Wednesday, March 01, 2006
This new version concentrates mainly on 3D but there is also a couple of new functions which can be used in any environment. For those who are using AutoCAD for conceptual modelling there are lots of perfect and highly interactive functions for creating and editing of 3D solids, incl. sub-object editing (vertices, edges, faces) - all done using grips and the Control key. Most of the new modelling and visualization commands are available through a new palette - the Dashboard.
AutoCAD 2007 contains a new rendering engine - Mental Ray - and the results are far better than those from the stone-old RENDER command. The new "Visual Styles" replace the Shademode command and allow to quickly switch visual representations of the 3D scenes (incl. e.g. napkin-style edges). 3D walk through the scene (controlled with the WASD key) can be captured to a MPG, AVI or WMV animation file.
You can now read in DWF files and use them as an overlay which can be even snapped to. Finally you can publish your drawings not only to DWF files but also directly to PDF files. There is also a new version of the Autodesk DWF Viewer.
All external references (DWG, images, DWF) can be managed in a single palette - probably a side effect of implementing Autodesk Vault (for subscription customers only).
AutoCAD 2007 uses a new file format (DWG2007) but at the same time it can save back to 2006, 2002 and even R14 DWG formats.
AutoCAD 2007 is packed with lots of new functions - most of them for 3D. Be prepared to upgrade your workstation to use all the 3D features on larger drawings.