Tuesday, December 10, 2013

CAD Studio's tools for Christmas

Get CAD applications given out again by CAD Studio as a traditional Christmas present - this year for the eleventh time already. Presents are available especially for AutoCAD users.

Find address of a place on a map, find the shortest path connecting points, publish point coordinates to OpenOffice Calc, get surface area, etc. - pick one of our free productivity tools for your everyday work.

Read more at Christmas CAD utilities given out again by CAD Studio

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Please touch the museum artifacts

The american Smithonian Institute now offers 3D scans of museum specimens in a form of an interactive software application X 3D developed by Autodesk. Precious artifacts are no longer separated from visitors and researches with security glass - on the contrary - visitors are encouraged to "touch" and explore the specimens in detail. Less than 1% of the Smithsonian’s collection is on display at any time, and some objects in their collection will never be on display. So virtual presentation of detailed 3D models allows to explore full scale of artifacts and treasures from the museum collections not only for today's visitors but also for future generations.

The scanning and 3D modelling process relied on Autodesk ReCap and Autodesk Maya software to easily and quickly capture artifacts with photos and turn them into detailed 3D models that can be viewed in “Hollywood style” quality with the x3D Explorer.

The first 21 representative objects from the museum collection were 3D-scanned so far. These artifacts are now available for public viewing, including interactive notes in the "Smithonian x3D Explorer" viewer. Some of the models can be also downloaded and used e.g. for 3D printing. 3D technology is revolutionizing museums in the same way it has revolutionized entertainment, manufacturing, and architecture.

Test yourself at 3d.si.edu

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

AutoCAD 2014 for Mac - new apple-flavoured AutoCAD

Several months after the Windows version, Autodesk releases a new version of AutoCAD 2014 and AutoCAD LT 2014 for Mac. The delay was caused mainly by aligning the release with the newly supported Apple operating system OS X Maverick, as well as by technological modifications for the future, including new features in Autodesk 360 cloud and top customer requests. AutoCAD 2014 for Mac is a now the top 2D/3D CAD software for the Mac platform.

At first glance, a distinctly visible new feature in version 2014 is the display quality which benefits from the Apple Retina technology. This can be observed not only in the drawing window (geometry, texts), but also in the user interface with finer icons. Compare the same display in versions 2013 and 2014 (click for closer detail):

Besides the new features in AutoCADu 2014, AutoCAD on the Mac platform brings the following enhancements:
  • enhanced hi-res display - Retina
  • performance enhancements
  • re-engineered Help system
  • cloud synchronization of drawings with Autodesk 360
  • new welcome screen with Lynda tutorials
  • Package drawing (eTransmit) for easier drawing distribution
  • enhanced user interface
  • setting a default save-as version for drawings
  • protection against malicious AutoLISP applications
  • support for OS X Mavericks

Autodesk video:

AutoCAD 2014 for Mac is available worldwide in English and French.

Monday, October 21, 2013

AutoCAD 2015 will not support Windows XP

Autodesk announced that AutoCAD 2014 (and the whole AutoCAD 2014 product family) is the last release officially supported in Windows XP. Microsoft itself will end Windows XP support already on 8th April 2014. So if you plan to stay on the WinXP platform for any reason, make sure you upgrade your CAD software in time to version 2014.

We recommend to move to more powerful OS platforms of Windows 7 or Windows 8. Beside new OS functions you will get also new AutoCAD functions on these platforms - functions which are not available in WinXP:
  • DWG and DWF previews in Explorer
  • Detailed DWG properties in Explorer
  • Search in DWG properties and in DWG contents (text, Mtext)
  • Support for touch screens (touch UI)

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Hedgehog in the Cage - winners of the 3D contest

CAD Studio has organized a designer contest "Hedgehog in the Cage" in cooperation with the CAXMIX magazine and with 3D-tisk.cz. "Hedgehog in the Cage" (in Czech "Ježek v kleci") is the most popular mechanical puzzle in the Czech Republic, featured in adventure stories by J.Foglar. This puzzle has origins in the United States - see Hedgehog in the Cage in Wikipedia.

The contest task was to design an innovation of the well known Foglar's puzzle for the 21st century, using any Autodesk 3D design product and submit this design through the Autodesk 360 cloud. All submitted works were designed either in Autodesk Inventor or in Autodesk 3ds Max.

