This MacNews Category Review looks at woodworking software for Mac OS X. Products covered include ArchiCAD, Graphite, Design Intuition and MacDraf.
[url=http://www.graphisoft.com/]GraphiSoft[/url], a company that develops software solutions for the design, marketing and maintenance of buildings, has a product called ArchiCAD that uses an interesting "Virtual Building" concept and which has been Carbonized for Mac OS X.
The Virtual Building is a 3D digital database that tracks all elements that make up a building and which makes it possible to administer and manage a building throughout its entire life cycle.
Unlike a simple 3D model on a computer, the Virtual Building contains a great deal more information about the building's materials and characteristics, according to GraphiSoft This information can include surface area and volume; thermal properties; room descriptions; price; specific product information; window, door and finish schedules; and more.
According to GraphiSoft, the Virtual Building model is useful for all professionals connected to the building industry -- architects and residential designers, interior designers, real estate agents, facility managers, and marketing staff. Working from the same Virtual Building as the architect, the real estate agent can obtain exact room dimensions and area calculations, present perspective views from any vantage and even invite prospects on a virtual tour of the building. Interior designers can begin working during the planning phase on the same Virtual Building model. After construction is complete, building managers are able to use the comprehensive materials list and integrated 3D partition plan to track building assets and modify spaces.
The authoring tool for the Virtual Building is ArchiCAD, which lets you work from an intelligent 3D computer model (a simulation of your building). When you design in ArchiCAD, you automatically create a simulation of the real building: the Virtual Building. Instead of drawing lines, ellipses and arcs, you raise walls, add windows and doors, lay down floors, build stairs and construct roofs.
While you build elements on your floor plan, ArchiCAD creates a central database that can simultaneously handle 3D model data with plan and section views, dimensions, material finishes, component lists and more. Because all of the information about the building comes from a single project file, the building model remains integrated and up-to-date as you work, according to GraphiSoft. Changes made in one view are automatically updated in all others, including floor plans, sections and elevations, 3D models, and bills of materials.
[url=http://www.ashlar.com]Ashlar-Vellum[/url] makes CAD and 3D modeling software, including Graphite, a productivity drafting tool that lets you use drafting knowledge and skills, aided by the Vellum Drafting Assistant and Intuitive Interface. With Graphite, you can create precision drawings from simple sketches to elaborate architectural or mechanical designs. You can make parametric symbols from any geometry to add to a library of thousands of architectural and mechanical CAD symbols, and preview all symbols via a preview panel. Graphite also lets you create multiple, associative views, including auxiliary and detail views with full associative dimensioning.
[url=http://www.gizmolab.com/software/index.html]Design Intuition[/url] is CAD software for woodworkers and cabinet makers.
A large part of any project is the design details and material layout. For this lots of folks use the 2D drafting program, [url=http://www.macroenter.com/ProductDetails.asp?ProductCode=MDXDL&Click=1763]MacDraft, from Microspot[/url].
Designed for CAD users of all levels, it offers drawing tools, as well as both ANSI and international standard dimensioning capabilities. Its multi-layered, scaled drawing environment supports both feet/inches and metric dimensions. In addition, Microspot MacDraft offers linked dimensioning to automatically update dimensions as you modify components.
MacDraft is built for mechanical, architectural and engineering design, as well as for technical illustration. If you frequently work with AutoCAD files, Microspot MacDraft offers compatibility with AutoCAD and other programs supporting DWG/DXF.