3D Friday is Back! Come and see us June 14th in Colchester

3D Friday

We’re opening our doors again for another 3D Friday this June in Colchester!

For 3D architectural, urban, interior and product design we’ll be showing SketchUp and Vectorworks. To complement 3D modelling, we’ll also have some renderers including KeyShot and V-Ray. We’ll even have a full Oculus Rift setup with KeyVR for you to try demonstrating how virtual reality can be used for business.

If you’re more of an engineer, we’ll have BobCAD available as well as some exciting new software packages to explore.

Our resident fused filament 3D printer will make a return too so you can see how they work up close.

Whether you’re brand new to CAD, or you’ve been using it for as long as you can remember, this is a chance to get together with other designers and CAD enthusiasts to discuss your models, share tips and tricks or test new software.

 

Everyone is welcome and you can find us at:

Colchester Business Centre
1 George Williams Way
Colchester, CO1 2JS

Friday 14th June  –  1pm – 4pm

 

We recommend you use the public parking nearby – Britannia Way, Colchester CO2 7EF.

Leave the carpark and go left, take a short walk up the hill and you’ll find George Williams Way opposite Aldi. Mention at reception that you are here for CAD Software Direct’s 3D Friday where they will direct you to us. We hope to see you there!

Altair Engineering Webinar: Design for Forming

Altair Design for Forming

Join Altair on Thursday, May 16th at 10:00 am EDT (15:00 BST), for a live webinar to discuss fully automated and highly scalable processes for the simulation of multi-stage stamping – without sacrificing accuracy.

During this session, Altair will introduce a highly automated workflow to setup transfer and progressive die simulation. Then, guest speaker Jay Weiner (Founder of BiggerBoat Solutions), will showcase the accurate process simulation to optimise final part quality.

Save Your Space

V-Ray Next has Arrived for Rhino

V-Ray Next for Rhino

V-Ray Next for Rhino is out now.

If you purchased a new V-Ray 3 for Rhino license after December 1st 2018, you are eligible for a free upgrade to this latest version. If you’re eligible, contact us now! The deadline for this free upgrade is April 1st 2019.

Customers with an active monthly or annual subscription of Rhino, including educational versions, will get the latest release for free as part of the subscription.

Please note that with this release, support for V-Ray 1.5 and 2 has ended. Upgrades from V-Ray 2 have also be discontinued.

What’s New?

  • An array of new tools makes it much easier to manage and render your scenes right within Rhino
  • Superior Grasshopper support – Render your parametric designs directly without needing to bake or export.
  • Keep track of everything and streamline your workflow with the new asset management system
  • Simplified render controls mean less time navigating and more time designing.
  • Enhanced lighting workflows including adaptive learning techniques to render perfectly exposed and colour-balanced images.
  • New materials and textures, as well as support for PBR metallic reflections.
  • Performance optimisations and new shaders increasing render speed up to 50%.
  • The new Nvidia AI Denoiser lets you instantly remove noise from each render element.

V-Ray Next for Rhino is available now at CADSoftwareDirect.com

Why Use a 3D Mouse?

If you’ve seen a 3D mouse, or heard about them, but don’t quite know what they are and why you should be using one – look no further!

Here, we’ll discuss what benefits there are in using one, as well as let you know the answer to common questions like whether it will work in SketchUp or Vectorworks. We will then explain a little bit about which ones are available, like the CadMouse and SpaceMouse Wireless and SpaceMouse Pro.

SpaceMouse

What is a 3D Mouse?

A 3D mouse is a pointing and control device, just like your traditional mouse, but is specialised for movement in virtual 3D space. A 3D mouse will feature a variety of ways to control models in a 3D environment including multi-axis sensors, accelerometers and even IR sensors.

3DConnexion devices are very popular in professional sectors like architecture, CAD, 3D design and 3D modeling because they feature a rotating cylinder on a base that can be raised and lowered, as well as rotated. This facilitates very intuitive environmental movement and model manipulation that gives the user the feeling of holding the 3D object in their hand.

 

 

How Would I Benefit?

Many designers, engineers and 3D professionals prefer to use a 3D mouse in their work for the simple fact that they increase both productivity and comfort. The ability to manipulate, translate, rotate and scale all at the same time is the best way to interact with a 3D part – which is just not possible with traditional mouse and keyboard.

Using a 3D mouse opens up a “two-handed” approach as well. With your traditional mouse in one hand, and your 3D mouse in the other, you’re able to spread the workload. This not only increases productivity, but over long periods of time spent modeling, using a 3D mouse can greatly reduce the risk or symptoms of RSI.

There can be a short period of time where you’ll need to get used to using a 3D mouse, but it should only take a matter of minutes. Once you’re used to the movements, and have mapped any buttons to the commands you frequently use, you’ll see the benefits straight away. Ultimately, you will feel like you are holding the 3D content in your hand, while decreasing the strain on your usual mouse-hand which leaves you free to be creative.

Image result for spacemouse compact

Which Software Packages are Compatible?

