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RE: Bentley View

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Our office has been a MicroStation office for as long as MicroStation has been around and InterGraph users prior to that.  Most of the people we have hired have originally been AutoCAD users and had some difficulty with the learning curve of switching to MicroStation.  It has been our experience that once people have used MicroStation, they don't want to go back to AutoCAD.  As a result of being a MicroStation office, we have historically had problems when we are required to submit AutoCAD files to clients.
The current version, MicroStation V8 is much better than previous version in that it does allow us to work in "DWG mode", however, even this capability is far from perfect.  Many of the tools we use in MicroStation do not work properly in dwg mode and at times,a dwg might look fine in MicroStation but when opened in AutoCAD, thing look different.  We are beginning several projects that will require us to submit AutoCAD files and we are still trying to determine the most efficient way to do this.  The consensus at this time is to do the projects in MicroStation and convert to AutoCAD at the end of the project.  I have cautioned people that this will cut 1 to 2 weeks off of the project design schedule in order to perform and backcheck the conversions to AutoCAD.

Warren S. Foy, P.E.
Structural Design Manager
The Mason & Hanger Group Inc.

300 West Vine Street, Suite 1300
Lexington, KY 40507-1814
office: 859.252.9980
direct: 859.280.3572
fax: 859.389.8870

-----Original Message-----
From: Wesley Werner [mailto:wwerner(--nospam--at)]
Sent: Friday, December 03, 2004 8:29 AM
To: seaint(--nospam--at)
Subject: RE: Bentley View

    I have never used PowerDraft. However, I have some limited experience with Bentley Redline and even more limited experience with MicroStation. As far as supporting .dwg and .dgn files, these programs are excellent. The one drafter in our office that does use MicroStation a lot was very impressed by how well it handles both formats. For awhile, we had to use Bentley Redline to open AutoCAD 2004 drawings because we were using an older version of AutoCAD, and Redline preformed well.
    I would add one caution about Bentley products. They are quite different then AutoCAD. If you decide to buy PowerDraft I would strongly recommend that you take some training on how to use the program. Some of Microstation's features are very powerful, but they tend to be complex and not always as easy to use as AutoCAD. If you are familiar with AutoCAD, you will have to unlearn some habits and learn new ones. The drafter in our office that uses Microstation had used AutoCAD for years before he started using Microstation V8. He had a hard time learning it before we went to a class that demonstrated some of the techniques. He would tell you that AutoCAD is much simpler to use.
Wesley C. Werner
-----Original Message-----
From: jwknospam(--nospam--at) [mailto:jwknospam(--nospam--at)]
Sent: Thursday, December 02, 2004 6:06 PM
To: seaint(--nospam--at)
Subject: Bentley View

For the one or two of you who care, my wife and I did decide to move to Chattanooga, TN, and I will starting my own consulting firm.  The birth of my first son and the move will both occur in late winter/early spring of 2005.  I'll pass along information on the panic attack as it progresses. 
The purpose of this post is to inquire about drafting  programs.  I've always used AutoCAD with few forays into MicroStation.  My new business will work with mostly DWG drawings with occasional DGN reference files.  
I was going to purchase AutoCAD 2005, but I'm now passingly interested in Bently "PowerDraft".  It appears to meet all the requirements I'll have, and claims to fully support DWG and DGN formats (to the point of being able to externally reference and display both DWG and DGN files in the same drawing).
Does anyone know anything about PowerDraft?  How long has it been around?  I don't necessarily want to pay Bentley to be their guinea pig.  I assume I'll get a response from Bentley on pricing sometime tomorrow.
Thanks in advance,
Jason W. Kilgore
Kansas City, Missouri