Well the big news for Autodesk Design Review is that it is the first new version that is free right from the get-go. In addition, the user interface has been made less cluttered. Don't worry, we've kept the frequently used items (like the various ways to zoom) easily accessible. At one point during development, the zoom icons were in a menu pull down.
Feedback indicated that we should put them back where they were, so we did. And people say we don't listen. Humbug I say!
Four features that I have been intimately involved with include:
- DWFx - Users will be able to View and SaveAs DWFx files. This is handy if you are collaborating with someone who has Microsoft Vista since DWFx files can be viewed on that operating system without the need to download and install Autodesk Design Review 2008. This also applies to users of other operating systems where the user has downloaded and installed Microsoft's XPS Viewer. The XPS experience will not be as rich as using Autodesk Design Review, but for people who only need to view and print without having to install any additional software, it fits the bill.
- Version Compare - Version Compare allows two sheets in a DWF or DWFs to be compared. It does so by interrogating the geometry on the sheet. The additions and deletions are depicted as markups in selectable colors such as red and blue.
I will have follow up posts on this topic later in the month.
- DGN Import - Autodesk Design Review allows you to import your version 8 DGN files. It converts them to 2D DWF. I will also have a follow up post on this topic this month.
- JT Import - Autodesk Design Review allows you to import your JT files. It converts them to 3D DWF. This too will have a follow up post with an example.
Those four were the features that I acted as Project Manager for. My more experienced counterpart, Jim Flanigan, managed the bulk of the project including (but not limited to) other features:
- Georeferenced Maps - When Autodesk Design Review is run on machines with integrated GPS, users such as field workers receive instant feedback on their location and the locations of specific predefined points.
This is for our mapping customers.
- Markup Enhancement: Persistent 3D Markups - You can now mark up and annotate directly on the 3D design, rather than a snapshot of the design.
Mechanical users have been asking for this.
- Measure Enhancement: Persistent 3D Measure - You can accurately measure detailed information in complex CAD models to check for accuracy or determine if changes are needed. All measurements now persist as you continue to interact with the 3D model.
This goes hand in hand with 3D markup.
- Measure Enhancement: User Coordinate System Support - The started with the DWF Toolkit and permeated its way up through to Autodesk Design Review. There is now a versatile 3D user coordinate systems provide greater flexibility and more accurate measurement of model surfaces.
This is useful for customers who employ coordinate measuring machine quality assurance processes as part of moving to paperless manufacturing.
- Steering Wheel Navigation - Increase productivity with an intuitive new interface tool to view and interact with 3D designs.
It took me some getting used to, but once I did, I likes it.
- View Cube Navigation - Like Steering Wheel, increase productivity with an intuitive new interface tool to view and interact with 3D designs.
Now if we could just get the whole world to agree on what is the front and what is the top. :-)
- Visualization Tools - Extensive shadow and lighting options provide realistic views of image files.
I find that having the shadows (on) instead of (off) enhances the appearance that the model is really 3D.
- Online Content Search - One-click access to online parts catalogs drives productivity and extends the reach of your design information.
This will be useful for customers who want to locate physical parts from a supplier based on the design they are viewing.
Autodesk used to deliver a free DWF Viewer product in addition to the “for-pay” Autodesk Design Review. Autodesk DWF Viewer 7 was a free version of Autodesk Design Review without measuring and markup capabilities. With the release of Autodesk Design Review 2008, we have dropped the DWF Viewer product and are delivering the full design review functionality in the free Autodesk Design Review.
This change was made at the request of our customers. Now, instead of requiring team members to purchase software to review and comment on designs, all stakeholders have access to fully functional, free software to view, measure, mark up, annotate, print, and round-trip designs. Now more than ever, DWF can go beyond the paper.