05 October 2016

progeCAD 2017 Graphics and GPU Review

Sydney, Australia 05 October 2016 - With the recently available progeCAD 17.0.8 service pack, the CADDIT team has revisited last year's review of CAD hardware. As stated in the update announcement on CADDIT.net, progeCAD is a low-cost general-purpose 2D/3D CAD system with very tight compatibility to recent versions of AutoCAD. Since the landmark progeCAD 2013 release several years ago, our development team has been spending considerable effort to improve our use of OpenGL hardware acceleration commonly employed by CAD software  like AutoCAD and Geomagic. OpenGL is essentially a machine language for sending commands like draw and shade directly (in a process sometimes called "direct rendering") to an OpenGL-speaking graphics card for display on the screen. These commands are often wrapped inside other languages like C++ for callable use by developers to tie into their software - like CAD, games, many video players and other highly-demanding graphics applications.

The inner workings of OpenGL per diagram from Wikipedia

This year we began introducing two significant hardware assets for graphics testing in our labs: Dell XPS Laptops (15 inch series) with Nvidia GTX 960M series GPU, now with a "game-ready" driver update version 372.90 (free update from NVidia.com).  I really like the XPS and have taken one for use myself. Other legacy systems tested are an HP Pavilion running Windows 7 on a Intel Core 2 Quad Q6600 2,4GHZ processor with Nvidia Quadro K1200 GPU and a new Asus with Intel i7-3770 @ 3.40 GHz Windows 10 PRO x64 / Nvidia GeForce GTX 550 Ti (working at 1680x1050) - both with updated Nvidia v372 driver updates as well.

This year we again employed the FRAPS graphics utility for our performance analysis. Combined with results from the previous year, average speed on all systems all measured between 20 and 30 refresh frames per second (FPS) with the shaded ISS 3D test drawing, with the Dell XPS and HP Pavilion with the Quadro having slightly higher (smoother) graphics performance than the others. Results were similar when loaded with mid-sized 2D drawings roughly 12 - 14 megabytes in size, with the new progeCAD 2017 64 bit handling of larger files somewhat better than last year's version.

Early year observations of regular crashing on systems using Nvidia Quadro graphics seem to all but completely disappear with updated Quadro drivers from nvidia.com and installing the latest progeCAD update from caddit.net. We also notice the same improvement when updating the Intel business graphics drivers on systems like the Surface Pro 3. Unfortunately we were unable to make similar comparisons with legacy systems equipped with ATI 7470M Radeon graphics because the new ATI driver sent an incompatible signal voltage to the LED backlighting of the screen.  Based on last year's problems and comparatively poor performance of the ATI card, we really didn't feel like buying another one. We have heard remarks that OpenGL support on the ATI FireGL series is somewhat better, however.

In conclusion, we repeat last year's recommendation of intel CPU / NVidia graphics for progeCAD when possible. Using the latest progeCAD service pack (currently 17.0.8) and recent Nvidia device drivers is highly recommended for best results, although users should double check any possible incompatibility that newer drivers might have with their own hardware.

19 September 2016

Alibre and progeCAD 2013 End of Support

Sydney, Australia 19 September 2016 - CADDIT Announces end of all legacy support for the following outdated products:

"Alibre Design" - All Versions (not including Geomagic Design). Users wishing to maintain a support relationship with CADDIT Australia should now be using Geomagic Design (full version) instead.

progeCAD - 2013 and earlier versions only. Up-to-date subscription and new license users are not affected. Other users can upgrade here (link).

Why is installation support removed from very outdated product versions? First, we want to express our appreciation for all of the engineers, architects, builders, designers and manufacturers who have selected our products from among many in the past. Our products have advanced significantly. Frankly, we have little choice in this matter of very old version support. With Operating System support removed from Windows XP and Vista by Microsoft, supporting older software not only becomes unviable, but also unsafe as these systems are no longer provided with critical Functionality and Security patches. Windows 7 EOL (End Of Life) was announced by Microsoft (see table here http://windows.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/lifecycle ).

As with previous EOL announcement, end of support means any help from our local office in re-installing, moving, lost keys or passwords, registering, unregistering or otherwise assisting a user of a deprecated product. progeCAD users from any version will, however, still have the option to buy a license lookup (link) should they misplace their installers or serial codes. Users of progeCAD versions newer than 2013 continue to be entitled to one free lookup for each active license.

