Is embedded AutoCAD (OEM) more like AutoCAD or AutoCAD LT?
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The embedded AutoCAD (OEM) that ships with Carlson Survey (OEM) and Takeoff (OEM) is much closer to an AutoCAD LT than to full-AutoCAD.

Follow this FAQ to see a list of the differences between AutoCAD, Carlson’s IntelliCAD and the embedded AutoCAD  (OEM) platforms.


If you find the material on this website helpful, please consider supporting That CAD Girl by requesting a custom proposal the next time you need to renew your maintenance, upgrade or purchase new software or hardware.

What versions of AutoCAD & IntelliCAD & Windows does Carlson run on top of? And what about AutoCAD LT? (a running thread)
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Carlson Desktop Software with IntelliCAD or for Your AutoCAD

Carlson can be installed on top of any full-AutoCAD-based program such as AutoCAD, AutoCAD Map, Land Desktop or Civil 3d. Carlson cannot be installed on top of any version AutoCAD LT.

Carlson VersionAutoCAD & IntelliCAD PlatformsWindows Platforms
2017AutoCAD 2010-2017, IntelliCAD 8.232 or 64 bit Windows Vista, 7, 8, 8.1, and 10
2016AutoCAD 2007-2016, IntelliCAD 8.132 or 64 bit Windows Vista, 7, 8, 8.1, and 10
2015AutoCAD 2007-2015, IntelliCAD 8.0XP, 32 or 64 bit Windows Vista, 7, 8 and 8.1
2014AutoCAD 2004-2014, IntelliCAD 7.2XP, 32 or 64 bit Windows Vista, 7, 8 and 8.1

 

Carlson Desktop Software with Embedded AutoCAD (OEM)

Carlson VersionEmbedded AutoCAD EngineWindows Platforms
Survey 2017/Takeoff R92013Windows XP, 7, 8, 8.1, and 10
Survey 20162013Windows XP, 7, 8, 8.1, and 10
Survey 2015/Takeoff R82013Windows XP, 7, 8, 8.1, and 10
Survey 2014/Takeoff R72013Windows XP, 7, 8, 8.1, and 10


If you find the material on this website helpful, please consider supporting That CAD Girl by requesting a custom proposal the next time you need to renew your maintenance, upgrade or purchase new software or hardware.

If I buy Carlson, should I go with the embedded AutoCAD (OEM)? Or with IntelliCAD? or just buy AutoCAD?
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In my opinion, if you’ve been using any program that includes a full-license of AutoCAD as a platform (AutoCAD, Map, Land Desktop, Civil 3d) for years, you will be greatly disappointed and frustrated with the embedded AutoCAD (OEM) version. You may think you’re getting AutoCAD, but you’re getting something closer to AutoCAD LT.
 
So… long-time, mostly happy AutoCAD users should only consider running Carlson on IntelliCAD or installing on top of a separate license of AutoCAD.
 
The next part is the hard part: IntelliCAD? Or AutoCAD? The answer to this will basically come down to $$$ dollar-signs $$$.
 
If you already have a licensed version of AutoCAD, Map, Land Desktop or Civil 3d that can be installed under your Carlson then you are in great shape. You can hope for the best and install Carlson with IntelliCAD but you’re also prepared for the worst. If you’re not happy with IntelliCAD, you can install your same Carlson license on top of your AutoCAD.
 
But, what if you don’t own a copy of AutoCAD or would need to pay to upgrade an old copy to run with Carlson? Is it worth it?
 
It might be. If you’re a power-user and are truly losing productivity with IntelliCAD then I believe you can justify the cost to buy a new or upgrade an old AutoCAD. I usually recommend it this way, “If and when your frustration level reaches about 4000-bucks, buy AutoCAD!”.
 
I know you’ll be shocked to learn that most sole-proprietors/business owners will stick with IntelliCAD much longer (or forever!) before they can justify the outlay of money for AutoCAD.
 
For a more detailed look, see this Software Review: AutoCAD and IntelliCAD from Professional Surveyor magazine.
 


If you find the material on this website helpful, please consider supporting That CAD Girl by requesting a custom proposal the next time you need to renew your maintenance, upgrade or purchase new software or hardware.

