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Tips & Tricks 2018  

 Track catalogue changes (December 2018)

Normally, the data managed in the Standard Part catalogues will be loaded in HiCAD only once upon program start. After this, it will be no longer checked whether there are any newer data. In the Configuration Editor, however, you can determine that HiCAD regularly checks during operation whether newer catalogues are available. This check for up-to-dateness can be activated or deactivated via the Track catalogue changes function. You can find this switch at System settings > Catalogue. The default setting is Do not track, except for the Management+BIM configuration, where the default setting is Track.

The current status (On/Off) will be entered into the Windows Registry.


Please note that the tracking of catalogue changes may lead to a significant performance decrease in certain situations.

 Extend coating (December 2018)

When processing a coated Sheet Metal part, the coating will not be automatically applied to the respective processing (e.g. to new flanges, bores or corner processings). As of HiCAD 2018 SP2 you can use the Extend coating  function to apply the coating to the new or processed elements. To change the coating colour, simply call the Coating feature. 


(1) Front surface of bore (front surface like outer side), (2) Front surface of flange, bend zone (front surface like outer side), (3) Outer side of flange 

Extensive information can be found in the Online Help.

 HiCAD - Remote Maintenance (November 2018)

When you install HiCAD 2018 (as of SP2 Patch 1), the Support tool TeamViewerQS.exe will now automatically be installed (in the sub-directory Remotesupport of your HiCAD Installation).In case of problems that require support by the ISD Group, you have the option to call the TeamViewer tool from HiCAD.

For a quick start of the tool, choose the Remote Maintenance function in the Help menu. Please note however that you should only use this tool if you have been requested to do so over the phone by staff members of our Helpdesk.

After calling the function, you need to confirm the Windows security prompt, asking you whether you want to allow changes to your system by the tool.The TeamViewer will then automatically generate an ID and a Password, which may take some seconds.Let the support team member of the ISD Group have the ID and the Password to allow the remote access to your computer.



Important notes on using the Remote Maintenance tool and on protection of your data:

  • To be able to use Remote Maintenance you require an active online connection.
  • During the Remote Maintenance you can see what we do on your computer.
  • With the ID and the Password that you give to our Helpdesk, remote access to your computer will only be possible once.
  • All data, information or other knowledge that our Helpdesk obtains during the Remote Maintenance session, will neither be disclosed on third parties, nor used in any different way by us.
  • The TeamViewer is a product of the TeamViewer GmbH, Jahnstr. 30, 73037 Göppingen, Germany, Phone: +49 (0)7161 60692 50, E-mail: Further information on the TeamViewer can be found on the website of the manufacturer of TeamViewer. There you can also find all required information on the topic of data security. 
  • Please also read the Notes on Data Protection by the ISD.
  • By contacting our Helpdesk via the Remote Maintenance you confirm that you have read and understood the above notes.
 Colour Editor – Change assignment of special colour (November 2018)

Many of the HiCAD functions use the HiCAD Special colours to highlight objects in particular situations. Examples include:  

If desired, the colour assignments used can be changed with the HiCAD Colour Editor on the Special colours tab.



 Internal/external Referencing (November 2018)

Referencing parts is undoubtedly the most efficient method for re-using parts, with a distinction needing to be made between external referencing and internal referencing.

  • External Referencing
    Externally referenced parts are characterised by their ability to be used across projects and across enterprises. The 3-D body that represents this part is not closely integrated into the model, but only added when the model is created in the current state.
  • Internal Referencing
    In addition to external referencing, you can also reference 3-D parts internally, i.e. without saving the part. Internal referencing allows you to manage identical parts within a drawing without saving referenced parts.


