CAD Software Comparison- Autocad, Microstation and Smartplant

CAD Software Comparison - SmartPlant vs AutoCAD vs Microstation

CAD Software comparison for engineering design software to capture the imagination of CAD users has been well documented over the years and while some graphic designers swear by AutoCAD others say without Microstation or SmartPLant their design needs can never be met. Therefore, we put out this article for cad software comparison to compare and contrast the basic features used by graphic designers across these three software.

AutoCAD Microstation Smartplant
Most of the changes associated with AutoCAD over the years have had to do with increasing its efficiency in the areas of CAD conversion and customizing design elements and creating documents. Autodesk has simplified these procedures and has made older CAD versions easy to update. Bentley’s Microstation has also not been left behind for it has made generative components (parametric modeling feature tools for standard designs) available to its users on its latest platforms. This component allows users to customize their work space and also carry out extensive 3D animation projects at a professional level. SmartPlant brings to its users an all-round CAD system that has its own graphics user interface which can be customized to suit a designer’s taste and peculiarities.
In terms of file format, AutoCAD’s DWF which has been the industries bench mark for a couple of years is still been used by all AutoCAD platforms without compromising to other file types such as PDF’s 3DS etc. Microstation allows the use of different file formats such as PDF, DWF etc and its management has come out publicly to denounce AutoCAD’s rigidity for file support stating that the monopoly of its DWF format would leave a trail of waste in its parts and hopefully, the increasing standards of PDF might curtail or stop DWF’s monopoly. SmartPlant CAD conversion platforms, accommodates different file formats and can even import mechanical design models from Solidworks, Solidedge, Microstation and AutoCAD.
Autocad is acclaimed to be a more business oriented design system which follows the industry standards. Microstation claims it respects its users by providing them a design environment built to suit all their unique peculiarities. SmartPlant is also a standard CAD conversion platform that supports most 2D and 3D designing platforms. It acts more like a middleman between businesses oriented drafting software and User friendly ones.

Essentially, AutoCAD was originally designed  to undertake the designing of small projects and its learning curve is quite steep while,


Microstation was initially developed as a system that supports the designing of large projects and it has a steep learning curve. SmartPlant was also built to handle smaller projects and it can be easily used by beginners as well as professional CAD users.

Finally, the choice of a CAD software depends on what an individual started designing with or was taught to use. Although statistics show that AutoCAD has approximately 52% of the CAD market, the choice of which CAD conversion system to use ultimately lies in the hand of the designer.


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