Monday, April 23, 2012

AutoCAD WS : My Take

Today, I had a situation where I could not access AutoCAD on my desktop and had to find an alternative to use a CAD drafting tool which will work on a browser. My hunt began and I settled with using AutoCAD WS. At first, I found it easy to login with my Autodesk ID. Also could quickly upload my existing drawing which I wanted to modify on the fly. I had to acquaint myself with the location of the tools and the interface, but it took only a few minutes to do that. I uploaded my dwg and began to modify the drawing and add / remove the information as required. At times I did not find some tools and the command prompt was useful in prompting that tools like fillet aren't available as yet. I was happy to see Array, Extend and others work quite neatly. I could proceed to work with the familiar contextual tabs and the easy shortcuts available on hovering or selecting the objects. It was simply a breeze!

Since I was on a slow internet connection and one which would drop many times, I think what would be helpful is that WS should allow working offline and could synchronize the drawing once the internet is available again. This can really be helpful considering that most Autodesk applications would eventually find their home in the cloud! Extracting PDFs didn't work in my case. I downloaded the DWG and then used Trueview to print to PDF using my pre-installed CutePDF.

I think it's a great effort from WS team to have the most widely and familiar drafting application be available on a browser. Though its bandwidth hungry, I think this would be a sure thumbs up to the On-the-move community of designers and professionals, including the ones who'd prefer Android and iOS going ahead!

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