The contest winner, awarded the grand prize - Apple iPad Mini, is Mr. Marek Janáček with his amazing and highly detailed science-fiction "hedgehog" taking a form of an embryo from the famous Alien movie, and its organic-shape nest. The prize will be handed over at the upcoming conference CADforum 2013. First three competitors will also receive a physical model of their designs, printed on a 3D printer.

Awarded designs:

1st place - Marek Janáček
1st place - Marek Janáček - the Aliens

2nd place - Martin Vaněček

3rd place - Jan Horák

Congratulations to all winners!

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Inventor on an iPad? Simply - with Autodesk Remote.

This summer, Autodesk introduced an interesting application for remote access to desktop CAD software - Autodesk Remote. This application was available only in North America but now it is released worldwide.

Autodesk Remote (former "Project Blink") is one of the benefits for Subscription customers, available to any Autodesk product. You can download this application from the appstore "Autodesk Exchange Apps. You need to install it both on the workstation with your CAD software and on the remote computer which will be used to control your CAD. Both parts of the application support Windows 7 and Windows 8. But you can also use an Apple iPad tablet as the remote computer (a lightweight "thin client"). The neccessary iOS version of Autodesk Remote can be downloaded from Apple iTunes.

After you connect both parts of the application and login with your "Autodesk ID", you can use the client computer (from home, from site, while travelling) to control CAD software and other applications running on your workstation. There are many existing tools for remote access but Autodesk Remote has advantages in simple installation, its independence on IT infrastructure and embedded optimizations for CAD graphics, especially for Autodesk Inventor (version 2013 and higher). Remote can also handle (map) multi-touch gestures from tablets (pinch etc.). Common "office" applications for remote access do not support DirectX 10/11 nor OpenGL. So the increased performance and low latency of remote operations, even in 3D CAD software operated through Autodesk Remote is limited only by the speed of your internet connectivity.

So now you don't need to split up with your beloved Inventor, Revit or Civil even when you leave your office.

See also Autodesk Remote

Saturday, September 14, 2013

Autodesk FormIt - conceptual BIM editor now also for Android

Free mobile application Autodesk FormIt helps to capture building design concepts and ideas - anytime, anywhere. FormIt is now available not only for Apple iPad but also for Android tablets.

You can build your conceptual 3D models on top of real-world site information. Establish a continuous Building Information Modeling (BIM) workflow by synchronizing designs in the cloud for further refinement using Autodesk Revit software and other applications.

FormIt offers easy-to-use tools like:
  • Extruding 3D objects from predefined shapes or drawn lines
  • Easy direct manipulation of 3D objects using gestures
  • Setting project location in a searchable maps interface
  • Importing satellite images of your site
  • Exploring the effects of the sun using the location-aware Shadow Study tool
  • Storing and sharing designs in the cloud using Autodesk 360 cloud services
  • Transfering designs to desktop applications via RVT or SAT file formats
  • Exploring design ideas and add detail to early design forms using top BIM technology

Download FormIt from Google Play

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Autodesk ForceEffect Flow - your mobile wind tunnel

The newest member of the family of Autodesk mobile apps is the simulation tool "Autodesk ForceEffect Flow". Right on your iPad, you can perform 2D analysis of aerodynamic flow around a conceptual prototype described by its outline. You can get this outline from an existing CAD design, from a scanned picture, or you can sketch it as a quick concept. With the help of interactive controls you get immediate realtime overview on performance of different variants of your design under flowing wind (while moving). The simulation results can be presented as smoke trails, vectors or pressure maps.

ForceEffect Flow communicates with CAD applications and support data stored in the Autodesk 360 cloud. Reports can be stored as HTML documents, recorded as videos, or shared with your collegues as images. Some of the capabilities of this application:

Autodesk ForceEffect Flow extends the existing mobile applications Autodesk ForceEffect (construction, forces) and Autodesk ForceEffect Motion (moving mechanisms). Have your own wind tunnel always by hand.

Autodesk ForceEffect Flow for Apple iPad can be downloaded for free on iTunes.

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

The longest AutoCAD command name

Thanks to a comment by CAD-a-Blog on Facebook, we have rerun the query for the AutoCAD command with the longest name (from the AutoCAD command database on CADforum.cz/commands). As you probably know, the previous leader was the "CUSTOMERINVOLVEMENTPROGRAM" command. This is no longer true. This poor guy now shares only the 6-7th place. The current leader is now the "DISPLAYMANAGERCONFIGSSELECTION" command (30 characters).

