Our company is considering AutoCAD 2014 or LT. We are also considering Invent LT.
We have about 1800 2D drawing files that were created with AutoCAD R14. I see that there are migration tools available that we may be able to take advantage of.
The software we purchase will be used to create 2D drawing files of small machined mechanical parts, usually with at least 3 views. We would also like to be able to create 3D drawing files and assembly drawings in the future. The assemblies consist of multiple small mechanical parts including fasteners.
We will be purchasing 5 or 6 seats for our network.
If we plan to purchase Invent LT in the future, should we only consider AutoCAD 2014, or would AutoCAD LT also be compatible in some way?
Thanks for any response,
"I see that there are migration tools available that we may be able to take advantage of."
Going from R14 to 2014 is a huge leap in versions which migration tools probably won't help much with (if at all). There will be no issues with DWG file compatibility, as any newer version will always be able to open files created/saved in older versions.
"If we plan to purchase Invent LT in the future, should we only consider AutoCAD 2014, or would AutoCAD LT also be compatible in some way?"
AutoCAD LT products are just as "compatible" with Inventor products as "non-LT" (or "full") AutoCAD products.
The key distinction between LT and "full" is that LT products have no programming interfaces (no AutoLISP, no VB, etc.), so if you plan on automating anything in the future (beyond simple scripts or menu macros), you should purchase a "full" AutoCAD product.
You can always download a 30-day free trial of each product and see first-hand whether it meets your needs.
Also something to consider is that AutoCAD LT does not do 3D.
Here's a comparison chart between AutoCAD 2014 and AutoCAD LT 2014:
Welcome to the Autodesk Forums!
As far as 2D Drafting goes I do not believe that you will ever feel hindered other than the above mentioned programming possibilities (Lisp, ARX, etc.).
But if you have never used any of those and do not know the syntax other than finding a routine that meets your needs you will have another learning curve to get up to speed.
AS was said; download the Trial versions of what you want and ask for thirty doays form the boss to "vacation" while you go thru each (okay 90 days) and get an understanding of the limitations and possibilities.
All Autodesk products are going on Subscription in 2015 so your purchase will make more sense to include that at the beginning. The reseller can give your the best options in that regard so seek out costs as well.
5 Seats of AutoCAD LT w/ Subscription: $6000.00 (I'm guessing) Inventor LT about the same.
5 Seats of AutoCAD with Subscription: 22,000.00 (Again, a guess)
And the Subscription cost is the gift that keeps giving; well, with Upgrades as the carrot.
OP here's a key piece of info. You say at some point you'd like to do 3D assembly drawings. For this you'll need full Inventor, or a competing product such as Solidworks. Let's consider Inventor though. It will produce individual 3D part drawings as well as assembly drawings. It will produce exploded assembly drawings and animations. It will produce BOMs and bend tables, hole tables etc. You can test 3D assemblies for FEA and clashes. There's a lot you can do with this program, right down to producing 2d sheet output. Remember too that this will come with common fasteners etc.
Inventor LT will produce 3D parts and 2d drawing sheets for just those parts. As far as I know, it doesn't do assemblies. So you'd have to ask yourself if your staff will be divided up into part modelers and assembly modelers.
Both are available in suites. Both can import DWG files from AutoCAD, and export to DWG format as well. As stated before, AutoCAD LT does not have native 3D capabilities -- however it will do wireframe 3D and a pseudo 3D. You can also open up 3D drawings in it and manipulate the objects -- it just doesn't have the extensive 3D manipulatoin tools or rendering capabilities that full AutoCAD has. Even so, these programs are less expensive bundled together than they would be if purchased separately.
One more thing to consider would be if you collaborate outside of your company. You may want to consider the cost of subscriptions, which includes some technical assistance as well as the latest software upgrades. I say this because Inventor will not save backwards to earlier versions (which might be an issue if you work with people who don't have the latest version). Yours will also become obsolete if you don't stay current, and to wait and then upgrade on a 3 +/- year cycle is a lot more costly.
I hope this is enough info to help you. Good luck!
Log into access your profile, ask and answer questions, share ideas and more. Haven't signed up yet? Register
Start with some of our most frequented solutions to get help installing your software.