What is PractiCAD?
PractiCAD is our new, state-of-the-art, computer-aided drafting and design (CAD) system for construction industry, focused on sheet metal applications (piping, plumbing and electrical modules are coming soon).

PractiCAD is the first automated CAD software in our industry.

PractiCAD is fully integrated with our PractiCAM — the most advanced in the world, state-of-the-art, computer-aided manufacturing (CAM) and estimating system for sheet metal work, including HVAC, construction, machine-building and ship-building applications, architectural, roofing and kitchen products, signmaking, decorative metalwork and other areas.

Now, please read on.

Why do I need PractiCAD? We have been drawing with our existing CAD for years now, and it seems to work…
In a word, performance.

Every CAD software package is working to some extent — but there are performance differences. As you already know, not all systems were created equal.

Every resource is getting scarce and more expensive, squeezing out your profit margins. Every process in every business is getting scrutinized for possible cost savings — and we know where this leads. The only true recipe for the business viability is, still, performance. Getting more while spending less.

Your own PractiCAD will give you:

  • Productivity — every PractiCAD feature is designed to give you effective tools for help you do more every day.

    PractiCAD design took your workflow, customized every step and made sure that you will not have to repeat anything — your computer will. This is something all computers do well: they take care of repetitive tasks — automatically.

    This is why we feel that the word for 21st century is not “computer-aided” — it is “automated”. And this is why our PractiCAD is bringing you a new concept of automatics — our proprietary technology to make it happen.

    Of course, while taking a close look at design and drafting, we did not miss simple things, and we eliminated many repetitive or manual tasks, common for both computer software and drafting practices, so you can invest your time into doing what you do best: creating the conceptual base of your construction projects.

    PractiCAD can remember everything about things you do, and instantly recall it on your command (actually, a single mouse click will do).

    PractiCAD. The fastest. The easiest to learn. The most powerful. And when combined with our PractiCAM, the most powerful CAM and estimating system in the world — unbeatable.

  • Capability — PractiCAD concepts cover your drafting and design work deep and wide. They focus on every course of action you take and make sure, that it is free of obstacles and inefficiencies, and at the same time, these concepts make sure that any our design decisions will enhance, not hinder, your ability to perform similar operations in every type of environment — design, drafting, sheet metal, piping or any other expected terrain.

    This approach takes a lot of effort and requires a lot of attention to the future of the industry, but the result is worth it: PractiCAD is capable of automating virtually every technical task.

  • Customization — from the beginning, we asserted that you know how to run your business better than we do.

    This is why everything in PractiCAD is designed to fit your working methods (not the other way around).

    This match comes from PractiCAD's ability to define every procedure, every variable, and every result in accordance with your workflow. Everything, from your allowances to your products, from product templates to download methods, from your preferences to your drafting style, is set according to your exact vision of your operations.

  • When you build a high performance machine, it has to be custom by definition. Ours is.

  • Effectiveness — in addition to doing things right, it is very important to do right things, and right things for you are your work and your business (not fiddling with yet another computer system…). PractiCAD, following the PractiCAM’s lead, takes care of its own needs, so you can focus on your work, uninterrupted.

  • Technology — one of the best (if not the best) weapons in the fight for performance. Without technology, your ability to achieve your performance goals and to compete in the performance-based world is severely restrained. You are what you use — your tools define your progress, and PractiCAD is the most advanced tool on the market.

    We have not patched our software over or repackaged it for a quick sale (we firmly believe that you cannot rebuild a horse carriage into a spaceship). We have designed a new system capable of working for you in 21st century — for years to come.

  • Reliability — we know that your software should be working 24/7/365 (or it is not doing its job). This is why PractiCAD comes with the same service and support commitment which has proven itself on our PractiCAM software. Our service offers the best value on the market. And in the history of our company, we have never left our client without support and service. Never. Not even once.

    Phone support? Free for as long as you own the system. And it works, for all practical purposes, 24/7/365 (we have to do it anyway, for our clients abroad).

    PractiCAD updates? On an average, every few weeks (PractiCAM updates average better than once a week).

    Your wishes and requests? Implemented as fast as possible — and for some things, it is possible to get them done overnight.
With PractiCAD you can consistently cut your costs and grow your profits — without sacrificing any of your work methods or any of your work quality. The result? A typical PractiCAD pays for itself within a few months.

