AutoCAD, codenamed "Maestro" with official release March 20, 2015.

This is the 30th version of AutoCAD.

Previous AutoCAD version AutoCAD 2015 and next version AutoCAD 2017

New and/or enhanced functions

New and/or enhanced functions

File format

The DWG file format is the same as in AutoCAD 2013, 2014 and 2015: "AutoCAD 2013 Drawing". The DXF file format is also the same.

Revision Clouds

Three methods are now available on the Annotate Ribbon panel to create a revision cloud: rectangular, polygonal and freehand. REVCLOUDCREATEMODE system variable is used to remember the last method being used.

Grips on the revision clouds makes it possible to edit the size and shape easily. REVCLOUDGRIPS can be set to Off for legacy display of the grips.

Using the REVCLOUD command the new Modify options makes it possible to draw new revision cloud segments as well as erase selected portions of existing revision clouds.

DIM command

On the Annotate Ribbon tab the DIM (Dimension) command has been added. The dimension layer control is new and shows "Use Current" in the below image.

When DIM is used the dimensions are created on the layer specified. The new DIMLAYER system variable specifies a default layer for new dimensions.

The DIM command automatically creates the dimension type based on the object selected. The command prompt can be used to switch to another dimension type if needed.

When a dimension is created so it overlaps another similar dimension a menu gives the option to move, break up, replace the existing dimension or place the new dimension on top of the existing one.

A width sizing control makes it possible to specify a width for text wrapping when editing the dimension text.

Text

Mtext objects now have a Text frame property enabling you to create a border around the text.

The Match tool on the Text Editor ribbon is sticky making it possible to apply properties of the selected text multiple times within an Mtext object.

File Tabs

When AutoCAD starts the "Start" tab is showed. Before it was named "New Tab". The NEWTABMODE system variable has been renamed to STARTMODE and when set to 0 the Start tab is not displayed.

When creating a deployment there is a new option that enables you to show or hide the Start tab.

To get to the Start tab press Ctrl+Home or use the GOTOSTART command.

CLOSEALLOTHER is a new command that closes all drawings except the current one. This command is also available if you right click on a drawing tab and select "Close All Other Drawings".

Layouts

Now it's possible to drag and drop layouts to move or copy them to a location that is hidden if you have many layouts in a drawing. Drag to the right or left edge and the layout tabs will automatically scroll.

Right-click on a layout tab and there's "Dock above Status Bar" or "Dock Inline with Status Bar" available.

Status bar

The Status bar can automatically wrap onto two rows when needed.

Isolate Objects and Lock UI have been added to the Status bar customization menu.

The Lock UI tool now allows you to check and uncheck multiple UI elements without having to reopen the flyout every time.

Ribbon

GALLERYVIEW is a new system variable that enables control over the Ribbon galleries. 1 displays the thumbnail view and 0 displays the list view. Cell styles and Text Styles ribbon galleries will not display the list view.

Help

Single sign-on makes it possible to automatically sign into the Help documentation when you sign into the A360 account and vice-versa. Signing into the Help documentation enables you to Like a Help topic.

The UI Finder now includes the Status bar and application menu. UI Finder makes it easy to find location of UI elements from within the Help documentation. Click on the Find link and an animated arrow will point to the location of the tool in the Quick access toolbar, the Ribbon, Status bar or application menu.

Deployment/setup

How to change license type from Standalone to Network?

1. Open you system registry editor (Go to Start > Search > type regedit and hit Enter key)

2. Locate the key below and change Type value to 1
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Autodesk\AutoCAD\R20.1\ACAD-F001\AdLM

3. Create client license file, LICPATH.lic file, in Notepad.
e.g.
SERVER yourServerNemeHere 000000000000
USE_SERVER

Note: change yourServerNemeHere to your actual network license server name.

4. Place LICPATH.lic file in C:\Program Files\Autodesk\AutoCAD 2016\ folder
Note: Make sure that the LICPATH.lic file doesn't have hidden .txt extension.

5. Start AutoACAD 2016

API and more for Programmers

AutoCAD 2016 is a binary compatible release. Most custom programs that work for AutoCAD 2015 will also work in AutoCAD 2016.

Use either Visual Studio 2010, 2012 or 2013 for .NET development but 2010 will have limitations as .NET Framework 4.5 is not supported.

.NET applications should target Framework 4.5 but can in some cases work with an older version.

Major version number incremented to R20.1 from R20.0.

VBA

VBA 7.1 is the version of VBA.

Available as a separate download.

Obsolete AutoLISP functions:
getcfg - Retrieves application data from the AppData section of the acad20xx.cfg file.
setcfg - Writes application data to the AppData section of the acad20xx.cfg file.
Note: getcfg and setcfg are still available for compatibility, but might be removed in a future release. It is recommended to use the vl-registry-read and vl-registry-write functions as replacements.

