Autodesk just announced their new 2013 products; of which AutoCAD for Mac was released side by side with AutoCAD for the first time ever since the product was released for 2011. As the Support Manager and AutoCAD for Mac Application Specialist here at Ideate, Inc. I’ve been seeing more and more interest in AutoCAD for Mac as more people are using Macs in the workplace.
AutoCAD for Mac 2013 was released with a whole host of new features and enhanced functionality like, array enhancements, improvements to the hatch editor, more intuitive 3D modeling, PDF underlay support, strike through text, and Model Documentation support. But one of my favorite new features is the Project Manager.
One of the most requested features I saw from our customers was the ability to have sheet set manager like functionality in AutoCAD for Mac. The Project Manager is their answer, and even goes a step further to incorporate some Mac OS-centric features.
Think of the Project Manager as a file cabinet for your DWGs. It organizes your drawing’s layouts and sheets; all of which can be accessed, modified, and plotted right from within the Project Manager without having to use Finder or Spotlight to hunt through numerous project folders on your network.
The Project Manager uses .dst files to store project information. For those familiar with AutoCAD for the Windows platform you’ll notice this is the same file the Sheet Set Manager uses. You can work with these files between both platforms seamlessly adding to, modifying or creating new projects as needed. Each Project Manager project contains its own standard properties like, project name, number, client, etc. and any custom properties you define as well.
Projects can be organized by discipline in an easy to navigate drill down format, and can be divided into groups, for example; Architectural, Structural, and MEP. Those groups can then be divided into sub-groups; Mechanical, Electrical, Plumbing, and Fire Protection. After adding your DWGs or specific layouts to their respective groups, the Project Manager will populate each drawing’s layouts as part of the sheet list. Sheets also contain both standard and custom properties that can be modified, including whether or not the sheet is included in the Publish list for batch plotting. Once a DWG has been added to a project you can easily open that file by first clicking on one of its layouts then by clicking on the reference, launching a new window with that drawing ready for editing. Need to find that dwg on your network? Not a problem, you can easily use the “Open in Finder” button to quickly find it (one of those Mac OS-centric features I can’t live without).
And when you’re ready to print your sheet set you can use Publish. Publishing a sheet set is a quick couple of clicks and eliminates having to open individual DWGs and manually plotting each layout. You have the option to plot to a physical plotter or the built in Mac OS PDF generator. Each sheet can use its own page setup or all sheets can use a specified uniform page setup.
Want to see the Project Manager in action? Take a look at this video.
For more information on the software solutions, training and consulting Ideate provides, please visit the Ideate, Inc. homepage.
Ideate Technical Support Manager/Application Specialist
Derek holds a Bachelor of Architecture degree from Roger Williams University, Rhode Island. He is experienced working within the AEC industry from concept design through construction administration for both small and large scale projects. As Ideate’s Support Manager he ensures a timely and quality response to support requests and questions.