Is IntelliCAD more like AutoCAD or AutoCAD LT?
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I believe you will find the functionality of IntelliCAD to be MUCH closer to that found in full-versions of AutoCAD than to AutoCAD LT or even the embedded AutoCAD (OEM) programs that Carlson offers.

Now, you also shouldn’t expect IntelliCAD to be the equivalent of today’s AutoCAD. IntelliCAD is a generic version of AutoCAD and will have the feel of an older “model” of AutoCAD and be missing some of the bells and whistles included in newer releases of AutoCAD.

But, it’s more customizable, supports LISP routines and 3D drafting.

Follow these links to see my FAQs that explain the differences between AutoCAD, Carlson’s IntelliCAD and the embedded AutoCAD  (OEM) platforms.

You may also want to read this Software Review: AutoCAD and IntelliCAD that I wrote for Professional Surveyor Magazine several years ago.


If you find the material on this website helpful, please consider supporting That CAD Girl by requesting a custom proposal the next time you need to renew your maintenance, upgrade or purchase new software or hardware.

What’s the difference between Carlson with IntelliCAD and with the embedded AutoCAD (OEM) platform?
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The price is the biggest difference.

Whether you’re using Carlson Survey or Takeoff on the IntelliCAD or embedded AutoCAD (OEM) platform, the Survey and Takeoff functionality will be identical. Any differences are going to be strictly limited to the underlying engine – IntelliCAD or embedded AutoCAD.

  • From a feature and functionality standpoint, IntelliCAD will be closer to a full AutoCAD and embedded AutoCAD (OEM) will be closer to an AutoCAD LT.
  • IntelliCAD is generic version of AutoCAD and tracks closer to a 4-5 year old version of AutoCAD. See this FAQ comparing IntelliCAD and AutoCAD
  • Embedded AutoCAD (OEM) will look more like today’s AutoCAD and may have more of the current bells and whistles – but it’ll also be missing some key functionality such as the ability to create aliases (command shortcuts) and load LISP routines. See this FAQ comparing embedded AutoCAD (OEM) and AutoCAD

It’s a work in progress but you can check out this FAQ where I’m starting a list of the differences between the two programs.


If you find the material on this website helpful, please consider supporting That CAD Girl by requesting a custom proposal the next time you need to renew your maintenance, upgrade or purchase new software or hardware.

What should I buy if I need a basic CAD program (like AutoCAD LT)?
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If you truly, truly only need generic-CAD functionality, I recommend purchasing Carlson GIS with IntelliCAD. It’s the cheapest of all the desktop products and you can load this basic IntelliCAD menu:
 
2016_IntelliCADMenu
 
by picking the IntelliCAD button from the Carlson Programs toolbar:
 

2017_Programs_Toolbar

 
Extra Bonus! IntelliCAD is much closer to AutoCAD than AutoCAD LT… you’ll have much more functionality at a cheaper price! And, if you ever need a little bit of GIS, you can do that too.


If you find the material on this website helpful, please consider supporting That CAD Girl by requesting a custom proposal the next time you need to renew your maintenance, upgrade or purchase new software or hardware.

About IntelliCAD
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IntelliCAD – An IntroductionThe development of IntelliCAD is overseen by the IntelliCAD Technology Consortium, “an organization of CAD software developers, who develop applications for IntelliCAD, a Computer-aided design engine. The IntelliCAD engine, which is based on the DWGdirect library from the Open Design Alliance reads and writes the ‘.dwg’ data format – a widely used file format for storing both graphic and textual information of CAD-related software applications.”

The primary goals of the IntelliCAD Technology Consortium are to “research and develop CAD technology, the IntelliCAD platform, and to deliver CAD solutions to customers worldwide.” In other words, to provide the personal and commercial CAD markets with a cost-effective solution that is capable of reading and writing the common drawing (DWG) file.

The ITC is a non-profit, independent organization of commercial software developers (members). The ITC has an elected, volunteer, member based Board of Directors which guide its strategic vision. An independent (non-member) President manages the tactical business operations. Members pay annual dues that fund the ITC. Today the ITC has over 50 members who support 13 languages and ship product in more than 35 countries.

