The new AutoCAD 2015 is here so why is it the best release ever?
Enhancements Help Customers Connect Workflows Across Integrated Desktop, Cloud, and Mobile Solutions
Ahhhh, spring is in the air. Its warmer outside, the birds are chirping, the sun is rising before I go to work, and Autodesk is announcing the new line of software releases. As per usual, the first major announcement is with AutoCAD. The focus of this release is to “Boost productivity“, with the new features falling into one of four categories: User Interaction, Document, Design, or Connect. Look for AutoCAD to “Jumpstart design workflows“, “deliver a richer visual experience“, and “bring the real world into the AutoCAD canvas”
Autodesk AutoCAD 2015, the latest release of one of the world’s leading computer-aided design (CAD) applications, jumpstarts design workflows, delivers a richer visual experience and brings the real world into the AutoCAD canvas. Also, for the first time, AutoCAD and AutoCAD LT will also be available on a pay-as-you-go subscription basis.
The User Interface (UI) is dramatically different! Not from a usability standpoint like the introduction of the Ribbon or Dynamic Input, but from an appearance and overall look and feel. The UI is darker and very modern looking. My first thought was Photoshop and the Adobe Products, but I quickly realized that I LOVE IT! I hope all the Autodesk products go to this theme. The darker look is, and maybe this is a bit extreme but, sexy! With the darker look, things pop and its easier on the eyes. Now don’t panic if you don’t like it, you can switch back to a more traditional lighter theme if desired. Other UI improvement (not everything, but some of the highlights):
- When starting AutoCAD you’ll notice a New Create Page to create new and open existing drawings.
- Ribbon galleries preview content from within the ribbon.
- Enhanced visual feedback when creating and editing objects. For example: Trim, extend, match properties, and others now preview potential changes, meaning you can see the impact before committing.
- The Help will now directly display an animated arrow in the UI showing the exact location of the tool.
- New variable LINESMOOTHING enables you to turn on anti-aliasing of drawings in viewports (with 2D wireframe) to make 2D objects look smoother.
With AutoCAD 2015 you can click and drag in the drawing window to create a lasso selection around objects. The cursor is enhanced to display “badges” to show the state of the current operation. This includes an Inspection badge when performing inquiry operations and a rotation badge in the direction of rotation set by the Drawing Units. Layers are now sorted using a natural ordered sort (yah!) This means instead of 1, 11, 2, 25 the layers will be sorted 1, 2, 11, 25.
The Mtext editor has received some spit and polish. Enhancements include complete transparency (with hard acceleration), more intuitive column re-sizing, better Caps Lock handling, and much needed improvements to bullets and numbering When you begin a line with a symbol, number, or letter followed by a special character like . , ) > AutoCAD will now automatically create a bullet or numbered list. Like in MS Word pressing backspace immediately removes the bullet or numbering
Match Properties is now available within the Mtext editor meaning you can apply properties between text within the Mtext object. The new TEXTALIGN is used to quickly align single- and multi-text and attributes to other text objects or to user selected points. Geographic Location has been streamlined and enhanced
- you can now set the geographic location from a map using Set Location on the ribbon. The process is now wizard driven and streamlined compared to 2014.
- You can capture and plot map data. Once an area is captured it is embedded into the drawing so even without internet access you can still view and plot the specific map area
- You can dynamically increase and decrease the map image resolution. This is useful as the highest resolution satellite image isn’t always the most recent
Design (Point Clouds)
Working with Point Clouds is significantly enhanced, more specifically for better performance. The Insert Point Cloud functionality has been replaced with Autodesk Recap which is installed with AutoCAD by default. You can now control point size and the density controls have been streamlined into one slider. New object snap options allow for the snapping to points. New colorization options are provided to aid in the visualization of the point cloud. The Point Cloud can now be coloured based on things like Intensity, Elevation or the scan or object color. The new lighting feature adds lighting effects like single, diffuse, specular, and double-source on the Point Cloud. The Point Cloud cropping tools are now more intuitive and flexible. A new Point Cloud Manager (think Xref manager but for Point Clouds) has been added to list and work with point data attached to the drawing.
The new Design Feed is a gateway to Autodesk 360 in that you can post messages and images to a drawing that are then shared to your team via A360. If your message is associated with an area or object a bubble will be shown on the screen and AutoCAD will zoom to this area when the message is selected in the Design Feed. The new Autodesk Translation Framework (ATF) is used when importing model data. ATF supports the import of meshes and curves as well as object colors and layers.
Hot of the presses is the new Application Manager. This new standalone tool provides updated information and updates for all of your Autodesk products, including service packs, hot fixes, and other important files. You decide when to update and the Autodesk Application Manger seamlessly downloads and installs the updates.
To Rent or to Own?
Previously announced but now officially offered, you can now choose to buy AutoCAD (or LT) or rent on a pay-as-you go subscription basis. The new Desktop Subscription plans are available in pay-as-you-go monthly, quarterly, and annual purchase options.
AutoCAD 2015 products are available starting on March 28, 2014.
AutoCAD 2015 in action
For those who want to see AutoCAD 2015 in action, I’ve created the video below. If you have any questions you would like to ask me, then please fire away in the comments below.
Here are the AutoCAD 2015 System Requirements
If you fancy some fun speculative reading about 2015 suites, then check out my post Which products will be in the Autodesk 2015 Suites?
New Features UPDATE:
If you use AutoCAD as part of a Design Suite, you may be interested to read ‘Autodesk Product & Factory Design Suite 2015 Released’