AutoCAD is a commercial computer-aided design (CAD) and drafting software application. Earlier when AutoCAD was not introduced, most of the commercial CAD programs used to run on mainframe computers or microcomputers, where each CAD operator worked as a separate graphics terminal. Firstly AutoCAD was released in December 1982 as a desktop app which was running on microcomputers with internal graphics controllers but since 2010, AutoCAD then released as a mobile- and web app as well-known as AutoCAD 360. In 1994, 750 training centers around the world used to support AutoCAD. AutoCAD is highly used in every field like in industry, by architects, by engineers, graphic designers, project managers, city planners and other professionals as well.
AutoCAD was acquired from a program which was started in 1977 and then issued in 1979 and named as Interact CAD that also mentioned in early Autodesk documents as Micro CAD which was written by Autodesk cofounder Michael Riddle.
AutoCAD’s first version was revealed at the 1982 comdex and issued that in December. AutoCAD supports CDM-80 computers. By March 1986, AutoCAD has become the global program. The native file format of AutoCAD is .dwg. It’s interchange file format DXF, has become in practice, if exclusively used for CAD data interoperability specially for 2D drawing exchange. AutoCAD involves the support for .dwf whose format was developed and promoted by Autodesk in order to publish CAD data.
Characteristics of AutoCAD
1.Compatibility with other softwares:
AutoCAD drawing files can be exported with the help of ESRI Arc Map 10 and Civil 3D. Third-party file converters exist for specific formats such as Bentley MX GENIO Extension, PISTE Extension, ISYBAU, OKSTRA and Microdrainage also, conversion of .pdf files is practicable however, the validity of the results may be uncertain or deformed.
There are a large number of AutoCAD plugins (add-on applications) which are available on the application store Autodesk Exchange Apps. AutoCAD’s DXF, drawing exchange format, allows importing and exporting drawing information.
AutoCAD also permits a number of APIs for AutoCAD designing and computerisation. These include AutoLISP, Visual LISP, VBA, .NET and ObjectARX. ObjectARX is a C++ class library, which was also the base for products extending AutoCAD functionality to specific fields, creating products such as AutoCAD Architecture, AutoCAD Electrical, AutoCAD Civil 3D and
third-party AutoCAD-based application.
Auto CAD and AutoCAD LT are available in so many languages such as English, German, French, Italian, Spanish, Japanese, Korean, Chinese Simplified, Chinese Traditional, Brazilian Portuguese, Russian, Czech, Polish and Hungarian. The range of localization varies from full translation of the product to documentation only. The AutoCAD command set is localized as a part of the software localization.
Some vertical programs for discipline-specific enhancements has also been developed by Autodesk such as:
AutoCAD Advance Steel
AutoCAD Map 3D
AutoCAD Structural Detailing
AutoCAD Utility Design
AutoCAD Plant 3D
Autodesk Civil 3D
Since AutoCAD 2019, most of the verticals are included with AutoCAD subscription as Industry-Specific Toolset.
A company in New Hampshire developed the Softdesk Civil as an AutoCAD plug-in which is called Softdesk (originally DCA). Autodesk then acquire the Softdesk. Civil also became Land Development Desktop (LDD), later renamed Land Desktop. After that Civil 3D was later developed and Land Desktop was retired.
From a 3D architectural model, additional tools generate standard 2D drawings, such as elevations and sections. Similarly, Civil Design, Civil Design 3D, and Civil Design Professional support data-specific objects facilitating easy standard civil engineering calculations and representations.
Forms of AutoCAD
AutoCAD LT was first released in November 1993. It is the lower cost version of AutoCAD. Autodesk developed AutoCAD LT to have an entry-level CAD package in order to compete in the lower price level. It was sold directly by Autodesk and in computer stores however the full version of AutoCAD can only be purchased from official Autodesk dealers.
AutoCAD 360 formerly known as AutoCAD WS is an account-based mobile and web application which enables registered users to view, edit, and share AutoCAD files through mobile device and web by using a limited AutoCAD feature set — and using cloud-stored drawing files. The program, which is an evolution and combination of previous products, uses a freemium business model with a free plan and two paid levels that are marketed as Pro and Pro Plus which includes various amounts of storage, tools, and online access to drawings. 360 also includes new features and characteristics such as a “Smart Pen” mode and linking to third-party cloud-based storage such as Dropbox. Having evolved from Flash-based software, AutoCAD 360 uses HTML5 browser technology available in newer browsers including Firefox and Google Chrome.
AutoCAD WS began with a version for the iPhone and later on expanded to include versions for the iPod Touch, iPad, Android phones, and Android tablets. Autodesk also released the IOS version in September 2010 just after the released of Android version on April 20, 2011.
AutoCAD is licensed to students, educators, and educational institutions with free of cost for 12-month renewable license. Licenses acquired before March 25th 2020 were a 36-month license, with its last renovation on March 24th 2020. The student version of AutoCAD is functionally similar to the full commercial version, having one exception only that is DWG files created or edited by a student version have an internal bit-flag set (the “educational flag”). When such a DWG file is printed by any version of AutoCAD (commercial or student) older than AutoCAD 2014 SP1 or AutoCAD 2019 and newer, the output includes a plot stamp/banner on all four sides. Objects created in the Student Version cannot be used for commercial use. Student Version objects “infect” a commercial version DWG file if they are imported in versions older than AutoCAD 2015 or newer than AutoCAD 2018.