Maxsurf Plus from Graphics Magic Software is a very high end CAD program targeted towards the naval architect, though it has potential uses for the general Mac animator and 3D sculptor because of its control over the creation of splined surfaces. As if to suggest that possibility, a sculpted car body is included with the object files along with a dozen ship hull models. Dimensioning Maxsurf Plus has no capability for dimensioning or dimensioning callouts. Maxsurf must be ported to other CAD software for dimensioning. Care should be taken to export the object data in a format that the targeted dimensioning software can read.
3D Options Maxsurf’s perspective window features a realtime animation option that shows the selected object spinning in 3D. When stopped at a chosen perspective, the object can be seen from the direction the user desires. The perspective window is Maxsurf’s only 3D option.
Text: The text style and size for Maxsurf data tables can be selected and altered. There are no text options for other view data as Maxsurf has no on-board dimensioning capacity.
Import/Export: Maxsurf exports data files with the copy command in the editing menu, a method that might be a bit confusing to experienced CAD users. Selecting “Copy” brings up a list of format choices: Clipboard, PICT, IGES (International Graphics Exchange Standard), DXF, Mac Renderman, and PostScript. The scale of the exported file can be altered at this point in the same dialog. When a selection is made, a standard save dialog is presented (except if the choice is “Clipboard” of course). Imports are limited to getting data from the Clipboard. Maxsurf also saves and opens files in the Maxsurf format.
Rendering Options: Maxsurf displays a rendering menu that allows you to choose Shading On/Off, Gaussian, Transverse or Longitudinal curvature, Convexity, and the optional display of Surface Contours and Positive/Negative values. It also allows brightness level settings (1 to 10). Rendering is displayed on screen, and is also sent to targeted print media.
Documentation: Maxsurf’s 100+ pages of documentation comes in a three ring binder so that future upgraded data can be easily added. Various appendices deal with more technical topics.
Special Features: Maxsurf includes special features needed by the naval architect for data manipulation and design purposes. Among these are printer and plotter setup preferences, control point control for the model, interactive curve area controls, a calculation and markers window, control points data display, smoothing and straightening controls, alignment- masking controls, precision settings, surface controls (surface types, longitudinal and transverse capability), display and grid spacing controls. A frame of reference window (allows setting of Fore and Aft perpendiculars, Amidships, and DWL and Baseline for the design. Zero Point updating is also included).