Our Free to Attend 3D Friday is Back this September

3D Friday Event

Interested in how buildings get built?

3D Friday is back, and this time we have Vectorworks joining us for a live demo walking you through a typical architectural design process. Held at Firstsite in Colchester, you’ll also have a chance to get hands on with our Oculus Rift VR set, browse some 3D modelling and CADCAM applications, and more!

20th September 2019 – 1pm to 4pm
Register Now >

Firstsite
Lewis Gardens, High Street Colchester
Essex, CO1 1JH

Vectorworks Presents “The CUBE”

Architect Product Specialist, Luka Stefanovic, will be on hand showing the process of modeling a project in Vectorworks Architect whilst following UK BIM standards.

In this live demo, you’ll learn about BIM standards and the framework, as well as be guided through RIBA design stages and follow along with a complete typical architectural design process.

The presentation will show various parametric tools, along with some new features from Vectorworks 2019. We might even see a preview of some brand new features ahead of Vectorworks 2020… Once the presentation is over, there will be plenty of time for Q & A, and an opportunity to see what else we have.

Try Virtual Reality with our Oculus Rift

If you want to know how VR can benefit your business, or you just want to see what it’s like for yourself, come on in and have a go! We’ll be showing 360 degree images rendered in V-Ray, as well as some interactive KeyShot scenes.

Learn About CAD CAM for Engineering

If you’re more of an engineer interested in machining parts, we’ll have BobCAD set up as well so you can take a look at how 3D CADCAM makes milling, turning, nesting and more, easier than ever.

20th September 2019 – 1pm to 4pm
Register Now >

Firstsite
Lewis Gardens, High Street Colchester
Essex, CO1 1JH

Win a FREE SketchUp License worth £547!

SketchUp Competition

There’s still time to enter our latest 3D competition with a top prize available for the taking!  Remember, things are a little different this time around because we don’t have the theme or brief…you do!

We want you to send us your course brief and the work you created for it. It doesn’t matter if you were tasked with recreating a local landmark, visualising an interior space, or designing a fresh new product – as long as your project was made in SketchUp it’s fair game.

Student SketchUp for Summer is now open, and to be in the running entrants need to:

Submit designs by
August 30th 2019

Have you built a car, designed a sound stage, recreated a village, or even precisely measured up machinery components for CADCAM? It’s up to you to convince us that your entry is the best of the lot.

We’ll be looking at the composition and geometry when judging, as well as how accurately we think you met your course aims. Any renders you produce are bonus points to impress us even more! Again, as long as it is made in SketchUp, there are no restrictions on plugins or renderers used either. It has to all be your own work though – no downloading from 3D warehouse or other 3D libraries!

Our Perfect Getaway competition last year had some cracking entries, so be sure to bring your A-Game.

Previous Winner Chad Slaney’s Perfect Getaway.

Maybe you’ve made something in the past that you’re proud of, or something you’re already working on just needs some finishing touches – you don’t have to start from scratch. We’re accepting entries for existing work too, as long as you can rightfully call it yours.

Send us the original .skp file, as well as any renders or supporting materials you want us to see. The brief doesn’t have to be much, just let us know the title of your course or module and any details about the aims or expected outcomes.

Submit your entries by emailing us
sketchup@cadsoftwaredirect.com

First place will be given a perpetual SketchUp Pro license worth £547 (including one year of maintenance and support to automatically be upgraded to SketchUp 2020 on release), perfect for taking on your first clients right out the gate. Already got a SketchUp Pro Commercial license and don’t want another? We’ll find something special to send your way instead! You’ll also have your work featured alongside other entries on the SketchUp UK website and instagram for extra bragging rights.

We’re accepting submissions now, so get going, and remember the deadline is August 30th 2019.

Competition closes at midnight August 30th 2019. CAD Software Direct’s decision is final. By entering, you agree for your entry to be featured across CAD Software Direct and SketchUp UK social media channels.

Rhino 6 for Mac is Available Now

Rhino for Mac

The latest version of Rhino, Rhino 6, has been available to PC users for a while now. Rhino for Mac users now have the opportunity to get up to date and start using features not previously available to them. The wait has been long, but it’s been worthwhile as there are even some new features not seen in the PC version.

What’s New in Rhino for Mac?

  • Faster display using modern graphics hardware
  • Updated Material and Rendering system
  • Grasshopper updated with multi-threaded components, Kangaroo 2, and more
  • Ray-traced viewport display mode
  • Faster, cleaner Make2D with more customisable results

Grasshopper
In Rhino 6, Grasshopper, the wildly popular visual programming language has been fully embraced. Now integrated as a fully-fledged part of Rhino, users are given a solid foundation for many productivity enhancing third-party components ranging from robotic control to environmental analysis, and everything in between.