Which new PractiCAD features may be of interest to me? I am not into bells-and-whistles, but every package we have seen on the market seems to be almost a copy of another one…
More than likely, all of PractiCAD features are of interest to you (perhaps, to a various extent).

PractiCAD was designed from scratch using a vast collection of data we have accumulated in contacts with our clients over the years (as you are, probably, aware, before our own PractiCAD and PractiCAM were born, we were building CAD/CAM products for other companies).

When we started our new design process, we decidedly took a route which set a complete and unlimited freedom of the client — your freedom — as our overriding objective.

Every operation has been redesigned. Every control previously taken from the operator has been given back. And we continue this process, every day, prompted and inspired by professionals all over the country. Which one of these countless innovations will be of most interest to you?

Link to WebEx Web site The best way to tell what PractiCAD would bring to your shop, is to talk to us. We will be happy to discuss your business with you. And we are always ready to show you (in a live presentation or a WebEx demonstration) PractiCAD features which will make a crucial difference for your shop.

You are, probably, wondering: which areas of PractiCAD are completely unlike everyone else's stuff? We would not know where to begin. From smart geometric editing to our advanced automatics. From every possible intelligent routing scenario to the largest (and expandable) set of fittings and accessories. From custom items you can build yourself to custom items we can build for you — free of charge.

Call us. We will gladly provide all the details.

How hard is it to install PractiCAD (and to uninstall it)? Every time I try out a new software, the installation is quite involved, and later, I cannot easily remove it…
Not at all — the setup is simple, easy to use, and very friendly (on an average computer, it takes about 2 to 3 minutes). You do need to have a copy of AutoCAD software on your computer prior to PractiCAD installation.

An important point: you do not have to worry about “consequences” — in other words, if later you decide to remove PractiCAD from your machine, the same setup procedure will take it off without a trace, and without disturbing any of your other software (a fancy term for this feature is “zero footprint”). We do not think that you will remove PractiCAD once you take a look at it, but we thought we should mention this.

How hard is it to use PractiCAD? Will I have to learn a lot? Our drafting department is always busy, and we cannot afford any downtime…
We are glad you asked, and the answer is: VERY EASY.

A typical draftsman (who has used AutoCAD, but never seen our software before) can begin to use PractiCAD in production after 2 hours of training, and if he is proficient in AutoCAD then the transition is even faster.

All PractiCAD concepts, ideas and workflows came directly from drafting departments just like yours. To keep these ideas clear and understandable, we have used an entirely new ergonomic interface, which has been first successfully proven in our PractiCAM.

We also have eliminated every extraneous mouse click and every unnecessary keystroke (so common to other AutoCAD applications), while adding numerous automatic features.

How extensive are PractiCAD libraries? We would like to be able to make certain fittings, we need basic architecturals, and an extensive steel library is also a must. We could never have this with our existing software — and our software vendor cannot quickly add anything to his aged libraries (and if they do, they want to charge us for it)…
As extensive as you want them to be — and then some.

Our current PractiCAD HVAC libraries can accomodate all of PractiCAM’s products and fittings (this is over 2000 — yes, two thousand — parametric and fully customizable templates (please read more about this in PractiCAM F.A.Q. section).

All basic architecturals are included. Steel? Every piece of steel you may want: standard I-beams, wide flanges, channels, angles, H-piles. And the steel library can be expanded by us (as usual, free of charge), or by you adding any number of any custom items on-the fly. Of course, same goes for any catalog item (i.e. registers, diffusers etc.). And automatic hangers are coming soon.

We also have real slabs — and you can stack multiple slabs any time you want to. You do not have to fake your elevations anymore: now they can come directly from your slab references — any of them (any of the elevations from any of the slabs).

Both PractiCAD and PractiCAM, from the very beginning, were dead set on removing all user limitations, and on adding everything users asked us to add — both still follow this idea very closely.

How good are PractiCAD tools? For example, elevation tracking, tagging, numbering, selection, editing, routing, and all other detailing tasks which are most time-consuming — have you made them better too?
Yes — we have made them better, too.

Speaking of elevations: continuously tracked, multiple sets of elevations, from all of your references (to the nearest slab, if you prefer), visible and active at once, so you don’t have to waste your time switching or re-calculating.

Speaking of tagging: any type of any information in any graphical presentation with any geometrical presets. You can build your own custom tag for every item on the drawing. And then — there are tagging automatics.

