However, Ray Smith, Managing Director of AppliCad says, "The show in SF was a fishing trip for my company. We knew we had a great solution but being new to the solar market we were a little unsure how close we were to meeting the needs of integrators and distributors in this industry. This was one of the most successful shows we have participated in for many years and we are very excited by the prospects for our new software."
The new release is the combined result of nearly two years work by the development team. Documentation of suggested enhancements from customers in 39 countries was collated and prioritised according to resulting benefit to users. Top of the list was improved speed followed closely by digitising aerial imagery and solar design tools.
Given the ready availability of aerial image libraries to the construction sector, accessible via the web and from specialist vendors, the re-designed image digitising tools in the new AppliCad enable every consultant, contractor or installer to prepare accurate client proposals from the desk without the need for an expensive site visit, at least until a commitment from the customer has been received. This results in huge savings in time and gas and improves turn-around time from initial enquiry to professional proposal. It also saves money spent on third party service providers doing this for the contractor, who can now do it for him/herself without any additional cost or delay.
Combining this functionality with the new shadow analyser and the solar radiation calculator allows solar industry professionals to prepare very detailed client proposals at the initial stage without leaving their desk. The entire client structure can be modelled in 3D along with the immediate surrounds, and the interference effects of shadows from these items explored in detail. The new calculators create very precise results displayed in very easy to understand maps of shadow and solar radiation on the 3D structure for any location in the country.
The high performance report generator then connects all the calculated data and images to report in MS Word. The Word templates provides enormous flexibility to the operators who can create the most detailed reports with as much artistic flair and imagination as they can muster. Detailed professional presentations have long been a feature of AppliCad and these new functions takes it to a new level of graphic detail and design. An example of the sort of details that may be included in the report template may be viewed at the AppliCad web site or directly at www.applicad.com/docs/AppliCad%20Full%20Report-Solar-2up.pdf
Further integration with external programs includes the ability to create and maintain all the user’s material definitions in Microsoft Excel. As most users have some experience with operating Excel, this feature provides considerable capability for quickly creating or modifying large material definition tables.
Integration with other stakeholders is an essential component for running a professional roofing or cladding business. The new AppliCad now exports data in various text file formats including XML. Even the 3D roof geometry may be exported as an XML version of AppliCad’s Roof Exchange Format (RXF) file.
AppliCad is a specialist CAD/CAM software development company based in Melbourne, Australia. It has been developing CAD applications since 1991 and now exports their specialist software to roofing and cladding companies to 39 countries around the world.