If you work in the architecture or structural engineering fields, you have probably used 2D or 3D CAD programs. These programs can help you to explore design ideas, visualize concepts through photo-realistic renderings and simulate how a design will perform in the real world. AutoCAD software was the first CAD program and it is still the most widely used CAD application.
Benefits of the Best CAD Software:
- Accurate designs
- Fast, precise and flexible
- Set the measurement units and set your scale automatically.
- No separate overlays required, CAD can draw in the same file with Layer option.
- Draws strictly according to drafting standards.
- Dimensions for the drawing can be modified and the size and resolution of the drawings can be changed.
- CAD Software helped to enhance the documentation process; easy to store and use at any time without any unwanted hassles.
- CAD Software reduced the product development cost and also helped shorten the design cycle.
With the development of software, the above-listed benefits achieved but now the question arises for choosing the best CAD Software. In today’s scenario, we have around 200+ software readily available in the market.
CAD Software market has been growing enormously with huge participants namely AutoDesk AutoCAD, ActcAD, IntelliCAD and BricSys etc which have a huge turnover annually.
These companies bring out their best CAD software to simplify and streamline the Designing and manufacturing processes.
Some of the Best CAD Software available (Alphabetically) :
- CMS IntelliCAD
- G Star CAD
- Need Assessment:
- Budget or Cost Criteria:
Different software are available which comes with different price tags. The CAD user has to calculate his investment based on three parameters.
1. Hidden charges:
Some of the CAD Companies with their price tags on their software never mention their costs which may be chargeable later and the user penalized extra for those functionalities.
The user has to be smart enough is analyzing the costs related to technical support as it comes of utmost importance when you are struck in the middle of something whether it may related to drawing or it may related to licensing.
ActCAD has a dedicated technical support team which provides apt technical solutions for free. They do not charge anything extra for technical support packages.
Even they provide free of cost technical support during the trial periods. You can evaluate its fully functional trial version .
2. Upgradaion Costs:
With the time lapse, there are future requirements in the software and the same done by the software companies with their upgraded versions.
They come up with enhancements in functions, fixing some prevailing errors in the last version. So for the CAD user, it is also a matter of concern to judge the upgradation cost if any so that at the time of upgradation he is comfortable enough to bear the cost.
ActCAD has kept no boundaries and no complications in its upgradation clauses. It has rested all the decision for future upgradation in the hands of individual CAD user.
The CAD user is thus not forced to upgrade to the latest version and it is his own decision for doing so. And the cost for the same is also not very high as compared to other Software. (The full amount of the software package charged to the user for up gradation by some companies).
3. How effective is the investment in the cad software?
Corresponding to all the factors discussed in the budget criteria, the user analyses his cost expenditure and compares the same with other available software to get the Best CAD Software.
In my opinion, the budget factor plays the highest importance in selecting the best CAD Software as the investment made by the firm determines its return on investment and the profitability of the software.
So the CAD User has to analyze the expenditures, investments and all other monetary criteria to plan out and grab his suitable.
- Technical Criteria:
The technical aspect of the CAD Software also has the same weight while deciding to chosen for the work. The technical criteria can judged by the following points.
1.Technology Used :
The CAD Packages available should be providing the user with the latest technologies so that it won’t get obsoleted after several years and ensures a good performance.
A good performance ensured by the CAD Software can have many advantages like the faster completion of the job, tension free user, reduction of production time etc.
The Software if working smoothly, dynamically with high efficiency marks the software with a good performance. So the user has to take up some trail evaluation before coming to the conclusion based on performance.
Many CAD software that is available may be using different technologies but it would be a smart move if you are going with the latest technology.
ActCAD announced its release of the 8.4a version on 12th OCT 2017 which enhanced its performance and enriched its functionalities. Similarly, the saga continued and ActCAD also incorporated latest IntelliCAD 8.4b CAD Engine package.
3. Licensing of the best cad software:
Another factor that plays a vital role in decision making is the License validity and licensing boundaries. The CAD Software has some tenures of their usage. It limits the user to work on the software for a limited period.
Software come with four types of Licensing tenures.
a. Annual Subscription or annual rental:
In this licensing tenure, the software is only available to the user for a maximum of 1 year or 365 days. After that, the user has to pay an Annual Maintenance Charge (AMC) and or pay the full software cost which is the latest available.
b. Software as a Service (SaaS):
In this licensing tenure, the user takes up the software on a contractual basis for some period of time. It is also called as Software plus Services.
c. Perpetual Licenses:
This is the kind of licensing system which is very cost effective and hassle-free. Its tenure lasts for a lifetime and in between no extra charges are asked by the CAD Companies.
d. Territorial Licenses:
ActCAD comes with a perpetual as well as a globally valid license. This license provides a platform for the organization to use the CAD anywhere in the world.
It also has a Self License transfer Mechanism. This enhances the work for the user and provides flexibility in shifting his license from one PC to another without any limitation. You can perform this act unlimited times as per your convenience.