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Gstarsoft's First iPad Release Creates and Edits CAD Drawings

Date: 2011-12-30

upFront.eZine: I am wondering, what are the capabilities of GstarCAD MC?
Huang Meiyu: GstarCAD MC is designed for viewing, editing and sharing CAD drawing files on mobile devices like iPad. Drawing files can be easily transformed and transferred from the Windows version of GstarCAD to GstarCAD MC running on mobile devices -- which are used widely for engineering communication on construction sites, shop floors, and other occasions where computers are not readily available. The capabilities of GstarCAD MC v1 include the following:

- Opening and viewing CAD drawings
- Creating, editing, and saving drawings (with basic drawing and editing commands like line, polyline, circle, arc, and text
- Easy to use with features like undo, redo, layout, measure, snap, dynamic tools, and shortcut help
- Two-finger pinch to zoom; three-finger drag to pan
- Supports the OCF format

Huang Meiyu, the vice president of Suzhou Gstarsoft Co., Ltd.

upFront.eZine: What technology was used for this software, from ODA, IntelliCAD, in-house?
Mr Meiyu: 100% in-house technology was used for this mobile application. Neither ODA nor IntelliCAD technology was used in any development of GstarCAD MC.

upFront.eZine: Does GstarCAD MC work with DWG files and other formats?
Mr Meiyu: GstarCAD MC works directly with the OCF format. DWG files must first be converted to the OCF format before being transferred to iPads.

upFront.eZine: How does the user get DWG files to and from the iPad?
Mr Meiyu: DWG files are converted to OCF format through the DWG-OCF convertor found in the Windows version of GstarCAD, and the transferred to iPad via iTunes. The first version of GstarCAD MC does not, however, support OCF-DWG conversion.

upFront.eZine: What is the OCF format?
Mr Meiyu: OCF is a specific data format developed by Gstarsoft. It's a vector format. The reasons we use our own file format is that it displays drawings as accurately as what we can get on a PC. It improves the performance of viewing drawings on iPad; in fact, using OCF sometimes the speed is quicker on iPad than on Windows. 

If we were to use DWG directly, the performance would be very bad. (AutoCAD WS doesn't use DWG directly, and that's why AutoCAD WS clients need to connect to servers to convert the data format [to raster].) Finally, using OCF avoids font problems.

upFront.eZine: Will there be a version for Android tablets? For iOS and Android smartphones?
Mr Meiyu: GstarCAD MC for iPad is just the first step. As the market share of Android tablets is growing very fast, an Android version of GstarCAD MC is scheduled for the future. For the time being, development is focused on iPad and other iOS device.

upFront.eZine: What is the "MC" short for?
Mr Meiyu: MC stands for "Mobile Client" -- software that runs on mobile client devices.

upFront.eZine: When is the shipping date?
Mr Meiyu: The first version of GstarCAD MC is in English, and is available now from the iTunes App Store at no charge. The corresponding Windows version of GstarCAD [needed to convert between DWG and OCF] is available as a demo from our website at