IntelliCAD – A Trip through Time

Except where noted, each of the following items were obtained from An Outside Look in at IntelliCAD (used by permission) which requires the free Adobe Reader.

“Where did the name come from? The name of the software ‘IntelliCAD’ comes from a programming company that was formed in the early 1990s in San Diego, CA, USA. Their main claim to fame was ADE (AutoCAD Data Extension), which they sold to Autodesk, and which eventually became part of Autodesk Map.”

“IntelliCAD the software has a complex and fascinating history that winds its way through Softdesk, Autodesk, Boomerang, Visio, just missing Microsoft, then onto the IntelliCAD Technology Consortium, and now [includes] a variety of brand names, such as CADopia, Bricscad, and DWGEditor.”

1994, August: “IntelliCAD is purchased by Softdesk of Henniker, NH.”
1996, December: “Autodesk acquires Softdesk… Softdesk apparently did not tell Autodesk about its AutoCAD clone.”
1997, March: “Autodesk investigated by the FTC (Federal Trade Commission) over the alleged monopoly status of AutoCAD… The FTC allowed Autodesk to purchase Softdesk after Autodesk agreed to: (1) spin off IntelliCAD; (2) not attempt re-acquire the technology; (3) not attempt to acquire any company that owns or controls IntelliCAD; and (4) not interfere with employees who leave Autodesk to work with IntelliCAD… IntelliCAD was spun off as Boomerang Technology in San Jose, CA.”
1997, March: “Visio bought Boomerang.”
1998, March: “IntelliCAD 98 ships. The price was originally pegged at US$495; upon release, the price dropped to $349 as a ‘special introductory price’; the price drops further to $149 at computer superstores, such as CompUSA. Through to the end of June, the first three months of sales for IntelliCAD were nearly 12,000 licenses, producing $3 million in gross revenue — an average of $250 per license.”
1998, May: “IntelliCAD is suddenly incompatible with AutoCAD! Autodesk releases a maintenance release for AutoCAD R14.01 that makes a change to the .dwg format, and preventing IntelliCAD from reading drawing files… Visio updated IntelliCAD 98 to work with 14.01 files.”
1999, July 27: “Visio cuts IntelliCAD loose by granting the IntelliCAD Technology Consortium a royalty-free, perpetual license for the source code of the IntelliCAD 2000 technology. The ITC was set up by Visio, but run by an independent board of directors.
1999, September: “IntelliCAD Technical Consortium opens its Web site at http://www.intellicad.org/.”
Subsequent releases of IntelliCAD through the ITC occur every year since its initial release (see the IntelliCAD version history link under the Press section of the IntelliCAD Technology Consortium web site).

IntelliCAD Release History

IntelliCAD 6.4 July 27, 2007
IntelliCAD 6.3 February 28, 2007
IntelliCAD 6.2 May 27, 2006
IntelliCAD 6.1 September 5, 2005
IntelliCAD 6.0 May 3, 2005
IntelliCAD 5.1 January 12, 2005
IntelliCAD 5.0 October 24, 2004
IntelliCAD 4.0 March 14, 2003
IntelliCAD 2001 version 3.3 July 19, 2002
IntelliCAD 2001 May 22, 2001
IntelliCAD 2000 March 6, 2000
IntelliCAD 98 May 1, 1998
Carlson Support for IntelliCAD

The Carlson 2009 installation comes with IntelliCAD 6.4 built-in. When you choose IntelliCAD as the CAD platform during installation, the IntelliCAD engine is installed along with the Carlson program files. Carlson 2009 only works with this built-in version of IntelliCAD and not on any other version of IntelliCAD or other IntelliCAD based products like Bricscad.

