I was asked to send an email for an article about DWF that will be published in Brazil. The article will cover the visualization and review process of DWF. I tried to tell the DWF story in a few paragraphs. I thought I would share it with you.
DWF File publishing
Autodesk design applications come with the ability to generate a DWF file built-in. There are no extra charges for this functionality. In addition, Autodesk provides a free Autodesk DWF Writer so that our customers can create DWF files from non-Autodesk applications. The built-in and DWF Writer solutions address both 2D and 3D DWF file generation.
DWF File viewing
Autodesk provides a free Autodesk DWF Viewer to its clients. This viewer can view, manipulate, and print both 2D and 3D DWF files. The manipulation capabilities include the traditional tools like pan, zoom, turning layers on/off, named views, and navigating hyperlinks; however, for 3D, the Autodesk DWF Viewer allows for sophisticated operations like orbiting, sectioning, and pull apart. Although these tools provide an impressive array of capabilities based on the geometry inside the DWF file, what sets the DWF file apart from other file formats is its metadata. A DWF file can contain a model with a hierarchy showing the relationships among the parts. Individual objects can have properties such as cost information, schedule information, or attributes such as the fire rating on a door. All of this information is viewable with the free Autodesk DWF Viewer.
DWF File Reviewing
Autodesk Design Review (formerly known as Autodesk DWF Composer) is Autodesk's design review solution. The product lists for $199 and includes: an application to compose, markup, and measure DWF files; a DWG viewer to publish DWF files; an Inventor viewer to publish DWF files; and the Autodesk DWF Writer. So the Autodesk Design Review product has everything a customer needs to work with DWF and use an electronic review process.
The Autodesk Design Review application allows a user to do everything that the free Autodesk DWF Viewer does plus markup and measure. The comments and measurements are saved back in the DWF file. Users of the free Autodesk DWF Viewer can see these comments and measurements - they just can't add any comments or take any measurements of their own.
Autodesk customers who use AutoCAD and Autodesk Revit reap additional benefits. The markups created by Autodesk Design Review can be read back into these design applications and compared to the original design data. In the case of AutoCAD, this would be an AutoCAD drawing (DWG). So an architect who has AutoCAD can generate a DWF, send it someone, get back his comments, and make the appropriate changes to the DWG. Through the use of DWF, this is possible without the other person having AutoCAD. AutoCAD and Autodesk Design Review work together to track and update the status of these markups throughout the process. The story is similar for Autodesk Revit users.
Compared to paper processes, the overarching benefits of Autodesk DWF and viewer solutions are more efficient project coordination and reduced costs. Digital capabilities provide process improvements not available with paper: ease of distribution (compared with paper or native CAD formats); powerful markup and tracking capabilities; compact storage and archival; instantaneous transmission of data anywhere in the world; and a streamlined review-and-update process integrated with AutoCAD software, Autodesk Revit software, and the Autodesk® Buzzsaw® service.
For additional information see: Workflow Solutions are DWF's Value Add.