Autodesk AutoCAD Alternatives and Similar Software

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.

The list of alternatives was last updated: 5/20/2020 7:25:00 PM

Alternatives to Autodesk AutoCAD for all platforms with any license

  • FreeCAD

    FreeCAD is a general purpose parametric 3D CAD modeler. The development is completely Open Source (LGPL License). FreeCAD is aimed directly at mechanical engineering and product design but also fits in a wider range of uses around engineering, such as architecture or other engineering specialties. FreeCAD features tools similar to Catia, SolidWorks or Solid Edge, and therefore also falls into the category of MCAD, PLM, CAx and CAE.

    • Autocad is a 2d cad mostly. Freecad is a parametric design software. Different purposes different design paradigm. Guest • Dec 2019 • 4 agrees and 2 disagrees Disagree   Agree
    • 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) Guest • Feb 2020 • 2 agrees and 1 disagrees Disagree   Agree
    • Because is an user friendly software and is free to use.Autodesk Autocad is very expensive eduardoortiz1Mar 2018 • 3 agrees and 4 disagrees Disagree   Agree
    • 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 Guest • Jan 2017 • 24 agrees and 9 disagrees Disagree   Agree
    • AutoCAD is a 2D drawing program, mostly used for architecture and structures. FreeCAD is 3D and aimed at mechanical engineers. They do different things. Guest • Feb 2018 • 5 agrees and 11 disagrees Disagree   Agree
    • 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. Guest • Aug 2017 • 4 agrees and 3 disagrees Disagree   Agree
    • Not directly supporting DWG: needs a commercial/trial license of a file converter Guest • Apr 2017 • 2 agrees and 4 disagrees Disagree   Agree
    • Very good app, has many workbenches for different branches of engineering. It has a very helpful community forum. I really recommend trying it before looking for any other alternative. Guest • Jun 2017 • 1 agrees and 1 disagrees Disagree   Agree
    • FreeCAD is not a bad program, but it seems to lack functionality that AutoCAD provides. Currently FreeCAD seems to be in an early stage of development, and should probably not be considered for use in a professional production context, as a replacement for AutoCAD. Guest • Mar 2017 • 2 agrees and 3 disagrees Disagree   Agree
    • I use Freecad to design my 3D printing models. Guest • Oct 2015 • 8 agrees and 4 disagrees Disagree   Agree
    • FreeCAD is a software for 3d parametric model, AutoCAD is not that. Guest • Sep 2015 • 0 agrees and 7 disagrees Disagree   Agree

    Free Open Source Mac Windows Linux

    FreeCAD icon
  • DraftSight

    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.* Based on advanced architecture, DraftSight has a small footprint, should take less than a few minutes to download, and runs on multiple operating systems, including Windows XP®, Windows Vista® and Windows® 7.

    • 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. Guest • Jun 2018 • 8 agrees and 1 disagrees Disagree   Agree
    • Good compatibility and excellent 2D drafting tools Guest • Nov 2018 • 2 agrees and 0 disagrees Disagree   Agree
    • 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. Guest • Jun 2018 • 1 agrees and 0 disagrees Disagree   Agree
    • Because i'ts equal in 2D part. Very good, has free version, and multiplatform. Guest • Feb 2017 • 12 agrees and 2 disagrees Disagree   Agree
    • the free version really read/write autocad files. rbadillarxMar 2017 • 5 agrees and 2 disagrees Disagree   Agree
    • The interface is very similar and it was able to open existing autocadd drawings. this allowed a seamless transition. Guest • Jan 2017 • 1 agrees and 1 disagrees Disagree   Agree
    • This is the closest program in functionality to Autocad, It could use some stability improvements. Guest • May 2017 Disagree   Agree
    • One of the better, if not the best CAD for Linux. Works on Fedora, would recommend this program. Guest • Mar 2017 • 2 agrees and 1 disagrees Disagree   Agree
    • Fully compatible with, industry standard, AutoCAD DWG files. Uses a command line based interface that works in the same way as AutoCAD. Guest • Dec 2016 • 1 agrees and 1 disagrees Disagree   Agree
    • DraftSight is developed as a competitor to AutoCAD 2D. Distributed as a free (well also has a paid version) software to compete with 2D AutoCAD. Guest • Jul 2016 • 2 agrees and 1 disagrees Disagree   Agree

    Commercial $ $ $ Windows

    DraftSight icon
  • LibreCAD

    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. LibreCAD can read DWG files (and others) as of the latest Nightly build. It writes DXF files, but can also export SVG, JPG, PNG, PDF and other files.

