Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
AutoCAD is a computer aided drafting (CAD) software package for 2D and 3D design and drafting, developed and sold by Autodesk. It currently runs only on Microsoft operating systems. Versions for Unix and Apple Macintosh were released, but these met with limited market acceptance and were later dropped. It usually suffers from poor performance when run in an emulator or compatibility layer like Virtual PC or Wine.
Initially for mechanical engineers, it has been extended and is very widely used by architects and other design professionals.
Version 1.0 was released in December 1982. The current version is AutoCAD 2006, which was released in March 2005. A lower-cost version, AutoCAD LT (pronounced "ell tee", not "lite"), was first introduced in 1993. Compared with its more expensive sibling, LT lacks the AutoLISP programming language and other programming interfaces, some 3D capability, and a few other features.
Visual Basic is available for automation and other advanced operations within AutoCAD. For advanced tasks the AutoCAD's licence based API, ARX can be used, a C++ class library which was also the base for products extending AutoCAD functionality to specific fields, to create products such as Autodesk Architectural Desktop, AutoCAD Electrical, or third-party AutoCAD based applications.
- Version 1.0 (Release 1) - December 1982
- Version 1.2 (Release 2) - April 1983
- Version 1.3 (Release 3) - August 1983
- Version 1.4 (Release 4) - October 1983
- Version 2.0 (Release 5) - October 1984
- Version 2.1 (Release 6) - May 1985
- Version 2.5 (Release 7) - June 1986
- Version 2.6 (Release 8) - April 1987
- Release 9 - September 1987
- Release 10 - October 1988
- Release 11 - October 1990
- Release 12 - June 1992
- Release 13 - November 1994
- Release 14 - February 1997
- AutoCAD 2000 - March 1999
- AutoCAD 2000i - July 2000
- AutoCAD 2002 - June 2001
- AutoCAD 2004 - March 2003
- AutoCAD 2005 - March 2004
- AutoCAD 2006 - March 2005
See also: QCad
- Autodesk AutoCAD website
- Shaan Hurley's AutoCAD History - 20 years of AutoCAD
- John Walker's Site - Early development of AutoCAD (John Walker is a co-founder of Autodesk).
- Introduction to autoCAD.
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