CAD chronology

before 1970
1970-1980

1980-1989
1990-1991
1992-1993
1994
1995
1996
1997
1998
1999
2000

1980-1989

Year

Event

1980
T&W Systems releases Versa CAD

1980

Matra Datavision founded as part of Lagardene Group and starts producing CAD/CAM software.

1981

Dassault Systems is created.

1981

Computer graphics from Cornell University founded 3D/Eye Inc., a pioneered 3D and graphics technology.

1981
Unigraphics introduced the first solid modeling system, UniSolid.
It was based on PADL-2, and was sold as a stand-alone product to Unigraphics.

1982

CATIA Version 1 is announced as an add-on product for 3D design, surface modeling and NC programming.

1982
In 1982 mini computers with much more power at less cost started to appear. This was a major step forward and by 1984 the technology began to be competitive with traditional methods.
For many years aircraft had of course been designed using computers, but now it was becoming possible to economically design saucepans and other domestic products with complex 3D shapes using a computer.

1982

Autodesk was founded by sixteen people in April 1982 in California by initiative of John Walker in idea to create a CAD program for a price of $1000 to can run on PC. John Walker has been running Marinchip Systems for two years before. The first version of AutoCAD was based on a CAD program wrote in 1981 by Mike Riddle called MicroCAD, changed later in Interact.

1982

A company called P-CAD released a CAD program called CADplan. Later the product was purchased by CalComp and renamed CADVANCE.

1982

In November at COMDEX trade show in Las Vegas was demonstrated the first CAD program in the world that runs on PC. This was the initial release of AutoCAD and deliveries begun in December.

1983

Unigraphics II introduced to market

1983
Applicon introduces BRAVO! first 32-bit VAX based mechanical design/NC system

1983

The first German and French versions of AutoCAD

1983

The work has started for a new reliable and universal system of transferring data called STEP (Standard for the Exchange of Product model data). STEP can transfer CAD data, to include complete details of product modeling including materials and various design parameters.
The first generally available STEP translator was released in 1991 by EDS Unigraphics.

1983

Autodesk ships version 1.2 of AutoCAD in April, version 1.3 in August and version 1.4 in October.

1984
CoCreate Software Inc., was established in 1984 as a division of Hewlett-Packard Company with the charter to expand the scope and focus for development of computer-aided design (CAD) and computer-aided manufacturing (CAM) software products.
In 1996, CoCreate became a wholly-owned subsidiary of Hewlett-Packard Co. and expanded its product offerings to include collaboration software solutions.
1984
DUCT development continued at Cambridge together with the small team established at Delta in Birmingham.
By 1984 the Birmingham team was larger than that at Cambridge and the unique features of DUCT began to be recognised.
It was one of the very few systems developed from the beginning to design and machine products.
The equal emphasis on design and machining made it different to its competitors and this was appreciated by the users.
Most other systems had developed 2D draughting first, followed by 3D modelling with machining added later.
1984
In 1984, a Hungarian physicist, Gabor Bajor, smuggled two Macs into his country. At the time, ownership of personal computers was illegal under Communist rule. Using Pascal, he and a teenager, Tamas Hajas worked to write a 3D CAD program for the Mac which will be the beginning of Graphsoft Company.

1984

Drafting capabilities are added to CATIA in 1984, enabling it to function independently of CADAM.

1984

The first Autodesk Training Centre

1984

In October AutoCAD version 2 (Release 5) with text improvements, DXFIN and DXFOUT commands, new Inquire commands, Object Snap, named views, Isometric capabilities and new Attribute features.

1985

Keith Bentley founds Bentley Systems, Inc.

MicroStation provides advanced computer-aided design on PC. MicroStation began as a clone of another CAD package. Originally named PseudoStation, the software developed by Bentley Systems allowed users to view IGDS drawings files without needing Intergraph's software.
The next version of PseudoStation was renamed MicroStation and added the ability to edit IGDS files. After Intergraph purchased 50% of Bentley Systems, a new version of MicroStation added proprietary extensions to the IGDS and renamed it DNG.

1985

CATIA Version 2 is announced with fully integrated drafting, solid and robotics functions.
CATIA becomes the aeronautical applications leader.

1985

The first CAD Camp organized by Autodesk in San Rafael, California.

1985

Autodesk sales were over $27 million this year.

1985
Peter Smith and Livingston Davies found Micro-Control Systems and releases CADKEY, the first 3D PC CAP product

1985

Diehl Graphsoft, Inc. is founded and the first version of MiniCAD is shipped in the same year. MiniCAD will become the best selling CAD program on the Macintosh.

1985

Varimetrix founded.

1985

AutoCAD version 2.1 in May with 3D capabilities and Polylines command.

1986
On January 9, Deneba Software is officially incorporated. The company sets out to address the needs of Mac users with MacLightning - the first interactive spelling checker for Mac. It debuts at MacWorld Expo in San Francisco and is an instant hit. MacLightning 2.0 ships in August as does Voila - an outline processor desk accessory.

1986

Version 2.18 of AutoCAD, launched in January, included the full AutoLISP programming language.