The latest chart (based on AutoCAD 2014):

The AutoCAD variables can also offer some good picks:


Full list of AutoCAD commands and variables in multiple language versions can be always found on CADforum.cz/commands

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

WebGL Export-Publisher - from Revit straight to the web

The Autodesk "appstore" site Exchange Apps offers an interesting add-on for Revit, which allows to easily export Revit 3D models into interactive 3D graphics for display in web browsers. You can simply present your 3D projects directly on your website. This method is an alternative to the web publishing tools in the Autodesk 360 cloud.

The plug-in applicatios WebGL Export-Publisher is offered as a 30-day trial version and after the trial period it can be licensed via the vendor's site. The price of the license is 30 Euro.

Similarly to other Exchange Apps tools, this application is very very simple to install. The plug-in is installed directly into the Revit environment, where you can run it from the "Add-ins" tab. You can begin to export your models using a simple dialogue.

The output of the conversion is a .html and a .wpm (WebGL-Publisher) file, plus a folder containing textures and JavaScript libraries that are automatically generated. Just copy the exported data to your server's web folder for publication on the internet.

The vendor claims support for all popular web browsers, so there should be no problem to display the models. In fact, not every browser supports the native WebGL JavaScript API interface, which is neccessary to display and run the output data. Therefore, it is necessary to manually setup some browsers. Read the vendor's technical information here. The downside of this application is that it does not always export the entire model correctly so some elements may be missing in your exported (published) model.

The application is very easy to use, to setup and to create exports. The output data is graphically pleasant, and it can be used as a presentation of your projects on the internet. You can judge yourself in the sample video:

L.Stanik, CAD Studio

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

New cloud apps - Autodesk Configurator 360, Mockup 360 and Sim 360

Autodesk introduced a trio of new "Autodesk 360" cloud CAD applications. Shortly after the recent launch of the cloud-based 3D CAD software Autodesk Fusion 360, this family of new generation advanced design tools for design and manufacturing grows again.

Autodesk Configurator 360

The most interesting application from this trio is the Autodesk Configurator 360. This is the first cloud-based product configurator - allowing easy custom configuration of manufactured products. As Autodesk puts it, Configurator 360 is absurdly simple to use. And that's true. Directly from digital prototypes (.IPT Inventor files) you can generate an interactive web product catalog with parametric configuration - dimensional and logical parameters offered in this catalog are automatically taken over from the parameters of 3D CAD models in Inventor, from their iLogic rules, or from the Inventor ETO parameters (in fact, Inventor ETO Server runs in a background of the Configurator). Sales teams or even customers of manufacturing companies can so easily configure the desired version of a product and send you a request for quote or an order - straight from their web browser or their mobile device (tablet). The configured model can be also downloaded in a wide range of different image- and 3D CAD formats (you can limit the format range).

On the publishing side (as the manufacturer) you just upload an IPT file and select its parameters to publish. You can limit the access to the configurator, or you can release it publicly. The generated web catalog can be branded with logos and color-options and you can set the communication contacts. A sample product catalog and subsequent processing of the product configurations (customer view):

You can try out both pages yourself - online from your web browser (you may need to enable Silverlight as instructed):
- Product Catalog, CADstudio logo, Sieve

Configurator 360 video:

Autodesk Mockup 360

Autodesk Mockup 360 is an easy-to-use cloud tool for rapid aggregation of CAD data from different sources (formats), their mockups, clash/collision checks, for measuring and easy sharing of 3D models with suppliers and customers. Invited participants can discuss and comment the models, and collaborate online on very large volumes of 3D CAD data. Mockup 360 does not require any special IT infrastructure to manage. Thanks to a plugin you can also publish data to Mockup 360 directly from within Inventor 2014 and 2013.

Autodesk Mockup 360 video:

Autodesk Sim 360

The family of CAE simulation tools "Autodesk Sim 360" was extended with a version of Sim 360 Pro (includes also the AEC analysis tool Robot Structural Analysis 360) and Sim 360 Moldflow for plastics simulation. These new simulation tools offer not only computing features but also advanced tools for editing of the model geometry and their preprocessing for simulation and analysis (especially meshing).

