updated 04:45 pm EDT, Thu March 29, 2012
Mac, Windows versions debut simultaneously
Autodesk has launched AutoCAD 2013, a major update of its flagship design software. New to the program are links with the Autodesk 360 cloud service; this lets a user access a project anywhere with Internet access, as well as collaborate with distant coworkers. The emphasis on sharing in fact extends down to posting content on Facebook and Twitter.
Modeling technology has been enhanced overall, but with a special focus on freeform modeling tools, which should now be more robust. Import options now let users pull in point clouds with up to 2 billion data points, and bring in Inventor files while maintaining links with AutoCAD counterparts. Other supported filetypes include the likes of CATIA, SolidWorks, NX, Rhinoceros, and PRO/Engineer.
More changes include new AutoCAD Apps on Autodesk Exchange, and an improved interface, for instance with extra contextual ribbon tabs, a better command line, and more objects with multipurpose grips. AutoCAD 2013 costs $3,995 new, or $1,995 as an upgrade. Subscription options are also available, and for the first time, AutoCAD is being launched simultaneously for Mac and Windows systems. The Mac version requires at least OS X 10.6.4, along with 3GB of RAM, and 2.5GB of free hard drive space.