Please note:

Please do not insert referenced parts as sub-parts of externally referenced parts, as this may lead to errors!
 Import / export part variables (November 2018)

In the dialogue window for part variables new functions are available that allow you to export part variables as CSV file and to import them from a CSV file. (as of 2018 SP2 Patch 1)


 P&ID - Document Master Data in Title Blocks (November 2018)

If a P+ID is managed via the HELiOS database, you can display the contents of document attributes of the corresponding document master (and the superordinate database project, if any) in the title block of the drawing frame. Furthermore, attribute contents of article masters which are linked to the document master of the P+ID can be displayed in the drawing frame.

In addition to the default assignments of the input fields belonging to the master data mask and dialogue types to data masks for title block symbols, you can allocate up to 20 optional input fields for dialogue types Reserve 1 to Reserve 20. The title block symbols in the title block library (e.g. ISDFRAMES_ENG) have been expanded by these dialogue types.

The assignment is made with the FLZVTXNR.DAT file (in \HICAD\SYS).

Extensive information can be found in the Online Help.

 ISD Update Service (October 2018)

The ISD Update Service supports the automatic search for and installation of HiCAD updates (Hotfixes). For this you require the program ISDUpdateSvc.exe, that you can either activate during installation of HiCAD or install via the Windows Control Panel afterwards. Via this program you can activate the ISD Update Service.

If the ISD Update Service is active, HiCAD checks upon its start whether a Hotfix is available. If this is the case, the following message appears at the bottom right of your screen:


Further information can be found in the Automatic Installation chapter of the Installation Notes Manual.

The update service will be further expanded with upcoming releases. 

 BIM - Requirements + Pre-planning of the Construction Process (October 2018)

To ensure a smooth and trouble-free management of your model drawings with the Management+ BIM module, the working environment needs to be set up properly, and certain rules need to be observed.

It is therefore very important that you read the relevant information given in the help topics

When planning construction processes you should distinguish between small and large model drawings, i.e. 

  • creating of assemblies and deriving of drawings in original model drawing or
  • simultaneous working with referenced detail drawings.

Please read the information given in the Pre-planning of the construction process topic.


 Isometry / Pipe spool drawing - Drawing for pipeline sets (October 2018)

The functions Isometry and Pipe spool drawing create workshop drawings for pipelines. Both functions are operated in a similar way. In older versions, both functions could create a drawing for only one pipeline, though.

As of SP2, HiCAD 2018 offers the option to combine several pipelines into a set of pipelines, which will then be regarded as "one" pipeline when generating the isometry or the pipe spool drawing.


Since you can freely define such pipeline sets, you are enabled to separate you model drawing into pipelines in a more flexible way and without having to have the drawing generation already in the back of your mind.

Detailed information can be found here.


 Representation types for staircases and railings (September 2018)

For staircases and railings created with the Staircase and Railing Configurator the representation type that has been pre-set in the model drawing will be used. The ISD default setting is Simplified.

If a drawing contains parts with different representation types, e.g. simplified staircases/railings that were inserted via the Configurators and, at the same time, Steel Engineering objects with exact representation, the representation type will be converted accordingly, on the basis of the identical search, when the drawing is itemized.  HiCAD will display the following message:

In some cases, the conversion may fail after clicking Yes:


There are two possibilities how to solve this problem:

  • Adjust the representation of the Steel Engineering objects to the representation of the staircases/railings.
  • Change the representation type for the model drawing via Steel Engineering > Further functions > Settings and then update the staircases and railings that were inserted with the Configurators via Steel Engineering > Variants > Update . In this case please note that an element of the staircase or the railing needs to be active when you call the function!


Please note

These solution possibilities will only be successful if the staircases/railings are still functional, that is, no parts of the staircase/the railing must have been deleted or broken up. Otherwise, all profiles of the staircase/the railing must be broken up until they appear as individual features in the ICN.




 Element installation (September 2018)

The Element installation is an efficient tool for placing identical parts from the HiCAD catalogue onto areas such as

  • facades,
  • walls,
  •  floors etc.

Such parts can be sheet metal trays, glass panes, gratings or other catalogue parts.

