Or, is AutoCAD still going to be around for a long while? My guess, it will be around for quite a while. While I cannot cite any specific declaration from Autodesk, reading between the lines can be most telling.
“We aren’t at the Star Trek level of computing”. Could you imagine for the latest crisis that Kirk has discovered, Spock and Scotty pulling out some papers to reconfigure engineering to save the universe? Nope, me neither. We aren’t there yet.
Inventor and AutoCAD: Regardless of the 3D modeling package you use, documentation is going to be 2D. Paper is flat, as long as we are outputting on paper, then there will be the need for AutoCAD. Over the past few releases, more and more, AutoCAD is becoming the default documentation for Inventor, as evidenced by two specific GUIs within AutoCAD:
AutoCAD’s Layout Tab:
Now, instead of pushing from the Inventor environment to AutoCAD, natively you can access Inventor models from directly inside of AutoCAD. Another “between the lines” in Inventor, the default installation setup now defaults to the AutoCAD DWG for documentation.
AutoCAD’s Parametric Tab:
This capability added a few releases back compliments the capability within Inventor. If you learn one, you have learned the other.
Revit and AutoCAD: Every wonder why it is there is an Export to CAD from Revit? Reason: there are still a lot of firms out there that use AutoCAD (or the dreaded Microstation). Another “read between the lines”, is Autodesk going to give up the market to the likes of Microstation? I just don’t see that in the cards at all.
Now for two personal observations, granted while anecdotal in nature, they do give a perspective weighing the long term goals of current companies using AutoCAD.
1. Training classes: Here at Applied Software we still have a great demand for AutoCAD classes, AutoCAD support and AutoCAD sales.
2. Over the past couple of years, I have been contracted to do more AutoCAD customization programming that in the previous 10 years combined.
So, my conclusion, AutoCAD is going to be around for quite a long time.