AutoCAD MEP has been released to subscription customers and will be shipping very soon. Every other release year is a "Feature Release" and for AutoCAD MEP this year is a good one! There are a ton of new features for AutoCAD MEP 2010 so I will try to highlight them here without making it as long as "War & Peace".
AutoCAD 2010, the base program for AutoCAD MEP, has been totally reworked to include contextual ribbon tabs. While initially the new interface my be shocking and unfamiliar, I think you will find that it is easier to use and presents the tools in a more discoverable format. As you transition from one task to another the ribbon dynamically changes to show the commands associated with the objects being edited. For instance, while modifying ductwork a specific ribbon is displayed bringing you the tools you need to edit ductwork within a mouse click.
There is a great new ability to migrate catalogs making it far easier to bring those custom catalogs forward from one release to the next. Additionally there is a new command that allows you to scan legacy drawings for fittings and MvParts that have been updated in the new catalog and then replace them with the new versions.
There is now an option to show or hide MEP objects such as pipe, cable tray & ductwork based on elevation making it even easier to generate clearer drawings faster.
Even creating MvParts is easier now. You used to have to take 3D solids and mass elements and turn them into multi-view blocks before they could be made into MvParts. Now you can convert them directly to MvParts saving you the extra steps and more importantly time.
There are two cool new features for electrical. The first is that when panel board information is out of date the panel board schedule will have a diagonal line through it letting you know it needs to be updated. This feature will increase accuracy and reduce costly errors in the field. The second improvement affects all the electrical devices. There a new grip that allows you to add wire to any device simply by clicking the device and then clicking the add wire grip.
The last section of improvement in AutoCAD MEP is piping and it's huge. Sloped piping has long been a pain point for designers, well cry no more. 2010 has new sloped piping enhancements that will allow users to more easily model plumbing systems.
New sloped pipe fittings have been incorporated as well and even include the Wye fitting customers have longed for.
The pipe properties palette has also been revamped to bring settings such as slope format and branch angles to your fingertips.
There is a new ability to customize the symbols for connection types such as grooved, glued and flanged differently for the 1-Line configurations.
The final new feature is a great productivity increasing enhancement. You can now draw parallel piping which literally allows you to draw two pipes at one time! This will make laying out systems such as reverse return loops a snap.
As you can see AutoCAD MEP 2010 is a great release packed with new features. I believe you will agree that it will increase productivity while reducing errors.