What do you like best?
The versatility of this software: having come back to using AutoCAD LT over the last 9 months, it felt very quickly like I'd never been away! My professional experience in architecture started almost 2 decades ago, at a time when most architectural workflows straddled both drawing board and computer screen. AutoCAD, for me, was an ideal extension of a drawing board experience: I still feel like the experience can be the closest to that for me. There is the added advantage, of course (as with most CAD software) to layer, group and categorise drawing elements (lines primarily) for ease of management. But going back to the versatility of AutoCAD; a middleweight - power user can come back to using the program and find 95% of the principles they used to draw 5-10 years ago are still present, hence their method of drafting need not alter too much. At the same time, the progression to the newer tools feels intuitive and not at all complicated to pick up.
For employers, the ubiquity of AutoCAD is possibly its biggest selling point. Even in a software battleground that has programs such as Revit and ArchiCAD offering richer, more complex building design tools, the DWG is the de facto format in AEC. I don't have the figures to hand, but the percentage of architectural professionals that have AutoCAD experience must be staggeringly high. Even in those instances where a new starter has not got the experience to 'hit the ground running', there is such a wealth of tutorials and forum pages on using AutoCAD that the Autodesk help system is not under an extreme amount of pressure to get you out of a jam (incidentally, I have found the Autodesk help and forum site(s) to be extemely effective.
What do you dislike?
The version currently in use in our practice is AutoCAD LT for Mac. It felt at times like this version of the software feels was fighting you in what you want to achieve, although I am coming round to the thinking that this was nothing more than teething problems getting acquainted with the (rekindled) MacOS relationship with AutoCAD.
Not that this is a major criticism, but LT obviously does not have the depth of database functionality that full AutoCAD has: this means that when blocks have embedded attributes, this information cannot be extracted to, or be manipulated using Excel. The functionality of the block authoring software is also limited, but the facility to add parameters and actions to block for dynamic authoring exists. Customising the workspace is still possible: as a native PC user that is trying desperately not be biased, this customisation seems much more flexible on Windows. That said, the same comparison could be made between PC and Mac in most instances, with Apple backing themselves to give you the optimum experience and having their loyal subjects adhere to
Recommendations to others considering the product:
Fully explore the benefits of full version ofAutoCAD vs. the cost of LT. In some instances it may actually be worthwhile to your outfit to have the full version, if its various efficiencies can save all-important time / resource on a project.
Similarly, if you are looking at purchasing the full version, it goes without saying to check that LT does not do all the things you are looking for!
What problems are you solving with the product? What benefits have you realized?
The dynamic block authoring ability that is included in LT has allowed me to create a library of flexible blocks that can each be used in a number of situations, rather than, for example, discrete window blocks for each size of window.