So I’ve had this post hanging around in draft form for a while and for some reason never clicked the “post it” button. While I’m going to go ahead and blame it on a life that was all sorts of crazy lately, the information below is still pretty relevant. Essentially, in late September Autodesk came out with a lightweight version of Design Review for iOS devices (iPad, iPhone, iPod Touch), and while I’m sure there are a lot of people out there waiting for the Android version, for those with a foot in the Apple World, it’s still pretty cool! :)
If you or a friend has an iOS device, I highly recommend downloading and trying out this free app here:
When you open the app, you’ll be welcomed by a screen that looks like this (all screen caps from an iPad):
Do you remember all of the press recently about the Autodesk Cloud services? Well, those same cloud services are the only real way to get a file into Design Review. Try as I might, there was no integration with DropBox and Design Review was not listed in the “File Sharing” apps in iTunes when I connected the iPad to my computer. To get a DWFx to the iPad, I uploaded a DWFx file to my Autodesk cloud storage account and then browsed to that same account from within Design Review on the iPad. Once the file was open, navigating through the DWF was very nimble, and changing from one sheet to another in the multi-page DWF went very smoothly. Design Review can open both 2D and 3D DWF files.
If you published your DWF with object data – in this case, a Revit sample project file, that object data can be seen in a property page on the side:
But I have to put in a plug here – if you have IMAGINiT’s Utilites for Revit (http://imaginit.com/software-solutions/imaginit-products/imaginit-utilities-for-revit), there is a tool that we added in our 2012 release called “DWF Plus” that adds in all sorts of additional data to a DWF file that regular out-of-the-box Revit exporting just doesn’t pass through. (If you renew your Autodesk subscription contracts through IMAGINiT, you can download the utilities for free, if not… well… they are available for purchase…) Below is a screen shot of the properties of the same bed, but exported with DWF Plus. Each of the property headings with a + to the side can be expanded to show additional details about the selected entity - quite a difference in availabie data!
If you are opening a 2D file that has layers embedded in it (files from AutoCAD), you have access to turning layers on and off, but no color control. If you are opening a 3D DWF, you cannot currently turn off any geometry – you are just going to be viewing the model as it was exported. Navigating is through typical iOS multi-touch: drag with one finger to pan in 2D files or orbit in 3D files, pinch to zoom in, drag with 2 fingers to pan in a 3D file, and leave one finder in place and drag with a second finger to orbit around a fixed point.
There is room to improve the markup capabilities of Design Review for iOS - right now it’s really limited to text notes and callouts (text inside a box). No measurement tools, cloud outlines, stamps, or other utilities you find in the desktop version of Design Review.
Even with these limitations, Design Review for a mobile device is a welcome addition to the Autodesk apps that exist for iOS devices. (Other apps include AutoCAD WS, IPM Viewer, Buzzsaw, Sketchbook, and Tinkerbox.) Take it for a spin – and let’s look forward to what the future releases will provide!