CAD drawing software and apps

AutoCAD professional design and CAD drawing software is used in architecture, construction, engineering, and manufacturing.

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What is a CAD drawing?

A CAD drawing is a detailed 2D or 3D illustration displaying the components of an engineering or architectural project. Computer-aided design utilizes software to create drawings to be used throughout the entire process of a design project, from conceptual design to construction or assembly. 

Our best-selling CAD drawing software

2D and 3D CAD tools, with enhanced insights, AI-automations, and collaboration features. Subscription includes AutoCAD on desktop, web, mobile, and seven specialized toolsets.

Best-in-class tool for 2D CAD drafting, drawing, and documentation. Subscription includes AutoCAD LT on desktop, web, and mobile.

Cloud-based 3D CAD / CAM / CAE / PCB software for product design.

AutoLISP is now available with AutoCAD LT

Use AutoLISP in AutoCAD LT to streamline workflows and enforce CAD standards through automation.

AutoCAD web app

The new AutoCAD web app is included when you subscribe to AutoCAD and AutoCAD LT. With no install required, you can extend your workflows and view and edit your CAD drawings quickly in your local web browser.  

AutoCAD mobile app

The new AutoCAD mobile app is included when you subscribe to AutoCAD and AutoCAD LT. With the app, you can view, create, edit, and share your drawings on the go and in the field from a mobile device.

Additional CAD drawing software

Plan, design, construct, and manage buildings with powerful tools for Building Information Modeling.

Professional-grade product design and engineering tools for 3D mechanical design, simulation, visualization, and documentation.

Simple 3D design and 3D printing app

Who uses CAD drawing software?

Autodesk 2D and 3D CAD drawing software is used across industries to improve processes—from concept to handover.

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Architects design, draft, and model buildings with CAD drawing tools, taking their ideas from concept to a finalized construction document. CAD drawings take the place of manual hand drafting.

Construction professionals

CAD drawings are used by construction professionals to understand plans and specs of a construction project. These drawings contain information such as floor plans and elevations that are drawn at scale.

Civil engineers

Civil engineers use CAD drawings for civil engineering design and construction documents. CAD drawing tools bring automation and greater precision to the engineering design process.

Mechanical engineers

Mechanical engineers use CAD drawings to model and communicate ideas before production. These models are then used for product design and manufacturing.

See how customers are using CAD drawing software

Building and interior design firm glows and grows with AutoCAD

After several years of working for other firms, Danielle Golden Irby branched out on her own and founded Studio GLDN. Her passion for both building and interior design translates into dynamic, personalized projects for her clients. And she relies on AutoCAD to make it happen. 

Courtesy of Studio GLDN

Electrical toolset helps make ice cream sandwich machine a reality

Martin Control Systems solves industrial manufacturing and process challenges and relies on AutoCAD and the Electrical toolset to make it happen—including an ice cream sandwich filler machine. 

Courtesy of Martin Control Systems

Black Diamond Equipment scales design summits with Fusion 360

Paul Terry, senior designer and design team leader at Black Diamond Equipment, shares how Fusion 360 helps the company design products that will enhance their customers’ outdoor adventures. 

Courtesy of Black Diamond Equipment

CAD drawing tutorials and advanced techniques

Practical solutions for impractical drawings

Learn how to own a drawing that you didn't start. Get tips on how to manage your time better and re-adjust CAD drawings your way. 

Importing CAD drawings into Revit projects

Learn how to successfully import CAD drawings into Revit software. See what it takes to properly 'Revitize' a CAD drawing. 

Developing a drawing for facilities management

Learn how to better use AutoCAD for computer-aided facilities management (CAFM). Get the skills you need to set up CAD drawings, define and measure areas, set up facilities area tables, and annotate drawings. 

AutoCAD drawing productivity

Be more productive by making simple changes in the AutoCAD UI to aid your technical CAD drawings. Learn about useful AutoCAD commands that are often overlooked. 

Free CAD drawing resources

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Compare the features of AutoCAD and AutoCAD LT, and learn which CAD software is the right solution for your design workflow.

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Access learning and support resources for Fusion 360. Get started with tutorials, videos, events & webinars on toolpaths, mechanical assemblies and more.

Get a better understanding on how AutoCAD LT handles AutoCAD-only features for drawings created in AutoCAD.

Learn from Autodesk University experts, hone your skills, and see what’s possible with Autodesk software.

Frequently asked questions (FAQs) on CAD drawing

Why is CAD software better than drawing by hand?

CAD software allows the user to include precise dimensions in their drawings. When designing in CAD, it is also much more efficient to make updates to a drawing and it streamlines the file sharing process. 

What are the advantages of CAD drawing software?

CAD drawing software like AutoCAD provides many advantages including:

  • Increased accuracy for drawing precise dimensions
  • Automating common processes
  • Access to libraries of routinely used items such as doors, windows, and manufacturing parts
  • Ability to quickly adjust parts of a drawing without needing to start over
  • Managing complex designs details all within one file
  • Creating blocks for frequently drawn items
  • Increased collaboration with colleagues through the ability to share and mark the same file

Who uses CAD drawing software?

CAD drawing software is used by many different professions including architects, mechanical engineers, electrical engineers, interior designers, civil engineers, landscape architects, industrial designers, P&ID designers, plant engineers, piping designers, MEP engineers, surveyors, urban planners, and GIS specialists. 

How do I print CAD drawings?

AutoCAD allows you to easily output a drawing layout to a printer, plotter, or a file by accessing PLOT from the Quick Access toolbar. The terms “plot” and “print” are used interchangeably. Simply choose your page setup and adjust size and scale.  As long as you are connected to a network printer, you can print your CAD drawing.  

How do I render a CAD drawing?

AutoCAD makes rendering a drawing easy with a range of standard rendering presets. Rendering involves rasterizing an image with 3D objects, lighting, and shadows within the scene for a photo-realistic look. Learn how to render a CAD drawing and about the rendering workflow. 

How are CAD drawings used?

CAD drawings are used for architectural designs, building plans, products, mechanical drawings, technical drawings, and more. AutoCAD replaces manual drafting and streamlines the entire design process, from concepting to construction or assembly. 

How do I reduce the file size of a CAD drawing in AutoCAD?

CAD drawings can become large and take up valuable tech resources. There is a simple workflow you can follow to reduce the file size of a CAD drawing in AutoCAD. You can also reduce the 3D elements in a CAD drawing to reduce its size. 

What are the differences between AutoCAD web and AutoCAD mobile?

AutoCAD web app makes it easy to edit, create, share, and view CAD drawings in a web browser on any computer. The AutoCAD mobile app allows you to access drawings and draft, edit, markup, and more from your mobile device in the field or outside the office.  

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