Running Carlson 2009 on IntelliCAD is largely the same as running on AutoCAD. IntelliCAD supports a development environment with a similar interface as AutoCAD which allows Carlson Software to use the same code base on both CAD platforms. Of the over 1700 Carlson commands across the Carlson 2009 products, there are 11 commands that are not supported with IntelliCAD for the Carlson 2009 release. These are:

Editor Reactors (ie Link Points To Coordinate File)
Point Object Snap (node snap does work)
Text Explode To Polylines
Edit Centerline On-Screen
Extract Centroid Data
Label Object Data Areas
Drape Image On Surface
Retaining Wall Placement
Pillar Cut
Calculate Variogram
Production By Block Model
IntelliCAD – AutoCAD Comparison

IntelliCAD has a very similar user interface as AutoCAD, supports the core AutoCAD commands and uses the DWG drawing formats 2009 to R14. For some Carlson commands, creating entities in AutoCAD is twice as fast as IntelliCAD which makes a significant difference in routines that create lots of entities.

The upcoming IntelliCAD 7 will be built on DWGdirect from the Open Design Alliance and will add a “DRX development environment” similar to ObjectARX with AutoCAD. Using DRX should greatly improve the speed of entity creation within IntelliCAD.

While most of the AutoCAD commands Carlson clients use in AutoCAD can also be found in IntelliCAD 6.4, there are many features in AutoCAD that are not in IntelliCAD. Among these features are ones for architectural and mechanical applications that don’t apply to Carlson customers. For this initial release of Carlson 2009 on IntelliCAD 6.4, here are AutoCAD commands that Carlson customers might miss:

Spell Check
DGN import/export
Orbit command
Find command
Express Tools
Tool Palettes
Annotative Text
Sheet Set Manager
Page Setup Manager
Import .PC3 Files
Irregular viewports
Clipboard commands for copybase and paste to original
VBA not supported for custom applications; VB with COM is supported
Object Enablers for LDT points and contours
User-interface for menu customizaiton (no CUI, old MNU method)
Ctrl-pick cycle for object selection
Dialog user interface for WBlock
Dialog user interface for Purge command
Dialog user interface for Filter command
Right-Click menus
Entity Properties as docked-dialog
Grip snapping to other grips
Highlighting of entities when dragging cursor over them
Mudst hatch pattern
If you identify any other AutoCAD feature that you miss when running Carlson with IntelliCAD, please email us at support@carlsonsw.com and we willl add to this list which helps guide future developments.

Bibliography

“IntelliCAD Technology Consortium – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia”
Available at:http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/IntelliCAD_Technology_Consortium 09 April 2008

“IntelliCAD® Technology Consortium: The intelligent alternative for CAD developers.”
Available at: http://www.intellicad.org/join/index.php 09 April 2008

“Natural monopoly – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.”
Available at: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Natural_monopoly#Regulation 09 April 2008

“An Outside Look in at IntelliCAD.”
Available at: http://www.intellicad.org/WorldMeeting2004/presentations/OutsideLookAtIntelliCAD.pdf 09 April 2008

Information in this document is subject to change without notice and does not represent a commitment on the part of the vendor.

IntelliCAD® is a registered trademark of the IntelliCAD Technology Consortium, Inc. and is used under permission.

AutoCAD® is a registered trademark of Autodesk, Inc.

Windows® and Visio® are registered trademarks of Microsoft Corporation.

All other registered or unregistered trademarks are the property of their respective holders.

All links contained herein open in a new web-browser window.


If you find the material on this website helpful, please consider supporting That CAD Girl by requesting a custom proposal the next time you need to renew your maintenance, upgrade or purchase new software or hardware.

What is the relationship between Carlson and IntelliCAD?
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Starting in 2009, Carlson Software began including a license of IntelliCAD with their desktop software that, previously, only worked on top of AutoCAD. So, now, each user has an option of installing and running these products standalone with IntelliCAD or on top of a separately purchased, full license of AutoCAD.
 
For more information about the version of IntelliCAD that currently ships with Carlson, refer to this FAQ What versions of AutoCAD & IntelliCAD does Carlson run on top of? And what about AutoCAD LT?.


If you find the material on this website helpful, please consider supporting That CAD Girl by requesting a custom proposal the next time you need to renew your maintenance, upgrade or purchase new software or hardware.

GIS Starter Kit for Carlson’s IntelliCAD users
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Esri offers this promotion intermittently so I’ll just keep these details posted and will provide updates if and when I get word the promotion is currently “On” or “Off”…
 
I can’t remember when I received the last confirmation so, until I hear differently, we’ll assume it’s ON…!
 


