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Using Cincom Smalltalk, AR-CAD LLC Provides Custom Software for Companies Using CAD Systems

Posted on in Categories Smalltalk, Success Stories, VisualWorks

AR-CAD LLC provides motion simulation, engineering and graphics software for companies using CAD (computer-aided design) systems in their operations.

AR-CAD LLC provides motion simulation, engineering and graphics software for companies using CAD (computer-aided design) systems in their operations.

AR-CAD LLC is based out of Los Alamos, New Mexico. It has expertise in the areas of Multi-body Dynamics, CAD software development, Development of Add-ins/Plugins for Autodesk Inventor, SpaceClaim, and other CAD software. The company specializes in developing motion add-ins, which allow customers to create machines or mechanical processes within their CAD systems and see visualizations of forces and motions in play based on physics. Users can then experiment with many configurations and spot problems before actual fabrication.

The main products it has developed are:

  • freeCAD: Free CAD CAD software with Motion and Dynamic Simulation
  • StCAD: It is a basic 3D CAD framework in Smalltalk (VisualWorks 7.x)
  • SC-Motion: Motion and Dynamic Simulation add-in for SpaceClaim CAD software
  • IN-Motion: Motion and Dynamic Simulation add-in for Autodesk Inventor
  • PDF Export Add-in for SpaceClaim: A tool to automatically and batch export PDF files from 2D Drawings
  • microPDM: A basic and useful “Product Data Management” Add-in for SpaceClaim

AR-CAD has relied on the combined power and simplicity of Cincom® VisualWorks® as its technical advantage since 1991. Company co-founder, Aik-Siong Koh, began using VisualWorks that year as the basis for creating an object-oriented dynamics simulator. The advantage was immediately obvious to Koh.

“3D Multibody Dynamics is a complicated field,” Koh says. “There are only about five software options available, and they were developed by large teams of programmers using Fortran or C++. I was able to develop one by myself using VisualWorks entirely.


Find a solution that allows small teams to compete with larger players in creating engineering add-ins for high-tech CAD environments. This solution must be physics-based and allow users to visualize tolerances and the impact of physical forces.


The technology must:

  • Maximize the abilities of a small team through increased programming productivity
  • Integrate well with popular CAD programs such as AutoCAD, Inventor, Solidworks, Alibre, and SpaceClaim
  • Be easy to understand
  • Facilitate software debugging


  • Cincom VisualWorks allows companies to stay on equal footing with competitors that rely on more complex programming languages as the foundation for their CAD motion simulators.
  • Its clean syntax and pure object-oriented paradigm allow programmers to convert the problem domain into working code more easily and faithfully.
  • The debugger and inspectors encourage fearless exploration of the code to fix programming problems

Learn more about how AR-CAD LLC used Cincom VisualWorks to grow their business and become a leader in Multi-body Dynamics, CAD software development: