AutoCAD is the most popular drafting software in the world – and has been since its creation in 1982. The name is synonymous with computer aided design (CAD) and is known even to those outside of the architecture/engineering/design industry. Until another program arises which makes AutoCAD obsolete, it should continue to dominate the market.
AutoCAD’s bread and butter is 2D drawings. 2D drawings are quicker to produce than 3D drawings, and in most cases 2D drawings are capable of including everything necessary for the typical client’s needs. This results in the least costly option for clients.
AutoCAD also has 3D capabilities. 3D drawings have their place. For instance, a fully rendered perspective of a building can be created in 3D. 3D is also useful for intricate and complex projects.
Many younger architects believe BIM (Building Information Modeling), which is a form of 3D, is the future of CAD software. Revit is a software program designed specifically for BIM, and is produced by Autodesk, who also produces AutoCAD. Revit receives high marks from users for its simplicity.
Currently, 3D and BIM aren’t appropriate for simple floor plans or existing building drawings, so AutoCAD is still relevant. However, if clients come to expect more from even the simplest projects, then drafting service companies will be ready to provide it.