The new Autodesk 360 cloud tools, Autodesk Sim 360, Autodesk Mockup 360 and Autodesk Configurator 360 significantly increase the function set of Autodesk Product Design Suite. These applications are currently available only for the North American market, but you can try them in a form of a free 90-day trial. Download links:

- Mockup 360 trial
- Configurator 360 trial
- Sim 360 trial

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Autodesk Fusion 360 - desktop 3D CAD fuses with web-cloud

Autodesk 360 cloud services are being added and updated almost every week. But this new member of the Autodesk's cloud family is unique - it literally changes the CAD industry. Autodesk Fusion 360 is the first full-featured cloud CAD tool which offers a broad set of 3D functions, professional solid and surface modeling, plus rich web-collaboration and social networking tools.

With a simple thin-client application (for PC and Mac) and with the "unlimited" power of cloud servers, Fusion 360 is a surprisingly powerful 3D CAD application with fast and easy to use functions for processing CAD files in various formats, for modeling parts and assemblies, for analysis, publishing, data management, sharing and online collaboration.

An intuitive user interface is similar to the popular desktop software Autodesk Inventor Fusion. Similar is also the combination of parametric and direct (history-free) modeling. But conceptually, Fusion 360 is a completely new CAD application based on the cloud technology. Fusion 360 is primarily designed for individuals and small businesses. It is licensed in the form of a subscription (starting at $25/month), and Fusion 360 is free for non-commercial use (makers, hobbyists, students).

Fusion 360 designs are stored in the Autodesk 360 cloud but it can also store changes locally if your internet connection is lost. Most usual CAD formats are supported - see the list. This cloud tool does not replace Autodesk Inventor - Inventor contans complex design a modelling tools, creates drawing documentation and simulations. But both applications can share their CAD data.

You can run Autodesk Fusion 360 on Windows (64-bit) and Mac. Other platforms and other functional tools will added. You can immediately run a 90-day free trial version from autodesk.com/tryfusion360

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

AutoCAD WS grows and graduates to AutoCAD 360

ACAD360AutoCAD cloud version - AutoCAD WS - is one of the most successful free applications by Autodesk. Since its launch two years ago it was downloaded already by 12 million users. An enhanced version of this software now becomes part of the "Autodesk 360" cloud family and its name is changed to Autodesk AutoCAD 360.

The mobile and web application AutoCAD 360 allows to edit, view, measure, print, share and redline AutoCAD DWG drawings anywhere and on any device - from a mobile phone, over tablet and notebook to a desktop computer with any operating system.

AutoCAD 360 is available either as a web application running in an internet browser (now uses the HTML5 technology), or as a mobile application for Android and Apple iOS. The mobile version exists not only as a free tool but also as a professional commercial version "Pro" or "Pro plus" with larger storage capacity, enhanced functionality and priority support.

AutoCAD 360 web

Besides system enhancements, the new AutoCAD 360 brings also a couple of new functions - e.g. multiline text or the "Smart Pen" function converting roughly sketched lines to precise shapes, e.g. squares and circles. AutoCAD 360 is integrated with other Autodesk 360 cloud services and with desktop versions of AutoCAD and AutoCAD LT.

Compare versions:
  • The free mobile version of AutoCAD 360 offers roughly the same function set as the original AutoCAD WS Mobile, including 5GB secure cloud storage.
  • The Pro version ($4.99/monthly) adds support for larger DWG drawings (up to 30MB), you can create new drawings from scratch, edit DWG drawings from other cloud storage services (Dropbox, Egnyte, Buzzsaw, or other WebDAV services), use advanced editing tools, layer management, work with block libraries and edit block attributes.
  • The Pro Plus version ($99.99/yearly) adds support for drawings up to 40MB and storage with a capacity of 100GB.

Other information can be found on the page AutoCAD 360 and on the web autocad360.com. You can immediately download the mobile AutoCAD 360 to your device from iTunes or from Google Play - see the links on Autodesk mobile apps, or run the new web version from app.autocad360.com.

Ready to print with Autodesk 3D Print Utility

"Ready to print" is the most characteristic message of the new free tool from the "maker" application family Autodesk 123D - Autodesk 3D Print Utility. This utility allows to read 3D models in the STL and OBJ formats and perform final pre-flight checks and adjustments before 3D printing.

