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New Features Introduced in IronCAD 2011 -Next Generation-

ID: FQ-0000137

Applies to:

  • IronCAD Draft
  • IronCAD
  • Inovate


List of the New Features Included in IronCAD 2011


Productivity Focused Improvements

Quick Access Commands

A quick access hot-key has been added to provide common command functions directly in the 3D scene working space in-context of the current selection. During normal interaction in the 3D, users can activate common commands based on the current selection level by selecting "S" on the keyboard. Tool-tip commands will appear on the mouse cursor to allow dynamic access to relevant commands without the need to locate these commands in menus and toolbars. For example, users can access common sketch commands near the cursor versus spending time moving to the ribbon bar or toolbar when in the sketching environment.

Feature Level Editing Access

Various features such as the blend, chamfer and shell have been updated to allow direct editing of the values outside of the command editing mode. Users will have access to a direct input note when the feature is selected to directly change the values without entering the Feature Edit Mode.

Sketch Constraints Accessible Outside Of Editing Mode

In the 2D sketch environment, users can define dimensional constraints to modify the sketch in a desired manner. In 2011, these 2D sketch constraint dimensions can be accessed in the scene outside of the sketch edit mode to allow easy access to directly drive the geometry.

Recent List Access On Start-Up

Improvements to the welcome dialog gives access to the most recently opened files saving time searching or locating recent files when launching the product. This list can be adjusted to display a custom number of recent files which will also control the recent display list in the Menu Recent List Display.

Shift-Box Selecting Support

When working in an assembly environment, it is a common need to select multiple components. One method of selection is the ability to Box Select areas of the environment to select groups of components. Users will now be able to shift-box select to multi-select components for various actions. This reduces time in manually selecting individual components.

Multiple Select Selection List Support

Extending the new selection option recently incorporated, support has been added for the ability to multiple select when using the Ctrl-Alt command. When using the Ctrl-Alt selection, a dialog will appear giving users a selection list of the nearest entities to the cursor. Holding down Shift-Ctrl-Alt, you can add additional selections to the current selected group. For example: To select multiple edges on a part where some may be hidden from view: Using the Ctrl-Alt, users can select hidden edges and use the Shift-select to capture other edges on the part (to apply a blend for example).

Apply To All SmartPaint Editing

The SmartPaint "Apply to All" capability will allow users the ability to apply the changes to the SmartPaint appearance properties on all the parts that currently have the same settings. For example: Consider 100 parts in a scene and 80 of them are the same in appearance properties. User can change one of the parts SmartPaint settings and apply it to the other 80 parts in a single command. This allows the ability to setup a scene with basic rendering properties and then apply the changes to all the parts at a later stage for realistic rendering or just for better visibility.

Extrude Feature Taper Support

A new option has been added on the Extrude Command Browser that will allow users the ability to apply a side taper while creating the extrusion feature. This automatically sets the Intellishape Surface Reshaping setting without the need to go into the individual feature property pages at a later stage in the process.

Streamlined and Improved Existing Functionality

Pattern Feature Support For Offset Pattern

The Edge Pattern Feature has been extended to support the ability to create an Offset Pattern. Users can place the features to pattern in the offset location and then select an edge to define the pattern direction. The pattern then will maintain the current offset location as it follows the edge direction. This improves the modeling capabilities to design more complex and related feature geometry.

Pattern Support For Sketch Driven Pattern

Adding additional control and flexibility, 2011 has introduced a Sketch Driven pattern feature. Using a 2D Sketch that is defined with points, users can drive a features position based on the sketch defined points. This allows flexibility to define irregular patterns that can be parametrically controlled by the sketch.

Scale Feature About Point Support

Enhancing the Scale Body command recently added, 2011 will offer the ability to scale about a selected point on the geometry. Originally the command used the origin of the part to scale, which may not yield the desired results. Using the scale point location, users can specify exactly where and how to scale the selected geometry.

