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AutoCAD 2022 – Working with 3D solid models?

March 22, 2022 By Dennis Collin

With the 2022 release of AutoCAD a new technology feature was introduced to the graphics display.

This enhanced 3D graphics system maximises the benefit of modern graphic cards and multi-core processors to offer a smooth navigation experience when working on larger drawings and provides an improved performance compared to previous releases.

This technical preview feature is disabled by default, but when enabled, the modern graphics system takes over viewports using the Shaded visual style. To enable the enhanced system, enable the 3DTECHPREVIEW system variable from the command line. AutoCAD will need to be restarted for these changes to take effect.

This system requires hardware that support DirectX 12 features. This information can be determined by the DXDIAG command which can be accessed from the Windows Start Menu. If feature level 11_0 is displayed, then the system will support the enhanced graphics system.

As the system is a preview feature there are a few limitations and it does not currently support the following features:

  • Raster images

  • TrueType text

  • Wide line support (e.g., line weights, wide polylines)

  • Ray/XLine

  • Line types and patterns

  • Fence and lasso selection

  • Block editor

  • Display and sub entity selection of edges in 3D objects

  • Drawings that are saved with an active Shaded viewport will not have a valid preview

It is also limited to the Shaded viewports outside of PAPERSPACE. In PAPERSPACE, a Shaded viewport continues to use the existing graphics system.

When enabled on capable hardware the system should offer smoother panning, orbit and zooming functions on larger files such as Plant and Civil 3D models.


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