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AutoCAD is a software application for computer-aided design (CAD) and drafting. The software supports both 2D and 3D formats. The software is developed and sold by Autodesk, Inc., first released in December 1982 by Autodesk in the year following the purchase of the first form of the software by Autodesk founder, John Walker. AutoCAD is Autodesk's flagship product and by March 1986 had become the most ubiquitous microcomputer design program in the world, utilizing functions such as "polylines" and "curve fitting". www.virtualsoftzone.blogspot.com 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.
According to Autodesk company information, the AutoCAD software is now used in a range of industries, employed by architects, project managers and engineers, amongst other professions, and as of 1994 there had been 750 training centers established across the world to educate users about the company's primary products.
AutoCAD was derived from a program called Interact, which was written in a proprietary language (SPL) by inventor Michael Riddle. This early version ran on the Marinchip Systems 9900 computer (Marinchip Systems was owned by Autodesk co-founders John Walker and Dan Drake). Walker paid Riddle US$10 million for the CAD technology.
When Marinchip Software Partners (later known as Autodesk) formed, the founders decided to re-code Interact in C and PL/1. They chose C because it seemed to be the biggest upcoming language. In the end, the PL/1 version was unsuccessful. The C version was, at the time, one of the most complex programs in that language. Autodesk had to work with a compiler developer, Lattice, to update C, enabling AutoCAD to run. Early releases of AutoCAD used primitive entities — lines, polylines, circles, arcs, and text — to construct more complex objects. Since the mid-1990s, AutoCAD supported custom objects through its C++ Application Programming Interface (API).
The modern AutoCAD includes a full set of basic solid modeling and 3D tools. The release of AutoCAD 2007 included the improved 3D modeling that provided better navigation when working in 3D. Moreover, it became easier to edit 3D models. www.virtualsoftzone.blogspot.com The mental ray engine was included in rendering and therefore it is possible to do quality renderings. AutoCAD 2010 introduced parametric functionality and mesh modeling.
The latest AutoCAD releases are AutoCAD 2013 and AutoCAD 2013 for Mac. The release marked the 27th major release for the AutoCAD for Windows, and the third consecutive year for AutoCAD for Mac.