Home / MCAD / Autodesk Adds Inventor Support to AutoCAD WS

Autodesk Adds Inventor Support to AutoCAD WS

A DWG file created in Autodesk Inventor 2011.

A DWG file created in Autodesk Inventor 2011.

The same DWG file opened in AutoCAD WS Mobile for iPhone/iPod Touch.

The same DWG file opened in AutoCAD WS Mobile for iPhone/iPod Touch.

DWG file created in Autodesk Inventor, ready for edit in AutoCAD WS Mobile.

DWG file created in Autodesk Inventor, ready for edit in AutoCAD WS Mobile.

Can AutoCAD WS become Autodesk’s own Acrobat-equivalent for DWG files? It certainly looks like the company is pushing it as its universal DWG viewer. This week, Autodesk gives people one more reason to consider its mobile app as the de facto DWG viewer and editor for those on the go. AutoCAD WS now supports DWG files published from Autodesk Inventor.

A casual search by the keyword Autodesk on iTunes and Apple App Store reveals AutoCAD WS, Autodesk Inventor Publisher Viewer Mobile, and SketchBook Mobile, among others. Originally codenamed Project Butterfly, AutoCAD WS began as a web-hosted, browser-based DWG viewing and editing program on Autodesk Labs. Released alongside AutoCAD for Mac in August 2010 (a comeback after 18 years’ absence from the Mac OS), AutoCAD WS and AutoCAD make a formidable combo for rivals trying to unseat AutoCAD. With device-level support for iPhone and iPad via mobile apps (which is different from supporting mobile devices via web browsers), Autodesk made DWG markup a truly portable operation, allowing those in the field — manufacturing plants and construction sites, for instance — to interact with design data hosted online.

After publishing the DWG file from Autodesk Inventor, you can email the file to someone or post it somewhere online so iPad and iPhone users can access it. To use AutoCAD WS, you need an Autodesk log in (the same credentials for Autodesk University or Autodesk Labs will work). If you receive your DWG file in your inbox in your mobile device with AutoCAD WS installed, you’ll be prompted to use AutoCAD WS to launch the file.

The latest release, AutoCAD WS Mobile 1.2, marks the debut of certain new features:

  • Setting line width for the free lines you use to sketch or scribble text;
  • Tapping to select objects and text for copying and pasting;
  • Magnified snap areas; and
  • Displaying dimensions in inches and feet, as created in the original file.

Autodesk’s rival Dassault Systemes develops and distributes, also for free, a 2D drafting program called DraftSight, but the software is currently not available for mobile devices. Dassault Systemes offers 3DVIA Mobile, an application for viewing models published in common CAD and 3D formats, for $1.99 on iTunes.

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About Kenneth

Kenneth Wong has been a regular contributor to the CAD industry press since 2000, first an an editor, later as a columnist and freelance writer for various publications. During his nine-year tenure, he has closely followed the migration from 2D to 3D, the growth of PLM (product lifecycle management), and the impact of globalization on manufacturing. His writings have appeared in Cadalyst, Computer Graphics World, and Manufacturing Business Technology, among others.


  1. Hi Kenneth, Well done lad. Nice post. I’m always surprised at how close two great programs are getting to look like each other. If I had a wish, oh well, no sense in living in a fantasy world. Take care.

  2. @Corporal Willy: I wonder how you might have finished that sentence. đŸ˜‰

  3. I wonder why only the mobile device support for Ipad and Iphone, with a lot of other mobile devices on the market?
    I would assume companies would be more willing to adopt software with a more dynamic support for customers using various mobile devices (i.e. android, windows, or blackberry)
    That’s my perspective from the industrial engineering side. Most engineers I’ve met seem to be more practical, with purchases for use, not for *shiny*.

  4. @Jason: Probably because Autodesk is going after the most notable and widely adopted mobile devices for now. To develop mobile versions for Dell Streak, Android, and others might take more R&D resources than the market outreach justifies.

  5. Thank you for sharing it. But asked what version to use with Autocad. I now use the 2007 version to help me.

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