Still the go to option for a reason.
March 29, 2018

Still the go to option for a reason.

Floyd Finch | TrustRadius Reviewer
Score 10 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User

Overall Satisfaction with AutoCAD

Here at Safe Harbor Autocad is used both as a primary design software and by steel detailers to produce shop floor drawings. In addition, our production department uses it to generate profiles for CNC plate cutting equipment. The biggest problems it solves is providing a widely used drawing format that is easy to exchange with clients and is familiar with a wider number of users than any other cad software. It tends to be much easier to find proficient Autocad operators than any other software.
  • The biggest strength of Autocad is in its flexibility. It can be customized for almost any industry or drawing style. Granted the plethora of options, commands, & routines can make it a little intimidating for a beginner but experienced power users can make it sing. Even though it's parametric capability is limited a good user can even do excellent 3d modeling.
  • Almost every trade school, technical college, etc. teaches Autocad, this makes finding operators a lot easier than most other software.
  • Dedicated parametric design software such as Inventor & Solidworks may be taking over in the design realm but the fact of the matter is that 2d drawings will stay with us for a long time. Quite frankly when it comes to producing a good looking shop floor or construction site paper "blueprint" no other software does it better or easier. Even average users can take advantage of its extensive features & shortcuts for detailing drawings.
  • One of the things that makes Autocad so good is also a disadvantage and that is its complexity. It can be confusing for some. One of my biggest challenges is supporting experienced users who refuse to give up the classic interface as I've been using the ribbon since it was introduced and have forgotten most of the classic menu & toolbars.
  • The constant warnings when I open a dwg file created by another cad system are a pain. I know that this format was Autodesk's baby & I respect that but nobody needs these warnings and the extra step of dismissing them.
  • The first business objective that Autocad accomplishes is providing a common design communication format through our organization.
  • It reduces costs per seat because of the lower price and the fact that it can be used by detailers without experience in more advanced design software.
In all honesty, DraftSight is more of an Autocad LT competitor. TurboCAD is pretty decent but has a completely different interface. In the end, Autocad winds up in offices all around the world for three reasons; 1. Name recognition, your boss & the purchasing agents might not know anything about design & drafting software but they've at least heard of Autocad. 2.While the lower priced competition might have all the features some people need, they're still nowhere near the capability of the full version of Autocad. In fact, it chafes a power user like me to be forced to use Autocad LT. 3.Ease of finding operators to create your drawings.
Steel Detailing, floor plans, M.E.P. (mechanical, electrical, & plumbing) diagrams are examples of where Autocad excels. When you get into design & analysis of moving assemblies or need to be able to update common components across a wide range of products without having to update every individual drawing using that component then you would be better off with parametric software.