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Difference between AutoCAD and AutoCAD LT

AutoCAD and AutoCAD LT

It is not wrong to say that the world we live in is one that has been overtaken by information technology. All of our tasks are performed by mechanical or scientific equipment and all the work we do is made easy by applications or software. The latter has gone a step further in enabling us to make models and determine the outcome of plans. There are software(s) available that we can use to get the solutions to problems encountered in various fields. Similarly, software are also used to make plans or models before resources are used to make something new so that we can be at least somewhat closer to reality in the working of the new invention and any farfetched ideas are countered at this step only. Engineers, architects etc. all use such software to make models to further help them find potential issues or bugs that they need to address. One such software is AutoCAD. Note that the CAD in AutoCAD stands for computer aided design and that is what this software helps you to do in a nutshell.

AutoCAD is a software application (that is commercial) and it is used for both 2D as well as 3D drafting and CAD. This software has been available since the early 1980(s). It was launched in 1982 as a desktop application but after 2010 has also become available as a mobile-web app as well as an app that is cloud based. On these two platforms it is marketed as AutoCAD 360. It was developed by Autodesk, Inc. It runs on microcomputers that must have internal graphic controllers. On the other hand AutoCAD LT is just another version of AutoCAD. It can also carry out similar tasks of computer aided design and drafting but has certain differences to the normal AutoCAD.

To begin with, AutoCAD LT and AutoCAD have considerable difference in their price. AutoCAD is the full or complete version and its price level is greater than AutoCAD LT. This is because the LT version is made to be a lost cost version of AutoCAD that has reduced capabilities, that is, can perform fewer functions.

The AutoCAD LT was first released in the month of November in the year 1993, that is, just over a decade after the release of AutoCAD. It was developed by Autodesk so as to make it available in the market for those who could not afford the expensive AutoCAD. The LT version was supposed to be an entry level package of computer aided design that had most of the features of AutoCAD but was priced lower and lacked some of the higher order functions. To be precise, AutoCAD has almost always been priced above a thousand dollars; the LT version for the first time had a price less than one thousand; a mere price of $495. (The 2011 release of AutoCAD LT was 1200 dollars, whereas the price of AutoCAD is far greater than this now.)

Another difference between the two is that while the AutoCAD can only be purchased from official Autodesk dealers, you can buy AutoCAD LT from a number of computer stores where it is available.

Moving on, some features that the AutoCAD has and its LT version lacks are 3D capabilities, that is, the ability to first create and then visualize in 3D and render 3D models etc. The AutoCAD also allows for 3D printing! Furthermore, unlike the AutoCAD, its LT version cannot be used over a network on multiple machines due to unavailability of network licensing. Other differences between the two include customization options, management and automation capabilities, and CAD standards. All of these are better or give you more options in the AutoCAD.

Summary of differences expressed in points:

  • Both AutoCAD and AutoCAD LT are computer automated design software developed by Autodesk; AutoCAD was released in 1982; its LT version in 1993


  • AutoCAD is expensive compared to its LT version; used to be above 1000$ when its LT version was released in 1993 at 495$


  • AutoCAD LT has fewer features or options including customization options, management and automation capabilities, and CAD standards; only AutoCAD gives you network licensing, ability to work and print in 3D etc.


  • AutoCAD can only be purchased from official Autodesk dealers; AutoCAD LT available at many computer stores


*all the dollar figures are US dollars ($)

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