Edit 3/13/14: Even with all the research I did, I ended up making a very expensive mistake in purchasing a CAD system; it amounted to a $10,000 door stop. Then, nearly 3 years ago, I purchased StyleCAD and have been very, very happy with it.
Edit 9/18/18: After 7 years I remain delighted; using StyleCAD has literally changed my entire business. In the event you get stuck with a dog like I did, all is not lost. StyleCAD gave me a “refugee discount”; I had to turn in my old software to them along with the dongle but it was more than worth it. It is my understanding that other CAD companies will give you a refugee discount (they even call it that) but you have to ask.
I don’t know which CAD software program to buy. I know, I know, this is a question many of you would think you’d be asking me but I’ve been a hand pattern maker all my life and it’s well past time to make a decision. I think I have it narrowed down to PAD and Tukatech. I hesitate for two reasons. One, that I’ll personally make a bad choice. Two, whatever I buy could be interepreted as an endorsement which would affect other people’s purchasing decisions. I mean, if I make a bad buy, that’s my problem but I would really hate it if I led others down the wrong path so I’d rather shirk responsibility for that. Could that be a source of my prolonged decision-making? That’s what I’m telling myself (ha!). It is easier to avoid making a decision by telling myself it’s out of concern for you. But it is too, really.
I’ve heard bad and good about PAD. Bad from a user who used it as a student but good from someone who’s used it 20 years. I value both opinions because I have little to no CAD experience (like the student) but have commercial needs (the 20 year user). I’ve been pleased with the sales response from them too. Kristina has gone above and beyond, scheduling live demonstrations of the product and spoken with me at length by phone. There’s some cool videos on their site that demonstrate product features (select software >pattern design >demo software features).
I’ve heard negative about Tukatech but not really about the product per se. People seem to object to Ram’s (the founder) salesmanship. There’s rumors swirling about, some imply they copied it from Gerber or Optitex or whoever else. I don’t think that can be true because they would have been sued a long time ago. I think it’s more likely that Tukatech has been too successful as the upstart kid on the block. From what I can tell, Tukatech’s been successful by treating any potential customer well. Personally, I’ve found Ram and his staff delightful. In sum, I feel pretty good about both of these companies. On the other hand, is that what it boils down to, feelings? Oh that is not good.
Price wise, both packages are in my price range although PAD is the better value (about $5K, Tukatech is about $7K). At this point I think I’ll never decide. I hate making decisions like this, I’ll waffle forever with endless comparisons ostensibly “researching” but it strikes me as decision avoidance. I hate that. Why do I (we?) do that?
Although I’ve asked primarily about PAD and Tukatech, I would sincerely appreciate your input and opinions on these or any other programs you know of. In advance of that, I will say I have some bias against Lectra because they’re not known for being small company friendly although word has it that they’re moving in that direction (I haven’t heard from my contact in awhile). Unfortunately, I can’t wait for that (the next ice age? If I keep saying stuff like this, I am never going to have any friends in this business). Gerber has a similar reputation to Lectra’s but one on one, found that not to be as true as many of us think. Still, Gerber takes longer to learn and the training is very expensive. [Before I forget and speaking of training, I found a PAD CAD trainer who is very inexpensive in the Denver area. Let me know if you need a referral.] My opinions of Gerber CAD notwithstanding, I’m still in love with their cutter. There’s other programs out there too, Optitex (Mike and Amy love that) and Assyst (most expensive but supposedly the best) plus many more.
In summary, I’d primarily be interested in either pro or con the two programs (PAD or Tukatech) but am still open to suggestion. On a related matter, I really dislike this decision avoidance thing and I know I’m not the only one. What’s that about? How to get around it? Please leave your comments (and or take the poll) and thanks.
Vizu polls have closed down. Below is a screen capture of the poll results.