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    By Nick Harris 

    Despite rumours to the contrary, AutoCAD is still going strong and still considered to be the leading design documentation software globally. We still train a large number of people in AutoCAD. In fact, we have seen an increase in AutoCAD training because of colleges and universities choosing to remove AutoCAD from their curriculum in favour of products like Revit and Inventor.  It is still a very important tool, widely used by many organisations. For the 2019 release there has been some significant changes to the way that AutoCAD and AutoCAD based products are now packaged.

    In a reversal of the trend of the last 20 years, but in line with Autodesk’s goal of simplifying its portfolio and increasing the value of its subscription licencing, AutoCAD 2019 is delivered with seven specialised tool sets. The products that used to be known as AutoCAD Architecture or AutoCAD Electrical, amongst others, are now included with a subscription of AutoCAD. Just to confirm, if you subscribe to single-user or multi-user AutoCAD now, you get access to most of the other mainstream AutoCAD based products without needing to subscribe to the products individually.


    It is important to point out that AutoCAD Civil 3D is now known as Autodesk Civil 3D 2019 and is not one of the toolsets available when you subscribe to AutoCAD. The other thing to note is that the toolsets, the AutoCAD web app and the mobile app are not available on Maintenance Plans. This is the biggest divergence in functionality between subscription and maintenance versions of software we have seen so far. There is now a huge benefit from switching from a Maintenance Plan to a Subscription both in terms of user experience and licence management. IT departments will welcome this consolidated toolset and the ability to deliver additional functionality across their estate of AutoCAD users.

    Autodesk’s commitment to using the cloud to provide anywhere access to design data is reinforced with the inclusion of the web and mobile apps when you subscribe to AutoCAD now. These apps are easy to use and deliver high fidelity, native DWG viewing and editing in desktop browser or mobile environments.


    AutoCAD is now incredibly flexible. It contains automation tools for designing real-world objects like walls and bolts in a couple of clicks, alongside traditional geometry creation tools. Autodesk has removed the potential confusion around the relationship between products like AutoCAD MEP and Revit. The latter is for digitally modelling buildings where AutoCAD is a highly productive documentation tool with sophisticated, industry specific automation built in.