Tuesday, March 22, 2011

AutoCAD 2012

AutoCAD 2012 was announced yesterday and here are some of the new features of the product:

Content Explorer lets you search for items on-line or Network Location. Lets you find 2D or 3D models. Helps you make it quicker to find things.

Import Tool – Additional file formats supported (ie. Parasolid, CATIA). Make sure you are in the correct space. Model space will bring it in as 3D, paper space as 2D.

Editing with Fusion. Integration with Inventor Fusion. The edit command is hidden until the solid is selected (or on the Add-Ins Tab).

UCS now is moveable, drag it to the location you want it to be aligned to.

List of commands with dynamic input.


The new 3D tools look interesting, unfortunately I probably won’t find much use using them in Civil 3D.

Chain Loop, allows you to create a surface based on items that are connected.

The Path array is pretty cool. It lets you create blocks along a path. This has similar capabilities of the measure or divide commands. Except now it’s dynamic and you can go back and modify the items after they have been placed. Can use a tabular input or drag them around. I see applications in creating slope indicator blocks from the top of slope to the bottom when you aren’t using a corridor or grading object. If the object is changed, the array will update. It’d be really cool if these could be used on Civil 3D objects, I guess I’ll just have to wait and see if they do.

Model Documentation

It takes 3D models and provides 2D documentation of the model. Cool and easy way to provide different views based on the model. Can control how they look and change the view style. The other views are based on the base view, but you can modify the other ones separate from the base model. Such as changing the scale. The 2D views are linked to the models. If the model changes a notification is provided to let you update the location of the labels. Also lets you see if the dimensions are associative.

Can also bring in models from Inventor, that are then linked together. Can model in Inventor and then document in AutoCAD.

MLEADERS, have an option for Leader Extension. Allows the leader to be extended to the end of the text. So ther is not longer a gap between the leader and the end of the text, if you so choose.

Background mask now remembers it’s last setting!

Blend curves for the landscape architects to create a blended curve between two objects. There are options for continuity for smooth or tangent.

Join tool now lets you select multiple objects at one time. Lets you select multiple lines at once, without having to select them individually. A potential time saver.

Rectangular array – lets you adjust the spacing of objects on the fly as you lay them out. Kind of like a dynamic block without having to do the hard work. Can remove or replace items within the array.

Delete Duplicate Objects – In the Modify tab. Redone to be quicker.


Raster file support is improved.  DirectDraw Surface, USGS Digital Orthophoto Quads, and more.

DGN support for linetypes. Now they bring in complex linetypes with the import instead of blank lines.

AutoCAD WS is now integrated into AutoCAD. So you can share drawings with others easily.


A different installation experience. Icons are present if you have entered the incorrect value or the correct value.

There is an option to migration custom settings. They should work better in this release so it brings over all of the migrations. You should at least try it once. You can reset it, it also deletes the files associated with the migration.

Able to now add multiple Printer configuration, description and table style paths.

There are performance improvements:

  • On startup when using Vista or Windows 7
  • Switching between ribbon tabs
  • Selection highlighting
  • Running LISP routines
  • Faster running LISP routines.

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