Gstarsoft Launches New CAD Platform, Seeks to Expand Global Reach28 Apr, 2013 By: Cyrena Respini-Irwin
Chinese software developer sets its sights on international markets.
Editor's Note: Most quotations in this article were translated by an interpreter.
On April 10 and 11, CAD software developer Gstarsoft held its third annual Gstarsoft Symposium in Beijing, China. The event intends to foster an exchange of best practices among company executives and resellers, but this year’s event also turned the spotlight on the launch of Gstarsoft's new CAD platform, GstarCAD8, and hosted several members of the CAD media.
A DWG-compatible 2D/3D CAD platform for applications in AEC, manufacturing, and GIS, GstarCAD8 is more than simply the successor to GstarCAD 2012. It's built on a new architecture and is much faster and more stable than its predecessors, according to the company. (The name does not indicate that GstarCAD8 is the eighth in a line of releases; rather, the "8" represents the infinity symbol, and infinite possibility.)
Creating GstarCAD8 required "hundreds of engineers and three years of development at Xi’an Gstarsoft," said Gstarsoft President Lu Xiang. "[Our] huge investment in R&D ... has led us to good results." Vice-Executive Chairman Liang Haixia said, "We want to provide a stable, economically friendly CAD solution ... to help the growth of small and medium enterprises."
Seeking Superior Stability
Previous versions of GstarCAD were based on an architecture of overlapping functional modules, which made it difficult to pinpoint the source of bugs and other problems. This arrangement had a negative effect on stability.
In GstarCAD8, in contrast, the functional modules do not overlap — the new modular architecture can be likened to the cells in a honeycomb, instead of the petals in a rose. According to Gstarsoft, this arrangement makes it much easier to locate the source of errors and fix them without affecting other modules, preventing functional interlock that can cause the system to crash. In addition, a new command-management mechanism reduces conflict by keeping commands in order. "The stability of the product has been improved a lot," affirmed Vice-President Liang Jiang.
New Features Support Faster Performance
GstarCAD8 includes several features designed to increase the speed of graphics display while reducing memory usage a reported 40–50%:
- The Smart Graphic Partition decreases the impact on memory by handling only the data of those objects displayed in the workspace.
- Categorized Memory Storage Management sorts data during graphic operations, storing it either in the virtual memory or on the hard disk depending on how frequently it's used.
- The Self-Adaptive Data Model, a kind of compression technology with dynamic display capabilities, automatically generates data models in 2D or 3D modes.
"[Users] can make a very fast visit to a dedicated part of the graphic," said Liang Jiang. Zooming and panning functions operate more quickly, keeping pace with the user's mouse movements.
Gstarsoft claims that GstarCAD8 runs 3–5 times faster than previous versions. That's an average taken from a variety of basic design operations, said Meiyu, and in some cases the improvement is much greater; LISP programming can now run as much as 10–15 times faster, he said, courtesy of a new LISP engine.
GstarCAD8 also features the following:
- Expanded API and file format compatibility. The addition of GRX parameters enables the transfer of ARX files into GstarCAD8, which can also directly run LSP, FAS, and VLX plugins. The new release adds support for DWG 2013; export of DWFX, STL, EPS, and DXX files; import of SAT, 3DS, and WMF; and publishing PDF and 3D DWF files.
- User interface enhancements. Users can switch between ribbon-style and classic interfaces without restarting the program.
- Multilanguage support. Because it uses Unicode, GstarCAD8 can open drawings that contain multilanguage text or that aren't in the system default language.