We'll start with ours, because we consider it the best free AutoCAD alternative in existence. While LibreCAD works great for 2D models, FreeCAD is one of the best open source alternatives to AutoCAD for 3D modeling, although it also supports 2D. In addition, it is designed for Windows, MacOS and Linux environments. For a while, AutoCAD has had quite good support for 3D modeling, but its biggest strengths are still 2D design and drawing software for architecture.
Solidworks is a parametric solid modeler focused primarily on 3D designs. That means you'll need to have some knowledge of engineering terms rather than just geometric terms. The latest edition of SolidWorks has excellent features, such as the ability to do freehand sketches on touch screens. Despite focusing primarily on 3D modeling, its 2D sketching tool is still functional, although it is much lighter than what is found in AutoCAD.
BricsCAD also integrates with the cloud, has a robust rendering engine, recognizes XREFS and is customizable. If you just need a basic 3D modeling solution, BricsCAD Shape is completely free. While it doesn't have the same powerful features, it's still an impressive offering of free architectural design software. Draftsight is a professional alternative to AutoCAD, designed for users looking for better ways to read, write and share.
dwg files. Through its clear user interface, which makes DraftSight easy to use and learn, you can perform accurate revisions, as design elements are stored in layers. You can also create G-Code directly in the program and save and open DXF and DWG files. It also has a huge library of designs from which you can use existing designs, make batch prints, and also access macro recording.
SketchUp is a 3D modeling program used in a wide range of applications, from interior design; architectural, civil and mechanical engineering; video game and film design. LibreCAD is a high-quality open source 2D modeling software born from QCAD (later known as CADuntu) and resembles AutoCAD in concept and characteristics. OpenSCAD is an excellent free alternative to AutoCAD. It is free software that you can use to create solid computer-aided design objects.
In general, there are two main ways to use OpenSCAD. One modeling technique you can use is constructive solid geometry, while another technique is 2D contour extrusion. Full OpenSCAD tutorials are also available for those just starting out. On the contrary, BricsCAD Lite is comparable to AutoCAD LT.
These versions eliminate 3D modeling and integration of third-party applications, but still allow you to work completely on 2D DWG files. BricsCAD (any version) is fully compatible with templates, blocks and sheets created in AutoCAD. There is also the added benefit of supporting LISP programming routines and dynamic blocks, natively. BricsCAD includes several AI-based and machine learning tools to recognize your design intent and optimize tasks.
These tools include Blockify, Move Guided, Copy Guided, QUAD Cursor and more. Note that BricsCAD supports annual subscriptions and perpetual licenses. Similarly, network licenses continue to be offered and supported. This has become essential, as many companies are migrating to remote offices and using virtual machines.
Download a free trial of BricsCAD IntelliCAD comes in several versions and, like BricsCAD, is available as an annual subscription or a perpetual license. The cloud-based version, known as “Easy Run”, is available through an annual subscription. DraftSight is also positioned as an AutoCAD alternative. In fact, their website boasts that Draftsight offers “first-class CAD” with greater performance and flexibility at the best price in the market.
Draftsight CAD software is a 2D and 3D design software developed by the French company Dassault Systèmes, the same company that produces SolidWorks. DraftSight is also able to work natively with AutoCAD dynamic blocks. Plus, you can easily compare designs, add hardware symbols, and even add PDFs to the project file. Download a free trial version of DraftSight FreeCAD is an open source CAD program dedicated to parametric 3D modeling.
It's made to primarily design objects and uses real-world units, whether microns, meters, inches, or feet. FreeCAD offers the tools you need to produce, export and edit solid and precision models. You can also export them for files ready for 3D printing or CNC machining. In general, FreeCAD is more of a mechanical engineering tool than 2D drawing software.
Therefore, unless you like to design parts or assemblies, FreeCAD might be more difficult to use. However, as the name suggests, FreeCAD can be downloaded and used completely free of charge. And, with a small adjustment, it can be modified through add-ons, allowing it to be adapted to your needs. FreeCAD comes with capabilities such as 3D parametric modeling, robot simulation, 2D drawing and sketching, and a rendering module to create high-quality 3D images.
