Fri, 07 Aug 2009 TurboCAD Mac Pro v4 review
A full 2D drafting and CAD modelling package for Power PC G4 processors onwards
The first thing we noticed when reviewing TurboCAD Mac PRo v4 was that it has a significantly higher price than the £149 TurboCAD Mac Pro v3. However, according to developer IMSI, TurboCAD Mac Pro 4, is not actually an upgrade from TurboCAD Mac Pro v3 but is a completely new product aimed at high-end users, hence the higher price point. In fact, following the release of version 4, IMSI replaced TurboCAD Mac Pro v3 with TurboCAD Mac Deluxe v4, which is priced at just £97.86.
One new feature aimed at high-end users is the photorealistic Lightworks renderer, a high-quality engine that means you can replicate real-world lighting conditions with accurate raytracing, and shadow creation and adjust sunlight and environment map settings.
New modelling functions include the ability to create a surface by revolving a set of curves (called the profile) around a central axis. There are also two new transformation tools, Cylindrical and Spherical Duplicate, that copy a selection of items or faces in a circular or spherical array around a central axis or point.
3D solid modelling tools are provided by the ACIS library, which has been updated to version 18. It’s now possible, using the Bend Solid tool, to bend a solid about an axis through a given radius. There’s a whole new set of Assembly Modelling tools that allow you to combine, intersect, align and mate two solid objects.
ACIS tools also let you create a skinned solid from a collection of closed profiles, such as circles or ellipses. Solid modelling is one of the many features of TurboCAD that could do with a quick tutorial.
The Drafting Assistant is a helpful new tool. It displays temporary construction lines, lets you lock to the X, Y or Z-axis and makes it easy to snap to objects by displaying information about the pointers location in the drawing area. It also recognises a variety of intelligent snap locations for solids, including all hard vertices, user supplied points (grips) and centres.
Support for 3D file formats is fairly wide, an important factor for Mac users. However, the DXF/DWG translator will only read files up to and including version R2000. There’s also a bit of importing and exporting required if you want to open TurboCAD Pro version 3.0 files in this version.