Property Page Display And Accessibility

During the design process, it is common to access properties of features, parts, and assemblies for additional settings. In 2011, these property dialogs have been rearranged from a tab view to list view to allow easier access and to reduce mouse movement in the dialogs.

Industry Focused Improvements

Sheet Metal Design

Lofted Sheet Metal Support

Support has been added to allow the creation of a lofted sheet metal part that is defined between two user specified profiles. To define the profiles, users only need to create a smoothly connected open-curve profile and the loft will automatically apply the sheet metal thickness as defined in the property browser during creation (Note: Users can use the current default stock or select from a stock list during creation). The Sheet Metal Loft in 2011 is the base stock sheet metal part and other sheet metal features such as bends, punch, and forms can be added to this stock (Note: Lofts cannot be added to bends to other stock shapes). This extends the sheet metal capabilities into additional industries that require more complex sheet metal components.

Unfold Developable Part Support

It is common to import sheet metal designs that have been created in other applications or even use standard modeling to layout sheet metal parts. Users will now have options to unfolded these parts by selecting the faces that are formed by developable surfaces (non-developable would be similar to a double-curvature surface common in lofts or meshed surfaces). During this operation, users can specify a standard stock with a k-factor and thickness or specify custom values. The resulting flat pattern contains bend-line information that can be referenced in the 2D technical drawing.

Custom Form Tool Capability

In the sheet metal industry, there are many different forms (tools that form sheet metal to create form features such as louvers, lances, flanges, and ribs.) and punch (cut) geometry used that are commonly based on company standards. In this release, users have the ability to create their own form geometry from standard solid geometry and store them into the catalogs. Once stored in catalogs, users can drag and drop these custom forms onto any sheet metal part to apply the forming shape. In addition, users can use Design Variations to drive the forms to a desired size during the creation in the sheet metal part. This extends IRONCAD’s sheet metal capabilities to meet growing standards set by companies manufacturing needs.

Associative Fillet and Chamfer Feature

Extending the current capabilities, the fillet and chamfer tools will now create automatic associations to the reference geometry that they are applied too. This allows the fillet and chamfer to support non-90 degree angled geometry and to update when the underlying geometry is modified.

Improved Unfolding Algorithm

In the 2011 release, the sheet metal unfold algorithm has been greatly improved, including support for relaxed tolerances, to support additional conditions in the sheet metal parts to return valid flat patterns. Although this new algorithm has been added, existing sheet metal parts that already have unfolded parts will maintain the current flat pattern results to maintain legacy parts. To update existing sheet metal parts, simply delete the unfolded sheet metal part and the new algorithm will be used in the next unfold operation (Note: Data that referenced the original sheet metal flat may lose its references such as dimension in drawing. Only update legacy sheet metal if required to avoid such issues).

Standard Cut and Edge Feature Geometry Supported in Sheet Metal

Included in the new sheet metal unfolding algorithm is the ability to support general modeling capabilities such as removal features and blend/chamfer features. In the past, users would be required to apply the Cut Sheet Metal feature to apply removal features in sheet metal that were beyond standard punch shapes. Due to the new unfolding algorithm, users can simple apply features such as the H-Block to the sheet metal parts to remove geometry from the sheet metal part. This allows the ability to reuse standard features that users are familiar with and allows for modification to be made easily. Note: Blends/Chamfers are only valid on the thickness edges of the sheet metal part (not valid on the top/bottom faces of sheet metal parts).

Bend-Line Call-out Display in Technical Drawing

In the 2D Technical Drawing, bend-line call-outs are now added to denote the up/down, radius, and angle values that are defined from the bend. This reduces the time spent in detailing sheet metal and is critical for applications like lofted sheet metal for manufacturing. In the 2D Technical Drawing, users will have access to the Bend-Line Call-out Style to define the text and layout rules for the bend information such as above, below, or in a leader format.

Edit Punch Sketch Geometry in the Flat

Punches applied across bends usually require editing capabilities with respect to the flattened geometry of the sheet metal in order to define the position. In 2011, users will have the ability to edit the punch sketch profiles with respect to the adjacent connected bend segments in a flattened mode, allowing users to reference and dimension the placement of the punch to the flattened geometry.

