Personal Computer Museum, Canada's Videogame Museum

AutoSketch v2.0

AutoSketch v2.0
AutoSketch v2.0

Floppy (5.25")5



Release Date: 2/21/1989
Manufacturer: Autodesk
AutoSketch is a 2D vector drawing program by Autodesk. It is less powerful than Autodesk's AutoCAD and does not support 3D models.

AutoSketch uses SKD and SKF, in later versions, as its native format, but can export to DWG and DXF. Version 2.1 for Windows supported macros which has been removed in later versions.

Originally called "Drafix" and developed by Foresight Resources to run under Microsoft DOS. Drafix won the first American Institute of Architect's "CAD Shoot-out". Among the features that made the original Drafix stand out when compared to the much more expensive AutoCAD were the ease of learning, the variety of dimensioning available out of the box, including relative dimensions, and being able to draw new primitives (line, circle, square, etc.) relative to existing primitives or points on them using keyboard shortcuts. One limitation of the DOS release was that it needed to store all of a drawing in Random Access Memory, RAM, while editing and could not use any sort of swapping, limiting the size of the drawings. Another limitation was that while Drafix was a complete drawing tool at a reasonable price for many industries, especially architecture and industrial design with relatively small drawings, it lacked the extendability AutoCAD had thanks to its built in LISP interpreter. This and other features allowed AutoCAD to be heavily customized for industries from architecture to printed circuit board (PCB) design. When Drafix was released to run inside of Windows it was one of the first Windows based computer-aided design (CAD) software products. Under Windows, Drafix took advantage of virtual memory available in Windows to edit more complex drawings. Drafix also took advantage of Windows Object Linking and Embedding (OLE) prior to any Autodesk product. This allowed Drafix to offer features to help automate reporting such as cost estimation and part list generation. Autodesk apparently found this product both a threat and opportunity and bought the company. The current version of Autosketch, version 10, was released on November 14th 2008.

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