This commercial CAD software lets you draft and edit 2D and 3D drawings, layouts and blueprints from anywhere and share those designs with other professionals in your network. Teachers and students can qualify for a free three-year subscription.
What is Autodesk AutoCAD?
AutoCAD is a computer-aided design (CAD) commercial software that allows you to draft and edit precise, detailed 2D and 3D drawings using industry-specific toolsets and other advanced features. Add text, dimensions, tables and more to your drawings, plus gain access to even more customized features and work on your mobile with add-on apps and APIs.
AutoCAD is designed for professionals such as architects, engineers, electricians and other construction professionals to create, edit and reference precise drawings for buildings, floor plans, elevations, electrical wiring, piping, duct work and more.
With AutoCAD, draft original designs and edit existing projects — all while having access to thousands of tool libraries, specialized tools, architectural designs and objects and more. Just some of the benefits of using AutoCAD for your next design project are:
Access thousands of design layouts, specialized tools and intelligent symbols.
Easily design objects for 3D printing.
Save files on your computer or on any storage media.
Save previous versions of your design that you can restore later if needed.
Precisely draw with fractional, customizable dimensions.
Work anywhere and on any device with the AutoCAD mobile app.
Some of the features of AutoCAD include:
3D modeling and visualization
Solid, surface and mesh modeling
Sheet set manager
Reference Navisworks models
3D scanning and point clouds
Base, projected and section views
2D drafting, drawing and annotation
PDF and DGN import/export/underlay
Import 3D models
DWG and image references
Geographic location and online maps
Installation and customization
Ribbon tabs and panels
Object selection and isolation
AutoCAD mobile app
Customer support options
Autodesk offers a large library of online support and troubleshooting guides, as well as live support from its customer service team. There are multiple ways to get in touch with customer support, including:
Call 855-223-9694 to speak to an AutoCAD sales rep.
Email by filling out its online contact form.
Live chat on its website.
Post a question and get answers from industry experts.
How much does it cost?
Try AutoCAD for free by downloading the free trial from the Autodesk website. If you decide you’d like to purchase the software once your trial has expired, you’ll have several payment options, including:
Pay a monthly fee of $195.
Pay an annual fee of $1,575 per year.
Purchase a two-year subscription for $2,992.50 and save 5%.
Purchase a three-year subscription for $4,252.50 and save 10%.
Get a free three-year subscription if you’re a teacher or student.
AutoCAD and TurboCAD both offer 2D and 3D drawings, as well as a photorealistic rendering. While AutoCAD is geared towards architects, engineers and other construction professionals, TurboCAD is better suited for interior designers and architectural drafters.
Another key difference is that TurboCAD is a one-time payment that does not require a subscription. But you’ll need to pay for the software in one lump sum. AutoCAD, on the other hand, offers a monthly payment option, but it requires a monthly or yearly subscription.
AutoCAD vs. SketchUp
Users can create both 2D and 3D drawings in AutoCAD and SketchUp, but SketchUp is geared toward 3D drafts. AutoCAD comes equipped with more features and is available for a broader range of devices than SketchUp — which is only available on Windows and Mac.
AutoCAD is more expensive in the long run, since it requires a regular subscription, though you have the option of paying monthly. SketchUp offers a free version and does not require a subscription for its paid version.
Top competitors to Autodesk AutoCAD by price
Compare similar CAD software based on price. AutoCAD starts at $195 per month and requires a regular subscription.
Adobe Muse CC
AutoCAD by Autodesk can help you improve your professional drawings, layouts and blueprints, as well as access and edit them on any device. This software does require a monthly or yearly subscription, but there are a variety of payment plans available.
Frequently asked questions
Try AutoCAD for free for 30 days.
AutoCAD LT is limited to 2D drawings and documentation, but costs $390 per year, compared to $1,575 per year for AutoCAD.
AutoCAD LT does not allow for multi-user licensing, whereas AutoCAD does.
Yes, you can request a refund for a monthly AutoCAD subscription within 15 days of purchase or renewal. Refunds for yearly or quarterly plans must be requested within 30 days.
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Gabrielle Pastorek is a staff writer at Finder, helping readers to round up the best deals, coupons, retailers, products and services to make sound financial decisions. She's written more than 800 articles on the site and is a quoted expert in Best Company and DealNews. She earned an MFA from the University of Pittsburgh, with essays and short stories published in The Collagist, Blue Monday Review, Blotterature and others. When she’s not writing, Gabrielle can be found out in the barn with her horse, Lucy.
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