We live in a world driven by technology. As such, it is easy to pick up a new skill using technological resources. Especially for those technologically-inclined brains out there, any hobby can be translated into an invaluable skillset. The same holds true for learning and mastering AutoCAD.
How to Set Up an Account for AutoCAD 2020
Ever since Ivan Sutherland's innovation in 1962 of the first computer graphic program, “SketchPad”, allowing people to write or draw simple figures directly on a screen with the help of a special pencil, the CAD revolution, short for computer-aided-design, has refused to slow down.
What is AutoCAD?
The AutoCAD software is a computer-aided tool that allows many different types of designers to create diverse kinds of drawings and designs. Designers can also group or layer objects, keep objects in a database for future use, and manipulate properties of objects, such as size, shape, and location.
AutoCAD has numerous applications in a wide range of fields, including:
- Interior designs
- Aeronautical designs
- Fine art
- Greeting cards
- Engineering designs
- Architectural designs
Setting Up an AutoCAD Account
Create an Autodesk account, access, and use the Character Generator Web Service offerings available for the chosen account type. Follow these steps to set up your account if you are on an Autodesk M&E DCC Subscription or if you are on a Character Generator Web Service Subscription.
- Create an Autodesk account and access your Character Generator benefit here.
- Click Create an Account.
- Enter the required personal, contact, and account information.
- Your Autodesk ID must contain at least 6 characters and your password must be 8-12 characters and must contain at least 1 letter and 1 number.
- Click Create an Account.
- You can now sign in to your account.
- Click Sign In.
- The Autodesk Character Generator Agreement displays.
- To continue, agree to the Terms of Service and to the Privacy Statement, then click Accept.
- Character Generator launches on the Character Designs page. The page is empty.
- When you save your customized characters, the Character Designs page displays the thumbnails of your saved characters.
- Click New.
Note: For an AutoCAD student account or in case of a subscription, the non-default Artistic Styles and the Premium character presets display a blue Cloud credit icon. Blue Cloud credit icons identify the paid offerings. In other words, characters generated with these presets require to be purchased in order to be downloaded.
In case yellow Cloud credit alert icons are displayed instead of blue Cloud credit icons, it means the paid offerings have not yet been activated for your account. You may need to wait four hours after you have activated your account to have access to the paid offerings. In such a case, sign out, and wait four hours before signing back into your account.
Master AutoCAD 2020 with These Simple Hacks
AutoCAD software is the leading CAD program in the world. However, to use the software, especially for beginners, requires proper training and knowledge of the advanced program. But using AutoCAD is not difficult. Learn the basic ropes of the software, once you have set up an AutoCAD account - be it an AutoCAD student account or the more advanced ones.
Basic Drawing Tools
To guarantee a successful 3D model or project on AutoCAD from the beginning, we recommend using the following tools:
- Point: One of the most basic parts of a CAD drawing building design, a point is used to create a symbol on the drawing that is tied to another specific location. In the software, points are defined by the coordinates (x,y,z).
- Polygon: Multisided shapes, such as pentagons or hexagons, polygons can be frequently used on the AutoCAD system for drawing. The software requests the number of sides and the desired shape. “Closed Polygons” can be edited using the command PEDIT.
- Arc: A circle segment that can be defined by selecting three points through which AutoCAD can generate an arc.
- Circle: The only variables to create a circle are the radius and the center point. The shortcut to creating a loop on AutoCAD is “c.”
- Spline: A curve that is generated by specific mathematical equations. The user can select as many verticles as they wish and AutoCAD will release a spline curve that incorporates all of these points. Splines are most often used for cosmetic purposes, and the program shortcut is “spl.”
- Ellipse: Commonly recognized as an oval, an ellipse is very similar to a circle except it requires a radius to be defined for both their horizontal and vertical exponents.
- Hatch: Known on AutoCAD software as space fillers, they can be made of a solid color or a more specific pattern that was designed by the user. They can be applied to a particular object, such as a looped polyline.
- Text: By using this option, a text string is inserted into the drawing. It is essential to state that the AutoCAD system uses two forms of text entry: single line and multiline. The distinct types are known as DTEXT and MTEXT. Also, TEXT can be used in areas that are unspecified and undefined.
Basic Modifying Tools
The following are some of the most basic modifying tools:
- Erase: When you make a mistake, erasing saves the day! A simple tool that can be used by selecting the object you wish to eliminate and then pressing the erase tool.
