THE AUTODESK INDUSTRY REPORT

The Ultimate Guide to Free Autodesk Resources

 

 

Autodesk Community Forums

Navigating the Autodesk Community Forums

Autodesk develops some of the most powerful and effective software in the AEC (architecture, engineering and construction) industry. For a novice or intermediate user, these robust software solutions might be a little overwhelming.

Having a bit of outside help can make the users more productive and effective. From “how to create specific design elements” to locating the program control elements, Autodesk community forums help bring experienced professionals together to make the workflow process easier.

But what forums are the best at providing helpful insights into the computer aided design (CAD) software? We did some research to identify and evaluate 15 of the community forums that we think will be the most helpful to those with ties to the AEC industry.

Each of the 15 Community Forums below were rated in the following categories:

  1. How frequently they publish
  2. The total number of posts
  3. The amount of threads that go unanswered
  4. The amount of threads that get answered
  5. How involved the Autodesk moderators are within the forum

The rating scale is as follows:

Frequency of Posts

If > 10 daily = 5 points, 5-10 daily = 4, 4 daily = 3, 3 daily = 2, 1-2 daily = 1

Total Posts

If # of posts > 100,000 = 5 points, 10,000-50,000 = 4, 50,000 – 20,000 = 3, 20,000-10000 = 2, < 10000 = 1

# of Unanswered Threads

If < 1 post going unanswered per day = 5 points, 1 = 4, 2 = 3, 3 = 2, 4 = 1

# of Answered Threads – Number of post that get answered in a week

If > 10 per week = 5 points, 6-10 = 4, 3-5 = 3, 2 = 2, 1 or less = 1

Degree of Autodesk Involvement –This is the number of Autodesk employee/moderator answers at the top of the forum.

If 5 or more = 5 points, 4 = 4, 3 = 3, 2 = 2, 1 or less =1

The Community Forums

Revit Architecture

This is one of those forums that will either be immediately helpful, or it is going to seem foreign to you. It is specifically designed for architectural users. If you are an architect, or work at a firm, Revit Architecture might be the “best of the best” for you. There are over 200 different forum threads dating back to 2006. Posts are answered and addressed daily and it really is easy to use and follow. There is also an easy to use feature so you can search for specific questions. Ultimately, this is a forum you need to bookmark when working in an architectural spectrum.

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Post Frequency: 5 Total Posts: 5 Unanswered Posts: 5 Answered Posts: 5 Autodesk Involvement: 5

Overall Score: 5

Like the Revit Architecture section, Revit MEP has one of the most extensive forum listings online, dating back all the way to 2006. So with nearly 10 years of forum posts… you likely are going to find what you need. If you wish to contribute, you can signup and create a profile for free. This then gives you the ability to engage on all Revit forums.

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Post Frequency: 5 Total Posts: 5 Unanswered Posts: 5 Answered Posts: 5 Autodesk Involvement: 5

Overall Score: 5

Revit Structure

The Structure Revit forum has posts older than other community forums… but there aren’t quite as many posts. In fact, both the Architecture and MEP section have nearly 100 more posts. This brings down the grade slightly, but it still is extensive and receives attention daily, giving it a solid 4.6 out of 5 for its overall score. The structural information started here, and then as more specific ways of using it came to fruition, individual sections evolved and spun off from the Structure forum, which is probably why it does not have as many posts in the recent years.

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Post Frequency: 5 Total Posts: 5 Unanswered Posts: 4 Answered Posts: 4 Autodesk Involvement: 5

Overall Score: 4.6

Revit API

The Revit API forum is ideal for Autodesk developers. Similar to its Structure category it is addressed everyday, and while it has been around since 2006, has nearly 150 fewer forum posts than the other Revit Autodesk forums. Of course, if you find the information you need… it really doesn’t matter. The forum is easy to navigate and it’s easy to post. Plus, like the other forums, you can search for previously asked questions and accepted solutions. It’s to see which answers have been confirmed as effective solutions to the problem you have.

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Post Frequency: 5 Total Posts: 5 Unanswered Posts: 4 Answered Posts: 4 Autodesk Involvement: 5

Overall Score: 4.6

AutoCAD

This is the main AutoCAD community forum for 2013 through 2016. If you are running an older version of CAD, there are older forums available. As the main forum enveloping all practices and procedures, this is an excellent location to start before possibly streamlining your search in order to obtain a more specific result. There are over 500 AutoCAD forum threads, so there are plenty of topics. In fact, there are almost too many topics. Chances are you will find the answer you seek, it will just take more time. You might learn valuable insights through the additional clutter, but on occasion, it may lead you astray.

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Post Frequency: 5 Total Posts: 5 Unanswered Posts: 4 Answered Posts: 5 Autodesk Involvement: 5

Overall Score: 4.8

AutoCAD Civil 3D

This falls under the same category as the basic AutoCAD community forum. The Civil 3D General Discussion section is fantastic and has some truly excellent insights, but with over 1,500 different threads, you can become “lost” easily. So, you need to make sure to use very specific keyword terminology in the search field, searching through 1,500 different fields will take far too long. Again though, it is an ultimate source of knowledge, as long as you don’t mind taking a few wrong turns along the way.

