Autodesk University is only a few days away, December 3-5. If you are not going to make it this year, you can still get in on some of the events from your office or mobile device, for free.

Click here or the image below for details on sessions that will be streamed live at no cost.

Autodesk University 2013
Read more about AU 2013 Sessions streaming live next week

Over six years ago, we published a table of tools that could be used to convert a PDF file to a DWG file. At the time, this list was composed of programs that you installed locally. Today, we want to tell you about a FREE online service that you might want to consider named - there is nothing to purchase or download, you simply upload the file to the service and provide an email address. When the file conversion is complete, you will receive an email containing a link to your file.

We know, the first things that probably cross your mind at this point are security and privacy. Their privacy policy states that they "will not share, lease, disclose, transfer, transmit, or rent any personal information you submit" This includes your email address and any files you upload. Moreover, the privacy policy states that files you upload are deleted as soon as the conversion is made and the converted files are only stored for 24 hours. Read more about Tool for converting PDF to DWG

Fill out and complete a survey on AU for Autodesk, and you will be entered into a drawing for a free pass to AU2013.  Survey closes Friday, April 12, 2013. Good luck!

More details here.

  Read more about Win a free pass to AU2013

Here is a direct link to the AutoCAD 2013 trial page.

If you would like to try AutoCAD LT 2013, see this link.

Read more about AutoCAD 2013, Free trial

Last month, I wrote an article for the CADSPEED blog describing a great program where Autodesk and Lenovo teamed up to outfit a deserving small business with new hardware, software, and training - at no cost. Yes, you read that right. FREE software, hardware, software, and training. Who? How? When? Why? Check out the article and watch the YouTube videos linked on that page.

Autodesk and Lenovo

So why am I bringing this up again? Because Autodesk and Lenovo are going to do it again! Are you a small business in need of a "Technology Makeover"? Are you running "non-current" Autodesk software? State your case from now until February 23, 2012 on the AutoCAD > Tech Makeover Contest page on Facebook. Your small business could be the next recipient of this awesome deal which includes up to five Lenovo® ThinkStation® workstations and five licenses of the Autodesk® Design Suite software of your choice. Full details and all of the contest rules are available here.

Final winners will be announced on March 22. If you would like to speak with anyone from Autodesk or Lenovo about why they are doing this, leave me a comment and I will put you in touch with the right people. Read more about Autodesk and Lenovo :: Technology Makeover

This same information is posted at the bottom of my initial review of AutoCAD 2012, but it has proven to be very popular, enough that is deserves its own post. So here are the links to the free trial versions of AutoCAD 2012 and AutoCAD LT 2012, along with other information.

Cover Image Read more about AutoCAD 2012, Free trial

In what has become an annual event, the announcement and launch of the new Autodesk products is here again. Below is a quick summary of some of the new features in AutoCAD 2012.

Cover Image

File Format

  • The default file format remains unchanged from the last version, AutoCAD 2010 file format.

User Interface

  • The first significant change you will notice is that the ribbon speed has increased dramatically. There is no longer a delay when switching between ribbon tabs. (Thank you Autodesk!).
  • The Ribbon contents have been updated, including changes to the Draw and Modify panels.
  • Generally speaking, AutoCAD 2012 starts up faster than previous versions.

A couple of weeks after its announcement, AutoCAD for Mac is now shipping, and a free trial version is available. Half of the people who took this poll indicated they were interested in AutoCAD for Mac, so here is your chance.

Free Trial

To download a free trial, go to, and click on Free Trial on the right side of the page. Other links include:

Free Student Version

Students can download a free version of AutoCAD for Mac from the Autodesk Education Community. For a direct link, head over to Read more about AutoCAD for Mac available now, including Free Trial

Various Cadalyst readers and contributors have helped to compile this list of 100 FREE tools for CAD users. Chances are you will find something in this list that you were not aware of.

Also, the Summer 2010 edition of the print magazine is now available in two custom tailored versions; AEC and Manufacturing. Read more about 100 Free tools for CAD users


Of course if you are stating your own company, they are not going to give you software for free, but if you are a student, unemployed, or just want to give it a test drive, there are ways to get AutoCAD 2011 and other Autodesk software for free. Read more about More ways to get AutoCAD 2011 for Free



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