OpenCAD: A Step by Step Guide to Developing a Professional CAD Application
by Deelip Menezes
Once in a while you read of a new author getting a book deal because of his/her blog writings. This is one of them. The OpenCAD book came about when the president and chief technical officer of Open Design Alliance approached Deelip Menezes. From the writings at his www.deelip.com blog, they knew he had the right combination of being able to write and to program.
In about two weeks, Mr Menezes churned out this 84-page book that shows you how to write your own CAD program in two steps: construct a DWG viewer, and then extend it to edit CAD entities. In addition to the steps needed to compile code, he covers the extras that should be in any CAD program: pressing Enter to repeat the last command; checking that only valid command text is entered; adding rubberbands for visual feedback; and so on.
I gave this book two experienced CAD programmers for their reactions. One felt the book was not useful, because it merely repeated what he already knew about programming with MFC. The other agreed, but felt the book would have been a great help in his early days, struggling to figure out which steps to take. Myself, I am no MFC programmer, but I found the book interestingly written so that I could follow the process that CAD programmers engage in every day.
Compared to the price of AutoCAD, the do-it-yourself approach is cheaper: $100 for the book, $250 for the lowest level membership to ODA (needed to get the "free" APIs), and whatever hundreds Microsoft charges for its programming environment. Plus, your time.
Published in 2009 by SYCODE
You can purchase this book through SYCODE: OpenCAD