Autodesk’s AutoCAD is, without a doubt, one of the most CAD (Computer-Aided Design) applications on the market. It is widely used by professionals, such as architects and designers to achieve high-quality, accurate projects in multiple fields.
We can all agree that pen and paper are outdated nowadays, while PCs can be used to achieve nearly anything. So why not reap the fruits of software labor while they’re in their prime? However, AutoCAD is one of those fruits that are harder to reach, due to its price and steep learning curve.
AutoCAD’s system requirements
You don’t really need to have previous experience with AutoCAD to know that it’s powerful. And as all powerful tools out there, it comes with a demanding list of system requirements. These are:
- Operating System: Microsoft Windows 7 SP1 with Update KB4019990 (32-bit & 64-bit), Microsoft Windows 8.1 with Update KB2919355 (32-bit & 64-bit), Microsoft Windows 10 Anniversary Update (64-bit only) (version 1607 or higher);
- Processor: Basic: 2.5–2.9 GHz processor | Recommended: 3+ GHz processor
- Memory: Basic: 8 GB | Recommended: 16 GB
- Display Resolution: Conventional Displays: 1920 x 1080 with True Color | High Resolution & 4K Displays: Resolutions up to 3840 x 2160 supported on Windows 10, 64 bit systems (with capable display card)
- Display Card: Basic: 1 GB GPU with 29 GB/s Bandwidth and DirectX 11 compliant | Recommended: 4 GB GPU with 106 GB/s Bandwidth and DirectX 11 compliant
- Disk Space: 6.0 GB
- Browser: Google Chrome (for AutoCAD Web)
- Deployment via Deployment Wizard;
- The license server and all workstations that will run applications dependent on network licensing must run TCP/IP protocol;
- Either Microsoft® or Novell TCP/IP protocol stacks are acceptable. Primary login on workstations may be Netware or Windows;
- In addition to operating systems supported for the application, the license server will run on the Windows Server® 2016, Windows Server 2012, Windows Server 2012 R2, and Windows Server 2008 R2 editions;
- Citrix® XenApp™ 7.6, Citrix® XenDesktop™ 7.6;
- Pointing Device: MS-Mouse compliant;
- .NET Framework: .NET Framework Version 4.7;
It goes without saying that AutoCAD can’t be run on machines that don’t pack a serious punch. So make sure to upgrade if you must, and then consider deploying AutoCAD.
- AutoCAD can help you perform precise measurements and manage details accurately
- You can work on your AutoCAD projects in 3D
- AutoCAD lets you conduct entire construction projects and create their documentation
- You can work on your AutoCAD projects in the cloud
- You can manage very large projects with AutoCAD
- Students and educators benefit from a 3-year free educational AutoCAD license
- Has a very high price
- It requires a lot of getting used to before your projects start to shine
- AutoCAD can take a lot of time to do very little work, given its accuracy-driven engine
- It requires a very capable computer to run properly
Takes a long time to install
Well, downloading and installing this tool takes you one step closer to actually using it. However, you should be aware that the installation process can take quite a while. And it’s perfectly understandable, considering how many features AutoCAD comprises.
However, despite the setup’s long unfolding time, the process is nothing short of user-friendly. Once you’re done with the setup, you can launch the app directly from the installer menu.
Nice and easy on the outside
Once you’re facing AutoCAD’s main window, you might feel like looking at an office-like drawing app. However, once you start browsing some of its features you’ll realize how wrong you were. Although AutoCAD doesn’t showcase all of its key features from the start, it organizes them well within its structure.
This tool can help you generate 2D and 3D objects on your computer in a precise, effective manner. For instance, you can create objects by helping yourself to basic geometric shapes, but free drawing is also an option. You can snap elements one to another as well by enabling AutoCAD’s grid feature.
Advanced tools for advanced users
As we’ve emphasized at the beginning of the review, AutoCAD was specially designed for professionals. This tool includes several features that can help architects, mechanics, electrical engineers, plumbers, and even landscapers manage their projects effectively.
For instance, you can use AutoCAD to automate elevations, floor plans, and sections, draw ducting, piping or circuitry, as well as generate annotations, schedules, lists, layers, or tables automatically.
Can export to several formats
AutoCAD is not the most lightweight program we can think of; as a matter of fact, it’s pretty much the opposite. However, instead of forcing you to take it everywhere with you, it lets you boost your projects’ accessibility. Thus, you can convert projects to a wide variety of formats.
For example, you can save your project as one or multiple images, PDF, or FBX files. More so, you can print it straight from the program, sent it via email, or sent it to a 3D printer.
FAQ: Learn more about Autodesk AutoCAD
- Is there a free version of AutoCAD?
AutoCAD’s full version is definitely not free, but there are some options you could consider.
For instance, you can try AutoCAD for free for 30 days before deciding if you want to buy it. If you’re an educator or a student you can receive a free 3-year version of AutoCAD under an educational license.
Then there’s always the slimmed-down version of AutoCAD called AutoCAD LT, which is cheaper. However, you should be aware that AutoCAD LT doesn’t support 3D visualization and modeling.
- How long does it take to learn AutoCAD?
As we’ve said above, the learning curve is a bit steep, so it depends on how ambitious you feel.
However, the most popular opinion is that AutoCAD is not hard to learn if you take it one step at a time. If you’re self-taught, the process might take longer than, say, if you were guided by a teacher.
However, once you get the hang of it, you can start creating pretty amazing projects, even as a beginner. So the answer would be that learning AutoCAD can take between a few months and a lifetime if you’re really passionate about it.
- Software Version
- Date Modified
- February 13, 2020
- Date Published
- February 13, 2020
- CAD, design, 3D, render, architecture, project