I must be behind the curve if you are referring to new capabilities specific
to 2005 (i.e. Intellicad dwg editor). Still on 2004
Is the Intellicad dwg editor worth consideration as compared to AutoCAD? No
experience with Intellicad
Worth consideration as compared to Acrap? Don't really know what you mean by
that. If you are asking if it could replace Acrap, then it depends on you. I
could use DWGEditor instead of the other. I think it does nearly 100% of
what I would need to do. It does LISP and VBSript too. I haven't had much
trouble with the LISPs not working. The bigeest thing for me is the Aliases
(keyboard shortcuts) that are built into DWGEditor. They override any LISPs
loaded. So you have delete the offending Alias.
It opens all the old drawings we have, and our current Aversion will not
save back to R14, and DWGEditor WILL. As a matter of fact, DWGEditor will
save back to 2.8 or some such.
I think if you get past the little interface differences (dialog boxes are
laid out differently), the DWGEditor can certainly replace the big boy...
I was interested in knowing if Intellicad was close enough in functionality
to use in place of Acad if necessary. You answered this question in your
reply. Sounds like the dwg editor will tempt a few more users to move away
from AutoCAD for all their 2D needs. The incorporation of the editor does
say volumes to the usefulness of 2D and continued support among users. In
the automotive industry, Acad is still King at the manufacturing level.
This wouild be a godsend if it were truly associative and parametric,
a curse if it were not.
Personally, I would be about 60 percent more effective in detailing.
Command line (two hands always beat one - the major reason). True
customisation (lisp,PGP,Diesel,menus). Real blocks. Better control
over geometry. Strong layering. I love the acad interface.
The SW interface for 2D - an aferthought based on the bad presumption
that what works in the modeling interface also works for detailing.
Solidworks is great, and for product design, there is no discussion on
its value over the other, but pound for pound, it just can't keep up
with acad for detailing. I would not take autocad over solidworks for
product design. But for 2D drafting, it smokes Solidworks (at least
when I them - I'm proficient at both of them). I can't even make an
"inter-view" dimension with Solidworks - stuff like that keeps SW from
being great in detailing.
Remembring that acad is was and always will be a 2D drafting package,
of course it is good at that. That's it's reason for being (yeah
sure, you can monkey around with solids in acad, but why bother, the
developers know that it's massivley hindered unparametric stuff -
there may be add ons that make it bearable).
I'm also astounded that the folks at adesk have not merged the
parametrics of inventor with the autocad 2d interface, making them
truly parametric and associative. If they made this move, I would
likely be an ex-solidworks user immediately.
Fortunately, most cad developes are not interesed in making their
products good for both 2D detailing & 3D modling all in the same
program, so no change seems eminent (and yes I am practicing sarcasm).
It just depends on who you hang with. I don't really know ACAD and
only know what I do know out of painful necessity. But I have been
around enough ACAD old timers to know that they can run circles around
me on detailing tasks in ACAD. For that group and not the enlightened
group here doing what I suggest would actually allow these "old
timers" to be productive and would cut down a lot on the grousing I
The other thing is that in ACAD you pretty much have full control of
everything and not what somebody in Jam Land* wants you to control. A
lot of companies detail to their own standards. If you go to far
astray from ANSI, GOST, etc. SW can be a realy bear.
* Jam Land -- The association goes like this: Jam - Grape Jam -
Concord Grape Jam - You know who. :)
I believe SW is simpler to master and allows me to do most of the tasks
needed for detailing. Anyone remember AutoCAD views not aligned or
incomplete, starting with someone else's assembly drawing, make a few
localized design changes, assign a new part number and release to
manufacturing (oops). Only to later discover after the fact the other
designer forgot/neglected (didn't give a shit) to match all the geometry
between views. Now starts the time consuming process of back tracking to
painstakingly identify the errors while manufacturing, sales, your boss are
having mini heart attacks in front of the coffee machine. It is a slow
painstaking process to project all the geometry in all views and worse,
update views after the design by committee managers decide a few changes are
in order ("shouldn't take that long to make a few small design changes" and
anyways you are on salary so it won't negatively impact the company profit
margins, ha ha). Or one of my favorites, making an assembly detail from
scratch instead of copy and pasting from the assembly to minimize geometry
errors. Now the details don't match the assembly geometry that is incorrect
to start with. Oh, did I mention the detailer typed in their own numbers
(expressing their true inner self) that don't match the already useless
geometry in the assembly and details. Their are so many AutoCAD variables
and different ways of doing the wrong thing (i.e. control) it makes your
head spin. How can that be more productive?
If someone is running circles around you in AutoCAD then maybe there is
Hi KMan -
You obviously have a strong grounding in reality. Good post. Most of
the crap you mention happens to us all and it is the bad baggage part
of the 2D process. This, as you said, does get exponentially worse as
people begin to hack and get lazy, or are simply unskilled.
