If you are like most people, the first time you opened your AutoCAD 2015 the first thing you probably did is start closing all of the palettes that popped up on your screen, (like everyone did with AutoCAD 2014 and so on) to get it back to the way old way you are used too. That’s typical human behavior. So I figure it is my job to explain what that palette you closed does. From there you can make the decision whether you think that this is something you feel could be useful in your normal everyday workflow to help communication with your Coworkers, Clients, Consultants or Contractors.
So to start, what is AutoCAD Design Feed? The Design Feed palette provides a way of adding and sharing messages and/or images to your AutoCAD drawings online through Autodesk 360. The posted content is available to in the drawing to review, respond or resolve whether you access them from your desktop, over the web, or on a mobile device.
With that said, most people shied away from this feature because they did not want to store their drawings on the Autodesk 360 cloud. Completely understandable. However, now in AutoCAD 2015 they have offered an alternative and allow you to store your AutoCAD drawing locally on your computer. Please note you will still need your Autodesk 360 account for sharing the Design Feed Posts linked to the drawing, but only the Design Feed Data is stored in your Autodesk 360 and is maintained by a unique Design Feed ID that is linked to your local drawing. You can also store your Drawings on a server and have the Design Feed access the ID from the server location, rather than having to manage files over multiple computer locations and user access is still manage by the permissions set by the server.
You can open the Design Feed Palette from the Share and Collaborate panel on the Autodesk 360 Ribbon tab.
Bubbles are displayed on the drawing if you post a comment using an area or a point and can zoom the drawing to that location when selected on the palette or select the bubble and it will highlight the associated comment on the pallet.
You can control the display of the bubbles in the settings.
You can Tag anyone to notify them by email for changes, comments or questions associated with the drawing and noted in the Design Feed palette.
After posting a comment or image to Design Feed the data is saved to Autodesk 360 and anyone that has access to the file are able to view them. If you no longer need a comment, or the associated replies, you can resolve it to hide it in the palette.
When you save the file under a new name you have the choice to save the Design Feed comments as well, and a new ID will be created for the new file independently of the original.
You can also choose to remove Design Feed data if the file is eTransmited, Archived, or DWG Convert.
Overall, I found that this feature is useful in some cases. When testing, it was neat to have a live interaction with comments and images that get attached to areas or points in my AutoCAD drawing and have that shared interaction with other people even when I had the drawing open in read-only mode. We did have some trouble with reading some emails when sending an invite Autodesk saying they were not valid emails, (even though they were) but that only controls the invites, if they have another email I would try that one, so remember it does not have to be the email associated with you Autodesk 360 login, (That is just for the Design Feed Data ID updates.)
I have listed some links to some very useful videos (by Heidi H. at Autodesk) that I think you will enjoy, one for the introduction in 2014 and the added new features in 2015 below.
AutoCAD 2014: Design Feed
What’s New in AutoCAD 2015: Design Feed
And as an additional useful tip; if you notice that the Design Feed palette does not update immediately after you save a drawing in Autodesk 360, then you can force it to update with a right-click on the Autodesk 360 icon, located on the Windows taskbar, and then select Sync Now.
That’s all for this year! I hope you were able to benefit from some of my blogs this year and I look forward to next year with more AutoCAD tips! Have a Happy Holiday Season and New Year!