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Top 10 Free CAD Software
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Top 10 Free CAD Software

Top 10 Free CAD Software
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There was time engineers and architects would use papers and rulers to get their drawings done. Drawings for building roads and houses had to be designed with a certain level of accuracy. This method was physically draining and time-consuming. Then entered Computer-Aided Design (CAD), now you could use a computer to draw, edit your drawings and even create molds through a CAM.

CAD software offers designers more options when it comes to creating standard industry templates. It lets employees operate at a higher level of efficiency than in manual drafting.

CAD software opens up designs to 2-D and 3-D views. With various technological innovations, architects can now engage in 3-D printing in the construction industry.

What are the Top Free CAD Software: QCAD, LibreCAD, nanoCAD, FreeCAD, Onshape, Fusion 360, OpenSCAD are some of the Top Free CAD Software.

What are the Top CAD Software: AutoCAD, AutoCAD LT, CorelCAD are some of the Top CAD Software.

What is CAD Software?

CAD software gives designers, engineers, and architects the ability to create certain 2-D or 3-D drawings. Instead of using protractors and T-squares, the designers have all the tools they need from the comfort of their computers. 3-D CAD designs help you get a more dimensional view of your drawings.

You can add details to your designs; for example in house construction you can include in the same drawings plumbing and electrical components. CAD software allows designers to incorporate industry standards into their designs with ease. They do not need to begin from scratch each time they are doing new designs – templates are used to save time.

What are the features of CAD Software?

During the time of manual designs, architects would take ages to finish a single design. Modifications were cumbersome and time-consuming. CAD software revolutionized the sector by allowing designers to create 2-D and 3-D drawings. This has led to improved productivity and greater accuracy during drawings.

CAD is easy to use and you have access to all your tools in an intuitive dashboard. You can incorporate various industry standards into your templates hence preventing cases of making drawings from scratch. CAD designs can be modified and edited with ease; you can also import and export designs through multiple file extensions.

CAD designs are now incorporated into 3-D printing and this has brought great changes in how houses are constructed.

What are the features of CAD Software

What are the features of CAD Software

  • Drawing tools: What really stands out for CAD unlike manual drawings are the tools used. Instead of a system of pencils and rulers you have tools to create lines, circles, points, polygons and so much more. CAD gives you unlimited drawing abilities. The best part is you can draw everything to scale. You can also rotate objects and view them in different perspectives.
  • Ability to Save and modify drawings: Manual drawings pose various challenges when it comes to saving them. Another designer finds it hard to make changes without starting from scratch. CAD drawings can be saved and shared among different designers. They can also make further changes to the design. CAD software often has numerous standard templates that save you time of making a design from scratch.
  • Classification and coding systems: Designers have the ability to grope similar items together through a system of coding and classifications. This means when you want a particular design all you have to do is pull it out from its related classification. Coding systems save time, boost productivity by preventing the need to re-create designs again.
  • Establish drafting standards: There various industry standards that architects and engineers have to maintain in their drawings. Manual drawings are cumbersome when it comes to maintaining certain dimensions. You have to maintain a certain consistency in your drawings. With CAD, you can create standard templates to use in all your drawings that met industry standards. You can have the dimensions as templates eliminating the need to start from scratch anytime you are doing a new design.
  • Support for 2-D and 3-D designs: Manual drafting is limited to 2-D designs. These are flat 2 dimensional designs that you see architects carrying around. CAD extends 2-D designs into the realm of 3-D. This allows the designer to view the designs from multiple dimensions. It also allows one to add more detail to the designs. 3-D designs have found extensive usage in the word of motor vehicle manufacturing. Today, you can convert your 3-D designs into actual houses through 3-D printing.

What are the benefits of CAD Software?


