Autodesk 2017 Release Information

Many people are now aware that Autodesk has released the 2017 version of its various software packages.  There are many great blog posts about the enhancements in the packages and I really like some of those enhancements.  Before discussing any of those 2017 enhancements, I thought I would post some links to official Autodesk pages for you to peruse.

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AutoCAD 2016 Start Tab

When I opened AutoCAD 2016 for the first time, I (like the rest of you) noticed the Start tab.    That was all well and good and I thought that it would go away when I opened a drawing, similar to previously releases.  But then I opened an existing drawing and noticed the Start tab was still there.  My thought was “Ok, I will close it so I don’t have an extra tab”.  The problem was that there was no “X” on the tab to close it like other tabs.

Startmode tab

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Revit is for Residential Architecture Too

Not very long ago, I was talking with some Architects about Revit and they made the comment that Revit doesn’t work for residential design.  I was surprised at their comments, especially with Revit’s roots being in residential design.  After talking with them, I learned that they use AutoCAD now and they were just interested in producing 2D construction documents and didn’t care about any 3D features or any intelligence that might be inside Revit.  They all had used AutoCAD for many years and had their AutoCAD blocks created and systems in place to produce 2D documentation quickly.  They were very efficient at their system, didn’t see any reason to change, and only looked for excuses to not make any change.

I will state that Revit works fantastic for residential design and can produce construction documentation quickly.

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AutoCAD 2016 is Here

For AutoCAD users, the latest big news is that Autodesk has released their 2016 version of AutoCAD.   Along with AutoCAD, you can also get the 2016 versions of AutoCAD LT, AutoCAD Architecture, AutoCAD MEP, AutoCAD Electrical, and AutoCAD Mechanical.

As with each release, there are features that you will love and some that you really don’t care about.  However, which features are preferred vary per person and per discipline.  I will try to give a basic description of some of the new/updated features of AutoCAD 2016.

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PDF to DWG Converter

I don’t very often review software products for my blog, but I decided to review Able2Extract PDF Converter 8 from Investintech.com.  This is a software that will convert PDF files to AutoCAD files.  It will also convert PDF files to Excel, Word, PowerPoint, Publisher, OpenOffice, HTML, and Images.  My primary interest is in conversion to AutoCAD, since I wanted to know how it works in assisting with building design.  I work with both Revit and AutoCAD products, so my focus is based on those software packages.

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Components for AutoCAD Details

As a consultant and trainer, I work with many people that are currently working with AutoCAD or transitioning to Revit.  I am constantly amazed at the number of architectural users of AutoCAD that are not aware of detail components within AutoCAD Architecture.  These components can be an important part of drafting the many details that are part of an architectural design office.  Over the years, I have spent many hours drafting details for construction documents and I think of the advantages of having pre-made components available to me for detailing.

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