Computer-aided design or CAD consists of using a series of computer tools to design 2D and 3D models and help engineers, architects and designers to carry out their daily work. And among those tools, there's one that stands out above the rest. We're talking about Autodesk's AutoCAD, a commercial product that's been a reference in the CAD sector since the beginning fo the 80s' and that renovates each year with new versions and new improved functions to not lack behind.
Design buildings, objects and circuits in two and three dimensions.
The program offers us almost endless possibilities for computer-assisted design, bidimensional and tridimensional modeling of structures and the generation of documentation. But it's a tool for specific professional purposes, both due to the knowledge required to make the most of it, as well as its high price, despite offering a 30-day trial version. Thus, it's quite complex for beginners. How and where to learn to use it? With plenty of patience and turning to the many guides and video tutorials available on the Internet.
Among the main functions and features of this CAD software, we have to point out the following:
- Create designs and draw in 2D and 3D on the program's grid.
- Display your design ideas however you wish thanks to its free-form design tools.
- Analyze the continuity between different surfaces.
- Observe the detail of all drawings with extreme clarity.
- Capture the reality through point clouds or by scanning files.
- Extract isoline curves by means of the surface curve extraction tools.
- Change viewport settings, views, visual styles with the in-canvas viewport controls.
- TrustedDWG technology to guarantee the fidelity of the drawings.
- Possibility to import files from Autodesk Inventor.
- Option to customize the color of the interface to reduce visual fatigue, as well as other elements that suit your needs.
Main features of AutoCAD 2018
As well as all the previous features, the latest version of this software comes along with a series of updates and new functions that improve the version of AutoCAD 2016 and 2017. After reading them, you'll definitely know which one's the best option:
- Share design views by publishing CAD and 3D drawings on the cloud.
- New AutoCAD 360 Pro mobile application to design and edit from your smartphone.
- Possibility to import from PDFs.
- Improved 3D printing functions.
- Improved migration tools to simplify the migration of configuration options and files.
- Possibility to manage all the updates from a single desktop application.
- Simplifies the smart centerlines and center marks to create and edit quickly and more intuitively.
The basic commands of this CAD software
Those of you who have used this program before will know that the drawing and modeling tools are lined up on the interface's upper toolbar. But you can also access them by means of commands written in the lower dialog box or using hotkeys. There are hundreds of them, so it's impossible for us to list them all, from drawing commands (circle, rectangle, ellipse, etc.) to viewing commands (zoom, pan, etc.), as well as modification commands (move, copy, erase, etc.). So, the best thing you can do is download a guide with the basic commands of this program.
AutoCAD vs Sketchup. Which one's better?
As we've mentioned, Autodesk's solution for 3D modeling is focused on professionals with advanced knowledge and offers a rather steep learning curve for beginners in this field. That's why, if you don't have too much experience in this field, it might be a good idea to resort to Sketchup Pro. We're not saying it's better (or worse), but for certain 3D drawing and modeling tasks, this app can be slightly more intuitive and quicker to learn how to use.
And what if we compare it to another Autodesk product like Inventor? Which one's better? Well, although both programs are aimed at computer-aided design, they're not conceived exactly for the same things, so they're not comparable. Inventor is based on parametric modeling techniques, in which you can model geometry, materials, and dimensions, while this program is more focused on the dimensional point of view.
In view of the latter, if you think you've got the knowledge and the learning capacity necessary, don't hesitate to get hold of this program. Still don't know where to download AutoCAD to your PC? Don't search any further, just click the download button and install the best CAD program at present.
What's new in the latest version
The new Autocad 2021 comes along with new collections of tools for industrial purposes, better workflows, and new functions and features as DWG comparatives.