  • Accuracy of drawings: One of the biggest drawbacks of using paper, ruler, and pencil for your drawings were the numerous errors in the designs. CAD allows you to draw to scale with minimal effort. You can make 2D or 3D designs, edit or rotate them from the comfort of your computer screen. You also have a wide range of templates from which to start a new design. Manual drawing is cumbersome as you have to physically draw an object to scale. CAD allows you to define units of measurement before you can start the actual designing.
  • Flexibility for additional information: If for example, you are making a design for a commercial building, in manual drawing you had to design separate sheets for tasks like plumbing or electrical wiring. With CAD you can incorporate all this information into one easy to use design. This ability to create multiple layers of the design creates efficiency during the manufacturing process.
  • Enhanced productivity: The ability to have numerous standard drawing templates saves designers time to create designs from scratch. Designers can share drawings among themselves for editing and modifications. This saves them time and makes them more productive to focus on other tasks. The ability to share existing designs in the manufacturing process prevents the duplication of resources. A single design can pass through various departments with each making adjustments to it.
  • Ease of use: It is much easier to use CAD software than manual drafting. An intuitive graphics interface puts all your tools within your reach on the screen. There are various tutorials and e-books available online that reduces the learning curve for CAD software. CAD software allows you to save incomplete designs for further designs, print and share the designs through various file types like PDF, Word, PNG among others. The software can also be customized to meet specific requirements. It even allows VB scripting. With the advancement of technology, the latest CAD software support API programming and this makes it easier to handle complicated tasks.
  • Zoom in on designs: With a manual drafting 2-D drawing, you can only view it in one dimension. The resolution of the drawing is fixed and you cannot expand it for better view. When making a drawing presentation with 3-D, you can zoom in on your presentation as you wish. You can also adjust the resolution of the drawings. The drawing can even be rotated for view from multiple angles. This in-depth resolution ability helps in making critical decisions.

What are the Top CAD Software?

AutoCAD, AutoCAD LT, CorelCAD are some of the Top CAD Software.
Top CAD Software
PAT Index™
 
 
 
1

AutoCAD

AutoCAD
AutoCAD

AutoCAD gives you the power to design anything with inbound time-saving toolsets as well as mobile and web apps. AutoCAD refers to computer Aided design. It is software that enables architects, engineers as well as construction professionals to create accurate 2D as well as 3D designs. The software allows users to draft both 2D and 3D models that have solids, surfaces, Mesh, among other objects. You can also annotate drawings using text, leaders, dimensions as well as tablets. Additionally, you can customize using add on apps together with APIs. The software incorporates all the advanced objects that you may need…

Overview
Features

• Cloud storage connectivity – Now, you can access several; DWG files through cloud storage from different cloud storage providers.
• Use Autocad on numerous devices – Users can now use AutoCAD on their desktops, smartphones as well as desktops
• New Dark Theme – The new dark theme reduces eyestrain featuring sharper icons, modern blue interface together with contrast improvements.

Price

• $200.00/Month
• $1,288.00/Year
• Best value - $3,476.00/3year

Website
What is best?

• Enhanced DWG compares – You can compare two versions of the same drawing without having to leave the current window that you are on.
• Block Palette – You can insert blocks quickly form your most recently uses lists using visual galleries.
• Leaders – Develop leaders with a wide array of content such a text and blocks. It's easy to format leader lines or define styles if you like.

What are the benefits?

• You can design on the go through the mobile app or the web app
• Work faster using highly customized toolsets
• Cloud connectivity

Bottom Line

AutoCAD enables users to create amazing 2D as well as 3D drawings. When you subscribe to AutoCAD, you will be able to access AutoCAD for Mac, AutoCAD for Windows, AutoCAD Map 3D, AutoCAD MEP, AutoCAD Electrical, AutoCAD Architecture, AutoCAD Mechanical, AutoCAD mobile apps, AutoCAD web apps, and AutoCAD raster.

7.6
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8.3
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AutoCAD

2

AutoCAD LT

AutoCAD LT
AutoCAD LT

AutoCAD LT refers to computer-aided software that enables professional architects, engineers as well as designers to create 2D designs and documentation. The software is available in an intuitive user interface that allows you to work quickly. It has comprehensive editing, annotation, and editing tools. You can work using any browser on any given computer using the AutoCAD. LT. You do not have to download the software so you can start working; you log in a kick start your design. Take power to design on your hands and work from anywhere you are using the AutoCAD LT mobile app. You can…

Overview
Features

• Quick measure – You can display all the nearby measurements in any given drawing just by hovering the mouse.
• Enhanced DWG compares – Designers can make a comparison of two versions of the same drawing without having to leave the window they are using.
• Purge redesign – Now you can remove several unneeded objects at the same time through quick selection as well as to object preview.

Price

$50.00/ month
$320.00/year(Only $26.67/Month
$864.00/3year (Only $24.00/Month)

Website
What is best?

• Performance improvements – Users experience speed and save more time and fifty percent installation time for all-solid-state hard drives.
• Comprehensive 2D documentation – create intuitive 2D documentation as well as drawings through an incredible set of tools for editing, drawing, and annotation.
• Connected collaboration – Designers can access drawings through desktop, mobile phones, and other devices and web. There are also sharing and the use of data through DGN, Bing Maps, DGN files, and much more.

What are the benefits?

• You can use the software on any mobile device, web or desktop
• Connectivity to cloud storage
• Easy to learn and use

Bottom Line

AutoCAD LT topnotch software that’s konown as to computer-aided software that enables professional architects, engineers as well as designers to create 2D designs and documentation.