Preparing a 3D model for printout may be not trivial, it is not an equivalent of pressing Ctrl+P. You need to check the proper file format, dimensions of your model, its optimal orientation in 3D space, its support structures (to allow bottom-up material layering), lower material consumption by hollowing the model.

The Autodesk 3D Print Utility does just this. Whatever design tool you use - a professional 3D CAD or one of the 123D maker apps - your first step is to create a "print" file in the STL or OBJ file format. Now instead of sending this file directly to your 3D printer, you can open the file in 3D Print Utility, view its details, check its dimensions against the limits of a specific 3D printer model, or adjust its scale. You can choose the color of the print material (ABS, PLA; for viewing), display support material, thicken thin walls or save print material by hollowing a solid. You can also choose the number of printed copies of your model which will fit in a single printout. Total print time is estimated. You can edit parameters of materials and printers using the Javascript file c:\Program Files\Autodesk\3D Print Utility\bin\resources\printers.json.

The resulting model can be sent directly to the MakerWare or Objet Studio driver, or you can save the model back to the STL format or to a THING or OBJZF file. The 3D Print Utility directly integrates itself into new versions of the programs 123D Catch (3D models from photos) and 123D Design (modeling), or you can run it as a standalone tool. It supports various models of 3D printers MakerBot and Stratasys Objet.

You can download the 3D Print Utility 1.0 from CAD Studio Download or from Autodesk 123D

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

New cloud service Autodesk ReCap Photo

Those who have tried the application Autodesk 123D Catch, formerly known as Photofly, will get it quickly. The new cloud tool "ReCap Photo", now included in the standard function set of the "Autodesk 360" cloud, uses similar technology. ReCap Photo can convert a series of photos - taken from different (random) angles around an object - to a textured 3D model of the object, which can be used for 3D prints or for loading into a CAD application, or to a point cloud. Unlike the "maker" application "Autodesk 123D", this is a professional cloud service, processing photos in full resolution for more accurate 3D models.

The cloud application ReCap Photo (don't confuse with the desktop application ReCap Studio for laser-scanned point clouds) is very easy to control. First take a series of photos of the object of interest and upload them (without any editing) to a new project folder in your Documents cloud storage on Autodesk 360. There are some simple rules about how to take the photos - see our older blog post about Photofly, and samples on the CADonline page.

An example of a scene for ReCap:

Select all uploaded JPG photos in the cloud folder (with the topmost checkbox) and launch conversion to the 3D model by right-clicking on one of the photos (the function "Create 3D model"). This will launch the "Photo-to-3D" dialog:

Name your project and select the requested quality (precision) for the 3D mesh. You can save the resulting 3D model to the formats RCS (ReCap), OBJ (Wavefront), FBX (Autodesk media), or IPM (mobile viewer). The option "Advanced tools" will activate tools for registering matching points and assigning textures (not needed for usual models). The icon "Submit project" (the rocket) will start the conversion process of your scene on Autodesk's cloud servers. After a couple of minutes (depending on the scene complexity and on the selected 3D mesh precision) you will receive an e-mail "Your photoscene:" with a web link to the generated 3D scene. You can view the textured 3D model directly in the cloud (in your web browser) using an interactive 3D viewer of RCP files. 3D models can be downloaded as ZIP files containing the model itself (3D mesh) and its accompanying textures and materials.

The resulting mesh viewer (currently, the 3D mesh cannot be cropped in ReCap):

Loading one of the conversion results - the point cloud - into AutoCAD or Inventor or Revit 2014 (point clouds can be used also in Civil 3D, Navisworks, 3ds Max or Factory Design Suite):

Point cloud in AutoCAD

Point cloud RCS of the doggie project "Pejsek" for download (130MB)
Information about ReCap Photo

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Autodesk Exchange Apps in localized versions

Many users of Autodesk products add plug-in modules and utilities to their CAD software. These tools help to automate repeated wokflows and enhance the original software application with additional functionality. The Autodesk "appstore" is a rich source of such add-on applications -- "Autodesk Exchange Apps" was already fully functional for the 2013 family (now also for 2014), offering tens of plug-ins for AutoCAD, Inventor, Revit, Vault, 3ds Max and other design tools by Autodesk. The plug-ins are developed both by Autodesk any by independent developers from all over the world (many plug-ins in Exchange Apps were developed also by CAD Studio). Exchange Apps contains free tools, trial versions of commercial tools, and commercial add-on applications in price range of tens of cents to tens of dollars. All these programs have trivial installation - by clicking a button you add new functions to the ribbon of your CAD.

