What is the difference between AutoCAD and Autodesk?

What is the difference between AutoCAD and Autodesk?

Autodesk, the company powering construction, manufacturing, engineering, architecture, and entertainment industries, is a multinational software company founded by John Walker in 1982. It’s not just a company, but a powerhouse of software used in numerous fields. AutoCAD is one of the software’s that’s commonly used in design.

In this article, we will shed light on the key differences between Autodesk and AutoCAD.

The Basic Difference

Autodesk is an American multinational software corporation that makes software for various industries like architecture, engineering, construction, manufacturing, entertainment, media, and more! Its headquarters are in California and the company has offices worldwide. John Walker founded Autodesk in 1982. Some famous products by Autodesk include AutoCAD, Revit, Civil 3D, Arnold, Inventor, and a few more! The movie Avatar’s visual effects got finalized in Autodesk’s media and entertainment software.

AutoCAD stands for Auto Computer-Aided Design. It is Autodesk’s flagship product used by architects, structural designers, and engineers for designing, drafting, and modeling buildings, bridges, and other structures. AutoCAD is the leading computer-aided design software, used by top brands (like Tesla). The founder of Autodesk, John Walker, was a co-author of the first versions of AutoCAD. Autodesk became known for AutoCAD initially, but now, users equally love all software. We use AutoCAD in most of the industries, including:

  • Civil Engineering
  • Industrial Engineering
  • Materials Engineering
  • Computer Engineering
  • Architectural Drafting and Design
  • Drafting and Design Engineering
  • Mechanical Design and Drafting
  • CAD Drafting and Design Technology
  • Electronics and Electrical Engineering
  • Manufacturing Engineering
  • Environmental Engineering


While John Walker founded Autodesk on January 30, 1982, the company released AutoCAD in December 1982 as a desktop app that ran on microcontrollers with internal graphic controllers. Before introducing AutoCAD, computer-aided design software ran on mainframe computers or minicomputers.

The Difference In Usage

While architects, structural designers, and engineers use AutoCAD for designing, drafting, and modeling buildings, bridges, and other structures, Autodesk finds wider usage as AutoCAD is one of the flagship products of Autodesk and Autodesk develops AutoCAD, Revit, and a lot of software programs.

Autodesk makes software for:

  • Architecture, Engineering & Construction
  • Product Design and Manufacturing, Simulation and Analysis
  • Media and Entertainment (Film & VFX, Gaming & VR)
  • Workflows (3D modeling, Administration, Bid development, Collaboration and control, Concept design, and more)

The Products

Autodesk Products

Autodesk Products

Source: https://www.autodesk.com/products#

Here are the various products by Autodesk grouped according to the functional domain:

The products include 3DS MAX, A360, AutoCAD, AutoCAD LT, BIM 360, Revit, Advance Steel, Alias, Arnold, Autodesk CFD, Autodesk drive, Autodesk rendering, Civil 3D, Design Review, DWG Trueview, Dynamo Studio, Eagle, Fabrication, Forge, Flame, Formit, Fusion 360, and many more!


While Autodesk is a company that makes software, AutoCAD is a software by Autodesk – one of its best-selling software! Autodesk’s products find wide usage in the industry when compared to AutoCAD.