An example of a grating in the Online Help demonstrates how to use, e.g., HiCAD catalogue elements for Element Installation.

 Isolated points in sheet developments (September 2018)

In sheet developments you can now define whether isolated points of the Sheet Metal part are to be hidden or shown.

 The positions of the points (in the development) refer to the flange or the bend zone that was active during creation. If the main part is active, no points will be developed.


Please note

 The setting affects only the Isolated 3-D points supplied by the Sheet Metal part.  Isolated points in the development that have been created subsequently are always visible. (as of HiCAD 2018)


(1) Isolated point, (1a), active sheet flange, (2) Isolated point, (2a), active sheet flange, (3) Isolated point (3a), base sheet active

 Overview of welded connections in BOMs (September 2018)

You have now the option to display an overview of welded connections in BOMs. For this to happen, go to Plant Engineering > Bills of Materials in the Configuration Editor and activate the checkbox of the parameter Supplement BOMs with an overview of welded connections. (as of HiCAD 2018)

Click here to view an Example.


Please note:

The display of this overview is only possible in BOMs that have been created with the BOM functions of the Plant Engineering > Evaluation function group; it is not possible for BOMs in isometries and pipe spool drawings.

 Avoid multiple sectional views in workshop drawings (June 2018)

In the Configuration Editor at Automatic drawing derivation > Production drawing > Avoid multiple sectional views you determine that sectional views with the same content will only be created once in the workshop drawing.

Sectional views are considered equal if

  • the parts visible (displayed) in the sectional views have the same valid item number and
  • the sectional views contain the same geometries.

Sectional views for plates outside of the plate end (front plates, top plates, base plates mean the same) are generally unequal.

If you have chosen the Steel/Metal Engineering template in the HiCAD Parameter configuration dialogue window (double-click ParKonfigComp.exe in the exe directory of your HiCAD installation to open this window), the Avoid multiple sectional views checkbox will be active by default (as of HiCAD 2018). .

 Suppress temporary preview for part placement (June 2018)

When selecting certain functions, a shaded polyhedron model preview will be attached to the cursor. For instance, this is the case when inserting or transforming parts, inserting new parts in the preview mode, or inserting standard parts. This preview can be hidden temporarily by pressing and holding down the SHIFT key (as of HiCAD 2018). This may be useful when working with complex models due to performance reasons. When the key is released, the preview is visible again.

This behaviour can also be inverted by a corresponding setting in the Configuration Editor at System settings > Visualisation > Temporary preview for part placement

Possible setting options are:

  • Hide with SHIFT key 
    When a preview for part placement is shown it can be hidden by pressing the SHIFT key. This is the default Setting.
  • Show with SHIFT key
    No preview for part placement will be shown. By pressing and holding down the SHIFT key, however, it can be shown temporarily.
 Element Installation - Check sketch position (May 2018)

If you have not achieved the desired result with regard to the position of the installed elements, you should check the position of the sketch that was used. If the sketch position has been incorrectly defined with regard to the coordinate system, the position of the installed elements will also be wrong.

Rotating the part with the sketch will not solve the problem, since the coordinate system would be rotated together with the part.


In such situations you first need to rotate the sketch elements into the required position with the  Sketch > Transform > Rotate  function. After this, the sketch can be rotated back into the original position with the 3-D Standard > Transform > Rotate  function.

An example:

Let's take a look at the sketch below. The installing the elements (e.g. with ALUCOBOND® tray panels SZ-20) did not lead to the intended result.

Therefore, first rotate the sketch elements with the Sketch > Transform > Rotate  function. Press and hold down the CTRL key and the left mouse button and draw a rectangle around all sketch elements. Choose a rotation angle of 90° and the bottom left corner of the sketch as rotation point. Confirm with OK to carry out the rotation.



