Architosh News Reports
  Architosh Staff ([email protected])


Architosh Seybold Report: Mac products for CAD/AEC - Part 1

13 Feb 2000

Architosh visited a number of interesting and valuable vendors at Seybold. Our mission was to find and checkout products that could be valuable to architects, engineers, and other CAD/3D professionals on the Macintosh. And! we found a number of interesting items of value (not bad for a publishing show!). Will be discussing them in a series of reports, over the next few days, organized by product type. Here is Part -1, covering:

CAD, Drawing and 3D Apps

CADtools 2.1, by Hot Door Inc. We spoke to this application vendor for quite some time about his software products -- in particular, about how CADtools is an alternative low-cost Mac CAD product for those who already own Adobe Illustrator. The reason why this is important is because there is dearth of low-end, consumer-oriented CAD and home-design software for the Macintosh and we at Architosh get quite a bit of email from readers asking about such products. Abracadata's "Design Your Own..." series is Mac/Win supported but that is just about it.

CADtools2.1 -- the very latest version -- is actually very sophisticated for a low-cost CAD app. The product integrates within the Illustrator interface beautifully and has really elegant icons and tools palettes (the program creator is an industrial designer by training). Sophisticated features include things like "linked associative" dimensioning, so when you move something the dimensions not only update automatically be redraw themselves completely to adjust to the moved item. Other dimensioning features found in high-end CAD products include the ability to edit dimensioning features like "witness gap" offsets, 'extension" and "text offset".

AppliCraft CADgate 1.0, was also shown by Hot Door. This product is also a plugin for Illustrator that can work in tandem with CADtools. CADgate 1.0 is the first DXF/DWG file import and export tool for Adobe Illustrator. It supports Autocad versions 12, 13, and 14 and runs on Illustrator 8. This product is produced by a software company in Japan and sold in the US by Hot Door. The product's technical abilities are quite extensive and can be found in these tables (click here).

Transparency 1.0.2 is a nifty plugin for Adobe Illustrator by Hot Door as well. This tool allows you to add transparency effects to your CAD files when they are imported into Illustrator. This can be an excellent way to add shadows and glass effects to CAD elevation drawings, landscape drawings and other CAD files. In addition, Transparency 1.0.2 can be a really neat tool for doing diagramming -- with the ability to add items like arrows, symbols, coordinate planes, x-axis/y-axis lines, vectors, etc. to layers that float over and under objects which are being illustrated.

This product also supports (the transparency effects) on PostScript printers and will print what you see on the screen. This is a feature few, if any, CAD programs support. It can used (we are told) with CADtools 2.1 installed as well, allowing you to add transparency to your CADtools files. All of these products can be bought online by Hot Door. CADtools and CADgate sell for $195 and Transparency is just $39.

AEC-useful Apps and Unique Peripherals

Map Resources, by Cartesia Software, is a provider of high-quality maps for graphic design and technical illustration professionals. These royalty-free maps can be obtained by CD-ROMs or by purchasing individual maps directly from their website,

Their maps are fully editable multi-layered Adobe Illustrator files which are compatible with current versions of Illustrator, Macromedia FreeHand, and COREL Draw. These vector, PostScript graphics could be put to various uses by technical professionals such as architects, urban planners, engineers or landscape architects. Features on the more than 1000 maps include rivers, place names, lakes, roads, borders, etc.. There urban maps -- in particular -- can be very useful to architects who do large scale planning because they often contain buildings and being layered can serve as flexible bases for CAD files or presentation graphics files.

MathType for Macintosh, by Design Science Inc., is a the professional version of Equation Editor, which is included in MS Word, WordPerfect, and AppleWorks. This product allows you to do advanced mathematical notation in word processing documents, desktop publishing applications and web pages. In fact, it does a much better job of creating math notation for HTML documents than Word's HTML generation due to its high-quality anti-aliasing algorithms.

MathType for Macintosh is ideal for professional engineers like civil, structural and electrical who do large amounts of calculation reporting in their day-to-day jobs, as well as for science and math instructors who publish work over the Internet.

FSC 6065 Magnum Color Scanner, by Context Scanning Technology. This product is a superwide format color scanner for the Macintosh. The FSC 6065 is a 50 inch wide color and monochrome scanner is a fast, high quality scanner ideal for reprographics houses, graphic arts departments, engineering and GIS applications. Resolution is from 50-800dpi, in one dpi increments. Color is captured at a 36-bit color depth, passing the best 24-bit data on to the computer to enhance color fidelity. The product includes full color calibration software and management system, including ICC profile (Agfa, Microsoft, Adobe, Apple, etc.). The FSC 6065 is compatible with large format plotters to form a direct large format copier system, via RIP software.

The FSC 6065 is compatible with over 50 fifty file formats, including many CAD file formats like DXF, CALS-1, CALS-2. Color formats include: TIFF, JPEG, PICT, BMP, RAS, RTL and PCX.

> Part 2

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The Apple Store now sells a selection of leading, third-party Macintosh software!

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click on our screen grab to go there now!



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