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Old 04-13-2012, 07:44 AM   #16
Grreatdog
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Not having backwards compatible files is just one of the many things that sent me over to the darkside. My 40 person shop keeps one AutoCAD license on subsciption just to show we have it on proposals. But all of our dwg files are actually produced with Microstation or Powerdraft.

I do not miss the never ending version and bug sorting that defines Autodesk products. Bentley has their share of issues. But nothing compared to Autodesk. It constantly amazes me that Microstation is actually way less crash prone in dwg mode than AutoCAD. That pretty much says it all for me.
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Old 04-13-2012, 08:40 AM   #17
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A few observations after 28 years on Auotcad.

Microstation makes good stable software while Autodesk makes money. Sad but true. Most of Autodesk major platform products are subscription only now and the annual release comes to you whether you want it or not. The Cha-ching at the cash register is the only reason for this. Microstation has a lot more integrity the way they handle it. It's always been a far more stable and advanced platform and Autocad has been stealing ideas from the for decades. Geopak was light years ahead of Civil 3d which is only now even approaching what it can do. FDOT tried to introduce Civil 3D to replace Microstation and is essentially just giving up. Civil is fantastic for site development but It's the wrong tool for large scale roadway databases.

I Lived through the Release 13 debacle. It was so bad that we shelved it and stayed on 12 for 2 more years until windows forced us off of it. 14 was actually great. When I saw the 2013 moniker I was surprised that they didn't give it some other handle just to avoid the bad voodoo. It was THAT bad.
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Old 04-13-2012, 12:04 PM   #18
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This thread should have legs
I started and am still with Surfcam. Older version as I just don't need the tech support and updates. And yes the yearly updates are for one reason only...$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$...
I also have OneCnc for solids. Really easy to learn, and no yearly subscription..yes you heard right..None! You have a older version and need help..phone call away! plus we have a private forum with guys that have had every answer I have ever needed.
I am still faster with a 2d file in Surfcam..but I should be I have used it almost every day for 17+ years.
Took a look at Auto cad some years back.. so no help from me.
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Old 04-13-2012, 12:33 PM   #19
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Pro/Engineer since '91. It's the only CAD program I ever knew. Board before that in College and High School.
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Old 04-13-2012, 01:02 PM   #20
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I had forgotten about the odd number curse. We have an HVAC tech that fancys himself as in inventor. He wanted some CAD software. I suggested Google sketchup. He loves it anyone else play with that?

BTW I need to open a version 11 drawing today. Cannot the license expired!

Is it beer time yet?
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Old 04-13-2012, 02:05 PM   #21
Grreatdog
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The real workhorse and money maker at our company is Bentley PowerSurvey. It is (or was) less than $2000 and does 90% of full blown design packages like Microstation/InRoads or (God forbid) AutoCAD/Civil3D. The older versions you load to run in either Geopak or InRoads mode. The current version integrates both.

Our surveyors use it for mapping, civil engineers for road design and structural engineers for drafting. With the cheap buyin price and cheap annaul subscrption rate it is our money making software. We have one AutoCAD seat, two Microstation/InRoads seats and all the rest of our CAD seats are PowerSurvey.

For AutoCAD people think of it as AutoCAD LT done right.
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Old 04-13-2012, 03:47 PM   #22
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Anyone here ever use VectorWorks? I used it for a year at my last job and really started liking it. It seemed geared more towards presentation results than engineering drawing (or I could have been using it wrong). One thing I loved was that there was only one way to do something, versus the 101 ways AutoCAD allows you to do something.
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Old 04-13-2012, 04:07 PM   #23
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Great Idea autocad thread.

I've been using 2002 Land Desktop for the last 10 years. I can pretty much make it do whatever I want, drafting wise. Still looking for something to add to it for surveying, though. I know there used to be programs available, but I'm not sure if they still produce them for something that old.

I'm scared of Civil3d. Way more than I need.
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Old 04-13-2012, 06:04 PM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DADODIRT View Post
Great Idea autocad thread.

I've been using 2002 Land Desktop for the last 10 years. I can pretty much make it do whatever I want, drafting wise. Still looking for something to add to it for surveying, though. I know there used to be programs available, but I'm not sure if they still produce them for something that old.

I'm scared of Civil3d. Way more than I need.
You're going to have a really hard time getting any sort of add ons for Land Desktop. It is (was) a really great product but they've pretty much retired it and all support. You'd need to find legacy stuff. I remember there was a lot of regeneration for contours and points every time you did mods and such but by the end it was a completely stable product. then they hit us with Civil in 05/06 and it's days were numbered.

