Free AutoCAD Alternatives: AutoCAD is recognized as the oldest, most reliable, easy-to-use CAD computer-aided drawing software. The problem is in the price, which not all users are able to pay. Especially micro companies and professionals in engineering, architecture and graphic design, who work on their own or students and fans of any of these branches of knowledge.
Free AutoCAD Alternatives: Who can pay for an AutoCAD license, is making a good investment, because it is a very versatile 2D and 3D modeling and design software, with applications in various industries and ideal for project management. But why buy an AutoCAD license that is no longer in perpetuity – if you can do the same with other alternative software?
The cost of this fabulous tool and the fact that Autodesk is forcing product users to buy a subscription-based license instead of obtaining a full one, has led CAD professionals to search the market for other cheaper alternatives or free as we recommend in this article. Free AutoCAD Alternatives
The price of an AutoCAD license is approximately $ 1,500 per year. For a large company or a professional with years of experience in the design and management of projects, it may seem like a normal cost, but for those who are just starting and do not have a comfortable budget, that price is uphill.
Remember that to execute a 2D or 3D modeling or design project, we also need a good workstation, along with quality accessories such as mice for CAD and 3D modeling, apart from powerful software. In addition, there are a good number of CAD software alternatives available in the market.
The real challenge then, is to find a free alternative AutoCAD software that is worthwhile, since there are any number of bad imitations that are sold as good in the market. Fortunately, there are also software available with the same features and versatility of AutoCAD.
Below we list the 10 free Autocad alternatives, all with good user feedback so you can choose the one that best suits your work and taste. They are affordable and reliable AutoCAD alternatives, which read the same files as AutoCAD, integrate easily and are also intuitive to learn, as they have similar functions and support infrastructure.
1. SolidFace – Download for Free
We will start with ours, because we consider it the best existing free AutoCAD alternative. SolidFace Professional is a 2D / 3D parametric historical constructive CAD modeling software. It has the advantage that in addition to 3D modeling, it also allows you to completely create 2D projects, for example, mechanical parts, multiple engineering designs, graphic design in general, civil plants, etc.
Solidface synthesizes the core of the Parasolid Siemens 3D modeler and adds 15 years of experience in UniCAD 2D / 3D development, which yields a product with powerful capabilities for solid, detailed modeling, assembly and parameterization. You can perfectly read other CAD softwares (AutoCAD, SolidWorks, Solid-edge and NX and many more), through DWG, X_T, X_B, DXF, standard BMP files.
SolidFace automatically creates parametric references for modeling functions that can be edited in a very simple and interactive way and allows the creation of multiple bodies. It is an extremely powerful tool that helps in the development of dependent parts of a single part file. Compatible with 3D printing, it is integrated into the cloud and, best of all, it comes with its free version fully downloadable Here
It is a CAD software known for its characteristic reach, which includes very familiar features, including native .dwg applications. It is very similar to the 2008 version of AutoCAD and comes with an interface with certain similarities, in addition to other features ideal for 2D design and 3D direct modeling. It is compatible with MacOS, Windows and Linux, and several hundreds of third-party applications based on .dwg.
While AutoCAD is a paid software in its full version, it is much more affordable in its editions: Classic, Pro and Platinum. It has the advantage that it incorporates tools not available in AutoCAD, such as BIM, Sheet metal and 3D Compare. It also has tools for import / export IFC, is fully integrated into the cloud, comes with a robust render button, is customizable and recognizes XREFS. However, its document management tool is somewhat difficult to handle (version V15 Pro) and has a limited scope.
This 2D drawing software similar to AutoCAD is specially designed for personal and individual use. It has a set of fully functional tools to meet all the user’s drawing needs. For those who are just beginning in the world of modeling, it is an ideal program, which comes with an intuitive user interface and is easily managed by its accessible language. Make precise revisions, as the design elements are stored in layers.
DraftSight is currently available for Windows and in its beta version for other operating systems such as Mac and Ubuntu. With this alternative software to AutoCAD, it is possible to write, read and share DWG files easily and create G code directly in the program. It is easily downloadable in a few minutes.
It is a free program very easy to use and understand. While it comes with many shortcomings with respect to AutoCAD and other programs, for those who are learning and starting to execute their first designs, it is quite good software. That is why it is quite popular among users from other areas of the industry, other than architecture, construction, design and drawing (although it also covers these fields), such as the design of video games and movies.
This has made people totally oblivious to 3D modeling – otherwise they would not – prove their benefits. What SketchUp does, it does quite well. It is very useful for the development or improvement of concepts for amateurs or professionals. In its free version it works very well with DWG, OBJ, DXF, XSI and other files. It allows exporting PDF and HD animations and is easily integrated with third-party add-ons.
6. AutoCAD (student version)
If you are a student of architecture, civil or mechanical engineering, graphic design or a related career, you can download this version of AutoCAD. At the time of registering you should only say indicate that you are a student. It is a version only to practice and develop designs or academic models, because when you try to trace, print or export a document, you will find a watermark that prevents files from being marketed.
It is a very complete software, it is free AutoCAD. With it you will develop skills and abilities in the drawing, before you go to the next level and can buy a full Autodesk license or purchase another Autocad alternative.
As the name implies, it is an open source program for 2D drawing in continuous revision, as it has a base of free developers who have been improving it. FreeCAD contains almost all known standard 2D drawing tools. It also has an attractive, fast and agile interface that allows you to join everything. Read DWG files and can be used with Mac OS and Windows operating systems. It is based on Qt, the robust cross-platform application.
Its tools and concepts are quite similar to those of AutoCAD. So those who are already familiar with CAD will feel very comfortable using it. The FreeCAD source code can be downloaded, used and transformed as the user wants, because it is free. One of its most striking features is that by having a free source code, FreeCAD users have constantly changing software available that improves every day, is very easy to use and offers good results at work.
8. NanoCAD Free / Windows
It is an easy-to-use CAD application, which is available and offers one of the best user experiences because with it you get high performance at work. In addition, it is a product with a full capacity that offers a classic interface and a native .dwg format support. It comes with a complete set of basic but also advanced tools that allow the creation of CAD files, all compatible with standard DWG.
NanoCAD provides the user with several very innovative, collaborative and also customizable functions that improve its efficiency. This design and modeling software includes several APIs, which make it very versatile at work. Its capabilities range from the automation of some routine tasks, to the development of various complex CAD applications. All this completely for free.
9. QCAD / Windows / MacOS / Linux
This is another free open source application used for two-dimensional (2D) CAD modeling. The software allows to create very diverse technical drawings such as building plans and interior spaces, as well as mechanical parts, diagrams and even diagrams. It is compatible with Windows, MacOS and Linux and its source code is published under the GPL version 3, a very popular open source license.
It is considered one of the best AutoCAD alternatives along with SolidFace. TrueCAD is a basic 2D design and 3D visualization software. It was developed in 2015 in India by a group of developers from Jytra Technology Solutions. It has a Common Programming Interface (API) that uses the same functions and commands, which makes it one of the most popular options for previous AutoCAD users.
TrueCAD was specially designed for builders, architects, mechanical engineers and GIS, and it brings all the main features of a modeling and design software that the user will appreciate very much. It is therefore an alternative for AutoCAD easy to use and very easy to learn, compatible with DWG whose initial and maintenance costs are quite affordable. It offers features very similar to AutoCAD, is constantly evolving and has excellent and accessible support.
In short, if you decide on any of these free AutoCAD alternatives for drawing, that’s fine. But if you choose SolidFace, we can assure you that you will thank us.