We’ve come to expect new versions of our favorite Autodesk design tools in the spring of the year. The release of AutoCAD 2018 a couple of weeks ago kicked off that cycle for this year. Although we’ve come to expect new versions of tools like AutoCAD during that process, one tool I did not expect to see a new version of was Design Review.
Perhaps I represent a small minority of users, but I’ve always enjoyed what Design Review offers to design teams. Its offers a feature set packed with an impressive array of digital markup tools that are purpose-built for design. Not only has the toolset itself been something worth checking out, since 2007 it’s had the impossible to refuse price tag of free attached to it.
Despite the many things to love about Design Review, many (myself included) thought Autodesk abandoned it. After all, until this week Design Review 2013 was the latest version, receiving no considerable attention during the 2014, 2015, 2016, or 2017 release cycles. As that time passed, we similarly saw Autodesk introduce and rapidly refine tools like BIM 360 Docs to include many digital markup tools once a signature of Design Review.
Keeping in mind all that’s changed since the last release of Design Review, I was happy to see the new version was more than a new coat of paint. Sure, there’s a new 2018 worthy icon and some interface refinements, but similarly lots more under the hood. Most notably, Design Review now offers proper support for Windows 10. Beyond this much-needed update, we also find integrations with online services like A360, BIM 360, and AutoCAD 360.
Although I do believe cloud-based solutions will ultimately replace the need for tools like Design Review one day, I do not think that day is today. Until that day comes, I’m excited to see Autodesk breath new life into a tool I thought was always an exceptional (albeit sometimes underappreciated) part of the Autodesk portfolio.
Design Review 2018 is available as a free download from the Autodesk website.