AutoCAD is my anchor program that I use to scale drawings such as PDFs, Illustrator, or other CAD programs. My experience with using AutoCAD is both extensive and intensive because I have done so many projects in AutoCAD. I do most of my preliminary work in AutoCAD and use it to produce many of my 2D drawings sets. The import and export functions in AutoCAD make working with other CAD programs possible. AutoCAD is the glue that ties together the SketchUp files, VectorWorks files, Rhino files, PDF files, and Illustrator files that I get from project managers.
VectorWorks is one of the first CAD programs I used because of its user-friendly format. It’s great for creating 3D designs, Presentations, and drafting. As a technical designer, I get a lot of projects that were designed in VectorWorks. I prefer to start my work with the original VectorWorks file, so I can see the context of the design. Many times I get a PDF file and a DWG file that were exported from Vectorworks: the DWG file doesn’t look at all like the PDF. VectorWorks also exports curves as splines instead of polylines. I own VectorWorks Designer, which includes Spotlight, Architecture, and Landscape. Ironically, my favorite Vectorworks project was using Landscape. I designed an extensive excavation plan for my barn, located on a hill behind my house at an elevation 35 ft above the house, which needed a 250 ft road. Vectorworks was my primary CAD program for many years.