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Post Frequency: 5 Total Posts: 5 Unanswered Posts: 4 Answered Posts: 4 Autodesk Involvement: 4

Overall Score: 4.4

AutoCAD Plant 3D

It isn’t as long-standing as many of the other Autodesk community forums, as it only dates back to 2009. That being said, AutoCAD Plant 3D is six full years old and it has the added benefit of not being cluttered with thousands of threads. In this case, the size of the forum is a benefit, which makes tracking down the information you need far easier.

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Post Frequency: 4 Total Posts: 5 Unanswered Posts: 5 Answered Posts: 5 Autodesk Involvement: 4

Overall Score: 4.6

ReCap

ReCap (Reality Capture) is a newer forum as it has been around for just two years and counting because that is about how old the product is. This leaves very little in the way of actual posts. It does have 30 pages of posts, so you can find solid information…yet it is still not as extensive as most of the other forums. If you have a specific ReCap challenge, this is the forum for you, but don’t expect as much in the way of responses and answers as you might find in the other community forums.

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Post Frequency: 4 Total Posts: 3 Unanswered Posts: 3 Answered Posts: 4 Autodesk Involvement: 4

Overall Score: 3.6

Glue is a new forum with just over a year under its belt. This drastically limits the amount of information available, and as it appears to be serviced by admins every few days, important questions may not receive the kind of attention that you may need. This results in the slightly lower overall score.

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Post Frequency: 4 Total Posts: 4 Unanswered Posts: 4 Answered Posts: 4 Autodesk Involvement: 4

Overall Score: 4

BIM 360, Field

The Field forum basically falls into the same category as the Glue forum. It’s newer, receives feed updates every few days (multiple times a week), it has good information but not as extensive. Due to this, it is a good place to look at for specific BIM 360 discussions, but if you are in a hurry for feedback… it may take a few days to receive a response.

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Post Frequency: 4 Total Posts: 4 Unanswered Posts: 3 Answered Posts: 4 Autodesk Involvement: 4

Overall Score: 3.8

A360

This is one of the best forums on the Autodesk Community! A360 is on the newer side with about a year and a half of posts, but there are a good number of posts, without too many repeats. The great news for A360 users is that the admins are extremely active. With an ever-growing number of admin posts, all of which provide extremely helpful information, this is a premier forum to join.

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Post Frequency: 4 Total Posts: 3 Unanswered Posts: 4 Answered Posts: 4 Autodesk Involvement: 5

Overall Score: 4

Fusion 360, Design and Documentation

It is slightly ironic that for a Design and Documentation forum, this forum’s design is the least pleasing. Perhaps it’s more of a personal preference, but the forum title posts have large photographs to the right, showcasing the moderator or the individual asking the question. On the plus side, it spaces out the questions nice but it takes longer to scan the topic. The design and functionality is maybe a minor detail, but it’s an inferior one when compared to the other community forms.

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Post Frequency: 3 Total Posts: 3 Unanswered Posts: 4 Answered Posts: 4 Autodesk Involvement: 3

Overall Score: 3.4

Fusion 360, CAM

CAM has the same problems as Design and Documentation and it’s newer, with fewer posts. So, you may find helpful information, but if you don’t, posting to it likely will take weeks for a desirable response. Use the other general forums if you look here and can’t find what you need.

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Post Frequency: 4 total Posts: 3 Unanswered Posts: 3 Answered Posts: 4 Autodesk Involvement: 3

Overall Score: 3.4

3DS Max

The overall score for 3DS Max should probably be lower, but the maturity level and the frequency for which it receives attention, save it. The challenge with this forum is that it doesn’t appear to inform you whether the initial question is ever answered. As a result, you could end up reading through a 100 post thread, only to find a dead end. So, while it has the helpful information you seek, prepare to find this forum a little frustrating at times

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Post Frequency: 3 Total Posts: 3 Unanswered Posts: 2 Answered Posts: 4 Autodesk Involvement: 3

Overall Score: 3

Navisworks

This is a fantastic forum on Autodesk. Navisworks has been around since 2009, so there is plenty of information, yet there are not too many repeat posts. Finding what you need doesn’t require as much sifting. Overall, it receives the top score with a 5. The forum gets ranked with a perfect score as it does allow you to search through the asked questions, the answered questions and those that are still pending. This way, you know whether or not a particular question has been answered or not. This is a forum that all Navisworks users should join!

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Post Frequency: 5 Total Posts: 5 Unanswered Posts: 5 Answered Posts: 5 Autodesk Involvement: 5

Overall Score: 5

Conclusion

There are some truly helpful community forums available, if you know where to look. There are roughly 70 community forums to be found on the master site, however, we think these are the 15 “most relative” to the AEC community.

Visit each of these forums and bookmark the ones you think are the best fit for you and your company. Forums also offer great assistance, since they change over time (as new posts are added) and allow you to submit your own questions for others to answer. In addition, these resources are free and the insights you get from the best forums are worth a great deal.