News & Events > HiCAD 2020 SP2

HiCAD 2020 SP2

| Latest news | Software Updates

With HiCAD 2020 SP2 we deliver the second and last Service Pack for HiCAD 2020. One focus of the further development was the improvement of user-friendliness. Examples are the new Autopilot settings, zooming in docking windows, the new Feature window in the ICN, the selection of hatching patterns for special views and much more. But of course, numerous new functions and enhancements have also been incorporated into this version. For example, not only beams and profiles but also any 3-D solids can now be divided along a specified direction, and the division can be changed at any time later via the feature log.

Further highlights are the Besista cross-bracing with cross anchor, the Besista pressure pipe connection, the creation of straight sections during dynamic route changes of pipelines and the new function for inserting bend zones.

The definition of North American standards and the extensive standard part extensions, e.g. ALUCOBOND® semi-finished products and connecting elements for the American market as well as special profiles and purchased parts from Systea and BWM, are also worthy of mention.



User interface and operation

  • Autopilot settings toolbar
    Using the new toolbar, you can now control directly in the status bar which points the Autopilot offers as snap points. Switching is possible at any time - even during the execution of a function.
  • New toolbar visualisation
    With the functions of this toolbar you can switch on or off the visibility of coordinate systems, isolated points, dimensions, HCM constraints etc. with one click. In certain situations - especially with large model drawings - this can make editing easier. For example, you can hide all dimensions of a model drawing without having to call a function in the context menu or ribbon first.
  • New pocket calculator
  • Docking windows - Zooming of contents
    The contents of various docking windows can be enlarged or downsized dynamically by zooming. This is possible for the following docking windows.
  • Easier element snap
    As long as no function is active, pressing and holding the SHIFT key automatically activates the element snap - independent of the set identification mode. This gives you faster access to the context menus of individual geometry elements and is also a practical way to find a feature in the ICN from within the geometry - especially for complex model drawings.

North American scale
HiCAD supports the European scale logic by default, i.e. scale specifications in the form n:m, e.g. 1:1, 1:10, 5:1 etc. However, the US scale logic differs from that in Europe. Therefore HiCAD offers the possibility to define additional scale specifications, e.g. 1/128"=1'-0" oder 3"=1'-0".

Enhanced Design
The Design Checker offers a new check for sheet metal parts called Sheet must contain exactly 1 direction symbol. This check finds all sheet metal parts with no or more than one direction symbol.

Drawing derivation

  • When updating derived drawings, it is now easier to update the active sheet. The selection box has been extended accordingly.
  • If the settings were changed in an existing workshop drawing and then the drawing was updated, HiCAD always rearranged all views. From HiCAD 2020 SP2 onwards this can be set individually.
  • From HiCAD 2020 SP2 onwards, the viewing direction of the sectional views of sheet metal parts in the workshop drawing is to the right or downwards. Aligned cuts are accordingly to the right or below.
  • Since SP1, in automatically dimensioned developments of sheet metal parts, the (unshortened) projection line is only drawn to the nearest point on the object to be dimensioned, i.e. to the next point on the contour. As of SP2 this also applies to sheet metal parts, steel engineering plates and glass panes.

3-D Interfaces

  • Settings made in the dialogue window for an interface format can be saved as favourites. You can specify which favourite is used as the default in the import dialogue in the Configuration Editor.
  • From SP2 on the context menu for views provides the function 3-D Export (STEP, 3D PDF...) by views. Analogous to the 3-D export of model drawings, only the active view is exported here.
  • When importing IFC files, the IFC objects to be imported can now also be selected by using attribute filters. The filter mode Attribute Filter is available for this in the IFC import filter dialogue window. Here you can filter the structure according to the attributes Object name, Object type, Description and GUID. You can also define one or more rules that must be fulfilled for an object to be selected.
  • The new parameter Part filter for geometry merging allows you to specify during IFC export that main and sub-parts are combined into one part during export - without Boolean operations.

Nested variables in formulas
When entering values for variables, you can now also use formulas that contain additional variables. Especially with complex parts the variable structure can become clearer. Thereby variables may be nested arbitrarily deeply into each other - as long as no cyclic structures occur (e.g. variable a refers to variable b, which refers to variable a).

Enhanced HiCAD VI / AV module
With the HiCAD VI / AV Viewer solution, HiCAD drawings and also and drawings imported via interfaces can be visualised. Furthermore, the module supports the plot generation/output and data export. In order to support the creation and editing of sketches for sectional and detailed views, the corresponding functions are now available on the Sketch Ribbon tab.

Standard Parts

Derive new standard parts from existing standard parts
As of SP2 you have the possibility to derive new standard parts from existing standard parts. This means in particular that you can use all the geometries and tables for fasteners and semi-finished products created by the ISD to derive your own tables for standard parts with similar geometry.