I have progeCAD 2010 and I lost my license. What can I do?
You will need to buy a license lookup service for each license in question, here:

I have progeCAD 2014 and I lost my license for the first time. What can I do?
Contact us here for your free one-time lookup:

I have Alibre Design 2012 Standard / PE and I need help to activate on Windows 10.
Not supported. There are several issues with this, which prevent our staff from assisting in any way. First, Alibre 2012 is categorically not supported on Windows 10 in any fashion. Second, Alibre Design Standard / PE is completely discontinued. Alibre users were invited several times to upgrade free of charge to supported versions, as long as they only paid the subscription fee. Users who have repeatedly declined our offers have now indicated that they will keep their existing installations. Third, all 2012 releases of our products are completely outdated.

Alibre users still have login access to their online account HERE and are welcome to continue supporting themselves as best as possible. There is an Alibre password reset function HERE. Alibre users are also welcome to try to contact Geomagic Support at 3D Systems directly, however we cannot guarantee a response for unsupported legacy users. General questions about CADDIT support policies can be submitted to us via our website at any time HERE. Once again, we repeat, updated and new license users are not affected by this announcement.

26 August 2016

CADprofi for progeCAD 2017 Released with progeCAD Update

Sydney, Australia  26 August 2016 - CADDIT announces the simultaneous release of two products: CADprofi for progeCAD 2017 x64 and major progeCAD update for immediate download on CADDIT.net or CADDIT.com.au. CADprofi 12 is a brand new release, now supporting the latest version of progeCAD Professional. progeCAD is a powerful low cost AutoCAD alternative for Windows offering perpetual license, similar commands and interface. progeCAD is an important update including dozens of improvements in areas of user interface, developers API and other aspects.

CADprofi 12 is a full-feature 2D/3D MEP add-on module set for progeCAD 2017 Professional. Each module specializes in major areas of building design: Electrical installation design, HVAC ductwork and hydraulic plumbing systems, Architectural details and Mechanical assembly design. Each module adds domain-specific knowledge to progeCAD's general-purpose CAD environment. CADprofi is also supported on AutoCAD and AutoCAD LT.

The progeCAD 2017 enhancements include many fixes:
- Fixed FLATSHOT and SOLPROF to generate complete projections and create arcs and circles (not elliptical)
- Fixed usage of custom paper size such with HP 500 plotters
- Fixed crash in NVidia Quadro driver
- Fixed crashes using crash reports
- Fixed error using PC3 referring to an unavailable plotter
- Fixed OVERKILL performance
- Fixed regen of blocks after layer thaw
- Fixed deadlock in property palette refresh switching layout
- Fixed SWEEP command in surface mode with closed object
- Fixed direction of extrusion of BOX command
- Fixed set of FONTALT variable for eastern asian languages
- Fixed -ARRAY command with localized default options
- Fixed preview of create table dialog
- Fixed hide of ANNOALLSCALE and ANNOALLVISIBLE status bar panes
- Fixed resize of LAYWALK dialog
- Fixed crash grid zooming out to infinite
- Fixed COPYTOLAYER to show layer dcl
- Fixed second level flyout size
- Fixed crash setting transparency to plot
- Fixed erase of layer DEFPOINTS from layer palette
- Fixed localization of some messages in BOUNDARY command
- Fixed button to choose block destination in FLATSHOT command
- Fixed SECTION command in NWUCS
- Fixed brkline.dwg to avoid warning message in BREAKLINE command
- Fixed elliptical cone option
- Fixed DWGTITLED, DWGPREFIX and last used path after vba SAVEAS
- Fixed Circle 3P option with esnap TAN+TAN+point
- Fixed position of some controls in layer walk dialog
- Fixed HATCH boundary in a drawing
- Fixed TCASE with multiline MTEXT entity
- Fixed crash using TEXTMASK with solid mask
- Fixed rename ribbon tab title.
- Fixed crash in layer palette
- Fixed x64 issues in layer palette
- Develop VBA: Fixed export command called from vba
- Develop VBA: Fixed PrintPreview method of Document object in VBA, now it takes current layout settings
- Develop VBA: Restored StartUp VBA event
- Develop VBA: Fixed Explode method of ActiveX 3dPolyline and Region
- Develop LISP: Fixed lisp fill_image with negative colors and DCL aspect_ratio attribute
- Develop LISP: Fixed COPY command called from lisp or script to ignore multiple mode
Other :
- Changed "read-only" message to System modal
- Removed ESNAP, DYNUCS and SNAP during dragging of entities
- Enlarged buttons in customize dialog
- Added resource to translate Region entity name in QSELECT dialog
- Removed question on OPEN command reopening a currently opened drawing
- Removed "Protect password" checkbox from save dialog
- Changed double click action on MText to start DDEDIT instead of MTEDIT

