The Pros and Cons of Cloud Based CAD

The CAD design industry is known for being innovative and forward thinking, so it’s no surprise that CAD companies are beginning to move towards cloud based CAD.

For those of you wondering what a “cloud” is, it’s not the white fluffy thing in the sky, nor is the cloud a physical thing. It is a network of servers that store data. If you have a smartphone, you are probably already using the cloud to store some of your data, such as photographs. In the world of CAD, the cloud is increasingly being used by CAD software giants, such as Autodesk and Onshape, who are making software available in the cloud. They have found that the popularity of this service seems to be gathering pace and have therefore responded to consumer demand.Cloud Based CAD

A recent survey by the Business Advantage Group, a UK basedB2B research group, found that 19% of survey respondents are looking to move to cloud based CAD within the next five years. In fact many respondents stated that they were looking into cloud based CAD because of its mobility and the ease of updating the software. It also found that they were considering using it to reduce CAD costs and increase storage capacity.

As is the same with any new innovation, there are a mixture of pros and cons which need to be taken into consideration before one makes the leap.

What are the pros and cons of cloud based CAD?


  • Storage capacity – your PC can only hold so much data, whereas a cloud based CAD system can potentially hold an infinite amount of data, and extra storage space can be bought relatively cheaply.
  • Collaboration – having the CAD drawings available in the cloud means that different people can be working on the same file at the same time. It also eliminates the problem of having multiple versions of the project and not having the latest version to hand.
  • Availability – if you have an internet connection you can access the cloud anywhere you want, the possibilities for this “access anywhere” approach are huge. Having constant access to your CAD drawings in meetings, on-site, wherever you are, is an exciting possibility.
  • Latest software version – by using cloud based CAD you can ensure that you are using the latest and most advanced version of the CAD software available. This allows you to be one step ahead of non-cloud based CAD companies.


  • Security – this is a potential risk, as the cloud is not immune to hackers. Although most software providers will offer the highest level of security, this would provide an interesting challenge to a hacker.
  • Operating speed – there is the potential for your access to the software to be slow, or slower than you would like. This would be dependent on your internet speed and bandwidth.
  • No internet equals no access to your CAD software.

Although the advantages seem to outweigh the disadvantages, the issues of security, speed and access need to be carefully considered before you choose to make the change to cloud based CAD. It is a technology which is not pie in the sky, but something that our clients, our CAD designers and BIM Managers are driving forward.

For more information about a CAD Consulting Services, CAD Drawings and BIM Managers, visit The CAD Room website at or phone 0161 427 0348.