In the computer-aided design (CAD) software market, AutoCAD by Autodesk is a tool that assists companies with both design and documentation. The aim of AutoCAD is speed your work and add precision to your drawings. View designs more clearly with Stunning Visual Experience and document in context with Coordination Model. The Desktop Subscription gives you access to the latest updates and releases, one-on-one web support, priority support in the forums, and flexible licensing.
The 2016 release highlights the following features: Enhanced PDFs (PDFs are smaller, smarter, and more searchable); Smart Dimensioning to create measurements based on your drawing context; Revision clouds have been enhanced for easier creation and modification; Refined interface (the darker interface helps reduce eyestrain); Ribbon galleries to access drawing content directly from the ribbon; New Tab page to quickly open new and existing drawings; Help window to easily find where tools are located; Command Preview to get a sneak peek at the outcomes of frequently used commands; Intelligent command line for Get AutoCorrect and Adaptive Suggestions; Coordination Model to design within the context of existing BIM models; Reality computing enhanced to orient your work more precisely with the point cloud; Online maps to capture them as static images and print them; Surface Curve Extraction tool to extract isoline curves; Context-sensitive PressPull tool to extrude and offset curves; 3D free-form design tools to generate design ideas in almost any form; Surface analysis to analyze the continuity between different surfaces; In-canvas viewport controls to change viewport settings, views, and visual styles; Design feed to work on an intranet, Internet, or cloud connection; Connected design solutions to integrate your desktop, cloud, and mobile workflow; TrustedDWG™ technology to help ensure the fidelity of your AutoCAD drawings; A360 connectivity to synchronize your files and custom settings; Inventor file import capability; and Social media sharing use built-in connections for Facebook and Twitter. There are also all kinds of customization features to take advantage of as well.
Users generally note that AutoCAD is a very solid, time-tested program that is an immense help to designers of all types. They especially appreciate how it can be customized in terms of tools used and workflows, and how well it can “talk” to other AutoDesk products. Because AutoCAD is so widely used, there are many user forums where people can find the help and tips they need.
There are two big drawbacks to AutoCAD noted by users. The first is that many users note how the 3D capabilities not being as robust as most wish they were. The second is that almost every user review notes that the software can be buggy and glitchy, with the occasional crash that makes you want to save your work more frequently. Some users also note that they would prefer less frequent releases that address more of the problems encountered.
There’s no doubt that AutoCAD has become an industry standard used by many firms. However, to maintain its competitive edge, AutoCAD clearly needs to address its glitches in a more robust manner.