Speaking of numbering: any shape, font, position, placement or logic. And then — there are numbering automatics.

Speaking of selection: any subset of any group of items on the drawing done with any type of applicable logic. And then — there are selection automatics.

We could also mention our editing, routing, and other related tools — the most powerful on the market. But you can read about all this, and about our automatics, in PractiCAD features section, or simply let us show you in a WebEx demonstration.

What about other trades? Can PractiCAD handle them? We will need piping and plumbing, and we were thinking about electrical, too. We also wish we could have the CAD software which would have at least some design basics built in…
From the very beginning, PractiCAD has been designed to eventually accomodate the entire design/drafting range for construction industry. We followed this route, and PractiCAD already has certain design features built in.

We are in the process of completing our piping/plumbing module, which will be released in a few months. The electrical CAD for construction will follow.

Do you have a manufacturing software to use with PractiCAD? We are looking for an entire package, including manufacturing, but have not found one we like.
Yes, we do. Our PractiCAM software, fully integrated with PractiCAD, is the most advanced in the world, state-of-the-art, computer-aided manufacturing (CAM) and estimating system for sheet metal work, including HVAC, construction, machine-building and ship-building applications, architectural, roofing and kitchen products, signmaking, decorative metalwork and other areas.

If something can be designed and made out of sheet metal (or any sheet material), PractiCAM can design and make it for you.

The ease of takeoff manipulations in PractiCAD and PractiCAM is unmatched by any other software (any selection from any job by any scenario — all user-defined, and all can be split, combined or modified during or after the takeoff). And the takeoff download from PractiCAD to PractiCAM is as simple as a Windows Copy/Paste operation — and takes just as long.

An important detail: every copy of PractiCAD you buy is shipped with a free non-cutting copy of our PractiCAM (including all of its estimating and pricing features).

Do you have an estimating software to use with PractiCAD? We are looking for an entire package, including estimating, but have not found one we like.
Look no further — our PractiCAM software, fully integrated with PractiCAD, is not only a manufacturing package — it is also a fully featured estimating software.

PractiCAM has an integrated cost estimating system, a product pricing system and a customer management database. In addition to the industry standard (SMACNA-based estimates), it also provides tools to track your production and to produce cost estimates based on your true shop productivity (as opposed to industry-wide averages used by everyone else).

You can build your own estimating tables or formulas (down to the last bolt). You can build your own pricing models (using tables or formulas, per customer, or across the board). You can use “What If” scenarios to pin down your costs and prices.

PractiCAM is the most precise estimating system on the market — after all, we know exactly how to make each piece (other estimating systems don’t), and we do not have to guess at how much did it cost (they do). And PractiCAM’s estimating and pricing are — FREE.

Yes —  every copy of PractiCAD you buy is shipped with a free non-cutting copy of our PractiCAM which includes all of PractiCAM’s estimating and pricing features.

Are there any extras? Anything I should know about?
Of course — and, as we said elsewhere already, not the last of them is your peace of mind.

You get a free (yes, FREE) installation, and a free telephone support for the life of the system. And for the first year, all software updates are also FREE (after the first year, the software upgrades for each workstation are available at a nominal fee).

You do not have to purchase these software upgrades (your existing PractiCAD software will continue to operate as usual for as long as you own it) — but with new software releases coming out on an average every few weeks, practically all our customers take advantage of these upgrades.

We also provide a FREE software training for as long as you own your PractiCAD. The training is provided via WebEx or at our Houston office — however, if you want on-site training but want to save on time and travel expenses for your employees, you can invite one of our staff members to come to your facility — we will be glad to do it too, for a nominal per diem fee.

And if you purchase PractiCAD as a part of the complete package (including the PractiCAM and ESAB plasma cutter), the on-site training is provided free of charge.

Any discounts? We have a large drafting department, and any change in drafting software appears to be very costly.
Yes, and discounts are far beyond your expectations — please talk to our sales managers about it. Please remember: every copy of PractiCAD you buy is shipped with a free non-cutting copy of our PractiCAM (including all of its estimating and pricing features). This alone will save you a bundle.

And for additional savings, please do not forget to check Special Offers section of our site!

The reasons are performance and immediate and direct cost savings.

Some people promise you everything. We only promise what we can deliver:

PractiCAD features will save each one of your draftsmen at least an hour per day (we will be happy to show you how this is done). And your shop will finally start using direct download, saving more time than you thought possible. And you will not not have to manually edit every piece before making it, saving even more. And… well, you get the picture.