Weldment/Structural Steel Applications

Trim Feature

The trim feature has been drastically improved in the feedback of the user interface and in capabilities not only for trimming surfaces but as well for body-to-body trims. For general trimming, the command browser has been updated to improve selections and highlighting the resulting trim. In addition, it supports trimming by surface, face, plane, and by curve (also supports the ability to automatically extend the curve on the surface naturally if the curve does not fully cut the trimming surface). For body-to-body trimming, users can select to trim a body by another body (Solid body trimmed by another solid body) or selected set of faces. This is common in the structural steel applications or weldments when two elements intersect (consider a steel frame with a cross-member element).

BOM Level Access to Single Feature Angle Information

When creating structural steel elements (for example: individual beam elements), users will often apply taper angles to the start and end segments of the element. This information is critical for the detailing and manufacturing. In 2011, single feature parts will have the ability to access the start and end taper angles in the BOM to help reduce the effort in manually calling out this information.

General Improvements

Core Modeling Enhancements

Rib Feature

A new feature command has been added to support the creation of a rib based on a 2D sketched profile. This feature is more advanced than the catalog rib tool in that it supports a custom profile and has behavior rules when creating the feature such as extension of the curve defined in the profile. This acts like a real feature that will appear in the scene browser and will support editing functionality of both the feature and the sketch. Users can sketch open curve segments in the profile and the command will allow the user to define the direction of the rib and the thickness as well as a taper angle.

Emboss Feature

The emboss feature allows users to define a profile and emboss it onto a selected surface or face to create a recessed or protruded pocket. This is powerful for curved faces/surfaces when it is necessary to have these embossed shapes applied.

External Reference Body

In Structured Parts, users will have the ability to save feature bodies out as an external referenced file. This is used when a design of multiple bodies are created in a structured part for in-place creation and associations where at the end of the design the bodies need to have individual part information (BOM) or extra detailed modeling. The external part created will create a non-editable feature under the part (that is updated from the original body). Users can add additional features to the part and will be notified when updates are made to the original body (to allow the user to update or not). An example of this design process could be weldments or structural steel where the bodies could be parametrically positioned and trimmed in the structured part. Users then could save out each member for detailing, BOM collection, or for additional modifications not necessary in the main assembly design.

Import Pro/E Multiple Body Support

A new option has been added in the Import Options for Pro/E files to import data stored as multiple bodies as a structured part that will maintain the body information. This is useful when working on data from Pro/E where the original designer has created multiple bodies in the parts. Maintaining this information helps users maintain the original design intent and can allow users to make modifications that maintain this intent.

Split Face Support for Curve on Surface

The split face command has been updated to support splitting parts/surfaces by a curve on the surface. This improves the overall design process by reducing the need to create solid geometry for the split operation.

Thicken Surface Support for Vector Direction

Users will now have options to define the thicken vector direction during the Thicken Surface/Face command. This is useful when the thickening feature may not be normal to the surface thicken condition.

Wrap Curve Support For Wrap Feature

Enhancements have been made to the Wrap Curve command to allow the user to select a curve or profile as a feature to wrap. This expands the capabilities to wrap entire profile geometry versus single curves and allows for more complex cases to be supported such as wrapping a profile of text.

Wrap Curve Input Support for Rotation

When wrapping a curve to a surface, users now have the ability to define not only the wrap location but the rotational effect of the wrap curve (this option can be viewed in the Wrap Feature Support video above). This provides additional control in producing the wrapped curve result.

Extend Surface Support for Multiple Edge Selection

The extend surface command has been improved to allow for multiple curve selections in the operation. Enabling this option allows for multiple edges on a surface to be extended and merged in a single operation reducing the overall process in extending edges of a surface.

2D Detailing Enhancements Within The Integrated CAXA Draft Environment

Import/Export Support for DWG/DXF 2010

Import and Export of DWG/DXF will now support the AutoCAD® 2010 format in both the detailing environments as well as the sketch environment. This extends the data transfer capabilities with industry standard formats.

