Thursday, February 5, 2009

AutoCAD 2010 Revealed

If you've been following this blog for the past day, you know that I am currently in San Francisco at the AutoCAD 2010 roll-out. There are about a dozen bloggers here at Autodesk's Gallery space in downtown San Francisco. We've spent the morning talking about the things we like (and those we dislike) in the new software.
The image in the splash screen (shown here) is from a model created by Guillermo Melantoni, one of the developers who was the lead on the new 3D features in AutoCAD 2010. This model was made possible thanks to the new free form tools in AutoCAD 2010.

There are a host of new features in this release, and I'll cover them in detail over the next few days. One of the most exciting are the new parametric design tools. These new capabilities (which are included in AutoCAD but not in AutoCAD LT) let you quickly sketch geometry and then apply constraints. For example, in this short video, you can see four lines. After sketching these lines, I apply several constraints, including parallel constraints to align the opposite lines, coincident constraints to make sure that the lines share endpoints, a perpendicular constraint to force the parallelogram to become a rectangle, and finally, a horizontal constraint to align the base of the rectangle.

There are lots of other constraints that you can apply. Notice that as I apply each constraint, AutoCAD displays a small glyph. I can remove constraints by selecting these glyphs and deleting them. You can also add dimensional constraints.

(I appologize for the background audio and the lack of narration. I'll update this posting later with a complete narration and will also add more videos showing additional capabilities.)

Here's a quick list of new features as well as a few key points:
  • Parametric design
  • Free form 3D modeling
  • PDF enhancements (better PDF output as well as the ability to include a PDF file as an underlay)
  • 3D Printing (already available as a Bonus Pack for subscription customers)

AutoCAD 2010 uses a new DWG file format. So customers who need to exchange drawings with users of older versions of AutoCAD will need to save back to those earlier versions.

There is also improved interoperability between AutoCAD and other Autodesk vertical products. The intent is to enable customers to be able to use AutoCAD as a frontend to products like Revit and Inventor and also to be able to use it as a documentation back end to produce final documentation of projects done in those vertical products.


  1. David, I wish I'd know you were in SF--I work in One Market much of the time now. Let me know next time you're around!

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