314 pages, and free for you
I wrote my first "...for AutoCAD Users" book back in 1991. It was the idea of OnWord Press to come out with a new category of book. It was no longer unheard of that two or more CAD systems coexist in the same office. Until then, it was normal for just one CAD program monopolize design firms, because of the expense. Paying $50,000 or $100,000 per seat was considered normal, and at those prices just one vendor could win a contract.
("Per-seat" was literal, as in those days the CAD vendor provided the software and the hardware and the customization. The hardware was unique to the software, and companies like Intergraph [short for interactive graphics] were in the 1980s among the largest computer manufacturers in the world. Even today, the Intel CPU running in your computer uses some of the functions invented and patented by Intergraph. Intergraph today, however, is a subsidiary of a Swedish measurements firm.)
When programs like AutoCAD came out at $1,000 (original price; inflation happens), designers could smuggle them into firms on their newly purchased personal computers. By the early 1990s, some firms needed more than one (now low-cost) CAD system to satisfy clients, and that's why running two or more CAD systems was no longer unheard of.
As a result, Dan Raker of OnWord Press asked me to be co-author of "Microstation for AutoCAD Users," a truly bi-directional book, despite the biased name of the title. I did the AutoCAD half, the co-author did the Microstation half. We showed readers how to many things in both CAD systems, which were quite different from each other, like trying to talk English in Spain. Even today I have no idea how to toggle the grid in Microstation!
Content from "BricsCAD V16 for AutoCAD Users"
Since then I've been asked to write "VDraft for AutoCAD Users," "IntelliCAD for AutoCAD Users," "TurboCAD for AutoCAD Users," "BricsCAD for AutoCAD Users," and so on. Even Autodesk asked me to write one, an 'Inventor for AutoCAD Users' style of book that was titled "Learning Autodesk Inventor: The 2D to 3D Transition Handbook."
Over the decades, the content of the book series has changed, from its bi-directional nature ("how this works in AutoCAD and how the same thing works in Microstation") to uni-directional: "you already know AutoCAD, here is how it works in Inventor, in BricsCAD...".
Over the decades, however, the reasons remained the same having two CAD systems in one office:
- To be 100% compatible with clients by using the same CAD system that they use
- To save money by licensing a mix of high-end and lower-cost compatible CAD systems
It is not uncommon today for design offices to employ a 10/90 license mix: 10% AutoCAD or Microstation seats for high-end functions, and 90% BricsCAD or DraftSight seats to handle the bulk of the drafting needs at something like 15% of the cost of AutoCAD.
About BricsCAD for AutoCAD Users
Because I've updated "BricsCAD for AutoCAD Users" quite often, it has really grown with useful content, of which I am quite proud. There is an entire chapter on practical advice on solving the issues that arise from running two CAD systems in one office. The same chapter also describes the issues involved in running two operating systems -- Windows and Linux -- because Linux offers further costs savings to design offices. (BricsCAD, DraftSight, and so on run with nearly identical feature sets on Linux, Mac, and Windows, something Autodesk cannot say.)
Another chapter provides several step-by-step tutorials on the advanced 3D features in BricsCAD, such as direct modeling, BIM, and sheet metal design and unfolding. A third chapter illustrates graphically how compatible BricsCAD is with AutoCAD: I show every AutoCAD 2016 entity alongside the same one as displayed by BricsCAD V16.
Anything that is new to V16 is highlighted in blue, making this a handy guide for users (and competitors) wondering what's new to the latest release of BricsCAD.
Last week I finished updating "BricsCAD V16 for AutoCAD Users." It's grown to 314 pages, and is available as a PDF download from https://bricsys.com/estore/books.
[Disclosure: With the exception of "AutoCAD for Microstation Users," Bricsys and other CAD vendors mentioned funded the writing of these ebooks.]