AutoCAD is a software application for both 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, currently marketed as Autocad 360.
Developed and marketed by Autodesk, Inc., Autocad was first released in December 1982 — having been purchased a year prior in its original form by Autodesk founder John Walker. The software is currently marketed in its eighteenth generation.
As Autodesk’s flagship product, by March 1986 Autocad had become the most ubiquitous microcomputer design program worldwide, with functions such as “polylines” and “curve fitting”. Prior to the introduction of AutoCAD, most other CAD programs ran on mainframe computers or minicomputers, with each CAD operator (user) working at a graphical terminal or workstation.
AutoCAD is used across a range of industries, including architects, project managers and engineers, among other professions, with 750 training centers established worldwide as of 1994.