I am a Registered Architect in the US for almost 30 years. For the past 2 years I have been using Linux and Open source exclusively.CBR_Rob wrote: Good cad software just needs to be easy to use. Have a way to snap to points, ability to work with blocks and external references, basic commands, easy command entering interface I have yet to come across one that will allow command line entering only toolbars, and since AutoCAD has such a big base it needs to be able to work with DWG's. So far all the open source cad software I have tried falls way short of the mark.
Like most people (Americans) dealing with any branch of architecture ... I used to swear by and almost worship AutoCAD.
As this is the "only true" program used by architectural professionals. Sadly, AutoCAD is proprietary and is only made for Windows and Apple.
There are many fine applications/programs made for Linux for architectural uses.
Granted most are not as mature or as versatile as AutoCAD ... but, the Linux/Open source developers are making huge leaps in program development.
And will soon, be a major contender for AutoCAD in the architectural community.
I am currently using Archimedes for Linux. I use Blender for renderings. Both are fine programs.
Speaking about a "learning curve" ... AutoCAD is in no way 'easy' to learn or use.
In the Universities that teach Architecture, there are courses/classes designed to teach AutoCAD. I've taken some of these ... it's not an easy program to learn to use well.
Again, the Linux-based CAD applications do require a learning curve, but only because they are different.
My current Linux CAD applications save files in the same format as AutoCAD, making it easy to save and open on another computer system for viewing and/or editing.
The main selling point is that AutoCAD being proprietary is not cheap to buy and use.
A new version of AutoCAD 2010 ... the 12 DVDs sell for $3,500 The updated AutoCAD 2009 version sells for half that.
Whereas, any and all CAD programs for Linux cost . . . NOTHING.
Linux and OpenSource applications/programs are FREE. Learning curve or not ... I can learn to live without AutoCAD.