AutoCAD- The gold standard for those who want to be and look professional
November 26, 2018

AutoCAD- The gold standard for those who want to be and look professional

Anonymous | TrustRadius Reviewer
Score 8 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User

Overall Satisfaction with AutoCAD

As an Audio-Video Design/Build firm we need to be able to interact with architects and other contractors who are creating and editing drawings using AutoCAD and/or AutoCAD Revit. Our typical use of AutoCAD is to review drawings and add in the specifics that are needed to illustrate where AV equipment will need to be installed during or after construction.

It is used by our designers, our installation engineers and our support team both before, during and after construction as a result.
It allows us to be involved in every step of the process and to ensure that the design elements that need to be included are not overlooked.

Pros

  • AutoCAD is extremely powerful software, and its multi-layer capabilities are the industry standard that every other tool emulates.
  • AutoCAD has set the standard for "creation tools" for decades, and as such, there is a larger "talent pool" of qualified folks out there that can use it.
  • AutoCAD and AutoCAD Revit have phenomenally good 3d rendering capabilities, which is critical to a design firm looking to be able to "walk the site" before the first wall is put up, and the impact of all of the parts and pieces that go into new or renovation construction work.

Cons

  • The biggest downside of AutoCAD is absolutely the complexity of the product. Gaining proficiency (in my opinion) requires an in-person class with a skilled instructor that can guide a beginner.
  • You need a pretty beefy machine with a newer-generation processor and top-notch video card to really use AutoCAD. Don't assume you can run it on just anything, as it will take forever for files to load and rendering will mean a lot of waiting around otherwise. We use machines that are well suited for high-end gaming with 256GB of RAM and a multi-processor CPU motherboard, plus dual video cards, so it's not cheap, but time is money so its worth it.
  • You also need much larger than normal displays (like with any type of drawing work) and with a 4K/60hz resolution to reduce eye strain. Once again, not inexpensive but necessary.
  • AutoCAD is generally a "good ROI" for us and others in our field as it lets us interact cleanly.
  • AutoCAD is expensive, and the hardware requirements make it more so. As a result, we have had to limit our users of the product.
Revit is another (separate) AutoCAD (AutoDesk) product that we also use. It is not as widely-used as AutoCAD and has some capabilities and different uses. As a result, it's like starting over again and while its possible for an existing AutoCAD user to get up to speed with it there is a learning curve- so in many cases, its better to just use AutoCAD. (and less expensive as well)
  • AutoCAD is well-suited for where you need to interact with architects, general and others during a new or remodel construction event.
  • AutoCAD is well-suited for creating documentation for post-install of low-voltage and Audio-Video-Control projects, especially the more complex ones.
  • AutoCAD is less suited to smaller projects or projects where there is no interaction with other groups, or where you just need a "quick and dirty" drawing.

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