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knp271 (Mechanical) (OP)
12 Feb 07 4:59
I am starting an engineering company and I need a good CAD program.  Autocad 2007 is out of my budget.  Can anyone tell me how Intellicad compares to AutoCad?  Are there any other options out there?
borgunit (Mechanical)
12 Feb 07 7:10
I would suggest Solidworks or Inventor but that would be out of your budget also. AutoCAD LT is a good alternative also.

"Everybody is ignorant, only on different subjects." — Will Rogers

ajack1 (Automotive)
12 Feb 07 7:32
Bourgunit, why would you recommend two packages that are more expensive than something that is already out of budget?

Knp271, what are you planning to do? Do you need 3D, will you be importing data, do you need to export data, do you need CAM data all these will effect your choice.

Solid edge do free 2D but I have no idea how good it is, might be worth looking at.
borgunit (Mechanical)
12 Feb 07 7:41
I would suggest going with those 3D packages because I believe they have a very good ROI, especially with mechanical Engineering. Since you are starting your own business, spending a little more up front can return better dividends later. I am just speaking for myself, but if I was starting out, I would highly consider these packages. To each his own. I did not mean to offend.

"Everybody is ignorant, only on different subjects." — Will Rogers

Exxit (Computer)
12 Feb 07 8:05
Hi knp271,

my tip: Contact an ACAD- and Intellicad-dealer closed to you, ask for a 30day-test version, install and test by yourself.


ADT 2004
ACAD 2002

vlh75 (Electrical)
12 Feb 07 8:26
By all mean, stay away with IntelliCad. My company start replacing Autocad R14 with IntelliCAD few years ago and our drafting teams are cursing it everyday. It's not 100% compatible with AutoCad. Often you will find something missing here and there for no reason. User interface especially the Layout setup is down to drain. It hang more often than your Windows 3.1. User customization and automation thumb down.  The developer of the program sacrifice any software optimization with the low budget. Try open a drawing file of 10Mb, you'll see even your overclocked 4Ghz Conroe Q2Duo with 4GB ram craw like running XP in 486! BAD! BAD! BAD!
Bottom line: Yes it's 10 times cheaper than AutoCAD but 100 times inferior!       
LHA (Civil/Environmental)
12 Feb 07 9:44
IF (only if) you don't need in-depth 3D modeling capabilities, I agree with borgunit: AutoCAD LT is a good alternative also. At my last job, I ran LT 95% of the time, for over 4 years.  At my previous 2 jobs, it was all I had, for 2.5 years.  As of 3 years ago, it was about USD800; I believe it is still under USD1k.

LT is not, however, a truly 3D software.  But you can give z-dimensions to things and "fake it" for light-duty 3D functions.

Engineering is the practice of the art of science - Steve

jlcochran1 (Mechanical)
12 Feb 07 12:49
We have AutoCAD Mechanical 2007, AutoCAD LT 2007, SolidWorks 2007, Intellicad and Inventor 11 and just let our subscription drop on Alibre.

I would recommend AutoCAD LT vs. Intellicad or the lower cost alternatives based on our experience for strictly 2d work. Ironically we still need Intellicad to read .dxf files generated by an older flat pattern generating program that Autodesk products can't read. SolidWorks dwgeditor is essentially Intellicad licensed from Cadopia.

You might look at Alibre for low cost 3d (but its 2d is weak), but didn't meet our needs for production work. You can download AutoCAD LT 30 day trial version from Autodesk. Go to for a eval version of Intellicad. Intellicad ranges from 250.00-450.00 for a single user license. LT lists for 899.00, but you may find discounted online for under 800.00. LT is well worth the difference in my opinion.

AutoCAD LT trial

Alibre trial

Intellicad trial

IFRs (Petroleum)
12 Feb 07 13:04
LT has limited customization abilities.
ctopher (Mechanical)
12 Feb 07 13:05
If it is mechanical engineering, I strongly suggest a 3D program like SolidWorks or maybe Inventor.

SolidWorks 06 5.1/PDMWorks 06
AutoCAD 06
ctopher's home (updated 02-10-07)

Paulusgnome (Electrical)
12 Feb 07 16:05
ZWCad is a cheap oriental clone of Autocad which can be had for a much more reasonable sum. Well worth a look.
knp271 (Mechanical) (OP)
13 Feb 07 12:32
I should have clarified that I am starting an MEP firm.  Thank you for all your replies.
Krite (Civil/Environmental)
15 Feb 07 16:37
Have a look at Progecad Pro 2007. It uses intellicad technology but this release does not seem to have the performance problems of earlier releases. Menus can be an exact copy of autocad or progecads own and comes with extra add-in programs that may be useful. Mechanical version also available.

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