DesignCAD User Forum

General DesignCAD Topics => General Discussion => Topic started by: wil01 on December 21, 2017, 08:33:32 AM

Title: DesignCADís Death Spiral
Post by: wil01 on December 21, 2017, 08:33:32 AM
You have seen the problems I have had with 2018 and my high resolution screen.  I decided to contact DesignCAD Technical Support.  The actions of their initial response made all items in all places too small to read.  It took me two hours to recover so I could read anything.

I tried to contact the tech again several times.  After nine days, here is the complete short and cryptic official report:

ďI am really sorry for such a delay your query was in process. DesignCAD 2018 do not support the 4K screens (3840 x 2160).ď

Here is a quote from the Release Notes:

ďPrevious versions only had two icon sizes available Ė 16-pixel and 24-pixel icons. With super-high-resolution screens becoming more and more common, we found that even the 24-pixel icons were not large enough to be easily visible on many displays. DesignCAD 2018 introduces an icon size slider in the View Options panel; here you can select an icon size between 16 and 64 pixels, in 8-pixel steps. Note that changing the size of the icons may cause your toolbars to get rearranged Ė you may have to manually drag some toolbars back to their previous locations after resizing the icons.Ē

The new official determination of ISMI is that DC 2018 wonít support any high resolution screens.  Certainly high res screens are the standards for the future, and the official word from ISMI is that DesighCAD will not be part of that future.

Any suggestions about where to look for a CAD application that will support high resolution screens?


Title: Re: DesignCADís Death Spiral
Post by: Shipmodeler on December 21, 2017, 09:33:04 AM
I have been lurking in the back ground reading the various complaints about newer DC3D versions and the numerous bugs found within them.  IMSI really needs to do more beta testing on upgrade releases to find bugs before they pop up, to allow future purchasers (or not) to make a more informed decision.  I use V23 and am very happy with it's performance.  I have been tempted to upgrade to a faster version, but after reading all the bugs in those "upgrade" versions, the risk isn't worth it to me.  IF I ever upgrade, it will be after many days reading reviews (positive ones) and ONLY if the new version support STL files, which another future area IMSI seems reluctant to support.

Title: Re: DesignCADís Death Spiral
Post by: Dr PR on December 21, 2017, 10:57:38 AM
Every program has bugs, including DesignCAD. The program has it's ups and downs.  Some companies fix the bugs,others require users to live with them. Photoshop has a bug that causes the cursor to disappear under some circumstances, and another that causes the cursor to change to a useless form with some functions. These bugs were reported in 2000 and still haven't been fixed!

The first 3D DesignCAD version (V6?) was very buggy. Eventually it became very stable - V15 was very good. V16 was unusable and V17 was better, but still had bugs. Major changes were introduced in V18 and it was very buggy. It wasn't until V21 that it was really reliable. It continued to improve through V26, even though many new features were being added, including adding a new 64 bit version and major changes to the display code. V27 was supposed to be released in mid 2017, but the programming team changed, causing delays. So it became V2018!

DesignCAD is beta tested and many bugs were discovered in V27 betas. But it was released anyway!

About this time the head programmer departed IMSI for a new future.


Here is a related anecdote:

In about 2000 OrCAD released a new version, and I was unfortunate enough to have to try to use it. I documented 21 repeatable ways to cause the Blue Screen Of Death (BSOD - the computer locked up and had to be powered down and restarted) by following the instructions for commands published in their User Manual! I found over 200 more repeatable ways to cause the program to crash using the documented command procedures! The program had more bugs than an ant farm! I wrote these all up (I still have the report) and sent it to OrCRUD Tech Support. Then I called them and asked the Tech Support person I was talking to (a programmer at the company, and not someone in India who had no idea how the program worked) how they could release such a buggy product?

"You know the answer" she said.

"I do?" I asked?

Then she said there was a CAD software expo coming up and management told programming to release whatever they had, bugs and all, so the stockholders would see a new version released on schedule.

It was typical Business Moron short shortsightedness. I - and a lot of other users - tossed OrCRUD into the trash can and switched to something else.


DesignCAD V27 is very buggy. It was released anyway. Wonder why? Who ordered it to be released?


The high resolution screen issue is not just DesignCAD's problem. Other programs have similar problems - including Windows. Display technology has outpaced the software, and this isn't unusual. There still is no common display protocol between manufacturers for very high resolution drivers. So some work and some don't. At one time ATI was releasing new hardware without updating it's video drivers. The result was some software working with their new devices and other programs doing strange things. ATI management didn't care - it was "Let the buyer beware" while the cash rolled in. Microsoft Windows was being blamed for the display issues caused by the buggy ATI drivers, and eventually Microsoft had to sue ATI to force them to fix their driver problems so Microsoft help lines would not be overloaded with ATI software problems!

