News and Views November 2005

Architosh Announces New Mac Based CAD Newsletter

Today Architosh has shipped its first volume of the new monthly ToshLetter™ Adobe PDF-based newsletter for its exclusive subscribers. The newsletter is free.
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Alibre Xpress: Now More Free Than Ever

Quite a few Vicaug members have downloaded the “mystery ” Alibre Xpress CAD program. Although it was initially claimed that it was free, downloaders realised that they would have to watch advertisement when using the program. The ads came from Google. These Google ads require a continuous Internet connection, so dial-up users and non-connected users couldn’t use the software, free. A $50 fee removed the ad and Internet “features.”
On Nov 7, the ad-free Xpress becomes free; no more $50 fee. Alibre has now made the Xpress even more download-friendly: no need to register. 
The reason given for dropping ads: “Initially we looked at advertisements as a way to subsidize Xpress, but our ability to convert Xpress users to paying customers has exceeded our expectations. The more people who try the free product, the more who want to buy additional capabilities,” write CEO Greg Milliken in a press release.
By paying more, Xpress licencees get advanced modeling, 2D drawing tools, larger assemblies, data management, sheet metal design, collaboration tools, and direct support.


A Glimpse into the Future of AutoCAD?

Readers interested in how the user interface of future versions of AutoCAD will look will be interested in this press release. The UI is largely controlled by the programming environment in which the software is written. 

SAN RAFAEL, California, November 8, 2005 – Autodesk, Inc. (Nasdaq: ADSK) today announced support for Microsoft Visual Studio 2005, the .NET Framework 2.0 and Microsoft SQL Server 2005. Autodesk and Microsoft work together across many technology areas. Autodesk’s data management products, built using SQL Server, enable teams to gain greater insight and maximize efficiency by always having instant access to design information. The Microsoft products combined with AutoCAD-based products from Autodesk provide an optimal platform for application developers to realize their ideas in designing and creating a wide range of software applications, from shipbuilding to facilities management, plant design to urban planning, architecture to emergency response. 
The latest versions of Microsoft solutions are aimed at maximizing developer and team productivity. The combination of SQL Server 2005, Microsoft’s flagship database, and Visual Studio 2005 delivers advancements in data rich connected systems, enabling faster results for Windows-based, Web and mobile applications. Autodesk software enables customers to create, manage and share digital assets across project lifecycles. Microsoft and Autodesk work together to ensure their customers have robust tools to rapidly build industry-leading applications.

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AutoCAD 2006 29% Faster Than 2002, Cites Autodesk

Says the press release at
but please note that, if AutoCAD 2002 cost you AU$6000, the upgrades to Acad 2006 (there were three of them, making a total of AU$2000) would your AutoCAD 2006 cost you a total of AU$8000 or 33% extra over AutoCAD 2002!

Archway Ships VersaCAD 2006 for Windows

Yes, VersaCAD is still around!
VersaCAD 2006 for Windows improvements focus on five areas: drawing project management, increased content, improved graphics, productivity and updated interoperability.
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ASVIC Releases Mech-Q v3.15.001 for AutoCAD

You will remember a presentation that Vic Abela of Mech Q gave the group a few years ago. Well, Mech-Q is going from strength top strength.
They’ve announced the release of Mech-Q v3.15.001.
Additions and Improvements
Mech-Q Piping
Added PVC-DWV Long Radius TY’s
Added PVC-DWV 22oElbows
BW Elbows – non 90o – Option to pick angle between two reference lines.
Copper Piping: Add sizes to AS1430
Iso Piping Add elbows 0 to 90deg
P&ID line number text set to P&ID CFG setting
Mech-Q HVAC Ducting
Added 23 new items to the configuration settings (Items saved between sessions)
Added braches to BOM
Added toggle to allow items not to be added to BOM.
Mech-Q Structural
Plate module: 2 & 6 holes – arrange holes along short or long sides.
Mech-Q General
Database Editor – edit field in mm/inches according to Units setting.

New Autodesk DWF Viewer 6.5 Released

From Shaan Hurley’s Between The Lines blog at

It slices, it dices….Today the new releases DWF Writer 3 and DWF Viewer 6.5 were launched publicly after beta testing with customers. There are some really nice enhancements in both of these update free products

What’s New in DWF Viewer 6.5
Section 3D Models
Move and Rotate 3D Components
View Combined 2D/3D DWFs (the ability to combine DWF files will be announced)
User Interface Enhancements
Microsoft® Office Drag and Drop Support
Windows Explorer Integration: Preview, search, print, and email DWF files directly from Windows Explorer.
Email a DWF: Email DWFs from DWF Viewer, with a link for recipients to easily download and install the free DWF Viewer.
Customer Error Reporting: Easily generate a report that summarizes errors and submits the information directly to Autodesk.

To get the updated Autodesk DWF Viewer 6.5 go to

What’s New in Autodesk DWF Writer 3

Autodesk® DWF™ Writer for 2D is a Microsoft® Windows® system printer driver for publishing 2D DWF™ files. Click the Publish DWF button or select Autodesk DWF Writer from the printer list in any Windows application. Additionally, use Autodesk DWF Writer for 3D to capture 3D models from OpenGL applications such as MicroStation, CATIA®, UGS® NX™ and UGS® Solid Edge®.
Easily publish 3D DWF™ files from leading manufacturing software, including
Autodesk Inventor® (note that this is built-in –“does not require DWF Writer”)
SolidWorks® 2005
UGS® Solid Edge®
Easy Publishing from Microsoft Applications
Easily publish design-related documents directly to 2D DWF by selecting the Publish DWF button from the Microsoft application toolbar. Supported Microsoft applications include

To get the updated Autodesk DWF Writer 3 go to

Autodesk Inventor Seats Pass 500,000 Mark

Autodesk, Inc. announced that it has sold over 500,000 seats of Autodesk Inventor, continuing to exceed that of all competing 3D design software applications. A rising number of mechanical engineers and product designers have selected Autodesk Inventor as their software platform of choice for realizing ideas. Using the integrated 2D drawing with 3D modeling capabilities in the Autodesk Inventor application makes it easier than ever before for engineers to leverage their years of expertise with AutoCAD while taking advantage of the superior 3D modeling and functional design capabilities found only in Autodesk Inventor.

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