Adding 3D Modeling to 2D Designs, Part 1 Autodesk


Many companies today are transitioning from standard 2D
drafting to 3D modeling. Companies are doing this for many
reasons. Some see the marketability, others do it to improve
design efficiencies. However, the main reason is to stay
competitive. While some companies
have available manpower, financial support, and resources to
support this change, most smaller businesses don’t have that
luxury. Making this transition can be expensive, stressful, and
challenging; however, if you have a plan and understand a
little of what the process will entail, it will make things a
little easier. I’m going to take you through some tips and
ideas for smaller businesses to make this transition as smooth
as possible, starting with what you should be researching.


What software is available and what serves your needs and

At Commonwealth Engineers, we have always used AutoCAD for our
design software. Transitioning to 3D, we had to look at what
additional software is needed and how it fit into our way of
doing things. For example, a lot of firms use MEP software for
process piping and equipment. However, for us not having the
resources like other companies, we chose Plant 3D because it
had the most content already built into the software. Thus,
saving time and efforts for us having to create content.

Company’s current licensing breakdown

Adapting this process will force your company to look at their
current licensing situation. Do you have stand-alone or
multi-user licenses? Are you on subscription? When Commonwealth
started this implementation, the suite was just coming out.
This allowed us to have the software needed, but it cost more
annually. Now, with Autodesk collections, you have the entire
set of programs at your disposal.

Company’s overall software budget

As noted above, depending on your current licensing situation,
the company will have to expect a higher annual cost for
software. You must get ownership’s approval and understanding
prior to starting this implementation.

AutoCAD: Adding 3D Modeling to 2D Designs


How can this implementation actually fit into your companies
daily and overall project workflows?

  1. Timing

For Commonwealth, during this implementation process, we were
still expected to complete our design…

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