How Does Autocad Work?

by Stephen Lilley

History

Autocad is a type of software application called "computer aided design." It is intended for designing and drafting in two and three dimensions. It was first released in 1982 and is notable for being one of the first programs of its kind that could run on home computers. It remains an industry standard even to this day, almost three decades later.

Mechanics

Autocad allows users to use lines, polygons, shapes, text and other visual items to create scale-model blueprints of whatever structure they happen to be designing. This is incredibly important to the process of building, as someone well-versed in the workings of Autocad can provide a blueprint accurate down to the millimeter. Newer versions of Autocad also allow the user to see the finished blueprint design in three dimensions, adding to the program's overall usefulness to design and construction.

Features

In the program's infancy it could use only basic shapes such as circles, arcs, regular lines and text to represent some of the more detailed objects an engineer would need. Since the 1990s Autocad has supported a user creating custom objects to fit his needs for any particular project. The most recent versions of the program fully support 3-D models and have made it easier to navigate and easier to edit when working with a design in 3-D.

Microsoft Windows

For the last decade Autocad has been programmed exclusively to run on Microsoft's various Windows operating systems. The program initially supported versions for Unix systems and Mac operating systems, but development on these were later discontinued. It is possible to run Autocad on a Windows Emulator like WINE, but it will never run without issues as it would on a computer running an actual version of a Windows operating system.

About the Author

Stephen Lilley is a freelance writer who hopes to one day make a career writing for film and television. His articles have appeared on a variety of websites. Lilley holds a Bachelor of Arts in film and video production from the University of Toledo in Ohio.

Photo Credits

  • photo_camera www.autodesk.com