In today’s article, we will focus our attention on AutoCAD. We will discuss what AutoCAD is and what tasks it performs, along with how new users can effectively set up an AutoCAD account, and finally, some useful tips on how to use AutoCAD.
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What is AutoCAD?
Developed in the late 1970s and released in December of 1982, AutoCAD is a computer-aided drafting software that is used by various professionals to complete tasks, such as drawings, prototyping, 3D printing, geometry figures for blueprints, designing, and rendering.
Many drafters frequently use 2D or 3D applications such as AutoCAD to create blueprints for buildings, bridges, and computer chips.
Before its release as a desktop app used on microcomputers (personal use computers), most commercial 3D CAD programs ran on mainframe computers and were not as user-friendly.
In short, CAD is a computer-aided design software to create, modify, analyse, and optimise a design.
CAD systems or software are used to drastically improve the productivity of the designer and improve the quality of the overall design.
Drafters are not the only ones who use AutoCAD; architects, engineers, city planners, and graphic designers all use this 3D design software to make their jobs easier and save time.
Autodesk Inc. produces AutoCAD. The release of the 2020 edition launched on March 28, 2019, marked the 34th version of this software for Windows. AutoCAD is also available for download and compatible with Mac.
Throughout the years, AutoCAD has continuously developed, and each new version has become better than its predecessor. For example, with the first edition of AutoCAD, users were very limited and could only create basic objects such as polygons, circles, lines, and arcs to create complex objects!
In 2010, AutoCAD was released as a mobile or web app to help all working professionals access their drafts or blueprints on the go.
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AutoCAD is available in multiple languages, such as English, German, French, Spanish, Brazilian Portuguese, Chinese Simplified and Traditional, Russian, and Polish.
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Simple Steps to Set Up an AutoCAD Account
Alright, so you’ve decided to take the plunge and invest in AutoCAD!
There are a few steps that need to be taken before downloading AutoCAD onto your PC or Mac.
What are the necessary steps?
First, it is required to create an Autodesk account to download, activate, and use the software.
The following is a step-by-step process of how to effectively set up an Autodesk account:
- To create an account visit http://www.autodesk.com,
- Click the sign-in option on the right-hand side of the webpage. Users have the option of creating an account by selecting one of three options: subscription customers, Autodesk 360, or Need an education account?
- Select that option that best suits your needs. However, it is essential to state that if you wish to start using AutoCAD right away, the first option, subscription customers, needs to be selected; after choosing this option, users need to follow the instructions to create an account and subscribe to the AutoCAD software.
How do I choose a subscription?
The subsequent six steps demonstrate to new users how to choose a subscription:
- On the homepage of the UK-based Autodesk site, there are three products featured: AutoCAD LT, AutoCAD, and 3DS MAX. Select the learn more tab on the AutoCAD option.
- After getting a general overview of the AutoCAD software and its advantages, there is the option to subscribe to one of three AutoCAD options near the end of the page.
- After selecting one of the three AutoCAD options to subscribe to, users are directed to a new page where they choose between a monthly, yearly, or three-year plan to add to their basket.
- After selecting the basket to proceed to checkout, the credit card information is entered, and a summary of the charges can be observed.
- When the order has been approved, the AutoCAD software can be downloaded on your PC or Mac and is authorised by your Autodesk account.
- The software has been downloaded and is ready to use; enjoy AutoCAD!
If all of the previously mentioned steps are followed correctly, creating an Autodesk account and choosing an AutoCAD subscription should be a piece of cake!
Before concluding this section, it is essential to mention that there is a free trial offered for new users and a 30-day money-back guarantee on yearly subscriptions of AutoCAD.
Essential AutoCAD Information for Beginners
For beginners without any previous training at a technical institute, learning how to use the fundamentals and crucial functions of AutoCAD may need time to correctly grasp.
Nevertheless, since AutoCAD is such a popular design software, many experienced users are willing to share valuable information, tips and tricks for beginners on Youtube channels, blog posts, and magazine articles with those who have no previous experience using the software.
Therefore, without further ado, the following are two essential functions of AutoCAD that must be grasped:
- Object Snap: when using the object snap feature, a menu should be opened on the software that will display many distinct activating elements such as the midpoint, the quadrant, and the tangent. By clicking on the midpoint, AutoCAD allows you to create a new object by sticking the first point on the exact midpoint of a line. The quadrant feature will enable users to start the next object from the 0, 90, 180, 270-degree edge of a circle. By selecting tangent, you are allowed to stick the end of your line at the point tangent to a circle.
- Setting the Correct Units: to set and select the correct units you wish to use on your draft write UNITS on your keyboard and press ENTER. A window appears allowing you to specify and configure the drawing units. Aspects such as length, angle, insertion scale, sample output, and lighting are all featured on the window that pops up.
While it is essential to state that AutoCAD may be challenging to master for some individuals, it is a highly recommended 3D modelling software that can be mastered with the help of a private Superprof tutor. Therefore, with a little practise and research; you’ll be sending 3D models, blueprints, and drafts to your future employer in no time!
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