Why you should upgrade your drafting software

Moving up to new versions of software can be daunting, especially when rolling out the latest release across the whole company. But while you may be comfortable working in legacy versions of AutoCAD LT or Vectorworks, you’ll be missing out on the new features that your employees and clients are crying out for.

The most obvious improvement is speed. As hardware technology advances, software is able to benefit from faster processing, which means less time sat waiting for commands to happen, and better graphics performance. It also means you can take advantage of support for the latest third party plug-ins designed to give greater functionality to your workflow. Most importantly though, is if you’re running the newest drafting software, you’ll be more compatible with the people you’re working with.

Another thing to bear in mind, if you’re still using Windows Vista and plan to upgrade your Autodesk software this year, you may want to consider upgrading your old oeprationg system too. Upgrades or new releases and services are no longer supported on Windows Vista.

Below, I’ve picked out some of the key new features in the latest versions of Autodesk AutoCAD LT 2013 and Nemetschek Vectorworks 2013.

Upgrade to AutoCAD LT 2012


AutoCAD LT 2012 is optimised for Windows 7 and new 64-bit processors, has support for the latest DWG technology and includes dozens of new tools designed to increase productivity and collaboration. Some of the major new updates since the 2009 release are:

  • AutoCAD WS collaboration.AutoCAD WS is a web and mobile application which allows you to access .DWG drawings anywhere in the world.
  • PDF support. 2012 brings the ability to create high-quality PDFs and attach them to drawings.
  • Sheet Set Manager. This new feature organises and manages collections of drawing sheets into named sets, making it easier to know which files belong to which projects.
  • New drafting tools. Enhancements include Align Objects, Associative Array, Delete Duplicate Objects, Hide and Isolate Objects, Create or Select Similar Objects, improved External Reference controls.

Upgrade to Vectorworks 2012


As well as improved graphics performance and an updated interface, Vectorworks 2012 also includes improved BIM capabilities, and advanced 3D modelling and rendering. Here are a few of my favourite new features:

  • Push/Pull. This new tool allows you to edit solid faces and planar objects by simply pushing or pulling, with interactive feedback and instant results.
  • Improved rendering. Renderworks is now powered by the award-winning CINEMA 4D 64-bit rendering engine which gives render speeds up to seven times faster, right inside Vectorworks.
  • 3D drafting. Working in 3D has been simplified, so drafting any shape, on any plane, in any view can be done with the tools you know how to use from your 2D workflow.
  • Custom hatch. You can now save your newly customised tiles and hatches as standard ones to be easily reused.
  • Find hidden objects. Just press the ‘B’ key while you’re using the Selection tool and you can easily see and select objects that are hidden behind filled objects.

Are you already running the latest versions? Let us know what feature you couldn’t live without in the comments box below. For more info, call us on 03332 409 306, email CAD@Jigsaw24.com, follow @WeAreJigsaw24 on Twitter or ‘Like’ us on Facebook.

– Visit our store for more information and to upgrade to the latest versions of Autodesk AutoCAD LT 2013 and Nemetschek Vectorworks.

Call us: 03332 409 306

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