Free 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.

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

Alternatives to Autodesk AutoCAD for all platforms with Free 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.

    • 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
    • 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
    • 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
    • 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
    • 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
    • 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
    • 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

    Free Open Source Mac Windows Linux

    FreeCAD 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
    • 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. Guest • Jun 2020 Disagree   Agree
    • No open AutoCAD files, say need permissions. Guest • May 2020 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 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • Onshape

    Onshape is a professional CAD system – Parts, Assemblies, Drawings – with version control and collaboration built in. Each Onshape plan (Free for STUDENTS, Professional & Enterprise) gives you all of the CAD and data management functionality with no time limit. - Onshape is the first full-cloud 3D CAD system. It runs in a web browser and on any mobile device. - Onshape uses cloud-native Documents, not files.

    • Cloud-based, faster and more modern. JohnSevierNov 2018 • 1 agrees and 0 disagrees Disagree   Agree

    Free Personal Mac Windows Linux Web Android ... iPhone Android Tablet iPad

    Onshape icon
  • pCon.planner

    The professional furnishing 2D-/3D-tool for everybody: The pCon.planner is a cost-free application allowing you to comfortably and professionally create complex furnishing concepts and to visualize them in a photo-realistic quality. File Formats: dwg, dxf, 3ds, skp, ... Languages: English, German, Dutch, French, Italian, Portuguese, Romanian, Spanish;

    Free Windows

    pCon.planner icon
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  • Open CASCADE

    Open CASCADE Technology is a software development platform freely available in open source. It includes components for 3D surface and solid modeling, visualization, data exchange and rapid application development. Open CASCADE Technology can be best applied in development of numerical simulation software including CAD/CAM/CAE, AEC and GIS, as well as PDM applications. System requirements: http://www.opencascade.org/getocc/require/

    Free Open Source Windows Linux

    Open CASCADE icon
  • Shapr3D

    Shapr3D is a revolutionary 3D modeling software created exclusively for your iPad Pro and your Apple Pencil. Shapr3D is the only truly mobile CAD app - a quick but precise way to create 3D models for engineering, design, 3D prints, and more. COMPATIBILITY Shapr3D is compatible with ALL major CAD software. You can export your works into a STL, STEP, or an IGES file.

    Freemium iPad

    Shapr3D icon

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