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    Autodesk AutoCAD Alternatives

    Known for robust compatibility and as the standard application for computer-aided design, Autodesk AutoCAD supports a wide variety of files formats. Though there are other alternatives that support the opening of .dwg files that store 2D and 3D data.

    As AutoCAD is paid software, you might want to look into the many free alternatives that are available. On top of this, though AutoCAD is available on most popular desktop and mobile operating systems, it does not have a Linux-based client, so alternatives to AutoCAD that run on Linux are available as well.

    This page was last updated Nov 5, 2021

    1. FreeCAD is a general purpose parametric 3D CAD modeler. The development is completely Open Source (LGPL License).
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      FreeCAD vs Autodesk AutoCAD opinions
      Most users think FreeCAD is a great alternative to Autodesk AutoCAD.
       all • positive • negative      relevance • date
      I use Freecad to design my 3D printing models.
      Top positive comment  about 6 years ago

      5
      Not bad for a free Software, but Workflow seems very antiquated and unneccessarily complicated. It lacks logic on available tools in different workbenches. There are much ways to get to your goal but every way takes really a lot of clicks and more of trial and error.
      Top positive comment  over 4 years ago

      2
      Freecad is (as mentioned in the description) for 3D parametric CAD, and has no drafting functionality worth speaking of. Not a bad program, but certainly not an AutoCAD replacement. It has much more similarity to SolidWorks than AutoCAD
      Top negative comment  about 5 years ago

      17
      FreeCAD is a 3D parametric CAD whereas AutoCAD is more oriented for 2D drawings. On the other hand, FreeCAD is still buggy and lacks of important workbenches (whereas others like a robot simulator are available even if they are not suitable for a professional use)
      Negative comment almost 2 years ago

      -2
      Autocad is a 2d cad mostly. Freecad is a parametric design software. Different purposes different design paradigm.
      Negative comment about 2 years ago

      -1
      eduardoortiz1 Because is an user friendly software and is free to use.Autodesk Autocad is very expensive
      Positive comment almost 4 years ago

      8
      AutoCAD is a 2D drawing program, mostly used for architecture and structures. FreeCAD is 3D and aimed at mechanical engineers. They do different things.
      Negative comment almost 4 years ago

      -6
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      7 of 11 comments
    2. DraftSight is a professional-grade, open 2D CAD product for users who want a better way to read, write and share DWG files. DraftSight is easy to use and is available for professional CAD users, students and educators to download and activate for free.
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      DraftSight vs Autodesk AutoCAD opinions
      Almost everyone thinks DraftSight is a great alternative to Autodesk AutoCAD.
       all • positive • negative      relevance • date
      Because i'ts equal in 2D part. Very good, has free version, and multiplatform.
      Top positive comment  almost 5 years ago

      9
      Despite my continuous research, I have never found anything else closer and compatible to autocad. I say this with a critical spirit, because compatibility is good, not perfect ...Unfortunately.
      Top positive comment  over 3 years ago

      6
      Good compatibility and excellent 2D drafting tools
      Positive comment about 3 years ago

      1
      It is almost the same as Autocad for 2D drawings. It is very good for small size drawings but no so good graphical performace for more complex drawings.
      Positive comment over 3 years ago

      1
      This is the closest program in functionality to Autocad, It could use some stability improvements.
      Positive comment over 4 years ago

      0
      rbadillarx the free version really read/write autocad files.
      Positive comment almost 5 years ago

      3
      One of the better, if not the best CAD for Linux. Works on Fedora, would recommend this program.
      Positive comment almost 5 years ago

      1
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      7 of 11 comments


      • FreeOpen Source
      • Mac
      • Windows
      • Linux
      • BSD
      • PortableApps.com
      LibreCAD (originally QCad then CADuntu) is an open source 2D CAD application for Windows, Apple and Linux. It is based on Qt, which is a leading cross-platform application and UI development framework.
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      LibreCAD vs Autodesk AutoCAD opinions
      Most users think LibreCAD is a great alternative to Autodesk AutoCAD.
       all • positive • negative      relevance • date
      umix A lightweight, AutoCAD-like 2D CAD program. Feature set is smaller than AutoCAD, but is sufficient to work with 2D drawings. A command line is available, as well as a built-in scripting language. If you have experience in AutoCAD, then there will be no problems with working in LibreCAD. There is a support forum and wiki.
      Top positive comment  about 2 years ago

      4
      If you know Autocad, you will learn librecad lightning fast.
      Top positive comment  about 4 years ago

      2
      LibreCAD is only a 2d Drafting software while AutoCAD also has 3d modelling capabilities
      Top negative comment  over 5 years ago

      0
      LibreCAD can't reliably open .dwg files, which are an industry standard in construction. This means it is not a viable alternative for many people. LibreCAD does not support XRefs, although fewer people use that functionality.
      Negative comment over 1 year ago

      2
      No open AutoCAD files, say need permissions.
      Negative comment over 1 year ago

      -1
      Autocad is based on text command usage. But librecad totally lacks it. And in addition, Librecad cannot open dlg files, only native cad files.
      Negative comment about 2 years ago

      -2
      Ideal for preparing 2D drawings. Better than AutoCAD LT in some ways but can be a bit flaky.
      Positive comment over 2 years ago

      7
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      7 of 9 comments
    3. CMS IntelliCAD® is a full-featured Compatible CAD Software. CMS IntelliCAD also offers a full suite of 2D and 3D AutoCAD® software compatible drawing tools! It is the smartest choice for anyone who creates or communicates using CAD drawings.
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      CMS IntelliCAD vs Autodesk AutoCAD opinions
      Almost everyone thinks CMS IntelliCAD is a great alternative to Autodesk AutoCAD.
      hottoiserica895 Intellicad meets my different needs. It comes with every possible feature I need(Curves, Rendering, commands). It is an extremely impressive software.
      Top positive comment  about 2 years ago