Change order of catalogues
The order of the catalogues can now be changed if necessary. This affects both the display in the Catalogue Editor and the catalogue selection in HiCAD. For example, you can put the catalogues that are important to you and most frequently used by you in the front positions.

HILTI HSA-Segment anchor
The table HSA Segment Anchors has been extended by anchors of the type HSA-R2 and HSA-BW.

ALUCOBOND® semi-finished products USA
The ALUCOBOND® semi-finished products by 3A Composites GmbH available in the catalogue have been extended by semi-finished products for North America.

Fasteners USA
Multiple fasteners for the American market have been added to the catalogue Factory standards.

Systea and BWM
The Factory standards catalogue has been extended by special profiles for Roof Wall Facade and Purchased/Factory standard parts from Systea and BWM.

Point clouds

Create / edit clipping boxes
Both when creating and editing clipping boxes, the autopilot now displays snap points. This allows you to set the edges of clipping boxes to exactly one point. You can also use the options of the Point Options menu to set the clipping box edges, especially the (PW) Point from point cloud point option.

Align point clouds
New in the Point cloud Ribbon tab is the function Align point cloud. This function allows you to change the alignment selected when inserting a point cloud into the model drawing.

3-D and Sheet Metal

Internal/external thread
Thread run-outs are now also possible for end shapes. The length can be defined in relation to the thread length or the thread pitch.

Divide, along direction
The new Divide along direction function allows you to divide 3-D parts of the type Solid into several parts along a freely selectable direction. Different division options are available, for example, the individual parts can have different lengths. In addition, the direction, each division point and each gap are graphically visualized in the model drawing. It should be emphasized that this function creates a corresponding feature, so that the division can be edited later on.

Detail view Cuboid/Sphere – new dialogue and modification
The previous functions Detail view, Cuboid and Detail view, Sphere have been combined into one new function. You can switch between the two modes in the dialogue window of the function. The new dialogue is much more user-friendly. For example, the cuboid and sphere are now visualized in the preview and can be dynamically drawn with the cursor. Furthermore, from SP2 on it is also possible to change detail views of the cuboid/sphere type afterwards.

New dialogue for selecting hatching pattern
The selection of hatch patterns when defining and modifying sectional and detail views and cut-outs has been revised. The Hatch Selection dialogue window is now displayed for selecting hatch patterns. Here the available hatch patterns are clearly arranged with preview and captions. If the cursor is placed on one of the patterns, further information about the hatching pattern is displayed. In addition, the display of the patterns can be zoomed.

Change representation in multiple views
If several views are selected in the ICN, the display of all selected views can be changed in one step.

Hide parts in multiple views
Parts can now be hidden in all currently selected views in one step.

Change standard processings
Standard processings can also be edited from SP2 onwards by double-clicking on the corresponding entry in the feature log.

Enhancements for sketches

  • Highlighting isolated points
    If the Enter constraints checkbox is active in the HCM settings for sketches or if a sketch is parameterized manually, the sketch points are highlighted in colour. As of SP2, this also applies to isolated points in a sketch. Start and end points of sketch lines are marked by a filled circle, isolated points of the sketch by a filled circle with a ring. This applies to planar sketches and 3-D sketches.
  • Parameterized sketches in sectional views
    If a parameterized sketch with the purpose Create/Edit is active in a sectional view, the line end points of the sketch and the degrees of freedom are also visualized there.
  • 3-D sketching tool - Changed arc creation
    When inserting arcs, the arc radius and the opening angle are displayed at the cursor from SP2 onwards. If you want to use a specific radius, press the space bar or select the Value input function and enter the arc radius. You can determine the end point of the arc either by moving the cursor or with a point option.

New New bend zone, with shortening
The previous functions for bend zones have been combined into one new function called Insert bend zone. The new function is much more user-friendly, for example, settings made in the dialogue are visualized directly in the drawing as a preview. A further advantage of the new function is the support of milling edges for composite sheets. Also, all inputs are recorded in the feature log and can be subsequently edited there.

Sheet metal development with die and punch
The bend tools Die and Punch defined in the LVD Bend zone tooling can now be displayed in the development bend line text. The selection is made in the development settings when editing the bend line texts.

Feature and Parametrics


Redesigned display of feature log
The window for displaying the feature log in the ICN has been revised and now presents itself in the form of a table analogous to the newly designed 3D part structure since HiCAD 2020. This change was accompanied by many additional convenient functions. For example, the toolbar now not only provides direct access to the functions Recalculate, Calculate next feature and Calculate to end, but the options Automatic recalculation and Use external references can also be directly activated and deactivated here. Also the context menus have been reworked and now have a new design.

