Open Source 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: 9/11/2016 7:21:00 PM

Alternatives to Autodesk AutoCAD for all platforms with Open Source 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
  • 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

    LibreCAD 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 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
  • 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:

    Free Open Source Windows Linux

    Open CASCADE icon

    Varkon is a very powerful parametric 2D/3D CAD, modeling and application development tool for engineering, design, architecture, etc. It does 2D drafting, 2D and 3D modeling, sculptured surface modeling, and even animations. Varkon is a free CAD system and high level development tool for Engineering, Computer Aided Design and Product Modeling applications.

    • Discontinued
      The project seems no longer developed. Last version, 1.19E, released in November 2012, can be still downloaded from SourceForge.

    Free Open Source Windows Linux

  • ImplicitCAD

    ImplicitCAD is a programmatic CAD program, implemented in Haskell. Unlike traditional CAD programs, programmatic CAD programs use text descriptions of objects, as in programming. Concepts like variables, control structures and abstraction are used, just as in programming.

    Free Open Source Mac Windows Linux

  • Archimedes

    Archimedes is a free and open source CAD (Computer Aided Design) software. It is a robust system built over Eclipse’s Rich Client Java Platform fully based on plug ins. This means it is easily extensible but also has a pretty thin core that allows you to select the features you need and drop the other ones easily.

    • Discontinued
      The project seems no longer developed. Last version, 0.66, released in June 2012, can be still downloaded from SourceForge.

    Free Open Source Mac Windows Linux

    Archimedes icon
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