17 July 2012

Fast Architectural Drawing: progeCAD's Free 'EasyArch'

progeCAD 2011 is a low-cost AutoCAD alternative which supports direct reading and writing of complex detail drawings in AutoCAD's '.dwg' file format. The latest progeCAD Professional 2011 release includes several significant features over previous versions. This article explores just one of these new features: progeCAD 2011 Professional's  new "EasyArch" add-on for 2D architectural on-the-fly drawing of walls, doors, stairs and more. EasyArch architectural objects are also parametric, allowing most parameters to be conveniently redefined via dialog boxes at a later time.

EasyArch offers the fast 2D creation of:
  • Walls
  • Doors
  • Windows
  • Glass Walls
  • Staircases
  • Basic Furnishings & More
EasyArch objects can be quickly drawn by selecting the desired item from the "EasyArch" pulldown menu in progeCAD, or enabling any of its several floating toolbars. Object preferences, including text and dimension preferences can also be changed:

The Draw Walls function allows you to specify the thickness (or width) of your wall disregarding the initial and final thickness as it seems to only change to equal each other. You can choose your justification of your drawing line of your wall bearing in mind the width of your wall and the sizing when it comes to the corner. At the corner, progeCAD automatically generates the next lines coming off the corner of the wall taking into account the width and justification of the drawing line. The command line features many helpful functions for your wall including:
  • Arc (A): defines an arc for your wall with input angle.
  • Closing (C): completes the wall automatically for you when progeCAD can recognize the opportunity to.
  • Header (H): closes the last drawn length of wall much like a niche.
  • Triangle (T): creates a triangular wall partition for you.
Windows and glass walls can be added as architectural blocks to and existing wall or even line with much ease. Available windows include generic windows, glass walls and French windows. The software asks for the:
  • Width: how wide the window will be.
  • Opening Frame Distance: where the frame is located in the wall.
  • Height: of the window (3D only).
  • Angle: Direction of window frame outwards.
  • Windowsill projection: the measurement of definition of the windowsill.
EasyArch also offers a curved opening tool allowing the opening to be placed on a curved wall. Each available curved opening is the same as the generic ones available. EasyArch incorporates staircases into the list of available architectural blocks for customization and dimension editing. The available blocks of stairs include spiral-helical, corner step, flights and angle flight staircases. All required variables are asked for in the command line upon creation:

To download a free 30-day trial for progeCAD Professional including EasyArch, see the CADDIT webpage HERE. For a more complete overview of EasyArch for progeCAD 2011 Pro download this FREE PDF E-Book HERE. CADDIT is based in Sydney, Australia and has been supporting progeCAD users since 2007.

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