Hi All, Thinking of upgrading? Some useful thoughts may be here. After having used CorelCAD for a few weeks, I have a fairly fluid feel for it now and thought I'd write up a brief review of it's strengths and weaknesses that I've noticed.
Firstly, I only do 3D non-commercial design work - it's mostly hobby stuff for me, so don't expect a draftpersons review here.
I think that pretty much makes me a native on this app. Also, I've spent a lot of time detailing bugs and problems with the app, and also spent time writing my own routines to work. I'm not a power user, but I'm not a novice either. This must be considered as the base from which I make my perspective. Let's see what's happened in that time. The Good: The look and feel are still much the same as CorelCAD and are familiar. Also, Gourad shading is different - I'm not sure whether to put this in good or bad, but they have the ANIMATE rendering so it's probably fine that lines are always rendered in non-line mode now.
Aside from that, very little has changed in the 3D editing area and any improvements are slight. However it does work with Windows 10 quite well. This is actually pretty good, since previous versions have all had OS related issues that need to be worked around.
Stability seems slightly better, but it will be difficult to tell until I've used it a few months. The Bad: The new QINPUT is a disaster, and while you can turn off the majority of it, there's still unmaskable popups that occur every time you click on an object. Seriously, Corel, We don't want that.
It's not like the information isn't available anyway, but covering a huge part of the screen is pretty poor. Also, too many options appear on the screen, making object selection in 3D impossible at times.
The interface just doesn't lend itself to the busy screen aspects of 3D rendering in 3D or 2D mode. Also, 3D mode is broken now - and some features like Face Select simply don't work at all - In fact, there's nothing you can do in 3D mode that you can't do in 2D mode, and if there is, Corel's not telling what the difference in wireframe render is.
It's still slow with large files, and by large, I'm talking about single objects without too much complexity, but with a lot of circular components or fillets and the like. The Ugly: No bug fixes. For that matter, serious bugs, some that can't be worked around, are still present since CorelCAD. That makes 12 editions in which none of the 3D bugs seem to have been fixed or even looked at. This is the most damning thing I can find about this app - if you have problems, you might as well spend the time working on a complete workaround, or find another way to do something.
Graebert is never going to fix what's broken. In fact, the main focus seems to be about new 2D features, and I've pretty much given up on bug fixes, because by now, I realize there is more chance of the moon flying out of it's orbit than there is of Graebert ever taking time to address the foundation failures in their application. Most of it is still clunky, and the engine struggles with anything not basic. Worse, in a time when everyone is moving to 3D modelling, Graebert still haven't installed decent support for 3D - There's so much more they could do - More filters, more filetype support, better Corel import options, Group commands and auto-fixing of PLINEs, 3D text support and logo conversion to model, Format reconstruction and so on.
This is the future, and six years ago I figured Corel would stick to it's past reputation and fix up the app. Heck, by now, it should have moved on at least as much as Corel 7 moved on from Corel 2. It hasn't, and neither has Corel. Corel Had a chance to take CorelCAD and drive into this newly emerging marketplace for 3D technologies, and it has failed. Already the market is being flooded with free 3D CAD applications and, while not as good, these are taking over the beginner market and pushing people more towards SolidWorks as an upgrade path rather than CorelCAD when 3D work is needed.
Yes, that's important. Don't underestimate it. I'd like more as well, but this is enough. Some of the "nice to haves" are - nice to have.
Animation is good for single objects and is a cool idea and maybe I haven't gotten the most out of it yet, but how much cooler would it have been if I could define relationships between parts, such as rotational axis and collision detection, while specifying multiple objects, so I can see how far things can move around in a design that includes bearings or movement points? Or even for the program to just use collision detection and allows this to happen automatically so I can drag things around with rag-doll physics?
As it stands, we still don't have them and I suspect the freeware 3D software will quickly overtake CorelCAD in the next 5 years. The application is still well priced enough that you might as well get the latest if you can, but there's nothing wrong with going back to CorelCAD original if you can find a cheap copy, even if you're using Windows 10 on a single monitor.
As a result, I'll give this version a fail. There's too much bad and way too much ugly to be offset by the good. Not worth the upgrade unless you're having system compatibility problems.
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