The major advantage that I like about Solidworks is that the
foundation of any drawing is a model, which means that there are no
geometry errors. This too is occasionally what I hate about it. What
I mean is that often in the 2D realm, I would make a section view and
include only the 7 elements that were needed to "tell the story".
When I do a solidworks section view, I do not have this type of
ability (without lots of work), so while the fidelity is a million
times higher, my "story" sometimes gets lost in all of the fidelity.
(apples vs oranges I know)
SolidWorks lacks many of the traditional detailing capabilites of
acad, or are underpowered, and by that I mean dimensioning/dim/text
style control (take for example the dimscale variable - no equiv in
SW), general text and block handling, direct geometry control,
window/crossing selection, layering (with recallable states), the
ability to copy geometry with impunity (bad if hacked, but good if
not) for layouts, ability to change the detailers perspective to the
drawing (ie set ucs then use PLAN to change your viewpoint),
revclouds, blocks with real attributes, linetype by layer/block
option, view-to-view dimensions,__insert your favorite____.
For 2D detailing, autocad still offers many capabilities not found in
SW, but that's the extent of it. The bad baggage of the 2D process
makes it unfavorable for most types of work (but not all - it's still
good and yes even better at times). Given perfect geometry and no
future changes, I personally would take autocad detailing and
interface over SW any day. What stops me from doing it that way is
lack of parametrics, so SW wins in the end, but not always.
I didn't say these "Old Timers" who ran circles around me got it right
most of the time. That is another story. The predominant culture in
this geographic area frequently measures productivity in drawings
completed per hour, not correct drawings completed per hour. grin.
Hasn't anybody spoken to you about meeting schedules? another big
I'm terribly confused. I worked with ACAD up through Release 14.
That totaled about 6-7 years of experience in ACAD. I am now working
with SW and have been consistently for about 3 years. I don't miss
one single thing about ACAD. I can create a detail far better than I
ever could with SW b/c it only takes seconds to add several views in
place of hours. Also the fact of companies not following standards
causing difficulty??? Hello!!! A cad package had the common sense to
integrate all the major standards right into the software and limit
the users to that. Ever try to implement standards with the only
limitations being trusting your users? Unless you're an amazing
individual you'll never get every single person to follow unless
they're totally limited by the software. If you're company hasn't
caught up with the times and conformed to a standard it's time to step
up to the plate and accept some change!
Well, some companies have their own standard (ex: Caterpillar, last I saw).
Many other things are not covered by standards, the SW seems to assume. For
example, not everyone has a unique number for every part. SW seems to
assume that everyone does.
I'm agreeing with the idea that Acad allows much finer control of the
annotaion geometry (in most cases) for those situations where a national
standard or common practice does not pertain. In my experience so far,
using SW and the detailing workarounds is still much faster, efficient, and
accurate than any 2D package. But there is room for improvement, as usual.
Your post brought out old emotions and flashbacks from my own AutoCAD days.
I still use AutoCAD for process layouts and such but prefer the benefits
gained from detailing in SW. There is always room for improvement and SW
has made progress over the years. There are some good aspects of AutoCAD
detailing that SW should belly up to the bar and incorporate them for their
The only types of companies I'm familiar with that value quantity of
drawings over quality would be job shops or more politically correct and
current "engineering firms" and their associates. I am not minimizing the
importance of getting work done.
A company I worked for did some research and came up with an interesting
ratio between engineering to manufacturing non-value added tasks. The
manufacturing department wasted 10 hours for each hour of engineering error.
In reality engineering errors surely affect every department and budget in
the company. And ultimately those precious Gantt charts project managers so
Schedules, yea I've heard about em (grin)
Could I get a Histogram . . .
Ouch! I started my life in a stamping & tooling job shop - there was
"zero tolerance" for anything that was not "quality". You learned
fast not to make ANY mistakes and when you did, man look out, because
someone was crawling up your __YouFillItIn__ in a flash. You also
learned to own up to your own crappy work instantly and admit when you
had made a mistake. You then tried to improve and generally did.
Those who did not did not prosper (i.e. You could easily become a
professional parts deburrer if you were not diligent about developing
You comment about a 1:10 error maginfication of design errors is quite
real, especailly once something has been "committed to metal". I got
really good at thanking anyone who found an error on a design before
they cut metal. I got very very good at saying "Thanks - you saved my
ass again": generally people were more willing to help and
occasionally I was able to return the favor.
Designing anything correctly is hard, building and making it work it
is even harder.
Ooops, got carried away again. My apologizes
Might not get a histogram, would you settle for a Pareto chart? Send me an
email and I can put you in touch with the Quality Manager that did the
research if you are serious.
Agreed. Inventor comes free with regular Acad, Acad Mechanical (which
is much faster, more efficient, more accurate than reg. Acad.) and
Mech. Desktop. Comparing the DWG Editor to Acad is like comparing a
fake diamond to a real one.
Don't get me wrong, I still like SW, especially the newly released