Press releases are by necessity brief, unable to capture the full extent of new products. I get that. Which is why I wanted to run past you some of items that might not be immediately visible in AutoCAD 2012:
- 8GB RAM recommended for 3D design work. I am using a quad-core 3.1GHz desktop with 4GB and 8GB ReadyBoost, yet found that things ground to a crawl when invoking Fusion. I've ordered another 4GB module; fortunately, the price has recently fallen in half ($50-$60).
- Fusion is thrown in for free. The EditInFusion command exports 3D solids and surfaces to Fusion. Here are the gotchas: 3D meshes and other 3D entities not supported. While Fusion is active, AutoCAD is inactive. Fusion has a utterly different UI from AutoCAD, and so it'll be interesting to see how much use it gets.
- 3D CAD translation from competitors also thrown in for free. Open models from Pro/E, SolidWorks, and others. Gotchas: no import from Inventor. No previews in the Open dialog box, so you aren't 100% sure which file you're opening. Models are placed as blocks, which first need to be exploded before they can be opened in Fusion.
- Side screen menu is gone. When Bill Fane heard of this, he wailed, "NOOOOOOO! SAY IT ISN'T SO!"
- Aerial view window is gone. No more DsViewer command, no more easily viewing the drawing on a second monitor.
- Trace command is gone, as is Blipmode.