Sunday, October 15, 2006


Is AutoCAD good enough for 3D?

The 3D capabilities of AutoCAD have grown up substantially in the version 2007. While AutoCAD still lacks some more advanced solid modelling functions (which can be found e.g. in Inventor or Mechanical Desktop), the 3D function range and - first of all - the ease of use of these 3D functions makes AutoCAD a true 3D modelling tool.
What for are 3D functions in a 2D or 2.5D CAD application like AutoCAD? Well, in a general CAD software like AutoCAD, there are not (and can be not) many functions for further processing of 3D models - like 2D drawing views with dimensioning, parametric 3D models or things like that, but there are still many areas where conceptual modelling, sections, renderings and an API to control these functions can help a lot. And - what is more important - the kernel 3D functionality can be used in all vertical CAD applications based on AutoCAD - like Architectural Desktop and Civil 3D.
So we can expect that the SketchUp-like mouse-driven extrusions or complicated profile-lofts introduced in AutoCAD 2007 will be a benefit especially for other Autodesk applications. And it is of course also a wide path for further development of AutoCAD.

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