3DConnexion devices support a huge range of software packages. To name a few, SketchUp Pro, Rhino, KeyShot, Vectorworks, formZ, Artlantis, solidThinking Evolve and solidThinking Inspire are all supported.

Check software compatibility here.

 

Which Are the Best 3D Input Devices?

It depends what you’re looking for when deciding which 3D mouse is best for you. If you’re looking for a cost effective and more traditional mouse, the CadMouse will serve you well. Featuring a high precision laser with 8.200 dpi and CAD specific features, CadMouse and CadMouse Wireless give a comfortable an efficient workflow.

For true, intuitive 3D manipulation, the SpaceMouse Compact wired or wireless would be the way to go. 3D navigation that cannot be experienced using a standard mouse and keyboard makes this the idea tool for engineers, architects and designers. Push, pull, twist or tilt to pan, zoom and rotate your 3D models.

If you want everything a 3D mouse has to offer – the highest level of performance – look no further than the SpaceMouse Enterprise (pictured below). In addition to full 3D manipulation , you have 12 intelligent function keys, colour LCDs for key assignment, quick-view keys, keyboard modifiers and an ergonomic full-size soft-coated hand rest.

Interested in a 3D CAD Mouse? A variety of 3D CAD input devices are available now at CAD Software Direct typically on next working day delivery in the UK!

Up to 35% OFF formZ until December 31st!

formZ

2018 has been an exciting year with the successful launch of V-Ray for formZ. 2019 is looking even more exciting as we anticipate big formZ releases next year.

For now though, take a look at the discounts we have running for formZ to the end of the year:

  • 25% off new licenses and additional seats for site licenses including formZ Pro and formZ Jr
  • 15-35% off upgrades from older versions
  • V-Ray for formZ has also been treated with a great discount

formZ is available now at CAD Software Direct. If you have any questions at all, please contact us on sales@cadsoftwaredirect.com

Free 60-Day Altair SIMSOLID Trial and Webinar

SIMSOLID Altair

Altair has recently announced the acquisition of SIMSOLID, simulation technology for fast, accurate, and robust structural simulation without the need for geometry simplification, cleanup, or meshing. Altair Engineering is a leading provider of enterprise-class engineering software including solidThinking Evolve and many more.

Webinar: Introduction to SIMSOLID

Wednesday November 7, 2018 | 10:00 am EST

SIMSOLID was founded from one simple question: “Why does the geometry used in the Design and Structural Simulation worlds have to be so different?

SIMSOLID is structural analysis software developed specifically for design engineers. It eliminates geometry simplification and meshing, the two most time consuming and expertise extensive tasks done in traditional FEA.

Download FREE 60-Day SIMSOLID Trial

Moreover, SIMSOLID can analyse complex parts and large assemblies not practical with traditional FEA and do it efficiently on a desktop class computer. Both fast and accurate, SIMSOLID controls solution accuracy using a unique multi-pass adaptive analysis.

BobCAD-CAM Releases New Version 31 CAD-CAM Software

BobCAD V31

BobCAD-CAM announces the release of BobCAD-CAM V31.

“We here at BobCAD are super excited to unveil our latest BobCAD-CAM V31 to the public. The most noticeable change will be the brand new user interface which utilises the more modern ribbon bar style found commonly in most of today’s applications. This is such a vast improvement in the user experience over the previous versions for existing customers and new users alike,” says Greg Myers of BobCAD-CAM’s developmental team.

Version 31 contains powerful new features for designing and machining that benefit 2-5 axis job shop manufacturers. Improvements in this version have touched all aspects of the software.

Redesigned User Interface
V31 is all about user experience, reinforced with a modern, intuitively organised ribbon-style interface. Functions are easily discovered and logically grouped with both icon and text labels for buttons, paired with a contextual ribbon that includes every function needed to complete the job.

CAD – New Geometry Creation Workflow
Enhanced CAD functionality allows you to utilise multiple creation methods from a single feature coupled with a selection manager that aids in the design process. Over 20 new CAD features in V31 makes it easy to get more done in less clicks.

CAD – Construction Geometry
Create geometry with greater ease by utilising construction lines that can be toggled on and off. While they are on, the construction lines can assist you with finding horizontal and vertical, tangencies, intersections and more.

CAM – New Patterns for Advanced Pocket & Advanced Rough
V31 is loaded with more options that reduce cycle times and deliver better finishes. Choose from 5 dynamic cut patterns, including Morph Spiral which can reduce or eliminate direct link moves. Users can also utilise Offset-in, delivering an initial pass away from the finished wall.

CAD-CAM toolpath on supercharger

CAM – Advanced Z Level Finish Linking Position Control
V31 enhancements to CAM operations allow you to control your tool’s starting location for complete control and precision. Additionally, take full control of your CAM with user-defined values or pick from the graphics area. Control tool witness marks and their locations with ease.

New to BoBCAD? Start now with your FREE BobCAD Trial!

V-Ray for SketchUp 2.0 Release


V-Ray for SketchUp 2.0
is available to buy now!

