First of all I would like to say hi to all my old friends here on the forum. I haven't been an active participant for quite some time but that will change.
I've been using TurboCAD since v8 and still frequently use my current v14.2. I retired after 43 years of farming last year and have since gone back to school and am studying drafting and design. At school we have been using AutoCAD 2009 and currently using 2010. I also have limited experience with Solid Works. Currently I am in my third semester working toward an associate degree in drafting and trying to expand on my self-taught knowledge in this field.
From my experience in using both programs here are my observations:
TurboCAD wins hands down in functionality (especially with 3D) but loses in stability. AutoCAD rarely crashes or freezes up which is a major criticism I have of TC. In fact, I've only had one freeze up with AC since I've been using it. I suspect this is one of the main reasons AC is common among commercial users of CAD programs.
Both programs can do essentially the same thing but the operation of each is quite different. Other than understanding the concepts of drawing with CAD, my experience with TC was of little help in learning to use AutoCAD. It was almost like starting all over again.
At this point, I haven't gotten into 3D modeling all that much with AutoCAD but from what I've seen so far AutoCAD does not match up with TurboCAD when it comes to creating photorealistic renders. I may find that to be different as I gain skill with AC but at this point and from what I have seen others have done with AutoCAD, my vote has to go with TurboCAD.
There are operating features of both programs that I really like. I love the dynamic input capability that AutoCAD has which helps keep your eyes on the screen rather than having to keep my eyes on the inspector bar as in TurboCAD. Then again I miss the SEKEs that TurboCAD has (especially the snaps). With AutoCAD your snaps have to be set up beforehand (quadrant, midpoint, center, etc.) and this does cause some annoyance when your cursor tries to snap to everything it comes in proximity to while you are drawing. TurboCADs keyboard control of your snaps is a much better method.
AutoCADs use of layers is much better in my opinion. Anytime a layer is selected, the properties of that layer stay with that layer and never change unless you go into layer controls and deliberately change the settings. The active layer will also not change when drawing unless a deliverate layer change is made. TurboCAD will change layers with different tool selections and this often results in drawing on the wrong layer if one is not careful.
In short, I wish I had a CAD program that had the best features of both. That definitely would be a winner in my book.
My opinions only- Jim
Digital Reality With CADhttp://penn.emaxcess.com