Well, 2013 products are here and it's time for the seemingly annual parade of blog posts, webcasts, video snippets, and information overload! As always, there is too much to encapsulate in a single blog post, so we find ourselves in a position where there is a need to set priorities among all of the 'what's new' features in all of the different products. As opposed to information that you can find on our Manufacturing and Infrastructure blogs, here we are going to be focusing on things that apply most directly to building design.
More specifically, you are going to be subjected to the things that I think are most relevant to building design. Sorry, but that's how it goes since I'm the one doing the typing. :)
You can expect future posts to contain deeper and more detailed information, but the intent here is to get you a quick snapshot of some of the essential changes in a few key products.Let's start with a quick look at my 3 most important things about AutoCAD 2013.
First off, 2013 means a new file format for AutoCAD. If you want to work with someone using AutoCAD 2012 or earlier, you will need to do a SAVEAS to the previous file format.
Second, Autodesk Exchange Apps. It's like an app store for AutoCAD... and other Autodesk software as well. Think of it this way... Have you ever considered just how many addin applications exist for Autocad? Do a Google search on 'AutoCAD plugin' and you get over ten million results. Not all of them are about actual applications or things you can download, but am I (or you) really going to search though all of that? Given any choice on the matter, I'm not! Autodesk Exchange Apps is there to help us better understand what additional software is out there that could help out in your professional (Autodesk related) life.
OK...the third thing... Holding myself to a top three is actually pretty difficult. I could bring up a more robust 3D design and documentation environment, but I don't see it being as large of an impact on building design as enhanced point cloud features...
But I don't see that as being as important as enhancements to other commands and features we use daily like the command line, array command, multifunction grips, and constraints. Do you see what's did there? I totally cheated. Way more than three things.
What about Revit?
Well, let's try to keep it even and give a Top Three list for Revit too:
For the first item on my list, I'm going to refer to something that is not really a new feature - if you have the Building Design Suite Premium or Ultimate, Revit comes as a single application with all of the features of all 3 Revit disciplines wrapped into a single interface. Not 3 separate programs and installations any more. You have the ability to turn different aspects of the interface on and off if you really don't want to be bothered with any of the analytical analysis ribbon panels for disciplines other than your own, but personally, I like having it all there. I'm also grateful that Autodesk did not come out and call this combined version 'Revit Building'. That would inevitably cause way too much confusion for our support center. "ok, are you using the old Revit Building product, or the new one?" no fun at all.
Number two on my list is improved stairs and railings. We can now directly manipulate run, landing, and support components, along with additional capabilities for stairs to overlap. We also have some improvements to stair annotation and representation. Railings have improved transitions and improvements to extensions to top rails and handrails. Stairs haven't been touched in quite some time now, so this is a welcome set of improvements.
Third for me are enhancements to view templates. It's not as graphically jolting as something like the new interactive ray trace view or as edgy as improved physical properties for building performance analysis, but when the rubber hits the road, the quality and consistency of our model and documents is largely controlled by viewing graphics and view templates. Anything that an help us here is a welcome improvement in my book. See - I did it again... more than three.
In the end, these are just a few of the multitude of new or enhanced features and capabilities in Autodesk 2013 software. I know there isn't a heckofa lot of detail in this post, but those details will follow later to keep things digestible in smaller chunks. Hopefully the purpose of this initial posting (to give you a broad overview of what at least one person things is noteworthy) was clear from the onset and fulfilled it's purpose.
In the mean time, leave a comment below if there is anything you'd like to get specifically reviewed or if some other favorite feature of yours was left out.
We'll see you back here soon!