Published 27 August 2007
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Itİs good to get away from the AutoCAD side of the CAD world for a while. A tour around TurboCAD Professional left Martyn Day amazed at the value on offer.
TurboCAD is one of those products that has been around for so long that most people have heard of it but not too many have actually used it. Having lived in the shadow of AutoCAD and LT, TurboCAD has never really got the airing it probably deserves, considering it has had a huge amount of software engineering work thrown at it. Despite this the package has sold hundreds of thousands of copies worldwide and has benefited from Autodesk really opting to walk away from the true retail market, having put AutoCAD LTİs price into orbit.
TurboCAD development has been quite dedicated in following AutoCADİs functionality and offering a bigger bang for the buck. DWG compatibility is pushed forward in the companyİs marketing, together with developing support for Autodeskİs LISP and ARX programming languages. While IntelliCAD claimed to be the AutoCAD clone, TurboCAD, based own the same DWG technology is probably the most successful in terms of copies sold. However, one questions how much these features are truly in demand. I can understand DWG requirements but with todayİs users I would have thought LISP was a declining talent and ARX is mainly used by professional developers.
Probably the most confusing thing to understand about TurboCAD is the functionality related to the version you have. There are five flavours of TurboCAD ± TurboCAD Delux, TurboCAD Professional 14, TurboCAD Pro Architectural, TurboCAD Pro Mechanical and TurboCAD Platinum. The Deluxe version is intended for home users or occasional users and doesnİt include the powerful ACIS solid modelling engine. TurboCAD Pro 14 doesnİt have any of the verticalised content but does 3D. The Architectural and Mechanical versions have content that is obviously appealing to each professional vertical and Platinum combines the functionality of all products, so itİs the Ùall rounderİ.
TurboCAD is also available for the Apple Macintosh, although the versions here are currently at V2. On the Mac there are two flavours, TurboCAD Mac Pro v2 for 2D drafting and 3D modelling, and TurboCAD Mac v2 which only offers 2D drafting and design. Thereİs also an additional application which contains over 12,000 2D/3D symbols and parts. It a little odd that there is no specific architectural version for the Macintiosh, which is probably the strongest vertical for the Mac platform.
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