CAD notes has been reviewing AutoCAD 2013 in the last couple of weeks. Let’s wrap them all together and highlight some key features.I don’t include 3D features because I don’t use AutoCAD for 3D, and I rarely teach this area.
© Richard Villalon – Fotolia.com
Again, Autodesk made some changes to AutoCAD interface. There are some small changes like welcome screen, they moved some tools to other tab, etc. Honestly I’m not a big fan about these minor changes. They don’t bring any benefits, but I must recapture and update my training materials and books to match the new interface. I wonder why Autodesk guys who work on documentation don’t complaint about it.
However, I admit there are some changes that I think can be useful and fun.
The most significant enhancement in interface is the command line. I like the new look and how it works when we undock it. I undock it since the first time I use it, and like it that way. While the other command line changes are not too useful, you may want to check the clickable options there.
Another enhancement that you may like is in-canvas property preview. Now you can see live update when you try to change objects’ properties.
See the details about AutoCAD 2013 interface enhancements here.
Create section and detail views
Autodesk added the ability to create 2D drawings from 3D models directly in AutoCAD 2012. I’ve seen people struggling to create this kind of drawing from 3D models. So this is a good addition to AutoCAD’s arsenal. However, it wasn’t complete yet. It was very limited. In 2013, Autodesk added more functionality to create section and detail views. I believe you guys who work in manufacturing industry will love this.
So now not only you can import most popular MCAD file format, you can also create 2D drawings, sections, and detail views!
Read more about creating section and detail views in AutoCAD 2013 here.
Working with objects
If you remember how array works in AutoCAD 2012, then you should check how array works in 2013. I think it works much better than before, and I give it another shot. And remember, to make associative array, we must use the new interface.
Another change that we quickly notice is preview when you use OFFSET tool. I saw many users have strong reaction about this tool. No, it’s not about affecting hardware performance. It just that this feature can’t be disabled. I must say that I prefer to have it turned off. Because the preview and real objects has the same color! In a complex drawing, this can quite annoying.
I must say they did well on array, but offset preview is quite annoying.
There are some more minor changes, read the details about AutoCAD 2013 object modification here.
Working with files
As AutoCAD 2013 is the AutoCAD R19, then it uses new DWG file format. AutoCAD 2012 and older can’t open it, unless you save it first to older version. If you don’t upgrade to AutoCAD 2013, it’s time to update your TrueView!
Another thing we should notice is now 2013 support Inventor files. It’s a little strange that Autodesk didn’t add this format in 2012, because it’s their own file format.
Autodesk 360 integration
It’s time for cloud! We’ve seen Autodesk introduced their cloud computing services in the last few years. Now they enhance this feature further. They introduce Autodesk 360 as their cloud platform. You can access your documents and Autodesk cloud services from this page.
Autodesk 360 is integrated with AutoCAD 2013. You can choose to upload your files to Autodesk 360 automatically. And you can sync your settings with multiple computers simply by logging in. I like the ability to sync settings. But it might not work properly if you have many add-ons and LISP. Because they are not supported in this sync.
Read about Autodesk 360 integration here.
After 2012 has significant improvements for manufacturing industry, I was hoping 2013 is about AEC industry. But apparently it’s still about manufacturing.
There are some fix to make previous ‘new features’ to work better (like array). And of course facelifts.
I believe Autodesk will go further with their cloud integration in the next releases. I begin to like it.
So is it worth it to upgrade? I will leave that decision to you. I want to hear though, why you choose to or not to upgrade. Share with us here!