Updated: Jun 13
Autocad is one of the first computer-aided design software ever made. It’s designed mainly for the AEC industries (Architectural, Engineering, Construction). It offers 2D drafting tools, 3D modeling tools, and visualization and rendering tools.
Designers and engineers from all the different disciplines use it almost daily to draw blueprints and 3D model their projects.
Autodesk, the company that makes it offers 3 main versions of Autocad: Autocad - The Full Version: It offers all the features of 2D drafting, 3D modeling, and rendering.
Autocad LT: Autocad Light offers only 2D drafting tools without any 3D capabilities.
Autocad Civil 3D: Made specifically for civil engineers with tools that cater to their trade.
So now that we are a little more familiar with what is Autocad and what it offers, let's dive into the different professionals that use it in their work:
Architects use Autocad to create everything from schematic drawings and layouts all the way to fully detailed construction documents and 3D models. Not only Autocad offer drawing and modeling tools, but it also allows architects to create detailed schedules of materials, finishes, and elements used in the project such as doors and windows.
It is worth mentioning that architects in the last few years have transitioned to using Revit instead of Autocad as their main tool for architectural design, however, Autocad files remain the standard for sharing information between architects and other professionals involved in projects such as engineers (structural, electrical, MEP engineers), interior designers, and specialized contractors (kitchen designers).
Engineers generally use a variety of software to do calculations and simulations involved in their design but when it comes to putting all the information on blueprints, they often use Autocad to collect all the different diagrams, schedules, and design drawings on sheets.
Some features of Autocad allow engineers to do calculations and scheduling inside the software itself.
Contractors are always working with blueprints to execute a project and if they have the ability to work in Autocad, it enables them to explore the blueprints provided by an architect or an engineer on a deeper level. They can verify the measurements, details, and provide feedback to building designers to highlight any possible problems on a project's site.
The majority of interior designers involved in projects are often working off architectural blueprints. And since architects are creating the blueprints in Autocad, interior designers use Autocad to reference the architectural drawings to create their own design on top of it.