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AutoCAD 360 Blog
One Year From Today
New Features In AutoCAD WS Web Version
AutoCAD WS Update for Mobile and Web – Available Now
Learning to Share with AutoCAD WS
5 Ways AutoCAD WS Helps Improve Your Productivity
When Will You Start To Share?
One Year From Today

We are delighted to reveal some of the functionality which will be available in AutoCAD WS exactly one year from today.

That’s right, we are planning ahead and we wanted you to be the first to hear what the future holds for AutoCAD WS.

Voice-Activated Design

AutoCAD WS is proud to release its own voice-activated design assistant, Miri. Miri will understand commands like “Draw a line over there”, and “No, not there, Miri, THERE!”

Miri will use advanced AI to review your designs and let you know proactively whether you’ve created something really good or just plain awful. Miri will also be able to respond to commands like “Miri, design me a really cool house, please,” and “Miri, do you think this building needs more windows?”

Retroactive Timeline Manipulation

The new version of AutoCAD WS will finally conquer one of the major problems with design. Fixing things after construction is complete.

Using the new Retroactive Timeline, you will be able to edit the DWG for a building which has already been constructed and make changes to the design which will appear on the already-constructed building in real time. For the sake of people’s safety, it is suggested that you evacuate the building before saving your changes. Also, please note that any comments you leave on the design will appear as floating speech bubbles in the actual building so make sure you don’t write anything you don’t want others to read.

One Year from Today

We hope you have enjoyed this little glimpse into the future of AutoCAD WS and we look forward to releasing this version of the app in exactly 365 days, on April 1st 2013.

New Features In AutoCAD WS Web Version

In addition to the changes that have been made to the AutoCAD WS Mobile App for iOS and Android, we have also added a number of features specifically to the web version of AutoCAD WS that you can find at www.autocadws.com.

There are four features key features that have been added to the web version AutoCAD WS to reflect the way users traditionally interact with AutoCAD.

Command Line Toggle

We have added a simple button to the bottom of the screen alongside the toggle for Snap, Ortho and Line Weight. Even with the Command Line turned off, you can still type any of the usual commands that are present in AutoCAD WS to activate them as normal.

ID Point

You can now determine the in-drawing co-ordinates of any given point by typing “ID” within the web version of AutoCAD WS. Once you are prompted to select a point you can do so by clicking or by using the Snap feature to click a specific point on an object. The co-ordinates are given as an x, y, z reference relative to the origin point of the drawing.

Align

The Align function has been added to the Drawing ribbon in the web version of AutoCAD WS. It functions in the same way as the align function in AutoCAD, except that while AutoCAD WS only supports 2D objects, Align will only require two source and destination points rather than the usual three.

To align an object or objects click the Align button. You will be prompted to select all the objects you wish to align. The Align command can be performed on any shape that can be moved or scaled. You will then be prompted to identify a first source and destination point and then a second source and destination point. The objects will be aligned based on the vectors selected.

You can also trigger the Align command by typing AL or ALIGN.

Radius and Diameter Dimension

We have added two new dimension measuring options to the toolbar to allow you to determine the radius and diameter of any arc or circle. Click on the Radius or the Diameter button from the Dimension drop down list and then select the arc or circle you want to measure to add the dimension annotation to your drawing.

What would you like to see next?

We are already planning the features for inclusion in the next release of AutoCAD WS. Let us know in the comments or on our Facebook page what you would like to see added next.

AutoCAD WS Update for Mobile and Web – Available Now

We’re thrilled to announce that the latest version of AutoCAD WS has just been released. For the web version simply log in at www.autocadws.com. You can download the latest mobile version of AutoCAD WS on the App Store for iPhone, iPad and iPod touch, and from the Android Market for your Android phone or tablet.

This new update includes features that were suggested by our users over the past few months and we believe they represent a great step in the evolution of AutoCAD WS. As always, we look forward to hearing your feedback about the latest version of AutoCAD WS and we welcome your suggestions for additions to the next release, later this year.

3D Support

We have expanded the View Modes with the latest release of AutoCAD WS to enabling toggling between 2D and 3D views of your 3D drawings. All editing functionality is currently disabled when viewing a drawing in 3D. The 3D toolbar comes with a preset selection of 10 different angles but you can also rotate your drawing through three dimensions manually.

GPS Support

The new GPS function lets you position yourself within your design leveraging the built-in GPS functionality of your smartphone or tablet to add contextually relevant comments at precise geographic locations.

Please note that the accuracy of the AutoCAD WS GPS function is dependent on the accuracy of your device. You may have to enable the GPS function in order to get accurate information.

Plot from Mobile

With this latest release we have added the ability to plot your drawings directly from the AutoCAD WS mobile app. You can plot both 2D and 3D versions of your drawing provided they are available.

You can either plot your drawing as a PDF file and email it to any address in the world or you can send your drawing directly to any web-connected HP ePrinter.

