When your firm assigns the CAD software, you work with what you’ve got. Still, it’s worthwhile to know what’s happening industry-wide. New programs are developed and reviews about them come in. And that’s where business software review company, G2 Crowd, pulls everything together to help give you a clearer idea about which programs work best for which applications.
You can buy the full report here for a healthy fee, and get feel for what’s trending by reading on.
Which Products Made the Review
Of the many programs available, G2 Crowd narrowed it down to 8 based on the number of user reviews available. These products include the familiar AutoCAD and AutoCAD LT, DraftSight, SketchUp, MicroStation, 3ds Max Design, TurboCAD and Rhinoceros.
According to G2 Crowd, the top of the heap probably isn’t a surprise. It’s AutoCAD, which reviewers chose time and again for various reasons, not the least of which is support and service resources. SketchUp and DraftSight mad the same cut as industry leaders.
How Programs are Ranked
After the Leader category, G2 Crowd broke products into 3 remaining groups. There are the High Performers, Contenders, and the Niche products. The only product in the High Performer category is TurboCAD, which was selected for its high user reviews. It hasn’t achieved a comparable market share to those in the Leaders category.
In the Contenders group, there’s 3ds Max Design, AutoCAD LT and MicroStation. All of these products have a solid presence in the market, according to G2 Crowd, but the issues lie in the reviews. Either the products don’t have enough yet, or their reviews aren’t as strong as those in the higher categories. And that leaves the Niche Products, where Rhinoceros is the only program. Rhinoceros has received strong user reviews and has a good customer satisfaction rating. But it lacks the market presence and reviews to land in a more prestigious spot.
Average Customer Ratings
It’s all about the ratings, at least in the G2 Crowd report. As the top software in this group, AutoCAD has an overall 4.1 out of 5 possible stars. SketchUp has a 4.4-star rating, and DraftSight has 4.1 stars. TurboCAD is next with a 4.3 out of 5-star rating, but is has only 12 reviews in all.
3ds Max Design also has 4.1 stars and 19 reviews, and AutoCAD LT has 3.5 stars with 32 reviews. MicroStation rounds out the Contenders with 3.7 stars and a healthy 60 reviews. And in the Niche category, Rhinoceros brings in a respectable 4.3 stars and 34 ratings.
CAD software is part of an architect’s life. It’s a tool, and like any industry tool, the right one makes the job much easier. Since you can’t, or probably won’t rush out and buy several to try, customer ratings and comparisons give you the next best thing: opinions from others in the industry.
Another part of your life is the professional development hours that keep your licensing and professional association membership current. PDH Academy has the courses that you need when you need them. Check out our courses for architects when your next credit hours are due.