What’s new in AutoCAD 2016: New features roundup

What’s new in AutoCAD 2016: New features roundup

Autodesk has released AutoCAD 2016 in March 2015. We have covered the new features in the last few weeks. In this article, we summarize the new features.

In case you missed the older article, we provide links to the detailed review of each topic.

Interface Enhancements

There’s no significant changes or new feature in AutoCAD 2016 interface. Autodesk has improved some features, but they are definitely not new. Personally I like it. There’s no benefit for us if they change the icon, the background color or dark/light color scheme. Unless it would be useful, no need to change the interface just to make it different with previous release.

The New Tab in AutoCAD 2015 is now called Start Tab. It’s become persistent and stay open after you create a new file. Clicking the plus sign in files tab will immediately create a new file. In AutoCAD 2015, it will open New Tab first, then you can create a new file.

Autodesk fixes the layout when you drag layout tab. Now it scrolls automatically when the target location is hidden. The status bar now can be displayed in two rows, if your screen resolution is low.

AutoCAD 2016 status bar

Now you can add Lock UI and Isolate Objects to status bar.

Gallery view that was introduced in AutoCAD 2015, now can be turned off. You can turn it off by switching GALLERYVIEW system variable to 0.

Read the complete article about AutoCAD 2016 interface here.

System Enhancements

The most interesting new feature in this category is the System Variable Monitor. AutoCAD saves the configurations in system variables. There are many options available and many are not available in option dialog box. When a system variable change, it often cause confusion to AutoCAD users. Especially for novice and occasional users.

System Variable Monitor will notify you when a system variable has changed.

AutoCAD 2016 system variable monitor

Unfortunately, it only can notify changes if system variable is in the list. There are some common system variable already and you can add your own.

I wish there’ll be a log all system variable that has changed for troubleshooting purpose. Also having ability to export and import the list would be helpful.

AutoCAD 2016 has higher geometry display setting. You can use it when the hardware acceleration is turned on. The interesting thing is, AutoCAD 2016 looks much faster than the previous version.

The REGENAUTO behavior also improved. You can zoom out very far without having to regenerate the drawing. In the past, you will be stuck and need to regenerate the drawing before you can zoom out further.

The security option is simplified to match the Windows User Access Control UI.

Autodesk improve the PDF plotter driver. Now you can change the PDF quality to get better quality or smaller file size. The PDF file now can have hyperlink and capture AutoCAD fonts.

Read the complete AutoCAD 2016 system enhancements here.

Drafting and Annotations

My favorite in this area is the new DIM command. DIM command is now smarter. You only need to use this command to create different types of dimension. It can be linear dimension, angular dimension or diameter/radius dimension.

You can also set default layer for dimension. It will ignore active layer and use the dimension layer instead.

If you click and place new dimension above existing dimension, AutoCAD now can offer a solution for overlapping dimension.

AutoCAD 2016 on overlapped dimension

The revision cloud tool is improved. Now you can create rectangular, polygonal or freehand Revision Cloud. Editing Revision Cloud is also easier. You can use Revision Cloud grips.

Another highlight in this area is the geometric center snap. Now you can snap to a center of rectangle or polygon easily.

Read the complete AutoCAD 2016 drafting and annotation enhancements here.

New rendering engine

The new Rapid RT rendering engine is very good. It’s great for engineers who need to render occasionally. You can create good quality rendering in short time with very simple setup.

The IBL environment will help you to setup lighting easily. It also has 3D background for environment setup.

AutoCAD 2016 rendering result

Read the complete article about AutoCAD 2016 rendering here.

What do you think?

Have you tried or installed AutoCAD 2016? Do you like it?

What is your favorite enhancement and which one that you don’t like? Share with us!

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