Video

For an overview of the new features in AutoCAD WS vesion 1.4 check out this new video:

httpvh://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7sSsZiHfFl0

Learning to Share with AutoCAD WS

One of the things we were most proud of when we launched AutoCAD WS was that the functionality we had included in the app might herald a new era of collaboration and sharing among CAD users. Until the arrival of AutoCAD WS, if you wanted to show your work to others, you had a number of options:

  • You could send the original file to people and then try to manage the different versions you got back with different markups.
  • You could save your drawing to another format, like PDF, and email that.
  • You could print out your drawing and deliver it via bicycle messenger.
  • Or, for a truly read-only experience, you could invite people to come and look at your computer screen!

AutoCAD WS is a great leap forward enabling you to share your work with anyone with an email address and a web browser.

But for many people, sharing is as much a matter of temperament as it is functionality. One customer of ours who works in construction told me that he loves the share functionality, but that no architect has ever let him see a soft copy of the plans. Not everyone wants to share.

For those of you having difficulty letting go, here is a recap of the permission types that are available in both the web and the mobile versions of AutoCAD WS.

Permissions

There are two types of permissions:

  • Edit
  • Download

This means there are four different combinations of permissions:

  • Edit and Download – Users can edit the drawing using AutoCAD WS and download it to work on it offline.
  • Edit but not Download – Users can edit the drawing online using AutoCAD WS but they cannot download the file from within the app.
  • Download but not Edit – Users cannot edit existing objects with AutoCAD WS. They can only add to and mark up the drawing. In addition, the drawing may be downloaded (including additions and markups) and edited offline.
  • Not Edit and not Download – Users cannot edit existing objects with AutoCAD WS. They can only add to and mark up the drawing. Users cannot download the drawing

Sharing

I hope this will give you the confidence you need to start sharing your work with others. It’s a great way to mark design milestones with clients and colleagues and it will help you collect feedback and achieve consensus.

Tell us about the last project you shared with AutoCAD WS either in the comments or on our Facebook page.

5 Ways AutoCAD WS Helps Improve Your Productivity

Let us never forget that AutoCAD WS is more than just a web and mobile app version of your favorite CAD software package. AutoCAD WS is also a key weapon in the battle for optimum personal productivity. So just to remind you here are five great ways that AutoCAD WS can save you time as you go about your every day work.

1. No more transporting files via disk on key

Once you upload your files to AutoCAD WS you can access them from any web browser anywhere in the world. If you have synched them on your smartphone or tablet, you can even view them in places where there is no internet connection.

2. No more transporting bulky printouts when you’re in the field

We have already heard from many users how AutoCAD WS has revolutionized their business trips. They are happier visiting a site with an iPad or Android tablet rather than trying to weigh down a set of paper plans with a couple of rocks.

3. No more version management headaches

With The AutoCAD WS Timeline you can revisit previous versions of your design and keep track of when comments were made and suggestions were implemented.

4. Reduce conference call nightmares

Next time you’re having a meeting with a remote office, share the designs in question with them first. Then during the call, you can see each other’s cursors as you navigate through the drawing and highlight the discussion points. You can also make AutoCAD WS the center of your presentation and we wrote about setting that up here.

5. Prevent work duplication when you come back from a site visit

Before AutoCAD WS, any notes that you took when you were out in the field would have to be painstakingly added to your design back in the office. Now when you make notes using AutoCAD WS, they are automatically synched with the original file so that you only have to do the work once.

I’m sure there are a whole set of additional advantages that you can come with to explain why AutoCAD WS works for you. Tell us about them in the comments here or on the Facebook page.

When Will You Start To Share?

One of the most exciting things about evolving technology is how it shapes and changes our lives. There are many things that we do today that simply didn’t exist 20 years ago such as typing with our thumbs or commenting in public about each other’s holiday photos. New technology creates new things to do as well as new ways of doing things that we have always done. In business terms, new tech creates new workflows and improved versions of existing workflows.

It’s up to individuals and businesses to work out how to incorporate these new workflows into their lives and how to use them to improve productivity. One area which has always thrived on adapting new technology to its best advantage is design. When designers first moved away from the drafting table and onto the computer, it signaled a paradigm shift in the way design projects were handled. Since that time there has not been another major leap forward despite the ubiquity of high-speed internet.

I believe that’s going to change in the immediate future. The next evolution for designers will be collaborative design where designers, their colleagues and their clients can work together in guiding a project in the right direction. Using tools like those found in AutoCAD WS, you can share your design with anyone in the world at any time. You can get instant feedback on any draft and take suggestions and make corrections in real time without having to go through a major iteration which can be frustrating and time-consuming.

Collaboration Builds Consensus and Improves Productivity

Collaboration is not about taking power away from designers. It’s about removing the obstacles to satisfying design with clear communication and transparency. Getting the input of the stakeholders and decision makers at the right moment in a project can save time and prevent frustration as well as build trust and generate positive goodwill towards a completed draft.

The question is what are you going to do. Let us know in the comments below or on the Facebook page whether you like to collaborate with another designer on drafts. How often do you incorproate external feedback into your work and at what stages in the project? What could you be doing to achieve consensus sooner?

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