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AutoCAD vs. AutoCAD Architecture | Know the Difference

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.

2D Drawing vs. 3D Modeling vs. BIM

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!

Higher-Level Design

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!

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Tip for Using AutoCAD and AutoCAD LT for the Mac Platform

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:

  • Click to access Autodesk Virtual Agent
  • Click on the “Download Link”
  • Browse to  “Mac Products”
  • Select “AutoCAD”
  • Select “AutoCAD for Mac 201x

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 support@microsolresources.com.

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Microsol Resources, 3D Systems Partner, Welcomes David Spergel

New York, NY, October 9, 2017 – Microsol Resources, a 3D Systems Authorized Reseller and an Autodesk Platinum Partner with offices in New York, Boston and Philadelphia, is pleased to announce that David Spergel has joined the company’s New York office as a 3D Printing Specialist.

David will be responsible for providing installation, training, service and support for our client’s 3D Systems Professional 3D printers, including 3D Systems’ CJP, MJP, and ProJet lines. Prior to joining Microsol Resources, David worked as a Production Manager at Doob3D where he trained and managed the production team. David holds a Bachelor of Science in Manufacturing Engineering from Boston University.

“We are excited to have David join our team and serve as a new resource for our 3D printing clients whose needs include 3D printer support and maintenance of 3D printer service contracts,” said Emilio Krausz, President of Microsol Resources. “His technical support experience and 3D printing expertise will be especially valuable for our existing clients in the industry.”

For more information about us and our team, please visit: https://microsolresources.com/about/

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