What is AutoCAD? and what does it do?
AutoCAD isn’t known as the pioneer of computer-aided design, but it’s one of the most recognized. It’s become the industry standard programme in this field. So, what is it and more importantly what does it do?
AutoCAD is software used by architects, engineers and construction professionals used to create accurate 3D and 2D drawings. It allows creation, collaboration and modification of 3D models and has an hugh capacity to develop all types of structures.
It’s this ability to work in different fields that has made AutoCAD the ‘household name’ when it comes to computer aided design (CAD). With it’s traditional use in architecture and engineering it’s now making its way into the world of interior and graphic design.
Where did it all begin?
In 1982 a group of programmers led by John Walker developed the prototype version of AutoCAD. This was all at a time when software and computer usage was growing which has led to the company Autodesk growing steadily to the present day. Nowadays the company offers a whole suite of tools focusing on all aspects of design, including modelling and rendering.
AutoCAD in 2021.
As we speak AutoCAD is refining it’s features for both 2D and 3D design as well as cloud based sharing and cross platform compatibility.
In the latest version of AutoCAD there has been improved functions for the 2D designs, including the accuracy of the tools by improving the ability to store custom views, link to spreadsheet applications, dynamic blocks, extra data from objects and much more. And on the 3D side they’ve made significant improvements to the realism of the 3D modelling as well as realistic lighting and rendering directly to cloud services.
Here’s a few more of the 2021 releases latest features:
- Cloud storage and querying
- Multi-device support
- Quick measurement section
- File’s progress history
- Block pallet
- Improved performance
- Innovative AutoCAD features
So how does it work?
To understand how the program works you we must first talk about vector images. Vector graphics are scalable graphics that aren’t built on pixels like their bitmap counter parts but on mathematical formulas which means they are unlimitedly scalable without losing resolution, think about a massive company logo on a billboard. These types of graphics allow the designs that are built to be scaled without losing any resolution and not altering the size or shape of the object.
The interface of AutoCAD is designed for plans and structures, and is divided into 5 common areas.
- The graphics window – where designs are made.
- The option taskbar – where most of the common tasks and actions are located.
- Menu and toolboxes
- Status bar – where we find grids, coordinates and orthometric mode.
- Command line – this is used to interact with the program and get calculations or information that may be needed or collected by the software.
AutoCAD has it’s own file type .dwg, this file type contains all the information about the original file. With the popularity of this software there is now the .dxf file type which acts as an information exchange allowing other tools to open AutoCAD files. A new development for this software is the ability to import and export files to Adobe Illustrator or Coral Draw which are both vector based design systems, more traditionally used within the graphic design and print industries.
AutoCAD comes with it’s own pre built library of elements, ranging from furniture, to slabs, to stairs to woodwork. These items can be built and saved to your own library allowing ease of access when it comes to working on projects that require lots of similar elements.
So how does it help?
As a company that have been working in the construction industry for over 22 years and providing MultiCAD & BIM solutions AutoCAD has been our go to software for many of those years. Using the industry standard software and being able to collaborate with all stake holders on our projects is paramount to delivering a outstanding service to our clients.
If you have an upcoming project and are looking for high spec drawings built on the industry standard software, then get in touch today.