AutoCAD is a software application for 2D and 3D computer-aided design (CAD) and drafting — available since 1982 as a desktop application and since 2010 as a mobile web- and cloud-based app, currently marketed as AutoCAD 360. Developed and marketed by Autodesk, Inc. AutoCAD was first released in December 1982 — having been purchased a year prior in its original form by Autodesk founder John Walker. The software is currently marketed in its eighteenth generation.
|John Walker---Founder Autodesk|
As Autodesk's flagship product, by March 1986 AutoCAD had become the most ubiquitous microcomputer design program worldwide, with functions such as "polylines" and "curve fitting". Prior to the introduction of AutoCAD, most other CAD programs ran on mainframe computers or minicomputers, with each CAD operator (user) working at a graphical terminal or workstation.
AutoCAD is used across a range of industries, including architects, project managers and engineers, among other professions, with 750 training centers established worldwide as of 1994.
History of AutoCAD
History of AutoCAD
AutoCAD was derived from a 1977 program called Interact CAD, which was written in a proprietary language (SPL) by inventor Michael Riddle who later co-founded Autodesk to market AutoCAD. This early version ran on the Marinchip Systems 9900 computer (Marinchip Systems was owned by Autodesk co-founders John Walker and Dan Drake). While initially Walker and Riddle had a profits-sharing agreement for any product derived from Interact, in the end Walker paid Riddle US$10 million for all the rights.
|Michael Riddle --Inventor of Interact CAD|
When Marinchip Software Partners (later known as Autodesk) formed, the founders decided to re-code Interact in C and PL/1. They chose C because it seemed to be the biggest upcoming language. In the end, the PL/1 version was unsuccessful. The C version was, at the time, one of the most complex programs in that language. Autodesk had to work with a compiler developer, Lattice, to update C, enabling AutoCAD to run. Early releases of AutoCAD used primitive entities — lines, polylines, circles, arcs, and text — to construct more complex objects. Since the mid-1990s, AutoCAD supported custom objects through its C++ Application Programming Interface (API). AutoCAD uses its own fork of the ACIS geometry modelling kernel. The modern AutoCAD includes a full set of basic solid modeling and 3D tools. The release of AutoCAD 2007 included the improved 3D modeling that provided better navigation when working in 3D. Moreover, it became easier to edit 3D models. The mental ray engine was included in rendering and therefore it is possible to do quality renderings. AutoCAD 2010 introduced parametric functionality and mesh modeling.
The latest AutoCAD releases are AutoCAD 2014 and AutoCAD 2014 for Mac. The 2014 release marked the 28th major release for the AutoCAD for Windows. The 2014 release marked the fourth consecutive year for AutoCAD for Mac.