Digitally signing of custom program files

Starting with AutoCAD 2016-based products on Windows, it is recommended to digitally sign your custom program files. By digitally signing a custom program file, you inform the user as to who published the custom program file and if any changes were made to the file after it was digitally signed. For information on digitally signing custom program files, see the "About Digitally Signing Custom Program Files" topic.
Each custom program file loaded is check for the existence of a digital signature. If a digital signature is found attached to a custom program file, the user is presented with information about the digital certificate and publisher that signed the file. The user can choose to continue to load the file, and optionally trust all files by the publisher of the file being loaded. If no or an invalid digital signature is found, the user is informed that the program file might not be safe to load and execute.

The ProgramData (per machine) or AppData (per users) folders, where Exchange store installers used to install Apps are no longer considered secure locations by AutoCAD 2016. In AutoCAD 2016, when the App gets loaded from these locations a warning message as displayed. You can avoid this warning message by digitally signing your modules. You can use SignTool.exe (for windows, located with Microsoft SDK toolkit) to digitally sign your C++ and .NET modules.
Example : signtool sign /f <PFX file name> /p <Password> FileToSign.dll
Similarly, you can use AcSignApply.exe (found in the AutoCAD installation folder) to sign the Lisp files. For more details on digitally signing please refer https://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/ie/ms537361(v=vs.85).aspx

Additions and changes made to the ActiveX API in AutoCAD 2016 and AutoCAD 2016-based products.

Enums
AcSectionState2 (New)
acSectionState2Plane = 1
acSectionState2Slice = 2
acSectionState2Boundary = 4
acSectionState2Volume = 8
AcadSecurityParamsConstants (Obsolete)
ACADSECURITYPARAMS_ALGID_RC4 = 26625
AcadSecurityParamsType (Changed)
ACADSECURITYPARAMS_ENCRYPT_DATA = 1 (Obsolete)
ACADSECURITYPARAMS_ENCRYPT_PROPS = 2 (Obsolete)

Classes
IAcadDocument (Changed)
SaveAs - Method (Support for adding password protection has been removed)
IAcadPointCloudEx (Changed)
Segmentation - Property (New)
IAcadSection (Changed)
SectionPlaneOffset - Property (New)
SliceDepth - Property (New)
State2 - Property (New)
IAcadSecurityParams (Changed)
Action - Property (Constants ACADSECURITYPARAMS_ENCRYPT_DATA and ACADSECURITYPARAMS_ENCRYPT_PROPS are no longer supported)
Algorithm - Property (Obsolete)
KeyLength - Property (Obsolete)
Password - Property (Obsolete)
ProviderName - Property (Obsolete)
ProviderType - Property (Obsolete)
IAcadShadowDisplay - Interface is only supported by the MentalRay renderer


AutoCAD 2016 System requirements

http://www.autodesk.com/autocad-win-sys-reqs-2016-ENU

As always with system requirements these are minimal requirements forAutoCAD  to run. For professional usage you surely want to have much better hardware.

FlexNet version 11.12.1.4 for Autodesk Network License Manager
Supported operating systems for the license manager are:
Windows Server 64-bit: Windows 2012 Server or Windows 2012 RS Server
Windows 7 32-bit and 64-bit SP1 or later
Windows 8 or 8.1, 32- or 64-bit
Citrix: Citrix XenServer 6.0, XenDesktop 7, XenApp 6.5, FP2
More details here as well as Linux System Requirements and Mac System Requirements.

AutoCAD 2016 System Requirements

Description Requirement
Operating system •Microsoft® Windows® 8/8.1
•Microsoft Windows 8/8.1 Pro
•Microsoft Windows 8/8.1 Enterprise
•Microsoft Windows 7 Enterprise
•Microsoft Windows 7 Ultimate
•Microsoft Windows 7 Professional
•Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium
CPU Type Minimum Intel® Pentium® 4 or AMD Athlon™ 64 processor
Memory For 32-bit AutoCAD 2016:
2 GB (3 GB recommended)
For 64-bit AutoCAD 2016:
4 GB (8 GB recommended)
Display resolution 1024x768 (1600x1050 or higher recommended) with True Color
Display Card Windows display adapter capable of 1024x768 with True Color capabilities. DirectX® 9 or DirectX 11 compliant card recommended but not required.
Disk Space Installation 6.0 GB
Pointing Device MS-Mouse compliant device
Media Download and Installation from DVD
Browser Windows Internet Explorer® 9.0 (or later)
.NET Framework .NET Framework Version 4.5
Additional requirements for large datasets, point clouds, and 3D modeling Memory: 8 GB RAM or greater
Disk Space: 6 GB free hard disk available, not including installation requirements
Display Card: 1600x1050 or greater True Color video display adapter; 128 MB VRAM or greater; Pixel Shader 3.0 or greater; Direct3D®-capable workstation class graphics card.
Note: 64-bit Operating Systems are recommended if you are working with Large Datasets, Point Clouds and 3D Modeling.