Autodesk Officially Rolls Out AutoCAD WS

DN Staff

October 6, 2010

2 Min Read
Autodesk Officially Rolls Out AutoCAD WS

It's official: Autodesk's ProjectButterfly has graduated from a technology preview on Autodesk Labs to acommercial product, allowing AutoCAD users to view, edit and share design andDWG files through Web browsers and mobile devices.

The free Web application, called AutoCAD WS, employs cloudcomputing technology to extend design tools beyond the desktop and to deliver amore flexible and accessible platform for collaboration. "The need tocollaborate is an essential part of any engineering process," says Guri Stark,vice president AutoCAD, platforms and products at Autodesk. "Whether it's collaborationbetween engineer-to-engineer or with upstream or downstream people, the cloudmakes collaboration simpler."

With the new add-on tool, AutoCAD users can simply click ona button to upload DWG files to the cloud where colleagues, peers and partnerscan access them without having to have access to a full-blown version of thesoftware. In addition to standard viewing capabilities, AutoCAD WS has a DWGeditor, which supports more than 100 familiar AutoCAD drawing and editing toolsso users can edit and annotate drawings. The software's sharing capabilitieslet users generate a unique URL to host the files online; there are permissioncontrols that allow users to govern how others view, edit or download drawingsand folders. Users can work on the same DWG file simultaneously and see changesreflected in real time as they are made.

AutoCAD WS is tightly integrated with the standard AutoCADplatform so users can access the cloud computing capabilities directly fromwithin their familiar environment. The application captures and tracks allchanges made to drawings, aiding in version control and audits, while providinga convenient online storage area for organizing project materials.

The addition of AutoCAD WS lets users conduct virtual designreviews with stakeholders located anywhere without having to share large filesvia e-mail or sending paper documentation around the globe. "AutoCAD WSreleases users from the shackles of their desktop," Stark says. "There's nomore e-mailing of large files back and forth and dealing with all thecomplications that come with it."

AutoCAD WS is also available as a freemobile application for iOS, available in the Apple App Store for iPad,iPhone and iPod Touch.

While Autodesk has made no formal announcements aboutdelivering similar technology for Inventor, Stark says the idea makes sense."We don't want to be limited to DWG files; we will want to expand this conceptfurther."

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