SolidWorks 2005 claims to edit native AutoCAD drawings. In a brilliant legal-trouble-free move, SolidWorks licensed the AutoCAD-compatible IntelliCAD drawing editor from CADopia. The acknowledgement is in the Help | About dialog box.
Better than AutoCAD 2005, SolidWorks 2005 saves drawings back to version 2.5; the drawback is that IntelliCAD has failed to keep up with the rapidly advancing feature set in AutoCAD. Keep in mind that there are two versions of IntelliCAD: the cheap one lacks important code licenced from others, such as high-quality plotter drivers, VBA, rendering, and so on.
Reports a user who's seen the beta: "It looked so much like AutoCAD that I asked if they'd heard from Autodesk lawyers about it."
Why is this move legally brilliant? Autodesk is under an FTC order to not harass IntelliCAD and its employees for another few years.
The IntelliCAD Technology Consortium confirms that its IntelliCAD technology is used by SolidWorks 2005 for its new DWGEditor. "When a user of SolidWorks 2005 opens a DWG based drawing, the IntelliCAD technology is invoked to provide editing capabilities in an AutoCAD-like interface."
Brief History Lesson
Over the last ten years, the IntelliCAD name took a tumultuous journey:
* Begun as an independent AM/FM software firm (located in La Mesa CA USA).
* Purchased by Softdesk (of Henniker NH) in August 1994.
* Converted into a Softdesk skunkworks project to create a secret AutoCAD-compatible engine.
* To Autodesk (San Rafael CA) via the company's acquisition of Softdesk, until ordered divested by the FTC.
* Briefly independent as Boomerang Technology (San Jose CA).
* Purchased by Visio (Seattle WA).
* Then spun off by Visio as the IntelliCAD Technology Consortium.
* And now resold under a variety of names, such as CADopia IntelliCAD (USA) and BricsCAD IntelliCAD (Belgium).
I've written the only independent book on IntelliCAD, called Tailoring IntelliCAD. It covers customization and programming of IntelliCAD 2000 and 4. More info here: eBooks.onLine.