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AutoCAD 2024 | New Features and Releases
Every year, Autodesk releases an updated version of their well-known and versatile application software used by a large variety of people, architects, engineers, or designers and this year is no different. You may have already heard something about it or, if you are reading this article, you want to know a little bit more, so let’s take a look at AutoCAD 2024.
I’ll be taking a look at some of the new features of this release, what it can offer you, the possibilities and features it provides and how all of this can improve your workflow.
If you were to ask me what I like the most about a new release of any software, I would say it is the discovery of new features and the idea of dealing with something new. The kind of feeling you can have, for example, when purchasing a new object, the anticipation and excitement it creates.
When I first launched the 2024 release on my laptop, one feature I couldn't wait to try was the new block feature Autodesk has added, and, I don’t want to spoil it, but I was pleasantly surprised.
New Block Commands
So, let's begin straight from the core of drawing tools, the blocks. They can be tough (and their creation can be confusing), but once you can handle them, they are definitely helpful and straightforward to use.
With this new release, block placement has never been so easy, allowing you to place a block into your design following the same criteria that similar blocks already have inside your drawing.
What this means is that you can pick a block from your palette and insert it without worrying about the scale or orientation. This is because the software compares the similarities with other blocks inside the drawing, and you can then place the new block with the same pattern criteria into new positions. Just hover over a similar block (already inside your drawing), and now AutoCAD recognizes the correct position! It is so simple; you should definitely try it!
Another notable feature of this release is that Autodesk has implemented the ‘replace’ command for blocks. This means you can now select blocks inside your drawing and easily replace them with another block. You might say this is nothing new, and you would be right, something similar already existed in AutoCAD, but this new release has implemented a command which makes it far more user-friendly, easy, and accessible. Moreover, you can now select just some of the blocks you want to replace instead of having to replace the whole list of blocks with the same name inside the drawing.
Activity Insight is a tool that can help you to understand the evolution of the project, and who did what. With this tool, you can view the past actions you or others have taken. For example, it records when the file has been edited, and exported as a PDF, and (this is an interesting one) it can also record when a file has been renamed outside of AutoCAD, within Windows Explorer, for example.
When you access this palette, you can filter by date and navigate the list of actions done, filtering out all the events except everything done on a particular day you wish to look at, or filter by a particular event to see the last time you did a purge, for example. All of this is incredibly helpful to monitor the development of the drawing.
Markup import and assist
All of this is just the start of the incredible new features Autodesk has added to the new release. Now let's take a look at another, starting with markup import and assist.
Imagine you have received a PDF from your manager or any co-worker, and they have added into this PDF some redlining written by hand. If you don’t know what I mean by redlining, it is corrections of text or design inside a drawing marked in ‘red’. So, you receive the PDF and import it into AutoCAD; there you will find a fancy new tool that can automatically recognize the handwriting.
For example, you will see the word ‘remove’ written by hand close to a marked object, and by clicking on that word, the software will launch the erase command. That’s not all; it can also recognize a variety of other commands such as the ‘move’ command. This is an amazing feature, so simple and easy to use. If you are thinking, “Great! Now I don’t have to spend hours trying to read the bad handwriting of my colleague!” Don’t get too excited. Unfortunately, there is no solution for that.
Web mobile AutoCAD can be accessed on your mobile phone, laptop, or wherever you are, not just from your PC. Is this not amazing? I find this really cool! Just to realize, 30 years ago CAD software needed a workstation to run. Nowadays you can just use your phone, maybe when you are on-site checking dimensions or out on the field. You can effectively communicate ideas with peers and stakeholders on the go. To quote the sci-fi writer William Gibson. “The future is already here.”
Toolsets at your service
Do you know that with your AutoCAD subscription, you have access to seven useful toolsets? These toolsets can help you greatly improve your productivity with handy industry-specific tools and libraries with not only standards for mechanical parts but also architectural components and data to support your planning and design.
Are you still reading?
Try them now! If that is not enough to convince you, let’s just talk about numbers… I know it sounds boring, but I want to give you just a single percentage: for tasks completed using a specialized toolset, you can gain an average of 63% in productivity! I said they are seven, but I didn’t mention them. You can find a toolset for Architecture, Mechanical, Electrical, MEP, Plant 3D, Map 3D, and last but not least, Raster Design Toolset.
AutoCAD LT now includes AutoLISP
When I started to use AutoCAD, back in high school, I was fascinated by the versatility of this software. Then years later I found out you could write your own code… mind blowing! This functionality, now with this new release, has been included also in the LT version of AutoCAD. Not bad at all.
And if that wasn’t enough, AutoLISP now enables customizations to automate a sequence of commands in AutoCAD on the web as well.
We got transparent background PNG!
Not only that but now it is possible to plot as a PNG format, giving a transparent background colour. I was looking forward to this because you can create kind of logos or symbols and use them for photo editing or on websites or any other possibility you can think of, without having to go through third-party software and maybe ruining the quality of the lines.
When is AutoCAD2024 going to be released?
It is already out there! AutoCAD and AutoCAD LT 2024 were released on the 28th of March 2023. You can download them any time from your Autodesk Account and, even if you are still sceptical about the new release, or unsure of working with it right away, just know that AutoCAD can be installed side by side with the previous releases, it will not affect the release you are currently using. And this will give you time to work and gain confidence with the new version, just step by step, take your time.
If you don’t have a subscription, you can still download the 30-day free trial, it has full functionality and the files created don’t expire.
To give you some details about the system requirements for the 2024 release, if you are using version 2023, I wouldn’t worry because the requirements are more or less the same. Autodesk's recommendations for AutoCAD 2024 are not changed much. You can find more information at the following link, System requirements for AutoCAD 2024 including Specialized Toolsets.
For Mac users, I have some info for you too, new enhancements and features improve the performance of ACAD for Mac (M series chip), by up to two times compared to 2023, with the ability to run AutoCAD natively on Apple silicon.
What is included with AutoCAD and what is in AutoCAD LT?
Yes, it's truly impressive!
Autodesk has impressed me with this new release, I like the idea that they have focused a lot on all the collaboration tools to offer a complete immersion of the user. It is easier than ever before to communicate something related to a project and even keep track of all the traces.
Reusing content is on the same route, tools like blocks have been improved and allow the user to spend less time on useless steps, improving productivity.
Let me know if you have any questions and if you are interested to learn how to use AutoCAD or even if you want to improve your workflow, just contact us and let’s have a chat, we can offer private training onsite at your office, or public training online.