WTools3D releases LWCAD 5.5
WTools3D – aka developer Viktor Veličko – has released LWCAD 5.5: the latest version of its popular LightWave modelling plugin, adding new procedural systems for generating roofs and staircases.
The 3ds Max and Cinema 4D versions of the software – previously known as LWCAD Lite – have also been updated, and are now also officially referred to as LWCAD 5.5 themselves.
New procedural systems for generating roofs and staircases with any arbitrary outline
A fixture of many LightWave artists’ toolboxes for a decade, LWCAD provides a complete set of standard CAD tools within the software, including a powerful set of real-time Boolean tools.
To that, LWCAD 5.5 adds Auto Roof and Extend Roof: two new procedural tools for generating roofs matching any building floor plan, or just an arbitrary set of closed curves, complete with customisable eaves.
There is also a new Edge to Stair tool, described by Veličko as “probably the most perfect tool in LWCAD”.
The feature, which you can see at 07:35 above, generates a procedural staircase matching the outline created by any arbitrary set of up to four curves, with various options to control the distribution of the steps.
The existing Spiral Stair and Arc Stair tools have also been updated, generating cleaner procedural geometry from source NURBS curves, and gaining new options for generating beams and railings.
New Mesh Info tool, updates to the array tools
Other features in LWCAD 5.5 for LightWave include a new Mesh Info tool, shown at 20:25, which provides basic information for a selected object, including the total number of polygons, points or NURBS curves.
Veličko says that the functionality will be “heavily extended” in future releases.
In addition, the operation of the Vector Clone, Radial Clone and Array Clone tools has been simplified, and many of the other existing tools get smaller updates. You can find a full list of changes in the release notes.
3ds Max and Cinema 4D editions get new roof and stair tools, lose the old ‘Lite’ tag
The 3ds Max and Cinema 4D editions also get the Auto Roof and Extend Roof tools, plus the Rect Stair, Line Stair, Arc Stair and Spiral Stair tools from the LightWave version.
The Edge to Stair tool hasn’t been implemented yet, and nor have the other NURBS tools from the LightWave edition, but the feature set seems to be complete enough to have prompted a change of branding.
Instead of being officially ‘Lite’ editions of the software, the 3ds Max and Cinema 4D versions are also now referred to as LWCAD 5.5, and have risen in price, although they still cost less than the LightWave edition.
Pricing and availability
LWCAD 5.5 is available for 64-bit LightWave 9.6+ on Windows 7+ and 64-bit LightWave 10+ on Mac OS X 10.9+; for 64-bit 3ds Max 2013+ on Windows 7+; and 64-bit Cinema 4D R17+ on Windows 7+ or macOS 10.12+.
New licences of LWCAD 5.5 for LightWave cost $349, including a free update to LWCAD 2018, the next major version of the software, which is currently due for release in March 2018.
New licences of LWCAD 5.5 for Cinema 4D now cost $177, and those of LWCAD 5.5 for 3ds Max cost $236. All of the updates are free to users of version 5.x of the plugins.