Cedeon Design

AutoCAD vs Sketchup: Why Im an Angry Vet

Posted by Cedeon Design. Categories: Blog.

Firstly a quick (edit: long) reminisce.

I started my career in 1997, and sat down to a Pentium 90MHz PC with a (then cutting edge) Windows GUI version of Autocad Release 12 LT.

And so my life as a draftsman began.

Now i could be a victim of nostalgia but i truely believe i happened on AutoCAD in its glory years, those first few releases.. R13 & R14 were my most exciting years doing my job.. the new features in every release made me ‘OMG Match Properties!’ and kept me happy at work for all of 730 days..  And then it happened.. the downhill slide.

For me it all started one day with me and my work collegue James frustrated at AutoCAD… I had waited all year for AutoCAD 2000, i could hardly contain myself during the installation process… and then firing that bad boy up to get some work done… BOOM it hit… stickyness.. clunkyness… frustration.

I called customer support and was on the phone for over 4 hours that day… see what Autodesk had done with their shiny new version was changed the right click event handler from ON_MOUSEDOWN to ON_MOUSEUP…. No biggy right? WRONG.  See, James and I at that point were fucking SPEED DEMONS on AutoCAD and we hammered right click after every command and before the mouse button had time to rise we were on the next command… to us this simple change was disasterous.  To me personally i had to re-learn AutoCAD as a noob using the space bar instead of the right mouse to execute a command, the method i use to this day.  I still dont feel as fast at working as i was then.. *sad face*

OK so that was just one example… i could quite happy reel off 20-30 more that have happened since that fateful day but im sure you dont want to hear about it.

Lets fast forward a decade and a bit..  Along comes SketchUp…

Like mostly everyone else..i didn’t give sketchup much of a chance because of its name.  Like the old saying dont judge a book by its cover.. i did exactly the opposite and thought to myself ‘im a professional draughtsman, i dont SKETCH ffs!’  I remember using Sketchup on its first release, before Google got their hands on it and i was quietly impressed but never gave it more time.  That is untill this year.

As you can see from the way my portfolio has changed this year.. im absolutely LOVING SketchUp.. It feels as good to use as AutoCAD R14… nothing gets in the way to slow you down, not even the camera which is normally a BIG deal in 3D modelling.  I found myself drafting for 8 hours solid.. something i havn’t been able to do for 10 years.. and the weight off your shoulders when things dont crash!  Its safe to say that it has made me so excited i had to come make a blog and tell the world.

So thanks for the (few) good memories Autodesk.. its been fun and i shall carry on knocking on your door to use your products grudgingly when you have bought out all competative products and merged them under your banner.  I feel safe under the wings of SketchUp with Google to protect my CAD product from your chubby un-innovative fingers 🙂