AutoCAD 2018.1 released, but only for some

Autodesk has released the AutoCAD (and LT) 2018.1 Update, not to be confused with the earlier ill-fated 2018.0.1 Update. It’s only available for currently-paying subscription and maintenance customers. The “non critical” bug fixes in this Update (by Autodesk’s definition) are being withheld from Autodesk’s other customers.

Those of you who have allowed your maintenance to expire due to Autodesk’s development inaction and unjustified price increases can consider yourselves duly punished for failing to fall into line.

If you have the execrable Autodesk desktop app installed (not recommended) and it works as expected, this update will present itself to you. Otherwise, get it from your Autodesk Account page. Go to Management > AutoCAD > 2018 Downloads > Updates & Add-ons and then pick the appropriate AutoCAD 2018.1 Update download.

It has yet to be seen whether this update will break things, so if you’re feeling nervous you might want to hold off for a while and let others find out for you. (Edit: it broke one person’s AutoCAD, see comment from R.K. below).

Weighing in at well over 400 MB, the AutoCAD 2018.1 Update download is about twice the size of a complete BricsCAD download, even before expansion. So it must contain a pretty impressive amount of stuff, right? Or is it all bloat? Well, it includes 2018.0.1 and 2018.0.2 and adds this:

  • Xref Layers Override – Improvements to Xref Layers make it easier to identify overrides and restore them to their default values.
  • Views and Viewports – A new Named Views panel is added to the View tab to make it easy to create and restore named views from the ribbon, and to create scaled views and viewports for your layouts. The new layout viewports are automatically assigned a standard scale that can easily be changed from a new scale grip on the viewport. Viewport grips have been enhanced.
  • High Resolution Monitor Support – Supports additional dialog boxes. Palettes and icons are correctly adjusted to the Windows setting for the display scale.
  • 3D Graphics Performance – Work on performance continues to optimize the speed of 3D display for the Wireframe, Realistic, and Shaded visual styles.

The user interface has been touched up to support the above changes. The Preview Guide has been prepared to the usual excellent standard.

That’s all useful stuff, and most welcome. Work has gone into providing some genuinely useful adjustments. But there’s not a lot of it. Autodesk is still just tinkering at the edges.

Overall, AutoCAD 2018.1 is a pretty minor mid-term update, falling a long way short of, say, Release 13c4. That update was shipped on CD to all customers. Free. No maintenance or subscription required.

Bricsys does much more significant and worthwhile mid-term updates than this, and doesn’t charge for them. Perpetual license owners, even those not on maintenance, get them for nothing. Along with the bug fixes. Which are properly documented.

Autodesk used to do all that too, but its customer service has since regressed to the point that the standards of the Release 13 days are something to yearn for. Long-term Autodesk customers will know just how damning that state of affairs is. Autodesk lags a long way behind not only the competition, but also its former self.

Autodesk CEO and all-rental architect Andrew Anagnost has asked Autodesk customers to give him a year to prove that his business model will provide them with better value. It’s not clear when that year was supposed to start, but the all-subscription start date of 1 August 2016 seems reasonable. However you reckon it, a big slab of that year is gone and there’s very little to show for it.

Time to get your finger out, Andrew.

8 Comments

  1. So if Mr. “I’m On Subscription” downloads this update, and gives a copy to Mr. “I dropped maintenance” (whether knowingly or unknowingly), will it install and work for the latter?

    Or is there some anti-piracy of these updates included that will prevent it’s install and or execution, if the user is not logged into their Autodesk Account?

    On the more malicious side, what is to prevent a subscription user from logging in on a non-subscription user’s PC, installing the update, and then logging out? Will the update run once the non-subscription user logs back in?

  2. Patrick Hughes

    R.K. Don’t be silly. The subscription model is so attractive, popular, and inexpensive that this type of pirate behavior will fall by the wayside. Your questions are moot.

  3. Steve Johnson

    I found it interesting that when I Google searched for “AutoCAD 2018.1” the day before the release, there were a host of dodgy pirate sites already offering cracked versions of it.

  4. James Maeding

    Is adesk saying we cannot legally install the update if we are not on sub?
    That would make no sense as then they would be trying to control a computer, which by definition is shared to everyone since anyone can log in with their account and run acad. A network install is different, but we are talking about people not running of a flexlm server.

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