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Computervision's VersaCAD/386 is a high-end CAD package with a healthy selection of drawing and editing tools primarily suited for architectural and mechanical drafting. Version 7.0 comes with a three-dimensional component and has added some networking features and Windows compatibility along with a handful of other new tools.
Over the last few years, though, VersaCAD has had an increasingly difficult time keeping up with competitors such as AutoCAD and Microstation PC. Although VersaCAD has added or improved some features, many are incomplete or have been standard fare in other products for several years. Also, VersaCAD's interface could use an overhaul. For these reasons, a few of its scores have dropped one or two notches.
In this review we look at VersaCAD/386 for Intel 386-compatible and higher systems. Computervision also sells VersaCAD in several other flavors, including two stripped-down versions: VersaCAD Design, which lacks QuickRender, for 80286-based computers and Sun Sparcstations; and VersaCAD Drafter, a DOS two-dimensional version.
There is also VersaCAD for the Macintosh and an international version, which requires a hardware lock. Features: VersaCAD/386 is a collection of mostly nonintegrated modules, including 2-D and 3-D drafting, bill of materials, tablet overlay, named levels, network utilities, Render, a symbols library, and the programming language.
Among this version's new features is an improved DXF translator that will use the available extended memory manager to import larger files. Also, VersaCAD has added limited support for noneditable reference files and use on a network.
There are a few new drawing and editing commands and some new macros for doing 3-D work. The Add Multiple command lets you add objects one after another without having to choose the Add command each time. A dual-unit dimensioning mode lets you simultaneously display dimensions in two types of units on your drawing.
In addition to being able to group objects and change their attributes, the Group command now lets you make extended or trim lines to a specified trim line. You can define and switch between up to 16 groups.
A new tablet overlay includes not only standard VersaCAD functions but macros and libraries designed specifically for architectural, mechanical, and electrical applications.
You can now do translations between Computervision's Personal Designer and VersaCAD.
Drawing tools: VersaCAD creates drawings with points, lines, rectangles, polygons (from three to 180 sides), circles, ellipses, arcs, Bezier curves, …