By Damian Chloe , an engineer and CAD user from Greece
Last time I introduced you my initial experiences with ZWCAD 2010. As I continued with my testing, I found more surprises that want to share with you. Let’s continue looking at some of the advanced 2D and 3D design tools.
The bigger the design project, the more helpful I find ZWCAD’s data management tools. Take Design Center and the Tool palettes, for example. Conveniently, they work together as visual tools from which I can find existing resources on my computer and reuse them.
In addition, the snap and autotrack features make designs much more precise.
Now, suppose you have finished drafting and detailing your design: what is the next step? Share it! Designs that are not understood or accepted by others have no meaning and so are of no value; it merely becomes a practice in design and does not materialize as real world objects.
So, how to share drawings? How to make others understand your ideas? How to communicate and collaborate with partners? ZWCAD answers these questions by providing many options:
You can publish drawing sheets as DWF files, or plot them to a variety of printers with different plot styles.
You can export drawings in a variety of file formats, which is useful when you want to place them as images in other documents and on Web pages.
You can render the drawings when 3D designs are meant to be shown in presentations. (You can plot the drawings to raster images, for which optimized JPEG and PNG printers drivers are provided by ZWCAD.)
And don’t forget the eTransmit feature, which is a favorite among team designers, for it collects automatically all related drawing and support files into a single package, including drawings, images, external references, and fonts.
I’ve talked about all these features in ZWCAD 2010, and so it seems to be very cool. But it still might not be perfect for every designer. If so, then customization is the solution!
Every 2D and 3D designer works in a specific design environment and needs to ensure the quality of the work. They need to boost their efficiency, something that is indispensable. When I tried entering the Customize command, ZWCAD understood it, and then guided me to configure the working environment to my liking. This included menus, toolbars, keyboard shortcuts, and aliases.
Checking the help documentation, I found that the program includes programming interfaces such as LISP, VBA, SDS, and ZRX. I used to program AutoCAD with AutoLISP and ARX, and so I checked to see if they are parallel to the LISP and ZRX in ZWCAD 2010. I ran some of my AutoCAD .lsp routines on ZWCAD, and found they worked! But when I tried my ARX routines, I ran into some problems. I contacted ZWSOFT’s technical engineers; they replied that ARX and ZRX are different but similar. The engineers made some modification on my files to make them run in ZWCAD 2010.
Overall, I found that ZWCAD 2010 is worthwhile, especially considering its functionality and price. When my friend asked me about ZWCAD 2010, I recommended it to him.