First Look: TurboCAD 2018
Michael Alba posted on May 16, 2018 | | 777 views
Screenshot of TurboCAD Pro Platinum 2018. (Image courtesy of IMSI Design.)
Screenshot of TurboCAD Pro Platinum 2018. (Image courtesy of IMSI Design.)

CAD company IMSI Design has released the 2018 version of its TurboCAD suite of 2D drafting and 3D modeling applications. TurboCAD 2018 is offered in four versions: TurboCAD Designer 2D, TurboCAD Deluxe 2D/3D, TurboCAD Expert, and TurboCAD Pro Platinum. In this article, we’ll take a first look at some of the new features and capabilities offered in TurboCAD 2018, with a focus on Pro Platinum.

One of the first new features offered is an innovative spin on keyboard shortcuts that promises to hammer home the “turbo” in TurboCAD.

“We've introduced a new technology that I haven't seen in any other product,” said IMSI’s Robert Berry. “Basically, we've created this thing called a keyboard accelerator. It consists of pressing and releasing the ctrl key and then typing in a sequence.”

For example, if you want to start drawing a box, there’s a very memorable keyboard accelerator: simply press and release the control key and type in the letters B-O-X. 

As you would expect, all keyboard shortcuts are customizable. If you’re not into the successive keyboard accelerators, you can set a classic shortcut like ctrl+B. In fact, with TurboCAD 2018, you can even set multiple keyboard shortcuts for the same command. Setting shortcuts is as easy as pressing ctrl+F2, the shortcut that opens the Customize window shown above. Users can search through commands to assign shortcuts up to five keys long. AutoCAD users will also find that all AutoCAD aliases (shortcuts for common commands) will provide similar functionality in TurboCAD, allowing for an easy back and forth between the two programs.

A sample of 23 pages of AutoCAD aliases that invoke similar functionality in TurboCAD 2018.
A sample of 23 pages of AutoCAD aliases that invoke similar functionality in TurboCAD 2018.

Next up on the new feature list is the ability to isolate and hide objects. Users can focus on the details they want by selecting only what they want to edit and hiding the rest, regardless of layer or group.

Example of the isolate feature in TurboCAD 2018.
Example of the isolate feature in TurboCAD 2018.

Another new feature allows users to snap to the midpoint of two chosen points. This feature replaces the need for users to create a 2-point construction circle to snap to its center.

Save your 2-point construction circles; in TurboCAD 2018, you can snap to the midpoint of two points automatically.
Save your 2-point construction circles; in TurboCAD 2018, you can snap to the midpoint of two points automatically.

This feature will already be familiar to users of AutoCAD. As Berry points out, TurboCAD 2018 should feel like home to such users.

“This version combines all the best features of TurboCAD, with its very quick keyboard shortcuts, and it's added all of the functionality of AutoCAD,” he said. “So it hasn't taken anything away from TurboCAD, but it's added all of the expectations that an AutoCAD user would want and benefit from.”

Also new to TurboCAD 2018 is the ability to delete construction and constraint layers from the layer palette, which was previously impossible to do.

(Image courtesy of IMSI Design).
(Image courtesy of IMSI Design).

The new Trim by Entity tool allows users to use one entity to trim another. This is easiest to explain with a picture:

The six-pointed star is used to cut away parts of the rectangular border.
The six-pointed star is used to cut away parts of the rectangular border.

The pick point Hatch tool has also been improved, with the ability to specify an error margin in gaps to be filled.

This gap prevents the Hatch tool from doing its job. We can measure it to determine its size:

And specify a tolerance that will solve the problem:

TurboCAD 2018 also introduces the Quick Pull tool, allowing users to pull or push faces.

The box on the left has been pulled into the box on the right.
The box on the left has been pulled into the box on the right.

TurboCAD 2018 moves deeper into the world of Building Information Modeling (BIM), allowing users to import and save Industry Foundation Classes (IFC) files. A new dynamic cut plane tool gives easier insight into 3D models, and users can now measure coordinates in 3D, as opposed to merely 2D in previous versions. 

The new dynamic cut plane tool in TurboCAD 2018.
The new dynamic cut plane tool in TurboCAD 2018.

Finally, TurboCAD 2018’s core rendering engine has been replaced with LightWorks, which for recent releases has only been an optional plug-in. The previous rendering engine, REDsdk, will now be offered as an optional plug-in.

Some material options for rendering in TurboCAD 2018 with LightWorks.
Some material options for rendering in TurboCAD 2018 with LightWorks.

The highest tier of TurboCAD 2018, TurboCAD Pro Platinum, is available on both perpetual and subscription licensing models. The software is $1500 to buy, and $500/year on subscription.

Beyond these, there are many other new features in TurboCAD 2018. If you’re interested in learning more, check out the TurboCAD website.

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