CSG Editor 3.0 by Context CAD
Constructive Solid Geometry Primitive History Tree Control
Comments by: Odin Cary
I recently rediscovered this program when I encountered a client whose company models everything they design. Okay, they are mechanical engineers and not architects but this ARX application for AutoCAD R13 and R14 is really quite impressive and could easily be employed by anyone who works with solids in AutoCAD.
Its primary value, in my opinion, lies in its ability to allow you to work with the Primitive History Tree; i.e., you can go back and modify original primitives employed to make the current part. If you have a wall, for example, and you used several extruded polygons to create various openings in the wall, you could use the CSG Editor to go back and modify those openings even after you have completed the subtractions. This not something AutoCAD R13 or R14 can do in its native state; if you want to change an opening in a solid you have to plug the old one up and produce a new primitive to create a new opening.
The CSG Editor can do more than plug holes though, it can also change Fillets and Chamfers. It has a dialogue interface that allows for easier creation and modification of solid primitives and a set of buttons on a composite AutoCAD palette to quickly access the new commands. There are also Aliases for those who love to type and a pull-down menu item if desired.
This little program packs a punch. It is intuitive and non-invasive. The hardest part about it is the installation which requires that you understand how to load an ARX application and how to set AutoCAD's Search Path in the Preferences dialogue box.
On the down side, if you crash your drawing and it requires recovery it may well be the end of your CSG Editor session; up to that point.
ContextCAD offers a free downloadable working demo of their latest version. The self-extracting and self-installing file is about 1Mb. If you work with AutoCAD R13 or R14 solids, I highly recommend trying this demo so that you can at least see what you are missing in AutoCAD.
Context CAD, Inc.
103 Lincoln Drive
Sausalito, CA 94965
Tel: (415) 332-3691
FAX: (415) 332-3692
Orders/authorization codes: (800) 840-8050