AutoCAD WS is the name with which landed the Butterfly Project, that after AutoDesk’s many attempts wanting to interact with the Web, ended in the acquire of the Sequoia-Backed Israeli Company, who had been working PlanPlatform to interact with DXF / DWG files through the web.
It is one of the most promising applications of AutoDesk, especially for the multi-functional uses that may have on different operating systems that so far have been limited by Windows. With this, a Linux user can view and edit a dwg file, as well as a Mac’s user and one of mobile toys.
A few months ago it was released a version for download via App Store, which lets you run AutoCAD WS in iPhone and iPad tablet. Not bad, considering it is free although its capabilities are still basic and are slower than the web version that has already great progress.
Let’s see what functionalities have AutoCAD WS for mobile.
View dwg/dxf files. You can view files up to 2010 version that alone gets the credit. Run it on IPAD requires an account, it is surprising that I shared a file long ago since it was called Butterfly, and when I entered my user / password -that no longer remembered-, I checked that it was still there with some scribbles that others have done.
There are also some proof examples that can be downloaded:
- A floor plan elevation
- A drawing of mechanical parts
- An example of a residential community with geospatial appearance
Basic Editing. Most of what it makes this mobile version is redline, although its potential is more here than in the online tool.
- At construction level you can draw lines, polylines, circles, rectangles and text, all with a fairly easy but limited interaction.
- At editing level, when touching an object there are activated commands to move, scale, rotate and delete.
- You can also take measurements and make notes with cloud, rectangle, freehand line and text box.
- In terms of visualization, for now have two options, with every color and grayscale. The web version supports a layout view, similar to paperspace.
- It has a color palette with which you choose from 10 options, there are no level control or line styles.
The web version is more advanced; the most basic building and editing commands (trim, offset, array, chamfer, etc.) are available. These include control of layers, line styles, demarcating and snap styles.
It also supports loading Google Maps for reference, which I think will give much potential. Downloading can be done by choosing the format which can be R14, 2000, 2004, 2007, 2010 or as .zip with including references.
This can be executed by Windows Mobile users with any tablet to work online. The offline version is more delayed, at least the Ipad version, so this rosette stone users must wait patiently, because the problem that Adobe brings with Apple does not allow an Ipad to run flash, – a really despicable thing –
Sharing. This is a rather attractive aspect but I think few have already had experience in it. Autodesk warrants that it has encryption; this may open the door to collaborative work without fear of being lost on the road. It looks interesting a tab that reveals the timeline, with the various amendments that has had a file.
For now, Dropbox has been integrated in the mobile version, a good alternative for storage in the cloud. It is worth to be aware of the blog, because there are announced the news.
To upload files, it can be done from the web platform or from AutoCAD by installing a plugin that can also be synchronized with a mobile device.
In my opinion, this is the best I’ve seen in AutoDesk innovations for the web, but I’m not clear yet if AutoDesk is going to charge for this tool in the future, and based on what criterion. It’s a major step towards the interaction with the cloud, and much more functional than the attempts Bentley had before with Project Wise WEL, although there goes Navigator version that has the disadvantage that it remains client.