Whether we are architects or engineering students, we will need a tool to help us create a sketch or draw all kinds of plans. Beyond paper and pencil, the computer offers us programs to create all kinds of plans more easily. The possibilities of 3D architecture programs are almost endless, making their use almost indispensable. So today we are going to talk about AutoCAD , one of the most recognized and used professional design programs in the industry.
What is AutoCAD and what is it for?
AutoCAD is a computer drawing software for architecture professionals and engineering students. Autodesk is an American company dedicated to the realization of design platforms. It is a pioneering program for the representation of CAD (Computer Aided Desing) technology, launched for the first time in 1982 , with which we can make drawings, plans and document all kinds of engineering projects.
With this tool we can draw and edit 2D geometries and 3D models, with solid faces, surfaces and all kinds of mesh objects. We can include annotations in drawings with text, dimensions, guidelines and tables, as well as customize tasks with the help of APIs and complementary applications.
With AutoCAD we can work by using vector- type images, in addition to being able to import other types of files such as bitmaps. In this way, a better dynamism at work is achieved. The program is in charge of using a system of layers , which allows us to work with greater freedom, managing to have organized all the elements that will make up our piece or plan that we are developing.
We will be able to work quickly with its set of specialized tools, which include intelligent objects and specific functions within the field of architecture, mechanical engineering and electrical design. In this way, we can automate floor plan drawings, draw pipes or circuits with the part libraries, or generate annotations, layers and tables to carry out the work accurately.
From AutoCAD we can view, edit and create all kinds of drawings from practically any device, both on desktops and on the Web or mobile devices. It has connectivity with cloud storage. In this way we can access any DWG file from Autodesk Cloud as from any other cloud storage service.
AutoCAD is a subscription payment program. By subscribing we will have access to AutoCAD for both Windows and Mac OS, in addition to a complete set of industry-specific tools such as: AutoCAD Architecture, AutoCAD Electrical, AutoCAD Map 3D, AutoCAD Mechanical, AutoCAD MEP, AutoCAD Plant 3D, AutoCAD Raster Design, as well as AutoCAD web and mobile applications.
We can subscribe to AutoCAD for a monthly period, one year or three years, at a cost of 270 euros , 2,227 euros and 6014 euros respectively. It is also possible to download a free trial version from their website . All annual subscription plans have a 30-day return period in case of any problems.
Minimum requirements in Windows :
- Windows 7, 8, 8.1, 10 operating system.
- 2.5–2.9 GHz processor (3 GHz or faster processor recommended).
- RAM: 8 GB (Recommended 16 GB).
- Graphics card: 1 GB of GPU with 29 GB / s of bandwidth and DirectX 11 compatibility (Recommended 4 GB of GPU with 106 GB / s of bandwidth and DirectX 11 compatibility).
Minimum requirements for Mac OS :
- Mojave operating system v10.14 or later; High Sierra v10.13 or later; Sierra v10.12 or later.
- Model: Apple Mac Pro® 4.1 or later; MacBook Pro® 5.1 or later; iMac® 8.1 or later; Mac mini® 3.1 or later; MacBook Air® 2.1 or later; MacBook® 5.1 or later.
- 64-bit Intel CPU (2GHz or higher Intel Core Duo recommended).
- 3GB of RAM (4GB or higher recommended).
Alternatives to AutoCAD
AutoCAD is the software par excellence in the engineering and architecture sector, although we can find other alternatives on the market such as:
- MicroStation – is a 3D CAD program for engineering and architecture that has advanced 3D parametric modeling, visualization, and production capabilities. It has different subscription plans from $ 250 that we can hire from its website . There is no free trial version.
- VectorWorks: This is a 2D and 3D CAD drawing tool for Windows and Mac OS, through which designers and architects can build all kinds of visual models, achieving more efficient drawing and easier modeling. Its price amounts to a single payment of $ 1,690 and it has a free trial version that we can download from here .
- Catia: is a computer-aided design, manufacturing and engineering software program. It is generally used to develop aircraft and other vehicles, being very popular within the automotive industry. Through its website we can request a demonstration of the program, as well as receive a quote that best suits our requirements.