If you have an AutoCAD question check out the upcoming answer day (May 7th US Pacific). Post your question and get an answer direct from AutoCAD Platform team members. Their post below has all the details:
We’ll be kicking off the Autodesk Answer Days series with the one and only AutoCAD®! Join us at our first AutoCAD Answer Day online event on Thursday, May 7th from 6:00 AM to 6:00 PM Pacific Time.
Have AutoCAD® or AutoCAD LT® questions that you’ve always wanted to ask? Come spend a minute, an hour, or the whole day in the Autodesk Community to interact directly with the folks who bring you your favorite CAD software!
How The Day will work!
It’s easy. It’s free. It’s all about AutoCAD®.
Come to the Autodesk Community and post your AutoCAD® or AutoCAD LT® questions! Engage in real time conversation with the teams and experts that develop and support AutoCAD®:
When you visit the AutoCAD Answer Day on May 7th the CREATE NEW POST button on the AutoCAD Answer Day board will be available for posting questions. And there’s no limit on how many questions you can ask, we’re up for the challenge!
Millions of customers come to the Autodesk Community every month; we hope that you’ll join us on this special event, May 7th!
I’ve been doing a few software installs recently; updates to Autodesk Building Design Suite 2015 at the previous workplace and a fresh install at the new one. As a result I’ve come to really appreciate Autodesk Application Manager; one of the best support applications Autodesk have ever made.
Remember the pain?
Install an app — or more like a dozen for the Design Suites — then spend hours finding which have been updated, downloading patches and installing (or updating deployments) on the machine. That is history as Autodesk Application Manager makes it a one click process, well nearly. You still do have to select which updates and click install but that is trivial compared to the alternative!
Updates tailored to your device:
The Application Manager looks at the software installed (not just the software in the suite), the user subscription rights, the device and existing patches to decide what is needed. I was impressed that the same Design Suite installed on my Tablet (where had just picked AutoCAD Architecture & Revit) only got a those updates, my desktop picking up the full set for all the installed applications.
Download overhead shared:
If you have multiple machines to update Application Manager can eliminate duplicated download overhead and time.
In Settings>Files tick the “Use shared storage or content downloads” and set the path to a common network folder all your PCs can access.
The first machine to encounter a new update will download the install file to the shared folder. Other machines will check the folder first and install from the existing download. With some updates being up to a gigabyte (Recap) you can save a lot of download data and time.
You can export and import Application Manager settings to easily configure multiple machines.
First phase of a cloud delivery framework:
The Application Manager framework currently delivers:
For the User:
Desktop notification of update availability
Delivery and install of updates: 'The best experience is no experience', not to get in the way of productivity
For Administrators/CAD Managers:
Discover and download updates
Manage updates distribution
Manage users access to notification updates and install
There are still some limitations — local user rights may need admin permission, users can ignore notifications — but the system is a vast improvement.
Updates are just the start:
Autodesk have put in place the framework to support a far more comprehensive solution. The future could include full installs and possibly even Microsoft Office 365’like click to run. In that case you can start using the core software almost immediately while the rest of it installs in the background.
And using Autodesk PLM 360 to do it!
It was interesting to hear the data source for the system is a case of Autodesk ‘eating its own dog food’. The Product Data Master, a complex mesh of products, applications and applicable updates is being managed with Autodesk PLM 360. The only glitch I’ve seen was Navisworks wanting to install a language update for a language pack I hadn’t installed. This disappeared off the list after a couple of days, presumably after the Product Data Master was updated.
As the complexity of software increases it is nice some attention is being given to making it easier to manage.
It was an early start for a call to learn about some big changes to Autodesk software purchases from 1 February 2016 onwards.
New commercial seats of most stand-alone desktop software (not Design Suites) will only be available on ‘pay as you go’ Desktop Subscription, not as Perpetual Licenses or the current annual Maintenance Subscription.
Purchases before 1 Feb 2016 will continue to receive existing benefits:
Existing perpetual licenses will continue to work forever.
Existing Maintenance Subscriptions (annual updates & bundled services etc.) will be honoured for as long as the subscription payment is maintained.
If current Perpetual or Maintenance Subscription customers require additional seats after 1 Feb 2016 the new Desktop Subscription will apply.
This is a response to changes in the way people design and make products;
Projects using multiple applications, at multiple sites.
Changes in how people expect buy products and software: more durable, flexible, local and personalised to them.
Expectations products are connected, responsive and updated.
Flexible teams, project not company or task specific
What does this mean?
A move towards cloud based services for better software delivery.
Simplified deployment update process. Ongoing updates rather than annual releases through the Autodesk Application Manager and cloud.
More integration between products (enabled by cloud nature)
Better & new cloud services.
