A new CAD option for AutoCAD users that allows users to generate a 3D model from 2D data has recently been introduced by 3D Metrix.
The 3D Metrix software hooks into a user’s existing AutoCAD system and is activated only when required. The system uses an AutoCAD drawing based interface that allows the user to define the basic features of a design using simple 2D tools.
When the basic geometry of a feature has been defined, 3D Metrix automatically generates additional information, such as hidden lines, multiple ortho views, iso views and pictorial views, right inside the AutoCAD drawing.
As the user draws more features, 3D Metrix continually updates and maintains all drawing views, including the iso view, and tracks all the design features in a browser window. Individual features or groups of features can be edited, moved and copied in the drawing, with the results visible in all views.
The user can continue to work in this way without ever leaving the 2D AutoCAD drawing environment.The drawing can be maintained as 3D Metrix features, or the application can simply be detached at any time, leaving standard AutoCAD drawing data as the basis for further detailing. This would allow, for example, just the main concept of a building to be quickly constructed using 3D Metrix, with the construction detailing to be added later to the 2D views using conventional 2D tools.
As the 3D model is standard AutoCAD data, it can be used as the basis of further work, such as rendering, or exported for use in other 3D systems.
The software is priced at $850. A free trial copy is available on the 3D Metrix web site.