Portable VariCAD 2023 v2.03 (x64)
VariCAD Portable is a powerful and user-friendly CAD software designed for engineers, architects, and designers who need to create 2D and 3D models of mechanical parts, buildings, and other complex structures. With its intuitive interface, comprehensive feature set, and excellent performance, VariCAD is the go-to solution for professionals and hobbyists alike.
One of the standout features of VariCAD Portable is its ease of use. Unlike some CAD software that can be cumbersome and difficult to learn, VariCAD is designed with simplicity in mind. The software features a clean and intuitive interface that makes it easy to navigate and perform tasks quickly and efficiently. Whether you’re a seasoned professional or a beginner, VariCAD’s user-friendly interface will help you get up to speed in no time.
Another advantage of VariCAD portable is its comprehensive feature set. The software offers a wide range of tools and capabilities that enable users to create highly detailed and accurate models. Whether you need to create 2D or 3D models, VariCAD has everything you need to get the job done. Some of the key features of the software include parametric modeling, assembly modeling, sheet metal modeling, and BOM (bill of materials) generation.
One of the most powerful features of VariCAD is its parametric modeling functionality. With this feature, users can create complex models that can be easily modified and updated as needed. This is particularly useful for engineers and designers who need to make frequent changes to their models based on client feedback or other factors. With VariCAD’s parametric modeling, making changes is as simple as adjusting a few parameters, rather than having to start from scratch.
Another noteworthy aspect of VariCAD is its excellent performance. The software is designed to handle even the most complex models with ease, delivering fast and reliable results every time. Whether you’re working on a small project or a large-scale design, VariCAD’s performance and stability will help you get the job done quickly and efficiently.
Of course, no software is perfect, and VariCAD is no exception. One potential downside of the software is its price. While it’s certainly not the most expensive CAD software on the market, it’s also not the cheapest, and some users may find the cost prohibitive. However, considering the software’s comprehensive feature set and excellent performance, many users will likely feel that the price is worth it.
Another potential drawback of VariCAD is its lack of cloud integration. While you can certainly save and share your models locally, the software doesn’t offer any built-in support for cloud storage services like Google Drive or Dropbox. This means that if you need to collaborate with others on a project, you’ll need to find alternative methods for sharing files and working together.
In conclusion, VariCAD Portable is an excellent CAD software that offers a comprehensive feature set, user-friendly interface, and excellent performance. Whether you’re an engineer, architect, or designer, VariCAD has everything you need to create highly detailed and accurate models. With its parametric modeling, assembly modeling, sheet metal modeling, and BOM generation capabilities, VariCAD is the go-to solution for professionals and hobbyists alike. While its price may be a bit steep for some users, the software’s excellent performance and stability make it a worthwhile investment for anyone who needs to create complex models on a regular basis.
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 Portable 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 Portable 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.
The new version can exploit the latest OpenGL standard (4.6), while you can still work with lower versions (4.3 or 4.0). The updated VariCAD works according to the previous settings unless you explicitly change it.
The “cfg” command gives you a new section – Advanced OpenGL Settings. These settings are useful in case the chart does not work perfectly. In addition, we provide a tool that can easily restart VariCAD if something goes wrong. Now VariCAD also works well for the latest versions of the Mesa library on Linux.
Move 2D objects in a 2D area or in a sketch.
Unlike previous versions, no more dialogs asking you to copy or move. If you want to duplicate selected objects, just put them in their original position first. To drag, you can use the intersection of the temporary main lines. The behavior is similar to copying or moving 3D objects.
Sliding of 3D objects when resizing.
If you want to change the size of the basic shapes (like boxes, cylinders, cones, etc.), you can stretch the size accordingly. Edited 3D objects are dynamically changed based on cursor movement. Similarly, you can drag the height of the extrusion if you are creating or modifying an object by sketching. You can now capture 3D positions while moving (click the end point, midpoint, center of the circle, etc.). This feature can be optionally disabled in the “cfg” command.
Previewing inactive documents.
This feature was introduced in the previous version. Now the preview is shown in all possible scenarios. If you want to exit VariCAD and have unsaved changes, a preview will be displayed for all of them, except when the only changed document is the active document. Likewise, you can see the previews if you want to do a “save all” and have multiple “NONAME” documents unchanged.
Another new feature is the preview of all files related to the assembly structure. The dialog panel contains a preview showing the currently open document, as well as the unopened document – then the preview used in the file dialog is displayed. The file list contains some new information.
Work with two monitors.
It is no longer necessary to explicitly specify where VariCAD will be displayed. Simply drag and drop the entire VariCAD window onto the left or right screen. Then VariCAD will start there. Note that the second version of VariCAD (read-only) has different settings. You can still set the VariCAD location in the “cfg” command as before.
Corrects gaps in a selected profile.
When defining contours to extrude (or rotate or smooth…), you can automatically detect and repair gaps between adjacent segments. Gap width can be selected. By default, deviations up to 0.025 mm are detected and corrected. The width can be adjusted up to 0.25 mm. If a gap is detected, it is corrected by extending or truncating it to the intersection with a neighboring segment, or in the case of NURBS, by recomputing the gap.
Gap detection and repair is available from the context menu when sketching contours or from the “rgp” command – this also works in 2D drawings. If left untreated, deviations of a few micrometers or less can cause problems when working with 3D solids. Gaps often come from importing 2D objects.
Set the line thickness.
The dialog panel is rebuilt. You can now set the thickness explicitly in a dialog.