Access, modify, and mark up drawings on your iPad with AutoCAD WS

People might think the iPad is not for business, but with support from AutoDesk it looks like the design world might not think this is a fact.

I am a professional naval architect and spend a LOT of time reviewing and making changes to AutoCAD drawings of ships and parts of ships. Thus I was very interested to read that the new AutoCAD WS application is available for free for iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad owners. I immediately downloaded the app (iTunes link) and placed it on my iPod touch and iPad.

Setup was quick and easy and after signing up for an AutoCAD WS online account I uploaded a couple of drawings for the new ferry project we are working on. Since I am actually flying to Ketchikan in the morning I figured I would take some drawings and be able to mark them up in the shipyard with my iPad or iPod touch. You can upload drawings through the web browser and then they appear in your account list on your Apple iOS device. Unfortunately, I get to 3% loading of each of my own drawings when I get an error message stating I am not connected to the server and I see a few people experiencing this same thing.

If you look through the sample drawings loaded into your account though, you can see that you can easily pinch and zoom around the drawing, modify drawings, add and edit text annotations, and validate measurements. I am going to share this release with coworkers and honestly think this can be extremely powerful in the field. My main concern is the need for an offline mode since crawling around ships takes you out of range of any wireless connection and for speed and reliability I need to be able to work with drawings in an offline status.

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