Like most releases, AutoCAD 2013 introduces a lengthy list of worthwhile enhancements to the product in this, it’s 30th anniversary year. While these are each welcome improvements, I feel the biggest opportunity surrounding AutoCAD 2013 is its integration with Autodesk 360. Formerly known as Autodesk Cloud, the family of Autodesk 360 products and services present new ways to interact with, and visualize my designs.

I think one of the greatest opportunities surrounds collaboration, and the way we exchange files between sub consultants on a project. Central to Autodesk 360 is its cloud storage product. With the 2013 release, everyone on Subscription receives 25 GB of storage (heck, even those without Subscription receive 3 GB of storage). Earlier this week I was testing out some of the things I could accomplish with the tight integration between AutoCAD and the storage I not have access to as part of my Autodesk 360 Subscription benefits.

Selecting a reference from Autodesk 360 Storage

An Autodesk 360 button now integrated into the Open and Save dialogs of AutoCAD allow me to open and save DWG’s to and from Autodesk 360. Getting a drawing onto Autodesk 360 is as simple as using the AutoCAD SAVE command; no need to save locally, log into a website, and manually upload. There’s obvious collaboration benefits in this function alone, but that got me to thinking…

What if I’m the civil engineer on a project, and I need to incorporate a planting plan created by a third-party landscape architect?

I don’t want to simply be able to open their drawing, I want to INTEGRATE it into my civil drawings. And to my delight, I was able to do just that with AutoCAD 2013 and Autodesk 360.

Xref From The Cloud

Attaching an External Reference from the External References Palette

  1. Open the External References palette from the Palettes panel on the View tab of the Ribbon.
  2. Click the Attach DWG button in the upper-left corner of the External References palette.
  3. From the Select Reference File dialog, click the Autodesk 360 button to access the files you have stored in the cloud. After selecting your file, click Open, and continue attaching your Xref like you would any other.