By Bill Burchard
is a 2D/3D CAD drafting application with an impressive set of tools
and features. Using this drafting and modeling application, you can
create and edit both simple 2D drawings and complex 3D models.
You can also apply textures and shading to your 3D objects to create
photo-realistic renderings, and create 3D perspectives and animations
of your design.
3000 includes the typical tools you need for drawing 2D objects such
as lines, arcs, circles, and curves. It also includes a set of 3D
tools for drawing surfaces and solids. You can even use DesignCAD
3000 to convert your 2-D drawings into 3-D models.
1. DesignCAD's tutorials teach you how to create and render 3D
objects. (Click image to enlarge.)
By following DesignCAD's
tutorials, you initially learn the basic skills and concepts you need
for beginning work on 2D drawings.
Then as you progress through the tutorials, you learn about more advanced
3D features, and gain experience by drawing complex objects such as
the table as shown in figure 1, as well as a 3D house. From the tutorials,
you also learn how to create and edit surfaces and solids.
3000 includes a texture mapping feature that lets you either select
a predefined texture, or create your own as shown in Figure 2.
By copying a texture from an image file such as a bitmap, you can
manipulate the image to produce the desired texture, and assign it
to an object.
solid modeling tools let you use Boolean operations to manipulate
3D surfaces. Therefore, you can develop complex objects from simpler
ones by adding or subtracting solid objects from on another.
2. The Texture Mapping tool lets you create and assign textures
to 3D objects.
you can edit 3D images using commands that scale, rotate, mirror,
and slice objects. You can also add dimensions to 3D objects using
3D dimensioning tools that display measurements in 3D space.
other 3D tools such as the Slice by Curved Surface command, which
lets you draw a freehand curve that completely intersects a 3D model,
and that then uses the curve to slice the solid. You can also use
the Cut Corner and Cut Edge commands to chamfer the corners of 3D
solids, or to chamfer the sides of solid objects, such as a table's
With DesignCAD, you can create 3D spirals using the Sweep command,
which allows you to specify a variable pitch and radial offset to
make true helical shapes like corkscrews, threaded bolts, and coiled
animation and presentation tools provide you the ability to create
3D walk-through animations that are recorded as AVI files, which can
be played by Windows' Media Player or other video player applications.
DesignCAD's Animation command will also produce VRML files, which
can be used to animate a drawing for display on the Internet.
3000 provides customization tools that let you automate tasks. For
example, you can write, develop, and execute programs with BasicCAD,
a built-in programming language. BasicCAD is similar to standard Basic,
but provides the capability of executing DesignCAD macro commands
as well as Basic statements.
You can also customize DesignCAD using Microsoft Visual Basic and
Visual C++. By downloading DesignCAD's free Developer's Kit from their
web site, you can create special features and functions to increase
3. DesignCAD 3000 can convert bitmaps into vector-based drawings.
(Click to image to enlarge.)
feature of DesignCAD 3000 is its Auto Trace command, which automatically
creates vector outlines from bitmaps. The tool works by allowing you
to scan an image, import it as a bitmap, and then select the colors
to trace, which are then converted into vectors that can be imported
and manipulated in DesignCAD, as shown in figure 3.
System Requirements are Microsoft Windows 9x, or NT (version 4.0 or
later, ) 486DX processor, 16 MB of RAM, SuperVGA graphics card capable
of 256 or more colors, and a SuperVGA monitor capable of at least
is a powerful 2D and 3D drawing and modeling application that includes
an impressive set of features, such as solid modeling, rendering and
animations, and programming customization. DesignCAD 3000 offers an
impressive set of features at a very low price.