Full year notice
New multi-year subscriptions for desktop applications
No change to current Maintenance Subscriptions
New programs like floating licenses (not tied to user/hardware) without current network license overhead.
Details in the Autodesk news release and links below:
SAN RAFAEL, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--TodayAutodesk, Inc. (Nasdaq:ADSK) announced that new commercial seats of most standalone desktop software products will be available only by Desktop Subscription beginning February 1, 2016. Through these changes, Autodesk is continuing its transition to subscription-based offerings for its products, which provide customers a simplified product management and deployment experience, and makes it easier to introduce new tools and technology into the workflow with lower upfront cost and the ability to pay as you go.
"How the world is designed and made is changing, and how software is delivered is changing as well. The companies that embrace these changes will lead their industries toward a more nimble, connected and richer future,” said Andrew Anagnost, Autodesk senior vice president of Industry Strategy & Marketing. "Our customers have long asked for greater flexibility and more value from their software investments. The shift to subscription allows Autodesk to deliver both, as well as an improved user experience and easier access to a broader portfolio of technology.”
Autodesk Desktop Subscription offers a simplified installation, management and upgrade experience, flexible payment terms, and broader access rights across multiple devices. Autodesk plans to continually innovate and improve Desktop Subscription products to more tightly integrate them with Autodesk cloud services and reduce file compatibility issues.
Autodesk customers who have purchased perpetual licenses prior to February 1, 2016 will be able to continue to use those licenses, and customers on Maintenance Subscription will continue to receive corresponding benefits for as long as their subscription remains active. Autodesk will also continue to offer Cloud Services Subscriptions.
“With today’s announcement, we are giving our customers a full year to plan for these changes, and will continue to be transparent about our plans,” continued Anagnost. “Autodesk will be working closely with our customers and partners to ease the impact of these changes, and we are committed to making the transition as smooth as possible.”
I arrived back from Tibet to find some very welcome news from Shaan Hurley. Autodesk now provides students, teachers and schools WORLDWIDE with free* access to Autodesk software: 3-year licenses of 80 titles of the exact same software that our commercial customers use.
Hooray! I have been anxiously awaiting this for years. Effective today, Autodesk provides FREE access to our software to students, teachers and schools around the world. If you are an engineering school or teach CAD drafting or design classes, or a computer lab facing tight budgets, you can now get the software free without limitations. There is no catch or fine print or restrictions on use in school… [cont]
* Free Autodesk software and/or cloud-based services are subject to acceptance of and compliance with the terms and conditions of the software license agreement or terms of service that accompany such software or cloud-based services. Software and cloud-based services provided without charge to Education Community members may be used solely for purposes directly related to learning, teaching, training, research or development and shall not be used for commercial, professional or any other for-profit purposes
It began with an old drawing that looked like this. In the middle of that birds nest is an electrical layout with lighting blocks (AutoCAD predating our use of AMEP) and circuits.
The mess is the result of some blocks showing a massive, larger than building extents, outline. In the middle under that centre grip are the original lighting block graphics.
The outline is actually a fully functional XCLIP frame which somehow is associated with the block insertion. Explode the block & it disappears, redefine the block and it survives but is not replicated on any new insertions!
I tried redefining blocks by importing, even exploding and remaking the block in the file but a solution eluded me. Thanks to Rodney at Autodesk AU/NZ Support for discovering that it was actually rather simple to fix:
Select all the mutant “XCLIP” frames
This removes the frames leaving the original blocks intact.
I’m not sure if 2012 changed how the block was interpreted or, more likely, its default settings exposed an entity which had been lurking all the time. Whatever, it’s nice to have a clean file again.
It takes something special to lure you into an underground bunker filled with sharks. After a photo at the door (easier to ID the remains?) it was quite a trek, stopping to observe the Penguin Colony, to the Antarctic Hut and an auditorium lined tanks of huge stingray & fish.
A welcoming drink & tasty finger food satisfied the appetite although you wondered if the seafood watching from the tanks realised some of what we were eating was seafood.
No chance of a quick exit as it was guarded by sharks and, anyway, we were here to see design software: Salesoft CAD Solutions Autodesk 2012 launch!
Gary launched his presentation with a tour of AutoCAD 2012’s Content Explorer. He showed the new command line autocomplete, multifunction grips & nudge. A good demo of associative array functions completed the 2D feature demo.
The 3D portion began with a demo of new viewport features (controls) & UCS manipulation. Gary even showed how AutoCAD can do limited parametric 3D models using 2D parametrics to control the sections of 3D extruded elements.
AutoCAD 2012’s improved file format import and Fusion for direct modelling showed how working with other model types has improved. The new model view features make creating 2D documentation easier, literally drag n drop, with semi-associative update.