Now, rotate the sketch back to the desired position: Select 3-D Standard > Transform > Rotate > Z-axis through point , choose the bottom right corner point of the sketch as rotation point and a rotation angle of -90° .



The sketch will be rotated. The installing of elements will now produce the desired result:

 Important note on virus scan (April 2018)

We recommend to exclude the HiCAD TEMP folder (e.g. C:\HiCAD\TEMP) and the HiCAD.EXE file in the HiCAD EXE directory from the active virus scan. By defining such exclusions, issues and delays caused by concurrent accesses of the antivirus program to the HiCAD data will be prevented, thus increasing reliability and speed of referenced part and feature data processing. We recommend to specifically define the aforementioned exclusions and not, for instance, one exclusion for the entire HiCAD folder.

 Thread representation / Panorama mirroring (March 2018)

Threads in shaded views can be represented either with thread texture or transparently. The representation can be predefined via the configuration management under Visualisation > Views with the parameter Thread representation in shaded views.

  • With thread texture This setting - the ISD-side default setting - depicts pitch and chirality of threads realistically. However, this only concerns the shaded view and not representations such as glass model, hidden line or quick hidden line representation.
  • Transparent The threads will be depicted transparently as usual.

Flanged shaft - (1) Transparent view, (2) With thread texture

Irrespective of the default setting in the Configuration Editor, the thread representation in shaded views can be determined separately for each view. For this, use the function Shaded representation via Representation > Views > Shaded repr...

Please note

Only one thread will be equipped with texture in case of multiple insertion via grid.


You can also use the Shaded representation function for panorama mirroring.

 Representation of beams (March 2018)

So far, it has not been possible to manage the display type of beams (exactly or simplified) via parameter configuration options for steel engineering. From HiCAD 2018 and higher this is not the case anymore.

The default settings have to be defined via the configuration editor under Steel engineering > Representation. The default settings are Simplified.

 Management+BIM - Important notes (March 2018)
  • When using the Management+BIM module for the management of your CAD data, please always use only the PDM functions on the Management+BIM Ribbon tab! For a changing of the Workflow status of documents and articles managed with BIM, too, only the functions of the Management+BIM Ribbon tab may be used! The HELiOS functions should only be used for a viewing of the corresponding documents and articles, but not for their editing (e.g. item numbers, article masters, Workflow status etc.)! In contrast, external data, such as Word documents, E-mails, documents by architects etc. can be managed freely.
  • A document or component may not be assigned to more than one project.
 Customizing ribbon tabs and keyboard (February 2018)

HiCAD offers the option to derive your own, user-specific Ribbons tabs from the Ribbons tabs that have been predefined by the ISD. For instance, you can arrange frequently used functions on separate Ribbons tabs, and use the Import and Export functions to distribute these tabs among other users.


The definition of Ribbons tabs takes place, like the editing of the QuickAccess Toolbar, by means of the UserInterfaceEditor.exe tool that you can start directly from HiCAD:

  • Select Settings  > Customize UI


  • select Customize QuickAccess Toolbar function

A keyboard shortcut can be assigned to each command of the Ribbon, enabling you to access the Ribbon functions via the keyboard if desired.

Click here for further information.

 OpenGL and Graphics card (February 2018)

By default, the capacity for OpenGL display lists is unlimited, i.e. HiCAD uses the full OpenGL capability of your graphics card.

The setting can be specified in the Configuration Editor at System settings > Visualisation > Capacity of OpenGL display lists. The default setting is 1.

If you do not want to use the full OpenGL capacity of your graphics card, e.g. because you do not use a 64Bit processor or have a memory of < 4 GB, you can change the value accordingly, e.g. to 1000000 (default setting of older versions).

 Did you know? - Shorten beams (February 2018)

Did you know that…?

You can not only lengthen, but also shorten beams and profiles with the Change length (3-D SE) function! To do this, simply enter a negative value.