- Copy: Everyone who uses a computer can identify with the copy and paste functions and it is the same with the AutoCAD software. To move a selected object from one place to another, the copy tool is used. To copy, the user selects two points and the object is copied using two positions as base points. Points can be selected by using the keyboard and typing in the coordinates or by clicking anywhere on the screen. The shortcut is “cp/co.”
- Mirror: The user defines two points, and the reflected object is generated across the chosen line with all components reversed. While using this tool, any selected object can create a mirror image. The keyboard shortcut to use this tool is “mi.”
- Offset: The option of offset is considered to be almost the same as the copy option; it is used in specific situations since the result will likely be smaller or more prominent than the original. The shortcut for using the offset tool on the AutoCAD system is “o.”
- Array: Completing a variety is a quick way of doing a lot of copying. It is essential to state that there are two types of arrays: polar and grid. To make a polar grid, the AutoCAD system asks the user how many copies they wish to include in their draft. On the other hand, to fabricate a grid array, the user selects how many columns and rows are needed to complete the task at hand. The AutoCAD shortcut to make an array is “ar.”
- Scale: To use this function, the user selects an object or objects, and the scaling factor on the CAD program is defined. Using the scale option on AutoCAD is a great way to change a drawing from meters to millimeters without having to make things so complicated for users.
AutoCAD is a specialized piece of software that is utilized in the mechanical, telecom, civil, and architectural engineering fields. AutoCAD helps to increase overall productivity, to improve the quality of the design, to create a database for manufacturing, and to improve communication through documentation.
Where to Find AutoCAD
Autodesk offers fully-functional AutoCAD free trial versions. This is great for students and teachers who can potentially gain full access to AutoCAD and other Autodesk software programs for free. There is also the option to download and install a more affordable version of AutoCAD 2020, namely, the AutoCAD LT.
AutoCAD for Free (Trial Version)
To install the 30-day free trial from Autodesk’s website, follow these simple steps:
- Click DOWNLOAD AUTOCAD FOR FREE.
- Select your operating system. Then, click NEXT.
- Read the system requirements notice. Click NEXT.
- Choose “Business User” from the drop-down menu. Choose your language. And click NEXT.
- Enter your personal information to create an Autodesk account. Alternatively, sign in to your existing Autodesk account.
- Enter your business information. And click NEXT.
- Read the Trial Notice and click BEGIN DOWNLOAD.
- Install, and start using the free trial.
The free trial version offers the following features, which are more than enough to get you started on the right track.
- AutoCAD WIN/MAC
- Architecture toolset WIN
- Electrical toolset WIN
- Map 3D toolset WIN
- Mechanical toolset WIN
- MEP toolset WIN
- Plant 3D toolset WIN
- Raster Design toolset WIN
- AutoCAD mobile app
- AutoCAD web app
Autodesk offers a free educational version - AutoCAD student account. It can be simultaneously run on up to two personal devices for 3 years. Follow these steps to access this version:
- Go to the Autodesk Education Community.
- Choose AutoCAD from the list of software.
- Create an Autodesk account. Alternatively, sign in to your existing Autodesk account. If prompted, set up your Education profile.
- Click DOWNLOAD NOW.
- Select the desired version, your operating system, and your preferred language.
- The displayed serial number and product key are sent to your email address. And click BROWSER DOWNLOAD.
- Next, install the free version.
- When installing the CAD software, enter the serial number and product key to unlock it.
- When you start the program the first time, activate the license.
The annual subscription for the full AutoCAD 2020 version is $1,600. Yes, it is a little steep. So, what do you do once your 30-day free trial is over and you are just beginning to get into the groove with the software?
Autodesk seems to have really put a lot of thought into their marketing and customer relations. They are offering a slimmed-down version, AutoCAD LT, that “only” costs $380 per year, albeit sans the advanced features that are available in the regular AutoCAD version. AutoCAD LT does not support 3D modeling and visualization.
AutoCAD 360 App: For Users on the Go
For the busybodies out there who prefer to use their tablets or smartphones to conduct their designing on the go, AutoCAD 360 was designed just for you. It is a free version of AutoCAD that is surprisingly versatile for a phone app.
- Open and view DWG files.
- Make accurate measurements and view coordinates.
- Zoom and pan around drawings.
- Store them in the cloud.
- Share designs with colleagues and collaborators.
For $5 a month, you can even get the Pro version, which offers a greater level of functionality, allowing you to draw, edit, move, and scale objects.