CAD Manager's Newsletter #139

26 Oct, 2005 By: Robert Green

Cadalyst CAD Manager's Newsletter

Low-Cost 2D CAD, Part 2

A firestorm of e-mail follows my assertion that AutoCAD's stronghold on the market is here to stay

In the last issue of the CAD Manager's Newsletter, I broached the subject of low-cost 2D CAD software, asked if such a thing were truly possible in the AutoCAD landscape and concluded that the answer is often, "No." I intended to discuss low-cost 3D software in this issue, but the firestorm of e-mails generated by the last issue tells me I need to lay out some more information and further analyze the 2D AutoCAD landscape.

If you didn't see the last issue of the CAD Manager's Newsletter, you should take a few moments to do so now so you'll have the context to follow this edition.

Following is some of that reader feedback and some of my own analysis. Here goes.

What About IntelliCAD?
From several users: "You must not be aware of IntelliCAD. It costs only $250 and works similarly to AutoCAD."

I am aware of IntelliCAD. In fact, I tested it way back when it became part of Microsoft's Visio product suite. I thought then, and still think, that IntelliCAD offers a viable choice for people who don't already own AutoCAD or AutoCAD LT, simply because of the low cost. However, for those who already own AutoCAD and can keep it on subscription for roughly $400 per year, the cost differential is not compelling enough to deal with the compatibility quirks that arise.

IntelliCAD is a great program worth keeping an eye on, but it hasn't been able to make a significant dent in AutoCAD's market share. Read more >>

:: CAD Manager's Q&A

I can't see why anybody would want to limit themselves to 2D CAD when 3D offers so much more power. Was there this much debate when they changed from chisels to pens?

Robert Green answers: I've been around a while -- longer than I care to admit -- but I wasn't privy to the chisel vs. pen debate. I do remember the drafting board vs. CAD debate, though, and the 2D vs. 3D debate is much the same.

My experience has shown the main factor holding companies back from 3D adoption is the lack of personnel who can be immediately productive with 3D software. Companies are more than willing to reap the benefits of high-tech 3D design, but they don't want to pay the tab to do all the training, process changes and data management work required to take the leap into full-blown 3D design. Read more >>

Submit your questions to Robert Green

:: Resources

Free Online CAD/CAM Job Board: is a new, free online job board for CAD/CAM professionals and companies. CAD/CAM professionals can post resumes, create job search agents, save cover letters and access resume writing help. Employers can post job openings, search posted resumes, create search agents, facilitate background checks and initiate personality testing. accommodates platforms including Inventor, Pro/ENGINEER, ArchiCAD, MicroStation, SolidWorks, Unigraphics/NX and 3ds max. Tony Lillios, president and founder, says, "In the near future, all users will be able to participate in online forums covering everything from career advice and 'tips and tricks' to human resources issues."

Online Repository for Reverse Engineering: Revware, developer of RevWorks CAD-driven reverse-engineering technology, has launched The company aims for the site to become a central repository for the latest information on reverse-engineering technology for users worldwide, it reports. The site's user-focused format includes more input from reverse engineering users who share their success stories. It also will offer an expanded hardware support section, the latest product datasheets, extensive hardware reviews and hardware selection matrices. A new section of the site for Revware customers will offer reverse engineering tips and downloadable product AVIs.

Send us the address of your favorite Web site or other resource and a few words about why you like it.

:: Events

ITEDO 2005 Roadshow: Technical Illustration Seminar
November 15, 2005
DoubleTree Club Hotel, Orange County Airport, Santa Ana, California
Event will present the capabilities of IsoDraw 6 CADprocess 5.

2006 Americas VPD Conference
April 24-26, 2006

Detroit, Michigan
Organized by MSC.Software. Call for presentations and papers now open. Event brings together engineering professionals to share knowledge, best practices and views concerning the future of design and simulation in the automotive, aerospace, defense, rail, shipbuilding and other industrial manufacturing industries.

For Cadalyst's full calendar of events, click here>>