3DS Max & Matchmover
Gary took his 3D AutoCAD file into 3DS Max to showcase its new features. Max has also had a viewport makeover in the form of the new Nitrous Graphics Core bringing near render quality to your working viewport (if the hardware is up to scratch). Stylistic rendering brings a natural media (like pencil) appearance to the viewport & render output.
Also new is the Iray render engine which makes rendering simpler. There are few settings other than deciding how long 3DS Max should spend rendering (great for meeting that deadline). As always the more time the better but at least the application, and feedback while rendering, make it easier to make the quality/speed compromise.
He also demonstrated Autodesk Matchmover, part of the 2008 REALVIZ acquisition. Apart from seeing a link in my Subscription Site I was unaware of it, or what it did. Matchmover enables 2D video & 3D cad models to be merged with image tracking & camera path creation tools. Gary had a sculpture, created in AutoCAD & Imported to Max, & iPhone shot video of an Auckland location. Matchmover enabled you to see the CAD model in place as if there when the video was shot. Another sample showed Matchmover placing a Revit model in a video street scene. Definitely something to investigate further.
Revit 2012 Family
Rich, fighting a horrible cold, demonstrated the new features in Revit 2012. He showed assemblies & parts used in building and structural detailing but I can see potential for this feature in our retail work detailing special fittings/layouts. Tweaks to the UI include the improved grips, more flexible Type Selector location (on the Ribbon). The new work plane viewer emulates my much missed AutoCAD Architecture Isolate > “Edit in View” but seems rather less elegant in operation.
The new 3D lock view will aid model annotation, especially combined with the new Ghost display option which gives a translucent look to all model surfaces. It was also good to see Revit Purge now includes Materials which have been painful to clean up until now. Add to that platform enhancements like CITRIX certification, Revit Server and Vault integration and there is plenty to explore in Revit 2012.
Marinescape – Aquarium Information Modelling?
Marinescape is a New Zealand Company which specialises aquarium design & development. They are amongst the world leaders in developing aquaria, using an acrylic tunnel with moving walkway concept.
The venue, Kelly Tarltons Underwater World, was their first project & opened in 1985. It is a walk through aquarium built in a former sewage storage/discharge tank* under Auckland’s waterfront drive. They also have an Antarctic Display complete with penguins housed in an artificial frozen landscape.
Marinescape shared how, after trying other 3D solutions, they settled on Revit as their primary design platform. The models they showed had an impressive mix of terrain (both above & below water!), building and mechanical model detail. Revit is used for modelling & scheduling all the components, even providing manufacturing data for the acrylic. They also mentioned using 3DS Max for presentation and AutoCAD for modelling organic forms (rocks & reefscapes) which are used in the Revit models.
It was a fascinating look at Revit being used for more than design, true BIM 360.
Building Design Suite
Shane wrapped up the evening with an introduction to the Building Design Suite upgrade offer. Back in 2008 I was happy to see AutoCAD Architecture & Revit Architecture bundled. Now Autodesk have now gone bundle mad with Building Design Suites incorporating AutoCAD, ACA/AMEP, Revit (Arch, MEP & Structure), 3DS Max, Navisworks & even Inventor!
The deals vary but migration is free (for qualifying products) and if you already have more than one Suite application on subscription the slightly increased Suite Subscription (including a slew of other applications) will probably be cheaper. My former Revit Suite + Max subscription drops about 10% after migration to the Premium Suite which includes those apps & more!
Another benefit is for the small office it gives access to the full Revit Arch/MEP/structure Platform (which may make life easier collaborating) and for larger offices it avoids the pain of balancing AutoCAD, Revit, Max license mixes.
Thanks to Salesoft, Marinescape & Kelly Tarltons staff for a great evening.
PS: The post title is a rather weak pun of the film: The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou. If you haven’t seen this rather odd movie make the effort. It’s an experience not to be missed, possibly not to be repeated but certainly an experience
PPS: No sharks (not even Jaguar Sharks), penguins or stingray were harmed in the creation of this blog post and the Salesoft Team & Kelly Tarlton staff looked after the humans very well too
PPPS: I got this far without using the “sharks, as in fish not software resellers” line!
* The tanks date back to when Auckland’s “treatment system” for sewage was to store it and release into the harbour on the out going tide. Thankfully that ended back in the early 60s but the obsolete infrastructure remained.
I have been working with AutoCAD Architecture AEC Spaces for years. They are a polyline’like object with a boundary (which since 2004 could be edited with grips Polylines got in 2011) and hatch fill. Spaces have an Osnap’able centre which is rather useful for placing tags (the default location if you just hit enter when tagging), mirroring or centre aligning content in a space. Even irregular spaces have this “centre” based on their bounding box extents.
Today I was editing a closed Polyline and tried to manipulate it with a centre OSNAP. Of course it doesn’t have one but, given it’s so useful, I wonder why not?