    • Autocad is based on text command usage. But librecad totally lacks it. And in addition, Librecad cannot open dlg files, only native cad files. Guest • Dec 2019 • 1 agrees and 2 disagrees Disagree   Agree
    • 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. umixJan 2020 Disagree   Agree
    • Ideal for preparing 2D drawings. Better than AutoCAD LT in some ways but can be a bit flaky. Guest • Apr 2019 • 3 agrees and 0 disagrees Disagree   Agree
    • No open AutoCAD files, say need permissions. Guest • 3 days ago Disagree   Agree
    • No blockeditor or creating dynamic blocks. Guest • Feb 2018 • 2 agrees and 3 disagrees Disagree   Agree
    • If you know Autocad, you will learn librecad lightning fast. Guest • Jan 2018 • 4 agrees and 2 disagrees Disagree   Agree
    • Similar GUI like AutoCAD, and for 2D drawing, it is a perfect solution Guest • Jul 2017 • 1 agrees and 2 disagrees Disagree   Agree
    • LibreCAD is only a 2d Drafting software while AutoCAD also has 3d modelling capabilities Guest • May 2016 • 8 agrees and 9 disagrees Disagree   Agree

    Free Open Source Mac Windows Linux PortableApps.com

    LibreCAD icon
  • SketchUp

    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 version with additional functionality, SketchUp Pro. SketchUp comes with a 3D Gallery that lets you search for models and share yours.

    • This is not as same as Autocad 2D Guest • Aug 2019 • 8 agrees and 2 disagrees Disagree   Agree
    • 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. Guest • Aug 2019 • 5 agrees and 1 disagrees Disagree   Agree
    • Sketchup is a 3D modelling package, not a CAD package. Guest • Mar 2019 • 7 agrees and 3 disagrees Disagree   Agree
    • 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 Guest • Apr 2019 • 2 agrees and 2 disagrees Disagree   Agree
    • Sketchup doesn't seem to be able to open .dwg files Guest • Jan 2017 • 9 agrees and 11 disagrees Disagree   Agree

    Freemium $ $ $ Mac Windows Web

    SketchUp icon
  • CMS IntelliCAD

    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.

    • The intuitive nature of the functions and practical overview of the software is unique. It is price worthy and simply superb. davidjeffsrynJan 2020 • 10 agrees and 0 disagrees Disagree   Agree
    • Intellicad meets my different needs. It comes with every possible feature I need(Curves, Rendering, commands). It is an extremely impressive software. hottoiserica895Dec 2019 • 11 agrees and 0 disagrees Disagree   Agree
    • IntelliCAD is a good program to start and produce engineering drawings, modeling and designing mechanic or structural components. grahamgDec 2019 • 11 agrees and 1 disagrees Disagree   Agree
    • Freaking great for the tools included in this software Guest • Jan 2020 Disagree   Agree
    • 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. livinus_eJan 2020 Disagree   Agree

    Commercial Windows

    CMS IntelliCAD icon
  • BricsCAD

    BricsCAD the first all-in-one CAD design solution in .dwg that answers all your needs; 2D drafting, 3D modeling, mechanical design, and BIM. The BricsCAD® family of products brings a cost-effective, multi-platform CAD solution to Windows, macOS, and Linux. BricsCAD is available as a permanent/perpetual license & subscription license, for networked or stand-alone computers. You can also add All-In Maintenance for ease of keeping up-to-date.

    • 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. paulocoghiFeb 2020 • 1 agrees and 2 disagrees Disagree   Agree
    • BricaCAD runs most native AutoCAD programming interfaces, lisp, diesel, pgp, brx (modified arx). Guest • Apr 2018 • 6 agrees and 2 disagrees Disagree   Agree

    Commercial Mac Windows Linux

    BricsCAD icon
  • nanoCAD

    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: 1. Classic CAD interface. Any engineer could easily master nanoCAD since everything is in their right places: menu, button icons, panels, command line, and the commands theirselves are easily recognizable.

    • Our autocad needs are simple and NanoCad seems to have everything we need. Guest • Jul 2019 • 0 agrees and 1 disagrees Disagree   Agree

    Commercial $ $ $ Windows

    nanoCAD icon
  • OpenSCAD

    OpenSCAD is a software for creating solid 3D CAD objects. It is free software and available for Linux/UNIX, MS Windows and MacOS. Unlike most free software for creating 3D models (such as the famous application Blender) it does not focus on the artistic aspects of 3D modelling but instead on the CAD aspects.

    Free Open Source Mac Windows Linux

    OpenSCAD icon
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  • BRL-CAD

    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 robust geometric representation, with more than 20 years of active development.

    Free Open Source Mac Windows Linux

    BRL-CAD icon
  • QCAD

    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. QCad uses the AutoCAD DXF file format internally and to save and import files. AutoCAD DWG support is available as a commercial plugin. QCAD is available in two versions: Community edition and Professional edition. QCAD Community Edition is free and open source.

    • Easy to learn and quite similar to AutoCAD (same paradigm) Guest • Feb 2020 Disagree   Agree
    • Customizable, easy learning curve and much cheaper than AutoCad. frankmccJan 2020 • 1 agrees and 0 disagrees Disagree   Agree

    Free Personal Mac Windows Linux

    QCAD icon

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