View Full Version : Which version should I buy?
11th Feb 2009, 09:56 am
First off, thanks to everyone for taking the time to help new guys like me with all the various questions that seem to abound in autocad. My question is this. I am a cabinetmaker who works for a company that has been looking at buying autocad for quite some time yet but has yet to do so. We do custom work; alot of the time designing not only the cabinets, but other details as well for our clients. While there are other cad based programs out there which we will probably get when we buy our CNC router, it seems that alot of the detailed drawings we want to be able to produce are difficult in other programs. Many times room layouts are just not possible to the levels we build using the simple cabinet programs we use. And while every job does not dictate such detailed rendering, I find more frequently that it is simply impossible to draw to my bosses wishes. I am looking to buy a copy of autocad for myself; it would be nice to have for my own use as well as a chance to begin practicing for future use. I will be paying for this with my own money, not wanting to wait for it to be purchased. What are the differences between all the various copies? Full? Complete? Commercial? I dont want limitations but then dont want to be in the poorhouse either. Should I get an earlier version? I would like to have the capabilities to render in 3D but maybe thats down the road? Any and all replies will be appreciated!
11th Feb 2009, 11:41 am
Welcome to the CADTutor forum Tim.
If you are looking at 3D capability then you'll have to go with the full version of AutoCAD which is expensive to say the least. I'm kind of surprised to hear that the high end cabinet design software isn't capable of providing you with what you want.
11th Feb 2009, 11:48 am
Regarding the differences between AutoCAD (full) and AutoCAD LT I suggest you look in the AutoCAD FAQ section. Go to: Getting Started > Hardware/Software Selection > Topic #4 - Differences.
You can look for "earlier" versions of AutoCAD software on eBay and craigslist. However, be careful. Insist on seeing pictures of the CD or DVD the program comes on as well as all manuals and any other important paperwork. Contact the seller and make sure that in the event you cannot successfully load and register the software you can return the merchandise and obtain a full refund. Otherwise buy from your local authorized AutoDesk reseller.
12th Feb 2009, 10:11 am
I have been looking at the ebay/craigslist thing but am skeptical for the reasons you just mentioned as well as my lack of understanding of what I am buying. The software we use in our cabinet side of things does render in 3D however it is designed for cabinets and our scope of work oftimes is not necessarily cabinet related, or is cabinet related but is so detailed that it is almost impossible to draw it with out the use of autocad or something of that nature. From what I understand alot of custom shops use autocad to supplement their drawings in addtion to Alphacam/Mastercam and some variant of CabinetVision. It would also be nice to have autocad time under my belt for future use.
Thanks again for your replies
12th Feb 2009, 10:39 am
I am selling Bricscad and Alibre Design in Norway, after working with AutoCAD from 1986.
Bricscad is one of many programs based on IntelliCAD, and it's practically an AutoCAD clone. 3D solid modelling is pretty much the same as in AUtoCAD before 2007. AutoCAD 2007 came with some new features and AutoCAD 2010 will include parametric sketching! I think Bricscad is agood choice for use at home if you have AutoCAD at work.
Alibre Design is a 3D parametric modeller with automatic drawing creation and a two ways link between models and drawings. The price is about bthe same as AutoCAD LT, but there is also a free version, Alibre Design Xpress.
See this woodworker's tutorials,
Both Bricsys and Alibre practice a very simple and friendly licensing policy compared to AutoDesk.
OK, that's today's adverticement :)
12th Feb 2009, 01:12 pm
Do you share drawings with other companies that use AutoCAD? If so, I would recommend not going to another (non-AutoDesk) CAD program. Everyone claims 100% drawing file compatability but few if any deliver 100% on that promise.
12th Feb 2009, 01:23 pm
I would maybe recommend getting the student edition for yourself. As long as you dont use it for commercial production.
It also gives you a chance to evaluate the program before your company purchases the full kahuna.
You have to pay for the student edition and the license lasts for 2 years.
The following link will give you a better idea.
As for learning, just come here. Someone will always be able to provide you with accurate information.
12th Feb 2009, 01:43 pm
I must disagree with the above poster re: obtaining the student version.
The reason for that is you WILL be tempted to use it for commercial purposes and that would be a violation of the EULA. Also, keep in mind that content created in the student version, then copied into a drawing editted with the full version will "corrupt" the drawing thereby forcing it to print out with the message "Content created with educational version of software" or some such similar message. This is going to become a real annoyance whether it is kept inhouse or shared with another company. Be very careful about what you do.
12th Feb 2009, 02:37 pm
Oviously, I am not completely neutral here, but in my opinion there are extremely few problems with drawings we send back and forth between AutoCAD and Bricscad. However, AutoCAD Architect, Electrical, Mechanical etc. will produce drawings that may be hard to edit in other programs, including older versions of AutoCAD. For example, drawings saved as AutoCAD Mechanical 2009 can not be edited in AutoCAD Mechanical 2008, while regular AutoCAD 2007, 2008 and 2009 (and Bricscad V9) share the same file format.
12th Feb 2009, 02:42 pm
Here is an interesting test:
12th Feb 2009, 05:54 pm
I have received drawings from outside contractors claiming their non-AutoCAD .dwg file is exactly the same as mine but have found that it is not always the case. I usually request a DXF file as a substitute. Chalk it up to personal preference.
13th Feb 2009, 08:08 am
Raggi_Thor (http://www.cadtutor.net/forum/member.php?u=7508), i am with you there, Bricscad made in belgium is the best cad currently imho
14th Feb 2009, 07:27 am
I appreciate all the replies and thought everyone is sharing. I will state however that while the student versions are tempting it seems very likely that once I spent any amount of time with Autocad that the drawings would be used commercially, either with my company or as sidework (I am a cabinetmaker.) I do want to abide by the rules and it looks more likely that I will eventually buy the commercial edition. The Briscad(sp?) sounds interesting, but havent done any homework on it yet. Remark thanks for all your advice.
27th Jun 2009, 06:26 pm
if u have 32 bit vista or xp then 2008 but if u have 64 bit then go with 2009 or 2010
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