 
Those currently using Carlson with IntelliCAD are eligible for a FREE “GIS for surveyors Starter Kit” from ESRI. The Kit includes 3 books:
 

  • ArcGIS for Desktop Basic
  • A to Z GIS: An Illustrated Dictionary of Geographic Information Systems
  • Getting to Know ArcGIS for Desktop, Third Edition

 
To take advantage of the offer, call 1-800-GIS-XPRT FREE (1-800-447-9778 FREE) and request the Carlson-IntelliCAD GIS Starter Kit and please have your Carlson Serial Number available.
 
You can learn more about ESRI’s commitment to survey and engineering by attending the Esri AEC Summit or by visiting www.esri.com.


If you find the material on this website helpful, please consider supporting That CAD Girl by requesting a custom proposal the next time you need to renew your maintenance, upgrade or purchase new software or hardware.

What you should know about purchasing Carlson Software
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Carlson Platform Options

IntelliCAD/for CAD

Carlson Software’s desktop programs can be installed as a standalone program on top of IntelliCAD or on top of your separately purchased, full-AutoCAD-based program.

Carlson includes the latest version of IntelliCAD with every purchase.

The full-AutoCAD-based program can be AutoCAD, AutoCAD Map, Land Desktop, Civil 3D or other vertical – but does NOT include AutoCAD LT.

 
Embedded AutoCAD (OEM)

Carlson Survey and Takeoff can also be purchased and installed standalone with embedded AutoCAD (also known as the OEM version).

The embedded AutoCAD (OEM) programs include a limited, stripped-down version of AutoCAD that has functionality similar to AutoCAD LT.

The embedded AutoCAD (OEM) programs do not include IntelliCAD and do not require a separate purchase of AutoCAD.

The embedded AutoCAD (OEM) programs are a completely separate install than the programs that run with IntelliCAD or separately purchased license of full-AutoCAD and, although both programs can be installed on the same computer, the programs cannot be “combined”. For instance, if you own a license Survey OEM and also a license of Carlson GIS with IntelliCAD and need to access commands in both programs for work on a single drawing (.dwg) file, you would have to close the drawing out of the Survey OEM and then open it in the GIS program to do the work there.

Refer to our Buying Guide FAQs for pros and cons and more information about the different platforms.

Retail Pricing for Carlson Software

Current as of August 2016

ProgramRetail Price of StandaloneRetail Price of NetworkThat CAD Girl Pricing
Civil Suite
(Survey, Civil, Hydrology & GIS)
$ 3,750$ 4,125* See in store
Survey$ 1,750$ 1,925* See in store
Civil$ 1,750$ 1,925* See in store
Hydrology$ 1,250$ 1,375* See in store
GIS$ 1,095$ 1,205* See in store
Takeoff Suite
(Construction, CADNet, Trench, GeoTech)
$ 7,500$ 8,250* See in store
Construction$ 3,750$ 4,125* See in store
CADNet$ 1,595$ 1,755* See in store
Trench$ 1,595$ 1,755* See in store
GeoTech$ 1,595$ 1,755* See in store
Takeoff with embedded AutoCAD (OEM)$ 9,000$ 9,900* See in store
Survey with embedded AutoCAD (OEM)$ 2,995$ 3,295* See in store
Other Software or HardwareRequest Pricing
or *See in store

* Prices shown in our online store reflects Carlson Software’s Minimum Advertised Pricing (MAP) policy but additional discounts may be available through That CAD Girl by requesting custom pricing.

Carlson Software Annual Maintenance

Carlson’s Annual Maintenance is an OPTIONAL program that allows you to keep your software up-to-date with the latest version of the software. Every new license includes 90 days of maintenance for free. This ensures that, if a new version is released within 90 days of your purchase, you will automatically receive the newest version of the software.

If it is renewed prior to expiration, maintenance costs 10% of the retail price of the software. See Upgrading Carlson Software below for more information about renewals after maintenance has expired.

Carlson’s Annual Maintenance is NOT available for embedded AutoCAD (OEM) products, for SurvCE or for SurvPC. It is only available for IntelliCAD/for CAD-based products.

