Autodesk Design Review 2018

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This month Autodesk got around to releasing an update to Design Review and DWG True View for the advent of the new AutoCAD 2018 release applications. A new DWG format in the 2018 release does create some ripples.  

The continued Autodesk support for the important DWF format is really good to see.
Fear not…

DWF and Design Review Will Not Die

These new Design Review (DWF Viewer and Markup) updates occur in an Autodesk environment where recently there has been a considerable push to allocate this sort of viewer application tool to the newer Autodesk Cloud apps.

“Post the file(s) in the Autodesk 360 cloud to view and share it.”

Ouch. Now we have a whole lot of other new and different things we have to deal with right now. Some will. Many won’t.
Time is often the thief that carries off the new.
This brings up the story of…

The Three Bears

We all probably agree that better Collaboration and viable feedback loops are a good thing.
Left unsaid is the reality that we need to collaborate in a managed fashion within the skill levels of the people involved.
We need the feedback. We often need ONLY the feedback on the specific things we choose to publish right now.

The Autodesk DWF format and the Design Review app is great for exactly this sort of thing – an intelligent publish on demand of the current design state. Did you know that there are both 2D and 3D DWFs? No. They are not the same thing.

As to why this brings up the classic metaphor of The Three Bears?
You might want to understand the more interesting details of the original fairy tale a bit better. It’s a moral tale with a bit more implied sexual nuance than a Disney telling provides – Read the Learn Something New About Civil 3D Today post to discover more.

Speak of iPOD and References

Needless to say, if you don’t employ DWF plots in your current design and publication process to replace traditional XREFs, you are missing out on some faster and better ways to get things done in AutoCAD Civil 3D. Say What?

  • A DWF reference is already a pre-plotted vector file that is hopefully an already validated and checked result.
  • A DWF reference may include layer visibility and visual fidelity control which are both useful and often necessary.
  • DWF plots out of modelspace are coordinate system aware which does make a man-hour productivity difference.
  • Design Review provides substantive and productive tools to any project workflow in Civil 3D

What the There is There For

If DWF works for entire Civil 3D projects, maybe we might think about Design Review and the most important project of all – Your project to build better projects faster.
You do have one of those don’t you?
The Framework for Civil 3D has included a sandbox project since the beginning. We now supply two of them. There’s a reason.

Civil 3d Style Management

“Here’s my problem with the Style (or Label Style) and the way things are.
Here’s the markup of what I really need.”

DWF prints and Markups in Design Review are indeed one of the easier ways to produce better and simple Style improvement loops into an organization.

“Dave? Can our Civil 3D Templates and Styles to that?”

The use of Design Review for Template, Style, and Civil 3D Set improvement has the nice benefit of producing visual audit trails as well. Maybe you want to keep a record for your annual review.

“Boss, this is where we were last year. Here’s where we are today.”

A Final Word on Design Review

Here’s a stranger thing tested in a lot of places over a number of years…
CAD folk tend to think that Design Review is there for the other non-CAD users.
The truth is:

  • Organizations that have CAD users who employ Design Review themselves on a regular basis to publish and markup their own work always benefit more from the feedback loops.
  • Organizations where only the non-CAD users attempt to employ Design Review barely get any benefit at all.
  • Organizations and users that print to DWF every day for proof of work rarely have publishing issues on deadline day.
    For some reason they also seem to meet those deadlines faster too. Who knew?

DWF It. DWF It Good.

You do the math.

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