View Full Version : Auto Cad question part 2

01-19-2009, 11:19 PM
So i enrolled in a course for Auto cad. I also dowloaded a free/trial version from Intellicad, Thanks John Stevenson for posting those links.

My question is that i can buy the perpetual student version of autocad for 40.00 more then the professional version of intellicad. Is there any major difference? I am a little blind here because no one i know has autocad and those that i sort fo know who do, just say "I don't know how much it costs, i just tell purchasing i need it!"

What do you all think?

Rob :)

01-20-2009, 12:04 AM
Intellicad seemed to be a clone of Autocad. But much cheaper. Was OK
I think you should check out some of the 3D tools. Alibre used to have some nice deals. I hear the newer version of Alibre are quite reasonable. I had the really early versions.
Most of the student versions do not allow any commercial work.
If you can qualify for a student deal look at Solidworks or Rhino. I think Rhino used to be one of the best bags for the buck.

After trying all of the above I found a way to justify to my self to get a seat of Solidworks. Never regretted it.

01-20-2009, 03:14 AM

I had IntelliCad some years ago. It was a free down-load. I can't remember what version of AutoCAD it most resembled or emulated (10, 11, 12 13, 14 etc?). It was pretty good unless you needed AutoLisp (AutoCAD native programming language) or if you didn't mind using C++, Windows Basic and another (forget which).

Also as I recall, it worked AS an AutoCAD package better than it worked with (import/expert *.DWG and *.DXF files etc. That is to say, its DWG and DXF files were not always 100% compatible with the AutoCAD similar files. It may have improved or it may not have.

As I don't exchange CAD files it would not bother me. My only concern would be that the drivers were OK and that the DXF files could be converted to CNC "g" code if I were going to use CNC.

As a basic AutoCAD it was not too bad at all. After a few initial "free" versions it was divided into two or more - really basic (free), and "enhanced" versions (charged for).

As I recall, it was "taken over" or absorbed into another developer site and re-jigged as a commercial package.

I haven't had a good look at this "Google" page/link but it might give you a pointer or "where its at" - as a start anyway:


01-20-2009, 09:10 AM
Well i was thinking of buying the Student version of Autocad. About 433.00 plus shipping. The Proge Soft version i am using now sells for 399.00. That is the professional version.

I seem to recal in our course, which i just started, that There was no difference between the student version of Autocad, and that of the professional series other that it printed student version on the print outs.

I have seen solidworks. Truly amazing, but i do mostly maintenance repairs, and some home renovations. I am not sure if i can get back my investment from solidworks. I also noticed that you have to keep paying a yearly licencing fee?

Any help in this "new to me" world would be greatly appreciated.

Rob :)

brian Rupnow
01-20-2009, 09:28 AM
The student version of autocad is inexpensive, but can not be used for commercial purposes by law. Any drawings printed out will have the word "student" in large block letters printed out diagonally across the drawing. If you are comfortable with Autocad, then better to buy "Autocad Lite" It is relatively inexpensive, and is a great 2D program, but has no 3D capability. Solidworks is wonderfull, and it is the main engineering software that I use for my design business. BUT --it is horribly expensive (Over $5000 for a seat)----there is a $10,000 fine for using it as "pirated" software, and it has a yearly subscription fee of $1600 to 1800 dollars. It is not upwardly compatible, meaning that if you have Solidworks 2007 version, it can open anything in Solidworks prior to 2007 and including 2007, but can not open 2008, 2009, nor any newer version. If all you are using it for is a "home use" situation, then you better have really deep pockets. For home repairs and renovations, Solidworks is dramatic overkill.---Brian

01-20-2009, 09:44 AM
Thanks Brian,

Ok that settles one question. Haha. Actually you answered alot of my questions. I am not looking for the cheapest, but the BEST choice for me. I would like to do 3D latter on. So i figure i should buy a platform that can do 3D.

I don't have to buy AutoCad just it is what i am using in my course. Kind of makes things easier, but we are using 2007 and i haven't found a version for sale.

The ProgeSOFT cad intrests me, but i can only buy a download. Not exactly my favorite way of doing things. I like having a disc to lose. Haha.

To be more accurate about what i want to do with it. I rebuild shafts, design some brackets and various manufacturing repairs. I want to draw stuff on my computer so i can look at it and see any possible areas i have missed or measurements that i did not think about. This is where 3D might come in handy latter on.

I do home renovations when i do not have enough work. Bathrooms, decks, etc. I figured a drawing of their futur deck, or see that the bathtub they want does fit, might land me the contract compared to a hand sketch by my competitor. If you are 10% higher but have a great presentation then you are on your way! (my opinion). Some modifications to rooms, landscapping, hose locations, underground wiring, etc.

