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CAD, or computer-aided design and drafting (CADD), is the use of computer technology for design and design documentation. CAD software replaces manual drafting with an automated process.
If you work in the architecture, MEP or structural engineering fields, you have probably used 2D or 3D CAD programmes. These programmes can help you to explore design ideas, visualise concepts through photorealistic renderings and simulate how a design will perform in the real world. AutoCAD software was the first CAD programme and it is still the most widely used CAD application.
Rendering courtesy of Prensa Jundiai, Brazil
Autodesk customers use CAD software to design cars, ships, bicycles, prosthetics and much more. Our software is available for Windows and many are also available in Mac-compatible formats. CAD software is also included in Autodesk product suites for building design, product design, factory design and more.
We offer free Autodesk software for students and educators. Use the same 3D mechanical engineering and design software as the top professionals from around the world.
Are you a nonprofit or entrepreneur working to create positive impact through design? Learn more about our Technology Impact Programme and see if you qualify for free mechanical design and enginneering software.
To accommodate the needs of the building, civil engineering, manufacturing and plant design industries, Autodesk provides the following versions of AutoCAD tailored to each industry:
AutoCAD Architecture (US site)
AutoCAD Electrical (US site)
AutoCAD MEP (US site)
AutoCAD Plant 3D (US site)