So you’re looking for best free drafting software that should comply with your creative needs? Well, search no more as you’ve stumbled upon just the place that will put all your woes at bay and provide you with a comprehensive list of apt programs. What’s more, the solutions strewn across our compilation can be procured without you even spending a single penny, as you might have already guessed. And don’t worry, you won’t see any trial versions that may expire within a limited period if you don’t pay up.
1 – Google SketchUp:
With this innovative piece of program sitting in your PC, you’ll be able to unleash your creativity in a variety of aspects. It comes packed to the hilt with intuitive tools that read as edges and faces, push/pull for creating 3D objects from 2D ones, paint bucket, Follow Me, Trimble 3D warehouse, precise dimensions and real-time shadow engine. There are also simple navigation tools which allow you to explore your creations from a first-person perspective.
Furthermore, you’ll be able to add annotations, dimensions and other sorts of details to your masterpiece with the help of Dimension and Label tools. And if you need help at any point during your stay here, you can always rely on the built-in Instructor dialog box. And besides proffering this particular version, the Mountain View based company also boasts of providing a Pro edition that can be purchased by shelling out $495.
2 – Blender:
The open source 3D graphics solution in our free drafting software roster will prove to be a great companion whenever you want to create visual effects, 3D applications or animated films. This impressive entrant forays onto the scene bringing along with it a complete tool-set as well as a flexible user interface so both professionals, as well as novices, can create beautiful works of art.
It allows full multiresolution sculpting capabilities with 2D bitmap/3D procedural brushes and even lets you create professional-grade rigs. What’s more, crafting subdivision surfaces, 3D object types and hard surfaces are now possible with the availability of their respective tools.
3 – FreeCAD:
Noted to be an open source parametric 3D CAD modeler, this engaging program enables you to alter the parameters of your model by digging into its history. The multiplatform delight featured here is available for a broad audience like experienced CAD users, home users, hobbyists, and programmers. A few of its attributes include sketcher with constraint-solver, modular architecture, drawing sheets, robot simulation, rendering and architecture modules.
You’ll further be able to sketch out simple 2D items with the help of tools like 2-point line, BSpline and Shape String, among others. As the brains behind this endeavor reveal, the program lets you import and export data to standard formats like IGES, STL, SVG, DAE, OFF, VRML, STEP, OBJ, DXF, STL, IFC, and NASTRAN.
4 – Draft It:
This inclusion in our free drafting software array is a user-friendly 2D CAD system that can be employed either at home or the office. As the developer states, version 3 is a faster and more powerful solution when pitted against its earlier editions. Here you can expect to see custom and imperial sheet sizes as well as a Microsoft Office 2007 Style interface. The program further hits the terrain with features such as Intellisnap, support for imperial and metric units, dynamic editing functions and powerful drawing tools like circle, line, and arc. With this one infused into your PC system, you’ll be able to create, save and even print out your masterpieces with ease. In addition to this version, there’s a trio of other editions available out there namely, Plus, Pro, and Architectural which are priced at £20, £99 and £199, respectively.
5 – Creo Elements/Direct Modeling Express:
Fashioned for product design professionals and engineers, this useful program allows you to create and edit designs all in real-time. It further lets you formulate assemblies with up to 60 unique parts and even edit diagrams by resorting to actions like direct cut-and-paste, drag-and-drop push-and-pull. And by using a few menu picks, you’ll be able to create standard 2D graphics from 3D models.
New to this handy program? Well, fortunately, it sports a ribbon user interface so that you’ll waste no time in familiarizing yourself with the various functions and attributes. Now if you wish to procure more features than the ones proffered here, you can always upgrade to the professional version which comprises of add-on modules, extend data exchange, real-time rendering and an unlimited number of unique parts.
‘Design better,’ is the call to arms here. The final contender in our roundup emerges from the house of Siemens and brings forth something special for those of you working with 2D graphics. Some of the features you’ll find embedded here include goal seeking, dimensioning, drawing layout and diagramming. What’s more, it’s even compatible with ANSI, DIN, UNI, ISO, BSI, and JIS. And lastly, the program proffers XREF and paper/model space support as well as an integrated Command Finder.
Whether you’re a professional in the field of interior design, architecture or engineering, or maybe even a student who’s just learning how to use this sort of program, our best free drafting software lineup will cater to all your requirements and then some. And if you thought that AutoCAD and others of its ilk were the only options to turn to in your hour of need, well think again. The scenario is packed with loads of names, many of which can be picked up without having to pull out your wallet or purse. So which one are you planning to rely on the next time you need to virtually sketch out something?