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Every time we put out a new version of the AutoCAD WS application, the first meeting we have after the release is about what we are going to add to the next release. Our product development strategy has always been to listen closely to the feedback and emails we get from our users and to try and provide functionality and workflows that addresses their needs.
The latest upcoming release — AutoCAD WS 1.4 mobile application— is a fantastic leap forward in terms of delivering a more complete solution for AutoCAD WS users. Outlined below are three major additions to the existing feature set that we feel will really appeal to AutoCAD WS users — and given that we currently have more than 3.5 million registered users throughout the world, that’s a pretty tall order.
The biggest story of the new release is that you will be able to view 3D files in the AutoCAD WS mobile app. We’re very excited with the way this 3D viewing functionality has evolved: it lends itself to touch screen phones and tablets in a very natural and intuitive way. There are a number of different views preprogrammed into the app that will help you see your drawings from key angles, or you can go totally freestyle and rotate your designs in any direction to get an understanding of what they will look like in 3D.
Plot from Mobile
For the first time we are enabling the AutoCAD WS mobile app to plot directly from within the app. Whether you’re looking at a 2D or 3D version of your design, you should be able to plot your drawing as a PDF or DWF and attach it to an email for sending from within the mobile app. In addition, we have joined with HP to take advantage of their HP ePrint & Share service, enabling you to plot your designs directly to any web-connected HP Designjet or other HP ePrinter, anywhere in the world from wherever you are. It’s a great way to share hard copies of your drafts with colleagues and clients — even while you’re still in the field.
This is a feature that we have had a lot of requests for from the AutoCAD WS community. Using the built-in GPS capabilities of your smartphone or tablet, you will be able to locate yourself within your drawing. The accuracy of the positioning will depend on your mobile device, but this feature will enable you to move around within your design and make location-specific comments.
All in all, for our first release of 2012, AutoCAD WS 1.4 offers a pretty varied selection of highly requested features. But we’re not stopping here: as we approach the upcoming launch date, we’ll of course be turning our thoughts to yet the next release.
Author: AutoCAD WS Team
We’re talking about what you can do with the older CAD hardware systems after an upgrade in this two-part series. The first section reviewed possible internal needs. Now we’ll look at what to do with hardware systems that are surplus or simply too outdated to be reused.
Note: before donating or recycling old computer equipment, consider your data security needs. If your CAD data is proprietary or classified, take steps to make sure you don’t inadvertently transfer information along with the hardware system.
3. Donate It
If you really have no use for an old machine or two around the office, call your local nonprofit organization or school district. Sometimes tech schools also accept old computers to use in labs or as training tools. Many organizations have minimum donation standards, so be sure to ask to make sure your potential donation truly meet their needs. There’s no point donating a machine that will only be a burden, not an asset.
Many charitable organizations, like Goodwill, take your old computer parts and sell them to raise money. Look for a company in your area.
4. Recycle It
It’s important that you do not throw your old computer parts into the trash. Computers include many hazardous chemicals that should not end up in landfills. Many states have a law about the disposal and recycling of electronics.
Find a reputable recycler in your area that will dispose of the electronics properly. The Environmental Protection Agency has a list of organizations that accept computers as donations or for recycling on their website. If you don’t know of any local organizations that accept computer systems, start here.
Make a Plan for Your Old CAD Systems Too
Some PC manufacturers have their own donation programs. Dell, for example, works with a foundation that provides computers to disabled children (www.dell.com/recycling). We recommend asking manufacturers or retailers if they have an in-house donation or recycling program when you are planning your software and hardware upgrade, which can simplify the logistics for your IT team.
What do you do with your old CAD systems after a hardware upgrade? Let us know in the comments below.
Author: Cadalyst Staff
Exponential growth in the capabilities of CAD software eventually will require companies to upgrade CAD hardware systems so an organization can benefit from the new design functions. The overall goal of any upgrade should be to maximize these benefits to improve the company’s workflow (and the bottom line).
Here at CADspeed, we’ve helped you plan a CAD software and hardware upgrade with your IT department with this philosophy in mind. But once the upgrade is complete, what should you do with the older CAD hardware systems?
First we’ll look at the possible internal needs within an organization.
1. Not All CAD Operators Have the Same Needs
The truth is, not every CAD user may need the latest and greatest hardware. Many organizations have employees performing different levels of CAD work. High-level users obviously should be the first in line for upgrades. Will their older machines work for users who aren’t doing 3D rendering or CAE work?
Naturally, the entire CAD department needs to work together on projects, so prevent obvious conflicts that could occur on different operating systems or software versions, for example. You want your team to be as efficient and effective as possible. The point is, take a good look at how your CAD department functions and make sure your CAD hardware systems are meeting your needs.
2. Non-CAD Employees
Older CAD hardware still may have a lot of life left in it for non-CAD users. Systems that were cutting edge only three or four years ago for CAD may be still be perfectly usable for other staff members who won’t ever open a CAD file. Managers, administrators, support staff and assistants could extend the life of older systems, which are still perfectly capable of running less-powerful software.
For example, if you have employees who use mainly email, web browsers and basic office programs, older CAD systems may run these less-intensive software applications without any problem. Take a look at your entire organization, not just the CAD department.
Author: Cadalyst Staff