Bill Burchard is Corporate CADD Manager for Psomas, a California-based survey, civil engineering, and GIS consulting firm. His most recent books include Inside AutoCAD 2000 Limited Edition, and Inside AutoCAD 14 Limited Edition.

DesignCAD Express 3000
By Bill Burchard

DesignCAD Express 3000
2D Drawing Software
Upperspace Corp.
600 SE 49th Street
Pryor, OK 74361
Phone: 800.233.3223

List Price: $129.00
DesignCAD Express 3000 is an inexpensive yet powerful 2D drawing application. It includes a suite of 2D drawing tools, has useful features such as object snapping and automatic dimensioning, and can import and export a variety of file formats. It also includes some slick tools such as its Materials List estimator and Macro Recorder/Player, and comes installed with online help and tutorials to get you up to speed quickly.

DesignCAD Express is intended for those who need to create 2D drawings. By following its tutorials, you initially learn the basic skills and concepts you need for beginning work on DesignCAD Express drawings. As you progress through the tutorials, you learn about more advanced features by drawing objects such as gaskets and pulleys.

DesignCAD Express allows you to draw objects such as lines, arcs, circles, and curves. You can also insert hatch patterns and text, and assign attributes to objects. You can display grid lines or points, and enable grid snapping for ensuring drawing accuracy.

DesignCAD Express lets you automatically dimension a wide range of objects, including angles, arcs, chamfers, diameters, distances, and radiuses. Using DesignCAD Express' set of drawing tools, you can quickly create 2D drawings, such as shown in figure 1.

Figure 1. DesignCAD Express lets you quickly draw, label, and dimension drawings. (Click image to enlarge.)
In a DesignCAD Express drawing, you draw objects on Layers. The Layer Options folder allows you to enable or disable layers, name layers, select layers, and perform other functions. Each DesignCAD Express drawing automatically contains 256 layers, and you can assign names to layers as desired.

From the Layer Options folder, you can toggle layer visibility on and off, thereby controlling the display of objects, and you can lock layers to prevent objects from being edited.

DesignCAD Express allows you to select specific points on an object using its Gravity feature. By enabling Gravity, you can select the endpoints of lines and arcs, and the center of circles. Other point selection features include snapping to the intersections of lines, circles, arcs, and curves.

DesignCAD Express includes an attribute command, which is used to add information about the objects that you draw. Attributes are not attached to objects, but can be associated with an object by grouping the attribute and the object together.

DesignCAD Express' tools are accessed through either drop-down menus or from toolbars. You can also execute commands using keyboard shortcuts. Accessing commands using the toolbars is handy because DesignCAD Express lets you quickly open and close toolbars to display the commands you need. Additionally, you can create your own custom toolbar by adding frequently used commands using the Custom Toolbox.

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