ProgeCAD – A Solid AutoCAD Workalike


progeCAD is an AutoCAD alternative with an intuitive user interface, reading and writing to AutoCAD files from version 2.5 through latest, while offering competitive licensing rates at an attractive price point.

As with other AutoCAD clones, progeCAD does not feature all of the functionality found in its parent program such as roll-over tooltips and intelligent dimensioning with DWG compare capability; additionally it has less-sharp 3D rendering.

Autodesk Revit & IFC Import & Export

Interoperability between CAD/BIM tools is integral to any successful project, and IFC format offers an effective means of transfer without data loss between different information modeling software applications.

progeCAD’s interoperability capabilities make CAD/BIM interoperability seamless, enabling you to import IFC files easily and seamlessly map them to Revit families automatically. You can also utilize this capability for exporting back IFC files back into their respective BIM tool for further processing.

To open an IFC file, choose IFC from the File menu and in the subsequent dialog select an IFC version and MVD definition – most frequently IFC2x3 and Coordination View 2.0 are most often chosen as options for viewing an IFC file.

Your options for exporting elements can range from exporting all elements as generic model elements that do not take into account which Revit family they belong to, and setting the IfcExportAs option with specific IFC categories (i.e. IfcColumn) as opposed to their default classification. This feature may prove particularly useful when trying to match IFC files with specific editors.

Other key settings are IFC Export Options. These determine how an IFC model will be read by its editor; for instance, with regards to whether elements should be exported as generic model elements or as Autodesk Revit family members; additionally you can determine if elevation data (IFCSITE elevation in site local placement origin) or IFC common property sets will be included with it.

Point Cloud Import

Point clouds are collections of 3D data points collected from real world objects using 3D scanners. Once captured, these points can be imported into Vectorworks drawings and used as source material, being viewed and transformed geometrically (using zoom, scale, pan, rotate flyover flythrough functions as needed), clipped to other objects for clipping/snapping purposes and referenced for data reference purposes – creating an efficient and effective workflow to bring existing conditions into design processes.

Point Cloud Import allows you to import registered point cloud files in.laz,.las,.ply,.rcs,.e57 formats into Vectorworks Preferences (3D tab). Once imported, they can be displayed either as 3D views or wireframe views depending on which projection has been set in Vectorworks Preferences (3D tab). In addition, its Options dialog displays base parameters with visual representation of point cloud file data to help understand it and select appropriate settings.

You can assign points from an imported file to various classes and display them in layers named accordingly; if Auto Fill Code Layers isn’t selected, however, point clouds will be added as one single layer named Point Cloud.

The app’s user interface resembles AutoCAD’s in several respects, including an Application Menu button in the upper-left corner and Ribbon toolbar. You can customize its appearance as you see fit by choosing between classic pull-down menus with multiple toolbars or modern ribbon layout. Furthermore, in-canvas controls are available for restoring preset views and selecting visual styles like those found in AutoCAD; object snapping works seamlessly too.

Sheet Set Manager

The Sheet Set Manager feature provides an efficient way of creating and managing sheet sets in a manner that maximizes efficiency and productivity. Sheet sets take drawing files and organize them logically into subsets that can be accessed by multiple users; each sheet in a sheet set has an associated name/number, showing information from one or more drawing files.

Sheet sets are created by collecting model space geometry from various source drawings and assembling it in a layout viewport on one sheet. A sheet view represents this geometry in paper space format using two coincident entities – an external reference (xref) in your current file displaying another drawing’s geometry, and a layout tab where resource drawings views are located on this same sheet.

When creating a sheet set, you specify a drawing template (DWT) file with one or more page setups that will apply to all new sheets in that set when publishing or plotting them. You can apply these page setups when publishing or plotting.

All sheet sets, subsets, and individual sheets contain numerous properties – titles, descriptions, file paths and Sheet Custom Properties that you define – when modified. When changing a sheet’s name or number can also occur. Furthermore, you can adjust where to store these properties using the Options dialog box.

