If you’re a future or a current engineer, you know the importance of planning and 3D modeling. As an essential part of building anything, it allows you to create your own representation to a scale. There’s free and paid software that enhances your creative efforts.
For me, it’s clear that nothing comes close to Autodesk and its products. Autocad and Civil 3D software is popular and used across the globe. This impressive popularity has led to thousands of books being written on best practices and daily tips.
I use the software in this pack on a weekly basis. Even as a teenager, I used to play around with its 3D modeling tools. Today, things are a bit more serious. From small projects such as designing the pipes’ system of a home to large infrastructure projects, you can design them all with the help of the following tools.
When you purchase Autocad, you get all types of specialized 2D and 3D software. It’s my favorite pack to consider when using a single type of software. If I were to work with a single modeling software for the rest of my life, this would have to be it.
I’ve seen all types of models created with this software. I have an architect friend who’s only working with it. I know a mechanical engineer who’s factory only creates auto parts using this software. It has the type of versatility which would be hard to find in any other software, even among paid alternatives. Among the included tools, you can find the following.
The software is made specifically for complex models. I see it has a lot of potential in civil engineering as well as for private builders.
You can plan an entire apartment block with it. If you decide to create a multi-story public parking space with it, there are plenty of tools to use. For example, you can use different colors for the structure, piping, and extras such as air conditioning units in your model.
The software is particularly useful when working with multiple sub-models and systems in 3D. You can even create different patterns and colors for the floor areas which have different weight limits. I find it very useful in architecture.
If you only create 2D drafts, the LT version of Autocad is a better option for you cost-wise. It's nearly 3 times cheaper than the full version Autocad. As a result, I’d recommend it to you more than the 3D option for both learning and work.
2D modeling remains important. You can create anything you can think of in 2D. I’ve seen some of the top bike manufacturers in the world designing their parts in 2D first.
Civil engineering is no joke. It has to do with resistance and high traffic more than residential engineering. From modeling to large-scale adaptability, Civil 3D is one of the main tools which is going to be used in road, bridge and highway designs.
You’re going to see it in public spaces such as city councils. Private companies doing public work are going to use this software when bidding for a certain job. If you’re studying civil engineering yourself, there’s a certain point where your professors are going to work exclusively with this software.
Free Software for Students
The company understands its product shape how the world is created today. This is the main reason it offers free versions to its software to engineering students. If you want to test the products yourself, you need to be a registered student. You are then given access to a simplified version of the company’s products to learn on your own.
You get free Autocad access if you’re a public school or university. You’ll have to apply for a free license. Once granted, you’ll be able to install it on all computers of your premises. Students are going to be able to learn by creating without having to pay for the costly yearly licenses.
The software is also included among the free license products. The licensing process is similar to Autocad and schools or universities have high priority in this program. Anyone into 3D and 2D animations are going to want to teach students about the detailed tools of the software.
Pricing varies considerably according to the software you need from the company. Apart from the free versions, you can get the full software by paying the following licenses.
These licenses include all official updates. I’m not sure about the official updates in the free versions. But I’m sure you’re not going to get any priority support with the free versions.
There are 2 main methods to save on these purchases. A referral program is in place. You get a discount code whenever a friend of yours purchases software and mentions you as a referral person.
But there’s a 25% more considerable discount when you purchase long-term licenses. If you purchase a 3-year license, you are going to get the 25% discount.
For example, when you purchase Autocad with a 3-years license, you pay $4,345 instead of $4,830.
Other methods of paying less or not paying anything at all is to apply for a license through your university. If you don’t already use the software and these tools, you can discuss it with your professors. When a university applies for a license, it’s going to be processed a lot faster than you might expect. You could be using the software in a matter of months.
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The suite is one of the most comprehensive on the market. Many consider it the best. For me, it’s clear the software is only going to get better. Every year, there are true updates added to this software. Other companies only offer updates that look good on paper.
But engineers and architects rarely choose any other software. Those in industrial engineering also benefit from these tools as they can use them with top customer support for small and large-scale projects.
App integration needs to be improved. However, I’m still impressed with the small edits you can make on your smartphone. But another area where the company is a bit better than others is with its learning resources. You can find thousands of these resources on the official website. However, I think learning is constant. Feel free to check out these resources yourself.