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AutoCAD stands for

  1. Oct 23, 2010 #1
    AutoCAD stands for Automated Computer Aided Design/Drafting. What does "Automated" mean in the context of the acronym 'AutoCAD'? Anything drawn in AutoCAD is a manual work done by a computer user, then what is so 'automatic'/'automated' about it? Please guide me. Thanks a lot.
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  3. Oct 23, 2010 #2

    Tom Mattson

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    AutoCAD was named by the same person who named the "self-cleaning oven". I have one of those and I have yet to see it clean itself!
  4. Oct 23, 2010 #3


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    In general, acronyms make little sense.

    Do you know your PIN number? That would be your Personal Identification Number number.

    You'll need it to use the ATM machine. And that would be the Automatic Teller Machine machine.
  5. Oct 23, 2010 #4


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    AutoCAD is simply a tradename.

    It does much to automate the CAD process including repeating patterns, automatic dimensioning. It reduces the amount of work a drafter has to do. We use SolidWorks for 3D design, and the 2D drawings are more or less automatic. One can load in material properties, and with density, SW (and presumably AutoCAD in 3D) calculates volume and mass.

    Building assemblies from components is more or less automated.

    If one tried to do it by hand - the old fashioned way with pencil and paper (they way I learned 30+ years ago) - it would take a lot longer.
  6. Oct 23, 2010 #5
    Thank you, everyone, especially Astro. I'm still trying to grasp that 'automated' part, though.

    Can AutoCAD be used for simulation, can it be used to simulate spring movement?

    Can it be used for 3D designing?

    Please guide me.
  7. Oct 23, 2010 #6


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    Well Autodesk claims that the Inventor Suites comes with 3D and some FEA capability, but I'm not familiar with it.


    I do know SW has a rudimentary FEA mechanical simulation, but most such mechanical analysis are valid in the elastic region, i.e., below yield. Most products are designed for function well below yield.

    Various products:
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 25, 2017
  8. Oct 23, 2010 #7
    AutoCAD is a software brand of Autodesk. Perhaps, they simply included "Auto" to reflect the name of the company. Word processors such as Microsoft Word do help a lot and really aid the user, but to say they automate the process of writing/typing something won't be correct in reality. What does you say? Please let me know.
  9. Oct 23, 2010 #8
    certain type of drawings can be automated, like process loop diagrams. back in oh... '89 or so, i had a job where i was inputting items like temperature transducers, elements, valves, etc into a dBase or Foxpro database. there was a program (might have been called something like microdb) that allowed you to link up the database to an Intergraph CAD program and automatically generate the loop sheets on a template.
  10. Oct 24, 2010 #9


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    There was a time when computers were not in common use.

    Imagine you are designing a complex part using pencil & paper. You may use a ruler, protractor, and drafting table as well, and of course an eraser. Then try making a scale drawing of a modified version of that part, changing 1 or 2 of the dimensions. Easily done with AutoCAD, time-consuming with the tools I mentioned above.

    You press some buttons, and letters appear. That sounds automated to me. You could argue that typewriters did that, but (A) it is less effort to press the buttons on a computer keyboard, and (B) with a few mouseclicks you can make 100 copies of what has been written.
  11. Oct 24, 2010 #10
    Plus all the formatting options available.

    To do that lot by hand would be a nightmare. When people think of automation they skip through the basics and seem to go straight to "the software doing it for you".

    Automation at its most basic is simplifying the things you would normally do by hand.

    Going from a manual spinning machine to an automated loom, you are still required to supply input but the machine does some of the work instead of you. It comes down to users doing less work with equal, if not more, output being provided.
    Last edited: Oct 24, 2010
  12. Oct 24, 2010 #11


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    Rescaling and generating sets of 2D drawings from a 3D model is essentially automated.

    Repeating a pattern of holes or features, or selecting an edge or feature and modifying instantly are examples of automation.

    Perhaps it's more accurate to call it Semi-automated CAD, but that's not as appealing as AutoCAD.

    One can interface SW (and maybe AutoCAD) file with FEMAP and generate FEA models.


    http://www.nenastran.com/engineeringsoftware/femap.php [Broken]

    No endorsement expressed or implied.
    Last edited by a moderator: May 5, 2017
  13. Oct 25, 2010 #12
    Thank you very much, everyone. Jarednjames, your explanation of automation helped a lot.
  14. Nov 16, 2010 #13
    I used AutoCAD in high school when i did Graphics. Believe me, the Auto is a deserved part of the name. Drawing on those slanted desks with the attached always annoyingly bent rulers was a nightmare.

    CAD programs make even 2d drawings quick and easy. Isometric projection was insanely easier. And depending what tools you are using, you are able to render your drawings in 3d to pan around and look at, including applying textures. We used Autodesk software in the courses we did, havent used it in a long time but it was high quality stuff.

    On the topic of the word auto, I think we just applied it to things which made annoying tasks less annoying, for example traveling, the automobile. Or talking to a bank employee, the ATM.
  15. Nov 16, 2010 #14
  16. Nov 25, 2010 #15
    To draw a simple 2D diagram in AutoCAD one can either use already available tools in toolbars (lines, curves, circle, etc.) or use command line ('l' is command for straight line).

    Suppose a diagram has been drawn using readily available tools without the use of commands. Then, is it somehow possible that one selects the entire diagram or some part of it and can see the list of commands which could have been used instead to do the selected steps ('steps' are lines, curves, etc.; and these steps combine to make a diagram). Please let me know.

    Best wishes
  17. Nov 25, 2010 #16
    Not as far as I'm aware.

    When you draw a line it executes a specific drawing subroutine (in this case it will be something like .DrawLine from VB). It doesn't store it.

    What you need is a manual for the command line client. This will give you the specific commands such as those to draw lines and shapes, along with any other variables you need to enter.

    Why do you want to do this?
  18. Dec 28, 2010 #17
    Please help me. I think it would be better to ask it here instead of starting a new thread.

    I'm using AutoCAD 2005 to draw simple electric circuits and diagrams.

    Please check the description of the linked video and the Imageshack URL given there:

    Is using AutoCAD 2010 a good choice? Someone told me that 2010 is difficult but I doubt it. It should be more user friendly. And is it backward compatible with 2005?

    Please help me. Thanks a lot.
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 25, 2014
  19. Dec 29, 2010 #18
    I can't say as I haven't used it.
    Not necessarily. Office 2007 was made, in my opinion, more difficult to use because they introduced the 'ribbon' system for feature navigation. A lot of people don't like it because of this.

    If someone has told you it is more difficult, why not ask them why so?
    This is guaranteed. But remember, unless you save in a 2005 format you won't be able to open 2010 files in 2005.
  20. May 7, 2011 #19
    AutoCAD is a CAD (Computer Aided Design or Computer Aided Drafting) software application for 2D and 3D design and drafting.Here auto stands for automated/automatic which means machine-driven.That means autocad is the machine driven computer aided design or drafting.
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