FastCAD, a shadow of AutoCAD

If you had never heard of FastCAD … you should.

I know, it is possible it’s your first time to know this program exists, but I want to take me a bit of this ice cream night with Oreo cookies to show you a tool from which we have something to learn even in the last paragraph.

Why FastCAD is important

Well, FastCAD’s creator is who developed INTERACT, that program that was a purchased prototype bought by AutoDesk founders who launch AutoCAD.

However, beyond my American’s friend heavy mood, this program won some important merits in early nineties, Riddle was also nominated by Design News as Engineer of the Year in 1992 and in 1999 Engineering News-record included it in the Top125 as the most influential people in construction industry in the last 125 years.

Then he founded Evolution Computing which in 1985 released its first version of FastCAD of course for DOS.

  • In 1987, version included “tight” buttons; icons and dialog boxes before it were done, or existedWindows.
  • Also at that time it already had plot essambly with layouts management, a predecessor of what it came to be in AutoCAD the paperspace.
  • clip_image001Currently the latest FastCAD version is 7.56 whose latest changes began in 2007 and involved over a 32-bit format.

The good thing of FastCAD. From the outset, my respect for Riddle when as regards innovation based on what users ask for. I tested it some time this weekend and although is software that was launched 10 years ago it is surprising in some practicality respects that are hidden there, although I realize that learning to use many of its features involve changing the way we do some things with the programs used. And although I think this program gave all what it can on the current platform, it is worth recognizing what has made me a good impression, who knows if some competing programs should take a look at it.

  • Read dwg formats to the latest version (2010 which is used by AutoCAD 2012). FastCAD format is fcw, but can open and save dwg formats from R12 to 2010.
  • Read Microstation DGN V8 formats, in this and the above has its limitations and many paid programs and open source (we understand why, but how did respected researcher Riddle.
  • Within the same model has the option to insert a dynamic view (AutoCAD 2012 novelty and Bentley V8i), with up buttons far more practical than to set view options in MicroStation. Tricks to operate zoom between windows are very good because mouse scroll depends on key pressed it can make normal or dynamic zoom, rotating on different or isometric axis, this handling of keyboard shortcuts is very creative in different FastCAD tools.
  • Of the best, interactive work with files. Apart saved views includes shortcuts to files and has an option called overlay reference files, like the xref function, but with the option to edit on the fly (the xref is read-only) and even a feature called part that can be created partnerships and arrangements of objects even when in different files, these can be partially loaded from the outside. Awesome.
  • The best interactive work with files. Apart from saved views include shortcuts to files and has an option called references overlay you files, similar work the xref, but with the option to edit them on the fly (the xref are just reading) and even with a feature called part that you can create associations of objects and arrangements still in different files, these can be loaded partially from the outside. Impressive.
  • The functionality of the tables is a luxury, they are dynamic. You can create an automatic number column, including importing data from an excel file (csv) or txt. Once the file is converted to lose the dynamic dwg as it explodes.

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  • There is a tool path, which among other things, creates walls, similar to the multiline, with the variant that is a dynamic object, which automatically when joining the walls creates partnerships (without having to use break, trim and other juggling) can be depicted and varying the width of walls without losing command also can be inserted to cut holes for doors and ends at the end of a wall. From a practical luxury pop menu, pass to 3D is a matter of saying, it seems very simple.

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  • There are several things very practical level interface as the color bar on the left style CorelDraw, just click, the combo box above to see what conditions we are working: line type, coordinates, thickness, layer, etc.. I find it very convenient user interface, very well laid out, without many toolbars appear at the ends and new panels to manage libraries of blocks (cells).
  • There are also several very practical things at the level of interface such as the color bar on the left to the CorelDraw style, just click, the combobox above to see what conditions are working: type of line, thickness, layer, coordinates, etc. It seems to me very practical user interface, very well distributed, without many toolbars and extremes appear new panels to manage libraries of blocks (cells).
  • Have some simple things that the competition has been slow to get them started, like a Zoom to a text search (one click), zoom to the saved view, sizing is very practical and includes a tolerance factor that solves many problems .
  • It has some simple things that the competition has been slow to take to walk as a Zoom to a text search (one click), zoom to the saved view, the sizing is very practical and includes a factor of tolerance which solves many problems.
  • Not all, but the smoke is going to include what most occupies. It seems to me when I taught AutoCAD course of 25 commands, the basic tools of construction are all (though some with a change of logic) and 8 focus on editing commands but necessary variants such as the Copy options include drag, dynamic range, rotated and symmetry.
  • Does everything, but hey they are smoked to include that most deals. It looks like my AutoCAD course when he taught 25 commands; the basic tools of construction are all (though some change of logic) and editing focus on 8 commands but necessary variants such as for example, the Copy includes the drag options, scale dynamic, rotated, and symmetry.
  • Hold scripting, macros, and digitizing tablet. The 3D look so easy and rendering is not so bad that even 10 years ago, but is tricky to import ACIS objects outside.
  • Hold a Tablet table, macro and scripting. The 3D seems so easy and the rendering is not bad though that it is the case for 10 years; but it has its flats to import ACIS objects outside.
  • There is a version called EasyCAD for us $300 and FastCAD walks US$ 600 turns it into an economic alternative instead of pirating, although in my opinion at this point it would opt for an IntelliCAD type BitCAD or ProgeCAD or even GstarCAD involving up to the Ribbon.

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The FastCAD’s trouble

Well, input is a version that has been updated although in recent years, its graphics engine is created the same 10 years ago, I guess it was the best when developed FastCAD Riddle 7. That creates a tremendous constraint compared with recent competition tools users have come to that pass the mouse over objects or are looking for a snap interaction. That part of snaps and handling of transparencies as AutoCAD R13 or Microstation J to give you some idea.

