I am currently running AutoCad LT2004 and am finally thinking about upgrading. I am trying to decide if I should just continue to use AutoCad LT or switch to AutoCad Architecture. I am a residential designer wondering if the additional cost is worth it and how steep the learning curve is in making the switch. The ability to do 3d renderings interests me, as long as the time to do these is not to prohibitive. I would appreciate any input you guys could provide. Thanks
There have been a number of posts on this forum on this topic. Below is one of the more detailed recent ones. I came from AutoCAD, had done quite a bit of 3D modeling, and thought ACA would be more of a complement to ACA-- not a completely new product with equal if not greater complexity. If I had it to do over, I would stick with AutoCAD, and use Google (Trimble) Sketchup plus Shaderlight, a 3rd party rendering software. It's a lot more fun and a better and easier product to use for rendering. One thing I particularly like about Sketchup is the ability to actually work in a realistic visual style where you can constantly view your materials. In ACA and ACAD, I can only work in wire frame and conceptual--realistic slows my computer to a halt, and it's not that realistic anyway.
Yes. You do have to have Sketchup Pro (not the free one) to import dwg files. In the case of ACA, all the AEC objects get exploded to line segments, so ACAD should give you cleaner results.
Is AutoCad Arch similar enough to AutoCad LT that I could just work in normal 2d mode and draw everything the way I am used to and then over time incorporate more of the special features to increase my productivity, or is it such a different animal that I would be starting over at square one?
One of the strengths of ACA is that it has (most) everything AutoCAD has, including an "as AutoCAD" profile that performs just like vanilla AutoCAD (AEC modules are not loaded). Assuming that LT is truly a subset of AutoCAD (I have never used it), then you should be work in much the same way as you have, and, over time, add the expanded capabilities of AutoCAD as well as features of ACA to your toolset.
There will be a learning curve when you start to use ACA objects. That can be lessened to a certain extent if you can accept the out-of-the-box settings. Then again, there is nothing like needing to make ACA objects look the way you want them to look to accelerate your journey along that learning curve. ;-)
We planned a staged implementation, using it's tools to produce 2D drawings faster, (walls doors, windows). Then delving into full 3D once all the tools were understood. If you try to go full 3D from day one, I'd suggest you will struggle. There are some excellent books and blogs around to get you started. Highly recommend Paul Aubins books.
LT 2013 user and LT user since it was introduced. Residential design.
Several times now it has been suggested to use Sketchup as an alternative 3D modeling software.
I had considered Revit but do not think that will work the best for me anbd need to persue the Sketchup angle as they say.
Thanks for the input.