Author Topic: Which cad software and why?  (Read 7946 times)

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jonesy

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Which cad software and why?
« on: August 20, 2008, 08:39:17 AM »
Advice and guidance wanted/needed here please

I currently work for a big multi-disciplinary company. We have recently been advised the way we have cad licences will be changing, and with that, we will be expected to have fewer licences and more specialised software.

I've been sent a list of the Autodesk software we can choose from. Ordinarily this wouldnt be a problem, but the cad here is truly multi-disciplinary. (theres a Structural team, a civils team, and an MEP team who I work closely with, flitting between the various teams work as and when needed)

We have been told we are not going to be using "vanilla" AutoCAD, only one of the other products.

I need to put together a proposal for what software our business unit needs and to be able to justify my choice.
Having never used ADT, civil 3d etc I dont know the true capabilities of these products, so how different are they to  the plain AutoCAD. What would the learning curve be like for one/more of the verticals?

I have also heard rumblings and rumours that the company are looking at going the BIM route. Would it be a waste of time learning a vertical, to have to retrain in a revit product.

Does revit come with a version of Autocad so I could use either/or depending on the project?

Oh, so many questions! (I'm sure there will be more)

Thanks in advance for any advice
T :-)
Thanks for explaining the word "many" to me, it means a lot.

Bob Wahr

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Re: Which cad software and why?
« Reply #1 on: August 20, 2008, 11:26:34 AM »
At least here, Revit doesn't come with Autocad.  We have licenses of Revit Structure Suite which does though.  It's only slightly more than Revit on it's own in both initial cost and subscription.  That would be my vote for you, by the way.  If you will most likely be moving to Revit in the near future, I don't see any reason at all to try and learn/customize ADT, then start over again with Revit.  Dive in with both feet and your eyes tightly shut.  If you survive it, you will be stronger for the experience.  Plus you'd have Autocad to bail you out as needed.

mjfarrell

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Re: Which cad software and why?
« Reply #2 on: August 20, 2008, 11:28:34 AM »
C3D will get you the Civil side and MAP, and Vanilla autocad. It's practically a 3 fer one!
And I would be happy to provide the training. :wink:  Never been to Knottingham.
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jonesy

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Re: Which cad software and why?
« Reply #3 on: August 20, 2008, 11:55:42 AM »
Thanks for the input guys.

So it looks like each discipline will need to have its own software. How bad is that going to be to manage? I'm not too sure how the Civils guys will take to it as they use Bentley MX Roads for the designing software, then import their files to AutoCAD. Can that still be done in C3D, or will it transfer to a plain AutoCAD file.

Do the various softwares "play nice with each other" For example if we went the revit route, would that mean that the MEP guys would need to go that way too?

How well does Revit suite of products work alongside C3D?

Thanks all :-) (sorry for all the questions, but I dont want to be recommending the wrong software)
Thanks for explaining the word "many" to me, it means a lot.

Bob Wahr

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Re: Which cad software and why?
« Reply #4 on: August 20, 2008, 12:01:23 PM »
I haven't used C3D with Revit so I can't help you there.  Revit between disciplines works fairly well though.  Not quite so nicely as it works in demos, but that's due more to the biological components.

mjfarrell

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Re: Which cad software and why?
« Reply #5 on: August 20, 2008, 12:08:01 PM »
I have trained a few MX (now former) users with C3D. Presented correctly they actually take to it quite well.
C3D can export to regular ACAD format ***although the intelligent objects are stupefied on the way out***.
I believe that REVIT will accept the C3D surface model in XML format.
And C3D can consume 'regular' site plan type information out of regular and adt flavors of autocad.
Although I'm not sure that C3D can consume anything native from REVIT <go figure>
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Michael Farrell
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jonesy

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Re: Which cad software and why?
« Reply #6 on: August 20, 2008, 12:21:42 PM »
Thanks again Bob and Michael.

I'm not sure the MX guys will retrain (as we use other Bentley software here too) so my guess is they will just use the C3D as autocad - I could be wrong tho...
Would any data created in MX be accepted in C3D, or will it just be as it is in plain AutoCAD?

Anyone else got any advice and guidance?