7.6
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7.9
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3 ratings
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AutoCAD LT

3

CorelCAD

CorelCAD
CorelCAD

CorelCAD is affordable design software that lets you showcase impeccable communication, expertise with topnotch 2D tools as well as 3D tools. CorelCAD is essential in drawing detailed elements quickly and affordably. Enjoy maximum productivity as well as performance since it's optimized for both Mac and windows and native DWG file support. CorelCAD is purposefully developed with robust tools that are perfect for design professionals. Designers can quickly layout, edit, conceptualize, plan, and draft with CorelCAD. With just a few simple clicks, CorelCAD enables you to transform your 2D designs to expert 3D models. Enhance the quality of your work through…

Overview
Features

• Industry standard CAD features, layer palette, MergeLayer feature, Enhanced performance, and design resources for enhanced productivity.
• 2D drafting through Custom Blocks Drawing constraints, Object Snaps & Grips, as well as MultiLeader & Smart Dimension tools features
• For 3D modeling CorelCAD features enhanced 3D as well as editing tools, quick transition from 2D designs to 3D, more exquisite 3D mouse support, PolySolid 3D solid editing as well as modeling tools, and new STL file import

Price

• Full Version - US$699.00
• Upgrade - US$199.00

Website
What is best?

• Advanced annotation and collaboration through easy file sharing, table support, annotation and mark up features, enhanced DWG support format, Corel Designer file support as well as Coreldraw support
• Compatible with both Mac and the latest versions of windows along with macOS Mojave
• Design on the go with the corelCAD mobile app

What are the benefits?

• Transform from 2D design to 3D design with lots of ease
• Efficient project collaboration as well as sharing
• Optional automation or customization

Bottom Line

CorelCAD is the perfect software for creating professional 2D and 3D designs

7.6
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8.1
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CorelCAD

What are the Top Free CAD Software?

QCAD, LibreCAD, nanoCAD, FreeCAD, Onshape, Fusion 360, OpenSCAD are some of the Top Free CAD Software.
Top Free CAD Software
PAT Index™
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
1

QCAD

QCAD is an application for computer aided drafting in two dimensions (2D). It has intuitive user interface. Features include layers, blocks (grouping), 35 CAD fonts included, support for TrueType fonts, various Metrical and Imperial units, DXF and DWG input and output. Its core is developed in C++, based on the Qt tool kit. QCAD can be extended through a C++ plugin interface as well as through its very powerful and complete scripting interface (ECMAScript / JavaScript). With QCAD, create technical drawings such as plans for buildings, interiors, mechanical parts or schematics and diagrams. QCAD works on Windows, macOS and Linux.…

Overview
Features

• DXF and DWG input and output
• 35 CAD fonts included
• Printing on multiple pages
• Part library with over 4800 CAD parts
• Object snaps
• Powerful ECMAScript scripting interface
• Orthographic projection onto cylinder

Price

• Free

What is best?

• DXF and DWG input and output
• 35 CAD fonts included
• Printing on multiple pages

What are the benefits?

• Merge: Batch merge multiple CAD drawings into one CAD drawing based on XML input
• Extensible with user defined drawings and symbols (DXF, DWG, SVG)
• Collaborative: All the community can participate in the software development

Bottom Line

QCAD is Open source 2D CAD software for creating technical drawings, including building plans, with over 4800 CAD parts in its part library.

7.6
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7.7
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3 ratings
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QCAD

2

LibreCAD

LibreCAD is an all-in-one, free CAD application that allows industrial designers and graphics enthusiasts to create CAD projects of the highest standard. It’s an easy-to-use solution that permits users to create complex models, edit previous models, and a lot of layers in a couple of minutes. It is a cross-platform software that works on the popular operating systems including Windows, Linux (Ubuntu, Mandriva, Fedora, Suse), and MacOS. The application provides an impressive set of tools and diversity of actions that allow users to follow their imagination right from a basic model. The program is primarily designed for industrial designers, but…

Overview
Features

• Tool Categories: Line, polyline, spline, text, dimension
• Drawing: Advanced snapping system, blocks, hatches, layers, templates, 2D iso / ortho
• Highly customizable appearance (GUI)
• Text editor mode
• Advanced tangent line & circle tools
• Ellipse tools (of course lines, rectangles)
• Built-in tutorials

Price

• Free

What is best?

• Tool Categories: Line, polyline, spline, text, dimension
• Drawing: Advanced snapping system, blocks, hatches, layers, templates, 2D iso / ortho
• Highly customizable appearance (GUI)

What are the benefits?

