Perhaps nowadays you do not think to it any more, as there are many specifically written programs, but a few years ago it was not so easy to design your own model railway with the help of computers.
Those were the days of Windows' early versions, when AutoCAD developed its new graphical interface and home computers began to get spread around but only those who were able to use CAD programs could draw their projects using PCs.
So it created the first set of tracks, drawn in two dimensions, to be used with AutoCAD, in 1995. Internet just began to spread, and it was then that I decided to distribute it online on an FTP site (unbelievably, it is still there...) that hosted this first zipped archive.
Ztrax v1.0 was born.
With this first set of blocks I realized the project of my Sonnenhof layout, simply perfect. I remember a few Z scale's fans from all around the world who emailed me for more information and to thank me for having created this small but useful tool that finally made it possible to draw so perfect circuits using Märklin tracks.
Later on, I had the idea to implement version 1.0 with 3D models of each tracks, using various types of materials for the photorealistic rendering of sleepers and rails. Ztrax v2.1 was released in 1998 and, with it, you could draw the path in 2D exactly as with version 1.0 but now, turning on the 3D layers, you can immediately see objects in three dimensions, then easily make realistic rendered 3D pictures.
Then, the birth of software specifically developed as stand-alone programs, that do not rely on AutoCAD, has determined its success but, even now, if you want to get true professional results, ZTRAX is a valuable help for all fans of the Z scale.
The latest version, Ztrax v2.2, is the 2014 and contains some minor improvements for use on the latest versions of AutoCAD. It can be downloaded by clicking on the link below.
Here it is explanied why my nickname is MrZtrax.