Cheers
T :-)
Thanks for explaining the word "many" to me, it means a lot.

mjfarrell

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Re: Which cad software and why?
« Reply #7 on: August 20, 2008, 12:27:14 PM »
They can export their data via XML.  Although I have seen some reports that Bentley somehow violated the XML schema and the file needs slight modifications for use by C3D, or most applications. And if they are not going to use the intelligence of C3D, just get them some pencils and paper.  :roll:

However should they use MX, I'm reasonably sure that through MAP the dgn file can be imported to C3D mostly intact.
Or if they save the results out to dwg then you get the dumb "drawing made by something other than autodesk" message upon opening.
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Michael Farrell
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jonesy

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Re: Which cad software and why?
« Reply #8 on: August 20, 2008, 12:48:02 PM »
Cheers Michael. That looks sort of promising.

I'll talk to the civils guys over the next couple of weeks... (Its holiday vacation time here, so its a PITA trying to get the right people together at the right time)
Thanks for explaining the word "many" to me, it means a lot.

jonesy

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Re: Which cad software and why?
« Reply #9 on: September 17, 2008, 06:47:21 AM »
Looks like this migration will be happening soon.
I have a meeting with our IT guy (probably this afternoon) and my boss.
No one knows for definate whether we will go BIM/Revit so I really dont know what to propose to my boss. Any further thoughts on this? I really dont want to suggest a product and then find I've made the wrong decision
Thanks for explaining the word "many" to me, it means a lot.

jonesy

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Re: Which cad software and why?
« Reply #10 on: September 17, 2008, 01:56:28 PM »
Well we had the meeting, and theres going to be serious changes here.... starting tomorrow!
The company is no longer buying any "vanilla" products, and no LT. So it looks like we really need figure out who will have access to cad (other than the cad techs)
Thanks for explaining the word "many" to me, it means a lot.

sinc

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Re: Which cad software and why?
« Reply #11 on: September 20, 2008, 11:16:58 AM »
If you are getting C3D, then you might also want to look at seats of Autodesk Civil for some of your people.  Autodesk advertises this as being for Surveyors, but they stripped out some of the most-useful features for Surveyors, so I'm not sure how they reached that opinion.  Surveyors could really use a lower-cost version of C3D, but Autodesk Civil does not have the right feature set.  It looks to me like it would work best for "project manager" types who regularly need to look at C3D drawings, and maybe make small minor changes to the drawings, but who do not regularly do the bulk of the CAD work.  And it's a bit cheaper than a seat of C3D.

jonesy

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Re: Which cad software and why?
« Reply #12 on: September 20, 2008, 02:10:45 PM »
Thanks for that Sinc, but it looks like the roads guys get to choose from C3D or Map, and as they currently do all their design on either MX or PDS(?), so all it will be used for (to start with) is the drawing capabilities. So which, in your opinion would be more suitable for them?
Thanks for explaining the word "many" to me, it means a lot.

sinc

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Re: Which cad software and why?
« Reply #13 on: September 20, 2008, 08:18:02 PM »
Well, C3D includes Map, so I guess the question would be "Will they use any of the C3D functionality at all?"  If they are using MX for their design, then it seems like they would be ignoring all the C3D functions.

But I'm having a hard time envisioning your workflow.  With C3D, we use C3D elements to create the design, and the drafting is largely automatic.  It would not make a lot of sense to create a design in MX, then recreate the same design in C3D.  If you're going to do that, then it seems there is no point in starting in MX; it would be far easier, faster, and simpler to just do the whole thing in C3D to start with.

So it kind of sounds like C3D would be a waste of money for them.  On the other hand, if they have C3D, they might discover that there's no point in having MX, and maybe MX is the waste of money.  It's difficult for me to say, without knowing a lot more about what sort of projects they do.

I think PDS is a P&ID sort of program.  C3D doesn't really help with that sort of work.  I think the Autodesk product for that is MEP, or maybe Revit...?  I've never done any of that sort of work, and don't really know anything about it - others here could say a lot more about that topic than I can.

jonesy

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Re: Which cad software and why?
« Reply #14 on: September 21, 2008, 01:56:22 PM »
Thanks sinc.
I'll pass this information to the civils manager and let him know what is available. The MX people will probably be reluctant to move from MX as it is what they know, and have used for years, so they are comfortable designing with it. It just causes the drafters problems with proxies and other niggling issues. But its important he knows all the options for him and his team.

The structural and MEP is run by one boss (mine) and he's all for going the Revit suite for each discipline, that way we'll have AutoCAD and Revit on our computers, and will eventually be more flexible.
Thanks for explaining the word "many" to me, it means a lot.