Applications in CADD Ltd (AiC) was founded by John Strodachs and Mike Case in 1986. They met when working together at Loughborough University of Technology (LUT), in the civils department. Mike was completing post graduate research into concrete standards and John was a lecturer with specific interest in ground modelling and CAD.
Originally called AppliedCAD (ACAD), AiC changed its name in 1990 to avoid any possible confusion with AutoCAD. The extra D to CAD signifies that we work with both CAD and Design. In 1992, the Engineering Surveying Showcase magazine listed 15 software packages for survey processing and terrain modelling. Applications in CADD Ltd are one of only two surviving software houses from the original 15!
In 1987 ProSurveyor was born, based on a CAD platform developed by the South African company called ProCAD. ProSurveyor had tools for Survey Data Processing, Terrain Modelling, Quarry Design, Planning, Roads and Drainage Design. No other system at that time, offered anything like the same ease of use, CAD user interface and functionality. ProSurveyor was followed by IntSurveyor, a cut down survey package without CAD.
The early 90’s saw a move to a wholly UK developed package called 4CE. “4 Civil Engineers” or "Force" as it came to be known. This was a total rewrite from the ground up and allowed for much faster calculations and greater capacity.
n4ce was initially launched in 2000, for Windows 2000 and onwards. The Windows UI called for another total rewrite of the interface and graphics sub system. n4ce improved on the previous generations of AiC software in many ways and is constantly being developed to this day.
AiC has always provided software which is “Field to Finish”. With n4ce, this is taken to the ultimate with Drawing Templates supporting both Paper Space and Model Space using multiple Viewports. Tools are available to process all sorts of data, with most users needs being covered all in one package. A true “Geomatics Software Toolbox”!
Computer solutions for engineers were few and far between in 1986. For those that were available, graphics were a by-product of the process. It was felt that the way forward was to use an interactive graphics environment. John's research at LUT, showed you could use the UI from CAD and embed applications leading to WYSIWYG (what you see is what you get)!April 1986
Some CAD systems claimed to be design platforms, but they were no more than electronic drawing boards. We made an early distinction between Drawing and Design!
ProCAD was chosen as the PC platform as it provided a Pascal toolkit, allowing us to develop applications very quickly. This lead to ProSURVEYOR, with tools for survey mapping, ground modelling, roads and drainage design.July 1987
AiC learnt much from the partnership with ProCAD but went cold turkey in 1990's. DOS 4CE was released, using C++ as a developer language and separating CAD, Survey and Model databases with overlays.
The new millennium saw the release of n4ce (new force), our current platform. Everything is stored in a single SDB (project) file and CAD no longer controls the UI, being just another tool.January 2000