Editor's Note: TurboCAD 2018 is now available. Clicking the “Buy” button will take you to this version for purchase. We will evaluate, rank and review the 2018 version when we next update the CAD Software reviews. Meanwhile, enjoy our review for TurboCAD 2015 below.
Many programs have custom tool palettes, but TurboCAD Deluxe has custom toolbars that are maneuverable, so you can move them around or snap them into place so they stay out of your way while you're designing. With tools like hatching and transparency, this program lets you get a comprehensive view of your design, regardless of its complexity, and you’ll be able to put all types of textures and materials into your design. This CAD software is a step above consumer-grade CAD programs.
TurboCAD Deluxe is one of the least expensive CAD programs in our comparison, as it sells for under $200. Unfortunately, there is no student edition of the software but, considering that it already sells for much less than other programs, this isn’t as necessary. Unfortunately, TurboCAD’s trial period is only 15 days, which is half the time of most other programs, so you’ll have less time to decide if it will work for you. However, if you choose to buy this program, you won’t have to pay additional money for technical support, as it’s included in your purchase.
If you don’t have a lot of experience using CAD software, there is a tool that walks you through the process of creating a design. There are also great support options if you have questions as you learn the program, and the interface and editing tools are generally intuitive.
TurboCAD Deluxe has more design tools than many of the 3D CAD software programs we evaluated. If you're working with architectural designs, the wall tool and the house wizard will be particularly helpful in your creation process. The house wizard walks you through a setup process where you select the number of rooms, types of rooms, dimensions and more. There are also hatching tools and transparency options for the creation process if you want to see all aspects of your design without rotating.
After you've finished designing a model, you can use the render tools to make it look more realistic. The rendering abilities of this software aren’t as strong as more advanced software programs, but it will help you visualize your work. This easy-to-use CAD software makes adding lighting effects and textures or materials like brick, marble or wood as intuitive as possible.
When editing your designs with TurboCAD Deluxe, you'll have a wide range of tools to use. Polar tracking, or the snap tool, helps you move your elements to precise locations for easier modeling. Tools like the layer manager keep track of all the components of your design much like a layer manager in a photo editing program. Using the point marker is especially helpful in architectural designs, so you can mark elements when you share your designs with collaborators. Color and text editing also help to customize and organize components of your drawings. All of these tools aid in the render process and help you make accurate-looking, advanced components. The system can also convert 2D designs to 3D, and vice versa.
CAD programs can be a bit tricky to use, but TurboCAD Deluxe has an easy-to-use interface, and it's simple to customize, move and resize the toolbars. From the Options tab, you can choose from 11 different toolbars to add or remove from your workspace. This CAD software also has a setup manager for when you want to customize your design from the very beginning of a new project.
Strangely enough, this program doesn't feature a command line, which would allow you to work faster and more efficiently. A command line is available in the Pro and Pro Platinum versions of TurboCAD though, so if you are willing to pay a little more, you can get this tool. If you'd prefer a simple program that has a command line, you might want to consider DesignCAD 3D. Fortunately, TurboCAD Deluxe does feature macros, which allow you to consolidate strings of frequently used commands into keyboard shortcuts to save you time on tedious tasks.
This software enables seamless workflow to and from other design applications with extensive file compatibility. The software supports 28 industry-standard formats, including WMF, PDF and DWG, the native file format for most CAD software applications. The DWG format is designed specifically for 2D and 3D drawing, and you can open, view, create and edit imported DWG files with this program. Using DWG and DXF files, you can also import dynamic blocks as simple blocks.
You can import and export SKP and DXF files, which are formats compatible with SketchUp and AutoCAD, respectively. And to save a design as an image, you have the option of saving as a JPG, BMP, PNG or GIF image file. You can also save files in STL format for 3D printing.
IMSI/Design provides excellent help and technical support for its CAD software. To learn more about the program and its features, you can search the built-in knowledgebase or find tutorials on the website. You can also find a user guide in the program’s help menu. One problem with the user guide is it covers all versions of TurboCAD software and isn't geared specifically toward the deluxe edition, so you may have difficulty finding answers. But, there are a number of places you can go to find information online.