This article was posted originally over 4 years ago and the situation has not gotten any better. In fact, we are starting to hear from a few folks who are experiencing circumstances similar to those examined in the following article.
Rogue Software, or, software that is made to impede your ability to freely move your design drawings from one CAD software companies products to another, is quite simply in my opinion bordering on anti-competitive. Your choice? Take your data and go to another vendor for the Tools you use every day. Quit investing in the kind of software that is so selfish that it essentially ruins DWG drawings, specifically products from Autodesk, and often third party developers who have partake of this scheme to control the design future of all who use the software, I believe they need to be investigated by legal authorities to understand how the monopolization of CAD has been brought about, and is going to get a lot worse as the transition to cloud computing begins appearing. If I were responsible for the future of my architectural firm, or my companies design tools, I would be careful about heading down that path.
Scenario: Working on a large design project for a swimming pool complex and tasked with defining the locker rooms layout. Working with a large AEC firm with requirements t
o use AutoCAD drawings to complete the project. AEC firm agrees to supply base drawings showing walls, doors, plumbing, etc. for the design. Monday morning, ready to tackle the job and get rolling, expected to have the design finalized by Friday. Project is tight but we think we can get it done with the help of the original design drawings. until we try and open them using AutoCAD. The drawings load fine but there are no walls, doors, or anything we can use to complete our design. What is going on? A call to the AEC firm tells us that they are not using AutoCAD but one of the vertical products Autodesk sells. A check on pricing shows us that the $4000 we already paid for each license of AutoCAD is not going to cover, no even close, the extra we will need to pay to be able to even view these drawings. ARGH. Only choice is to request an extension from the design group and redraw the walls, doors, plumbing, etc. from scratch adding about a week onto the length of our job and eating all our profits.
ndors out of displaying those objects and require all your customers to come to you, regardless of price, and sell them your solution without any other source of software. Brilliant marketing, and really, not a bad gamble considering NO ONE talks about it. I have seen little or no information at all from our vaunted CAD press that addresses this problem.
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