Autodesk Inventor Import & Export

ProgeCAD stands out from many AutoCAD workalikes by being visually and functionally identical. From its initial Properties palette and tool palettes to the command window that spans across the bottom of the program screen, progeCAD feels just like AutoCAD; even features like user coordinate system icons and polar tracking work exactly the same way they would in AutoCAD.

Autodesk Inventor users will find that its built-in translator enables easy import of 3D assembly files from AutoCAD. It recognizes features like chamfers, drafts, helixes, extrude/revolve with contour selection fillets linear and circular patterns mirrors reference geometry solid bodies revolve cut revolve shell sketches sketch dimensions threads as well as feature history which allows rollback to previous versions. Furthermore, feature history is maintained so users may revert back to older versions at any time. Additionally, feature history can be preserved allowing rollback to previous versions allowing features such as chamfers drafts or drafts from previous versions while feature history is preserved to allow rollback in future. Furthermore feature history allows rollback to previous versions when necessary as it keeps feature history within Sketch. Sketch sketch dimensions sketch dimensions threads etc from existing 3D solid bodies solid bodies revolve cut revolve shell sketches sketch dimensions threaded threaded assemblies among many more features. It even keeps feature history, providing easy rollback between versions. It preserves feature history so allowing for rollback between versions without loss allowing allowing revert back.

One useful function of the software is the ability to insert photos directly into CAD drawings. The program supports both raster and vector pictures with automatic scale detection and resolution adjustment capabilities; additionally it is possible to insert and display photos as PDF underlays.

progeCAD supports not only native DWG files but also Autodesk Revit and IFC formats as well as Recap point cloud files (RCP, RCS, XYZ PLY LAZ and LAS). Furthermore it can even convert 3D Inventor files to PDF underlays for use with Revit as a BIM workbench – an extremely convenient feature that makes progeCAD an excellent Autodesk Inventor alternative!

Object Snaps

ProgeCAD’s Object Snaps feature allows you to select objects by clicking their edges or centerlines, with several modes available such as endpoint, midpoint, point, tangent, polar and intersection available for selection.

As with AutoCAD, progeCAD allows users to move the cursor over objects to display their properties – this feature can be helpful when drawing or determining where objects exist in space. Furthermore, progeCAD supports various drawing styles to allow two-dimensional or three-dimensional views of models to be created or displayed.

progeCAD offers another useful feature with its Raster to Vector program that converts raster images or scanned drawings into DXF files for easier text or graphic work. Additionally, progeCAD offers a photorealistic rendering engine that adds more realistic touches to designs.

There are still some features missing, however. Notably, it does not support dynamic blocks introduced with AutoCAD 2006; nor does it feature ViewCube for orienting 3D models; other functions missing include roll-over tooltips, intelligent dimensioning, and DWG compare.

ProgeCAD offers many great advantages, yet some of its key AutoCAD features may be missing or incomplete. Still, it remains an excellent affordable alternative that provides two and three dimensional drafting.

3D Modeling

progeCAD’s new feature allows users to quickly and easily create 3D solid models of an object using closed solid-linetype polylines or spline profiles, making drafting of complex objects faster and providing them with more realistic appearance.

This program comes equipped with an advanced raster editor to enable you to insert and manipulate raster images. Furthermore, this software can import/convert raster to vector data as well as providing accurate dimensioning of vector and raster entities, multipoint systems for dimensioning entities accurately as well as photos as underlays.

This progeCAD release introduces several features designed to improve its graphical performance, such as dynamic User Coordinate System (UCS). UCS significantly accelerates 3D drawing processes, while enhanced color management and support for an array of keyboard shortcuts help further increase productivity for users.

Another key upgrade is the capability of splitting 2D entities such as lines, arcs, infinite lines, rays and splines at their breakpoint into two entities, eliminating the need for an intermediary entity. Furthermore, using Layer Manager it is now possible to filter selected objects when creating an object space.

progeCAD offers a comprehensive set of architectural tools, with an intuitive parametric dialog for creating slabs, stairs, doors, windows and balconies. In addition, photorealistic 3D PDFs are supported and virtual walkthroughs of 3D models using WalkPRO can also be performed.

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