TurboCAD: My Trusted Business Partner
I began using TurboCAD in 2002 and all these years later I still get excited when I think about using TurboCAD on a daily basis. TurboCAD V8 was the market version when I stumbled across it at a local office supply store while seeking a software package that would enable me to create the illustrations I needed for an Origami book that I was in the process of writing. That version allowed for the easy creation of several hundred illustrations and turned out to be the beginning of a long term relationship that has blossomed into a healthy and successful multifaceted CAD business. TurboCAD 14.1 is now the current market version and it is, without a doubt, not only a remarkable business tool, but the software that I have come to know as my trusted business partner.
My partnership with TurboCAD has allowed me to develop a design and illustration business with regular long term clients in North America and Europe. For the past three years I have worked closely with a US firm that helps businesses promote themselves though a variety of means. One of these methods includes supplying trade show booths with their furnishings and graphics. In my role I create these trade show booths virtually, based on the prospective client's needs and or desires. I create the booths with TurboCAD Pro in 3D and I save final presentation pieces as quality rendered images from the software. The response never fails to be positive and I routinely see comments like: "DON – THESE ARE AWESOME – We just love what you do for us!!" or "Your work, as always, was awesome and the response I got back from my client was “You guys RULE!” Nice." This approach obviously works as my clients spend great sums of money each year having me create these virtual booths. As our relationship has expanded this particular client often has me create the large format graphics that will be used in the real world booths, all of which I create in TurboCAD at full scale and save to PDF for printing.
Another long term client that I have the pleasure of working with is a Florida based furniture designer / inventor geared toward large scale RTA (ready to assemble) furniture. For this client I create multi-page working drawings and TurboCAD rendered images for their new furniture designs. These drawings and quality renders are sent to their investor group for approval and are made available for prototype creation and tender bids. In my role with this firm I also have the privilege of creating the parts and assembly manuals that are included with each RTA package. I have no experience with other CAD software, due to the prohibitive costs of many of the others and really never having found a need to look further, so I can offer no comparison. I can, however, mention some of the things that TurboCAD has to offer that has made it a priceless and indispensable creative tool for me and my business.
TurboCAD's 3D capabilities are second to none. Solid model building in TurboCAD is like building in the real world without the limitations. Working with modifiable 2D profiles and primitive 3D shapes a user can quickly create quite complex models. There are an inordinate number of tools that make this creation of models, whether large scale buildings or small scale mechanical components, a breeze. Draw it once in 3D and users can create near infinite 2D and 3D views with only a few mouse clicks. The customizable user interface allows each user to set up their desktop to best suit their own needs and this is a must with so many tools to select from.
TurboCAD allows the user the ability to create huge libraries of 2D or 3D objects or complete models. This is something that allows me to create new, or quickly remodel, trade show booths on a continual basis. Trusses and a variety of furnishings are easily dragged in from the Library palette and easily positioned within the current or subsequent drawings.
In my work with the trade show booths my client often requires quick revisions and TurboCAD's speedy render engine allows me to get my changes made and the model scenes rerendered in a very timely fashion. One often hears of the 'old school' draftsman who balks at those software companies that spend energy creating software that produce 'pretty pictures'. They deem it superfluous - but my experience has shown time and again that those 'pretty pictures' are a must in today's world of choice. Thank goodness TurboCAD has the capability to create those 'pretty pictures' as they are what often make the first impression and that first impression is the lasting one. TurboCAD does not stop at the pretty pictures though – TurboCAD has a full set of tools and concomitant functions that allow for the creation of a top notch multi-page paper presentation complete with viewports and drafting palette sections. Ten decimal place precision with an array of dimensioning and annotation tools so broad it is stunning what can be created in way of blueprints, plans, brochures and other graphic illustrations. TurboCAD is a vector based program so printing any of these pages to large format media is a breeze.
Although compatibility has not been too much of an issue for me I have never been disappointed when I have had to supply model components that are to be 3D printed or machine routed. In addition, TurboCAD does have many import filters and these have been very beneficial when I have needed third party models which are occasionally incorporated into my trade show booths.
TurboCAD, like any complex software, does have a steep learning curve that will require an investment of time on the part of the new user. IMSI does supply a lengthy user manual and some extra learning aids that can be purchased through their web site for a fee. In a recent CadCourse audio interview Bob Mayer of IMSI Design said that their main focus was to create quality software and they were looking to skillful end users to fill in the gap with regards to additional learning aids. This is where individuals such as Henry Hubich, Kevin Doucette and I have found an opportunity to help by creating and supplying tutorial material through our own and other venues. In addition to these resources users can find excellent no-cost help from the TurboCAD User Conference Forum. A kind and gentle group of long time users are continually available to help new and not so new users with any TurboCAD concern that may arise. Most questions are answered within a few minutes.
On a final note I must say that the new IMSI Design precision design focus is a real welcome treat. With its sole focus now on precision design software users can rest assured that CAD is the business at hand. The folks at IMSI Design seem to have an excellent grasp of their user base needs and they appear to be making every attempt to incorporate new architectural and mechanical features with each new version. Many of these new features are now split off into add-on packages that allow a user to select only those tools specific to their needs. This, coupled with TurboCAD's already reasonable price, keeps unnecessary expenditures to a minimum. It is my opinion that users are in for an exciting journey as the developers and programmers of TurboCAD continue to churn out new features and improve old ones. I look forward with anticipation to what the TurboCAD feature holds but I will also continue to enjoy the current version, TurboCAD V14.1.
TurboCAD is a product of:
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About the Author
Aside from his Design and Illustration business interests, Donald (Don) B. Cheke tutors new users in the operation of TurboCAD and creates in-depth TurboCAD tutorial which he makes available on the Textual Creations Shopping Page Don lives and works from his home office in Saskatoon, SK Canada.
To view his many TurboCAD galleries visit Textual Creations
51 - 425 Bayfield Crescent
Saskatoon, SK Canada