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In a previous post, we talked about the differences between AutoCAD and AutoCAD LT. Depending on your needs, you may require more features within AutoCAD (ACAD) specific to architecture, design & documentation. AutoCAD Architecture (ACA), which is one of the vertical products available with AutoCAD Including Specialized Toolsets, has all of the same functionality as AutoCAD, plus the addition of tools designed for Architects to enhance the workflow of construction documentation. Since all AutoCAD functionality is available within AutoCAD Architecture, you get more in almost every way*.
*AutoCAD is available for MAC, whereas AutoCAD Architecture and all other products in the Specialized Toolset only have compatibility with Windows.
AutoCAD is used to convey design intent, by utilizing Lines, Arcs, and Circles, to illustrate the design. In AutoCAD Architecture, lines, arcs, and circles are complemented by intelligent walls, doors, and windows, known as AEC Objects. These intelligent objects give the designer the ability to manipulate building elements at a higher level, far beyond what Dynamic Blocks have traditionally offered.
NOTE: AEC Objects are not backwards compatible, and just because you can save back an AutoCAD DWG file from 2018 format to 2013 format, you cannot save back AutoCAD Architecture components.
These AEC Objects have hints of Building Information Modeling (BIM) which has become the standard for larger government and institutional projects. Autodesk Revit is a BIM authoring software that uses a standardized hierarchy of objects (Category, Family, Type, Instance) allowing the designer to build a 3D model at a higher level. Some may consider a project created in AutoCAD Architecture to be BIM, but this requires strict drafting and CAD Management standards to ensure. Even if it is not BIM, there are productivity studies indicating that AutoCAD Architecture can save up to 60% of the time vs. regular AutoCAD, which is a significant value proposition. Take a look at the potential time savings for all AutoCAD verticals, including 85% productivity gain with AutoCAD MEP, and 95% gain with AutoCAD Electrical!
It can be a difficult task for drafters to ensure that a change to an element in plan view (like a door or a window), is updated across all relevant sections and elevations. In AutoCAD Architecture, elements such as walls, doors, and windows mimic real-world behavior and construction. So, you can insert doors or windows into your wall, and when you change the location or Style of object, you may update this same object in other drawings where it is shown. You can also modify all objects of that Style, meaning if you insert a certain style of window 50 times into several different walls, but want to update the style, you can modify it once and it updates every object; a huge time-saver!
CHOOSE THE AUTOCAD THAT FITS YOUR BUSINESS
There are numerous products out there to help with your design and documentation workflows, but which one is right for you. This blog article will look at the breadth of what AutoCAD offers in terms of products and specializations. There are many benefits to using AutoCAD, but this blog will focus on helping you decide which AutoCAD is right for you. For a more comprehensive breakdown of the benefits of AutoCAD, please see this blog post.
First and foremost, with the release of AutoCAD 2019, also known as “One AutoCAD”, Autodesk has moved away from the separate ‘vertical’ cad program subscriptions (i.e., Architecture, Electrical, Mechanical, MEP, etc.) and had now provided access to “specialized toolsets” for each discipline within the same subscription of AutoCAD. In other words, there is no longer a need to purchase different AutoCAD products depending on your industry – instead, you now get a subscription for AutoCAD. In addition to the ‘vanilla’ version of AutoCAD, you will have the various industry-specific specialized toolsets available for download.
Please note: Civil 3D has remained a separate product outside of the new offering (more on that below). So, while compatible with AutoCAD, Civil 3D will require a separate subscription if you intend to use it in conjunction with other cad software.
WHICH AUTOCAD IS BEST FOR ARCHITECTURE, MECHANICAL & ELECTRICAL ENGINEERS?
These industry-specific toolsets provide features and libraries specific to certain trades or disciplines that are useful in automating and streamlining the design and documentation process, whether it is 2D drafting or 3D modeling.