• No language barriers: Available in over 30 langauges with cross-platform support for macOS, Windwows, and Linux
• Import: DWG, JWW, SHP, PIC files
• Visible: Points and movements of the mouse are shown in Cartesian and polar coordinates

Bottom Line

LibreCAD is a fully comprehensive, open-source (with GPLv2 license) 2D Computer Aided Design (CAD) program that is free to download and install.

7.6
Editor Rating
8.4
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3 ratings
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LibreCAD

3

nanoCAD

nanoCAD is a professional grade CAD tool that has a familiar interface, powerful drafting and design tools, native DWG compatibility, and an open API all for free to use and share. nanoCAD eliminates catches and compromises. nanoCAD offers products such as nanoCAD Plus, nanoCAD Pro, nanoCAD mechanica, nanoCAD construction, nanoCAD 3DSCAN, and nanoCAD constructionsite. The nanoCAD Plus product is also a professional grade CAD tool and comes with a familiar interface, powerful drafting and design tools, native DWG compatibility, and an open API. For the nanoCAD plus is available through a low-cost annual subscription, which includes updates and priority online…

Overview
Features

• The nanoCAD 3DSCAN product is a specialized software application designed to work with 3D scanning data
• The nanoCAD contructionsite product simplifies planning and organization of the construction process
• nanoCAD mechanica provides users with a large library of standard parts and tools that are designed to help users to automate mechanical drawings creation
• Provides users with the Autodesk Inventor-style tool for 3D solid modelling along with 2D constraints
• The nanoCAD plus is available through a low-cost annual subscription, which includes updates and priority online support
• The nanoCAD Construction comes with a large library of standard parts and special design tools for construction engineers to automate AEC drawings creation

Price

Contact for Pricing

What is best?

• The nanoCAD 3DSCAN product is a specialized software application designed to work with 3D scanning data
• The nanoCAD contructionsite product simplifies planning and organization of the construction process
• nanoCAD mechanica provides users with a large library of standard parts and tools that are designed to help users to automate mechanical drawings creation

What are the benefits?

• Powerful drafting and design tools
• Eliminates catches and compromises
• An open API all

Bottom Line

nanoCAD is a professional grade CAD tool that has a familiar interface, powerful drafting and design tools, native DWG compatibility, and an open API all for free to use and share.

7.6
Editor Rating
8.2
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4 ratings
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nanoCAD

4

FreeCAD

FreeCAD is a parametric 3D modeler made primarily to design real-life objects of any size. FreeCAD uses parametric modeling to allows users to easily modify their design by going back into the model history and changing its parameters. FreeCAD is open-source, highly customizable, scriptable, and extensible. FreeCAD is multiplatform meaning that it can function on Linux, Mac, and Windows. FreeCAD can also read and write many open file formats such as SVG, STL, and many others. FreeCAD is a full GUI application that comes with a 3D viewer that allows fast rendering of 3D scenes and a very accessible scene…

Overview
Features

• The parametric associative document objects allows all objects in a FreeCAD document to be defined by parameters
• Enables dividing FreeCAD into a core application and modules that are loaded only when needed
• Display only the tools used to accomplish a certain task to help in keeping the workspace uncluttered and responsive and the application fast to load
• Enables the FreeCAD interface tools to be grouped by workbenches
• Import FreeCAD as a python module
• Allows fast rendering of 3D scenes and a very accessible scene graph representation

Price

Contact for Pricing

What is best?

• The parametric associative document objects allows all objects in a FreeCAD document to be defined by parameters
• Enables dividing FreeCAD into a core application and modules that are loaded only when needed
• Display only the tools used to accomplish a certain task to help in keeping the workspace uncluttered and responsive and the application fast to load

What are the benefits?

• Design real-life objects of any size
• Allows users to easily modify their design
• Allows users to go back into the model history and change its parameters

Bottom Line

FreeCAD is a parametric 3D modeler made primarily to design real-life objects of any size and uses parametric modelling to allow users to easily modify their design by going back into the model history and changing its parameters.

