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Quick Overview Of CAD Formats

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AutoCAD (Computer Aided Design or Computer Aided Drafting) is a fully-featured graphic design and documentation software intended for 2D and 3D design. The program was developed and marketed in the 1980s by Autodesk Inc., and it has proven to be an irreplaceable graphic design tool for engineers and architects. Over the 1990s, the software took on a vast number of advanced features to keep pace with the ever-evolving engineering and architectural thought.

AutoCAD created a revolution in the world of engineering. In earlier times, it took several hours for engineers to draft a project, then about the same time to manually modify it. With AutoCAD, it takes the same several hours to make the first drawing, but only a few minutes to make corrections. What’s particularly great about AutoCad is an opportunity to store information about changes in projects in “libraries”, so that engineers can go back to every step of the process when necessary. AutoCAD gives you a chance to visualize your project any time and see what needs to be done to complete it.

There are several types of application programming applications supported by AutoCAD, such as AutoLISP, Visual LISP, VBA,.NET and ObjectARX. The program is only compatible with Microsoft Windows OS. There were attempts to incorporate versions for Unix and Mac OS, but those were considered irrelevant

CAD files can be saved in a plethora of formats, including dxf, dwg, plt, hg, hgl, hpg, plo, hp, hpl, hpgl, hp1, hp2, hpgl2, gl2, spl, prn, svg, and cgm. Every common CAD system has its own native CAD format. CAD files can be converted to other commonly used formats, such as jpeg, tiff, pdf, png, bmp, gif, etc. DWG and DXF are the most frequently used CAD formats. DWG files created on older versions of AutoCAD can be read by newer AutoCAD versions. For this reason, AutoCAD users have to be aware of software versions their partners are using. DXF was originally intended for maintaining data interoperability between AutoCAD and other applications. Today, AutoCAD is apt to support a broader range of objects and formats, so DFX seems to be falling into disuse.

Today, various AutoCAD versions are available in English, German, Italian, Spanish, French, Japanese, Korean, Chinese Simplified, Chinese Traditional, Russian, Czech, Polish, Hungarian, Portuguese, Danish, Dutch, Swedish, Finnish, Norwegian and Vietnamese. Architect and Engineer Training Schools and Universities in various countries of the world continue to incorporate AutoCAD classes in their curriculae, as long as no viable project goes without AutoCAD in the civilized world. They place great emphasis on studying of AutoCAD basics in every design school, paying special attention to the studying of CAD files and CAD formats and their designations. There are simplified versions of the tool available on the market specially designed for students. Student Versions are sold at a significant discount.

Autodesk has also come up with a few vertical programs, such as AutoCAD Architecture, AutoCAD Electrical, AutoCAD Civil 3D, AutoCAD Map 3D, AutoCAD Mechanical, AutoCAD MEP, AutoCAD P&ID and some other CAD applications used for specific purposes.

Considering the abundance of purposes and broad range of tasks to be covered by AutoCad, this is not a very expensive program. However, its user friendly interface permits you to master its basics in less than no time and save a lot of time, energy and money.

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   Updated Fri, 08 May 2020
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