RISC World

A quick introduction to RiscCAD

Aaron gives a brief introduction to RiscCAD

I was going to review RiscCAD for this issue of RISCWorld, but now I am not. Why? Well that's an excellent question so let me attempt to answer it. David Buck has recently released a new demo version of RiscCAD, having taken over the sales from APDL, along with some updates to the full versions, he has also slashed the price down from £59 (which is the price APDL used to charge) to just £15. That's right just £15; as a friend of mine would say.

So can I, in all honesty, review a full featured CAD package that you can buy for well under £20? What could I possibly say? Is it worth the money? Of course it's worth the money, it's a steal at this price, even if you don't every do any CAD work. Sorry? Even if you don't do any CAD work? Yes, because after you have user RiscCAD you will want to do some, even if it's just "playing" with possible designs for a new bathroom, or in my case garage.

Anyway back to the story, I have been e-mailing David Buck over the last few weeks and one of my first questions was "could we put the demo version on RISCWorld?", he would be delighted. So I downloaded the new demo version and hit a couple of small snags. Firstly I tried to select a drawing tool, and I couldn't, surely the demo can't be that restrictive? Well it isn't, what I needed to do was click inside the new blank drawing window to bring up the crosshairs, then I could select tools to my hearts content.

RISCWorld gets the measure of RiscCAD

The next snag came when I wanted to actually start drawing. I clicked on the circle tool, positioned the centre and held down to drag, but nothing was happening. When I let go a circle appeared in the wrong place, help! Actually what I should have done was clicked once to set the center of the circle, moved the mouse and then clicked a second time to draw the circle. This set me thinking, if I am having these problems surely some other trying the demo will also have similar problems.

So I e-mailed David Buck again and asked him about documentation. He replied that the demo comes without a manual, but supported Interactive Help, which indeed it does. This set me thinking, I knew that APDL had HTML manuals for a number of packages, did they have one for RiscCAD that had never been released? The answer was yes. It would need some tidying up but we could certainly include it in RISCWorld, provided David Buck didn't mind. So I asked him.

No, he didn't mind at all. So here we have it. A full HTML version of the RiscCAD manual along with a demo version of the program to try out. So why aren't I going to review it? Well in my view I simply don't need to. Try the demo version yourself and I am totally convinced that you will be hooked and want to get the full version, so to sum up...

So here's why you should try RiscCAD.

  • It's in the software directory in this issue.
  • we have supplied a complete manual and a technical reference guide.
  • It's the best RISC OS application I have seen in quite some time.

After you have played with the demo here is why I think you should buy a copy.

  • It's a fully featured CAD package.
  • It is packed with useful features.
  • It's being actively updated and supported.
  • It's an excellent package that gives a lot of much more expensive software on other platforms a run for their money.
  • You won't be able to live without it

If I was reviewing it it would get six out of five. Oh, and of course it's only £15, did I mention that?