FlexiCAD 3 is a 2-d drafting program which is designed for use in both Secondary and Primary schools. As well as being very easy to get started, the program has a range of powerful features that pupils can learn as they need to use them. FlexiCAD encourages the use of objects within a drawing. It is particularly suitable for graphical modelling.
Getting to the point
To enable you to position things accurately on the screen, FlexiCAD can provide a grid system which makes it very easy to create simple drawings where things line up. If you choose the Grid tool, FlexiCAD will force all line, arc and curve ends to snap onto the nearest point on the grid. You can change the size, shape and appearance of the grid, including switching to an isometric grid. If you prefer, you can use the Hunt tool which will force a point to 'snap' onto the nearest point which is at the end of an existing line, arc or curve, or the centre of a circle or an ellipse. It will help make drawings more accurate and avoid gaps between lines, arcs and curves.
Fill and hatching
FlexiCAD allows you to fill any closed shape with a solid colour. All fills are fully scaleable so that the edges do not become 'pixelated' when printed or when you zoom in. You can also choose to fill with a hatch pattern, and the program comes with a choice of 25 different patterns such as parallel lines, bricks, honeycomb or weave. It is very easy to add a fill or a hatch pattern to any part of your drawing - just click anywhere inside the closed area that you want to be filled or hatched and the program does the rest.
In the plan at the top of the page, the swimming pool, fish pond, path and shed are fills with a solid colour; the roof, patio and grass are hatch patterns.
The program provides simple but powerful system for changing part of your drawing. Each line, arc, circle, ellipse and text item is part of an object - with a maximum of 30000 elements altogether. The program enables you to move, reflect, scale, rotate or stretch either individual objects or any collection of them. You can also name, combine, split, hide and delete objects, giving a versatile system for managing complex drawings.
FlexiCAD can also provide a list of each object in a drawing and what items are contained in each of them. The following gives a list of all the objects in the plan which is at the top of this page
The program comes with some example symbol libraries for house, garden, bathroom, kitchen and electric circuits. Once you have chosen a symbol from a library you can rotate, reflect, enlarge or stretch it before inserting it into your drawing. It is very easy to create your own symbol libraries, either for a particular drawing or for general use.
Using the toolbox to create your drawing
The following tools can be used to add items
such as lines, curves and circles to your drawing:
|You can fix the angle or the length of the line, or both. Angles between 10° and 180° are treated as multiple; for example, 45° will give 45°, 90°, 135°, etc. You can also choose from 6 different line styles - dashes, large dashes, dot/dash, dots, close dots or unbroken lines.
|You can choose the start and end points and any other point on the arc. Alternatively, you can fix the radius or the angle of the arc.
|You can choose the centre of the circle and any point on the circle. Alternatively, fix the radius.
|You can choose the ends of the major and minor axes of the ellipse. You can choose the slope of the major axis of the ellipse.
|You can choose the start and end points of a Bezier curve, and also choose the position of two 'control' points.
|Fill any enclosed area on the screen using either a solid colour or with a hatch pattern. There is a choice of 25 hatch patterns; you can also choose to scale and/or rotate any of the patterns.
|Type in text anywhere on the screen. The text can use any font and size, and can be set to bold or italic. It can be at any angle between 0° and 360°. You can choose the width to be a percentage of the normal width for that font and size.
|Insert a shape, such as a square, rectangle or regular polygon. In the case of a polygon you can choose the number of sides. You can fix the length of the sides and/or the angle of rotation.
|Choose any line and pull out a dimension. Choice of parallel, horizontal or vertical component. Choice of arrows or dashes, extension lines on or off. Choice of text font and size. Choice of text angle. Choice of in the line or offset. Choice of units and accuracy.
|Point to any corner where two lines meet, and the program will add a fillet with a radius of your choice or a chamfer with a length of your choice.
|When you have loaded a symbol library, selected the symbol you want and made any changes (eg rotate), you can insert the symbol anywhere on screen.
Using the toolbox to edit your drawing
The following tools can be used to change or make corrections to your drawing, or to add copies of sections:
|Move any item (such as a line or arc). Move several items at the same time. Move any point (and all the lines, arcs and curves attached to it). Move a collection of points. You can choose the angle at which items or points are moved. Drag out lines. Move away a line end which is attached to other lines.
|Select one or more items (lines, arcs, circles, ellipses and text) and copy them to anywhere on screen.
|Select one or more items (such as lines, arcs or circles) and rotate them by an angle of your choice. You can also choose to repeat the rotation several times, adding all the results to your drawing.
|Select one or more items (such as lines, arcs or circles) and reflect them in a horizontal or vertical mirror line.
|Select one or more items (such as lines, arcs or circles) and enlarge (or shrink them) by a scale factor of your choice. You can also choose to repeat the enlargement several times, adding all the results to your drawing.
|Select one or more items (such as lines, arcs or circles) and stretch them (or shrink them) either horizontally or vertically by a scale factor of your choice. You can also choose to repeat the stretch several times, adding all the results to your drawing.
|Point to any item such as a line, arc, fill or text and you can then modify the settings such as colour, object, radius, font etc., as appropriate to that item.
|Point to any item such as a line, arc, fill or text and the program gives full details about that item - length, angle, centre, start and end points etc., as appropriate to that item.
|Point to a line, arc, circle, ellipse, text item or dimension and you are given the option to delete it. You can also select several items and then delete them in one go.
|Select any line and you are given the choice of splitting it into sections wherever it crosses other lines, arcs, circles and ellipses.
|Select the end of any line and the line will be extended to meet the nearest line, arc, circle or ellipse.
|Choose any position for the x,y origin on screen, making it very easy to fix the relative position of other items.
Help and support
FlexiCAD also has a comprehensive help system. The package comes complete with a 64 page A5 manual which contains a tutorial, full details of how to use the program and a comprehensive index. We also provide a free telephone support service to registered owners of the software.
FlexiCAD 3 will run on any computer running
Windows 11, 10, 8.1, 8, or 7. The program requires the minimum RAM for each
version of Windows and 6Mb of available hard disk space.
The program will run on stand-alone and networked computers. It may be installed either on individual machines, or on a network server (minimum requirement is a 10 machine licence). It will run on most major network systems including Microsoft, Novell, thin client and RM Connect. The package includes an MSI which is suitable for RM Community Connect networks.
|very easy to create and edit accurate line drawings
|snap to a grid which can be square or isometric
|fill with a solid colour or with a choice of 25 hatching patterns
|libraries of symbols for garden, house, circuits etc.
|rotate, reflect, enlarge and stretch any part of the drawing
|suitable for Windows 11, 10, 8.1, 8, or 7