SO that is why i want a CAD program. I don't think i need the High end, just something that is GOOD.

Rob :)

P.S. Oh yeah maybe learn how to change my files for CNC milling so Russ can mill things out on his new machine and send it to me! :)

brian Rupnow
01-20-2009, 10:04 AM
Spkrman--There are architectural 3D cad programs that are far better suited to home renovations than Solidworks. The correct 3D architectural program can generate a stud count, material take off, etc. automatically. If you are learning 2D Autocad now, it will take you at least 2 years to become "proficient" in 2D Autocad. None of this learning curve will be lost, because when working with 3D cad the basic beginnings of a 3D cad drawing is a 2D profile, which is then extruded in the Z axis to create a solid "Part". However, speaking as someone who is very knowledgeable in this subject, its going to take another 2 years to gain any degree of proficiency in 3D solid modelling. By "proficiency". I mean being able to use the programs fast enough and accurately enough to earn a wage with it, working in a "designing for money" situation.---Brian

01-20-2009, 10:17 AM
I've been using Acad since the earliest Versions, and used it daily.
As much as I've used it, I found that doing any really advanced stuff (like 3d) was rare.
For myself, I probably could have used the less expensive software, most of the time. Drawing compatibility with coworkers and customers, was also an important issue.
When it came time to seriously fill the 3D need, I went to Solid Edge and only rarely go back to Acad for only the very basic drawings.

Tom M.

brian Rupnow
01-20-2009, 10:24 AM
SolidEdge is a very good software, but for some reason it has never become very popular in Canada. and again, it is like Solidworks---very pricey. If compatibility with customer software is an issue, then 2D autocad is the most popular thing going. I switched over to 3D Solidworks about 8 years ago due to "market demand", but I am still amazed at how many of my customers (small shops with no full time design staff) are still getting by with Autocad 13 or 14. Fortunately, Solidworks can open this 2D stuff, and I can save my drawings as a.dwg file which my customers can open. Most of the time this isn't necessary, because solidworks has a free downloadable viewing program called "e-drawings" which lets my customers open Solidworks documents off a disc to read them.

01-20-2009, 10:26 AM
For a quick a review. A cheaper version of Autocad would do me fine. It will take me years to profecient in autocad, that is why i am taking the course. I was going to take the 3D later on. I doubt i will go beyound the capabilities of other versions such as intelicad, Alibre etc. Thanks for the input guys. My mind is pretty much made up. I feel alot better now then i did last night.

Hello paper and pen!!! Haha!

Rob :)

Bruce Griffing
01-20-2009, 10:35 AM
I think the student version of Solidworks, good for 2 years, is $139. I would go with Solidworks myself.

01-20-2009, 10:46 AM
Never heard of Solid edge. I don't think solidworks is in my budget. Now or in the futur. If i buy the student version, in 2 years i will be used to it, then i would have to shell out major cash for a program i will use 2-3 a month. Does not seem wise. Too bad because it looks amazing.

Once again, thanks to everyone for their input.

Rob :)

01-20-2009, 12:04 PM
Try to find a copy of Intellicad 2001. It is free and has not expired on my computer since I installed it. It's an evaluation issue and some features are not supported but you will find it almost identical to Autocad12. It will load and run .lsp routines and will do anything required to create a 2D .DWG file as well as some 3D work. You can save the drawing as a .DXF for use in CNC.

01-21-2009, 08:33 PM
Solid edge is grate and its Free in 2D.

01-21-2009, 08:55 PM
Alibre express is free as well
If you are learning, them go directly into 3D
Much better.
But, if you want to stay with autocad
QuickCad is a low end version of autocad and is very good
not sure if you can still get it, but I have the 2000/ V7 of
it and it is bullet proof and very easy to use.

Alibre design xpress "FREE"


01-21-2009, 08:56 PM
Two years ...three years ......stuff that !

if i was to buy one of these cnc machines ..........can i really expect to make anything good without all that training .....they still look out of reach to me, if that is so .

Makes me wonder how many people buy them...because of all the hype ...then a few months down the line, sell them because they cant figure out the cad.

all the best.markj

John Stevenson
01-21-2009, 08:59 PM
Why suggest all these different expensive programs when Rob has signed up to do Autocad. ??

Rather defeats his original questions ??????


01-21-2009, 09:02 PM
QuickCad is a low end Version of auto cad
But I think quick cad is better then autocad
(I have used both)

Alibre is "free" and costs nothing to play with :)