Importance of DWG drawings and 2D

As you might have noticed, GrabCAD is all about getting feedback to learn from our fellow engineers which direction we should go. You tell us what you need and we deliver. Not  surprisingly, one of the most requested features was to view DWG files on GrabCAD Workbench. This leads to the question which industries are heavily relying on DWG files and why?

DWG file viewer online

Engineers still love 2D

The fact that so many users requested the availability to view the DWG files clearly indicates that there are still many industries who value 2D drawings over 3D.

Civil engineering is one such industry where 2D will thrive for plenty of years to come. It's rare in civil engineering that contractors or architects collaborate in other formats than DWG. It almost doesn't make sense to have plan or section drawings in 3D.  Most of the confirmation drawings with the builders are almost always requested to be in 2D, with all the standard patterns and distances from grid lines that everybody is used to. In a way it also pushes sub contractors to use 2D in their everyday work.

The other big 2D industry is electrical engineering. A remarkable number of electrical schematic components only need to be in one simple 2D drawing, there's no need to waste time to draw every component in 3D. AutoCAD Electrical has a complete set of electrical CAD features, including symbol libraries and tools for automating electrical design tasks, which are still commonly used in electrical controls and schematic designs.

Outside of civil and electrical engineering there are still plenty of industries that value their daily product development in 2D. But why?

Sometimes with 2D, less is more

There's no surprise that drawing in 3D is used more commonly these days. 3D is much easier to get started with, and more user friendly for people who might not have a deeper knowledge of drawing in 2D or know how projection lines should align in the different views. Still 3D isn't always the easiest and quickest way forward.

Sometimes simple 2D schematic plans or drawings say everything you need to know. Moreover, AutoCAD has wonderful and easy to use features that enable you to quickly get the job done by hide/show, lock different layers or use standard patterns and components specific to the industry you're working in.

With the support of major industries, like civil and electrical engineering, drawing 2D is definitely in the scheme for years to come.

Work across industries - view and edit 2D in Workbench

At first glance, it might look like GrabCAD is all about mechanical engineering, with most of the models in 3D, but that's not the case. We put in a lot of effort making online CAD collaboration and editing easy across all industries, including civil and electrical engineering, and to make it easier to work side by side with traditional 2D and the most commonly used 3D CAD software systems.

Today you can edit any 2D model you find in GrabCAD right in your browser with AutoCAD 360 following 3 simple steps:

  1. Open a DWG or DXF file in your secure Workbench project.
  2. View and edit the drawing within Workbench.
  3. Save any changes you make for your collaborators to see.

To start viewing and editing 2D on GrabCAD get Workbench here.

What projects do you most commonly use 2D drawings in?

guide to CAD file management

Struggling with CAD file management?  

Unmanaged CAD data can lead to wasted time and  expensive mistakes, but traditional PDM and PLM solutions are too costly for many companies. This guide, written by industry analyst Jim Brown, will help you find the solution that fits your needs.

guide to CAD file management