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Tips & Tricks 2017

 Local deformations (December 2017)

The Deform function  allows a bending, twisting, tapering and stretching of 3-D parts along an existing sketch. The sketch plane determines the neutral axis for the deforming process. This means that the part area to be deformed is determined by the planes that run perpendicular to the start point and end point of the sketch. In previous versions, the complete area of the part that was located between these two planes was deformed.

From HiCAD 2017 SP2 onwards you have also the option to perform local deformations. In the vicinity of the corresponding axis it will be attempted to select the smallest possible area from all the areas/connected elements of the part that are located between the two planes, and apply the deformation only there.

For this purpose the new Local checkbox has been added in the Deform dialogue window.

The image below shows the difference for the bending:.

(1) Original part, (2) Sketch, (3) Local active, (4) Local inactive 


Click here for further Information.

 Sketches - New symbols for positional HCM constraints (December 2017)

The symbols for positional HCM constraints have been revised (HiCAD 2017 SP2). They now look as follows:

In the Configuration Editor at System settings > Annotations > HCM_Symbol you can influence the display of these symbols: Besides symbol and background colours you can also specify the size of the symbols here.

The previously available setting options at System settings > Annotations > Dimensioning, 3-D > HCM dimensions > HCM symbols have been removed.

 Management+BIM - Clean-up project (December 2017)
 The Clean-up Project function has been enhanced in HiCAD 2017 SP2..

After successful clean-up the following message will be displayed:

If unused external documents exist in the selected project, such as DXF, DSTV-NC, STEP or NCW files, these will be removed during project clean-up. Unused files can be created, for instance, when you delete documents of production drawings in the HELiOS Desktop, and the above files belonged to these production drawings.

 Civil Engineering Materials (October 2017)

When using Civil Engineering Materials the execution of drawing derivation is not only dependent on the usage of the part but also on the settings in the column BIM_WSD.

If BIM_WSD is set to 0 for a material of a part there will be no drawing derivation, irrespective of whether usage-dependent drawing derivation has been activated or not.


This means:

  • Perform drawing derivation  no drawing derivation
  • Perform drawing derivation + BIM_WSD = 0  no drawing derivation
  • Perform drawing derivation + BIM_WSD = 1  drawing derivation

Please note:

  • The column BIM-WSD is available in the table Civil Engineering Materials only.
  • The column settings take effect both with and without BIM; do not be confused by the column’s name.
 Changeability of HiCAD part attributes for reference parts that have been write-protected via HELiOS (Oktober 2017)

The changeability of HiCAD part attributes for reference parts that have been write-protected via HELiOS is influenced by the settings in the Configuration Editor (at System settings > Referencing) and in the file ref3d_attr_akt.dat (in the HiCAD sys directory).

The table below shows, by way of the Attribute %02 (Item number),  the possible settings in the Configuration Editor and ref3_dattr_akt.dat, and their effects on changeability of the HiCAD part attributes of assemblies and parts.

ref3d_attr_akt for %02

Item number changeable

Item number changeable

 Visibility of hatchings (October 2017)

HiCAD offers the following hatching options for cut surfaces in sectional views, detail views and cut-outs (Drawing > Properties > Attr.:

  • Acc to material catalogue
    If a material has been assigned to a part, and a particular hatching exists for this material, (e.g. an aluminium alloy), this hatching will be used for the cut surfaces. This is the default setting, which can be changed in the Configuration Editor, at Drawing > Views > Cut surface hatching.

  • Parallel lines
    Ignores material hatchings that may exist, and uses the settings of the view for line spacings and angles for the hatching instead.

An exact representation of hatchings is only provided in the representation modes Hidden Line dashed and Glass model. In all other cases a simplified representation of hatchings will be shown, i.e. lines are always continuous and have the same spacing.

 Surface Symbols - The SURFSYM.INI file (October 2017)

In connection with the surface characters the system file surfsym.ini in the HiCAD SYS directory plays an important role.