Line Type Text File Editing Support

Users can define custom line types to be imported into the environment to be used in curve creation. This standard format can be leveraged from industry standard files (*.lin) or users can manually create custom line types.

External References Supported

In 2011, users can attach drawings as References to drawings. References can be other drawings or raster images such as digital photographs or scanned maps. Users can attach References to multiple drawings at the same time. Conversely, you can attach multiple drawings or images as References to a single drawing. All references can be managed in the External Reference manager to gain an overview of the references in the drawing and their reference type.

DesignCenter For Managing Drawing Content

With DesignCenter, users can organize access to drawings, blocks, hatches, and other drawing content. Users can drag content from any source drawing to the current drawing. Source drawings can be on a local computer or on a network location. In addition, if users have multiple drawings open, use the DesignCenter to streamline the drawing process by copying and pasting other content, such as layer definitions, layouts, and text styles between drawings.

With DesignCenter, users can

  • Browse for drawing content such as drawings or symbol libraries on a local computer or on a networked drive.
  • View definition tables for named objects such as blocks and layers in any drawing file and then insert the definitions into the current drawing
  • Create shortcuts to drawings and folders that may be accessed frequently
  • Add content such as xrefs, blocks, and hatches to a drawing
  • Open drawing files in a new window

Hide By Block

A new option has been added to blocks to support the ability to hide by the blocks boundary. Any curves that pass through the blocks boundary will automatically be hidden when the option is enabled.

Dimension Support on User Created Center Lines

Support will be added to dimensions to allow users the ability to create dimensions between center lines that are added to 3D projected drawing views to other geometry including other center lines in the drawing (from non-projected geometry). The dimension is maintained and updated when changes are made in the 3D or in the 2D environment.

View Name Indicators and Settings

When positioning views during the standard view creation process, indicators will appear in the status bar to help denote the view being placed (view name). In addition, users can dynamically change the view name during the creation in the instant command ribbon bar that displays during the view creation.

Improved Annotation Associations to Projected Views

Many annotations have been enhanced to support associations to the projected views such as GD&T, Chamfer, Text with Leader, Surface Finish, etc. In previous versions, some of the dimension types were not available on projected views or would not update the position and information when the 3D data was updated. In 2011, these annotation have been updated to support the 3D data association.

Item Bubble Association to Projected Views

Improvements have been made to support associations from BOM Item Bubbles to the projected 3D views. This supports connections when the view position is adjusted in 2D to allow the item bubbles to adjust appropriately.

Easier Access to Editing Functions in Projected Views

Operations such as properties of curves and hatch patterns in projected views required editing from selecting parts in the View Tree Browser and right-clicking the appropriate command. Enhancements have been made to support easier access to these common commands from the Ribbon Bar group directly. Users can select to access properties and hatch information from the Ribbon Bar and directly select the entity in the view to edit its values which reduces the complexity of these operations and speeds up the design process.

Box Select Support and Multiple Selection Support for Hide Line in Views

The hide command has been improved to support multiple selection and box selection. This improves the overall time in detailing when it is necessary to hide unnecessary information within a view.

Support Hidden Curve Dimensioning in Section Views

Users will now be able to apply dimensions to hidden view curves in section views for extended detailing in the integrated IronCAD DRAFT.

Correct Angle Projection for All Related Views

View projections have been updated to support First/Third angle projection for standard views and for views that are referenced from the standard views (such as projected views).

Support Projected View Copy/Paste

Views will now support the ability to copy and paste (in the same sheet or between sheets) to enhance the ability to reuse data. Associated data within the copied view will be maintained in the newly pasted view.

Projected View Reference Location Updated to Center of Sizebox

When positioning views, the reference location is necessary for snapping and precise positioning. The views have been updated to use the overall sizebox center of the view for the view positioning handle. This allows for easier movement and alignment when arranging projected views.