Rhino for Mac Grasshopper

Presentation
Major changes have been made in this release to rendering, materials and viewports so it is now easier than ever to present, discuss and iterate designs while communicating to clients, customers, collaborators or the public at large.

Licensing

As of version 6, Rhino are using a single universal serial key usable on both Windows and Mac. This means it’s easier than ever to use Mac in an environment where many different computers are used, or even if you just work on a PC but would like to use your Macbook when out of the office.

For more information about what’s new, head over to Rhino 6 for Mac.

SketchUp 2019 and LayOut Feature Update

We are excited to share some of our favourite features and improvements in the latest product update to SketchUp Pro 2019 and LayOut. 

This release has made SketchUp more intuitive and fun to use with focus on improvements to imagery exports, usability, and a seamless LayOut connection.

New in SketchUp

Professional output enhancements

Exporting images

Exporting 2D graphics, raster files, and animations just got better. You can now control the overall line thicknesses of exported images with the new line scale multiplier, found in the export options dialogs. 

Before this change, line weights stayed the same as the viewport which would make the line weight too small or too large. So, if you are experiencing line weights that are too thick, you can make those line weights thinner. Also, .png images now export with its transparency so you can see what is behind the material while compositing. 

Customisable unit settings

Have you ever needed to use different unit measurements for a model? Now your model can be customised to show different unit measurements for area and volume. For example, in a model of a room, you can use millimetres for the wall and meters for volume. Available unit types: millimetres, centimetres, meters, inches and feet. 

Workflow improvements

Invert Selection

It really is the small things that help your workflow. This new feature will allow you to select anything, then invert the selection of objects. This makes it simple to select items and then perform actions on their inverse. The keyboard shortcut for this will be: CTRL + SHIFT + I (Windows)  or CMD + SHIFT + I (Mac).

Importing files

The days of picking out your import file format from a long list are over. You can now drag and drop ALL supported file types directly into your modelling window. By default, you’ll now see all supported file types available for import. Additionally, the DWG and DXF importers now bring in fewer duplicate and messy edges.

Eraser Tool

Have you ever accidentally erased too much in your model? To make your detailing workflow a little smoother and seamless, we added alt & cmd as modifier keys to remove any unnecessarily highlighted lines that you may have accidentally captured during your modelling efforts.

Section Planes

Cutting a model along a plane so that you can peer inside the model? Section planes now ask the user to name them before placing them in the model. Simply place, then name.

Send to LayOut

You can now send your models directly to LayOut from the large toolset in the left-hand toolbar. If you haven’t used LayOut for 2D drawings before, start taking advantage of it now!

Large Area Imports for Add Location

You can now easily import large sites at full resolution. How can you take advantage of this new feature? Simply zoom out a bit, then select the level from which you want to import. Note that misusing this feature can adversely affect performance in your SketchUp model.

New in LayOut

Professional output enhancements

Isometric dimensioning

It is now possible to make linear dimensions align with an isometric viewpoint. You can now control extension lines, gap distance, and align dimensions with isometric angles.

Auto-text

Similar to “smart labels”, you can now add text to dimensions without breaking the automatic measurement. For example, let’s say you create a wall dimension. You can dimension a wall, add the word “wall”, and the dimension measurement will still update if the wall’s measurement changes. Pro tip: make sure your string has <> in it. For example, ‘Width <>’ will turn into ‘Wall 1.42m’.

Workflow enhancements

Rotating dimensions

Now, when you rotate your object, the bounding box is also rotated with so you can continue to scale in the right orientation. 

Quicker editing

Staying consistent with SketchUp usability, in LayOut you can now hit the return key to edit model views, groups, dimensions, or labels! Just select, press return, and start typing!

Ready to try? Get the free 30-Day SketchUp Trial to see for yourself how these updates can enhance your professional workflows. 

At Least 15% Off Sale This Summer

15% OFF for Summer

We don’t need any excuse other than the sun being out to celebrate summer with some discounts!

From now until August 30th 2019, we’ve got at least 15% OFF RRP on a wide range of 3D software. Whether you’re in product design, mechanical engineering, visual effects or architecture, you’ll find a good deal.

Save on Altair

Enter SUMMER15 at checkout on Evolve and Inspire.

Leverage solidThinking’s robust solution set for Model-Based Development, Concept Design and Manufacturing Simulation.

Inspire
Powerful and easy-to-use Generative Design/Topology Optimisation and rapid simulation solution for design engineers.

Evolve
A high quality 3D Hybrid Modeling and Rendering environment that enables industrial designers to evaluate, research and visualise designs.

Save on Thea Render

Enter SUMMER15 at checkout on Thea for SketchUp, Thea for Rhino and Thea for Cinema 4D.

Unbiased, Biased and GPU Rendering
Thea Render is a physically-based global illumination renderer of high quality, using state-of-the-art techniques.

