Learn about the benefits of using CAD software to create your next design.

What is CAD software

CAD, or computer-aided design and drafting (CADD), is technology for design and technical documentation, which replaces manual drafting with an automated process. If you’re a designer, drafter, architect, or engineer, you’ve probably used 2D or 3D CAD programs such as AutoCAD or AutoCAD LT software. These widely used software programs can help you draft construction documentation, explore design ideas, visualize concepts through photorealistic renderings, and simulate how a design performs in the real world.

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Our top CAD software for industrial and product design

Our top CAD software for architecture and construction

Which professions use CAD software?

Autodesk 2D and 3D CAD software is used by engineering disciplines across all industries. Explore how various professionals use CAD tools to improve processes—from concept to handover.

How to choose CAD software

Browse resources for choosing the solution that satisfies your needs.

  • Compatibility

    Autodesk software has compatible workflows between CAD products.

  • Learning support

    Autodesk offers tutorials, training materials, and the support of an engaged online community as you learn the software.

  • Compare CAD software

    Compare our AutoCAD products to help you choose the best software for your needs.

  • Choosing for business

    Evaluate your software needs, ask all the right questions, assess the top solutions, and secure the budget.

How is CAD software used?

  • Staging and rigging company sets new stage during pandemic

    In the face of COVID-19, a staging and rigging company finds new opportunities to keep its business open and, most importantly, help to save lives. With all previous designs in AutoCAD, they were able to modify structures within 48 hours for delivery to the medical field.

    Courtesy of Mountain Productions

  • Moxy hotel blends fun and interior design with AutoCAD LT

    Discover how Tokyo-based Wise Labo uses inspiration and AutoCAD LT for the design of Marriott International’s Moxy hotel in Osaka, Japan. Mitsuru (Mitch) Sakairi blended high design with a brand experience based on fun.

    Courtesy of Marriott International, Inc./Moxy Hotels

  • Global volunteers collaborate to solve ventilator shortage

    When Tyler Mantel’s company was put on hold due to the COVID-19, he decided to launch The Ventilator Project to help solve the nation’s ventilator shortage. The teams used Fusion 360 (US site) and other tools for design and collaboration.

    Courtesy of The Ventilator Project

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.

CAD for beginners: Tinkercad

Tinkercad is a free web-based CAD tool for hobbyists, teachers, and students of all ages. Make home decor, toys, Minecraft models, and more.

CAD in the cloud: Fusion 360

Fusion 360 is the first 3D CAD, CAM, and CAE tool of its kind. It connects your entire product development process in a single cloud-based platform that works on both Mac and PC.

CAD software resources and tutorials

Get started in 3D modeling with these tutorials, guides, tips and communities.

Frequently asked questions (FAQ)

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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.

CAD 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

CAD 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.

Yes, students and educators can get free one-year educational access to Autodesk products and services, renewable as long as they remain eligible.

Learn more (US site)

Every subscription to AutoCAD and AutoCAD LT includes free access to the AutoCAD web and mobile apps. These tools allow you to work remotely and collaborate with colleagues. In addition, AutoCAD and AutoCAD LT offer connected workflows through leading cloud storage providers including Box, Dropbox, Google Drive, and OneDrive. These cloud storage integrations are two ways, which allow users to not only save but also preview and open files online.

Yes, Autodesk offers CAD certifications for products including AutoCAD, Fusion 360, Inventor, and Revit. For a full list of products available for certification and details on certification, visit Autodesk Certification (US site).