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Features List 13
From CAD User Mechanical Magazine Vol 13 No 08 - SEPTEMBER 2000
n the world of 3D architectural CAD software, to get the full range of features needed to complete a project such as conceptual sketches to virtual tours of a photo-realistic building, a number of software packages need to be purchased.
Nemetschek's Allplan FT is the first piece of fully integrated 3D building design CAD software I have come across that can encompass freehand sketches, 2D draughting, 3D design, solid modelling, animation and photo-realistic rendering.
This month we will be taking a look at the overall capabilities of Allplan FT; where Nemetschek is positioned in the European CAD market; their history and how it can be obtained in the UK. In the next few issues we will be looking at Allplan FT in much greater detail and how it can benefit your working practices.
Allplan consists of a number of modules such as: Architectural design, Workgroup Teamware, Digital terrain models, Urban and site planning, Landscaping and Interior design which can be purchased on a per module basis or as a whole package. The most important thing to bear in mind is that each module is an integrated part of the whole software package with a consistent user interface.
Allplan FT provided maximum support for conceptual design by offering tools to bring in scanned freehand sketches or the use of the Nemetschek D-Board which is a flat TFT monitor which is pressure sensitive allowing designs to be drawn directly to the digital domain via the provided software. This would be very useful for the 'CAD shy' architect to impart design information direct to the computer.
From thereon all draughting is carried out in 3D using intelligent objects called smart objects such as walls, doors, windows, stairs etc. which remember their attributes and interact with each other accordingly. This means that when inserting a door object into a wall the door is inserted at ground level automatically or, say, a window can only be inserted into a wall. Allplan FT contains a symbol library containing thousands of these smart objects, all of which are fully customisable and new objects can be created with ease.
Allplan FT is the ability to change storey height with a single entry, which automatically updates all other associated smart objects such as windows or you have the option to manually define your own specifications e.g. lintel heights.
With the software you have the ability to work in any view including isometric or perspective making the insertion of objects much easier. Working across multiple storeys of an office block is made simple as changes to one storey can be duplicated across to all other storeys if required. Up to 40 drawings can be opened and edited at the same time making this software ideal for the larger project. Calculating mass or volumes are no longer necessary, as this information is available automatically at the press of a key.
Working on large projects can mean access problems. This is overcome with integrated workgroup access control, which defines who has access to specific processes within the project.
Included in one of the modules - FT Interior is a visualisation feature, which can generate rendered or animated views or even a 3D walk-through with design changes being checked in virtual reality.
Movie sequences can be created using the built in software in VRML format, which is directly useable in multimedia presentations. The high quality-rendering engine can produce photo - realistic pictures for that final touch.
Allplan FT is fully compatible with the industry standard DXF and DWG file formats making the translation of information from one CAD system to Allplan FT and visa versa very easy. Surprisingly, only a fairly basic PC is required to operate this vast programme and it will run under Windows 98/2000 or NT.
Based in Munich, Nemetschek AG was founded in 1963 and today is one of the largest AEC software companies in the world. It produces software for architectural design, civil engineering, facilities and real estate management for thousands of architects spread across 52 countries. Nemetschek has now got its sights on the UK market and is using Panthar Limited as its UK distributor. CU
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