Friday, March 18, 2016

AutoCAD/LT2017 (aka Nautilus): Up Periscope!

Autodesk on Monday March 21, 2016 will officially announce the release of the 2017 versions of their AutoCAD line. If you are on Subscription just might see a download link for it as soon as this weekend on your Products Page.  Expect access to the 2017 free 30-day trial downloads to start soon after the official announcements.

Today's blog post will highlight what is new in AutoCAD 2017 and comment on if we think it will make it to LT2017: Autodesk has chosen not to make LT available for this review so until it's officially released we cannot confirm at this time if all of these features will be present. Let's hope the bean counters are not in charge or we will lose what few worthy features are in this update.

This 2017 version is more of a house-keeping cleanup of the interface and core features rather than a huge list of extras or new features, although what has been added is pretty cool.

First, the important stuff: DWG file format remains the same.

Second, Windows OS requirements are as follows. Note that Win10Home and other cheaper versions are not supported and some of the new AutoCAD features are not available to users in 32bit versions of Windows:

32-bit and 64-bit of the following Windows® 7 editions and Service Pack 1 (SP1):
•Microsoft Windows 7 Enterprise
•Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium
•Microsoft Windows 7 Professional
•Microsoft Windows 7 Ultimate

32-bit and 64-bit of the following Windows® 8.1 editions with Update KB2919355:
•Microsoft Windows 8.1
•Microsoft Windows 8.1 Pro
•Microsoft Windows 8.1 Enterprise

32-bit and 64-bit of the following Windows® 10 editions:
•Windows 10 Enterprise edition
•Windows 10 Professional edition

Third, Autodesk has enhanced the installation migration option with more feedback as to what you want to move from an older version. This new Smooth Migration n0w displays a modern migration interface an separates AutoCAD/LT customization settings into three groups and 10 categories. Plus it provides a summary report that organizes the migration data by group types and categories.

AutoCAD 2017 introduces the following features:

Import PDF
Imports the geometry and TrueType text from a specified page in a PDF file, or from all or part of an attached PDF underlay. The Import tool is available from both the Application menu and the Insert ribbon tab. The command is PDFIMPORT.

Smart Center
1. Provides a way to create an associative centermark for a hole within a drawing view.
2. Provides a way to create an associative centerline between two straight edges within a drawing view.
3. Includes several system variables to control centermark and centerline parameters.
4. Supports the Match Properties, Add Selected, and Select Similar features.

AutoCAD Experience
1. The TEXTEDIT command is now automatically repeated.
2. Adds support for resizing several dialog boxes.
3. Removes the interfering tooltips from the QSelect and Purge dialog boxes.
4. Allows the HPLAYER system variable to be set to nonexistent layer for new hatches and fills. The layer is created when the next hatch or fill is created.
5. Displays a message when PICKFIRST is set to 0, and a command is started when an object is currently selected.
6. Supports a new UNIT setting: US Survey Feet.

Share Design Views
Publishes design views of your current drawing to a secure, anonymous location within Autodesk A360. You can share views of the drawing by forwarding a generated link to the people that you specify. Access to these views is provided by any supported web browser, and does not require recipients to have an Autodesk A360 account or install any additional software. Supported browsers include Chrome, Firefox, and other browsers that support WebGL 3D graphics.
This feature can be accessed from the Application menu and the A360 tab on the ribbon.

Coordination Model Osnap Support
1. Provides a way to specify precise locations on an attached coordination model using the standard 2D endpoint and center object snaps.
2. Enables snapping in coordination models, to support standard 2D endpoint and center snaps (only).
3. Provides the CMOSNAP system variable, coordination model osnap, to turn object snapping on and off for geometry in Coordination Models that are attached to the drawing.
4. Works with any command that requires selecting a point location, such as LINE, SPHERE, so on.

Visual Experience
1. Improves the performance for panning and zooming operations.
2. Improves the visual quality for linetypes.
3. Enhances selecting and object snapping within the gaps in non-continuous linetypes when LTGAPSELECTION is turned on.

3D Graphics System
Improves the stability of 3D Navigation tools, and the performance of blocks in 3D, specifically for models with a large number of small blocks containing edges and facets. In most of the cases, the model's visual fidelity will be maintained during 3D Interaction.

Trusts any files under Program Files, which is under the OS’s UAC protection, and indicates so by displaying these implicitly trusted path in Trusted Paths UI and graying them out.

3D Printing (Not LT is our guess)
Adds a workflow for the 3DPRINT command by opening an STL file in Print Studio.

Once the final shipping/release version of LT2017 is made available Monday, we will dissect the details noted above strictly for LT2017 users and identify our favorite parts and what, if anything, Autodesk missed with this issue.

Stay Tuned.