Sub-Style Capabilities for Dimensions

When creating styles for dimensions, it is necessary to maintain a global style while setting sub-classes of the style. In 2011, usesr have the ability to create the sub-styles for dimensions. For example: Users can create a sub-style for linear, angular, radial, diameter, and coordinate dimension to control these individual settings as well as the global style properties for the dimensions.

Associative Hatch Setting

A new option has been applied to the Hatch to allow it to maintain associations to the standard curve geometry when updated. This option can be enabled per each hatch instance for additional control.

Ability to Define Custom Snap Settings

In the Options dialog under Aptitude, users can now define custom snap groupings that control the Snap behavior, Grid, and Object Snaps. New Snap Groups can be accessed in the quick access commands at the bottom right of the application (in addition to Intelligent, Guide, Free, and Grid) to allow quick changes in behavior on the fly improving the overall productivity for the users workflow.

Additional Control Over Coordinate System Indicators

Users now have controls to adjust the display and visibility setting of the coordinate systems created in the environment. Settings such as simplified and 2D versions, size, and color can all be specified to easily identify these indicators.

Mathematical Expression Support in Command Line

Users can type in mathematical expressions in the command line to return the calculated values for use in other operations. For Example: Users can type in a simple calculation such as: 100+2*sin(30) and hit return to have the result displayed automatically. This reduces time spent switching to calculator applications to return similar results.

Additional BOM Style Color Settings

New style properties have been added to the BOM Style to allow for color information for horizontal and vertical lines inside the BOM (including the BOM Header). This allows for more style control to define custom BOM templates.

BOM Manual Sorting Support

During the editing of the BOM, users can sort the BOM contents in ascending and descending order. In addition, users can manually arrange the BOM rows by moving the row up/down to the desired order. This helps define the layout of the BOM for downstream applications.

Double-Click Quick Access to BOM Row

Users can now double-click on item bubbles to be directed to the BOM Editing at the selected location in the BOM. This enables quick location and editing of the BOM information instead of manually attempting to identify the correct BOM row for placed item bubbles.

Customizable Default Template Support

In 2011, users can overwrite the default "Blank.tpl" file to setup custom settings. In previous versions, this template file was standard to the application and was not accessible to users for customization. Now it can be defined to meet the company standards and settings instead of setting up custom template files.

Additional Symbol Types for Datum Symbols

Additional symbol types have been added in the Datum Symbol to meet additional industry standards. User can control the frame and the arrow indicator based on the appropriate standard.

Surface Finish and Welding Symbols Support For Line Width

Both the Surface Finish (Rough) and Welding Symbols now support Line Width control for the symbols display. This increase the style formatting to meet company standard call-outs.

Ray and Infinite Line Creation Support

New line types are available for curve creation that allow users to create infinite lines and directional lines (ray). These line types can be used in the construction process of 2D geometry for example.

Override Style Indication and Delete Support

When creating elements in 2D, these elements are generally placed on defined style settings. Each individual element can be manually adjusted that override the initial style setting. The Property Browser will indicate these override styles by highlighting these changes in Red. In addition, a button has been added in the Property Browser to remove these override settings to revert the element back to the default style settings.

Options - Interaction Additional Settings

New settings have been added in the Options - Interaction control to better define behaviors in CAXA DRAFT. These options include selection previews, color settings for the selection box, command modes, and right-click command behaviors (Pop-up menus or command termination/repeat options).

Text Editor Interaction Improvements

Improvements have been made in the Text Editor to support drag and drop of text and copy/paste operations increasing the usability of the command.

Reorder Input Field Entries for Quick Access

Input fields for items such as title block attributes can be reordered for quick access to commonly used entries.

Overall Performance Improvements

Improvements have been made in the efficiency of the application including faster open/save operations, improved camera interactions, and overall memory usage of the application.

Improved 3D to 2D View Projection Performance

Improvements have been made to support better performance in the view projections speeds in the integrated IronCAD DRAFT. The most visible difference will be with larger data sets when creating standard view layouts.



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