 

New to Version 2.0

GEOMETRY

V-Ray Proxy – an indispensable tool for managing scene memory and efficiently rendering massive amounts of geometry. V-Ray Proxy objects are dynamically loaded and unloaded at render-time, saving
vital RAM resources. Use V-Ray Proxy to render millions of polygons at maximum memory efficiency and increase the amount of detail and complexity of your SketchUp scenes.

Faster Parsing Times – major speed improvements have been made when processing the SketchUp scene for rendering with V-Ray.


RENDERING ENGINES

V-Ray RT CPU & GPU – a revolutionary rendering engine providing instant feedback and streamlining scene setup. Because V-Ray RT is built upon the same robust core as V-Ray, it is seamless to transition between V-Ray RT and production rendering. For the everyday user this s a very powerful interactive rendering solution that allows them to simultaneously work and render inside of SketchUp. The
instant visual feedback makes for quicker design, material, and lighting decisions.

Retrace Threshold – reduce Light Cache artifacts and improve the appearance of glossy reflections and refractions when using the time saving feature – Use light cache for glossy rays.


LIGHTS

Dome Light – creates simple, artifact-free image-based lighting using the Dome Light. Its powerful importance sampling analyzes HDR images and optimizes light tracing and GI precision. This new feature will streamline your workflow when using image based lighting in your scenes. It will not only save you setup and rendering time but it will also increase the quality of the image based light and shadows.

Lights as Components – V-Ray lights can now be part of a SketchUp component, making the process of changing the design and settings of multiple lights at once much easier.

Sphere Light – create spherically shaped area light.

 

MATERIALS

V-Ray Materials – a new compact and optimized material that includes diffuse, reflection, and refraction parameters with the ability to change the BRDF.

Wrapper Material – can be used to specify additional properties per material. Most importantly you can now create true matte materials which show the background as opposed to the base material.

VRMats Library – a new library contains an extensive collection of ready to use and photo realistic V-Ray materials.


FRAME BUFFER IMPROVEMENTS

Render History – this option allows you to save your rendered images and load them directly in the V-Ray frame buffer.

Compare Tool – a new option to easily compare two rendered images directly in the V-Ray frame buffer.

V-Ray Lens Effect – allows you to achieve bloom and glare effects in your renderings.


OTHER

Rendering Presets – with our collection of interior and exterior rendering presets you can quickly switch between draft and high quality rendering settings. You can also create and save your own presets to customize and streamline your workflow.

Camera Presets – with camera presets you can quickly switch between different exposure setups for illumination scenarios like cloudy sky, after sunset, interior natural light, etc. You can create and reuse your own custom camera presets.

Set Camera Focus – you can now setup depth of field with ease by simply picking a point in the scene where you want to focus the V-Ray camera on.

Lock RT – the SketchUp scene can be edited without changing the view in RT.

64-bit Rendering – 64-bit rendering is now supported locally and via distributed rendering.

Distributed Rendering – offload renders to other computers and continue working in SketchUp by using the option “Don’t use local machine.”

Normal Mapping – add more accurate simulation of detailed 3D surfaces in SketchUp.

Environment Mapping – matching your SketchUp model to a background image is now easier than ever before with the additional Screen, Cylindrical and Shrink Wrap environment mapping types.

Pack and Go – archive your SketchUp scene and all external files into a single ZIP for easy sharing and back up.

Multi-Session Support – OS X users now have the ability to set the current model that V-Ray will render.

Animation Support – the ability to produce animation for SketchUp projects has been streamlined, ensuring a cleaner and easier creation process.

Opacity Mapping – the option “use color texture as transparency” is available for all SketchUp materials. This is important when using PNG or TIFF textures with built-in transparency channels.

Procedural Texture Mapping – we added more texture mapping to allow you create different effect on the materials. Now you have more freedom on the materials creation.

 

Purchase V-Ray for SketchUp 2.0 now!

Time’s Running Out…

Vectorworks 2014 is due to release imminently and time is running out to grab the current VSS deals.

If you purchase Vectorworks with VSS today you will receive 13 months instead of 12. This means you can upgrade for free to Vectorworks 2014 when it is released and to Vectorworks 2015 in September next year.

This is on top of existing offers such as:

  • 50% off VSS for new licenses
  • 33% off upgrades when purchased with VSS

 

Purchase Vectorworks 2013 today!

 

Grab Hold of Your Dongles!

A little bird tells us the release of V-Ray for SketchUp 1.6 is nearly here.

All new purchases of V-Ray for SketchUp from now until the 1.6 release qualify for a free upgrade, you just have to buy a V-Ray dongle (or if you already have one you can use that).


New features of 1.6 include:

Rendering Engines
V-Ray RT
Retrace Threshold
Lighting
Dome light
Lights as components
Sphere Light
Geometry
V-Ray Proxy
Faster Parsing Times
 V-Ray Frame Buffer Improvements
Render History
Compare Tool
 V-Ray Lens Effect Materials
V-Ray Material
Wrapper Material
Material Library
Texture editing
Three different Color Spaces
Procedural Texture Mapping

 

For more information see our V-Ray for SketchUp product page or see our previous post V-Ray for Sketchup Beta 1.6 Available. Free upgrades upon full release..