Autodesk's redesigned Web site would not let me download Design Review because of an "Invalid ZIP code" error. Being from Canada, I felt insulted, but then tried again by putting a space in the middle of my postal code. That worked.
The download is 40MB, and the download page offers another 35MB worth of plug-ins for DR:
- Batch Print Plug-in with HP Instant Printing. (Hmm... the press release made it sound like this feature was included.) 0.5MB
- JT Import Plug-in. (That would be a result of the agreement between Autodesk and UGS to share data formats. When they say "JT" I assume they mean JT and not JT Open.) 24.5MB
- DGN Import Plug-in. (No agreement with Bentley Systems, Autodesk wrote their own DGN xlator. If this is the same DGN importer as AutoCAD 2008, then it's limited to 2D V8 files.) 10.3MB
After installing, Design Review displays its new interface elements for navigating 3D space. It might be useful for you to download this software just to experience the new concept. Might it make its way into other Autodesk software?
If you don't like the software interface, then there's the hardware one: Design Review now directly supports 3Dconnexion's SpaceTraveller 3D mouse.
Some problems I encountered: There is the ongoing problem of Design Review's menu text being extra tiny. I wonder why that is. DWF Viewer's menu text is unusually large; that of DWF Composer (now Design Review) too small to read.
Curiously, clicking Sample DWF Files takes you to Autodesk's DWF Web page (which would not download for me), instead of the sample DWF files installed on your own computer.
I had been wondering about georeferencing; here's a summary that makes it sound promising: "Use maps from Autodesk Map 3D 2008 to view maps with published coordinates to identify existing coordinates or, if a compatible GPS device is installed, identify real-time coordinate information."
Reading that makes me think that I can load any AutoCAD drawing onto my notebook computer, hookup a GPS, and be on my way. But the detailed on-line help makes it more restrictive:
"A georeferenced map is a sheet within a DWF file published by Autodesk Map 3D 2008 that contains a global coordinate system and defined latitude and longitude coordinates based on the WGS84 datum. In Design Review 2008, sheets with a published coordinate system can interact with GPS devices that use the NMEA 0183 protocol. Not all DWF files published from Map 3D 2008 contain map coordinate information." And then it goes on to list the specific requirements. Sigh.
The other item I was curious about was this claim made by the press release: "Tight integration of Design Review and Freewheel with AutoCAD, Autodesk Inventor and Revit..."
After running Freewheel and installing Design Review, I relaunched AutoCAD 2008, but could find no sign of integration -- close or otherwise. When exporting a drawing in DWF, AutoCAD now offers to open it in Design Review, instead of DWF Viewer, but that no more special than my Eudora email software opening Web pages in Opera Web browser. No sign of Freewheel integration. Perhaps Edelman needs to rewrite that sentence.