CAD Manager's Newsletter (#280)

11 Apr, 2012 By: Robert Green

:: Autodesk 360 Moves AutoCAD 2013 to the Cloud

Whether you plan on using it or not, you need to explore Autodesk's new cloud solution — it will change the way we use AutoCAD.

Now that the hype around the AutoCAD 2013 release has subsided a bit, it is time to dig into a new feature that could foretell a big change in how we use and manage our AutoCAD-based products. That feature is Autodesk 360, formerly code-named Autodesk Cloud.

In this edition of the CAD Manager's Newsletter, I'll give you an overview of Autodesk 360 so you can start deciding whether you will utilize it in your company — and how to go about it. Here goes.

Is This Just More Cloud Hype?

I can hear the skeptical questions already:

  • Why is cloud-enabled AutoCAD such a big deal?
  • How is this different from any other cloud-style application?
  • Is this just an overhyped marketing effort to sell upgrades?

While everyone will have their own initial impressions, I think once you understand the basics behind Autodesk 360 you will have to admit — even if grudgingly — that it will be a game-changer in how AutoCAD is used. And although the change may take years to come to complete fruition, AutoCAD 2013 has let the Autodesk 360 genie out of the bottle.

What Does It Have to Offer?

Autodesk 360 extends AutoCAD's capabilities in a number of ways, enabling you to:

  • Store your design (DWG) files and AutoCAD profile settings in the cloud. (Each Autodesk 360 user gets at least 3 GB of cloud space [subscribers get more] to store their files, which should be more than enough for most projects.)
  • Share your design files with tablets and other mobile devices.
  • Mark up and edit design files for non-AutoCAD users.
  • Access rendering tools (for a fee).

Put simply, you can access your drawings and AutoCAD configuration via any AutoCAD 2013 machine connected to the Internet. Do you need to visit a branch office for a few days? Simply jump on one of the machines there, log in to your Autodesk 360 account, and it will be just like your AutoCAD environment followed you there. Read more »

:: CAD Manager's Toolbox: Clear Out Junk Files with Wise Disk Cleaner

This free utility will help you remove all those old system files and temporary Internet files cluttering up your computers.

If you often have to perform maintenance on computers, as I do, you likely have a few favorite utilities for the task. One such utility I've become very fond of is Wise Disk Cleaner 7 from

Wise Disk Cleaner does a great job removing that extraneous garbage that builds up on machines over time, thereby freeing up a good bit of space. The basic version of the utility is free, although it will prompt you to buy a professional version each time you use it. Read more »

Do you have a question or tip for the CAD Manager's Newsletter? Send it to me at; if I use it in the newsletter you'll receive a cool Cadalyst prize!

:: Resources

Luxion Releases Free, Updated Plug-ins for Creo and Pro/ENGINEER
Luxion, a developer of 3D rendering and lighting technology, has released v1.3 of its free KeyShot plug-ins for Creo and Pro/ENGINEER 3D software packages. Users can now export a KeyShot BIP file without having KeyShot installed. Additional enhancements include tessellation refinement, orientation of assembly upon import, and the use of part level appearances.

TraceParts 3D Catalogs Receive Autodesk Inventor 2013 Certification
TraceParts' 3D library of suppliers and standard parts catalogs has been certified for Autodesk Inventor 2013 3D mechanical design software through the Autodesk Inventor Certified Applications Program. The 3D component library comprises more than 100 million 3D CAD models and 2D drawings.

:: Events

IMAGINiT Know It. All. Virtual Event
May 1–3, 2012
10:30 a.m. ET
At this online event, attendees will hear from IMAGINiT technical experts who will showcase enhancements in the Autodesk 2013 products. Read more »

Be Together: Bentley User Conference
May 15–17, 2012
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Carrying the theme "Working Smarter, Together," this interactive learning event gives Bentley users the opportunity to enhance their skills; increase their knowledge of the latest technology; and network with peers, Bentley executives, and conference sponsors and exhibitors. Read more »

What's New in Bentley Map V8i (SELECTseries 3)
May 30, 2012
11 a.m. ET
This webinar from Bentley Systems will explore the new capabilities of Bentley Map v8i (SELECTseries 3). Read more »

For a complete list of CAD meetings, conferences, training sessions, and more, check out our calendar of events on Are you hosting an event that you would like to include in our calendar? Submit details at least two weeks in advance to

:: What's New at

Cadalyst Poll: How Much Do You Spend on Your CAD Workstation?
Do you ever wonder how much money your peers spend on their CAD systems? Simply scroll to the bottom of the Cadalyst home page and vote in the latest Cadalyst poll to find out! You can even bookmark the results page and come back later, to see how the results change as more voters weigh in.

CADspeed Blog Post:
How Much RAM Should You Buy for a CAD Workstation?

Start with the minimum RAM recommendation for your primary software, then get a feel for how much more memory you'll get with incremental spending. Read more »

Open BIM Aims to Overcome Collaboration Challenges of Modern AEC Workflows
New buildlingSMART initiative provides common definitions, requirements, and branding for building projects. Read more »

Tech Trends: BIM vs. GIS
When it comes to managing facilities and infrastructure, which technology provides the information that you need in the way you need it? The answer might be: both. Read more »

Louisiana Utility Dispels GNSS Signal Shadow with Trimble Floodlight
Satellite shadow–reduction technology enables St. Charles Parish Waterworks crews to map infrastructure features under tree cover. Read more »

First Look Review: HP EliteBook 8760w Mobile Workstation
Nine-pound powerhouse delivers exceptionally fast performance. Read more »

About the Author: Robert Green

Robert Green

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