AutoCAD 2010

I am at the Bangalore airport waiting for my flight back home to Goa. I came here to attend the DevDays event held at the Windsor yesterday. DevDays is a set of one day events that Autodesk holds in various cities around the world where they show their partners (mostly Autodesk Developer Network members) the upcoming versions of their product range and offer indepth technical advice on the issues that may come up with porting their existing plug-ins to the new versions.

Anyone who attends DevDays is bound by a Non-Disclosure Agreement, so I cannot say much. In fact, I cannot say anything at all. But I am going to flirt with danger here, drop a few hints and let you read between the lines.

Autodesk has hired a Product Manager for AutoCAD called Guillermo Melantoni whose sole job in life is to focus on advanced 3D functionality in AutoCAD. Do keep in mind that going by their self-imposed three year cycle, AutoCAD 2010 is when Autodesk changes the DWG file format. And that gives them a chance to completely rearchitecture certain portions of the software. One thing is for sure, AutoCAD 2010 is not going to be one of those casual upgrades.

Going by recent versions of AutoCAD, many of us got the feeling that Autodesk was working towards killing off AutoCAD and moving customers to Inventor and Revit. I am now convinced that AutoCAD is here to stay. I have seen the AutoCAD roadmap and I simply love the direction in which AutoCAD is headed.

It is my prediction that a version of AutoCAD in the not so distant future will have 3D direct modeling capabilities equivalent to (or probably better than) what we see today in SpaceClaim and Solid Edge ST.

Here is my advice to AutoCAD users who are thinking of dumping AutoCAD for a 3D solid modeling system – parametric or otherwise. Don’t sign that check yet.