Update dependent parts in locked assemblies when loading
If a dependent part is contained in a locked assembly, it can be updated from SP2 on when the model drawing is loaded.

Nested variables in formulas
When entering values for variables, you can now also use formulas that contain additional variables. Especially with complex parts the variable structure can become clearer. Thereby variables may be nested arbitrarily deeply into each other - as long as no cyclic structures occur (e.g. variable a refers to variable b, which refers to variable a).

Delete feature log of part with sub-parts
For instance, if the feature log of an assembly is deleted through the Delete feature log function, then the feature log of all subordinate parts is always deleted as well. Service Pack 2 now displays an information dialogue. This dialogue allows you to cancel the deletion process by negating the query. In addition, you can choose the Also delete feature log of sub-parts option to have the feature logs of all sub-parts deleted at the same time (which was previously the default) - or you can leave them as they are by deactivating the option.


Coordinate system elements in the ICN
HCM constraints that refer to a coordinate system element such as a plane or an axis are now displayed in the ICN in a shortened form as "XY-plane" instead of e.g. "XY coordinate system plane". Similarly, axes are now displayed as "Z-axis" instead of "Z coordinate system axis". This makes the listing of conditions in the ICN more compact and clearer. In addition, the affected coordinate system elements are now also highlighted in the construction when a corresponding entry in the ICN is selected.

Stable area distance
For distance constraints with area definition, the distance may be changed by the HCM within this definition. Up to now, the HCM has often used this option. However, as of SP2, the distance is only changed if there is no other way to calculate the HCM model.

Show/hide parts in the ICN
If the HCM-ICN is set to display By geometries, the Show in active view and Hide in active view functions can now be found in the context menus of the parts. This allows for quick and convenient part display and hiding without having to search through the part structure first.

Steel and Metal Engineering / Management+BIM

Steel and Metal Engineering

Posts from double profiles
When creating railings, double profiles can also be selected from catalogue D ExamFactory standards from SP2 onwards.

Cross-bracing between two perpendicular beam (2602)
With the Design Variant 2602 it is also possible from SP2 onwards to connect two perpendicular beams to each other with a diagonal using a cross-bracing.

Cross-bracing Besista with cross anchor (2603)
The Design Variant 2603 has been extended by the insertion type With cross anchor. It is now possible to connect two, three or four beams/plates with a tension rod system consisting of tension rod and rod anchor and a Besista cross anchor. The cross-bracing can also be attached to plates that already exist on the beams.

Stabilizing pipe connection (2702)
This new Design Variant creates a stabilizing pipe connection of the type BESISTA between 2 beams or plates. You can choose between the following options:

  • Tension rod system (Besista)
  • Pressure rod system, Solid rod
    consisting of 1 Besista solid round steel rod with conical ends, 2 Besista rod anchors, 2 Besista studs and retaining rings. The round steel rod and the rod anchors are welded together.
  • Pressure rod system, Steel pipe
    consisting of a steel pipe, 2 Besista rod anchors, 2 Besista studs and retaining rings. The steel pipe and the rod anchors are welded together.

Visible side and coating
The functions Coating and Visible side can now also be used for Steel Engineering plates.

Divide along direction
The new Divide along direction function allows you to divide 3-D parts of the type Solid into several parts along a freely selectable direction. Different division options are available, for example, the individual parts can have different lengths. In addition, the direction, each division point and each gap are graphically visualized in the model drawing. It should be emphasized that this function creates a corresponding feature, so that the division can be edited later on.

Revised foil insertion
The Foil function has been revised. It is now possible to select or create a sketch directly from the dialogue. Foils can be taken as semi-finished products from the catalogue and the effects of the individual settings are visualized as a real-time preview directly in the model drawing.


Management + BIM

Total quantity of a part in an assembly (COMPONENT_REFASSEMBLY)
In the Configuration Editor you can define whether the associated assemblies, e.g. welded assemblies, are to be determined for individual parts (beams, profiles, plates, sheets, general parts). The parameter Output associated assemblies is available for this purpose. If this parameter is set to Yes, the system determines the associated assembly as well as how often the part occurs in this assembly. This data is assigned to the HELiOS article attribute COMPONENT_REFASSEMBLY. This can be useful for the BOM output, for example. Ab SP2 wird nun zusätzlich die Gesamtzahl des Teils in der Baugruppe ermittelt. Für die Ausgabe der Baugruppenzugehörigkeit und der Gesamtanzahl eines Teils im Schriftfeld der Einzelteilzeichnungen steht darüber hinaus das neue Attribut _SZNATTRRIQ zur Verfügung.

Output construction section lists on drawings
If you are working with different construction sections, you have the possibility from SP2 on to insert a construction section list in the drawings of the parts. This BOM shows how many times a part is present in the different construction sections. The new function Output construction section list in drawing is available for this purpose. The function can be used in the 3-D model as well as in the detail drawings.