I jumped in from Land to Civil 2006 and I I honestly think that Autodesk should have suffered a class action lawsuit from the firms that were suckered into using it. It approached Release 13 territory. I have to grudgingly admit that since 2011 it's really been a great platform but 2006 and 2007 were awful. I even had a developer more or less admit to me that it was rushed out to compete with Geopak as they were falling too far behind. I don't know why they just don't abandon the .dwg format for Civil (like inventor for example) and do it it right.
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Old 04-13-2012, 07:08 PM   #25
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I moved into the CAD world back in the early 90s from the old board. I think it was called ProTerra. We went to AutoCad eventually and I was happily using 14 with Land Desktop software for sewer and water design. Resisted the move to Civil3D but after taking a 3 day class, I jumped into it full time.

I seem to be the minority (maybe it's just my lack of experience in other products) but I have grown to like 3D. Especially after we got our templates and styles set up, I can really put out the work quickly. From survey to finished sheets in no time. With a nice profit margin! And revisions (there are always revisions) are usually quick.

We have one seat of Microstation for government contracts and such. That's all we need, since only one person knows much about it!

My minor forays into Microstation have ended poorly!
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Old 04-14-2012, 08:30 AM   #26
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Alibre

For folks that might want to try CAD at home there is Alibre PE at $200 which has 90% of the functionality of the multi-thousand dollar packages at less than 10% of the price. http://www.alibre.com/products/hobby/ My only problem with it is that because I don't use it every day it takes me longer to draw the part than to build it. I have used it for a few home projects though. I makes neat 3D pdf files that anyone can view and manipulate. It used to be really cheap (less than $100 I think and maintenance was not as expensive as buying it every couple of years) but unlike Google they haven't figured out how to make billions while giving away their product .
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Old 04-14-2012, 08:44 AM   #27
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Like some of the others here, I started off board drafting in the early 80's, and started with AutoCAD in '85 on a 286 with 20mb hard drive and 2mb RAM. (RAM was $1000 per mb back then)

I've worked for a large global consulting engineering firm for the last 26 yrs....we were an AutoCAD shop until the Bentley bros. ported Intergraph to the PC (Microstation) in the late 80's. We still support AutoCAD where clients require it (mostly translated deliverables) but have been Microstation based since around '90.

The two platforms are essentially turning into each other the last few years with all the file format changes (integer based vs. floating point), cross-platform compatibility, and user interfaces.
I love working in Microstation and all the other packages (Building Suites, PlantSpace, etc) and am not a huge fan of AutoCAD, but as someone said.... they make the money and have the market share.
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Old 04-14-2012, 09:02 AM   #28
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I'd like to use AutoCAD a bit more because it's so popular. In school we used SolidWorks and in the industry I've used Catia. I really like Catia.
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Old 04-14-2012, 10:34 AM   #29
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Subscribing because I want to get back into drafting after taking a job as a utility mapper ().

Played around with DraftSight a little at home. Runs on Linux and it's free.

Short term goal is to get the hell out of Prescott and back home to Phoenix. Been out of drafting long enough I'm probably going to have to audit some classes @ ITT so I can use their seat and plotter.

I'm working as a PC Tech right now. It beats cleaning toilets or digging ditches.
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Old 04-14-2012, 11:12 AM   #30
FloridaSteve
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If I had any new or advice for aspiring CAD techs it would be this. Find the work that blalnces out between interesting and good pay and go specialize in whatever platform caters to it.

For example if you want to get into large scale transportation roadway work (which is nice because it suffers less from a down economy) then it's microstation all the way. If you like site development or water/sewer/stormwater (this is another recession resistant field since there's a lot of municipal money involved) then autocad Civil 3D.

I was talking to a few of the Autodesk reps and they were telling me that in a lot of European countries they don't even teach plain old Autocad anymore. It's all packages. Civil, Solidworks, Inventor etc.. The plain Jane program is far too limited for a career.

Also, IMHO the most up and down field (for pure drafting) is probably architectural because A)it's vey dependent on the general economy and B)most of the drafting is really just handled by the architects themselves. Now in a perfect world I'd be working for a mechanical firm with access to 5 axis mills and sneaking in my own pet project once in a while. I actually know a guy who does this. Now THAT's a sweet gig.

Anyone else have a take on this?
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