Autodesk has released its new AutoCAD 2017 version and there are some exciting enhancements in this release. In this article I have listed six new features of AutoCAD 2017 version that I found appealing at first look, I will add more features to this list soon.
To see system requirements for AutoCAD 2017 see this page on Autodesk knowledge network.
Autodesk Desktop app:
The new Autodesk desktop app is added in the latest release of AutoCAD where you can manage software updates, watch latest videos and articles for learning software skills, access forums and Autodesk knowledge network. You can also use Autodesk desktop app for sending feedback to Autodesk and accessing online AutoCAD help.
PDF to DWG:
This is probably the most awaited feature in AutoCAD, starting with AutoCAD 2017 you can import drawings from PDF format to AutoCAD as geometry and text objects.
So far there were many third party tools which in my opinion were very buggy and inefficient in doing the so called task of converting PDF to DWG drawings hence the addition of this feature is a great enhancement to AutoCAD features.
To use this feature type PDFIMPORT on the command line and press enter then select the file from command line and locate PDF file from your computer and click on open. Now an Import PDF window will open select all required options from this window and click on OK.
AutoCAD drawing will be imported as text and geometry and you can customize these objects easily.
You can now directly share files with users who don’t even have AutoCAD using A360 cloud account and all they need is a web browser for accessing shared drawing.
To share a drawing make sure you are logged into your Autodesk 360 cloud account and your drawing is saved on local or network drive.
Click on application button on top left of AutoCAD window select Publish then Design Views from options. Select one of the two options from next notification window and wait for the drawing to upload and process for viewing.
Once your drawing is ready for viewing you will get a bubble notification in your AutoCAD window click on it to open the drawing in the web browser. Click on Get Link icon in the top right corner of A360 viewer and copy the link.
You can now share this link with users and end user will not even require AutoCAD software or A360 account for viewing this drawing.
Making centerline and center marks:
With new AutoCAD 2017, you can easily add center lines and center marks to the geometry. Simply type the command CENTERMARK and click on the circular object to create the center mark. You can use this command to make a center mark on circle, arc and fillet.
In order to create a center line between objects such as two parallel or intersecting lines type command CENTERLINE press enter and select both parallel or intersecting lines. A center line will be created in between both the lines.
These center lines and center mark will remain associated with the objects with reference to which they are created. When you change the position of those original objects then the center line and center mark will update its position.
Further reading: Centerline and center mark tools of AutoCAD
Making 3D print ready file:
With new Autodesk print studio, you can make a 3D print ready file and directly print it in almost all types of 3D printers. This 3D printing tool is provided by spark technologies and it is available for 64 bit machines only.
To use this tool go to AutoCAD 3D modeling workspace and select print studio tool from 3D print panel of output tab. If you are using this tool for the first time then a prompt will appear from where you can download this tool.
Once downloaded and installed click on print studio tool again and click on watertight or closed mesh object from your drawing which you want to use for 3D printing.
This model will open in new Print studio window where you can prepare this model for 3D printing. If you are not yet ready to print this drawing then you can export it as STL file which can be used later.
Migrate custom settings:
The new custom settings migration setting window is more visually appealing and has easy to understand interface.
With new AutoCAD, you will see an enhanced graphics in 2D and 3D with improved performance and smooth visible features.
For a more comprehensive list of AutoCAD 2017 enhancements see this article of Autodesk blog.
Which new feature did you like most in AutoCAD 2017? let us know in the comments below.