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Advancements in technology across industries have greatly changed the way that we work. In design industries, manual drafting used to be a long-winded and tedious process. Since its introduction in the 1970’s, computer aided design softwares, or CADs, have steadily gained popularity due to their efficiency and accuracy. Autodesk AutoCAD is one of the most renowned CADs on the market today, and for good reason. Created in 1982, AutoCAD was the first CAD software developed specifically for PCs and has been trusted by millions since.

Read our detailed review below of the benefits and features of choosing Autodesk AutoCAD for your design needs.

What is AutoCAD?

AutoCAD is a computer aided design software that focuses on 2D and 3D design capabilities and additional features to automate business processes. Their intuitive dashboard and wide suite of tools ensures that designs are successful and able to be easily shared between collaborators. AutoCAD releases a new version each year with additional features and industry specific tools.

AutoCAD at a glance.

  • New versions come out yearly with new and improved features
  • Free trial allows you to explore AutoCAD for 30 days
  • Allows for 2D and 3D designs
  • Flexibility with pricing allows you to choose what’s best for your business
  • Intuitive interface with a wide variety of industry-specific tools and advanced features
  • Can require large amounts of CPU to run at its most efficient
  • Can be a learning curve for specific tools and navigation of the software 

Key Features of AutoCAD

2D Drafting

AutoCAD has a robust variety of tools for 2D drawing and annotating. The automated features also make it easy to transform 2D drawings into 3D models. 

  • Create single or multi-line text as single text objects that can be formatted all at once
  • Create your own dimensions and parameters automatically
  • Link to Excel spreadsheets and automatically import data 
  • Create centerlines and center marks that stay with each object as you move them

3D Modeling

  • Create realistic objects with solids, surfaces, and mesh
  • View your design in multiple visual styles to change lighting and shading of your object
  • Create sectional planes to display views through different regions
  • Generate 2D designs from a 3D model

Industry-Specific Toolsets

AutoCAD 2024 includes access to 7 toolkits that each contain tools to streamline projects for each specific industry. The Architecture toolkit includes access to more than 8,800 architectural components and blocks that are easy to customize for your specific project requirements. The Electrical toolkit has more than 65,000 customizable electrical symbols and a System Builder Tool. Enhanced automation saves time on numbering wires, component tags, and automatically generating reports. 

Integration Across Mobile and Web

Mobile app access is also included with your AutoCAD Web subscription so you can connect your design experience across devices. You can access projects on your mobile device’s web browser or the app- even without an internet connection you can work offline and sync later.

Share and Export

AutoCAD allows users to send a controlled version of a file to coworkers or collaborators to access from anywhere. You can also import, export, and attach PDF and DGN files, and create live links between Excel spreadsheets and drawn tables.

What is AutoCAD used for?

AutoCAD is used by professionals in a wide variety of fields to draw and model products, drawings, and more in 2D and 3D. There are seven industry-specific toolkits for tasks surrounding electrical design, architecture layouts, and mechanical design. Whether you’re an architect, engineer, or construction worker, AutoCAD has many uses in any design field. 

How much is AutoCAD?

AutoCAD has two different pricing models to better support your business needs. If you’re just starting out with Autodesk software, their Flex plan allows you to pay for tokens that can be used to access a wide variety of softwares to figure out what the best fit is for your business. The minimum token purchase is $300 for 100 tokens, which equates to 14 days of use over 1 year. For $1,500 you get 500 tokens, the equivalent of 71 days of access per year. You can also purchase a custom number of tokens. 

The subscription option can be paid monthly, annually, or multi-year. The monthly no-contract plan is $245/month and offers the most flexibility. At $1,955 yearly, the annual option is best for short term projects. Paying annually allows you to save 34% per year when compared to paying month-to-month. The multi-year plan, priced at $5,865, allows for 3 years of uninterrupted access and comes with automatic product updates to the newest software version. For those working on ongoing or long-term projects, this locks in your price for the 3 year duration. Financing options are also available for subscription purchases of $1000 or more, and you can bundle products to save even more.

Bottom line: Is AutoCAD worth it?

AutoCAD is the industry leader for CAD softwares for good reason. Over 100 million people trust Autodesk software to streamline their business processes. With the option for a free 30 day trial to test the waters before paying for a subscription, it’s worth it for any industry professionals. You can get up to 20% off select AutoCAD, AutoCAD LT and other select software when you try it today. 

Information provided on Entrepreneur Guide is for educational purposes only. Your financial situation is unique and the products and services we review may not be right for your circumstances. We do not offer financial advice, advisory or brokerage services, we do not recommend or advise individuals to buy or sell particular stocks or securities. Performance information may have changed since the time of publication. Past performance is not indicative of future results

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