This file has the following purposes

  1. In this file you can determine the contents of the selection boxes of the Surface specification dialogue window. This is done in the lines 1 to 7, i.e. from A1._TEXT to E_TEXT.
    For instance, if you expand the line B2_TEXT by "Rolled", this new entry can then be chosen from the selection box.

    HiCAD uses the keyword %ts to gain access to the internal text service. This will not be required for your own additions, though.

  2. Here, the default settings of surface characters for new model drawings are defined. The default settings can be changed at any time via 3-D Dimensioning + Text > Surface/Edge > Surf...> Settings .

Extensive information can be found in the Online Help.

 Manual moving of auxiliary texts (October 2017)

If you move the cursor over a text in the 3-D development, the text will be highlighted in magenta. If you now press and hold down the left mouse button you can move the text. (as of HiCAD 2017 SP2)

When you update the development the text will be moved back to its original position.

 Sheet Metal development – “Outside with line” (September 2017)

The Create sheet development dialogue window now offers the new positioning option Outside, with line. If you choose Positioning: Inside or …Outside, the dimensions and the article number and, in some cases, the item number will be displayed by default. The text is generated from the part attributes of the Sheet Metal main part. If you choose Outside, with line, the annotation will be placed as a tag with a leader line.

 Spirals – External references in processings (September 2017)

Spirals are automatically parameterised upon their creation, i.e. a corresponding HCM model will be generated (as of HiCAD 2017). Via this HCM model spirals can be changed subsequently. If the spiral is saved as a 3-D part (.KRA), it will be saved together with the HCM model. This means that once created, spirals can be reused and individually adjusted in any model drawings.

For spirals, too, the feature setting External references in processings will be assessed. Based on this setting the behaviour regarding external references will be adjusted.

An example:

The active drawing contains a cuboid. Now a spiral will be created which uses an edge or two points (e.g. start point, end point or centre of a cuboid edge) as an axis. For the start point of the spiral another point on the cuboid will be chosen. This means that the spiral axis as well as the start point refer to the cuboid, i.e. have external references.  


(1) and (2) start and end points of the spiral axis, (3) start point

The feature setting External references in processings determines how the spiral behaves, if the spiral itself or the cuboid are being moved. In order to activate this setting for the spiral, right-click into the spiral's (empty) feature log and select External references in processings... from the menu. Afterwards select the desired option. The ISD default setting is Do not use.   


If you select the Use option and then move the cuboid, the references to the cuboid will be considered when changing the spiral with the Change parameter function in the HCM context menu or when updating the HCM model with the 3-D Standard > HCM > Tools   function

For instance, if the number of windings is changed via the Change parameter function, the spiral axis will be located on the cuboid edge that was selected during spiral creation again, and the start point will be located on the mid-point of the cuboid edge.  


However, if the Do not use option is selected, the references to the cuboid will not be considered when changing/updating the spiral.

 ICN - No database / no read permission (July 2017)

The symbol is displayed if a matching database does not exist or if the logged-on user has no read permission.

 Plant Engineering: Take pipeline name from P+ID (July 2017)

When creating a new pipeline with the Create pipeline function, the name of the pipeline will be taken from the P+ID if a pipe class is assigned from the P+ID (as of HiCAD 2017 SP1).


 Apply sheet development immediately (July 2017)

To allow a fast realisation of sheet developments, the Apply immediately option has been added to the Sheet development dialogue window. If you have activated the checkbox, the development will be created in the drawing directly after selection of the fitting point. Clicking the Apply button will no longer be necessary.

 Purchased parts and Factory standard parts (July 2017)

On the 3-D-Standard tab at Standard Parts > BoltScrew >... > Others you will find the Purchased/Factory standard parts    function. You can use this function to insert purchased parts or factory standard parts in you drawing from the Factory standards > Purchased/Factory standards catalogue, e.g. end caps or glass holders. If you are also working with HELiOS, these parts will always retain their article master, irrespective of the project to which they belong. Basically, this means that these parts behave like standard parts. (as of HiCAD 2017 / This function currently supports only single parts.)

