In the last installment of my series introducing AutoCAD 2018’s new features, I’m taking a look at the variety of ways the software supports changing technologies and creates improved performance.
DWG File Format
The DWG format has been updated to provide improvements in the efficiency of open and save operations, especially for drawings that contain many annotative objects and viewports. Additionally, 3D solid and surface creation is now using the newest geometric modeler which has improved security and stability.
Save performance is improved in AutoCAD 2018. Objects that will experience the greatest improvement include blocks with annotation scaling, Mtext with columns and other newer formatting, as well as attributes and attribute definitions with multilines.
In addition, automatic save functionality is updated so that saves are most often performed incrementally rather than performing full saves, which are slower.
High Resolution (4K) Monitor Support
If you run older releases of AutoCAD on high resolution monitors you may notice that some user interface elements such as toolbars, viewport controls, grips, the pick box and ViewCube are uncomfortably small while other elements, like the Command line, are a bit too large. Palettes and dialog boxes may be difficult to read because some text is too small while other text is too large.
Fortunately, AutoCAD 2018 offers significant improvements for high resolution monitors. The Start tab, pickbox, grips, Command line, ViewCube, toolbars, palettes, and dialog boxes are appropriately scaled and displayed as per the Windows setting to ensure the best possible viewing experience – even on 4K displays and higher.
REGEN3 (Not Available in AutoCAD LT)
The new REGEN3 command regenerates the views in a drawing to repair anomalies in the display of 3D solids and surfaces. When a 3D display problem occurs, REGEN3 rebuilds all 3D graphics in the displayed views, including all 3D solid and surface tessellations.
2D Display and Performance
An update to Graphics Performance enables you to turn off smooth line display while still taking advantage of high quality geometry.
You can access the Graphics Performance dialog box from the Hardware Acceleration tool on the status bar.
Additional improvements include better performance with low-end devices and high resolution displays, as well as for regen and redraw of hatch patterns.
3D Navigation Performance (Not Available in AutoCAD LT)
AutoCAD 2018 offers significant improvements when using zoom, pan, and 3D orbit operations in commonly used visual styles. Many larger drawings will no longer degrade as you navigate around the model. In fact, the performance for manipulating 3D models is approaching that of 2D drawings.
Bing Map Services
Online Map functionality has been updated in AutoCAD 2018 to support Bing Maps v8.0
Autodesk App Store (Not Available in AutoCAD LT)
Easily extend the power of AutoCAD 2018 with add-on applications from the Autodesk App Store, some free and some for purchase. View and download apps that support the updated DWG file format by connecting to the Autodesk App Store from the Featured Apps ribbon tab, as well as from the Infocenter.
In the Autodesk App Store you’ll find a variety of valuable tools as they are updated to support the AutoCAD 2018 file format. Popular apps include the SketchUp Import tool which was removed from the Add-ins ribbon tab in AutoCAD 2018.
As of January 2017, Autodesk Seek operations have been transferred to BIMobject. BIMobject is an online source for product information that is directly accessible from your Autodesk software. From this service, you can access 2D drawings, 3D models, brochures, and product specifications uploaded by product manufacturers, suppliers, and aggregators.
Support for iDrop is removed in AutoCAD 2018 since it uses an outdated technology and could pose an increased security risk.
The BIM 360 ribbon tab has been removed from AutoCAD 2018. You can download the plug-in from the Glue download page.
When you subscribe to AutoCAD, you receive access to the AutoCAD mobile app as well. AutoCAD mobile gives you essential tools for on-the-go work. Be more productive by easily viewing, creating, editing, and sharing CAD drawings on your tablet or smartphone—no need to bring printed drawings to job sites or client visits. View every aspect of your drawings, measure accurately, redline, add comments, make changes, and even create new drawings on the fly. The AutoCAD mobile app can be downloaded from the Apple App Store, Google Play Store or Windows App Store.
Watch this video to see the AutoCAD 2018 technology and performance updates in more detail.
Want to find out more about the new AutoCAD 2018? Check out Heidi Hewett’s entire “What’s New in AutoCAD 2018” series here!
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