AutoLISP is an ASCII based language of interpreted type, originally derived from a shareware Lisp implementation called Xlisp.
AutoLISP extended the variables and expressions feature to let users write and store LISP programs that implement custom commands.

1986
CADENCE magazine is established.
Would become the world's largest independent CAD publication.

1986

Richard Sowar founded Spatial Technology which will debut officially one year later.

1986
MCS introduced ANVIL-5000, a 3-D mechanical CADD/CAM/CAE system that, for over a decade, was the most powerful, fully integrated CADD/CAM/CAE software available, running on all classes of engineering computers from high-end workstations to personal computers
1986
Dassault acquires CADAM
1986
American Small Business Company releases DesignCAD

1986

AutoCAD reaches 50,000 copies sold world wide.

1986
Caligari Corporation was founded.

1986

AutoCAD has won since 1986 "The Best CAD Product" award from PC World magazine every year for the next 10 years.

1986

AutoSketch 1.0 entry level CAD program from Autodesk.

1986

In June AutoCAD version 2.5 (Release 7) with more editing and dimensioning commands enhancements.

1987

General Motors selects Unigraphics company as a Strategic Partner

1987

Since 1987 certified national courses of study by City and Guilds of London Institute in AutoCAD has been conducted.

1987

ISICAD purchased CADVANCE and developed it into the first Windows based CAD application on the market.

1987
Deneba begins publishing its products under its own label. A software equivalent to 3M's Post-it notes, it integrates seamlessly with Excel, Word, MacWrite and most other programs. The first release of Canvas sets a new standard in graphic design by bringing together painting and drawing onto the same page for the first time ever.

1987

Varimetrix introduces one of the first PC based B-rep solid modeler.

1987

Version 2.6 of AutoCAD (in April) introduces a compiled LISP but it still required the interpreter to run it.

1987

AutoCAD Release 9 in September is the first version of AutoCAD to require an 80x87 math processor in computers based on Intel 8086 processors. All files produced by this version made compatible among all supported computers.
Release 9 includes as well an Advanced User Interface incorporating a menu bar, pull-down menus, icon menus and dialog boxes.
ADS (AutoCAD Development System) was introduced with release 9 for OS/2 operating system and allowed C code to be used instead of ASCII based AutoLISP. To enable C code to access AutoCAD internal data, a set of application programming interfaces (APIs) are supplied with AutoCAD.
Internally AutoCAD sees an ADS application exactly the same as a LISP routine.

1988

Shape Data Ltd. acquired by Unigraphics for solids modeling capabilities -- Parasolid -- the production-proven kernel modeling toolkit.
Shape Data was developer of Romulus, Romulus-D and Parasolid applications.
Parasolid is a very powerful B-rep solid modeling kernel that allows the joining of boundaries represented surfaces together as a solid.

1988
MacLightning, from Deneba, is renamed and re-launched as Coach Professional 3.0 - a complete spelling, thesaurus, and definitions reference system. Memorandum from deneba Software, is renamed and re-launched as Comment 2.0. Canvas 2.0 ships and proves to be an potent force in the then nascent digital graphics world. This version introduced a host of innovations including: multi-point Bezier curves, unlimited layers, 32-bit color, drawing precision, color separations, auto-tracing and dozens more.

1988

CATIA Version 3 is announced with AEC functionality. CATIA is ported to IBM's UNIX-based RISC System/6000 workstations. CATIA becomes the automotive applications leader

1988
Martin Newell founded Ashlar Incorporation and release Ashlar Vellum CAD software.

1988

John Walker retained from the chair to devote to full-time programming.

1988

Surfware Inc., ships the first version of SurfCAM, a CAD/CAM program.

1988

In October Autodesk ships AutoCAD Release 10, with 3D enhancements.

1988

Autodesk ships AutoSolid an add-on application for AutoCAD.

1989

Unigraphics announced commitment to UNIX and open system architecture.

Pratt & Whitney selects Unigraphics as its system of choice.

New, STEP-compatible Parasolid kernel modelers for 3-D modeling introduced.

Parasolid integrated into Unigraphics iMAN PIM system jointly developed with Kodak

1989

Autodesk buy Generic Software and Generic CADD program.

There are over 600 add-on applications for AutoCAD.

1989

Acecad Software (England) ships the first version of Strucad, a high-end structural CAD program.

1989
Canvas 2.1 is released and receives the coveted Editor's Choice Award from MacUser Magazine. The first German and French versions of Canvas are released. Deneba releases UltraPaint - a powerful entry-level painting and drawing application for Macintosh. UltraPaint featured 256-color painting, the world's first vector and raster open plug-in architecture, color gradients, vector masking, image processing filters. Refinements of these technologies would all find their way into Canvas 3 some years later.

1989

Graphisoft US was established to sell and support ArchiCAD products in the US and Canada.

1989
Archway Systems is founded by Mike and Tom Lazear
1989
Parametric ProÔ releases T-FLEX, the first parametric mechanical CAD program for PC. It uses a propietary 3D kernel, the Baranov kernel. Later will migrate to ACIS.

1989

CSC ships MicroCADAM, a CAD/CAM program which will become the best selling CAD product in Japan.

1989

Parametric Technology ships the first version of Pro/ENGINEER.

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