AutoCAD is a commercial computer-aided design (CAD) and drafting software application. Developed and marketed by Autodesk, AutoCAD was first released in December 1982 as a desktop app running on microcomputers with internal graphics controllers.
Before AutoCAD was introduced, most commercial CAD programs ran on mainframe computers or minicomputers, with each CAD operator (user) working at a separate graphics terminal. Since 2010, AutoCAD was released as a mobile- and web app as well, marketed as AutoCAD 360. AutoCAD is used across a wide range of industries, by architects, project managers, engineers, graphic designers, town planners and many other professionals. It was supported by 750 training centers worldwide in 1994. AutoCAD was derived from a program begun in 1977 and released in 1979 called Interact CAD, also referred to in early Autodesk documents as MicroCAD, which was written prior to Autodesk's (then Marinchip Software Partners) formation by Autodesk cofounder Michael Riddle. The first version by Autodesk was demonstrated at the 1982 Comdex and released that December. As Autodesk's flagship product, by March 1986 AutoCAD had become the most ubiquitous CAD program worldwide. The 2019 release marked the 33rd major release of AutoCAD for Windows. The 2014 release marked the fourth consecutive year of AutoCAD for Mac.