AutoCAD is a commercial software application for 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 marketed as AutoCAD 360.Developed and marketed by Autodesk, AutoCAD was first released in December 1982, running on microcomputers with internal graphics controllers. Prior to the introduction of AutoCAD, most commercial CAD programs ran on mainframe computers or minicomputers, with each CAD operator (user) working at a separate graphics terminal. AutoCAD is used across a wide range of industries, by architects, project managers, engineers, graphic designers, and other professionals. It is supported by 750 training centers worldwide as of 1994. As Autodesk’s flagship product, by March 1986 AutoCAD had become the most ubiquitous CAD program worldwide.
The native file format of AutoCAD is .dwg. This and, to a lesser extent, its interchange file format DXF, have become de facto, if proprietary, standards for CAD data interoperability, particularly for 2D drawing exchange. AutoCAD has included support for .dwf, a format developed and promoted by Autodesk, for publishing CAD data.Autodesk’s logo and, respectively, AutoCAD icons have changed for several versions through the years.