By providing automated workflows and collections of intelligent parts, symbols, and building objects, the new AutoCAD offers more flexibility in its functionality in the ever-evolving world of BIM. So, let’s take a look at a brief overview of the various toolset options so you can decide which is right for you.
Below are the products available to you as part of the “AutoCAD including specialized toolsets” package:
To find out more about AutoCAD including specialized toolsets, click here.
For an overview of new features in AutoCAD 2021, please see here.
WHICH AUTOCAD IS BEST FOR CIVIL ENGINEERS AND INFRASTRUCTURE PROJECTS?
As mentioned above, AutoCAD Civil 3D is still a separate product outside of the new bundled offering of AutoCAD including specialized toolsets.
AutoCAD Civil 3D is built on top of AutoCAD Map 3D and the base AutoCAD. It has all of the features of both but also provides dynamic tools for civil engineering tasks such as grading, road design, pipe networks, and profiles.
Civil 3D is a civil engineering design software that supports BIM with integrated features to improve drafting, design, and construction documentation.
To find out more about AutoCAD Civil 3D, click here.
Choosing the right AutoCAD software can be confusing. With the all-in-one offering created by Autodesk for AutoCAD starting in 2019, that has become a little easier of a decision. You may still have the decision as to whether you want to move forward with AutoCAD or possibly go to a solution that leans more toward full BIM, like Revit. Or, you may be looking at other 3D modeling software like Rhino, Solidworks, Sketchup, or again even Revit.
These decisions will come down to what you are trying to accomplish with the software – are you drafting and creating construction documentation, are you preparing models for renderings or 3D printing, or are you simply looking for the most affordable solution that meets the need of your team at this time?
You want the features and licensing options that make you and your team more productive. The truth is – it isn’t just the price you pay that matters. The right software will likely include features that save you so much time and labor costs that it more than pays for itself.
There are a lot of options out there. This blog, hopefully, helps walk you through the options when considering AutoCAD as the solution that best fits your needs.
For more information on pricing and options, please email email@example.com.
Autodesk provides many native Mac products for 3D modeling, CAD, rendering, animation, VFX, and digital imagery.
Over here at Microsol Resources, we field this inquiry often. We researched and can confirm that if you have a 2012 (or later) version of Autodesk AutoCAD or Autodesk AutoCAD LT software, but have a preference or requirement for the Mac platform, you are able to run the software on a Mac platform without having to submit a request or require any processing time.
You are entitled to cross-licensing between products of the same version year. AutoCAD can be installed and activated on Windows or Mac OS X with the same serial number and product keys two times in a 12-month period. The two activations can either be two Windows activations, two Mac OS X activations, or one Windows activation plus one Mac OS X activation.
Please note that cross-platform for Autodesk AutoCAD and Autodesk AutoCAD LT may only available for the 2015 and newer versions of Autodesk Desktop Subscription licenses.
Read on to learn how:
1. By simply downloading the Mac platform and inputting your existing Serial Number and Product Key associated with the PC platform you can run the software as a Mac.
You can locate your Autodesk AutoCAD or AutoCAD LT Serial Number and Product Key within your Autodesk Account. If you are not sure how to do it, you can read our blog post on How to locate your Product Serial Numbers/Product Keys in your Autodesk Account.
You can locate download links if you don’t already have the Mac platform of your Autodesk AutoCAD or AutoCAD LT product by visiting Autodesk Virtual Agent.
2. To download Autodesk for Mac software within Autodesk Virtual Agent:
The download will automatically start and you should be all set to continue onto the install process!
While Inventor or Revit does not currently have a native Macintosh version, you can still install Revit and Inventor on a Mac in virtualized environments including Parallels Desktop and VMware Fusion.
Autodesk also supports these products via Boot Camp, part of Mac OS X that lets you install and run Windows (and Windows-based applications) on a Mac.
If you still have unanswered questions or are having trouble, do not hesitate to contact us! Call us at 888-768-7568 or shoot us an email firstname.lastname@example.org.
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