AutoCAD is a 3D modeling application for Windows and Mac operating systems. Developed by Autodesk, AutoCAD was one of the earliest design software applications of its kind after initially launching in 1982. The software is now in its 18th generation and has become the standard in its field. As such, the software doesn’t come cheap with the latest version starting at $4,195. The company does offer a cheaper alternative, AutoCAD LT, but that software does not support 3D modeling and printing.
The software boasts a highly capable free-form 3D design tool that allows you to manipulate your models in just about every way possible. You can push and pull edges and vertices to create more complex shapes than you’d be able to in low-end software and can easily smooth surfaces once you are done modeling. The new version also features an Introductory 3D Workspace that helps people get started on their modeling even if they have never used similar applications before. You can also scan real images into the software and create 3D models from those. The software is a design application at heart so you can create illustrations, paintings, and manipulate images in your project as well.
Although the software is used by professionals, the newer releases have been geared toward people who are just getting started in 3D modeling. AutoCAD is fully integrated with the Autodesk Exchange which provides tutorials and tips while also allowing you to upload your project into the cloud. The Autodesk Exchange also gives users access to applications that can be integrated into the software. Users can also access the materials library which has hundreds of “visually rich, predefined surface materials” that you can use to take your project to the next level.
Once you’re done, you simply save your file as a CAD or DWG and render. You can also share your projects instantly to social networks like Facebook and Twitter.