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Low cost CAD programs.


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For those of you who desire a low cost alternative to full AutoCAD or even AutoCAD LT you might consider the following options.


BricsCAD Classic/Pro/Platinum $485/$650/$985 U.S. (changed prices 25-Mar-2014)



DataCAD LT 15/15 $295/$1,295 U.S.



Draftsight Professional $149 but currently being offered at $99 U.S. - Note: This is the "subscription" model; a non-subscription version is available at $299 and includes an upgrade during the first 12 months



GstarCAD Light/Standard/Pro $209/$449/$549 U.S. Manual is extra! $95



progeCAD Std/Pro/Architecture $299/$399/$1725 U.S.



VersaCAD 2011 for Windows $795 U.S.


Just threw this one in for anyone who remembers the program.


Visual Cadd 6.0 - $429.95



TurboCAD LTE 5/LTE Pro (formerly called DoubleCAD XT Pro) $199/$495 U.S.



ZWCAD 2012 and ZWCAD+ Pricing available upon request or so it seems.



Some of the programs are strictly 2D while others offer of combination of both 2D and 3D capability.


At a couple of the sites you'll find other programs, targeting a specific field, available as well. If you know of any other low cost alternatives feel free to add them to the list. This is just to get things started.


All prices as of 27-Feb-2013, unless noted otherwise, and are subject to change.

Edited by ReMark
Added Draftsight Professional
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You must have missed my thread of yesterday regarding FREE CAD programs.


I did not want to mix the two.


See this...http://www.cadtutor.net/forum/showthread.php?77635-Free-CAD-programs-for-the-non-student.

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No problem.


I figured there will always be someone looking for a FREE program. Who doesn't like free, right? The downside is most of the free programs have their limitations. For those who don't mind spending some money but abhor the prices AutoDesk charges there are the low cost options. Note that a few of the programs cost less than 10% of what a full version of AutoCAD does. Now that's a savings.

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I have put this on the thread for free software as well....


Hi - I will be really grateful for some help choosing what to get. My family runs a steam railway on a 22 acre site and we need to take over responsibility for our site drawings from the person who has been doing them up to now. The drawings are simple 2D showing buildings and line features including the railway itself (lots of curves there), and levels (but we don't need to produce 3D topograohical drawings). We have paid our supplier a lot of money for survey work and drawings over the years and he has willingly let us have the material which has all been prepared in Autocad 2004 and supplied as .dwg files. First idea was to buy a copy of Autocad but we just can't afford it. Second idea was to bid for the copy of Autocad 2004 which is on ebay this morning but fortunately I found this forum and very quickly decided that was not a good idea! I would be most grateful for some pointers about which software might suit us best:

1. Must import .dwg files created in Autocad 2004 and let me update them

2. Must run on Windows Vista Home Basic 2007 Service Pack 2

3. Only needs to work in 2D

4. Must be able to print (usually on A3)

5. Must be able to export as .pdf

6. ideally should be quick to learn the basics

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Draftsight will do everything you mentioned, and it's free. Download it and try it out.

Thanks for the recommendation for Draftsight which has been recommended on the other thread as well, so I will try this first. In case it's of interest to anyone else I'll report my progress.

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I played with Intellicad 15 years ago very good really the first clone had lisp and VBA support from start. Rumor was Microsoft was behind the CAD engine.


Zwsoft pretty good again like Intellicad some lisps need retweaking.


Karelcad has nice macro record, writes .Net code hey .NET guys maybe download trial and comment to the rest of us dummy .net'ers

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Paul Sweet

Visual CADD is based on the old Generic CADD, which Autodesk bought out and drove into the ground. It costs $429.95, and is much easier to use than ACAD. I'm presently using version 5, and plan to upgrade to version 6 when I get some more CAD work to do. Translation to & from ACAD is pretty good, although text sizes are treated differently. http://www.tritools.com


IntelliCAD is sold by several companies. Many of them enhance the basic IntelliCAD platform. Here are a few I have used:


CMS IntelliCAD 7.2, which starts at $74.95 for a personal version http://store.intellicadms.com/


AutoDSys Intellicad 7.2, which starts at $189.00 http://www.autodsys.com/intellicadhome.html I bought this on sale at half price, and currently use it to view ACAD files and for some drafting. They also have AcceliCAD, with even more features added, although I think it is based on IntelliCAD 6.6.


ProgeCAD which starts at $299.00 http://www.progesoft.com/en I have used the free version in the past, and found it to be fairly easy to use.

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The only thing you'll notice when you open (no need to import) a drawing made with another program in AutoCAD is that it will inform you that the drawing was not created with a version of AutoCAD. Big deal right?

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The only thing you'll notice when you open (no need to import) a drawing made with another program in AutoCAD is that it will inform you that the drawing was not created with a version of AutoCAD. Big deal right?



I think that can be turned off anyways?

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