progeCAD 2017.0.6.15 is a free update for all existing progeCAD 2017 customers and it is highly recommended that users update to this version. For users of ealier versions of progeCAD they can select the appropriate upgrade product from our webstore. A free trial version of progeCAD 2017 (x64 and 32-bit architectures) can be downloaded from this page. CADprofi can be downloaded from CADDIT.net here. Addtional questions regarding CADprofi or progeCAD software can be submitted via the CADDIT contact page.

18 May 2016

progeCAD 2017 Released on CADDIT.net

Sydney, Australia  18 May 2016 - CADDIT announces the release of progeCAD 2017 Professional on the website for immediate download. progeCAD is a flexible general-purpose CAD drawing program that is used in a wide range of industries, including architecture and building, fabrication, landscaping, strata management, mechanical design and many more. progeCAD is the long-standing low cost alternative for AutoCAD® and AutoCAD LT® software in Australia. progeCAD 2017 still offers perpetual licenses (no rental, no annual subscription is required) and is tested for compatibility on all major Windows platforms from 7 through Windows 10, both 64-bit and 32-bit versions. 2016 marks the tenth year of progeCAD availability in Australia and New Zealand and the ninth year of their partnership with CADDIT in the region. It is fitting that for such an occasion we offer the most significant release of the program.

progeCAD has long offered low-cost CAD software with the purpose of being as highly compatible with AutoCAD as possible. progeCAD has long offered advanced AutoCAD-like functionality in the areas of 2D and 3D CAD drawing using similar commands, icons and user interface. progeCAD supports all AutoCAD-native file format DWG versions from the newest 2017 version to very old. This year progeCAD will offer a native x64 (64-bit) environment while continuing to support x86 (32-bit) processors as well. Significantly, progeCAD 2017 offers a 1.5x - 3x performance improvement through use of multicore CPU processing as well. CADDIT now offers trial users the choice between 64-bit or 32-bit CAD download versions. All progeCAD 2017 licenses from CADDIT, including single stand-alone, mobile USB and company network licenses, will now conveniently work with either the 32-bit or 64-bit versions.

progeCAD 2017 x64 still offers 32-bit version on CADDIT
progeCAD 2017 offers users other new choices as well. Users can select, on first-time start up of the software, to use either the new ribbon-UI based interface or the legacy toolbar environment. Additionally, progeCAD 2017 now supports the newer AutoCAD® CUI user interface customization format. progeCAD 2017 offers better support for Microstation users with improved .DGN file import and underlay support through use of updated libraries. progeCAD also works with more AutoCAD® applications by introducing support for Civil3D, ADT and MDT extension formats. 3D scanner point cloud data is also now directly supported in progeCAD for either the Autodesk .PCG format or the Ambercore .ISD format. Other scan formats such as LIDAR and XYZ can possibly be converted to .PCG by downloading the Autodesk ReCap 360 tool. Updated programming interfaces for developers now includes a supported .NET API.

As Mr. Damiano Croci, COO at ProgeSOFT SA, commented: “We are taking progeCAD to the next level making it native 64-bit and giving it a fresh Ribbon-look, not forgetting improved performance with multi core computers support. The main ProgeSOFT’s focus is to provide good value for money and progeCAD 2017 Professional is a shining example of that. ProgeSOFT will continue to improve the CAD application based on the demand the company receives globally”.

Current iCARE subscribers and those participating in our recent free upgrade promotion will begin to receive their progeCAD 2017 serial codes in the next several days. Users of previous versions of progeCAD can order the appropriate upgrade for them from the CADDIT progeCAD upgrade price list. There is much more to be said about the new progeCAD 2017 release, including dozens of other new commands, variables and improved functions (such as the 3D rendering) which can be explored by downloading the software for a free 30 day trial from CADDIT. We are very excited about this release and hope that many users will benefit form the hard work invested in this version of progeCAD. Any questions about general features of progeCAD can be directed to CADDIT via the CONTACT US page HERE.