AutoCAD is a computer-aided drafting (CAD) software application developed by Autodesk that enables drafters, architects, engineers, and other professionals to create two-dimensional (2D) and three-dimensional (3D) models of mesh and solid surfaces. Prior to computer-aided drafting, manual hand drafting tools such as drafting boards and pencils, inking pens, parallel rules, compasses, and triangles only offered a subset of what can now be done with programs such as AutoCAD. Since its original release in 1982, AutoCAD quickly became the most widely used CAD program in the world because of its robust set of automated drafting tools and features. AutoCAD allows you to visually design and explore your conceptual design ideas, modify your designs using 3D free-form design tools, generate intelligent model documentation, transform your designs into 3D renderings, and turn them into cinematic-quality animated presentations. Autodesk has also developed a few other variants of AutoCAD that address discipline-specific needs. These programs include AutoCAD Architecture, Civil 3D, Electrical, Map 3D, Mechanical, Plant 3D, MEP, P&ID, and AutoCAD LT.
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