5 Key Reasons to Choose AutoCAD 2016 for Construction
1. AutoCAD 2016integrates with Navisworks & BIM 360 Glue.
So how can CAD and BIM geometry be bridged in construction
environments to maximize project productivity? By having the latest
Autodesk products that let your team work together across software
platforms throughout the duration of the project’s life cycle!
AutoCAD 2016’s new Coordination Model functionality allows AutoCAD
users to attach Navisworks and BIM 360 Glue models and work with
them directly—in the familiar AutoCAD environment—to avoid clashes
and conflicts that would otherwise be detected later in the design process.
And since Navisworks and BIM 360 Glue can work with so many different
types of model data AutoCAD can now do so as well. The Coordination
Model feature set provides real benefits to construction users:
• BIM data can be readily utilized by AutoCAD 2016 users
• Diverse data sets can be managed by AutoCAD 2016 users
• Conflict avoidance can be leveraged by AutoCAD 2016 users
And with AutoCAD 2016’s Autodesk Application Manager, you will now
see a notification for Coordination Model Osnap support—much like an
XREF notification. This allows you to snap to objects in the BIM 360 Glue or
Navisworks model, from the previous day as opposed to weeks or months
old. Coordination Model Osnap support gives your team the ability to easily
work with the latest geometry to reduce the possibility of conflicts.
If you use something other than AutoCAD 2016 in your BIM/
CAD construction environment you’ll be missing out on these key
productivity features that extend BIM benefits to CAD users.
02.Over the years AutoCAD has devised many highly productive
new features. Some of the productivity enhancing work
processes supported by AutoCAD 2016 include:
Advanced Visualization – Anti-aliasing, graphics processor
unit (GPU) optimization and image based lighting environments
make viewing experiences crisper, faster and easier from 2D
line work to 3D visual styles to rendering capture.
Coordination Model Support – Allows AutoCAD users to
use BIM/3D information from BIM 360 Glue and Navisworks.
Enhanced PDF File Generation – Creating multiple PDF files
for construction document sets is faster and the file sizes more
compact than ever. All text in the pdf is now searchable. Drawing
and web hyperlinks in the DWG™ file stay intact in the PDF.
Sheet Set Manager (SSM) – Typically docked to the left of
the screen, the SSM allows a selection of drawings/sheets to
be organized just like a multi discipline design package is in
an engineering office. The SSM isn’t widely used but those
companies that do use it find their construction users love it
because it feels just like working with a set of construction
Snapable/Viewable Point Clouds – Working with field scanned
data is made much easier with color visualization and selectable
features which make point clouds seem much like native AutoCAD
geometry. AutoCAD 2016 now also has the ability to extract 2D
drawings from the 3D point clouds.
Tool palettes – Floating on the desktop wherever the user likes, these
palettes allow multiple pieces of content like blocks, tables, etc., to be
visually represented in an easy-to-use drag and drop visual interface.
Revision Clouds and Smart Dimensioning – Revision clouds are
much easier to work with in AutoCAD 2016 and the ability to see
dimensional previews by simply hovering over graphical objects takes
the guesswork out of annotating geometry.
2. AutoCAD 2016 supports high productivity work methods.
03.If you’ve ever tried to import a file from another program only to
experience a crash, you know how much time and effort it can take
to resolve the problem. Since time is money, it becomes obvious how
much money could be lost dealing with file interoperability issues from
low cost/free programs like these:
• Not being able to read the latest DWG format.
• Not being able to import/export other industry standard formats.
• Not being able to open files with complex entities (like BIM 360 Glue
geometry or Navisworks…) authored by other Autodesk software.
Since AutoCAD is produced by Autodesk, it creates files with
TrustedDWG technology to ensure compatibility with the newest
versions of other Autodesk DWG based tools as well as cloud based
utilities and construction solutions.
3. TrustedDWG compliance, most current version and stability.
04. Broad import/export/ underlay options.
More and more CAD users aren’t just producing standalone
drawing files; they are importing, underlaying or exporting other
data formats as part of a diverse digital design environment. For
example, you can underlay and snap to 2D geometry stored in
DWF, DWFx, DGN, and PDF files. You can think of an underlay like
an attached image from another CAD program you can draw over,
object snap to or visually clip with a viewport.
With AutoCAD these tasks are no problem since the program has
been specifically designed and tested to work with a variety of
files from a variety of popular software vendors—including other
Autodesk tools. These types of specific file import, export and
underlay operations can either be absent or poorly executed in low
cost or free products based on my past evaluations.
AutoCAD 2016 has also added support for attaching coordination
models to a drawing. You can use these models for virtual
coordination of various trades from pre-construction through
construction. The ability to attach Navisworks files to your
AutoCAD drawings allows you to reference data from a variety of
software sources as you create, view, and edit AutoCAD drawings
within the context of the model. This workflow enables project
teams to manage coordination before the clash occurs, true ‘clash
avoidance’. This new integration between the Navisworks 2016
update and AutoCAD enables project collaboration that simply isn’t
05.Using a little back of the envelope accounting we can do a rough
calculation to demonstrate that AutoCAD can actually cost less than
the free programs you may have seen. To do the math, we’ll use the
following hypothetical numbers:
Annual cost of AutoCAD maintenance per user: $545
(Autodesk’s suggested retail price based on perpetual license)
Full labor cost of AutoCAD user: $40/hr
Now consider the following time estimates for dealing with alternative
work methods you may have to use with any other program. Note:
For each task a number of hours per user per year is included in
• Manual procedures for PDF and CD set compiling (24 hours)
• Workaround procedures to import/export from/to other software
• Workaround procedures for BIM integration (12 hours)
• Rework due to interferences not found in CAD (12 hours)
• CAD administrator time to resolve above issues (4 hours)
Total cost = 56 hrs/user/year * $40/hr = $2240 per user per year
ROI = ( $2240/$545 ) * 100% = 411%
My own experience has lead me to believe that the 56 hours per
year (less than 5 hours per month) per user outlined above is a very
conservative estimate of the time a construction firm spends dealing
with BIM integration, interference resolution, and CD package
preparation. Your average numbers may vary but the methodology
remains the same.