Alright, so Punch Software makes a whole series of ‘home design’ products which we all see at CompUSA, Walmart etc. But today, they announced full 3D software for a simple $99. Now, back in November 2006, they acquired CADSoft Solutions Inc (CSI) and, we believe, acquired Tim Olson with it. CSI used to develop ‘conceptual design software’ much of which was used by other vendors. Indeed, IMSI’s TurboCAD for MAC product is reportedly built on CSI’s code.
ViaCAD, as the Punch product is known, is a Windows and Mac-based product, that claims that it makes 2D and 3D design easy and fun. The image (below) of things that have been created in ViaCAD are surprisingly complex, so we would be interested to see just how ‘easy’ they are to create.
Industry commentary: Will $99 3D CAD software actually be any good? Well, we already have free 3D from Alibre Design Xpress which according to its many users is well-received, usable and functional (if slightly limited in assembly size.) We have affordable 3D software from Rhino, FreeDesign, IMSI and Alibre, and all of these kick butt in terms of creating in 3D. And despite all of that, any article you read has the mid-range CEOs being entirely dismissive…we suggest that they should, perhaps, try some of this stuff out.
Yesterday, Cocreate released its Mid-range 3D CAD software for free for a limited time. (The download is for a limited time, not using the software which is for as long as you want.)
The ViaCAD software seems good and has a pedigreed background – developer Tim Olson is not in the habit of developing crap software. We are sure he has not done that in this case either!
For $99 can we really go wrong? The software won’t be out until March 07, but I have a feeling I’ll be buying it at CompUSA even if just to try it out.