Comparing Cloud-based CAD Systems from Autodesk and Graebert

AutoCAD Web vs ARES Kudo

By Ralph Grabowski

In this whitepaper, we compare the capabilities of the free and paid versions of computer-aided design (CAD) applications that run in Web browsers:

■ Autodesk’s AutoCAD Web App ( Formerly named AutoCAD 360 and before that AutoCAD WS )
■ Graebert’s ARES Kudo

We compared the most recent version of each app made publicly available by the vendors. We did not test apps unavailable to the public, such as alpha or beta versions. Our tests were performed in August 2019.


ARES Kudo running on a desktop computer in a Web browser

Findings

Overall, the Web app from Graebert outperformed the one from Autodesk, summarized below. On the following pages, we provide details and background on these findings.

Summary of Significant Differences

AutoCAD Web App benefits (over ARES Kudo):

■ Monthly subscription available
Drawbacks:
■ AutoCAD Web App supported only on two Web browsers: the 64-bit versions of Google Chrome and Mozilla Firefox on Windows and MacOS; not supported on Chrome derivatives, such as Opera or OSes like Linux, or 32-bit versions
■ Not supported in private browsing (incognito window) modes
■ Fewer cloud storage services supported; no private cloud; a different set of cloud services supported than AutoCAD Mobile App
■ Web App incorrectly displays DWG files and fails to open all content in DWG files
■ Implementation of shared drawings suffers from problems; comments cannot be linked to entities
■ Shared views and commenting requires the use of the desktop software and are not supported in AutoCAD Web App
■ Fewer functions in free apps and paid apps
■ No editing of tables, fields, regions, groups, and hatches
■ More expensive annual subscription for programs on all platforms (desktop, Web, mobile), ranging from $380 (AutoCAD LT with three-year commitment) to $2,400 (an annualized monthly term with AutoCAD)

ARES Kudo benefits (over AutoCAD Web):

■ Kudo runs in all modern browsers, and it runs on all operating systems, such as Opera on Linux
■ More functions in both the free and paid Kudo apps
■ Editing of tables, fields, regions, groups, and hatches
■ Opens all DWG files and their content correctly
■ Imports MicroStation DGN files
■ Drawing sharing system works reliably; comments can be linked to entities
■ Shares view-only links with a free viewing and making comments from ARES Kudo, without switching to the desktop version
■ Supports more cloud services; private cloud available
■ A cheaper annual subscription of $250 for all three platforms: desktop, Web, and mobile
■ ARES Kudo available on its own for $99/year
Drawbacks
■ Annual subscription only (monthly subscriptions available for Onshape subscribers)

Summary of Comparative Functions

The summary table shows the larger number of functions offered by Graebert in the free and paid versions over Autodesk’s offerings. The numbers of functions may vary according to how functions are determined individually, as well as from recent updates to the apps. AutoCAD Web App and ARES Kudo expose more commands through their command-line interfaces than they do through graphical user interfaces (toolbars, menus, and so on). Your results may vary.

Conclusion

Graebert delivers a better Web product. The reason lies with priorities. For Graebert, the ARES lines of DWG software is the primary product; for Autodesk, AutoCAD sales are not as interesting as sales of more expensive lines of software, such as for the mechanical and architecture industries.

In addition, Graebert has significant OEM deals that drive their products. The close association with Onshape MCAD software benefited the responsiveness in ARES Kudo. The association with Dassault Systemes benefited technology in ARES overall.

Click below to download the 46 pages long Whitepaper comparing Cloud-based CAD Systems from Autodesk and Graebert:

About the Author

Ralph Grabowski is an expert in the field of computer-aided design, with 30+ years of experience. More than anything, he is renowned as the founder and editor of the upFront.eZine newsletter and the WorldCAD Access blog.

Mr. Grabowski received his B.A.Sc. degree in engineering from the University of British Columbia. He is the author of over 200 books related to CAD, graphics, and the Internet. You can reach him on www.upfrontezine.com and www.worldcadaccess.com.