Change, in the CAD world, is slow. Users like their particular choice of CAD software and are very hesitant to move to something else. Users have concerns over file compatibility, if they will need retraining, if the software is reliable, what the cost implications are, and so on. These are all very valid concerns, I hear them frequently. Some CAD users, when shown DraftSight in action, when they see how it works, the cost savings and, more importantly, how quickly they can get to work, see switching to DraftSight as an obvious choice. Others, well they need more convincing.
Lynn Allen spent over 20 years with Autodesk promoting its annual releases, producing hundreds of video tips, writing countless articles for Cadalyst Magazine and writing three AutoCAD books. There are not many people out there who know more about AutoCAD than her. As a Technology Evangelist, she is always staying on top of CAD trends and working to help people embrace change. She recently shared her thoughts on DraftSight in a recent article on AUGI.com (Autodesk User Group International). Like many AutoCAD users, Lynn was also hesitant about change. She says:
“…I came to realize that there were a variety of other CAD options out there, especially for those who didn’t want to pay the hefty AutoCAD price tag. But were they good enough? Were they DWG file compatible? Were these “CAD-Clones” like cheap Louis Vuitton knock-offs or were they serious, robust, quality CAD solutions? And most importantly (for someone who LOVES her AutoCAD), could I possibly feel comfortable in a new CAD environment?”
Lynn has left Autodesk and joined the team at Dassault Systèmes, so she has had ample opportunity to check out DraftSight and see can it really replace AutoCAD in the workplace. Could she feel at home with DraftSight? Would she feel comfortable using DraftSight? I’ll let Lynn answer that:
“I am happy to say the answer is a great big “Yes!” Not only does DraftSight produce 100% compatible DWG files (complete with blocks, dimension styles, layers etc.) for a mere fraction of the price, but you will feel right at home with DraftSight in no time.”
In her article on the AUGI website, Lynn goes on to talk about the DraftSight interface and also explains that while some commands might differ slightly in their naming, you can actually enter the AutoCAD command name and DraftSight will know exactly what you mean. As Lynn puts it:
“…you want to clean up your drawing file. In AutoCAD we would execute the PURGE command–in DraftSight–it is the CLEAN command (or CL). But you don’t need to worry your pretty little head over that –just key in PURGE (or PU) or select the tool from the toolbar or ribbon and you are good to go!”
Lynn goes on to discuss the DraftSight UI and its ability to change to suit your needs. If you want the ribbon menu, it’s there for you. If you are old school and prefer the classic look and feel, well, you can quickly select that also, and as for the Command Line, it’s where it has been for the last, well, more years than I care to remember!
“…Autodesk basically pushed its users to embrace the ribbon… even to the point of hiding the Classic workspace in recent releases. Would you prefer to work with pull-downs and toolbars in AutoCAD? No problem… the choice is yours–DraftSight is much less “bossy” and much more easy-going when it comes to giving you a choice. The function keys are set the same, you can double-click objects to edit, and of course–the beloved Command line is hanging out in the lower left corner where the CAD gods intended (although you’re welcome to move it!).“
Over the rest of the article, Lynn goes on to talk about the customisation features within DraftSight, the fact that DraftSight, unlike many other non-Autodesk CAD products, supports Dynamic Blocks and the fact that DraftSight requires far less processing requirements that AutoCAD. But look, I could go on and on quoting the article here, but I think a better option is for you to check it out for yourself. Just click here to read it.
Let us know what you think in the comments below.
Learn more about DraftSight here.