Is 3D a CAD necessity?

      Choosing the CAD package best suited to your work. December 12, 2000

When selecting a CAD package, is 3D needed? If you are making complex displays with multiple compound angles, do you need 3D to calculate the angles? I am leaning towards AutoCAD LT, but before I commit I need to understand more.

Forum Responses
I have not tried CAD LT. I use R14 CAD. We do high-end cabinetry and I have found 2D to work best, as using 3D takes a lot of time to create the info you need. You just need to draw your elevations from different views and the measurements from those views.

We have been using AutoCad LT for about 5 years now and for the money and ease of use, you can't beat it. 3D would be cool, but AutoCad LT is compatible with the full AutoCad package, so our customers have their architects email plans to us. It saves a little time.

I use TurboCAD version 6.5. All my furniture is designed in full 3D. I then render my 3D models in the timber I intend to make the unit out of. The result is a photo-realistic image before I have even cut a single piece. The software is cheap compared to AutoCAD and far easier to use. I find it as fast as drawing in 2D.

The comments below were added after this Forum discussion was archived as a Knowledge Base article (add your comment).

I am sure that 3D is necessary to verify ours designs. I use CAD Kitchens version 4.8. All my models and HHA are designed in full 3D. I render my models in the real time (interactive 3D) and use 3D glasses. CAD Kitchens is very cheap and easier to use, and has a lot of base librarys. Without 3D the design is hard to read by potential customers.

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