What about PractiCAD software upgrades? Are they expensive? Are they regular?
For the first year, they come at the best possible price — free of charge. After that, a small annual fee (less than 8% of the software cost) will take care of upgrading and maintaining your software.

For over a year now, our new PractiCAD releases have been coming out, on an average, every few weeks (and this span continues to shorten). For the last several years, our PractiCAM releases have been coming out, on an average, once a week.

We also should mention that you do not have to beg us for software updates — for all our clients, all new releases are instantly available as downloads on this Web site (please visit the Download link at the bottom of this screen).

How responsive is your software support? If I complain about a problem, how long do I have to wait until it is fixed? This is important for me, because my last software vendor have not done anything for my shop — ever. And what if I suggest something new, for example, a new feature?
If it is something critical — something that affects your ability to cut metal — we try to deliver a fix or a workaround within 24-48 hours from the time of your problem report. If it is something important, but not critical, we put it on the list immediately, and try to deliver it to you within 30 days. If it is simply something you would like to have eventually, the speed depends on all requests that we have at the moment — obviously, we are doing things requested by many people first.

If you suggest a new PractiCAD or PractiCAM feature, you will be in a good company — all our customers had done it at some point, and virtually all of these new features have been implemented. Call us — we will be happy to refer you to our current customers, and then you can ask them directly about our support speed, quality and reliability.

It is not uncommon for us to fulfill over 100 custom requests for a single customer within a year. And every one of our customers gets our undivided attention — we listen. Closely.

Do I have to pay extra for any of these wonderful PractiCAD features? Every package we have seen has many features, and each one of them costs extra…
NOT A PENNY. We do not believe into nickeling-and-diming our customers. With PractiCAD and PractiCAM, we give you a complete, solid toolbox — and do not charge you extra or separately for the hammer and the screwdriver. And if a tool breaks, we fix it or replace it for FREE, on the spot, for as long as you own the tool (yes — Sears and Craftsman did this before us, but we liked the idea).

PractiCAD seems to have everything I need for my shop. One question remains: how much?
This is easy.A PractiCAD workstation, including every feature we have told you about (no nickels-and-dimes here), and FREE installation, and FREE training, and FREE telephone support for the life of the system, and FREE copy of non-cutting PractiCAM with all manufacturing and estimating features included, is:


All-in-one. As described. Ready to download.

Now we could say something about what you would get from our competitors, but we know you are going to check with them anyway — so, just make sure you are comparing apples to apples, and when you ask them for a quote, ask them about every feature we are offering to you in one complete package for a fixed price. Here are these features:

  • Unlimited number, geometric shape and extent of all items: from fittings and allowances to specifications and accessories;

  • Unlimited set of catalog items — use the catalogs we provide, or add any items you wish;

  • Most flexible and extensive set of specifications in the industry — anything from blank parameters to job parameters (all in plain English);

  • Completely custom tagging;

  • Completely custom numbering;

  • Completely custom selection tools;

  • Widest range of autorouting and autodetailing tools;

  • automatics — new concept in the design and drafting, making everything you do faster, easier and more consistent;

  • The most effective and most flexible interface in the industry (we think, possibly even in the computer industry…);

  • True multitasking and networking;

  • Extensive and flexible operator error checking;

  • Complete estimating system — by each fitting, by each takeoff, by each drawing, and by each job, both SMACNA-based and built on an exact historical data from your own shop (this feature alone must be worth as much as an entire set of software from most of our competitors);

  • Fully customized appearances (of everything);

  • Direct and perfect connection to your manufacturing and production facilities, with a complete flexibility for both sides to do their job;

  • Direct connection to our instant help and customer support — without ever leaving your desk;

  • Everything tailored and custom fit to your precise specifications — at a click of a mouse.

Go ahead and ask our competitors. They will have to answer — and then you will have to compare. We are confident that you will make a right choice.

Just think how long does it take to redesign a line of duct to a different specification, to re-check all of your tag elevations or to make sure everything else is consistent — and you will see why PractiCAD fully pays for itself within a few months.

Call us at 866.870.1014 (toll-free, of course), or e-mail us, or FAX to us — we will answer any questions you may have. And you will be glad you asked.

                Designed for you.

Get PractiCAD. For everything you ever wanted in your CAD system — and then some.