CAD: AutoCad or Microstation?

Reply Sat 20 Nov, 2004 10:34 pm

any CAD operators out there wish to discuss the tools of the trade?
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Type: Discussion • Score: 2 • Views: 2,441 • Replies: 10
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Region Philbis
Reply Mon 22 Nov, 2004 08:59 pm

here's my story:

after doing mechanical (hand) drafting for 3 years, i got my first taste of AutoCad in 1988. at first all we did were details; the jobs were still being done by hand, except for a handfull. the first CAD job i recall working on was for a radio station in NYC. there were 2 CAD stations in the office for people to share.

right away i noticed something odd about this new drafting tool:
it was fun! what a concept, getting paid for doing something you really enjoy... i still feel the same way about it some 16 years later.

by 1990 i had my very own PC at my desk, we were doing about 75% of the jobs on CAD. there was no network, no internet, no e-mail... files were stored on the C:\ drive, and on 5.25" floppy discs Rolling Eyes

at this time i was very handy with MS-DOS, writing dozens of batch files to speed up file management. i was also in charge of creating departmental standards -- getting everyone on the same page.

we worked a lot of OT. the place was a few steps above being a sweatshop, but we were in our 20's, and didn't seem to mind all that much.

in 1995, after changing jobs and moving to a new state, i started using Microstation. there was a serious learning curve for me, because many of the commands were done in reverse (ie. select the objects before you select the command). it was difficult learning this new 'language', which was vastly different from AutoCad (my native tongue).

it took a good 8-9 months before i was comfortable using Microstation. the rule of thumb is "use it or lose it", and i was extremely fortunate to have a steady flow of projects for each program.

in 1998 i received my first CAD training course -- 3D modeling in Microstation. once again i struggled to grasp the concepts, particularly the Z axis, which i had blatantly ignored for 10 years! slowly i got comfortable with this new CAD form. i laid out all the cable tray for a power plant in vietnam. once a week or so we had design review meetings, which were 3D walk-thrus all around the plant. we were on the lookout for clashes (2 pieces of equipment that hit each other). there was a great sense of teamwork in this process, and many compromises were reached to iron out the design flaws.

i changed jobs at the end of 2000. my new firm was AutoCad oriented, so i lost touch with Microstation until june of this year, when we began a large Microstation-only project.

so once again i'm using both programs on a daily basis, transitioning from one to the other with relative ease.

i still prefer AutoCad, and probably always will...
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Reply Mon 22 Nov, 2004 09:03 pm
<yeah, sure, just go ahead and pad your thread>
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Reply Mon 22 Nov, 2004 09:07 pm
<yeah, sure, just go ahead and pad out your post total> Razz
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Region Philbis
Reply Mon 22 Nov, 2004 09:08 pm

Confused the homeless man with a cup begging for money always puts a few sheckles in first...
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Reply Mon 22 Nov, 2004 09:15 pm

I've only ever played with AutoCad for a few days and that was years ago. I have a friend that knows it pretty well but he works in testing not design so doesn't really use it day to day.

Sorry, that's all the sheckles I've got... I swear...
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Reply Wed 24 Nov, 2004 02:52 pm
Well, I should report that RP has tried to teach me AutoCad and I can't get the hang of things like line widths and specific colors. It's not that I don't notice things being off if they are done wrong, I guess it's that I am less conscious of it while working with the program. So I'd put in a line width of whatever is one step less than whatever it's supposed to be and I'd think hey, this looks fine, and poor RP would sigh and shake his head.

Then again, both AutoCad and, er, myself, came into RP's life in '88. Coincidence? Hmmm....
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Region Philbis
Reply Wed 24 Nov, 2004 09:53 pm

that was a fine year... Very Happy
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Reply Thu 25 Nov, 2004 08:35 am
I enjoyed '88 - lack of Cad comprehension notwithstanding. :-D
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Region Philbis
Reply Sun 5 Dec, 2004 10:39 pm

sometimes we scan an old hand drawing, import it as a TIF file, and use it in a CADD drawing.

there are add-ons for both AutoCad and Microstation that allows you to modify the TIF file -- mostly erasing little pieces of raster.

the Microstation add-on (I RAS/B) is more versatile and user-friendly;
AutoCad 2000's add-on was CAD Overlay, which i only used as an erasing tool... about a month ago we upgraded to AutoCad 2005, which comes with an updated version of Overlay.

the other day i did an experiment:
i attached the same TIF file to both an AutoCad drawing and a Microstation drawing, to see if i could modify the TIF in I RAS/B, then reload it in AutoCad.

(you followin' me so far? Smile )

well, i was pleasantly surprised to see that it worked.
usually if 2 programs share a common file, you can't use them at the same time, but for some strange reason this worked...
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Region Philbis
Reply Wed 31 Oct, 2018 06:27 am

a 3D program called Revit is threatening to take over the industry as the #1 CAD platform.

architects are using it more and more, forcing engineers to follow suit.

i am not a fan... it is extremely slow and not at all user-friendly.

my group does power plants and the like, so we don't necessarily have to use it if we don't want to.

the bulk of our drawings are diagrams and schedules -- much easier to do with AutoCad...
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