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Programming with IntelliCAD

The IntelliCAD Technology Consortium (ITC) is a nonprofit organization that delivers a safe and affordable CAD programming platform for its members. Each of the consortium’s commercial members share the source code of the IntelliCAD program and invariably add their own specialty solutions for their own niche markets.

At its core, the IntelliCAD program is based on and expands the Open Design Alliance (ODA) programming interface (API) called Teigha. The ODA is also a nonprofit organization that supplies .dwg programming libraries to its members. The IntelliCAD IRX API can be considered an extension of the Teigha API.

Traditionally, a recipe for success when creating a compiler for programming purposes is to use the programming language of the compiler to write additional functionality within the compiler itself. This methodology ensures that the programming language is sound in that it has to be used in order to create itself, layer upon layer. In a similar way the IntelliCAD program is written using the ODA Teigha libraries. The entire IntelliCAD source code is in fact a set of examples showing how to use the Teigha/IRX interface to create CAD programming solutions.

Resultantly, the preferred method of programming within IntelliCAD is by using the IRX API. Although several other APIs are available, IRX, an object oriented C++ API is our most powerful API with the ability to create custom objects and provides the best performance for complex solutions.

There are however a multitude of different programming APIs that are available to developers who are interested in using the IntelliCAD platform.

At an end-user level, there is the ability to record and save macros in a text format. These text files can later be edited, loaded and run as a script, thereby saving the user a great deal of time on repetitive tasks. This text script format effectively gives access to all of the commands that can be typed into the IntelliCAD command line.

The IntelliCAD menu structure is also based on a TXT format which enables full customization of the menu either from within or outside the program. Developers can easily replace or add to the existing IntelliCAD menu structures. Other menu programming tools such as DCL and DIESEL are also supported.

At the next level, IntelliCAD offers a LISP programming interface that is extremely similar to AutoCAD’s AutoLISP. If you create LISP commands from within IntelliCAD, they can be run in AutoCAD. The LISP interpreter is an internal API and can even be combined with the macro recording language mentioned above.

IntelliCAD also includes the Solutions Development System (SDS), which is a C/C++ language interface comparable with the ADS® (AutoCAD® Development System). The SDS system is more like C versus C++ in that it does not have the ability to create custom objects but it can support complex solutions development. IntelliCAD is compatible with ADS programs and several ITC members have successfully imported millions of lines of ADS code to IntelliCAD.

IntelliCAD also supports many different flavors of COM programming. Direct COM development can be done in C/C++. We also support the Visual Basic for Applications interpreted compiler within the IntelliCAD program and the Visual Basic development environment for compiling outside of IntelliCAD. You can even do C# development from within IntelliCAD and support for this API is improving all the time.

If you are interested in finding out if IntelliCAD can solve your CAD development needs, please contact me, Robert Berry via Skype at Robert.Berry.ITC.

Join the IntelliCAD Technology Consortium

Topics: CAD Platform ITC DWG CAD programming ADS ARX IRX AutoLISP Lisp

Creating BIM applications on top of IntelliCAD

The concept of BIM technology has been around since the 1960s. Over the past 20 years 3-D modeling has been actively used in the automotive and aviation industries to model cars, ships and airplanes. However it has been only relatively recently that the AEC building industry has been "revolutionized" by information modeling technology.

Previously, architects and engineers used CAD as an electronic drafting board to create their plans, but these drawings were essentially "non-intelligent" containing only the geometry of lines, arcs and text. Over the past several years there have been many new software offerings that have attempted to change the fundamental methodology of how architectural drawings are created by trying to build intelligence into a model which is then used to generate construction documents. Some of this software is intriguing but actually many architects and engineers still need, and often prefer, the traditional 2D lines and arcs to complete certain custom areas of the drawing.

CAD Projekt is a leading Interior Design company based in Poland that delivers a joint solution in their IntelliCAD offering. Their users experience the best of both worlds in that they can use all of the traditional 2D and 3D CAD tools but still benefit from integrated BIM technology that can be imported via the IFC file format.

CAD Projekt chose IntelliCAD over other CAD platforms its open source, reliability, familiar user-friendly interface and its full compatibility with the .dwg file format. As a Commercial member of the ITC, CAD Projekt has unlimited distribution rights for an extremely low royalty rate, allowing them to supply their worldwide customer base with the full IntelliCAD program alongside their own software at no additional charge. Furthermore, access to the IntelliCAD source code accelerates development and allows them to tightly integrate their own software to ensure better performance and reliability.

CAD Projekt says their success would have been impossible to achieve without their partnership with the ITC. They say the knowledge and experience of the ITC’s international development team ensures the highest quality solutions and allows them to direct all their efforts towards their own vertical applications.

“Becoming a part of ITC was not only a great economical and programming solution, but also an important turn in our understanding of globalization. We feel that together we can create much better solutions to serve our customers,” says Mr. Adam Sterczala, Economical Director and co-founder of CAD Projekt K&A.

If you are interested in using IntelliCAD as your CAD development platform then please contact me via Skype at Robert.Berry.ITC and I will do my best to work with you to establish if IntelliCAD does in fact meet your development requirements.

This movie gives a presentation specifically about the CAD Decor Pro product...

Topics: IntelliCAD Architecture BIM ITC DWG