DoubleCAD XT vs. Bricscad

If you are looking for an alternative to AutoCAD LT you have a lot of different software programs to choose from. Two of the best are Bricscad and DoubleCAD XT. Version 2 of DoubleCAD XT has recently been released and I downloaded a copy to check it out.

I’ll skip ahead to my opinion.

If you need to work in 3D you probably don’t want to use AutoCAD LT or either of these programs.

If you already know AutoCAD, Bricscad is the most like it in appearance and functions, so it won’t take you long to learn how to use it. I think it would be a good replacement, or additional seat. It cost $695.00 for one seat, but you get a break on price if you need 10 or more. Bricscad was created with only one thing in mind and that was to be as much like AutoCAD LT as possible. Bricscad also runs AutoLisp programs. You may know, AutoLisp is a programing language that you can use to customize the full version of AutoCAD. There are several AutoLisp programs that I have written and some from some others that I find really useful. AutoCAD LT does not support AutoLisp, but Briscad does.

DoubleCAD XT is free. That can’t be stressed too much. You can get an AutoCAD LT work-alike with most of the functionality of AutoCAD LT for free. If you already know AutoCAD LT, it will take longer to learn than Briscad, because it works a little differently than AutoCAD LT. They have attempted to make it work quite a bit like AutoCAD but the differences will be a bit of a stumbling block. However, it is entirely possible that you will prefer the way it works. This is a program that was written to be the best cad program that it could be while making sure that it had all of the AutoCAD LT functionality. It has several features and functions that are missing from AutoCAD LT. If you do not already know how to use AutoCAD LT, this will be an excellent program to start with. Like AutoCAD LT, it doesn’t support AutoLisp.

If you are wanting an inexpensive alternative to AutoCAD LT and you want to use it for architectural drawings, you may want to step up to DoubleCAD XT Pro. For $695.00 you get a lot of Architectural Desktop (ADT) compatible tools and some additional features that you don’t get with the free version. This version also supports custom commands written with their software development pack (sold separately), but it also doesn’t support AutoLisp.

The prices above were listed on the companies websites on February 24, 2010.

Move to Indiana

The move from Colorado Springs, Colorado to Lafayette, Indiana is complete (more or less). Colorado Springs is a beautiful place to live and I wouldn’t have moved if I could have stayed. Here is why I moved:

As sole proprietor of a CAD consultant company I call CAD Directions, I have been providing services to the architectural community since 1994. With over 30 years Architectural CAD experience I provide an array of services.

Highlights from the last couple of years:
-    As production draftsman: Produced architectural construction documents for several buildings including an 84,000 sq. ft. school on the north side of Colorado Springs.
-    As 3D Modeler: Created several 3D computer models including the 21 building Health Sciences Center located in downtown Philadelphia for Temple University (I had previously done the same for their main campus.)
-    As delineator: Provided many photo-realistic computer renderings, including animations and shadow studies for several clients ranging from a home owner in California to a land developer in New Jersey.
-    As programmer: Provided custom AutoLisp programming for a cabinet designer in Colorado Springs.
-    As teacher: Furnished custom AutoCAD and Revit training.
-    As CAD Manager: Setup CAD standards and procedures for an interior design company and an architectural firm in Colorado Springs.
-    As BIM expert: Assisted a Revit professional in California who required help in refining prototype families for architectural product manufacturers.

You can find more information about me and the services that I can provide at my web site:

http://www.caddirections.com/index_old.htm

Last year (2008) was my best year ever. But this year my business got slower and slower until by October, it had slowed to to the point where it was practically nonexistent. Having lived off my credit cards for a couple of months in the vain hope that work would pick up, I finally had to swallow my pride and accept my daughter’s offer to move in with her in Indiana. So my wife and I, along with my father-in-law and his dog are all now happily living with my daughter and her husband in Lafayette.

Even though I do work for Architects and designers all across the USA most of my work for the last few years has been for local Colorado architects. I have started cold-calling all of the local architects. First I called all the architects in and around Lafayette. Lafayette is about half way between Indianapolis and Chicago so I have started calling the architects in Indianapolis. I’ll call the Chicago architects next.

The good news is that I have met a local architect who has offered me a contract to produce a set of drawings for him. I start tomorrow. I have also talked to an architect in Indianapolis who is giving me a contract pending his client’s signing off on the project. And I have a meeting on Wednesday with another local architect to discuss possible opportunities.