The tool is suitable for a wide range of uses in the manufacturing and engineering industries. However, construction companies can also use it to create floor plans or to design 3D building models. SketchUp helps users draw 2D building plans, as well as 3D models of buildings. Along with design-related functions, the tool offers document management functions with support for numerous file types (including DXF, DWG, FBX, OBJ, XSI and VRML) and the ability to export images (including PDF and HD animations).
SolidWorks Premium is a good choice for 3D drafters who want CAD software for detailed design work. The tool comes with extensive design features that allow you to create 2D drawings and 3D models. The tool also supports document management (with version control) to create a repository of updated designs. Vectorworks Architect offers capabilities such as 2D drawing, 3D modeling, and building information modeling (BIM).
As the name suggests, the tool is designed to help architects; it allows you to build 3D construction site models, draw site plans and design digital route presentations. After using CAD software from different companies for about 20 years, I recently discovered that ActCAD is the best in features and also in price. I think I should be at the top of the list. SketchUp is one of the most used 3D modeling programs in the world.
It has a fully functional free version, and the paid version simply adds another layer of depth to the software. LibreCAD may be the closest competitor in the way it operates AutoCAD. This is 2D CAD software that looks and behaves much like the Adobe option. In addition to platform options, LibreCAD also has 30 different language options, allowing users from many different countries to enjoy this software.
SolidWorks, like AutoCAD, is software that came out decades ago. While both have a long history, they are definitely not exactly the same. SolidWorks is software compatible with 2D and 3D, but places more emphasis on the 3D aspect. AutoCAD is a 2D CAD program, which means that you cannot perform 3D modeling on equal terms with SolidWorks.
The basic version of DraftSight offers all the 2D CAD tools you need to compete with AutoCAD. While you can upgrade to the professional version and get more 3D features, the basic version gives you more than enough features. This 3D parametric CAD program is incredibly similar to AutoCAD in terms of feel and features. If you want something cheaper, SolveSpace, a free 3D parametric CAD program that's completely free, may be for you.
This program will never cost you anything and can handle even the most complex CAD drawings. Not only can you draw in 2D space like you can with AutoCAD, but you can also model in 3D space. In fact, this software comes with the added benefit of being able to use the models for 3D printing. If you just need to fix something at home, you can model it in SolveSpace and print it directly on your 3D printer.
Can also be used for architectural purposes. Have you tried OnShape? I've been using it intermittently for the past few years when I need to model something or play with geometry. It's a browser-based SolidWorks competitor, free for personal (public) use (I think you get like 2 private projects and then as many public ones as you want. It's available in the browser (making it cross-platform), as well as in iOS mobile apps.
I still have to give Fusion 360 a try too. While many users have stuck with Autodesk and its price increases, there are also many people looking for AutoCAD alternatives. The Excel-style table editor and the full set of commands are two more reasons why I think NanoCAD is an excellent alternative to AutoCAD. However, Draft It is NOT cross-platform software like many of the other AutoCAD alternatives mentioned in this list.
If you're one of those people, you're in luck: there are many AutoCAD alternatives that are cheaper and even free. Regardless of why you need to use AutoCAD, you should be able to find a suitable alternative in this list. CMS (CAD Manufacturing Solutions) IntelliCAD was specifically designed as a full-featured, intelligent CAD software platform capable of serving as an alternative to AutoCAD. While the above are some of the best drawing software alternatives to AutoCAD, they are not the only options that deserve a mention.
Today, I'll go over the 10 best AutoCAD alternatives you can use to draw and annotate drawings and model designs. All of the AutoCAD alternatives in this list have a common denominator: they can be obtained for free. NanoCAD is a free CAD software alternative to AutoCAD, with one drawback: if you use the free version, you can only use it for educational and evaluation purposes. If you're looking for an excellent alternative to AutoCAD at a much more affordable price, DraftSight could be the perfect software for you.
Read on to learn about the key capabilities and pricing of the four major AutoCAD alternatives for construction companies. The wide variety of tools in this free architectural design software can easily compete with those of the premium alternatives and AutoCAD itself. From professionally priced tools to free open source options, there are alternatives to AutoCAD for every type of user. Obviously, you'll want more affordable alternatives to AutoCAD that offer similar features and read similar files, integrate easily with AutoCAD, and are intuitive to learn.