Choosing CAD Software
   
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    GraphicsAcademy.com  >  Software  >  Choosing CAD Software

       

     

    Choosing CAD Software

    CAD, which stands for Computer-Aided Design is the process of using a computer to help with technical and engineering design. This is generally done by creating 3D models of the design which can then be used to generate technical drawings, and/or by creating 2D scale vector technical drawings on the computer.

    There are many different approaches to CAD, and different software supports different approaches. For example, some software packages supports and is orientated towards 3D models, whereas other software packages are only suitable for 2D design.

    Here are some of the main PC-based CAD packages on the market:
    1. AutoCAD

      AutoCAD is the marketing-leading and industry-standard CAD software. It includes a range of features for both 3D and 2D CAD, and is the original application for many of the industry-standard CAD file formats, including DWG, DXF, and DWF. Furthermore, AutoCAD is also highly flexible, featuring a range of tools that allow the software to be customized, adapted, and enhanced, for example with features suitable for particular engineering disciplines or vertical markets.

      As might be expected for such a popular application, there is vast of range of third party support for AutoCAD, including numerous tutorials, books, add-ons, and compatible third party products.

      Versions of AutoCAD are available for both Microsoft Windows, and the Apple Macintosh.


    2. AutoCAD LT

      AutoCAD LT is a vastly cheaper, but less powerful package, based on AutoCAD, and produced by the same company, Autodesk. While there are many differences between AutoCAD LT and AutoCAD - far too many to discuss in detail within a short article - the key difference is that AutoCAD LT lacks the advanced 3D and customization features of AutoCAD.

      Versions of AutoCAD LT are available for both Microsoft Windows, and the Apple Macintosh.


    3. CorelCAD

      A relatively new product, CorelCAD is an affordable 2D and 3D CAD software package for Microsoft Windows, and the Apple Macintosh. Among others, it supports the DWG, DXF, and DWF file formats.


    4. TurboCAD

      TurboCAD is a range of CAD products (there are several versions to choose from) for 2D and 3D CAD (note: not all versions support 3D). Versions of TurboCAD are available for both Microsoft Windows, and the Apple Macintosh, but there are some significant differences between the versions on each of these platforms, because the software for each has been developed independently.

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