Presto Engine
Thea Presto is an advanced rendering engine that has been written from the ground up and is optimised for simultaneous GPU (NVIDIA & AMD) and CPU execution, maximising your computing power.

Save on Maxwell

Enter EXSUMMER15 at checkout on all new licenses of Maxwell V4 including Maxwell for SketchUp, Maxwell for 3ds Max and more.

Non-biased rendering – Maxwell Render Studio is a standalone render engine for making perfect images, films and animations from 3D models. It is the complete solution for anyone who demands immaculate results on a deadline. Maxwell Render is now also available as a plugin for a wide range of modellers. Please visit our Maxwell Render category for more information.

Save on RealFlow

Enter EXSUMMER15 at checkout on all new licenses of RealFlow including RealFlow Cinema 4D, RealFlow 3ds Max and more.

Non-biased rendering – Maxwell Render Studio is a standalone render engine for making perfect images, films and animations from 3D models. It is the complete solution for anyone who demands immaculate results on a deadline. Maxwell Render is now also available as a plugin for a wide range of modellers. Please visit our Maxwell Render category for more information.

Save on formZ

Enter EXSUMMER15 at checkout on formZ Jr and formZ Pro.

Architectural 3D – formZ pro is the full version ready to assist you with all of your 3D modeling needs. Animation, layout, and a customizable interface are all here. If you can imagine a form, you can build it with formZ pro. formZ Pro is a general purpose 3D solids and surface modeler. Not only can you build any form you imagine with formZ, it can also ignite discoveries of forms that you may not have thought of otherwise. formZ, the 3D form synthesizer, is above all a 3D modeling program, even though it also includes drafting, rendering and animation. Additional photorealistic rendering is offered by formZ RenderZone.

Save on BobCAD

Enter SUMMER15 at checkout on BobCAD products including BobCAD Mill and BobCAD Lathe.

CAD-CAM Solutions for Your CNC Business
Faster cuts with a modern interface, BobCAD-CAM is powerful, modular software designed to help shops of all sizes.

CAM Software and Modules
Machine parts faster and easier with BobCAD-CAM. Alternatively, leverage the Solidworks environment with BobCAM for time-saving toolpath capabilities right within Solidworks.

Support & Maintenance
BobCAD-CAM offer a variety of Email, Standard and Premium support packages for both BobCAD-CAM and BobCAM for Solidworks to fit any budget. Advantage Plans are also available to allow you to always work in an up-to-date CAD/CAM development environment. Stay competitive and improve operational efficiency with the most current tool to maximise your investment.

Student SketchUp for Summer Competition

SketchUp Competition

CAD Software Direct are excited to announce our latest 3D competition with a top prize available for the taking!  Things are a little different this time around because we don’t have the theme or brief…you do!

We want you to send us your course brief and the work you created for it. It doesn’t matter if you were tasked with recreating a local landmark, visualising an interior space, or designing a fresh new product – as long as your project was made in SketchUp it’s fair game.

Student SketchUp for Summer is now open, and to be in the running entrants need to:

Submit designs by
August 30th 2019

Have you built a car, designed a sound stage, recreated a village, or even precisely measured up machinery components for CADCAM? It’s up to you to convince us that your entry is the best of the lot.

We’ll be looking at the composition and geometry when judging, as well as how accurately we think you met your course aims. Any renders you produce are bonus points to impress us even more! Again, as long as it is made in SketchUp, there are no restrictions on plugins or renderers used either. It has to all be your own work though – no downloading from 3D warehouse or other 3D libraries!

Our Perfect Getaway competition last year had some cracking entries, so be sure to bring your A-Game.

Previous Winner Chad Slaney’s Perfect Getaway.

Maybe you’ve made something in the past that you’re proud of, or something you’re already working on just needs some finishing touches – you don’t have to start from scratch. We’re accepting entries for existing work too, as long as you can rightfully call it yours.

Send us the original .skp file, as well as any renders or supporting materials you want us to see. The brief doesn’t have to be much, just let us know the title of your course or module and any details about the aims or expected outcomes.

Submit your entries by emailing us
sketchup@cadsoftwaredirect.com

First place will be given a perpetual SketchUp Pro license worth £547 (including one year of maintenance and support to automatically be upgraded to SketchUp 2020 on release), perfect for taking on your first clients right out the gate. Already got a SketchUp Pro Commercial license and don’t want another? We’ll find something special to send your way instead! You’ll also have your work featured alongside other entries on the SketchUp UK website and instagram for extra bragging rights.

We’re accepting submissions now, so get going, and remember the deadline is August 30th 2019.

Competition closes at midnight August 30th 2019. CAD Software Direct’s decision is final. By entering, you agree for your entry to be featured across CAD Software Direct and SketchUp UK social media channels.

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!