CAD Pockets Lets You View DWG Files on a Tablet
Jeffrey Heimgartner posted on December 24, 2015 |

ZWSOFT continues to stay on the radar of CAD users with lots of news in 2015. Earlier in the year, it celebrated the 15th anniversary of its flagship product ZWCAD by releasing a new product called ZWCAD Classic to reward all the customers and users for their support during the past few years. It also just announced that the third-generation product of ZWCAD—ZWCAD 2017—is coming out soon. To top it all off, it’s also officially released the new mobile app, CAD Pockets v2.3.1.

CAD Pockets, which is a mobile CAD solution for smartphones and tablets, was formerly known as ZWCAD Touch. It was created for designers, architects and engineers and supports some of the main file formats, such as DWG, DXF and DWF (premium version). CAD Pockets is available for download on iTunes and Google Play.

I loaded the app onto my iPhone and after a brief intro, I was up and running, reviewing the sample drawings that are included. I even created a new drawing from scratch right out of the chute. There are numerous tools for drawing, measuring, marking and annotation, layering and more. Oh, I almost forgot the ever-popular Undo command—worry not, it’s there too. One of the coolest features I found was in the marking and annotation tool set. You not only have the normal abilities to redline, draw revision clouds and add text notes, you can also add pictures and recorded voice messages as well.

Screenshot of my iPhone reviewing a 3D drawing of a crane.
Screenshot of my iPhone reviewing a 3D drawing of a crane.

Registering as a new user within the app gets you one month of the free premium version. The premium version has more features, including the ability to create a drawing, advanced layer management, text search, block insert and attributes, password protection and the ability to open DWF and PDF files.

In an unusual scheme, the premium version seems to be available only by registering yourself and others. You get one month of premium use for every additional person you sign up. If you manage to sign up 10, you can use the premium version forever. In addition, you can earn free months of premium just by using the app. If you sign in 10 times in a month, you gain a free month.

There does not seem to be a way to just pay and receive the premium version. Having the chance to evaluate the full premium version without having to sign up others is a great way to let users see both how easy it is to use and how powerful it is.

You can bind CAD Pockets with cloud services such as Dropbox, Google Drive, OneDrive, Box, SugarSync and more, which means your drawings will always be up-to-date—a great feature if you forgot to save your most recent project directly to your phone or tablet before you headed to the job site.

Overall, I can honestly say it was quite easy to create, edit, annotate and even print to PDF, especially given that it was the first time using the app. I was impressed at how easy it was to manipulate views and also how quickly new views regenerated. I have a feeling I will be using this new app quite a bit moving forward for visiting client locations and working in the field.

ZWSOFT is a provider of CAD/CAM solutions for the AEC and MCAD industries and is headquartered in Guangzhou, China. It was founded in 1998 under the name Guangzhou Chinaweal Longteng Technology Co., Ltd. and in 2007, the name was changed to ZWCAD Software Co., Ltd. It states more than 20 percent of the corporation’s revenue goes into research and development. The company’s Web page indicates that it will keep increasing that amount to meet the ZWSOFT development strategy and that ZWSOFT products have been proven successful the last 20 years by more than 320,000 clients in over 80 countries. The main product for ZWSOFT is ZW3D.

About the Author

Jeffrey Heimgartner has more than 20 years of experience in the computer-aided drafting and design field. He manages the Lincoln, Nebraska-based drafting and design firm, Advanced Technical Services. His main responsibilities include managing the CAD team, sales, scheduling and coordinating projects, drafting and design, as well as marketing and all IT functions.

Jeffrey earned his bachelor’s degree in Industrial Technology with an emphasis in Computer Aided Drafting and Design from Wayne State College in Wayne, Nebraska. He has a background in farming and construction and has authored many published industry-related articles.

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