These parts are of particular importance when working with the Management + BIM module, as it must be ensured in this situation that the parts/assemblies will retain the manually created/assigned article master(s) when being inserted into an existing project. Also, the sub-parts of assemblies must not be BOM-relevant.

If you want to save your own standard parts to the Purchased/Factory standards catalogue, please note the following:

The parts saved to this catalogue must have three isolated and unambiguously named points. These points determine the position and direction of the parts during their insertion. The point designations to be used are as follows:

1    Fitting direction    

2    X-direction    

3    Y-direction    


Example: End cap for pipe with rectangular cross-section

Use the HiCAD function Reference part, Save, Detail drawing   to save the parts.

 New Spiral function (June 2017)

The dialogue of the Spirals function has been redesigned in HiCAD 2017. 

Besides a generally enhanced user-friendliness, the new dialogue offers the following advantages:

  • The spiral is immediately visualized dynamically.
  • Curve creation is more accurate now.
  • Besides cylindrical spirals you can now also create conical spirals.
  • Start and end of the spiral can be modified individually.


Example 1:
The image below shows spirals that have been used as guidelines for the placing of a circular cross-section (C-edge sweep function).

Example 2:
In the next image a spiral has been "wrapped" around a cylinder, and has then been used as a guideline for the placing of a circular cross-section. After this, the resulting body has been subtracted from the cylinder.


Extensive information on this function can be found in the Online Help.
 NCX export of connected multi-part beams (June 2017)

It is now possible to treat itemized, non-connected multi-part beams as one part for NCX exports when generating the NCW files (as of HiCAD 2017). 

 Sheet development - Text with leader line (April 2017)

The Auxiliary text – Positioning  setting in the Create sheet development dialogue now offers the additional Text with leader line option.


If you choose Inside or Outside, the dimensions and the article number and, in some cases, the item number, will be displayed by default. The text will be composed of the part attributes of the Sheet Metal main part. If you choose Text with leader line, the text will be applied as a tag with a leader line.

Extensive information on this function can be found in the Online Help.

 Silent Installation – Redistributables (April 2017)

The Redistributables packages can be installed with /passive /norestart. Otherwise, a reboot would be initiated automatically. If a package requires a reboot, the return value is 3010; otherwise it is 0 or an error code.

Extensive information about the silent installation can be found in the "Installation Notes" guide.

 New data format for 2-D files (March 2017)

Similar to the KRA files in 3-D, HiCAD now also offers figure archive files in 2-D with the file name extension .FGA. They contain the previous 2-D data (.FIG), the DB attributes (.FIG.DBA2) and the attribute container data (.FIG.ATC) and replace the previous 2-D files. Furthermore, the new FGA format allows a displaying of the 2-D files in the HiCAD Viewer and also contains the 2-D HCM data.

HiCAD 2017 comes with the new 2-D figures archive with the file name extension .FGA. Please use only this new .FGA format for conversion of existing 2-D .FIG files! For this purpose, use the new Converter_FIG_To_FGA.exe tool in the HiCAD\exe directory. The Converter can also be installed from the HiCAD DVD.

When you update to HiCAD 2017, the 2-D parts that are supplied with HiCAD by default (e.g. drawing frames) will be converted from FIG to FGA in various folders in the installation directory. Before their conversion, the data will be saved in their original state in a folder or ZIP file, respectively, to the "Szenen" and "Catalogue" directory. Also, a LOG file recording the conversion will be saved to both directories.

When using an interface between HiCAD 2017 and HELiOS you will be prompted to adjust the database accordingly after a new installation or an update. Please note that the search for and management of 2-D parts will only possible after successful adjustment of the database and conversion of the existing FIG files.

For further details please read the PDF file New data format for 2-D files.

