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Thread: How useful is AutoCAD 3D anymore?

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    Default How useful is AutoCAD 3D anymore?

    Just a general question here, but since I've been out of day-to-day industry for a while I'm curious:

    How prevalent is 3D AutoCAD anymore? It seems like with the proliferation of 3D packages and their ease of use that using 3D in AutoCAD wouldn't be all that helpful anymore. Are there specific industries where it is still used and if so, to what extent? Is it worth worrying about materials, renderings, etc. or is it primarily for just line drawings or similar things? Or is it past its prime for the most part?

    Any answers would be appreciated.

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    Default Re: How useful is AutoCAD 3D anymore?

    Given the proliferation of smart phones, how useful is a hammer?

    Basically it depends on the job that needs done, and the skill level/comfort factor of the user.
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    Default Re: How useful is AutoCAD 3D anymore?

    Still lots of use in process piping design field, especially in small-to-mid size projects, using either third-party plug-ins or the Autodesk vertical Plant3D product. Mega-projects are better suited with programs like SmartPlant or PDMS.

    Civil3D (I know, I know - cue the yelling-slash-complaining) as well.

    I do our renderings in other programs, and leave the AutoCAD side to strictly design purposes.
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    Default Re: How useful is AutoCAD 3D anymore?

    Thank you both. I teach AutoCAD at a regional university and we still have a fairly significant portion of one of our CAD classes where we teach AutoCAD 3D. It seems like that might be similar to teaching someone to use a sliderule and that our time would be better served teaching other concepts more in-depth than we do now. We also teach Inventor, Revit, 3ds Max, Maya, and some other non-Autodesk 3D software so it's not like our students never get any training in visualizing and drawing in three-dimensional space.

    I would certainly take more answers if anyone has them. Don't let my response to the two responses so far stop you.

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    Default Re: How useful is AutoCAD 3D anymore?

    Well my meager two cents. Don't forget the basics, I have seen kids coming out of school they know how use all the bells and whistles and can dazzle you with it. But they can't simply draft or calculate on their own. so they have no basis to know if the product they have produced is any good.

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    Default Re: How useful is AutoCAD 3D anymore?

    I'm young (26) so maybe I just don't know any better, but not sure what else people would be using for surveying.

    While we still do the bulk of work as traditional surveying, we also have High Definition Scanning devices for the creation of point clouds that we can extract data from, one of which being for topographic surveys. Despite that advanced/data rich environment at the end of the day we're still exporting that data out into a CSV format that gets brought into CAD to create a surface that we deliver to the relevant design team. What programs they use to do their voodoo magic design (A lot of it is CAD at the very least) I don't know.

    Is survey one of the few remaining niches of Civil 3D? Maybe, and maybe I just don't know of all the different software alternatives out there, but I really don't think it's going anywhere soon.

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    Default Re: How useful is AutoCAD 3D anymore?

    To answer the thread title question.... I think AutoCAD 3D is still useful and needed.

    I work in the A/E/C industry (for over 20 years), using AutoCAD 75% of the time and REVIT 25% of the time (with a little Inventor mixed in there).
    Not much 3D AutoCAD, but Revit IS 3D modeling, and sometimes you need to use 3D AutoCAD to import 3rd party objects or use AutoCAD or Inventor to create some 3D content.

    Also, in the past 7 years, as a FIRST Robotics team mentor, I have been doing mechanical design using 2D/3D AutoCAD and Inventor.
    Using primarily Inventor, we model the robot and parts for design and fabrication, but sometimes doing quick sketches and concepts in AutoCAD.

    I feel if you know how to model in AutoCAD it helps with other 3D programs such as Inventor, so you have some basic skills that work with other programs.
    Although if given a choice, I would model a 3D object in Inventor, especially when it comes to complex things such as assemblies etc.

    [And as others have hinted, people starting out in this industry need to learn how to set up a drawing, learn how to communicate the design so the observer understands, learn proper drafting and design conventions, standards and procedures.
    I also have seen people right out of school (college) who "can run the software" but don't know how to draft/draw or set up a drawing properly.]

    That's my $2.00 worth of advice.
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    Default Re: How useful is AutoCAD 3D anymore?

    You still have to know AutoCAD 3D to use the other add-on packages. The more you know about AutoCAD, the more efficiently you can use the add-on packages.

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    Default Re: How useful is AutoCAD 3D anymore?

    My 2 cents:
    I do all the 3d work with Inventor.
    I still use Autocad for P&ID and to edit step files by removing some solids.

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