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RE: Compatibility of AutoCad with Microstation J

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Brian writes:

<<My honest opinion is that Autocad is a better drafting product.  But guess
what I taught myself first?>>

That's the rub.  Maybe Autocad is a better DRAFTING product.  However, I
would state that MicroStation is the better design tool especially if you
desire concurrent engineering.


Dave Angelotti, PE
Business Process Steward
Facilities Design and Asset Management
*	Mail No. 544		*	(517) 496-6386 (Ph)
	Dow Corning Corporation	*	(517) 496-5419 (Fax)
	Midland, MI  48686-0995
*	dave.angelotti(--nospam--at)

-----Original Message-----
From: Brian K. Smith [mailto:smitheng(--nospam--at)]
Sent: Thursday, November 04, 1999 11:48 AM
To: seaint(--nospam--at)
Subject: RE: Compatibility of AutoCad with Microstation J


>From our experience with the two animals:

MicroStation can export to dwg and import dwg.  AutoCad cannot read, import,
or export dgn.

The biggest problem with making the transitions between the two is the
difference in their philosophies.
AutoCad typically uses the layer (level) to control line colors and line
types.  Additionally, up until 2000, AutoCad plots line weights (width)
based upon colors.  Microstation uses levels (layers) but the line weights,
colors, and styles are controlled independently.  You can force the level to
control all of these items if you force level symbology.  Because of these
two differences, when you export a drawing from MicroStation to AutoCAD, you
loose the ability to control the line styles and color via the level.
Microstation will map the correct lineweght to the correct AutoCAD color,
but the layer manager shows all of the line styles as continuous and the
color as 0.  You have to manually go through and adjust the colors and line
styles of the layers and ddmodify all of the entities to have them
controlled by layer.  This may not be a big problem to some but it is in our
office.  You may be able to make a final file that your owner will accept
but if you are working with consultants and need to send them files weekly
or even daily, it become a headace.

Additional problems we have encountered:  problems with scale, leaders and
dimensions loosing their association, MTEXT is not supported by Microstation
(Microstation will trash MTEXT, there is no conversion),%%d and %%c and %%p
translations cause problems, Microstation only supports 64 levels (layers),
AutoCAD is 3D period, MicroStation distinguishes between 2D and 3D files,
therefore, 3D cells (blocks) will not insert into 2D drawings, plotting is
easier to control out of AutoCAD (you can adjust the plotted line weights
from within the plot manager, MicroStation requires you to rewrite a plot
configuration type file), Microstation has one snap setting although you can
adjust it one the fly with a few mouse strokes, whereas Autocad can have
multiple snap settings on at one time, conversions between drawings
containing paperspace are difficult, you have to open a S01 file, not a DGN
file, you can use your keyboard more in AutoCAD than in MicroStation.....

Everyone I have talked to likes what they learned originally, and thinks the
other one is bulky and takes too many keystrokes to get the same thing done.
My honest opinion is that Autocad is a better drafting product.  But guess
what I taught myself first?

Brian K. Smith, P.E.
Smith Engineering Co., Inc.

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