Microstation vs. Autocad


Autocad, then Microstation, now back to Autocad...Has anyone made this switch...damn annoying, it feels like I'm golfing left handed...with right handed clubs.

architects are dorks.

Dec 31, 05 4:14 am

I do all of my school work with autocad, but the firm uses microstation.

Sometimes, i have trouble even drawing a line to the right length in cad after a few weeks of only Microstation. I have totally forgotten how to use ortho and osnap, drives me crazy.

for what it is worth, i think that for simple 2d drawings microstation works much better.

But, Bentley Architecture, sucks compared to desktop or revit.

Jan 3, 06 12:57 pm


would you explain why you think Bentley Architecture sucks?

Jan 3, 06 1:34 pm

JAG, the same happened to me. Going back to autocad after working for 3 years with microstation was a bit of a drag at first although i got used to it pretty quickly. And i guess if i had to go back to Microstation i would probably bitch and moan again. As a 2d drafting package i personnaly think Microstation is generally better. Not sure about the 3d capabilities of either package, i use Max (which works great with autocad) so i never bothered to really get into that. Modelling in autocad feels a bit like eating soup with a fork and from what i've seen, microstation 3d is the same, they're both too damn rigid to use in 3d (although very precise). Strangely enough the way autocad 2006 has been set up in my office kind of reminds me of microstation, line thickness gets displayed, we dont use color tables anymore which in my opinion makes things much more user friendly.

Jan 4, 06 9:02 am

i guess i have found that Desktop (the software i usually use), is jst a little more user friendly, i am currently working on our firms first BIM project using BA, and it just seems that the Bentley guys just havent figured everything out quite yet.

Seems Bentley products are geared towards people who are programmers and like to highly modify their software???

Jan 4, 06 9:08 am

I absolutely hate the level system in Microstation. I also don't understand why Microstation cannot have object tracking and ortho setup more similar to autocad. Those are my major complaints.

I also like having my lineweights show up as colors. Then again, I learned on autocad and am partial to that system. Learning Microstation wasn't as hard as I thought though. Still want to hit the escape key all the time.

Jan 4, 06 2:09 pm

microstation is a great piece of software, ive used both for about ten years and they both have their advantages,

in response to the object tracking and ortho setup, you just dont need it with accudraw enabled

Jan 4, 06 2:20 pm

accudraw is the most powerful tool in cad history.

Jan 5, 06 3:15 pm
Rim Joist

As opposed to autocad tracking and ortho, how does "accudraw" work?

Jan 5, 06 3:32 pm

works well

microstations referencing system lays the smack down on autocad.

Jan 5, 06 6:27 pm

Getting back to the original post,
Switching from one program to another is difficult no matter which program is "better".....

having worked a short time in Acad and considerably longer in microstation... microstation seems to be a less archaic program... ...

accudraw basically eliminates the need for construction lines... ..

Jan 6, 06 1:35 am


I think I would have to agree with you in terms of Bently being geared towards those who are programmers and not architects... .. I work in a med. to larger office where we have a CAD mananger who does all the tinkering with bently so we as architects can use it with greater ease... ..

So when I say it is less archaic... I suppose it is less archaic to me because someone else is tailoring it to what I need it to do...

I imagine if I had to tinker with it myself I would have a different opinion...

Jan 6, 06 1:39 am

speaking to the original post, i just left a place where i would sometimes work on autocad and microstation during the same day. (we had a couple of clients who demanded autocad)

the first week i started doing this was frustrating, but after that i found myself switching programs without thinking about it. i could minimize one now and maximize the other and i wouldn't even find myself hitting the escape key anymore.

Jan 6, 06 7:55 am


I would have to agree with iheartthepavilion with his comment. We have a full time CAD manager and our microstation is completely custom. I used AutoCAD all the way through school because it comes right out of the box and is ready to use. But the true power of Microstation lies with accudraw and in its 3D capabilities. Since accudraw will let you draw in 3D on the fly with out have to set up another acs or type in the coordinates.

Once piece of advice for switching over to Microstation it to thinking about the interface more like Photoshop. You have to click the tool you want and adjust the settings to get the desired results.

Jan 6, 06 11:08 am

level symbology rocks

Jan 6, 06 11:21 am

I struggled the first week or two getting used to Microstation, but after switching back to Autocad for a few weeks, I really miss it. Managing levels and references seems much more efficient than Autocad (especially in V8).

I'm still trying to get used to clicking on the tool first, rather than the object. I miss accu-draw, but snapping in autocad is much better.

However, I'm working at home on small projects, and I'm not sure that Microstation would be that advantageous. After working at a very large corporate firm, I think I would get frustrated with the lack of tools, cell library's and support!

What are people that have small offices, or moonlight using?

Jan 6, 06 1:36 pm

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