ARES Commander New Features

Top New Features in ARES Commander 2020

ARES Commander 2020 brings lots of new and enhanced tools to boost your productivity.

Drawing Compare

Compare two versions of a drawing to display the differences with colors
The new Drawing Compare palette allows you to compare the current drawing with another one.
Practical examples: Understand modifications made by a colleague, compare two options for the same project, show before and after, etc.

Data Extraction

Extract information from entities or blocks to a table or a CSV file
The Data Extraction wizard enables you to quickly create a bill of materials or to extract other types of information from your drawings.
Select entities and filter only the data you want to extract. You can further insert it as a table in the drawing or generate a file that can be imported in a spreadsheet.
Available for Windows only

Grip Editing of Hatches and Gradients

Manipulate the contour of your hatch or gradient hatch like if it was a Polyline
Select any hatch entity and you will see grips that will help you to manipulate directly the shape. Hovering over a grip point displays also a contextual menu with editing options.

Associative Patterns

Manipulate the contour of your hatch or gradient hatch like if it was a Polyline.
Select any hatch entity and you will see grips that will help you to manipulate directly the shape. Hovering over a grip point displays also a contextual menu with editing options.

Lasso Selection

Use the lasso selection method to specify entities within an irregularly formed contour specified by dragging the cursor.

Custom Blocks Improvements

Equivalent to the dynamic blocks in other CAD software, you can use the custom blocks to create smarter entities, which size and look will adapt parametrically with additional grips. You may also include a dropdown menu to switch between different types and options for the same block.

Convert dynamic blocks into custom blocks

You can use dynamic blocks created with AutoCAD as they are. They will keep their intelligence and parameters in ARES Commander. But now you may alternatively use the CBCONVERT command to convert them into custom blocks which definition can be further modified with ARES Commander

Test mode in the Block Editor

The Block Editor includes now a “Test Block” feature (Command CBTESTBLOCK) to try your custom block definition without exiting the Block Editor.

Distance multiplier and angle offset

Previously you could already define a value as an increment to eventually limit how an entity would vary in size and avoid, for example, configurations that cannot exist or be produced.
Now, the distance multiplier lets you alternatively specify a factor by which a distance value of the custom block is increased or decreased (for example, double the size after each increment).
The angle offset works the same but with angles. You may, for example, define that entities could only rotate with angle increments of 60°.

Define multiple base points

Traditional blocks have only one base point. Now custom blocks enable you to define more base points to choose from during insertion. By pressing the Ctrl key you could cycle between them which significantly helps to position and align the block without any further actions.

PCX Print Configuration Files

Equivalent to the PC3 format in other CAD software
Import PC3 files or create and save new printer configuration files in PCX format. It makes it easy to reuse and share with colleagues the same configuration for successive printings.

Work Faster in 3D

These new commands help you to extract 2D entities from the edges of 3D solids or surfaces.
This is in particular useful to extract construction entities you will use as a reference to create other 3D shapes combining with boolean operations or Push/pull actions.

Customize Your Workspaces

New CAD General workspace
The CAD General workspace offers an alternative ribbon to the default “Drafting & Annotation” workspace of ARES Commander. Icons are reorganized to facilitate the switch from AutoCAD or other similar CAD software.

Easily create and save your workspaces
Reorganize the user interface of ARES Commander as you wish and save your configuration as a new workspace.

Maps for ARES Commander

Free maps service for ARES Commander subscribers
Search for any address and get street maps and satellite images to insert in the background of your drawings.
This professional map service is developed in collaboration with Esri, the world leader for GIS solutions. Maps are geo-referenced and offer different levels of details depending on the zoom factor.
You can draw on top of these base maps or use the enquiry tools to collect the coordinates of a specific point, the area of a specific selection or the distance between two points.
This plugin relies on web-based service and is free but only if your ARES subscription is valid.

New Markup Features

The new markup features let you share comments and feedback with a new type of annotation features. Unlike other annotation tools such as text or dimensions, markups do not insert any entity in the drawing, they are like a collaboration layer on top of the drawing. Markups can be created from ARES Commander, ARES Touch, and ARES Kudo. They are synchronized in real-time across all the ARES users and their devices. For that reason, it is a service operated in the cloud. To use markups it is therefore required to use ARES Commander’s Cloud storage palette to save the drawing in Cloud storage.