7.6
Editor Rating
8.6
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FreeCAD

5

Onshape

Onshape is a modern CAD system used by thousands of companies worldwide and eliminates design gridlock. Onshape also eliminates check-in or check-out hassles and wasted IT overhead of old PDM systems by storing and sharing your CAD data in secure cloud workspace. Onshape uses state of the art parametric 3D modeling along with true-top down design with configurations, standard content libraries, multi-part modeling, and in-context editing. Onshape also offers anywhere and anytime access; therefore, no downloads, installs, license keys, service packs or compatibility issues. With Onshape, companies get unprecedented control and security. With this, companies can use the intellectual property…

Overview
Features

• Configure full user, light user, or guest user accounts with custom roles and permission schemes to suite every scenario
• Monitor all aspects of design activity in real-time
• Control and monitor access privileges and see who changed what and when
• Catch up on project progress by scrolling through the activity feed and time series visualizations of modelling time and contributor leader boards
• Protects crucial intellectual property by configuring customized roles and permission schemes
• Enforces trustworthy two-factor authentication and eliminates unsecured file copying

Price

• Professional - $2100/user/year
• Enterprise - $20,000
• Standard - $1500/user/year

What is best?

• Configure full user, light user, or guest user accounts with custom roles and permission schemes to suite every scenario
• Monitor all aspects of design activity in real-time
• Control and monitor access privileges and see who changed what and when

What are the benefits?

• Eliminates check-in or check-out hassles and wasted IT overhead of old PDM systems
• Eliminates design gridlock
• Store and shares your CAD data in secure cloud workspace

Bottom Line

Onshape is a modern CAD system used by thousands of companies worldwide and eliminates design gridlock, check-in or check-out hassles and wasted IT overhead of old PDM systems by storing and sharing your CAD data in secure cloud workspace.

7.6
Editor Rating
8.3
Aggregated User Rating
2 ratings
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Onshape

6

Fusion 360

Fusion 360 is a free 3D CAD or CAM design software for students, educators, and academic institutions. Fusion 360 offers critical features such as subscription services, documentation, data management and collaboration, simulation, design, advanced manufacturing, generative design, and advanced simulation. The subscription services include continuous updates, forum, email, and phone support, and flexible subscriptions with cloud credits. In the continuous updates, Fusion 360 updates the process continuously to allow users to access the latest technology at no extra cost. The subscription services also offer annual and monthly subscriptions that include cloud credits with purchase. The design feature provides sketching that…

Overview
Features

• Create history-based features that update with design changes
• Create complex sub-divisional surfaces with T-splines, and increase the density of T-spline faces
• Use the live design reviews to view edits made to the design live within Fusion 360
• View or promote previous versions with automatic or manual version control
• 2D manufacturing drawings that enable users to document manufacturing specifications using integrated and associative drawings for parts and assemblies
• Use the renderings tools to create photo-realistic images of the model to leverage local or cloud computing

Price

Contact for Pricing

What is best?

• Create history-based features that update with design changes
• Create complex sub-divisional surfaces with T-splines, and increase the density of T-spline faces
• Use the live design reviews to view edits made to the design live within Fusion 360

What are the benefits?

• Flexible subscriptions with cloud credits
• Allow users to access the latest technology
• Create and edit sketches with sketch constraints and dimensions

Bottom Line

Fusion 360 is a free 3D CAD or CAM design software for students, educators, and academic institutions and offers them with features such as subscription services, documentation, data management and collaboration.

7.6
Editor Rating
8.8
Aggregated User Rating
1 rating
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Fusion 360

7

OpenSCAD

OpenSCAD is a free, script only-based 3D modeling suite designed to help engineers create solid 3D CAD objects. It is reliable software for the budget-conscious engineers who are looking for a cost-effective solution with advanced CAD tools. Unlike other free 3D modelers, OpenSCAD is built with engineers in mind and not the artists; it focuses on the CAD aspects and not the facets of 3D modeling. It presents two modeling techniques; constructive solid geometry (CSG) and extrusion of 2D outlines. The solution exhibits no characteristic of an interactive modeler. It is more of a 3D compiler designed to read in…

Overview
Features

• Parametric modeling
• Extrusion of 2D primitives into 3D space: Create 3D objects by extruding bi-dimensional shapes
• Constructive Solid Geometry (CSG)
• Gallery of previously made projects
• Autocad DXF files are used as the data exchange format for 2D outlines
• Special variables provide an alternate means of passing arguments to modules and functions

Price

• Free

What is best?

• Parametric modeling
• Extrusion of 2D primitives into 3D space: Create 3D objects by extruding bi-dimensional shapes
• Constructive Solid Geometry (CSG)

What are the benefits?

• Comprehensive: Handle loops, conditional statements, mathematical equation and calculations, and other algorithmic information
• Reliable: Written specifically to create 3D printable models, and therefore it never exports bad or broken geometry
• Modular: Reuse parts and/or transformations while making your code cleaner and easier to read

Bottom Line

OpenSCAD is a powerful 3D compiler founded on a textual description language to offer a new approach to 3D modeling.

7.6
Editor Rating
8.7
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1 rating
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OpenSCAD

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imanuel