At least 12 Blogger/Journalists came to Waltham this week for the Webcast, so we could get some detailed information on new developments in the AEC design industry. The Revit and Civil platforms were equally represented, and I got reacquainted with some Revit folks I met this spring. It was good to see David Mills again, who spent most of his time fielding problems and popping in and out throughout the day.

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We split up to tackle the task at hand, and the Civil folks delivered into the clutches of the dynamic duo, Dana Probert and James Wedding (no cat-woman and bat-man suits, sorry). Jonathan Stewart, Kevin Spear, Christopher Fugitt, Matt Kolberg and my self were there representing different aspect of the product line use. 

We snacked on breakfast while we got situated in the square that we spent the rest of the roller coaster ride at. Dana and James were polite as expected, but they never stopped working. It’s funny to look back on. I realize now that we all just kind of jumped in and fell in sync without too much formality.


Subscription Advantage Packs for 2011

Once we all got on the network, it was show time. With strict instruction not to say anything interesting before the Webcast, James kicked the presentation off with the Subscription Advantage Pack. Here is what we learned.

There is an offering for AutoCAD, Map 3D, and Civil 3D. Each will install on the Civil 3D this year, so if you are interested in Map 3D pack offerings, there will be no problem installing them.


  • AutoCAD WS plugin –  That’s right, Project Butterfly has come to your doorstep.  Remote saves and data shares on cloud servers. iPad and mobile app compatibility expand the ability to view, edit, and share data over the web. This is gonna blow wide open.
  • DWG conversion tool – Batch conversion of version formats to share DWG data with others and update archived libraries. There was some discussion about how Object conversion would be accomplished, but I think we are all waiting till we get it in our hands before commenting further.
  • IGES model import and export – This functionality allows CAD users from different platforms to share 3D models as desired without multiple steps in the conversion process. Does anyone remember all that work I did using Autodesk Inventor Fusion to transfer Inventor data to Civil 3D. Somehow I’m torn on how nice it is to avoid the back handed workflow, and how much time I invested in the back handed workflow.


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Map 3D

  • New FDO provider for ArcGIS –  You can attach directly to ArcSDE data servers and directly access Geodatabase data. Continuous Shape files import and exports from municipal servers and client updates can be completely avoided. Not only can you customize how the data is displayed with Feature classes and schemas, you can manage you own read/write databases directly without the need to go to other applications.  In my opinion this is the most powerful addition in the Subscription Advantage packs


Civil 3D

  • Style Management – better know as the Style enforcement sledgehammer, this tool imports the style set from any DWG or DWT file, and overwrites the style settings and/or for any named styles that correspond in the current drawing. Did you get a drawing that had a ‘one time’ adjustment for a presentation, but now you have to use it for production. a few mouse clicks later and it’s right back to where it is supposed to be.
  • Improved Point import – A dialog now offers some control over which ascii format is being applied by previewing the delimited ascii data and how it will be imported. As new formats are selected the user can see how the data will be arranged, giving a substantially better awareness of what formats are being imported from other firms and the like.
  • Super elevation Control – Gives access to transfer lane profiles from one alignment to another within corridors
  • COGO polyline traverse editor – Now you can enter in that legal or turned traverse as a polyline and get a closure report based on your preferred method of balancing, a nice addition.  No adjustment, Compass rule, Cardinal rule, Transit Rule, Rotate and scale to known coordinates.  It gets better. The whole thing is viewed through a call by call spreadsheet giving access and editing to each line and arc segment directly. If a leg is found to be entered wrong, just edit the data directly and the figure will update accordingly, and the closure report as well.  This may seem like a light weight addition, but I think you will see it used quite a bit, and hopefully may get integrated into other tools as we see how it is used.
  • Improved DGN import and export – This addition delivers better import functionality through the implementation of the Microstation resource .rsc file for levels and linetypes while importing. Seed files can be utilized when exporting to other companies permitting far better suited DGN sharing.

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Resources and Availability

The Subscription Advantage Packs will be available on September 30th, 2010 on your Autodesk Subscription Center page. If you are connected to the internet, you should get a notifier on the AutoCAD information center (that thing at the top right of the application header bar).

Learn more at

How to access and download at

Create a Subscription Center Account at

AutoCAD WS online

I think Autodesk would really like to see some comment about implementation on this set of mid-cycle enhancements, so please get it, use it, and let us know what you think and how you have applied it.