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AutoCAD is one of the most popular CAD software first released in the year 1982. This popular CAD software is developed by US based company Autodesk. In the earlier days while most of the CAD software ran on the terminals connected to the mainframe computers, AutoCAD become one of the first CAD software that could run on the personal computers. It could also run on DOS based systems though it used to take long time to load and save the files.
The earliest releases of AutoCAD were called Version 1.0, 2.0 etc. Later the new series with Release 9 to 14 were launched. Thereafter the series was converted as per the year of release namely AutoCAD 2000, 2001 etc and latest series of AutoCAD is AutoCAD 2009.
Presently AutoCAD is being used extensively by mechanical engineers, civil engineers, architects, interior designers, electrical engineers.
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Features and Benefits of AutoCAD
AutoCAD has number of tools with which the designer can easily draw lines, polylines, circles, polygons etc. With these basic elements highly complex wire frame two dimensional and three dimensional models can be made. The 3D models can also be given surfaces and colors thus converting them into the solid models. AutoCAD has undergone revolutionary changes from the days of when it created to wire frame models to the present day when it can easily make 3D solid models.
AutoCAD helps you design, visualize and document your ideas very clearly and efficiently. AutoCAD helps increasing the productivity of the designer since making the drawing is highly convenient and fast. A number of readymade objects available in the library of AutoCAD further increase the speed of the drawings since the frequently used components don’t have to be drawn again and again.
The drawings saved in AutoCAD are in .dwf format, which has now become standard format for the CAD drawings as most of the other CAD software also support this format.
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User Interface of AutoCAD
I had first used AutoCAD in the year 1992 when I was student of second year of Mechanical Engineering. Having drawn a number of drawing using the drawing board, using AutoCAD was a luxury for us. There was no need of scale, no compass, no protractor and nothing, there was this beautiful and easy to understand user interface of AutoCAD in front of us to make the drawings. We enjoyed drawing line, circles, arc etc and making the object drawings. Following the user interface of AutoCAD is very easy.
You can choose various tools from the top menu bar or the side bar or you can write the commands at the bottom of the window. You can easily give the dimensions in various forms and save the drawing. AutoCAD also supports a number of applications programming interfaces like AutoLisp, VisualLisp, VBA and .Net.
The latest version of AutoCAD is AutoCAD 2009 which has ribbon similar to Office 2007 that helps making the drawings and applying various features much faster. AutoCAD 2009 comes with a number of additional features.