Dialog Box April 200515 Apr, 2005 By: Cadalyst Staff Cadalyst
Our readers respond
It's very difficult to do the real "rubber meets the road" analysis in a short article, but I enjoyed your summary of each product in January's AEC From the Ground Up column on BIM and found it insightful and informative.
In the end, speaking from experience, the only way to know for sure how a program will work is to pilot each in your environment and keep the testing apples to apples, which is nearly impossible to do in most design firms. Most people should know the "slick demo" advice you gave and take heed, but it might be worth mentioning that you can gain a lot of insight by calling on others who use the software currently -- why fight battles when you may be able to avoid them.
My background in machine design has helped me tremendously as we examine BIM and its impact. I think understanding parametric solid modeling is a good first step for people new to BIM.
In your February 2005 Spatial Technology column, Online Maps for the Masses, you missed the best one!
Manifold is more stable than ArcIMS, just as capable as all of them and costs from $249 to $495, including all of the desktop GIS functionality. There is no need to spend more than $500 for an IMS. I am doing commercial IMS hosting with Manifold and it works very well. Please pardon the Web site though, I've been so busy with customers I haven't been able to finalize it!
Oh yeah, it's also 64-bit ready, which none of the others are.
Searching for AutoCAD
Like another letter writer said, I am finding less and less of value in Cadalyst. And since you bought Cadence even that outlet is denied me. I am an AutoCAD user. Revit, Inventor, SolidWorks, MCAD, IronCad and whatever mean nothing to me. I am sure they are fantastic programs from what I can gather, but they are all irrelevant. Gone are the days when I could use most anything on your pages to aid me in using the heart and soul of my livelihood: AutoCAD. Your efforts to be all things to all users are actually limiting you, IMHO.
What's worst, but certainly not your fault, is that my employer has me stuck on AutoCAD 2002. All your cool tips and tricks for later versions just sail over my head while I wait to catch up. I archived every paper issue I used to get, and am now archiving the electronic ones as well for future reference. So, these days, I scour the Web looking for relevant information and find that your magazine gets laid aside almost as soon as it comes to me, hopefully to be of some use down the road.
Editor's note: Be sure to watch our Web site, we continuously have new AutoCAD information ready for you there.
In your LCD review, February 2005, you state that typical CRTs have a response rate in the 1-3 ms range. This equates to a refresh rate of 333Hz - 1 kHz, which is most certainly false. The standard refresh rate, which would dictate the fastest a CRT could possibly respond to a change in a pixel's color/luminance values, is 75 Hz or 13 ms. The "ghosting" in LCDs most commonly attributed to slow response rates is more directly attributable to other operational differences between CRTs and LCDs.
What's the Best Manufacturing Package?
I do design and engineering for the cabinet and millwork industry. In your opinion, what is the best package to use?
I know most companies use AutoCAD and most are also trying to go in another direction. One company I know uses Inventor; another is trying Architectural Desktop. Then there are others that are trying Microvellum, Pattern Systems, Cabinet Vision and Imos -- just to name a few. They are all very different packages. The hope for all is to go from design to machines seamlessly.
Unfortunately, from what I see, companies don't devote enough time to implementing any of these packages. They purchase the software, set it up and then give up. This might be due to need for fast turnaround in this industry, not knowing the package well enough or they think AutoCAD is just faster. It also might have something to do with having to turn in submittal drawings or get them out to the shop as fast as possible.
People still don't get that using design packages like any of these takes longer in the office, but saves time in the end. You review packages like the ones I have mentioned but don't break them down for this industry. Could you?
Example of work:
- Case Work
- Reception Desks
- Display Units
- Door Frames and Doors
Editor's note: Readers! What do you think?
In her easy-to-follow, friendly style, long-time Cadalyst contributing editor Lynn Allen guides you through a new feature or time-saving trick in every episode of her popular AutoCAD Video Tips. Subscribe to the free Cadalyst Video Picks newsletter, and we'll notify you every time a new video tip is published. All exclusively from Cadalyst!