Archive for the ‘ViaCAD’ Category

CAD Tip of the Month: Subdivision

Tuesday, January 17th, 2017

Tip Level: Intermediate

The subdivision tool, which is a part of the new quad mesh tool palette, is one of the most useful 3D modeling features in ViaCAD Pro and Shark.

Essentially, the subdivision tool is used to take the 3D objects and models you’ve created using our meshing tools and smooth out their surfaces and edges. This process gives your designs a more finished and clean look. These finished subdivided meshes are compatible with 3D printing, conversion to solids, rendering, and animation.

When using subdivision modeling, our CAD software represents a smooth surface using a simple, low polygon count defined by control points. In the image below you can see a block mesh with four points. This object is subdivided three times, each time making the edges of the mesh smoother.

A great example of this process can be found in the video below. This concept to creation of a 3D spoon, which you can find the tutorial for here, shows you how to take a cube you’ve created in ViaCAD pro or Shark and turn it into the head of a spoon using the subdivision tool.

Subdivision won’t take up a large amount of your time when you’re creating 3D designs, in fact if you know how to use it effectively it is the quickest way to take an abstract creation and turn it into a finished product.

The next video, which takes you through the process of making a coffee cup using mesh tools, shows again how easy it is to use subdivision in your projects. At around the three minute mark you can see the process of turning a 15 sided cylinder into what instantly looks like the main body of a coffee mug.


As well as being extremely useful in basic projects, subdivision is a tool used in the most complex digital worlds. Subdivision meshes are popular in film and animation where very large scenes are composed of low polygon counts that render at high resolutions using subdivision. Companies such as Pixar have successfully used subdivision meshes since 1996 and continue to play an important role in their development.

Regardless of the difficulty of your project, our subdivision modeling tool will prove to be useful and is another reason PunchCAD software is the perfect choice for your next 3D project.

CAD Tip of the Month: Push/Pull Modeling

Monday, December 12th, 2016

Tip Level: Beginner

 

One of the most useful and flexible PunchCAD features is the push/pull modeling tool. What is push Pull modeling? Push/pull allows you to take your 2D shapes and bring the faces of those shapes into 3D space.

 

Push/Pull Modeling Tool

Additionally, you can add or remove material on an existing 3D face based on your project needs. With both 2D shapes and 3D objects just click on the center of the surface you want to manipulate, and push/pull from there.

 

The video below does a wonderful job of showing you the basics of turning 2D shapes into 3D objects, then manipulating those objects using nothing but the push/ pull tool.

 

 

The video also demonstrates our CAD software’s recognition of curves and lines that have been drawn onto faces. With our 2D/3D modeling tools you can draw and manipulate additional shapes onto faces, allowing for flexible addition and subtraction in your modeling projects.

 

Push/pull always works in a direction perpendicular to the surface, and only works on surfaces (not edges).

 

A snag you might run into when using this tool is not being able to push/pull curved shapes that aren’t in the major planes. The fix to this problem is quite simple (as is demonstrated in the video). When this happens, use the ‘WorkPlane’ tab to click ‘select objects’, and once your object is selected go back into the ‘WorkPlane’ tab and click ‘Show Work Place’. From there you can go right into the Push/Pull tool easily.

There are numerous applicable uses for this tool in our CAD software, and we recommend practicing with it on one or several projects. Once you master it you’ll find uses for it all over the place. From doorframes to silverware , our push/ pull modeling tool helps you create precise and specific models with ease!

 

Encore Introduces ViaCAD 10

Thursday, October 20th, 2016

We are beyond happy to announce the release of ViaCAD 10! Our team has been working hard to bring you new tools and features that will make ViaCAD better than even we imagined. Our goal has been to always deliver the best CAD experience (at any level) without forcing our users to break the bank. And with v10, we think we met that goal and we hope you’ll agree. Please keep reading to learn about all the new features, tools, and availability.

ViaCAD is a highly functional, low-cost 2D/3D design product that helps convert ideas and concepts into precise digital models suitable for prototyping, manufacturing, analysis, and visualization projects.

New Features: The new release introduces significant feature enhancements related to 3D printing, usability, 3D design and drafting, performance, and data sharing.  Specific features include:
  • 3D Print Tools (surface normals, thickness, overhang, and general print checks)
  • 3D PDF Export (share 3D files using Adobe Acrobat ™)
  • Updated support for  SketchUp™ 2016 Import/Export
  • KeyShot Live Linking
  • More Subdivision Modeling Tools
  • Performance Boosts with 64 bit, multithreaded meshing, and translators
  • Improved Bill of Materials and Pockethole feature for Woodworkers

Visit our PunchCAD resources page for videos of many of the new features.

Full Featured CAD for All: ViaCAD includes a powerful array of design tools not normally seen at this price including an innovative user interface supporting the LogiCursor™ technology. Based upon the highly precise ACIS® modeling kernel from Dassault, ViaCAD provides over 300 design tools for hobbyist and professional designers. Featured among these tools are:

  • Curve, Mesh, NURB, and precision Solid modeling tools
  • Intelligent modeling for rapid design (associativity, history edit, feature tree)
  • Industry leading blending and chamfering
  • Advanced modeling tools with twist, bend, boss, hole, and shell features
  • Local face editing tools for modifying independent of part origins
  • Extensive dimension standards and automatic 3D to 2D drawing generation
  • Area, distance, mass properties, and interference checking
  • Woodworking tools supporting Bill of Materials, rabbet, dovetail, and pocket  features
  • Architectural tools with intelligent roof, wall, door, and window
  • Access 90 minutes of training videos, plus FREE email/phone support

Visit our PunchCAD product pages for more detailed information about specific feature sets.

Industry-Standard Interoperability: ViaCAD provides an extensive set of interoperability solutions for professional industry standard data sharing through IGES, STEP, and SAT. Additional formats include SketchUp®, AutoCAD® DXF/DWG, Adobe Illustrator, Rhinoceros®, STL, 3D-PDF, 3DS Max®, KeyShot, and more.

PowerPack : PowerPack is an optional addon that provides a collection of productivity tools used to validate and repair models for 3D Printing as well as a variety of general purpose tools. New PowerPack features introduced in v10 include:

  • Unroll Surface
  • BitMap to HeightField Mesh
  • Select Same

PowerPack Pro: Converts facet based models into NURBS or analytical solids.   Great for converting STL, SketchUp, Modo, Blender, 3D Max,  or subdivision files into usable solids.  Click here for more information on PowerPack Pro.

Pricing and Availability: ViaCAD 2D, ViaCAD 2D3D, and ViaCAD Pro for Mac and Windows platforms are available from Encore’s Online Store at http://www.punchcad.com/c-12-consumer-cad.aspx priced from $39 to $249 . For more information visit http://www.punchcad.com/

Presentation Drawings with KeyShot Live Linking