Little help from AutoCAD users. . .professional use especially


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Ok. . .this quarter my AutoCAD instructor decided that since it's an advanced CAD class and he has already seen a couple of mid-term drawings from most of us he would like for us to write a paper instead. . .

. . .we are allowed (and encouraged) to get help from other CAD users on this so that's what I'm hoping for. . .

. . .here's the assignment:

"As a user of AutoCAD software, your employer will expect you to keep up to date with new releases and developments and that you will use this knowledge to improve company eficiency and profits. In order to perform this function, you will have to have some idea of how AutoCAD is evolving and be aware of what it is evolving into so that your company will be in a postition to take advantage of new evolutions as they occure.

Write a paper that projects the future of AutoCAD as it applies to your area of interest. Be sure to discuss the past and present as a foil for your future projections. The question to ask yourself is: What will graphic communication software such as AutoCAD look like in 5 to 10 years, and what should you be doing to position yourself to take advantage of those future developments."

I'm supposed to cite, review, and analyze at least two outside knowledgeable opinions regarding the futur of CAD software.

So I was hoping to get some input from those of who use this in a shop environment. . .I know that DirtTech, TubeWorks, Camburd, Blitzkrieg, and Speed Unlimited use these software programs. . .the local offroad shop doesn't so they're no help. . .I'm a newer user (only been using it for a year. . .so I can't really say what the past has been like.



Is this specific to AutoCAD or also 3D programs like Inventor. I use Inventor daily as part of my work (designing agriculture equipment). The future of it is a good question.

If you are talking about Inventor as well I will add my input as to things I would like to improve the work flow at our workplace.


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Any computer aided design program is a valid opinion in my eyes. . .so everyone who uses this stuff go ahead and let me know where you think it's headed.

Thanks again!


I currently use AutoCAD mechanical/inventor, Solidworks, and ProE. What seems to becoming main stream only recently is the ability to do FEAs (Finite Element Analysis) to simulate failure prone areas or identify breaking points. As of right now, these programs cost alot and can only perform these tasks on a single piece and with limited controls.

Another new invention is photo rendering. As you can see from the attached picture, it gets you as close to the real thing as a computer can perform. Again it's expensive, but it's worth it if you do marketing prior to production.

My favorite CAD function would definitely be fluid and thermodynamics. With the increase in power of many systems and with fluid pressures constantly on the rise, having the ability to simulate these qualities is a huge time and money saver.



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I see more physiscs simulation & FEA in the future of cad. The newer releases also seem to have have a lot more networking and online based functions. For the manufacturing field I think you will see more integration of cad into ISO document control and materials resource planning (MRP) software.

As far as what you should do to prepare. You should learn FEA so when it does become integrated you already understand how to use it, same goes for ISO and MRP