Carlson’s policy on Software Maintenance can be viewed by clicking here.

ProgramRetail Price
of Standalone
Annual Maintenance
for Standalone
Retail Price
of Network
Annual Maintenance
for Network
Civil Suite$ 3,750$ 375$ 4,125$ 412.50
Survey$ 1,750$ 175$ 1,925$ 192.50
Civil$ 1,750$ 175$ 1,925$ 192.50
Hydrology$ 1,250$ 125$ 1,375$ 137.50
GIS$ 1,095$ 109.50$ 1,205$ 120.50
Takeoff Suite$ 7,500$ 750$ 8,250$ 825.00
Construction$ 3,750$ 375$ 4,125$ 412.50
CADNet$ 1,595$ 159.50$ 1,755$ 175.45
Trench$ 1,595$ 159.50$ 1,755$ 175.50
GeoTech$ 1,595$ 159.50$ 1,755$ 175.50

Upgrading Carlson Software

Upgrading IntelliCAD/for CAD Products

Upgrading Carlson’s non-OEM desktop products is done through the Maintenance Plan.

If it is renewed prior to expiration, maintenance costs 10% of the retail price of the software. If Maintenance is not renewed prior to expiration, a 1-year Maintenance Plan costs 15% of software list price and increases by 5% per year after the expiration date.

If your license is not currently on maintenance, you can pay the maintenance fee plus an expiration fee which will both upgrade you to the current version of the program AND include any upgrades that are released within the maintenance year.

Maintenance StatusAnnual Maintenance
(Percentage of Retail)
Expiration Fee
(Percentage of Retail)
Total Fee
(Percentage of Retail)
Current10%010%
Expired less than 1 year10%5%15%
Expired more than 1 year10%10%20%
Expired more than 2 years10%15%25%
Expired more than 3 years10%20%30%
Expired more than 4 years10%25%35%
Expired more than 5 years10%30%40%
Expired more than 6 years10%35%45%
Expired more than 7 years10%40%50%

Sample Upgrade & Maintenance Renewal Pricing

ProgramYear(s) Past Maintenance
Expiration
Retail PriceTotal Fee
(Percentage of Retail)
Total Fee to Upgrade and
Renew Maintenance for 1 Year
SurveyLess than 1$ 1,75015%$ 262.50
Networked SurveyLess than 1$ 1,92515%$ 288.75
Civil SuiteMore than 1, less than 2$ 3,75020%$ 750.00
Networked Civil SuiteMore than 2, less than 3$ 4,12525%$ 1031.25

Upgrading Survey and Takeoff with Embedded AutoCAD (OEM) Products

The cost to upgrade Carlson’s OEM products varies depending on the program and how many versions behind you are.

Follow this link then click on Request a Custom Proposal to request upgrade pricing.

Competitive Upgrades

Periodically That CAD Girl offers competitive upgrade pricing for anyone wishing to trade-in Civil 3d, Land Desktop, Eagle Point, Terra Model or other similar product.

Follow this link then click on Request a Custom Proposal to see if additional discounts are available.

System Requirements for Desktop Software

Because it changes from version to version, my “go-to” answer is going to always point to this page where Carlson lists the minimum system requirements for running Carlson with embedded AutoCAD (OEM), on top of AutoCAD and with IntelliCAD.

You may also keep an eye on our System Requirements and Hardware Compatibility FAQs for the latest information.

30 Day Trials

Want to try before you buy? Any Carlson desktop software is available for a 30 day trial – just Click right here!

Then click on Request a 30 day Trial Serial Number

Once you decide to purchase, you won’t even need to uninstall. You can activate your software by simply updating your registration with your purchased serial number.

Technical Support & Training

Carlson Software offers FREE technical support for Carlson Software and IntelliCAD. This is the case whether you are running the latest version of Carlson or one that’s 10 years old or, even, if you’re only trying before you buy.

You can see all the opportunities for training with That CAD Girl here and you can follow these links for to see our FAQs about the training and technical support available from Carlson and That CAD Girl.


If you find the material on this website helpful, please consider supporting That CAD Girl by requesting a custom proposal the next time you need to renew your maintenance, upgrade or purchase new software or hardware.

 

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