The web pages of Autodesk Exchange Apps were now launched also in localized versions. So this appstore is available in English, German, French, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, Czech, Polish, Hungarian, Russian, Japanese, Korean and Chinese.

Find your new useful plug-ins and CAD tools on apps.exchange.autodesk.com.

Thursday, April 18, 2013

My name is Design Suite. Autodesk Product Design Suite 2014.

The recently released design suite for digital prototyping - "Autodesk Product Design Suite 2014" - based on Autodesk Inventor, contains tools for part design, surfacing, parametric 3D parts and assemblies, electrical design, drawing documentation, photorealistic visualization and animation, simulations, digital mockup and technical document management.

Make yourself familiar with all these most important functions of the Product Design Suite version 2014 in a new series of videos by Autodesk.

1) 3D part creation - Inventor:

2) Automating design - iLogic:

3) Visualization and animation - 3ds Max:

4) Simulation and analysis:

5) Electrical circuits:

6) Surfacing and shapes - Alias:

7) Document management - Vault:

8) Documentation in AutoCAD:

9) Digital mockup - Navisworks:

10) Visualization of design alternatives - Showcase:

11) Intuitive assembly modelling - Inventor:

12) Automatic drawing documentation - Inventor:

Download your trial version of Product Design Suite 2014 and test it in your design environment.

See also Product Design Suite (in Czech)

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Autodesk AutoCAD 2014 - first impressions

Today, Autodesk has released the new version of its flagship product - "Autodesk AutoCAD 2014" (note the newly extended name), together with other new products of the large "2014" family. The product graphics reflects the new Autodesk visual identity, with the new blue-green ribbon logo and a series of appealing 3D "daydream structures". Please note also a substantial change of the Autodesk.com website.

You can easily install the new AutoCAD 2014 either as a part of your Subscription fulfilment or as a free Trial version. Multiple European and Asian language localizations of AutoCAD 2014 are available immediately at the FCS date. Here are some steps from the ACAD2014 installation wizard:

You can install AutoCAD 2014 (32-bit or 64-bit) on Windows 7, old Windows XP or on new Windows 8, including touch-screen devices. You may notice that there is no Inventor Fusion installed as in version 2013 but there is a new additional tool - Autodesk ReCap (see below). Many users will probably get and use their AutoCAD 2014 as a part of an "Autodesk Design Suite". The most general Design Suite - AutoCAD Design Suite - adds raster functionaliy (AutoCAD Raster Design), SketchBook Designer, Autodesk Showcase, Mudbox and optionally also Autodesk 3ds Max.

What are the main new functions in AutoCAD 2014? There is the new Design Feed palette, where you can share online comments, posts and images for your drawing (the same collaboration as in AutoCAD WS). The comments feed is stored in the cloud. You will also notice the new File tabs with quick access to all opened drawings (can be switched off to preserve screen space). Even a plain AutoCAD now includes geolocation functions and coordinate systems (the same as in Map/Civil3D). You can easily georeference your project to a given place or address selected in the Live Map dialog (uses Microsoft Bing and Nokia maps) and insert the map (streets and/or aerials) to your drawing. You can even use your location-aware computer to display your location in the map.

The AutoCAD commandline was extended - you can recklessly type command names as AutoCAD now contains AutoCorrect (it will understand your CRCLE or TABEL input). The enhanced AutoComplete understands mid-string search; it is also possible to call commands by synonyms. You can also access symbols (hatches, layers, styles, blocks) directly from the commandline. So you can e.g. insert a block just by typing its name (imagine a "DOOR" or "APPLETREE" command). There are new security related commands protecting autloading and execution of add-on programs (some variables from AutoCAD 2013 SP1 were renamed). Layers are now sorted in a natural numerical order. Autodesk Exchange Apps (the "AppStore") can offer different/more applications for subscription users.

In terms of API, AutoCAD 2014 now supports also JavaScript and the VBA support was reincarnated with the VBA version 7.1 (includes native 64-bit VBA).

