Portable VariCAD 2021 v2.07 (x64)
VariCAD Portable is 3D / 2D CAD software primarily intended for mechanical engineering design. The comprehensive CAD software enables designers to quickly create, evaluate, and modify their models. The software is sold as one “fully loaded” package, with all features and functions, for one very affordable price. VariCAD delivers an excellent performance-to-price ratio, making it one of the smartest choices on the market today.
User Interface and System Environment
VariCAD’s Graphical User Interface (GUI) has been designed to allow quick and intuitive 3D/2D orientation. It has been carefully tailored and tuned to reflect the thought process of a designer, so that ideas can be captured and communicated with a minimal number of steps. All commands were created with a focus on ease of use.
You can start by creating a 3D model and then use it to automatically create drawings files, or you can draw only in 2D. Designing in 3D is generally more “natural,” in that it closely represents actual parts and assemblies. The 3D approach is usually more intuitive than 2D drafting. Models created in 3D are easily converted into conventional 2D documentation. VariCAD provides tools for 2D updates after changes of 3D models.
VariCAD provides a library of basic 3D shapes (like a box, cylinder, cone, etc.), which are easily modified by editing their dimensions. Solids can be created also by profile rotation, extrusion, or lofting. More complex tools include rotation blending between two profiles, lofting between a circle and rectangle or between different profiles, and creation of helical surfaces.
Solids can be added or subtracted, thus forming Boolean trees representing real mechanical parts. Boolean operations have options of automatic trimming (so called selective Boolean operations). Predefined operations like drilling of holes, face milling or groove milling are also available. Edges can be rounded or chamfered. VariCAD provides a lot of possibilities of solid transformations or their editing. Also, you can easily edit Boolean trees – either selecting solid parts from 3D, or selecting them from a list displaying structure.
Parameters and Geometrical Constraints
Although you can comfortably transform solids or their parts, you can optionally define geometrical constraints. Once defined, constraints allow you “to stick” object at defined location. More exactly, you can remove degrees of freedom of constrained objects. If other objects are changed or transformed, constrained object changes its position automatically. For instance, if you constrain a groove to the end of a shaft and the shaft length is changed, the groove remains in constant distance from the end edge. Constraints can be defined among elements of a solid, among entire solids or within a 2D profile creating a solid (for instance, by extrusion).
Whenever you enter a dimension of solid, a distance in constraint or dimension in 2D profile used for solid creation, you can optionally use parameter or even a mathematical expression containing parameters. Changing parameter values, you can change shapes or locations of solids.
3D Assemblies and Groups
VariCAD also provides tools for assembly support. If the link between a part and assembly is defined, any changes made to the part file are reflected in the assembly file and vice-versa. Linked copies of solids can also be defined (so called identical solids). In such case, editing of one object causes update of all its identical copies. Solid groups can be defined as well, making selection and visibility changes simple, for multiple objects.
Crash Tests (Interferences)
One excellent feature of 3D modeling is component interference checking. VariCAD can check 3D assemblies for possible collisions (overlapping volume) between components.
VariCAD can calculate 2D section area, surface area, volume, mass, center of gravity, and moment of inertia. Mechanical parts calculations are also included – for standard parts used every day by mechanical designers. There are calculations of tension and compression springs, pre-stressed bolted connections, pins and parallel keys, grooved shafts, bearings, beams under combined stress (bending and torsion), spur and bevel gearing geometry, and belt drives.
Surface Development (Sheet Metal Unbending)
VariCAD Portable can also create developed (unbent) surfaces of 3D solids or sheet metal parts. The XY coordinates of developed surfaces can be saved into a text file for further processing. You can input bending coefficients in order to customize your calculations, to reflect material and technology.
Mechanical Part and Symbol Libraries VariCAD contains libraries of standard mechanical parts (ANSI, DIN), such as bolts, nuts, pins, plugs, cotters, gaskets, bearings, rolled and drawn shapes, and hydraulic, pneumatic, and electrical symbols.
3D – 2D Export
3D models are easily converted into 2D drawings to produce conventional drafting documentation. You can create 2D views of one or more selected solids by defining the views in 3D. In addition, you can also export specified sections. VariCAD supports updates of a 2D drawing after changes in 3D.
2D Drawing and Editing
Drawing functions are optimized for easy use in engineering. Some handy features of 2D drawing include: automatic detection of objects and snap points, numerous snap modes, auxiliary construction lines, Ortho mode, rectangular grid, drawing layers, block creation, hatching with automatic border detection, advanced dimensioning, finish symbols, welding symbols, tolerance symbols, and many more. You can draw in millimeters or in inches.
BOM and Title Blocks
VariCAD provides tools for maintaining the data structure of the product. There are links between attributes of parts and content of title blocks. You can create a bill of material (BOM) from an assembly, or easily modify the database using commands like mass attribute changes, sorting of information, etc. Each part can contain attributes, like name, type of material or supplier. Such data can be used for material requisitions, creation of bills of materials (BOM), filling of title blocks, or other purposes.
