AutoCAD is a software application developed by Autodesk, where CAD stands for computer-aided design or draft. It was one of the very first design programs that could run on personal desktop computers.
AutoCAD is used for creating two-dimensional and three-dimensional drafting and design. It was developed for construction, building designing, planning, and manufacturing.
It’s commonly used by many freelancers, students, educators, and entertainment industries. Architects love this amazing software, and it’s a perfect guide for newbies. AutoCAD helps make outstanding 2D documents, drafts, and drawings.
Nowadays, it’s mostly used to create visualizations and 3D models, as it enables engineers, architects, and drafters to convert 2D drawings into 3D models. More importantly, it allows these professionals to create 2D and 3D models of solid and mesh surfaces.
On top of all this, AutoCAD offers a wide range of computer-aided drafting and design tools that artists and professionals can use to create 2D and 3D images, and product design with a detailed, automatically drawn design layout.
Autodesk also developed AutoCAD Architecture as a part of the Autodesk solution for Digital Prototyping.
This software for structural detailing is intended mostly for architects and designers. It’s a purpose-built software application that allows designers and architects to create, develop, modify, and share structural detailing control systems.
AutoCAD architecture is also known as ArchiCAD, and it comes with all the features of AutoCAD but with one small difference – it offers an additional, comprehensive set of tools aimed at introducing the power of automation into all control engineering tasks.
Such tasks include creating material blocks, numbering wires, and building circuits.
This software comes with a huge library that contains more than 700,000 components and symbols needed for structural detailing. It allows for real-time checking and is a perfect tool for establishing an effective collaboration between professional teams that use digital prototypes.
AutoCAD architecture is an excellent software that offers a competitive edge to professionals by saving time, effort, and resources, allowing them to focus on their work and innovation fully.
1. AutoCAD is a CAD system intended for aiding artists and professionals in rendering, 3D modeling, and drafting, and it can be improvised. On the other hand, ArchiCAD is strictly developed for virtual building and information modeling that helps create building models.
2. In AutoCAD, drawings are created independently. In, ArchiCAD, drawings are meshed or blended within the building model. ArchiCAD offers real constructed elements like slabs, roofs, windows, or walls while AutoCAD uses 2D line to create drawings.
3. ArchiCAD offers a few big advantages to users that AutoCAD lacks – it has a more effective computer model and better-coordinated design. Both features are based on the building process, which offers a meaningful increase in productivity to users.
ArchiCAD has one downside, though; due to too many option settings, it requires more time to master than AutoCAD.
4. One of the biggest key differences between AutoCAD and ArchiCAD is their purpose. AutoCAD is an electronic drawing board used for representing 2D drawings that support 3D geometry.
ArchiCAD is a program for creating buildings in a virtual environment. It understands building elements and can interpret the attributes so that they can connect them.
5. AutoCAD is mostly used for design illustration – artists use it for conveying the intent of the design by utilizing circles, arcs, and lines.
ArchiCAD goes beyond simple illustrations by utilizing intelligent AEC Objects like windows, doors, and walls, to mimic real-world construction and behavior.
6. ArchiCAD offers an option to modify separate components – it allows users to make quick changes and modifications to their models while AutoCAD doesn’t offer this option.
Users can easily change the style or even the location of building models without making disruption to the entire project, which efficiently saves time.
7. ArchiCAD offers a larger library of keynoting tools and detail components. It allows users to automatically set and define all changes, annotations, and details.
ArchiCAD makes automatic updates each time a user changes something. It even offers to link design elements to time schedules, so they automatically get updated with new design changes.
8. Both AutoCAD and ArchiCAD come with the Autodesk 360 subscription. They share the same potential for file viewing and sharing and storage space. However, ArchiCAD doesn’t have the feature to enable rendering on the cloud through Autodesk 360.
There’s one exception here – Green Building Studio that supports multiple design iterations, carbon neutrality, and energy efficiency optimization is only available for ArchiCAD.
9. ArchiCAD is more style-based, with a different design that offers functions, tools, and features to make any workflow more efficient. Even though it’s more complex than AutoCAD and isn’t that beginner-friendly, it offers a whole new perspective on how objects appear on the screen.
10. It also offers the Style Manager, Display Representations, and Display Manager. These are extremely useful tools that, if you become adept at using them, can make your modeling and rendering work a lot easier and more time-efficient.
11. ArchiCAD has more capabilities than AutoCAD, which makes it more complicated to use. However, if you learn how to use all those capabilities to your advantage, you can make this program an excellent investment of both time and money.
As you can see, it’s difficult to compare ArchiCAD and AutoCAD, as both are extremely different and intended for different purposes.
The truth is, both programs offer exceptional and extremely useful features and tools within their category.
Any professional that is into 3D or 2D modeling uses AutoCAD for its effective CAD features. ArchiCAD is mostly used by architects because of its real-time editing features and the potential it offers within virtual building modeling.
Both programs are effective, with an excellent interface and operational workspace, but each is used for different types of work.