Issue: Volume: 23 Issue: 1 (January 2000)


Win/Mac ArchiCAD 6.5 from Graphi soft offers two significant new levels of external customization: radically smarter Geometric Description Language (GDL) parametric objects and a flexible API. A User Interface Script increases object customization. Library objects can be defined with buttons, text, and illustrations. Using pre-defined value lists, object parameters control each other when changed graphically in 2D or 3D view. With hotlinked modules, when the user edits a single source file all instances in the project are updated. This version adds a DGN translator and a variety of options to the DXF/DWG conversion process, including the adoption of 255 pens and colors to facilitate conversion to or from AutoCAD files. The base price is $4295. (San Francisco, CA; 415-703-9777;

Win/Mac DenebaCAD 2 from Deneba Software integrates precision 2D drafting, interactive 3D modeling, and fast photorealistic rendering into a single application. This version also offers enhanced performance and DXF and DWG r14.01 I/O support. The DXF and DWG I/O capabilities feature complete and accurate translation of all 2D, 3D, and text object data during any file import and/or export operation, as well as flawless External Referencing. Users can publish and share files on the Web using AutoCAD's DWF format. The price is $570. (Miami, FL; 305-596-5644;

Win With the Asset Browser feature in 3D Studio VIZ Release 3 from Autodesk, manufacturers can distribute digital samples of their content via their own Web sites and standard HTML pages. Users can browse the Internet and download texture samples, aerial/satellite photos, and 3D models of manufactured items from an expanding list of vendor Web sites. The new release also includes enhanced interoperability with all of the company's AutoCAD 2000-based applications. The price is $1995. (San Francisco, CA; 800-964-6432;

Win/Unix For dynamic motion simulation, LMS CADSI offers LMS DADS Version 9.5, which has the ability to integrate LMS PolyFEM modal results into DADS for flexible body simulation. The interface with the company's durability software enables DADS to export and import time series load data for durability and fatigue studies in FALANCS. Exporting results to the CADA-X post-processing tools enables the user to perform advanced frequency domain analysis. (Coral ville, IA; 319-626-6700;

Win Intended for Windows NT 9/x platforms, the ST-Viewer from STEP Tools enables users to share STEP-based 3D product data throughout a business enterprise or via the Web. This interactive application communicates with CAD/CAM/CAE and PDM systems, part libraries, and databases as a Web browser plug in. The Viewer works seamlessly with ST-Repository, an Internet-compatible database management system. Pricing is based on quantity purchases (quantity 1-4, $290 each; quantity 10-34, $190 each). (Troy, NY; 518-276-2848;

Win With Release 4 of I-deas Artisan Series from SDRC, users have a greater ability to improve productivity. A key enhancement is the addition of collaboration capabilities that build on the Team Data Manager software. Data can be shared associatively and bidirectionally between I-deas Artisan Series and I-deas Master Series. This version also presents several integrated advanced engineering options in the areas of manufacturing and industry-specific applications, including a new toolpath engine for manufacturing, enhanced surfacing functionality, and VGX for Moldbase Design. (Cincin nati, OH; 513-576-2400;

Win In Hoops 4.5 from Tech Soft America extensive new functionality has been added around the Hoops 3D graphics system in the form of a suite of modular development components. The modularized system is called the Hoops 3D Application Framework. Components of this system facilitate the process of integrating the Hoops/3dGS with other complementary technology commonly used to build CAD/CAM/CAE applications. (Alameda, CA; 510-769-2300;

Win AutoCAD OEM 2000 software is available as part of Autodesk's OEM component licensing program. Developers can access the company's CAD engine and software development kit to create vertical market, AutoCAD 2000-based applications that contain only the capabilities, functionality, menus, and commands their users require. Developers have access to the entire AutoCAD 2000 feature set, an AutoCAD OEM Make wizard, and the standard AutoCAD command line interface. The scalable pricing model includes an up-front license fee and royalty payments. (San Rafael, CA; 800-964-6432;

Win Using the Internet, Envision-i from Vuent Inc. lets multiple users in different locations view, interrogate, and re-purpose existing rich media and supporting data throughout the extended enterprise, on any PC, regardless of connection bandwidth. The product is based on the company's Intelligent Streaming engine that dynamically delivers 3D graphics, sound, video, and text in real time. Envision-i sends only the data needed to support the portion of the file in use at a particular time. As a result, portions of large files residing securely on a central server can be simultaneously viewed using Internet Explorer or Netscape Navigator. Pricing starts at approximately $1500 per desktop. (Sunnyvale, CA; 408-481-1700;

Win For multi-format file sharing, Kruse offers kWise document management software. The product utilizes a point-and-click approach to organizing and finding documents. With the NavTree interface and drag-and-drop actions, users can create customized file trees based on their project work breakdown structure. The software includes all the viewers necessary to display and print files without the need for their application software. Organized sets of project documents can be distributed over networks, the Internet, or CD-ROMs. (Downingtown, PA; 800-272-5659;

Win Intended for industrial users, the CAD-to-Web tool from Ramsoft Systems is a 3D on-line product configurator that generates CAD models based on specific user inputs. From a Web-based entry form, users are led through a series of questions about their applications. From the input, a properly sized part is selected and the corresponding 3D model generated. The model can be rotated, cross-sectioned, and zoomed in or out live on the Web. (Southfield, MI; 248-354-0100;

Win/Mac With Artlantis Render 3.5 from Abvent users can create, modify, organize, and delete materials directly in the preview window. Using a Textured option, objects in a scene can be previewed with all their respective textures and shaders. With a significant jump in materials options, from 256 to 65,535, this version can accommodate ArchiCAD models of all sizes and levels of complexity with the flexibility of applying unlimited polygons per material. This version also includes several new lighting options. (San Francisco, CA; 415-431-3412;