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What’s New in TurboCAD 2021

IMSI Design delivers a major update to its flagship product line—new TurboCAD 2021 professional CAD product line gains benefits from ODA.


Recently IMSI Design, a leading CAD software developer, has announced the release of the TurboCAD 2021 line of products, including Platinum, Professional, Deluxe, and Designer versions for Windows® desktop PCs. The company also has a macOS product line on a different release schedule.

The new TurboCAD 2021 includes over 30 new and improved features, including powerful new performance speed-ups. “The release of TurboCAD 2021 marks the fourth decade of sales of TurboCAD for Windows,” stated Bob Mayer, President of IMSI Design. “We are proud of this milestone and grateful to the millions of users worldwide who have continued to make TurboCAD one of the leading-selling CAD brands in the world.”

TurboCAD 2021

“The 2021 release continues our commitment to making enhancements in the program which address all areas of importance to our customers: We are particularly excited about the performance improvements to rendering and to the handling of large CAD files with the integration of the Open Design Alliance’s Visualize technology,” added Mayer.

Big New Features

By tapping the power of the ODA’s software toolkits, which are some of the best-developed codebases in the CAD industry, IMSI Design can add new or improved capabilities in a more efficient manner enabling the company to focus efforts on coding new features. The ODA’s Visualize technology enables TurboCAD 2021 to have a dramatically improved redraw performance boost, up to 20x faster depending on your hardware. There is also a new “Use Hidden Line Cache” option that can improve hidden line performance.

TurboCAD 2021

New splash screen in TurboCAD 2021 adds tabs for Learn and News and enables convenient connections to Chat for tech support and improved file open conveniences.

Other performance improvements likely tapping the power of the ODA’s toolkits include AutoCAD compatibilities and the improved Xref enhancement features. One such feature in TurboCAD 2021 is notification changes to external files in TurboCAD 2021; when changes occur to external files a notification allows for a new Load/Unload option.

Constraint animation is a new feature. Dimension values that drive angles, lengths, and distances within a constraint system can be animated, giving the user powerful feedback on “range of motion” issues common in mechanical design problems. The tool extends into 3D motion analysis when the dimension values are part of a 2D constrained sketch that is used to define 3D extruded, sweep, or lathed shapes.  Animating the dimension value automatically updates not only the sketch but the dependent 3D part.

UI and 2D Features

A new splash screen offers both Learning and News tabs so users can get acquainted with learning materials for the software as well as request a Chat with tech support. Additional benefits include various open file options like Open Last Edited.

TurboCAD 2021

3D Wrap technologies are new to version 2021, allowing for two forms of UV wrapping functionality—Face UV Representation and Surface on Face (see below.)

Blocks can now be directly edited in a TurboCAD drawing, in lieu of the Blocks Palette. This will likely be applauded by veteran users. There is also a new Best Fit Circle command. Define three points or a line through two points and off you go with the new command.

A new 2D Edit Mode allows the user to design in 2D by turning off 3D objects, editing, and modification tools. This streamlined 2D only mode UI also leaves only a 2D Selector enabled, which then works with the selected object’s coordinate system. The mode can be turned back off with a single click.

Along with these 2D improvements, Draft Palettes have been improved. Users can now define the Scale of Drafting Object through the local menu Properties of the Object.  In addition, as with Paper Space View Ports, the Drafting Palette now has an Option to select a Layer Set.  The Layer Set can contain both visible and non-visible layers. This enables the user to display only what information is needed in the Drafting Palette Object.

3D, Architectural, and Visualization

A new local menu option “Apply to Pattern” has been added to the Pattern tools. Users can now apply solid operations for all pattern elements simultaneously. This option is available for the following 3D editing and can be applied on the pattern objects simultaneously: Fillet Edges, Chamfer Edges, Face offset, Shell Solid.

There is new support for SketchUp in TurboCAD 2021. Unlike many CAD programs, TurboCAD allows you to export out to the SketchUp format, not just import it.

There are new 3D Mapping tools that have been added to TurboCAD 2021. Face UV Representation and Surface on Face are new capabilities. Face UV Representation is used to get a UV representation of the selected ACIS® face as a separate object. Surface on Face is used to get a 3D surface from a selected UV representation, and 2D contour, which lies on the UV representation. Finally, the Imprint Tool has been improved, enabling a Block insertion that contains the 2D contours as a profile for performing the imprint.

Architectural users gain a new Architectural Grid tool that makes it easier to align other architectural objects in the drawing. Users can import rectangular grids from DWG drawings and alter the properties of the grid and bubble representation via the Selection Info palette.

TurboCAD 2021 now includes the ODA’s rendering and lighting engine technology. Users of Visualize will, as we noted above, see greater speed in rendering in Hidden Line and Draft render modes and Visualize recognizes materials from TurboCAD files rendered with LightWorks and RedSDK renders. Ambient Occlusion, Anti-Aliasing, and Lighting are also included.

Drawings containing ACIS objects can now be rendered more quickly when the multi-threading option is enabled.


TurboCAD 2021 supports import and export of AutoCAD, DWG, DWF, and SketchUp (.skp) file formats with improved compatibility for 2021 versions. The software can also export advanced, mechanical CAD file formats and import these formats, including CATIA, NX, Parasolid, ProE, Solid Edge, SolidWorks, and VDA-FS. A new format has also been added, 3DXML.

Publish to PDF is a new capability that streamlines the publishing of PDF files by combining 2D and 3D export filters into a single tool.

Availability and Pricing

TurboCAD Platinum 2021 is available now for USD 1,499 for a full permanent license or USD 499 per year for an annual subscription. Click here to learn about other versions and their pricing.

Learning More

To learn more visit here.

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