If it’s a feature-packed AutoCAD alternative you’re after, then you’ve stumbled upon just the spot. Here you’ll find yourself bombarded with a handful of comprehensive names that allow you to create stunning designs. Whether it’s 3D models or 2D images, each one of the following names proffer just the tools you need to fashion these sort of designs and then some. You’ll definitely find our compilation useful especially if you’re an engineer, interior designer, programmer, architect or employed in any other field that requires you to churn out different diagrams. What’s more, you won’t need to resort to really expensive software options. Our list even comprises of substitutes that come attached with budget-friendly price tags.
1 – FreeCAD:
The feature-based parametric 3D modeler lets you dive right into your model’s history and alter its parameters to your requirements. The multiplatform delight also has the ability to read and write many different file formats like IGES, STEP and STL, among others. Besides just being useful to experienced CAD professionals and programmers, the open source software also caters to hobbyists and home users who don’t have prior experience in CAD and need to build 3D prints.
It even boasts of including a number of 2D components for extracting 3D details or churning out 2D shapes. You’ll also find a robot simulation, a rendering module, drawing sheets module and sketcher with constraint-solver thrown into the mix. And as revealed earlier, it’s a multiplatform treat which is seamlessly compatible with Linux/Unix, Windows and Mac OS X systems.
2 – SketchUp Pro 2013:
As the brains behind this endeavor in our programs like AutoCAD roster describes it, SketchUp Pro is like a pencil with superpowers. It comes filled to the brim with both easy as well as advanced features which allow a host of professionals to exploit them in their work. These include commercial interiors, engineering, light construction, film and stage, game design, woodworking, kitchen and bath design, architecture and urban planning. There’s even a LayOut feature embedded here which helps transform your models into drawings. You’ll also find a dedicated instructor panel for beginners, contextual tips and online resources to help you fashion your masterpieces along with section planes, styles and 3D Warehouse. The program further complies with imports and exports of formats such as DWG, DAE, TIF, PNG, DXF, 3DS, KMZ and JPG. This bundle is up for grabs at $590.
3 – progeCAD Professional:
The DWG/DXF-native CAD software is created especially for those who are looking for a professional drafting solution that won’t eat right through their pockets. According to the developer, you can expect to see all generic CAD features as well as a whole slew of advanced tools. This list includes gradient hatch, traceparts and cadenas integration, PDF to DWG converter, iCADLib module, 3D ACIS modeling, Google Earth integration, multiGRIP editing, advanced rendering, parametric architectural plug-in, image georeferencing and PC3 support.
There are also large block libraries and a Blocks manager that comprises of over 22,000 blocks. The 2D and 3D design software is available in a number of different languages like traditional and simplified Chinese, Spanish, French, German, Czech, Russian, Italian and Polish. Compatible with Windows Vista, XP, 7 and 8 PCs, it bears a price tag that reads $399.
4 – Creo Elements/Direct Modeling Express:
This inclusion in our softwares similar to AutoCAD array aids you in creating and editing designs and drawings, all in real-time. You can also formulate assemblies with up to 60 unique items. Dive right into this innovative gem to edit diagrams with the help of direct cut-and paste, drag-and-drop, and push-and-pull techniques. Using this entrant, you can avail of handy tools that allow you to import or create standard 2D graphics from 3D models. You’ll also be able to take complete advantage of its functions and attributes through the program’s familiar ribbon user interface.
This software can be purchased absolutely free of cost and is compatible with Windows Vista, XP and 7 PCs. Looking for something a little more in-depth? Well, you can always upgrade to the full, professional version which includes extend data exchange, add-on modules, assemblies with unlimited unique parts, designing 3D sheet metal parts and real-time rendering.
5 – Archimedes:
Noted to be a free open source CAD software piece, this interesting option is built over Eclipse’s rich client platform so that you can opt for only the features you require. It forays onto the scene with basic drawing capabilities like explode, lines, arcs, offset, editable text and polylines. You’ll also be able to espy advanced CAD features like filleting, trimming and area measurement. The program is further compatible Windows, Mac OS X and GNU/Linux systems.
6 – QCAD:
Our final program like AutoCAD is a user-friendly 2D CAD system that jumps right in with general purpose tools and some power-user features too like enhanced DXF and DWG support. This service can be employed for sketching out plans for interiors, schematics, mechanical parts, diagrams and buildings. Coming to its lineup of attributes, the list includes blocks, layers, TrueType fonts support, printing to scale, multiple pages printing, powerful entity selection tools, library with more than 4800 CAD items, object snaps and different metrical and imperial units. The free solution extends its reach to Mac OS X, Windows and Linux PCs.
Creating computer-aided designs and drafting is the need of the hour for many professionals and hobbyists out there. And in order to fashion such 2D and 3D creations, they require a whole bunch of noteworthy tools to work with. Now, did you know that there are quite a few programs available that come minus a hefty price tag while some are even free to procure? We’ve roped in the best names out there so that you can carefully choose just the AutoCAD alternative that suits your needs. So which one will it be?