Autodesk Design Review and Freewheel Released

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Industry News
Autodesk Design Review and Freewheel Released
by Susan Smith

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Autodesk Design Review, a standalone application for collaboration, and Autodesk Freewheel, formerly available on Autodesk Labs, were released this week as free downloads. Autodesk Design Review was honored with a CODiE award  from the Software & Information Industry Association (SIIA), recognized as "Best Content Management Solution" in the software category.

Jennifer Toton, senior marketing product manager for the Extended Design Group at Autodesk which manages Design Review and Freewheel, said that the team’s products and services are targeted for the extended team that sits around the designers who don’t need to use a full CAD or BIM product.

“The designer typically is publishing out a DWF file, or they can send a DWG file onto the reviewer who is using Design Review. Then they can read in that file, take that measurements, markups, or other annotations, save them back out and send that DWF file back to the designer who can be working in AutoCAD, Revit or Inventor,” explained Toton. “They can read those changes back into that application and see the redlines in the context of the design they’re working on.”

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The main new features of Design Review 2008 include:
  • Improved 3D measure and markup capabilities, so measurements and markups are persistent, which means as you take a measurement or markup, rotate the model and that respective markup stays within your view. This makes it easy to read and collaborate with teams.
  • Another enhancement for AEC, geospatial and manufacturing is version comparison which allows the reviewer to understand what the change between versions is, for example, if you receive an architectural sheet set from your architect but they didn’t tell you what had changed. You can load a previous version in to Design Review and it will tell you what’s been added and what’s been deleted in the last version you saw. You have a visual reference so that you don’t need to search for what changed.
  • GIS functionality is driven by customers like the City of Vancouver who are using Design Review today out in the field. “They have inspection and maintenance crews using Design Review on a Panasonic Toughbook laptop and they use that to share their maps straightforwardly,” noted Toton. “They are planning to deploy this new feature called ‘georeferencing DWF files.’ Now they can publish DWF files out of AutoCAD Map 3D or AutoCAD Civil 3D with the geocoordinates. That metadata is inside the DWF file, so when the field worker actually pulls up the map, they can look at the different latitude and longitude and integrate it with their GPS device.”

The City of Vancouver has leak detection crews that go out and follow a pipeline to see where a water main might have a leak. They will identify a leak and with GPS integration, they can click on the Design Review application and it will mark their geocoordinates, and then they can send out crews to fix it.

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Autodesk Design Review also includes contextual search with Thomas Net and Global Spec. Within Design Review, you can navigate through the design, or look at metadata, and you can right click and do a search of those catalogs, find that product information online and bring it back into Design Review.

A partnership with HP expands printing capabilities, which gives users Batch print with HP Instant Printing capabilities, accelerating printing productivity when sending multiple sheets or models to connected HP Designjet printers.

Design Review has also been built into the Buzzsaw service for collaborative project management.

Freewheel was first made available as Project Freewheel on Autodesk Labs in July of last year. 150,000 unique users have downloaded the service, and many customers have asked for it to be put in full production. The same 24/7 servers used by the Buzzsaw service are used for Freewheel. “You can upload any DWF file you have, either 2D or 3D, and send it to someone on your team using email, and send a url string,” Toton said. “It’s become a great way for customers to use DWF and collaborate with their team members but not require any installation of software. Once the recipient gets that email, they click on the link and go back to that design that had been uploaded in the first place.”


CDV Systems, Inc. (CDV), providers of Autodesk® Revit® and CodeBook® implementation services, training, consulting and courseware to the AEC market, nationally and internationally, proudly announces the formation of a partnership with London Infotech, Inc., (LII) of Ahmedabad, India. LII has been providing Revit Building®, Revit Structure® and Revit Systems ® modeling services to architects, contractors and building owners for the past 20 months. As worldwide Alliance Partner, CDV now offers to their clients LII’s full scope and comprehensive Revit Production services.

Cimmetry Systems, an Agile Software company and global leader in Collaborative Visualization solutions, and InQuest Technologies, a leading provider of collaborative solutions for information intensive industries, signed a new Independent Software Vendor (ISV) agreement.

Oce announced that it has joined the ABC Business Partner program as its select provider of large format printing solutions. Through its alliance with ABC, one of the nation's most prominent construction trade associations, Oce will provide ABC's more than 24,000 members with access to award-winning large format technical document printing and scanning solutions through the ABC member discount program. Oce is the only vendor in this ABC Business Partner category.


Re Autodesk and Vista: Almost all of Autodesk’s 2008 applications will support Vista. Exceptions to 2008 compatibility include AutoCAD® Utility Design, Autodesk MapGuide® Enterprise, and Autodesk Streamline® software, which will not support Vista. Windows Vista support is expected to be provided for the Autodesk® Inventor™ 2008 software family in a future service pack release.

Intergraph Corporation announced that it has been selected, as part of a team led by MainStream GS, LLC, to support the Ogden Air Logistics Center's (OO-ALC) Continuous Process Improvement Program (CPIP). The program strives to improve system availability, maintain 100% readiness, reduce flow time, and decrease cost across the organization. Intergraph brings process reengineering, software development and systems integration experience to the team, delivering IT-enabled process improvement solutions.

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