For those considering drafting to help create, shape, and organize products and structures, AutoCAD is one of the most widely used commercial CAD applications worldwide. AutoCAD has a free student and demonstration version that provides drawing, 2D drafting, and design functions. However, the student version is limited to simple drafting only, and the student version cannot import DWF files, be used with AutoCAD extensions, or export to DWF files. To purchase AutoCAD, you must subscribe to a membership that has the option to download. With a subscription, you can purchase the software, upgrade your subscription, and have access to an online help system. AutoCAD is a commercial product with a licensing cost.
The following is a list of common AutoCAD features and functions. For more information about AutoCAD features, see the Autodesk knowledge center or Autodesk help.
Selecting AutoCAD Views
AutoCAD supports five view settings. These are: Wireframe, Design, Model, Section, and Outline. All five views include the option to preview the 3D model.
The only view you can create at the start of a drawing is the Wireframe view, with 3D on the drop-down list. You can select this view from the selection menu on the View toolbar or by pressing Ctrl+W (Windows) or ⌘-W (Mac OS). The remainder of the views are added in sequence as you add objects to the drawing.
You can configure the views that appear on the drop-down menu. You can enable or disable a view, remove a view, or view custom views in the Custom Views dialog box.
Creating custom views allows you to change the default views, including the order in which they appear. You can view and change the order of the AutoCAD views from the Custom Views dialog box.
You can customize which commands are available on the drawing area toolbar. You can add commands by clicking and dragging the insertion point on the drawing canvas and then typing the command name. You can remove a command by selecting it and then pressing the Delete key.
The following list includes common commands:
Project commands: Add, Link, Register, Scale, Symmetry, Swath, Tag, Tag Map
Move commands: Center, Extrude, Extrude Cross, Draw, Extrude
AutoCAD LT allows for the use of its own drawing toolkit that uses the COM interface. It is called “COM Manager” and allows customization of the appearance, behavior and operation of the UI elements. It includes a Ribbon with a drop-down style palette for a given process. The ribbon is customizable and the palette can be filled with AutoCAD commands such as move, rotate, etc. and other program-specific commands, using the AutoCAD ObjectARX library. COM Manager has a number of implementation styles, including:
The toolbars, dialog boxes and window frames are fully customizable to fit a developer’s preferences. Since its inception, AutoCAD LT’s GUI toolkit has seen major changes to the appearance and feel of the UI, including the addition of 3D drawing tools and improved AutoCAD functionality. A range of other user interface features, such as animation, dynamic text, progress bars, and the ability to edit 2D layers, etc., have also been added.
Some of the typical use of AutoCAD products are:
AutoCAD has been used to design features for the Sydney Opera House.
The television series Knight Rider used AutoCAD to create its car designs.
An extension to AutoCAD is available for the program “3ds Max” and the programs that use it to create 3D models.
In the movie Contact (1997), scientists design and construct the Rosetta spaceship.
AutoCAD is used to create the space shuttle systems in a movie, such as the scenes in “Return to Tomorrow” and “The Right Stuff”.
In the Star Wars series, the construction of the Death Star is done with AutoCAD and DWG drawings.
G. Robertson, Autodesk CAD/CAM/CAE: A History (2nd edition), Chapman & Hall/CRC, 2010,
Stephan Eismann, Autodesk CAD/CAM/CAE: A Software & Technology History (3rd edition), Springer, 2015,
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# Exercise 2: Opening the document in Inventor
Now open the new drawing you just created in Inventor. The Document Settings dialog box will be opened.
The new Drawing Processors simplify the editing and manipulation of architectural drawings. For example, by changing a building floor plan into a PDF, it can be exported and edited on any device. Now you can see the building as a CAD component, either as a 2D view or as a 3D model with building structure and a perspective view.
Collaborate on the same drawing:
Now you can share a drawing with others with new real-time collaboration and feedback tools, including annotations, comments, and drawing reviews. All annotations are also automatically stored in the drawing so you can share the latest changes.
New interface elements, such as desktop cascades and pop-up menus, make managing and editing windows and documents easier than ever.
Easier Component Management:
Automatically display the component tree, which makes it easier to manage components and files in your drawings. And it’s easier to move, copy, and rename components, as well as expand and collapse the hierarchy.
Cloud Storage and the Cloud:
Now your drawings are stored in the cloud, so you can access them from any device. Or you can download the latest version of AutoCAD to access your drawings on the go.
The new user interface is cleaner and easier to navigate, with a more uniform look and feel. You can use the improved design to navigate a drawing, and it’s also more intuitive to select and open existing files.
More features, more performance, more innovation:
AutoCAD is designed to meet your needs—no matter how large your project is, how complex your design is, or how many people are using it.
What’s new in AutoCAD 2023 Enterprise
Trellis environment and multi-view drawing environments:
When you open a drawing from the cloud, you have the option to open it as a trellis or multi-view drawing environment. Choose trellis to open the drawing in a new drawing environment (the drawing is archived), or open it in an existing drawing environment (the drawing replaces the existing drawing). The multi-view drawing environment allows you to see the design from multiple angles.
Store and extract the data:
With AutoCAD Enterprise Server, you can store a drawing in the cloud, and a user can download the
Windows (64 bit):
CPU: 2.0 GHz.
RAM: 2 GB.
HDD: 3 GB of free space.
Peripherals: Keyboard and mouse.
Mac OS X (10.4.11 or later):