AutoCAD LT vs. Autodesk Fusion

Learn which Autodesk CAD software is right for your design workflow.

What is the difference between AutoCAD LT and Autodesk Fusion?

Architects working with AutoCAD to laser-cut architectural models.

What is AutoCAD LT?

AutoCAD LT is 2D CAD software that includes a comprehensive drafting and editing toolset delivered in a cost-effective package for designers, architects, engineers and construction professionals.

Working in the offices of the Autodesk San Francisco Technology Centre using Autodesk Fusion

What is Autodesk Fusion?

Autodesk Fusion is an all-in-one design, manufacturing, simulation and electronics tool for both industrial and mechanical engineering projects. Users can work with the most advanced computer-aided manufacturing(CAM) technologies to come up with ideas, make prototypes and design products that are made with manufacturability in mind.

People using AutoCAD in a mobile environment.

Is Autodesk Fusion compatible with AutoCAD LT?

The two products are different. AutoCAD LT is typically used for drafting and documentation.Autodesk Fusion, on the other hand, is a 3D product design tool for parts modelling that enables integration with CAD/CAM. Although AutoCAD LT 2D drawings may be imported to Autodesk Fusion, Autodesk Fusion does not automatically transform the 2D drawing into 3D geometry.

Once a design has been uploaded to the Autodesk Fusion Data Panel, a cloud translation mechanism is used to quickly transform designs that are not native Autodesk Fusion files (such as.ipt) into the Autodesk Fusion format (.f3d).DWG files from AutoCAD and other applications can contain data that Autodesk Fusion cannot read. Autodesk Fusion can only import DWG files containing 2D sketch geometry or 3D solid bodies. For AutoCAD drawings – open the file in AutoCAD and purge the file, making sure to remove XREFs and images.

Which is better, AutoCAD LT or Autodesk Fusion?

Design and drafting tools like AutoCAD LT and Autodesk Fusion are both well-liked and widely used, but which one is better depends on workflow requirements, file management preferences and budget.

  • 2D CAD drawing, drafting and design
  • Viewing, editing, and annotating 2D CAD drawings
  • Accessing and sharing DWG files anywhere
  • 3D modelling for product design and manufacturing
  • CAD, CAM, CAE, and PCB on a cloud-based platform
  • Workflows for simulations and generative design

See how people are using AutoCAD LT and Autodesk Fusion

Painting leaves with a paintbrush


Creating art with AutoCAD LT

Artist Benjamin Pratt begins every painting in AutoCAD LT, using the software as a sketchbook to bring precision to his minimalist art.


Manufacturing equipment at Lawrence Equipment


How industry and academia work together to improve students’ skill sets

Industry and academia work together to improve students’ skill sets and develop a course with Autodesk Fusion.


Moxy Hotel in Osaka


Moxy Hotel blends fun and interior design with AutoCAD LT

Discover how Tokyo-based Wise Labo blends fun, inspiration and AutoCAD LT for the design of the Moxy Hotel in Osaka.


Image courtesy of Marriott International, Inc./Moxy Hotels.

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 software for product design

Frequently asked questions (FAQs)

Learn more about AutoCAD LT vs Autodesk Fusion from these commonly asked questions.

What is the difference between AutoCAD LT and Autodesk Fusion?

Autodesk Fusion and AutoCAD LT are both CAD applications. Autodesk Fusion is a 3D modelling and manufacturing cloud software, whereas AutoCAD LT is a 2D drafting software that can be used to draw 3D objects manually. AutoCAD LT integrates with industry-specific tools such as AutoCAD Architectural, Electrical and Mechanical whereas Autodesk Fusion focuses on industrial design (mechanical engineering).

AutoCAD LT is primarily a drafting package that creates a machine, house plans, schematics and plant layouts. Updates of related 2D and 3D models must be done manually. Autodesk Fusion is primarily an engineering package that simulates how the machine moves, assemblies of parts, mechanics, finite element analysis, complex surfacing, rendering, detailed 2D drawings based on 3D models or assemblies that are updated whenever the 3D model changes.

Is Autodesk Fusion better than AutoCAD LT?

Autodesk Fusion is a better solution for 3D modelling and is typically used by designers, engineers and manufacturing professionals for product design workflows. Autodesk Fusion is a cloud-based platform that integrates needs across various disciplines.

AutoCAD LT is best-in-class for 2D drawing and drafting providing powerful tools for architecture, engineering and construction in a cost-effective software package.

Is Autodesk Fusion free?

Autodesk Fusion  is free for hobbyists, non-commercial design work and for qualifying startups. Autodesk Fusion for personal use is a limited free version that includes basic functionality and can be renewed on a 3-year basis. You can try all the features and functionality of Autodesk Fusion with a free 30-day trial. Learn more.

Is AutoCAD LT free for personal use?

AutoCAD LT is available to try free for 30 days for any use case and includes access to the entire set of tools offered in the full version. Learn more.

Is Autodesk Fusion the same as AutoCAD?

While both Autodesk Fusion and AutoCAD can create 3D models, there are various considerations to determine which is a better fit for your needs.

AutoCAD features a robust 2D toolset and can create 3D geometry-driven models typically utilised for architectural drawings and schematics. AutoCAD LT contains all the core features and exclusively the 2D toolset of AutoCAD to save costs when a user does not need access to the 3D features of AutoCAD.

Autodesk Fusion places a greater emphasis on pure 3D design with freeform models and is most often used for industrial design. Autodesk Fusion also integrates workflows on a cloud-based software platform.

What are the computer specifications for Autodesk Fusion and AutoCAD LT?

Autodesk Fusion

Operating system

  • Apple® macOS™ Monterey 12.0, Big Sur 11.x*; Catalina 10.15; Mojave v10.14 (learn more about Apple security updates)
  • Microsoft® Windows® 8.1 (64-bit) (until January 2023)**
  • Microsoft Windows Windows 11, 10 (64-bit)


  • x86-based 64-bit processor (e.g. Intel Core i, AMD Ryzen series), 4 cores, 1.7 GHz or greater; 32-bit not supported
  • ARM-based processors partially supported via Rosetta 2 only

See full Autodesk Fusion computer specifications (US Site).



Operating System

  • Apple® macOS™ Monterey 12.0, Big Sur 11.x*; Catalina 10.15; Mojave v10.14 (learn more about Apple security updates)
  • 64-bit Microsoft® Windows 11 and Windows 10


  • Windows
    • Basic: 2.5–2.9 GHz processor
    • Recommended: 3+ GHz processor
  • Mac
    • 64-bit Intel CPU
    • Recommended: Intel Core i7 or higher

See full AutoCAD LT computer specifications (US Site).

Are Autodesk Fusion and AutoCAD LT available on Mac?

Yes, both Autodesk Fusion and AutoCAD LT can run on Mac and Windows.

Are AutoCAD LT and Autodesk Fusion for 3D or 2D models?

AutoCAD LT is primarily for 2D drawings and drafting. It is possible to view 3D models in AutoCAD LT, however they cannot be created or edited. Autodesk Fusion is a cloud-based platform for 3D modelling, and while you can create 2D drawings in Autodesk Fusion from a design, it is not the primary approach to the freeform design workflow.

What is the difference between AutoCAD and AutoCAD LT?

AutoCAD LT is a cost-effective way to get access to the comprehensive 2D toolset from AutoCAD for drafting, drawing and documentation. AutoCAD includes additional 3D CAD and automation features for designers as well as seven industry-specific toolsets. Learn more.

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