 FILEGRUP.DAT - Integration of shared networks (March 2017)

If directories are accessed from more than one workstation, no local path should be entered in the filegrup.dat at C (for the "Szenen" directory), but the full UNC path as shown below:


(...and NOT: C:F:\directory, if F: is a drive link to a share name or a network name)

 3-D developments (March 2017)

The new functionality for the creation of 3-D developments (as of HiCAD 2017) offers many advantages, e.g. the automatic drawing creation with shortening or the sheet development in a separate view. A manual reworking of the 3-D development is no longer possible. The functions Acute corner,  Simplify and  Delete 2-D <-> 3-D have not been made available for 3-D developments in Version 2017 yet.

We are currently working on the incorporation of these functions into the new, 3-D based development creation functionality.

 BOM-relevance for new sheets (February 2017)

The part attribute BOM-relevant can be set for all new Sheet Metal parts in the SYS/ABWPAR.DAT file.

# Sheets BOM-relevant (yes=1 , no=0)


This setting will now also be evaluated by the functions Sheet from solid and Connecting sheet.

 Configuration of various numbers in DSTV-NC files (February 2017)

When generating DSTV data the following numbers:

  • Order number,
  • Drawing number,
  • Part number,
  • Item number and
  • Lettering

can be configured via the templates files (FTD) that have been defined for this purpose. Previously, the selection took place via the Configuration Editor. From HiCAD 2016 SP2 onwards, the selection is possible directly in the dialogue window of the DSTV-NC interface.

The DSTV templates will only be considered if you have chosen the From templates file option for letterings, drawing number, part number, item number and order number in the DSTV-NC interface dialogue number.

To adjust the template files, use the new Steel Engineering function Templates, Attribute assignment  .

 Sheet from solid (February 2017)

The Sheet from solid function does generally not take over any standard processings, i.e. no threads, countersunk bores etc.

 Favourites Management (January 2017)

For various functions you can save all settings in the dialogue as favourites and reuse them at any time. Functions supporting the Favourites Management include:

  • Staircase Configurator (Civil Engineering functions in Steel Engineering),
  • Railing Configurator (Civil Engineering functions in Steel Engineering)
  • Blank parameters (Sheet Metal),
  • Settings for 3-D fits tables (3-D Dimensioning) and
  • Part filter (on the transparent toolbar)

To open the Manage favourites dialogue, click the   symbol in the dialogue and choose the same-named function in the displayed context menu.

Favourites are saved to the same-named sub-folder of the directory in which the HiCAD Configuration database is also located. If you have installed HiCAD from the red DVD with the ISD default settings, this will be the folder ProgramData\ISD Software und Systeme\HiCAD nnnn, with nnnn being the HiCAD version, e.g. 2017.

For each functional area you have saved as a favourite a corresponding sub-folder will be created in the FAVOURITES folder, e.g. SteelEngineering\STAIRCASEconfigurator for the Staircase Configurator in Steel Engineering.

Click here for further information

 Management of mounting Drawings (BIM) (January 2017)

Besides production drawings you can now also create, update and manage Mounting drawings with the functions of the Management+BIM tab. For this you use the Mounting drawing   function at   Management+ BIM > Drawing… . The function works in the same way as the same-named function found at Drawing > Itemisation/Detailing…, with the difference that it directly assigns the relevant HELiOS links to the drawings. (as of HiCAD 2016 SP2)

In contrast to the function at Drawing > Itemisation/Detailing… no separate function for updating of the mounting drawings is available here. Instead you use the function Create/update drawing for this purpose here, as you would do for production drawing.

Click here for further information

 Plant Engineering – Merge pipelines (January 2017)

Use the new Merge pipelines   function to combine several pipelines into one pipeline. You can find the function at Plant Engineering > Pipeline Tools > Change > ... (as of HiCAD 2016 SP2).

Click here for further information.





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