Input is thus a version while it has been updated in recent years, its graphics engine is I think the same of 10 years ago, I guess best era when Riddle developed FastCAD 7. This creates a tremendous compared to recent competition tools that have become accustomed to the users that passing the mouse over objects or search a snap are interaction constraint. That part of snaps and handling of transparency is as AutoCAD R13 or Microstation J, forming an idea.

This weakness makes it much earlier than previously mentioned as advantages look deteriorated shortly without much force and any criterion might underestimate their potential. In Windows 7 presents serious difficulties with some video cards, especially in Windows 7 installation on older machines, like in Windows Vista-based sources bitmaps. All graphics engine to be outdated.

This previous weakness makes that much of what we have previously mentioned as advantages see desmejorado, little current and anyone without much discretion could underestimate their potential. Windows 7 presents serious difficulties with some graphics cards, especially in Windows 7 installations on old machines, just like in Windows Vista fonts based on bitmaps. Everything being an outdated graphics engine.

Then have some sort of ambiguity with the ongoing management commands, especially the command line and right and some routines that will open in a blue console, I think there is a skill that takes time to understand it. At the level of usability, management layers is not very practical in these times that we have many layers and occupy a click be off, on or freezing not only the file in use but which are in question.

Then you have some sort of ambiguity with the handling of continuous command, especially between the command line and the right button and some routines in a blue console, I think there is a skill that takes time to understand it. Also at the level of usability, the management of layers is not very practical, in these times we have many layers and deal with one click be shutting down, turning or not only freeze the file in use, but which are in reference.

It is clear that the program has problems of interoperability, it does not natively read files dgn, dxf, dwg, but imports it into a file FCW, which brings disadvantages to export it again, especially in the quality of display sizing, so it has an option that exploits-which I think is equally fatal, occurs in some cases the text width factor. I looked for and found a way to load raster files, embedded bitmap only, nor handles georeference systems.

It is clear that the program has problems of interoperability, therefore not read natively dgn, dxf, dwg files but that matter it to a fcw file, which brings disadvantages to export it again, especially in the quality of visualization in the sizing, why has an option that exploits them – which I think is fatal – as happens in some cases with the factor of width of text. I looked and not found a way to load raster files, just embedded bitmap, nor nor handles referencing systems.

Although they were innovative in managing layouts for print, I think it falls short in the control of multiple sheets and pdf generation seems bizarre.

While they were innovators in the handling of layouts for printing, I think it falls short in the control of multiple sheets and the generation of pdf seems bizarre to me.

It’s understandable, is to design FastCAD 2D and 3D CAD, and does it well. But nothing, no complementary programs for engineering, architecture, GIS or other with whom to interact. That’s not bad, that so and while they say “this is FastCAD” no sin, but takes advantage because no one does now almost pure CAD but uses it to edit data in a specific discipline.

It is understandable, FastCAD is for 2D and 3D CAD design, and does so well. But nothing more; There is no complementary programs for engineering, architecture, GIS or other with whom to interact. That is not bad, it thus is and while alone “así es FastCAD” there is no sin, but takes advantage because now already almost nobody does pure CAD but he uses that to edit data in a specific discipline.

And finally, there’s no sign of a new version, not this one. If the company is thinking of a FastCAD 8, insurance is a new development (now seems to have worked in Visual Basic and in C + +). Want to go to a newer graphics engine would work on compatibility. NET and … not sure if Riddle is thinking about it.

And finally, there is no sign of a new version; not of this. If the company is thinking of doing a 8 FastCAD, insurance is a new development (the current seems to have been worked in c++ and Visual Basic). Want to go to a more recent graphic engine would work on compatibility with.NET and… I am not sure if Riddle will be thinking about that.

Moraleja

Finally, the lesson does not stop learning unless we read the thoughts of Riddle, in a blog with a few tickets were released some confessions between the lines. Reading can not avoid an aura of nostalgia, something helpless about the injustices of good software that perishes with the popular and Mike also understand that being a business rather than technology is an innovative technology thrown poet who needed now day in the right place.

Finally, the lesson does not end to learn unless we read the thoughts of Riddle, a blog with few entries we loose some denominations between the lines. Reading not we can avoid an aura of nostalgia, something of impotence by the injustices of the good software which perishes before the popular, and also understand that more Mike to be a businessman of technology is an innovative pulled poet technology that are needed today in the right place.

We also know who is behind a new software, more or less understand what kind, who knows if a reconstructed version of FastCAD with a more inclusive strategy of alliances that are now badly needed to survive more than 10 years.

We also know that it is behind a new software, more or less understand what, who knows if a version of FastCAD, rebuilt a strategy more inclusive partnerships that are now necessary to survive more than 10 years.

My respect for the man who set guidelines for how many now make CAD programs, materializing ideas on assumptions that did not exist. Chances are if Riddle had displayed what he was selling, had insisted on being a member of AutoDesk (although it was one of 18 co-founders) instead of selling your product and stay out of what is now the empire that is difficult shadow.

My respect for the man that set guidelines for the form as nowadays do CAD many programs, materializing views on assumptions that did not exist. It is likely that if Riddle had visualized what was selling, had insisted on being partner of AutoDesk (even though it was one of the 18 founding co) rather than sell their product and staying on the outside of what now is the Emporium which is difficult to shade.

An American friend, a mere joke-heavy for me one afternoon saying that Colombian Coffee Riddle stood out because the moment you walked Walker founded Autodesk buying a razor, and not to cut the beard …

An American friend – mere heavy jokes – told me an afternoon of Colombian coffee that Riddle was left out because at the time that Walker based AutoDesk was buying a razor shaving, and not just to cut the barb…

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