ArcSite is a brand new mobile CAD product for the Apple iOS platform and—according to an excellent interview of its founder—developed by an ex-AutoCAD software engineer.
First to Use ‘Real-Time’ Constraints
One of the things that makes ArcSite unique is that it features a ‘real-time’ constraint system. This means when you sketch out an arc with your finger or a stylus on the iPad the program recognizes it as an arc. In typical desktop CAD, using mouse and keyboard, the process of drawing an arc always requires several steps, such as locating the origin of the arc and then inputing radius data, for example.
There are other programs that execute shape recognition. We just saw several of them at Apple’s September Event during the iPad Pro demo. Well, ArcSite features shape recognition and straightens out hand-drawn sketches converting our wavy lines to something CAD-respectable.
It also features a constraint solver that helps the user draw incredibly accurately. It helps set precise angles and dimension lengths.
Starting in the Field
By its name alone you might guess that ArcSite has something to do with building sites or working in the field. It apparently does. The program doesn’t support importing in CAD files, like AutoCAD files. ArcSite is aimed at beginnings in new project work, using sketching as a start, sketching that converts to accurate lines, rectangles, arcs and other shapes.
Here’s a breakdown of the core product’s features
- Smart Dimension Editing — bi-directional dimensional editing means you can change a dimension to any geometry and the geometry will update accordingly
- Shapes and Symbols — A growing library of predefined shapes commonly used in architecture, interior design, electrical, landscape, plumbing, etc. Plus you can create custom shapes for the library
- Cloud Access and Collaboration — import PDF files directly into the app to work over, markup, from anywhere via the cloud based account. Once new ArcSite projects are uploaded to accounts in the cloud, drawings become available in a variety of formats, including PNG, PDF and AutoCAD DXF so that users can download and share them from any computer
- Layers — ArcSite features layers
- Mirror Tool
- Snap to Grid Option
- Grid Spacing Option
- Text Callouts
- Imperial and Metric Units
- 5-levels of Unit Precision
- Photo Management — draw over photos
- CAD standard Navigation like Pan and Zoom
Availability and Pricing
ArcSite is available in multiple levels from a free Basic account to Enterprise. As project drawings are stored in the ArcSite cloud, and the app uses the cloud to convert to other formats automatically in the background, the cloud is a pivotal piece and serves as the future backbone for “collaboration” with the ArcSite. A Silver Plan is 9.99.USD / month.
ArcSite is available exclusively for Apple’s iPad. According to the interview mentioned earlier, there is no set plan for Android or Windows support but iPhone support is coming next! To learn more visit Arctuition here online.
Between Onshape’s quite sophisticated 3D MCAD tool that works even on iPhone, in addition to iPad, to Graebert’s industry praised ARES Touch, which runs on Android at the moment, there is a growing sense that mobile CAD authorship—that is the ability to start CAD drawings on tablets not just edit them—has a meaningful future.
ARES Touch is already clearly there. We wish that tool was on iPad. Onshape is doing something quite sophisticated but so is the whole solution set which is Web-driven. ArcSite looks particularly strong with is shape recognition and constraint systems.
Speaking of the latter, the program looks amazing at quickly sketching dimensions over photos in existing conditions situations. This area, the building or site survey area, is particularly hot in the market with tools like OrthoGraph for example.
Here’s a YouTube demo of ArcSite below.