The data structure of the product (BOM) can be exported into other systems or into a spreadsheet. A mask is used for BOM customization; you can modify it exactly according to your needs. Mask defines usage of solid or assembly attributes, working with title blocks, methods of data exports from BOM etc…
VariCAD can interchange files with other CAD systems. You can export STEP (3D), STL (3D), IGES (3D), DWG (2D), DXF (2D) files, and import STEP (3D), DWG (2D), DXF (2D). The files can be converted individually or in batch routines, thereby converting multiple files in one step.
- Completely rebuilt 2D graphics used in 2D drawing and sketching.
- Improvements in 2D features.
- Rebuilt management of exports of 3D views into 2D.
- Changes in definition of printing of 2D area.
- Improvements in 3D modeling kernel.
- Since the last announcement of new features, improvements in STEP input.
Thickness of displayed 2D lines.
Apart from color and line style definition, you can also select the thickness of displayed 2D lines. Thickness can be predefined for any 2D layer. By default, layer “Outline” uses thick lines. Line thickness can be selected on various occasions. More specifically, in 2D view creation from 3D (for visible lines by default), for 2D sheet border, weld and tolerance symbols and part of displayed item numbers. Thick lines can be displayed also in file preview, but in this case, such option is convenient rather for 4k resolution, for 196 Dpi.
More legible displaying of auxiliary objects.
All markers (like end-points, intersection markers, circle centers…), direction arrows, temporary lines or circles, detected objects or marked temporary locations are displayed more clearly. Detected objects, corners or construction lines are highlighted in thick lines. These rules are used both in 2D drawing area and in sketching.
Construction lines and temporary leading or transient lines.
Creation or deleting of construction lines is also conveniently accessible from the pop-up menu, if you click an empty area. If detected, a construction line is highlighted in different color than detected ordinary 2D objects. Whenever you need to define a start point the construction lines are dragged from, you can right-click an end-point of arc or curve, or a line and select tangent direction or direction perpendicular to tangent. If you right-click a highlighted transient line (for instance created at currently detected end-point), you can select to keep the line till the end of the current task. Then, such transient lines are removed automatically. If you right-click a 2D line during location input, you can create a temporary leading line along the detected line. Similarly, as for permanent construction lines, you can also right-click an end-point or midpoint and create a temporary leading line along/perpendicular to tangent direction.
Cursor coordinates, input of 2D location.
Coordinates displayed near the cursor are now clear on white background, in 2D drawing area, sketching and in 3D. If an incorrect location is detected, coordinates background is changed to a red color. If you create a dimension connected to 3D view and the dimension is automatically updatable, coordinates background is green – then, you always see the status of the dimension. Input of 2D location offers a new possibility to snap to text insertion points, so you can easily insert new texts according to existing ones.
View exports from 3D.
Already defined view exports can be easily managed. Moving the cursor over lines of the list of 3D views in the table, corresponding 2D objects are highlighted. As a new feature, you can select removal of an export together with 2D objects. In the 2D drawing area, you can press and hold Ctrl and move over 2D objects. If a 3D view is detected, all objects of the 3D view are highlighted together. Right-click opens a pop-up. Then, you can select 3D view export management, select removal of view export with corresponding 2D objects, move all objects of the detected view and more… Right-clicking an empty area offers you another feature previously available only from a toolbar – highlighting of updatable dimensions, axes or hatches, as well as displaying of correctly or incorrectly updated dimensions. Corresponding objects are highlighted also temporarily, while moving cursor over items in a table.
Drawing of multi-lines, shafts and ellipse.
Multi-lines can be created as 1 or 2 offset lines from a centerline, optionally closed at both ends. As a second option, you can create a poly-line and then, a second line as an offset at a defined distance or dragged dynamically by a cursor. Drawing of shafts or ellipse offers more options than the previous version.
Stretching of 2D objects.
As a new feature, you can stretch also 2D splines, including ellipse. Moreover, you can convert 2D circle or arc into a spline, so it can be later stretched into ellipse.
Printing of 2D objects.
Thickness of printed lines can be defined as previously, by mapping of 2D color to printed thickness. Apart from this, you can also optionally map displayed thickness to printed thickness. A preview of the printed area displays thickness according to printed output, as well as colors according to output (in case of color printing). Method of display of a preview can be easily changed from the icon menu.
Sketching in 3D.
Display of a created solid can be switched from a pop-up menu. Usually, the solid is displayed as transparent in green color – if created contour is correct, or in red color, if the contour cannot be selected automatically. Sometimes, the transparent solid may cause less legible display for 2D drawing. Right-clicking an empty area opens a pop-up menu which offers to turn the display of a transparent solid on/off. If there are multiple objects in a 3D space, and the shaded display is active, you can select whether the edited solid remains only transparent (now, this is by default). During location input, you can select a 3D location. The selected location is projected perpendicularly into the sketching plane. Apart from selecting such input from the menu, you can press and hold Ctrl+Shift while moving the cursor, or press a key ‘Q’. This action switches input automatically to selection of 3D location projected onto a sketching plane. When a solid edge or an edge end-point is detected, location in the sketching plane is marked before it is finally selected. Using Ctrl+Shift while moving a cursor is similar to selection of a rectangle in 2D or sketching between commands (if you want to stretch objects), or in 3D (if you want to detect a sketching plane at a solid). As in these cases, triggering of location projected from 3D can be configured or turned off.