      11
      grahamg IntelliCAD is a good program to start and produce engineering drawings, modeling and designing mechanic or structural components.
      Top positive comment  about 2 years ago

      12
      Freaking great for the tools included in this software
      Positive comment almost 2 years ago

      0
      livinus_e CMS IntelliCAD is a solid solution to completely replace AutoCAD. It has multitude of tools to work with. The user experience is also very sharp and support DWG from other software.
      Positive comment almost 2 years ago

      0
      davidjeffsryn The intuitive nature of the functions and practical overview of the software is unique. It is price worthy and simply superb.
      Positive comment about 2 years ago

      10
    4. SketchUp (formerly Google Sketchup) is a 3D modeling computer program for a wide range of drawing applications such as architectural, interior design, civil and mechanical engineering, film, and video game design—and available in a freeware version, SketchUp Make, and a paid...
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      SketchUp vs Autodesk AutoCAD opinions
      Some users think SketchUp is a great alternative to Autodesk AutoCAD, some don't.
       all • positive • negative      relevance • date
      Despite Sketchup not being a "True CAD" tool, it's a viable alternative for a similar real life goals, at least for planning hobbyist home renovations.
      Top positive comment  over 2 years ago

      4
      This is not as same as Autocad 2D
      Top negative comment  over 2 years ago

      10
      Sketchup is considered as a 3d model programme but not a CAD programme, had downloaded the software before when first came across it being label as a CAD. Upon after setup it proven that it only serve the purpose of 3D sketching, modeling and other 3d functions. Had to uninstall it and had to find another programme which does CAD
      Negative comment about 1 year ago

      0
      you need to be really numb out of your mind to think SketchUp is an alternative, lets start with the fact that SketchUp cant even recognize any kind of vectors
      Negative comment over 2 years ago

      1
      Sketchup doesn't write DWG
      Negative comment almost 3 years ago

      0
      Sketchup is a 3D modelling package, not a CAD package.
      Negative comment almost 3 years ago

      5
      not good at all for 2D drawing
      Negative comment over 4 years ago

      1
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      7 of 8 comments


    5. BricsCAD the first all-in-one CAD design solution in .dwg that answers all your needs; 2D drafting, 3D modeling, mechanical design, and BIM. BricsCAD is a cost-effective, innovative, and familiar CAD solution.
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      BricsCAD vs Autodesk AutoCAD opinions
      Almost everyone thinks BricsCAD is a great alternative to Autodesk AutoCAD.
      BricaCAD runs most native AutoCAD programming interfaces, lisp, diesel, pgp, brx (modified arx).
      Positive comment almost 4 years ago

      5
      paulocoghi Fully compatible with AutoCAD and .dwg, provide a free version, multi-platform including Linux, Mac and Windows, 2D design, 3D modeling, mechanical design and BIM. It's for sure not only the best alternative, but for me, it's the new standard.
      Positive comment almost 2 years ago

      -1
      svaa1982 Comes with Linux support.
      Positive comment over 2 years ago

      0
    6. nanoCAD is a pro-grade 2D CAD system with native DWG support and full customizability. It is totally free, for business, professional, or personal purposes. It is fast, lightweight, capable, and , unlike most free CAD programs, completely uncrippled. nanoCAD includes:
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      nanoCAD vs Autodesk AutoCAD opinions
      Most users think nanoCAD is a great alternative to Autodesk AutoCAD.
      A lot of similar command line options
      Positive comment 4 months ago

      0
      Our autocad needs are simple and NanoCad seems to have everything we need.
      Positive comment over 2 years ago

      -2
    7. OpenSCAD is a software for creating solid 3D CAD objects. It is free software and available for Linux/UNIX, MS Windows and MacOS.
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      Most users think OpenSCAD is a great alternative to Autodesk AutoCAD.
    8. BRL-CAD is a powerful cross-platform open source solid modeling system that includes interactive geometry editing, high-performance ray-tracing for rendering and geometric analysis, image and signal-processing tools, a system performance analysis benchmark suite, libraries for...
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      BRL-CAD vs Autodesk AutoCAD opinions
      Most users think BRL-CAD is a great alternative to Autodesk AutoCAD.
      BRLCAD doesn't even have mouse support... and CSG through commandline is awful, can't even fillet an edge.
      Negative comment 3 months ago

      0
      • Free PersonalProprietary
      • Mac
      • Windows
      • Linux
      QCAD is an application for computer aided drafting in 2D. With QCAD you can create technical drawings such as plans for buildings, interiors, mechanical parts or schemas and diagrams.
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      QCAD vs Autodesk AutoCAD opinions
      Most users think QCAD is a great alternative to Autodesk AutoCAD.
      Easy to learn and quite similar to AutoCAD (same paradigm)
      Positive comment almost 2 years ago

      1
      frankmcc Customizable, easy learning curve and much cheaper than AutoCad.
      Positive comment about 2 years ago

      2
      fredofredo Good for very basic drawing, but not really AutoCAD compatible and no XRef functionality. Very cheap. It messed up some features in an AutoCAD drawing I worked on (leaders & text) so I wouldn't consider it a suitable alternative to AutoCAD unless you're only using very basic functionality and don't need compatibility.
      Negative comment 3 months ago

      0
    Showing 10 of 116 alternatives