Wednesday, September 29, 2010

AutoCAD WS - the web cloud AutoCAD

AutoCAD WS - iPad
AutoCAD WS (formerly "Project Butterfly") is a free, cloud version of a CAD editor that supports the DWG and DXF file formats. This CAD tool runs on virtually any device - so you can create and edit your CAD drawings anywhere - online from an internet browser (on any desktop computer, laptop or netbook), and with WS Mobile even from a mobile device like an Apple iPhone, iPad or iPod Touch.

AutoCAD WS needs an internet connection as your DWG file is first uploded to the Autodesk's web cloud server (Amazon S3) and the client application (a browser, iPad, etc.) then communicates with this cloud server. So you can also share, publish and markup CAD drawings in a team with your collegues. On the server, you have a storage space for your drawings, including their revision history (timeline).

With the plug-in module for AutoCAD and AutoCAD LT 2011 you can synchronize your DWG files directly from your AutoCAD environment with AutoCAD WS on a mobile device.

Start with AutoCAD WS directly on:

A sample drawing Budweiser2010 (login not required)

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

AutoCAD 2011 now returns to Macintosh

Many have speculated about this in the latest months but it is still surprising - Autodesk brings the most popular CAD application - AutoCAD - in the native version for Apple MacIntosh - AutoCAD for Mac.

AutoCAD for Mac already existed in the past. In the year 1992, AutoCAD R12 was released in the version for Unix and Mac. But since R13 the AutoCAD development continued on the Windows platform only. It was a logical decision by that time due to the dominance of the Windows operating system on the PC market - and this definitely contributed to the velocity of AutoCAD development as maintaining multiplatform versions brings substantial complications for software developers. The MacOS marketshare has not increased much (now about 5% worldwide - see the graph), but still Autodesk has decided to address the considerable Mac user community and ported the current version of AutoCAD 2011 to the Mac OS X platform. The AutoCAD code was rewritten in 18 months and 5.000 users have taken part in the beta testing phase.

MacOS marketshare
AutoCAD for Mac offers most of the functionality of the well known Windows version of AutoCAD and maintains the compatibility of DWG files. What's missing are the obvious Windows-specific functions (like the ribbon, Window system calls in API, OLE, etc.).

An interesting complement to AutoCAD is the new mobile application AutoCAD WS (as WorkSpace). This mobile version of AutoCAD can process AutoCAD DWG drawings on mobile devices like iPad, or even iPhone and iPad Touch. AutoCAD WS uses the web cloud technology Autodesk Butterfly - the power-hungry parts of this application run on Autodesk's cloud servers.