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In 2019, more than 53 million people in 190 countries are using AutoCAD, making it the most popular CAD application worldwide.
The Origin of AutoCAD
Before the invention of AutoCAD, engineers had to laboriously draw their own mechanical and architectural designs using pencils, paper, and drafting tools like a compass and protractor. It took several hours for one engineer to create and deliver a final product, making it difficult to efficiently manage the many parts of a project.
In 1959, General Electric acquired the Almagene Company. Almagene was a manufacturer of high-resolution drafting tables, and its founders were the Wright Brothers’ chief draftsman and an engineer named Charles E. Peirce.
In 1962, Peirce received funding from the American Museum of the History of Science to develop a computer-based drafting system that could help his coworkers work more efficiently.
To help them create the system, Peirce hired Herbert Schober, a researcher at Dartmouth College, to create the first computer-aided drafting software application.
The team called their program Almagene. It was installed in a draft room, and eight users worked on a drafting table. Each user had a computer terminal connected to a drafting table, a light pen, a drafting compass, and a drafting protractor. They designed their drawings using the light pen on the drafting table and then captured the drawings on paper using the compass and protractor.
After demonstrating that the drafting table could help engineers develop products more efficiently, GE founded Peirce’s drafting company, Almagene Co., in 1962.
Within three years, Almagene developed a popular drafting application for mainframe computers. In 1965, the drafting application was installed on GE’s time-sharing mainframe.
After Almagene received funding from GE, in 1968, the company released its Almagene Computer-Aided Design (ACAD) system. The system was created using the Unix operating system and a GE PDP-11/23 computer.
A Drafting Application for the 21st Century
AutoCAD, which was renamed from Almagene in 1993, was introduced in 1982 to reduce the number of hours engineers spent creating drawings. Although it was more expensive than other available programs, it also provided superior design capabilities, as compared to other CAD programs.
The application’s operating system, AutoLISP, was created using
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AutoCAD 2010 can interoperate with external CAD applications, such as Microsoft Visio for viewing the model in the drawing area and converting to DWG format, DGN3 format, SVG format or as.DWG or.SVG files
Since 2010, AutoCAD has also included Microsoft Visio for viewing the model in the drawing area and converting to DWG format, DGN3 format, SVG format or as.DWG or.SVG files. AutoCAD 2010 also includes DraftSight to convert DWG and DGN formats to PDF.
Other applications for working with AutoCAD drawings include Microsoft Project and PowerBuilder, and some of the third-party Autodesk Exchange Apps. AutoCAD is also the default drawing application for the Autodesk CAD360 Suite.
List of CAD file formats
List of vector graphics editors
Comparison of CAD editors for Unix and Linux
AutoCAD’s official website
Category:Computer-aided design software for Windows
Category:Windows graphics-related software
Category:3D graphics software
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What’s New In AutoCAD?
Master data for workflows:
Keep track of all project details by establishing a project context for each drawing (swipe pad is optional). You can set project-wide preferences, such as default project sizes. Every drawing will have its own unique context, but all drawings share the same global context. This way, the context of all drawings in a project is never lost. (video: 1:55 min.)
Automatic creation of layer-leveled drawings and isometric viewports:
Create your top-down layout using a minimum number of layers and isometric views. It is easier to see all the layers at once, and more quickly locate the layers and views you need. When you are ready to start a drawing, all the layers are automatically arranged based on the drawing context. (video: 1:35 min.)
New ways to interact with your data and information:
Enhancements to the user interface (UX) help you locate the information you need quickly. For example, you can flip the layout of layers in your drawing to see the layers at an angle. In the tool bar, you can also show the selection tools for each layer (drag selection, polyline selection, circle selection). (video: 1:50 min.)
New layout settings and improvements:
Make the tools you use every day even more effective by configuring the UI, tools, keyboard shortcuts, and menu. You can now configure each of the menu items and the commands that open the menu items. Each of these configurations are optional, and you can switch them in and out when you want. You can even set the keyboard shortcuts for each menu item. (video: 1:50 min.)
Revisit your design in other ways:
Re-create designs more quickly with AutoCAD 360. Simply re-imagine your design as a 360-degree image. The image can be imported directly into your drawings and rotated to explore and interact with your design. You can also use your phone or tablet to capture photos or video of the design. Import the image and add it to your drawing. You can draw on the photo, and even add annotations. (video: 1:50 min.)
Multi-view and multi-space drawing experiences:
Organize your designs in as many dimensions as you need. You can create a composite of your projects and component drawings, which are then separate entities in the drawing. You can also draw in a 2
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