AutoCADThe latest version of AutoCAD, the classic 2D CAD tool from Autodesk, finally brings 3D to the masses. The question is, do the masses really want that kind of functionality? Martyn Day takes a closer look at AutoCAD 2007 and AutoCAD LT 2007.

BridgeLeading rail network engineering consultancy Holland Railconsult generates up to two million technical drawings and specifications every year. The company enhanced its file sharing and archiving processes with Acrobat Professional and PDF.

Google EarthGoogle Earth gives its users access to hi-res satellite images of the entire planet. Add to this the ability to integrate 3D CAD building designs and you’ve got a pretty compelling solution for the construction industry.

FasttrackFasttrack Schedule enables Project Managers to control the construction process with a range of intuitive and simple to use tools to help effectively plan and manage Gannt chart schedules, and track project resources.

Acrobat 3DAdobe has been showing increasing interest in being a key player in the design distribution and technical publications market. The company has just got very serious about 3D CAD.

AcrobatAdobe's PDF (Portable Document Format) has become an industry staple for the publishing and circulation of engineering information. Version 7 continues to expand its Engineering applicable capabilities.

AutoCADLast month Autodesk unveiled its 2006 family of products. David Cohn takes a look at AutoCAD 2006, the 20th release of the industry-standard CAD package, and one of the most impressive for a number of years.

Autodesk Civil 3D 2006With its object-based design approach, changes made in Civil 3D automatically filter down through the design and documentation. The result is a powerful tool which shows huge potential for civil engineering projects, but lacks the maturity of a dedicated highway design package.

AdvanceSteel 6.1This Autumn, CADS unveiled Version 6.1 of its AutoCAD-based steel fabrication solution, AdvanceSteel. The new release adds greater depth to its modelling and connection tools, and aligns the product more closely with complementary structural software solutions.

3DDistributing CAD models to potential customers or manufacturers has become a highly competitive market. A new solution from Norway, offers a way to distribute photorealistic ‘VR’ sessions of models over the web.

RevitThe BIM concept will always remain a pipe dream, so long as the tools are unable to handle the thousands of components that make up today’s buildings. So far the focus has been on architectural elements. Autodesk has just released a product for Structures.

CADSThrough a simple-to-use wizard style interface, CADS is looking to offer steel fabricators a way to design and cost their own Portal Frame structures, ready for tender in a matter of minutes, says Greg Corke.

StruCADFor Version 11 StruCad has been brought bang up to date with a brand new Windows-style Graphics User Interface. But there’s much more to the latest release of the steel fabrication software than a simple face-lift says Greg Corke.

VectorWorks 9Starting out life in the mid-eighties as the Mac-only MiniCAD, VectorWorks has undergone a number of changes over the years. Now under the ownership of Nemetschek NA, the company recently launched a very impressive Version 9.

AllplanIn the last issue of AEC Magazine we looked at Nemetschek’s Allplan product portfolio, and its architectural design solution. This month it’s the turn of Allplot, which among other things, makes the RC detailing process a whole lot more efficient.

Just under 18 months ago, CADlogic launched a new product to help make Architectural Desktop more accessible and relevant to the UK architectural community. Greg Corke reports on a new version of ADT Toolbox.

SketchUp 3.0If you’re looking for a conceptual design/modeling solution, they don’t come much easier to use than SketchUp. @Last Software has just released Version 3, which sees some great new additions including enhanced arcs and circles and material transparency.

Autodesk CivilisThis month saw Autodesk release the first version of its AutoCAD-based Civil 3D 2005. Facing established competition, it seems Autodesk knew it had to bring a mature product to market.

Piranesi 4It’s been two years since the last release of Piranesi, the non-photorealistic rendering solution from Informatix. Since then the Cambridge-based developer has also released a Mac version and with Version 4 added support for 3D cutouts.

AceCadAceCad has been at the forefront of steel fabrication software development for many years with StruCad, and since its purchase of Leeds-based GoData four years ago, has been looking to bring the industry’s design and management processes closer together.