All new commands and variables introduced in AutoCAD version 2014 are listed in the CADforum database on CADforum.cz.

An interesting new tool included in AutoCAD 2014 is Autodesk ReCap (an acquisition from Alice Labs). ReCap Studio is a desktop tool for management and processing of very large point clouds captured by 3D laser scanning (offers up to millimeter precision). This powerful application sports a modern Win8-like user interface and allows to import, combine and index point clouds from multiple data formats. The resulting compressed RCP/RCS files can be then imported into AutoCAD (adds to/replaces the former PCG point cloud format). Autodesk also plans a cloud service ReCap Photo (April) which will create high-resolution textured 3D models from photos (similar to 123D Catch but in full resolution).

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

World polygon maps - countries and continents

The Humanitarian Information Unit (HIU) of the U.S. Department of State publishes and updates vector data of international boundaries, coastlines and islands, including their sovereignty. This data is called "Large Scale International Boundaries" (LSIB).

The latest March 2013 update contains datasets of simplified world polygons (countries and continents worldwide) plus detailed boundaries by individual continents. These datasets contain also metadata with names of the countries, country codes by ISO 3166-1 and assigned internet domains. Data is published in the "Shape" (SHP) format and in the WGS84 coordinate system - so it can be directly read into AutoCAD Map, Civil 3D and other mapping and GIS applications.

You can publish this large scale data from AutoCAD Map to the DWF format. This format maintains both the georeference information and the attached metadata - you can make use of this efficient publishing format to view maps in the free viewer Autodesk Design Review, in your internet browser, or on a mobile device. For comparison - the simplified worldwide boundaries map is 131 MB in the "shape" format, the processed DWG file exported from Map, World.dwg is 58 MB, the published DWFx file - World-LSIB is a mere 4 MB.

You can use Autodesk Design Review to view and print maps, when you click on an object (country), it displays the attached metadata. If you run Design Review on a notebook or tablet equipped with GPS, you can display your current position on the map.

The DWFx output files of the individual continents processed in AutoCAD Map from the LSIB sources can be found in the Block library on CADforum.cz - see www.cadforum.cz/catalog_en/?q=US-DoS

via Disruptive Geo

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Autodesk Project Pinocchio - wood carver in the cloud

Demanding, power hungry 3D applications can easily move to mobile devices and plain PCs today, thanks to web cloud. The proof is also in the newest multimedia application by Autodesk - Project Pinocchio. On the web site projectpinocchio.autodesk.com you can use your internet browser for detailed configuration and generation of fully rigged 3D characters of women, men and fantasy creatures. These can be then used in 3D computer games, visualizations and CAD scenes.

Characters can be created by crossbreeding from pre-defined body types, you can combine and adjust their body and facial proportions, hair-cut, skin and eye color, clothing, shoes, etc.

After you set and fine-tune all parameters you can publish the resulting model under a new name and download it including its textures in a given precision to a file in the .MB or .FBX format. The models contain also a skeleton and neccessary constraints for inverse kinematics (IK), so you can easily animate their realistic movements. You can directly read these models into the applications Autodesk Maya, 3ds Max, Motionbuilder and to other 3D software.

Using the Pinocchio-generated character in Autodesk Maya:

An example of 3D model loaded via FBX into AutoCAD and saved to DWG - ZoeCS.dwg

The technology preview version of the Project Pinocchio expires September 30th 2013. You can find more information on Autodesk Labs Project Pinocchio.

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

As time goes by the Autodesk logo

With the recently unveiled new face of the Autodesk logo and brand, we searched the depths of our archives and reminisce nostalgically about the older shapes of this logo, as it accompanied us through the common history with CAD Studio.

In the very beginnings of CAD Studio and its ccoperation with Autodesk, we met the original Autodesk logo reflecting calipers - this logo was used in the 1980s and early 1990s. First in an uppercase version:

and later in a lowercase look:

In the late 1990s, Autodesk changed its logo to a then modern "internet" look written in all lowercase:

In the first decade of the new millennium, the logo has undergone first a font-uplift:

and later also a color change - back to a more trustworthy black color:

This logo is still valid today. In March 2013, the already announced change of the Autodesk logo (and not only the logo) will be executed. The new logo should nod to origami, combining (similarly to Autodesk products) art and mathematics, form and function: