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AutoCAD vs Microstation

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  • Last Updated : 16 Jun, 2022

With the advancement of technology, different sectors are evolving to produce quality work, one such sector is the civil engineering sector which is the backbone of infrastructural development. Designing and constructing buildings, houses, railway platforms etc is not an easy task and requires a lot of resources and time, so to ease the designing and modelling work many companies released different software, two of the most used software in this field are Microstation and AutoCAD. They are used in modelling, designing, and drafting different civil infrastructures so we will see a detailed comparison between the two.


AutoCAD is computer software which helps in drafting and designing different types of computer applications. CAD is an acronym for Computer-Aided Design. It was developed by Autodesk. It is compatible with different operating systems like Windows, MacOS, iOS etc. It was first released in 1982 and its stable version was released in 2021. It is available in many languages. It provides robust tools for easing the work of designing.

Advantages of AutoCAD

  • It comes with advanced features which help in the accurate and precise designing of civil infrastructures.
  • It allows importing files from other platforms to work on pre-built designs.
  • It allows to easily share files without any data loss to multiple parties simultaneously. 
  • Calculation of Area, Center of Gravity, Mass, Volume etc is very easy.
  • It provides enhanced image tracing functionality which helps in converting handmade designs to digital designs.

Disadvantages of AutoCAD

  • It is not suitable for Building Information Modelling (BIM).
  • It supports limited file formats to import into this software. 
  • It is heavy software which requires high memory and disk storage.

Microstation is computer software that allows 2D and 3D CAD designing and drafting. It is used for a wide range of tasks in engineering and architectural fields. It was developed by Bentley Systems. It was built using the .NET framework. Initially, it was released in 1980 and its stable version was launched in 2021. At first, it was built for the Macintosh platform but the latest version is only available for the Windows Operating system.

Advantages of Microstation 

  • It supports a large number of file formats including GIS, BIM and CAD files.
  • It comes with auto-save feature that prevents data loss due to crashes.
  • It allows working with large files without slowing down speed.
  • It comes with advanced undo feature that allows selective undo of things of two or three days ago also.

Disadvantages of Microstation

  • It is only available for Windows operating system only.
  • Crashes occur frequently which affects productivity.

Following is a table of differences between AutoCAD and Microstation:




1. It can be understood as computer-aided design software which is used in construction, designing, and drafting 3D models. It can be understood as CAD software for creating, manipulating and visualizing 2D and 3D designs. 
2. It was developed by Autodesk. It was developed by Bentley Systems.
3. It supports Windows as well as Mac operating systems. It supports Windows but does not support Mac operating systems.
4. It is available for mobile devices also. It is not available for mobile devices.
5. Snapping object feature is fast. It takes time to snap objects correctly.
6. It requires LISP integration for coding. It allows direct designing using coding functionalities.
7. It supports mainly DWG file types. It supports different files like PDF, 3DS, DWF etc.
8. Its price starts at $235 per month. Its price starts at $250 per month.
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