Get started with markups

First, you need to use the Cloud Storage palette to enable live synchronization of your drawing
The Cloud storage palette is the blue tab you find on the right inside ARES Commander. The first time you use this palette you will need to connect a Cloud Storage such as Google Drive, Box, Dropbox, OneDrive, Onshape or Trimble Connect.
Next, you can use “Save to Cloud” from the File menu or the command
SAVETOCLOUDSTORAGE to share a drawing with your Cloud Storage.
With the Cloud Storage palette, your drawings will follow you on any device, on ARES Commander, ARES Touch or ARES Kudo. With this palette, you can browse the Cloud Storage to find a drawing and open it for editing in ARES Commander. You keep the comfort to work locally and any modification you save in ARES Commander is synchronized. The drawing is therefore always up-to-date on any device and for each user. Simultaneously, comments and markups will also be live updated.

Comments and Markups

Both Comments and Markup features are found in the Commenting palette of ARES Commander.
You can show or hide the Commenting palette by doing a right-click in the ribbon area and choosing it in the list.
Comments and Markups are showing up in the same palette. Comments allow you to enter the text that you may link to a selection of entities. In turn, Markups enable you to interact in the discussion about the drawing with other types of annotations.

Stamp Markups

Use predefined and custom stamps
Stamps can be used, for example, to indicate if your drawing (or a portion of it) is confidential, draft, approved, rejected, validated… etc.
You can also create your own stamps with custom texts including, for instance, the date of the validation and by whom.

Picture Markups

Annotate drawings with pictures
Frequently an image would tell more about a situation than a large paragraph of text. This is even more true when you are on-site and you are commenting from your smartphone or tablet with ARES Touch.
With Markups, you can insert the images inside the discussion thread of the Commenting palette instead of inside of the drawing. Your Picture Markup can also be linked to a selection of entities and you can include multiple images in the same markup.

Define multiple base points

Traditional blocks have only one base point. Now custom blocks enable you to define more base points to choose from during insertion. By pressing the Ctrl key you could cycle between them which significantly helps to position and align the block without any further actions.

New BIM Features

The version 2020 represents the first step of Graebert’s revolutionary roadmap to build the best-in-class CAD platform to document BIM projects

Building Information Modeling (BIM) software has been around for more than twenty years already. There is a strong interest in BIM because it represents a smarter way to collaborate around construction projects.

Nevertheless, statistics show that less than 20% of the users have transitioned to BIM. Why? The amount and complexity of technical information are increasing with the deployment of 3D, BIM and simulation. Drawings help to organize this information with a higher level of detail, which is in particular needed for execution, operations, maintenance, or legal purposes.

Another major reason is that the files shared with customers represent a liability. Highly detailed 2D drawings are much easier to assess and validate than 3D BIM files in which information is hidden in properties.

This explains why, even the organizations that are massively using BIM, keep employing 3 to 10 times more CAD users working on drawings.

The key problem, however, is that the quality of the 2D output from BIM software is reputedly very poor. There is a broken workflow between BIM and CAD users resulting in a terrible waste of time and resources. More generally, the value of BIM would significantly increase if the BIM data could also be shared, in an efficient way, with the other professionals involved in the project. This is why Graebert is focusing its efforts around drawings and data extraction.

BIM Navigator

Import IFC and RVT files and filter out only the BIM information you need
The BIM Navigator palette enables you to import and view one or multiple BIM files in ARES Commander. Supported formats include IFC (versions 2X3, 4 and 4×2), as well as RVT (Revit versions 2011 through 2020). You can further use the filters to show/hide only the objects you need, combining criteria such as the discipline, category, floor, class, or other BIM properties.
Available for Windows only

Read BIM Properties

Select objects and read their BIM properties
While viewing and rotating the BIM project you can select objects. The BIM Navigator will highlight them in the Elements tree and the Properties Palette will display their BIM properties. Alternatively, you may select the objects from the elements tree and they will be highlighted in the project.
Available for Windows only

BIM Data Extraction

Export the properties of selected BIM objects into tables in the drawing or CSV files for spreadsheets
Select BIM entities manually, or from the filters in the BIM Navigator, and extract their BIM data. The wizard helps you to isolate only the properties you need. The data can be inserted as a table in the drawing or exported to a CSV-file for use in Excel or other programs.
Available for Windows only

BIM Drawings

Extract 2D drawings from sections of the BIM project.
Specify section planes to extract any 2D drawing from the 2D BIM project and use ARES Commander’s CAD tools to further document the project with details or annotations.