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Sep 27, 2023



The question could also be: do we need a new 2D CAD software other than AutoCAD?

As you pointed out, there are many such programs out there, but most are designed to reproduce the operation of the reference software in this field, i.e. AutoCAD.

Here are just a few examples that we come across fairly regularly: ZWCAD, DraftSight, ARES Commander, BricsCAD, GstarCAD and many others.

Of course, they're all different editors, but the interface and use are so similar to AutoCAD's, that it doesn't take more than a few minutes to get used to one of these programs.

Not to mention that they all use the DWG format.

This can be an advantage. Compatibility problems are minimal, since all these programs work with the same file format. It also means that you can change software without fear, since you won't have to convert any files, and you won't need any new (or minimal) training to switch from one program to another.

On the other hand, the disadvantage of this mode of operation is that it greatly limits innovation.

Each of these programs is content to follow the evolution of AutoCAD. There are a few attempts at innovation, but these are very limited, and since AutoCAD has been evolving very slowly for several years, innovation in this area is practically non-existent.

Look at AutoCAD's beginnings in the 80s and what it is 20 years later. There's been quite an evolution. Now look at AutoCAD in the early 2000s and then 20 years later. There have been a few improvements, but no real revolution.

For some, this is reassuring. You don't innovate, but you don't disrupt habits. Why change what works?

Personally, I think proposing a new software program that's different from the others is courageous, but risky.

But it's good to see that some people are trying to create something different.

Can it work?

Ralph Grabowski

Actually, several of the AutoCAD workalikes have sped ahead of AutoCAD, because they depend on the DWG file format, not the AutoCAD command set.

BricsCAD (from Bricsys) has extensions for handing mechanical, architectural, and civil engineering design, all based on DWG, unlike Autodesk.

ARES (from Graebert) is strong in editing Revit and IFC files, while keeping drawings in DWG. The company also has the strongest contestants for DWG editing in a Web browser (Kudo) and on portable devices (Touch).


There's also AutoCAD Mechanical, Electrical, etc.

That's right, I didn't specify it, I was thinking mainly of the classic use of the software without extensions.

The question may also arise as to whether there's still room for new software that's not aimed at a particular trade, or whether we should be moving towards specific software for architecture, mechanical engineering, etc., but this leads to another question: is there still room for this kind of 2D software?

What company would be prepared to give up Revit or Solidworks to use 2D architectural or mechanical software?

It's true that I've never understood why AutoCAD couldn't retrieve files in Revit format.

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