Friday, February 06, 2009


AutoCAD 2010 is coming

Yesterday, Autodesk has revealed the secrets of its new flagship product - AutoCAD 2010.

Well, some of the secrets were already known or were expected - see e.g. my posts about the new DWG format, about dynamic blocks, or constraints, plus the usual common practice of embedding the Extensions (Bonus Packs) from the previous version. But this doesn't lessen the fact that the new AutoCAD 2010 (aka "Gator") is fast and bites.

AutoCAD 2010
The most important new functionality in ACAD2010 is: freeform 3D modeling, parametric drawings (and blocks, constraints) and raising the PDF format at (almost) the same level as DWF(x).

Freeform modeling opens new options for conceptual modeling in AutoCAD. I like the freedom of arbitrary conversions between solid and surface models, even on organic shapes. Plus you can print your 3D models on a 3D printer - well you probably don't have one, but AutoCAD allows to use a print provider (public service).

Parametrics resembles the Inventor sketch environment. The autoconstrain function will analyze your 2D drawing and applies the detected constraints automatically. You can simply make your drawings parametric using a dimensioning-like procedure. Parametric drawings change their shape just by changing a numerical parameter.

The publishing functionality now mixes the DWF and PDF formats in common dialogs. So you can decide which format you will use. You can now read in (underlay) PDF files and even osnap to their geometry.

There are more new features in customization (context ribbons), hatches, texts, dimensions, viewports, measuring, etc.

AutoCAD LT 2010 will have most of the new functions (except 3D and parametrics) and some older limitations of the LT version will fall (align, attribute extraction, non-rectangular viewports...). But don't forget - Autodesk is not just AutoCAD (and LT). The full "2010 family" of Autodesk products has more than 50 members!

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