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ReMark

FREE CAD Programs

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ReMark

As some CAD users have heard the free 2D CAD program Draftsight, by Dassault Systemes, will cease functionality at the end of 2019.  For those of you looking for a replacement I offer the following.  All four programs are available in Windows, Linus and Mac versions.  Note that both Draftsight and NanoCAD also offer very low cost versions of their CAD programs if one is so inclined.

 

FreeCAD

https://www.freecadweb.org/

Open source

 

LibreCAD

https://librecad.org/

Open source

 

NanoCAD

https://nanocad.com/

 

QCAD v3.23

https://qcad.org/en

Open source

 

 

Edited by ReMark
Noted open source software
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steven-g

Limited in some ways but don't forget Bricsys Shape. It's the BricsCAD free software aimed at concept modelling it does 2D and 3D. Creates dwg files it's really easy to use the main limitations are no dims (apparently you can copy a dim from and external file and place and adjust those to get dims that way if you really want). And no Layouts but you can print to PDF to get 'views' out. But anything you create is saved as dwg and should you wish to then upgrade to BricsCAD for dims and Layouts, and more advanced stuff like sections even BIM data, it can all be done with the model you create in Shape, no need to make any changes.

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ReMark

I could have mentioned SketchUp Make (3D modeling) but it has its limitations.  

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SLW210

AFAIK Draftsight is still FREE on Linux and MAC.

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f700es

SketchUp Make (2017) is not being updated. Their current  "free" offering is SketchUp Free, a free on-line 3D program. More limitations than SU Make and still not for commercial use.

A worthy competitor to SketchUp Make is Form Z Free.
It can import; SKP, KMZ, DWG, DXF, DAE, OBJ and STL files
Exports STL
Same file format as the paid versions (Form Z Jr and Pro)
Can be used for ANY purpose, home, hobby and commercial!
Has a more robust tool-set than SU Make or Free....Nurbs, parametrics, booleans, doors,windows, stairs. subdivisions, and more.



 

Form-Z-Free.jpg

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f700es

+1 on NanoCAD.

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ReMark

Just came across this from the 2019 Draftsight FAQ.

 

I’m a Mac or Linux user, can I use DraftSight 2019?

 

DraftSight 2019 SP0 will be offered only as a Beta version for Mac and Linux that includes all the features in DraftSight Standard. These Beta versions will expire on 12/31/2019 and are not available for purchase at this time. Visit www.DraftSight.com/Download to download DraftSight 2019 SP0 Beta for Mac and Linux. 

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f700es
20 minutes ago, ReMark said:

These Beta versions will expire on 12/31/2019


Looks like the gravy train will be over for them as well :(
I always wanted to set up a Linux box with DraftSight, Inkscape and Blender3D. Never got around to it.

Speaking of free, if some smart developer ever comes up with a SketchUp like interface for Blender it will be over for them!

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SLW210

It's been a year or more since I fired up a home computer. Didn't really use it much, anyway. It is still a reasonable price IMHO. $99 per year for standard. I guess BricsCAD still runs on a Linux box at a reasonable price.
Still a good bit out there for reasonable prices or free. I haven't tried QCad yet, but have the others, all would work in a pinch.

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ReMark

Speaking of BricsCAD, you can now subscribe (rent on a yearly basis) to it or buy a perpetual license.  The current pricing for the Classic, Pro and Platinum versions are quoted as $845, $1105 and $1560 respectively.

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Juan Sevilla

CMS IntelliCAD CAD Software is free for education as AutoCAD is.

Pretty useful for my school work because it allowed me to develop CAD LISP routines that I needed to program. 
They also provide a pretty cool method for running their software, and I can run it anywhere. I've applied for a free license at their website and got it by email.
Happy Days!
 

Screenshot 2021-02-20 142911.png

Edited by Juan Sevilla
image was not mine, replaced with one that I created :)))

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ReMark

Fortunately students are still eligible for free versions of popular, industry accepted, software.  Unfortunately the same cannot be said for those of us who intend to make a living doing CAD work.  The options usually involving renting software on an "as needed" basis or renting monthly, quarterly (if available) or yearly.  

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f700es

Well....those making money or a living off CAD work should expect to pay "something" for their software. I mean we want to make some $$ off our work so I assume the CAD/3D software maker should as well. As the old saying goes "I don't mind a man making a living, I do mind him making a killing!". For example that CMS IntelliCAD PE is $199.95. That's not bad for a good AutoCAD LT clone but with LISP and Raster support. I guess I am saying that there is a price to doing business. I don't mind paying a fair price for that business.

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ReMark

There will always be people who want "something for nothing" unfortunately.

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SLW210

I want "money for nothing and my chicks for free", but hasn't happened yet.

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f700es

Well, if one is smart it "can" be done. I mean you can use the free NanoCAD version for your 2D cad work. Form Z free can be your 3D architectural modeling program. Blender can be your general 3D program/rendering engine. Simlab Composer Lite can be your dedicated rendering engine. There is always paint.net, the Gimp, Inkscape and scribus for graphic work. Your PC won't be free but again if you look a bit you can find good deals on used/refurb units (I did for my home PC). All of the programs I listed above are free to use for ANY purpose including commercial.

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f700es

I recently reset my spare work laptop and I am filling it up with "free" software to use for work. I do have SketchUp Pro 2021 on it but here is the list so far...
NanoCAD 5.0
Form Z Free 9
Blender 2.9.2
Simlab Composer Lite 10
pCon Planner Std
Paint.net
I did find my old copy of Adobe Design Collection 5.5 ;) Amazing how well it works on a fresh install of Windows 10.

Asus N550J
i7-4710HQ
16 gb ram
512 ssd
GTX 850M

asus.png

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