Ironcad is releasing Ironcad Version 10, which combines history-based parametric and direct geometry manipulation into a modelling system that is claimed to give users greater design freedom.
Among the list of improvements and new features in Ironcad Version 10 are major improvements to large assembly performance in 3D and 2D, a redesigned interface, updated capabilities for advanced rendering, and more.
Dramatic improvements have been made to visualisation, specifically large assembly interaction, with the aid of Hoops technology from Tech Soft 3D. As a result, 3D rotation and camera selection in Ironcad has improved real-time interaction by taking advantage of the latest OpenGL and Direct3D graphics drivers.
Hoops also allows Ironcad to perform Quick Visual Loading, a feature where users can manipulate camera tools and interact with a model as it loads by using a multi-threaded load process. This means designers and engineers can set specific camera angles before working on a model.
Two-dimensional technical drawing views benefit from Hoops integration too. Ironcad Version 10 can create 2D views from 3D models up to ten times faster than previous releases, especially when working with large assemblies.
Complementing the performance enhancements is Ironcad's updated interface, which is designed to give more fluid navigation through the design environment. The new Quick Access Property Browser enables engineers to access property information and commands pertaining to selected geometry at any time. Changing the selection level of the geometry changes the contents of the Quick Access Property Browser. Because only relevant information is displayed, users spend less time searching through menus, toolbars, and dialogs. This reduces Ironcad's learning curve by making it easy to discern the next design step.
Ironcad Version 10 also incorporates a new realistic rendering engine. It will be added to Ironcad's existing rendering modes, so engineers and designers can produce photo-realistic visuals. Users will have precise control of their 3D environment with advanced options such as Global Illumination, Radiosity, Caustics and more. This new rendering engine also supports High Dynamic Range Imaging (HDRI) Environment Maps, which can dramatically improve renderings by producing more realistic reflections and lighting effects. These new capabilities enable users to produce photo-realistic concepts and documentation for use in presentations or standard communication to customers.
Users can also take advantage of 3D PDFs with a new export option to create Adobe Acrobat 3D PDF files. Three-dimensional PDF files enable users to collaborate in 3D, regardless of what CAD system they operate, facilitating open communication that leads to better engineering productivity by sharing Adobe PDF files containing precise geometry and product manufacturing information.
New features to Ironcad's 2D sketching environment include additional constraint options that enable users to exercise more control over geometry. Coincident, fixed and Smart Constraints are some of the new options available.
Smart Constraints automatically place common constraints on elements such as chamfers, fillets, polygons, rectangles, and parallelograms, along with tangent geometry. And as constraints are added, Ironcad displays an element's constraint status based on the degrees of freedom within a sketch.
Depending on constraint status, a sketch element will either be red (over defined), white (under defined), or green (well defined).
Cary O'Connor, Ironcad's marketing director, comments: “Ironcad Version 10 is full of content our users have been asking for since the release of Version 9. We take customer feedback seriously, but also take the time to consider new, unexplored areas into where we can develop the software. At Ironcad, we are always looking for new ways to make an engineer's job easier and more productive. Version 10 empowers users with a host of new features and functionality, from the Quick Visual Loading to the Quick Access Property Browser. This version will continue to lead our customers into a more productive environment that will help them achieve success."