Management of template drawings
Starting with SP2, template drawings of element installations can also be managed with BIM. If a BIM-managed (model) drawing contains installation elements to which a corresponding template file is assigned, the corresponding template drawings are automatically created and managed in HELiOS when the drawing is derived. The document type of these drawings is Template drawing. Like other drawings, template drawings can be automatically updated, checked and released when changes are made. Furthermore, the same links are used as for production drawings.


Element installation / Profile installation

Element installation and Sub-structure

Open template drawings
The new function Open template drawing is now available for working with template drawings. After you have created drawings for an element installation using the Template drawing function, you can first select any element in the model drawing and then call the Open template drawing This will open the drawing belonging to the selected part.

ALUCOBOND® SZ-20 tray panels – Window connection
When installing ALUCOBOND SZ-20 tray panels with window connection, the "L-bracket" was previously part of the panel. From SP2 onwards, it is only created by the connection with the sub-structure. It is designed as a "short piece" on each sub-structure and is not continuous.

Design Variant Flange for SZ-20
When using ALUCOBOND SZ-20 tray panels, there is sometimes the desire to create a connection with a flange for the lateral connection, so that a "U" is created. This cannot be realized directly via the Element installation dialogue window, but via the Design Variant Flange for SZ-20 in the Civil Engineering functions docking window, beneath Sheet Metal. Until now, this variant could only be applied to SZ-20 tray panels with the setting Vertical section: Standard. As of SP2, it is now possible for all connection types, e.g. for Attic, short.

Transfer parameterisation  
New in the Civil Engineering functions docking window at Element installation is the function Transfer parameterization. With this function, the parameters of an installation element can be transferred to other installation elements. However, this is only possible if the installation elements are based on the same variant. This means, for example, that the parameters of an ALUCOBOND SZ-20 tray panel cannot be transferred to a suspended ALUCOBOND panel.


Profil installation

New view: Contour, combined
The Profile installation Ribbon now offers the new Contour, combined mode in addition to the previous view modes. This mode is a combination of the modes Contour, cut and Contour, uncut. The cut contour is displayed by continuous lines and the uncut contour by dashed lines.

Roof inclinations: Definition via inclination angle
The Inclination angle can now be specified for roof inclinations in addition to the Inclination in % and the Height difference. The other values are then calculated automatically.

Pipeline planning

Classify pipeline article
If you select the creation of an article master when generating isometrics or piping plans, the article master in HELiOS is assigned the new classification Piping as of HiCAD 2020 SP2. However, this only applies to articles that you generate as of HiCAD 2020 SP2.

Move pipe parts
This new Move pipe parts function function works similar to copying of parts. The difference is that here straight pipes are not moved and the parts to be moved must form a straight string. In addition, after moving parts, an attempt is made here to fill the gap with straight pipes.

Combined BOM / length list
When generating bills of materials, the lengths of similar straight pipes can be combined. The Combine pipe length lists in BOMs checkbox is available in the Configuration Editor at Plant Engineering > Bills of materials.

Calculate weight of pipeline
Weights of pipe parts of a pipeline are summed up from SP2 and transferred to the corresponding pipeline. For the calculation of the weights, pipelines are treated in the same way as assemblies.

Dynamic route change

  • Create straight sections
    Previously, it was only possible to change the lengths of existing pipes in the route change. In many cases, however, it is desirable to be able to create additional straight sections by changing the route. This is possible from SP2 on.
  • Select target point
    Until now, there were two methods of target point selection in the route change: Plant Engineering point selection and Standard point selection. From SP2 on, there is only one point selection, which basically corresponds to the usual HiCAD point selection. However, points named here will also be checked to see if they are Plant Engineering connection points. For such points, the connection direction is still determined and the option Snap own points in the dialogue window of the route change is effective. Another new feature is that the target point can always be selected with the left mouse button.
  • Select fixed point
    The pre-selection of fixed points in the route change has been revised. It now depends on the side of the connection where the cursor is located when selecting the point to be moved.

New and improved dialogues for more usability

Special profiles for Roof Wall Facade and Purchased/Factory standard parts from Systea and BWM

Cross-bracing Besista with cross anchor

New Detail view Cuboid/Sphere function

Railings - posts from double profiles

Divide along direction

New bendzone with shortening
from left to right: Bend zone with relief groove, Bend zone with clearance, Bend zone with shortened flange, without relief groove

Dynamic route change - Create straight sections

ALUCOBOND© SZ20 panel - Window connection

As of SP2 the "L-bracket" is only created by the connection with the sub-structure. It is designed as a "short piece" on each sub-structure and is not continuous.

Redesign display of feature log and context menus

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