Sunday, July 4, 2010

Weekend Rant from an admitted AutoCAD Fanboy

I'm not sure what the point is of this post.  The title sort of sums it up.  These thoughts came to mind so I wrote them down.

A common misconception is that AutoCAD from Autodesk is the world’s leading 2D design software.  I’m not saying it’s not, because it is.  AutoCAD is the world standard CAD program for 2D design.  The misconception is that it doesn’t do 3D.  But in fact, it does 3D quite well.  True, in the past, AutoCAD’s 3D abilities are lacking when compared to design programs that specialized in 3D design.  Well of course it did.  AutoCAD was meant from the beginning to be a 2D drafting tool.  But now it is a full 3D design tool.  Not only is it a design tool, but it has features that automate your work.  I could go on and on about why AutoCAD is great, but I won’t.  Maybe that’s a series of posts for later.  But suffice it to say that the tools in AutoCAD allow you to design in 3D and to automate your drawings.  Make a change to your model and your drawing sheets are updated.  Yes it does that!  No AutoCAD is not BIM, or CIM, or IM, but it is and can be a part of those processes.  Programs like Revit are not BIM.  BIM is not a program or software package.  It is a process of modeling information in an automated process.  Revit can and should be a large part of that process for architects, structural engineers, facilities managers and contractors.  But Revit is not BIM.  Revit can do things that AutoCAD can’t, obviously, but AutoCAD can do many more things that Revit can’t.  Revit is “type cast” into specific roles.  It is a specialist program.  That is why it is far superior as a building design tool when compared to, well, anything really.  But can it create machined parts?  No.  Can it create textile designs? No.  AutoCAD can.  AutoCAD’s strength lies in its diversity.  Revit’s strength lies in it purposefulness. 
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