The Best FREE AutoCad Alternative

Are you looking for the best free AutoCad alternative?

We have 5 users in our office that use AutoCAD for designing and editing Technical drawings.

AutoCAD traditionally used to be available as a standalone product. Depending on the version (LT or full) retailed at around £450 to £1000) per license.  Like the majority of software vendors, Autodesk has changed their supply model to a subscription service. The annual licenses retailing around the same price as the standalone products.  The caveat being its an annual charge.

When you consider that previously you could buy a standalone version which would last at least 3 years or so.  Now because of the subscription model, this would cost around £1400 for 3 years for LT and £3K for full.

Autodesk could argue that they provide you with the latest updates and support. For me, the support model that they provide is not the best.  I am only speaking from personal experience and other people might be happy with the support.  If I pay for support I like to have the ability to call a person and raise a call and get help there and then over the phone.  As it stands at the moment, if you have a fault you can schedule a call or email the support desk which then gets sent to “Super Users” that tell you what to try, with messages going back and forth until fixed.  The response is normally quick but my preference is to speak to a person especially when it’s urgent.

There are a number of alternative viewers available from a number of vendors such as Solidworks DWG viewer/DWG Trueview

They are all useful but have limitations and start to nag you to upgrade after a year and you do not have the ability to edit drawings.
Autodesk also supplies a Mobile App version which allows you to edit but again its subscription.

One of our CAD engineers has been using Draftsight which allows him to edit and create new drawings, and save in DWG format.  He has been using it now for several weeks and is impressed.

Best of all its FREE.

Since the software is free of cost, the need to activate the software only arises when a user prints or saves a document for the first time. From then on, the software can be used without activation for 30 days, following activation using a valid email, the license must be renewed after 6 months.

So if you want to save your company money and have the same functionality why not give Draftsight a try?

Here is a summary of function comparisons
best free alternative to autocad 


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