I remember a couple years back seeing an inexpensive version of Autocad that
was for hobbyists and stuff. I think it was like $100 or maybe 79.99 Does
anyone know the name of this edition or if it's still available?
Full Disclosure: I'm VP of the Visualcadd Users Group.
IMHO, the best damn 2D drafting program on the market for the money. It's
easy to learn, doesn't require huge amounts of system resources (I have a
copy running on a Pentium II - 166 with 256K ram), and doesn't cost very
much for the program. List price is $395 for download and $450 for CD
If you have a copy of Generic Cadd or Autocad LT you can buy an "upgrade"
to VCadd for as little as $109.95
Go here for more info:
We started with Generic Cadd when it was on 5 1/4" disks. Switched to
Visual Cadd from Corel when Generic wouldn't work in a Win98 environment
(worked in Win95). Updated 2x following Vcadd to Imsi but hit a
roadblock when we started exchanging files with architects who used
later versions of acad and especially with those who used Architectural
desktop. Liked some of the hatching features, and the quick-key
commands. Didn't like the fact that rotating a drawing screwed up
dimensioning. Ended up rotating borders if we realized the fit was an
issue rather than trying to rotate the drawing, but that would screw up
text orientation. Compatibility was the big issue because drawings,
while usually readable didn't cross formats as well as I would have
liked. With a little money for development, and in a world that wasn't
so heavily dominated by Autodesk, Visual Cadd could have stayed in the
running, but alas we were forced to change to the big gun, even though
we didn't need all of that extra power at the expense of speed, or that
Bob Morris>> Might he be thinking of Generic Cadd? Right Price range.
VCadd is now in capable hands -- Tritools Partners. All the partners are
also users. DWG compatibility is much better, but Autodesk makes the DWG
format a moving target so VCadd isn't the only cadd program with file
compatibility issues. VCadd is now at version 5 and version 6 is being
worked on. The program is now way better than the IMSI version (version
The dimensions still don't rotate with the drawing, but we now have
Reference Frames (X-refs) which make assembling a drawing easier. They can
be used as a form of paperspace.
Probable the the thing I like the most about VCadd is that I can produce
an usable drawing in half the time as most people who use Autocad. The
program is that easy to use. And one other thing is I'm not giving huge
amounts of money to a company (Autodesk) that doesn't care about its
customers (but that is a topic for another day).
Will the new release have 2007 compatibility? Also what happens with
"object enablers" and what it takes to represent them on the drawing? We
still have to deal with architects using architectural desktop. Some
architects will also have 8 or more sheets in one drawing, but use
paperspace to separate into sheets so that if you don't have paperspace
available, you have a sheet that is overwhelmed with layers on top of
layers in modelspace.
Bob Morris>> We started with Generic Cadd when it was on 5 1/4" disks. Switched to
VCadd typically saves the multiple drawings as separate files with
Reference Frames (X-Refs) to the "Model" drawing. This is one of the
items that will get some work in Version 6 as it still does not function
as well as it should. Again, the DWG format is a moving target. VCadd
uses the OPENDWG paradigm as the basis for file conversion, but as long as
Autodesk keeps changing the format then no other cadd software will be
Architectural Desktop is a problem for all non-Autodesk cadd products and
as far as I've been able to tell even older versions of Autocad won't
properly open these files either. The format is not backward compatible,
which in my mind is poor software design. Not to mention As far as I know
the current version of Autocad won't even open some older versions of
their own DWG format. Autodesk forces you to keep buying new versions at
inflated prices. Not very consumer friendly. Sheesh! now you got me
started (and I promised not to!).
I think we're stuck with autocad for the time being. My hope was for
something that I read about a while ago, that the European union was going
to legislate a universal cad file format that all cad software companies
would have to comply with. I think that if that ever came about, we would
have the best of everything in that files would be universal and cad
companies could compete on the basis of who could write the most economical,
efficient and easy to use software.
I fully understand. My problem stays, unfortunately, with the fact that
I am stuck with dealing with architects (and engineers) who use Autocad.
If I can't read their files I am stuck. If they can't incorporate my
drawings in theirs, they get p.o.'d. They pay for the high end program
blindly because 1) they already know it (taught in college) and 2) they
can hire tech school grads who already know how to use it.
I have played with Intellicad, but found it to be comparatively buggy,
but at least they could open 2004 files and the files when read by
autocad were not screwed up with missing hatches etc. The major
idiosyncracy on the version I tried (other than continuous lockups and
crashes) was the inability to handle complex linetypes. Visual Cadd dwg
files did not look right when viewed in Autocad, and vice versa. But you
could get work done since it was stable.
Bob Morris>> Will the new release have 2007 compatibility? Also what happens with
The hatch and block translation problems of earlier versions of VCadd have
been worked. It still won't do complex linetypes (and may never do so).
The program is not for everyone, but for those who have pretty simple
drafting needs it works very well.
BTW, I've not had any recent complaints (since V5 was introduced) from
architects who get the DWG files I export from VCadd.
I agree. If the layers are properly named in the first place then it is
not too difficult to get the proper layers displayed.
About 75% of the time I get DWG files that are a mess when it comes to
layer names and objects on those layers.
There is no excuse for a 3 story building to only have 7 or 8 layers with
furniture and walls on the same layer. That's just sloppy workmanship.
Believe me, I know how to use the layer manager, but when architects
dimension in paperspace (they use the same detail repeatedly but with
different empahasis or xref multiple drawings out of different modules
as in the case of a condo with the same module rotated, and re-used) the
need for the software to be super compatible becomes inordinately
difficult to overcome.
CHARLES FLEM> That's when you need to learn how to use the layer manager.