The dgn format has been very stable, many SIG / CAD programs recognize it but editing it natively has always been a privilege of Microstation although there have only been three variations of the format: IGDS, V7 and V8.
In the case of the dwg format, Microstation has managed to open and edit it natively, like all programs born under the line IntelliCAD. But the dgn format, the fact that Microstation is a software with a relatively smaller clientele compared to that of AutoCAD, very few applications have been seen, from the follies of the project Pangea Which are more oriented to "doing things" with dgn files but not to build data in a conventional way.
eCADLite is one of those alternatives, a solution built by a former employee of Intergraph and Bentley, built under the Pangea code. Although, a user of Microstation would not like much its environment, limiting and that only works with two dimensions; but it is an alternative for the case of a company that will not exploit more than the 20% of the potential of Microstation, whose version "light" does not lower of $ 1,000, (PowerDraft).
ECADLite was released 2000 year, although it operates V8 formats, many of its characteristics seem to have remained in the interface of V7, but has some things that have to be recognized as merits:
It looks like Windows
As I said, a specialized user of Microstation might not like this, but someone who needs to edit dgn files and who is familiar with Windows might be attractive. And is that Microstation continues to maintain certain "own conventions" in the use of icons that often scares the new user, but sustaining them consistently has helped maintain loyalty by focusing on changes in the capabilities before the interface.
See the graphic on the right, as conventional Office icons have been integrated for Microstation commands. hehe
Improves the most ugly of Microstation
It's not a big deal, but the creator of eCADLite started thinking about things that Microstation does well but in an unconventional way. An example of this is printing, which although recently improved from XM, many still prefer to build the layouts in AutoCAD; as well the handling of blocks (cells) that can be edited directly and with a better navigation environment, and what to say about dimensioning: eCADLite implements it in a very practical way. Even the redline has more capabilities to customize the display and control features.
Edits dgns natively
Although the dgn is a very stable format over time, AutoCAD up to its latest version incorporated the option to import it into a dwg. eCADLite can read both a V7 and V8 dgn, but only in two dimensions. You can also call dwg, dxf and raster files for reference.
Dgn files, print sheets and redlines can be built under axp format projects for better control.
The price goes for $ 300, apart from eCADLite there are other GraphStore applications, which give it another type of potential, such as:
- Asset2000. This is an environment similar to the functionality of ProjectWise (but in miniature), in which you can do pirouettes such as linking vector data to databases, quantifying or associating external files.
- AssetX. This has the features of Asset, but additionally by working through an ActiveX can be integrated into the web or own developments on other platforms.
eCADLite can be downloaded from the GraphStore website as a trial version. Although the activation code arrives late.