The author of the review, Ilya Tatarnikov (LEDAS), suggests that the 2011, compared with somewhat fundamental advancements of AutoCAD 2010, does not demonstrate any revolutionary steps. However it contains a couple of new important features – as well as a number of new useful details that look like a pleasant make-up.
As one of the key features of AutoCAD 2011, the isicad review characterizes functionality enabling automated generation of constraints while creating geometric objects (inferred constraints). Such facilities considerably accelerate design process and reduce user efforts. “Inferred constraints for sketching” certainly is not a market innovation, it can be found in many parametric systems, e.g. in SolidWorks, NX, Autodesk Inventor, and LEDAS Driving Dimensions for SketchUp.
The review presents a lot of new functions announced in AutoCAD 2011: surface modeling tools, point cloud support, polyline editing improvements, hatch command enhancements, create / select similar objects, hide / isolate objects, and others.
The author grouped several essential 3D-related improvements: along with 3D modeling workspace, the user now has «3D Basic», which provides access to some 3D-instruments with a minimum set of not always necessary buttons, at the same time, «3D Modeling» now includes 5 new predefined styles of visualization, support of 3D-mise (3D-Connection), projection of 2D geometry to 3D-objects, means to analyze (zebra stripes, curvature, draft) surfaces and solids, etc.
The paper states that despite the emergence of several new features of 3D modeling, AutoCAD still lacks parameterization in this area: history tree is not accessible; one cannot specify geometric and dimensional constraints in 3D. In this aspect, we can expect further improvements in version 2012 or the following releases (remember how long it took Autodesk to implement 2D-parametrization in AutoCAD). Without 3D-parameterization, AutoCAD can be compared with SketchUp or Rhino, but not with SolidWorks or even Alibre Design.
In Russian the isicad review is titled «3D marching to the masses with AutoCAD 2011». Well, 3D is definitely important while marching to the masses is sometimes profitable, isn’t it?