It took many years for software to develop across the board compatibility with USB, and Windows 10 still has USB bugs. The Internet has been with us for decades and it is still a mess! No two browsers render some common screen objects the same way, and email programs are rife with bugs.


DesignCAD V26 is very reliable, even though it does have some shortcomings. Eventually the bugs in V27 (2018) will be fixed but it will take time.

Title: Re: DesignCADís Death Spiral
Post by: Rob S on December 21, 2017, 11:44:52 AM
Dr, I agree with most of above except just to confirm one thing, is it not V27 that dragged on and was released as V2018?    This is the one with variable sized icons, and the leak tester, and solid facet reversing, and mixed view shaded with lines.

They have already promised bug-fixes for some of the relatively small number but still irritating bugs which were found since release.   

Given a new programming team, we will have to see how well they do with this.

Also, I think V26 AKA V2016 latest version 26.2 is also very reliable.  If you don't need the abovenoted new features, just stay with that one, or V25.

I would like to add that Designcad over the years has been extremely solid in terms of its UI and file format, so upgrades to newer stable versions are quite painless.  New features were usually inserted very unobtrusively.  Only rarely have we found that features we knew and liked were broken or absent in new versions.

I hope that whatever else they do, the new team keeps to this strategy.
Title: Re: DesignCADís Death Spiral
Post by: Dr PR on December 22, 2017, 09:53:20 AM

You are exactly right!

Duh! I must have been having a teen-age moment. I rewrote my message to say V26 is very good and V27 (2018) is flaky.

V26 is the version I use for serious work.


Title: Re: DesignCADís Death Spiral
Post by: Rob S on December 22, 2017, 10:01:06 AM
teen-age moment

Don't we wish  ;D
Title: Re: DesignCADís Death Spiral
Post by: rokpyle on December 31, 2017, 01:57:33 PM
Something I think we should remember is how much we're getting at the DesignCAD price; it's a great value.  Personally, I'd like to see them up the price a little, and take care of more bugs before releasing each version.  But I'm just a retired geologist...
Title: Re: DesignCADís Death Spiral
Post by: Douglas on January 02, 2018, 11:37:09 PM
Rokpyle - re price, couldn't agree more.
For what one can do with DC, I would be prepared to pay a lot more for it to ensure its ongoing development and survival.
Work life without DC - no thanks
Title: Re: DesignCADís Death Spiral
Post by: wil01 on January 03, 2018, 12:05:49 PM
Things don't look good for DesignCAD, and maybe for ISMI as well.

1.  DT is gone.  How will we survive?

2.  The tech on the DesignCAD web site will no longer respond to me.  I can't get any response from him in over 10 days.  Maye he's gone as well as DT.

3.  ISMI won't answer the 800 technical help line.

4.  They direct you to a non 800 number, but won't answer it either.  I can get no response from ISMI at all.

It seems that we are all left to drift alone apart from ISMI.

I'm fearful that DesignCAD might wind up on the same ash heap as WordPerfect, Streets and Trips, Borland Pascal and many others.

Title: Re: DesignCADís Death Spiral
Post by: Shipmodeler on January 03, 2018, 03:30:25 PM
Is V26 AKA V2016 latest version 26.2 still available for upgrade or download?
Title: Re: DesignCADís Death Spiral
Post by: Douglas on January 03, 2018, 06:44:07 PM
I've just purchased ver 26 (2016) from ISMI Australia
contact is
Here is the download link Tonia sent me
Title: Re: DesignCADís Death Spiral
Post by: Shipmodeler on January 03, 2018, 07:46:07 PM
Many thanks.
Title: Re: DesignCADís Death Spiral
Post by: adriank on January 04, 2018, 05:21:09 AM
If the DCad team has not responded or answered calls for the last 10 days - that'd be from December 25th through to 3rd Jan.
Christmas day until new year then, you don't think that may have something to do with it?
Let's give them the benefit of the doubt for now & we'll hold of organizing the wake for a bit!
Title: Re: DesignCADís Death Spiral
Post by: wil01 on January 04, 2018, 06:32:24 AM
Actually it's worse than I reported.  Dec. 17 was the last time the tech contacted me.  Since then just silence.

Title: Re: DesignCADís Death Spiral
Post by: John R on January 04, 2018, 11:33:00 AM
You could try contacting Zunair Attif ( in Lahore, Pakistan. He appears to be the Ďtop dogí from what I have seen in the TurboCAD Forum.

Title: Re: DesignCADís Death Spiral
Post by: Bob P on January 12, 2018, 03:38:17 PM
Is this applicable? Go to 4:10 in the video.
Title: Re: DesignCADís Death Spiral
Post by: corlett on March 09, 2018, 09:18:37 AM
Hi Wil

I have been a user for a long long time and its always been so, 1 or 2 versions back are rock solid.

Forget the 800 numbers this site is the best software support you will ever get at any price.
Dr PR and his palls have helped me out again and again.