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AutoCAD is a commercial software application for 2D and 3D computer-aided design (CAD) and drafting — available since 1982 as a desktop application and since 2010 as a mobile web- and cloud-based app marketed as AutoCAD 360.
Developed and marketed by Autodesk, Inc. AutoCAD was first released in December 1982, running on microcomputers with internal graphics controllers. Prior to the introduction of AutoCAD, most commercial CAD programs ran on mainframe computers or minicomputers, with each CAD operator (user) working at a separate graphics terminal.
AutoCAD is used across a wide range of industries, by architects, project managers, engineers, designers, and other professionals. It is supported by 750 training centers worldwide as of 1994.
As Autodesk’s flagship product, by March 1986 AutoCAD had become the most ubiquitous CAD program worldwide. As of 2014, AutoCAD is in its twenty-ninth generation, and collectively with all its variants, continues to be the most widely used CAD program throughout most of the world.
AutoCAD was derived from a program begun in 1977 and released in 1979 called Interact CAD, also referred to in early Autodesk documents as MicroCAD, which was written prior to Autodesk’s (then Marinchip Software Partners) formation by Autodesk cofounder Mike Riddle.
The first version by the AutoDesk company was demonstrated at the 1982 Comdex and released that December. The 2015 release marked the 29th major release for the AutoCAD for Windows. The 2014 release marked the fourth consecutive year for AutoCAD for Mac.