAFT IT Architectural comes with hundreds of design components, including: Construction Details; Door Elevations, Ducting, Electrical, Furniture, HVAC; Kitchen; Landscape; Office; People & Misc; Sanitary; Structural Steel; Trusses; Vehicles; Window Elevations; all available for simple download from each of the different categories within the ribbon style dialog box.

Users of DRAFT IT can export 3D DXF models from the drawing for export to other systems, (available in Draft it PRO & Draft it Architectural ONLY). Supported formats are AutoCAD .DWG and .DXF up to and including the current version (2014). DRAFT IT analyses the file to determine the size (physcial) of the data to be imported and displays the Page Setup dialog box with tools to alter the scale and origin point of the imported data.

Like this article? Click here to get the Newsletter and Magazine Free!

Email The Editor!         OR         Forward ArticleGo Top