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Let There Be LT

AutoCAD LT vs AutoCAD – The Most Important Differences

Picture of Kyle Preedy
by Kyle Preedy
Aug 26, 2019
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AutoCAD is an icon in the world of CAD, but what is this LT version you heard of and how does it differ from the original? Find out!

AutoCAD LT vs AutoCAD AutoCAD for Everyone

Autodesk caters to a variety of users and platforms.
Autodesk caters to a variety of users and platforms. (Source: Autodesk)

Since it was first released, AutoCAD has seen 30 versions, with each aspect of the software becoming more and more sophisticated and new features being added to aid the designer in easily creating exactly what’s desired.

Recently, Autodesk, the CAD giant behind AutoCAD (and a number of other platforms), released a new version of AutoCAD that targets a specific group of consumers and could have you considering changing over. Here, we’ll go through the most important details.

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AutoCAD LT vs AutoCAD AutoCAD LT

Using AutoCAD LT.
Using AutoCAD LT. (Source: Autodesk)

Costing less than a quarter of Autodesk’s flagship AutoCAD, it’s hard not to wonder about switching to the LT version. The question is, what makes LT so affordable? In other words, what’s the catch?

The reason that AutoCAD LT is so much cheaper is that it has no 3D modeling capability. Essentially, there is no Z-axis or anything that utilizes it.

Nevertheless, let’s go through what it can do:

  • 2D drafting and annotation
  • Support for the AutoCAD online web and mobile apps
  • Compatibility with Windows and Mac
  • Cloud storage connectivity
  • Dynamic blocks
  • Customizable tool palettes
  • Singe license purchasing

The good thing about AutoCAD LT, although it has lost some functionality, is its ease of use. It looks and works the same as AutoCAD but without the clutter from the 3D modeling operations and other functions. This makes it perfect for beginners looking to grasp basic operations and commands of AutoCAD. Mastering your 2D geometry here, in a friendly space, can reduce the learning curve of jumping into the realm of CAD.

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AutoCAD LT vs AutoCAD Full AutoCAD

AutoCAD is designed for the professional.
AutoCAD is designed for the professional. (Source: Autodesk)

As handy as AutoCAD LT is, the full version of AutoCAD cannot be overlooked. Needless to say, it does everything that AutoCAD LT can, plus much, much more. Its most notable extra capabilities are the following:

  • 3D Modeling
  • AutoLISP
  • Industry-specialized tool palettes
  • Single and network licensing

With 3D capability, renders, and point clouds, your clients will be impressed with the end products that AutoCAD can produce. Also included in the full version is AutoLISP, AutoCAD’s built-in programming language, which is used to generate drawings and reduce repetitive tasks.

AutoCAD’s industry-specialized tool palettes range from disciplines like architecture to mechanical and electrical engineering. They provide parts and drawing information that not only increases productivity but adds to a more professional look. With the option to purchase a network license, AutoCAD is great for teams and doesn’t limit you to a license per person situation as AutoCAD LT does.

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AutoCAD LT vs AutoCAD Summing Up

A mechanical drawing.
A mechanical drawing. (Source: Autodesk)

If you can do without the full feature list of AutoCAD without compromising the quality and production time of your drawings and designs, then AutoCAD LT could be your ticket to saving some hard earned money.

If you require 3D modeling AutoCAD LT, is out of the question and the full version of AutoCAD is your way to go. If you’re still not sure what’s best for you and would like to try the software out for yourself, Autodesk offers a 30-day trial for both.

Related articles:

Feature image source: Autodesk

License: The text of "AutoCAD LT vs AutoCAD – The Most Important Differences" by All3DP is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

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