Free CAD Tools
DraftSight, a Dassault Systems product, is a professional grade 2D CAD software that allows you to create, edit, and save 2D drawings in a native DWG or DXF format. This is based on the new ARES platform and has the same interface as the current AutoCAD user environment.
Unlike traditional CAD, DraftSight offers a transparent, community-driven development process. This is a free download that is available for both Windows and Mac operating systems.
Hawk Ridge Systems endorses DraftSight as a viable replacement for AutoCAD. The interface is simple to pick up, even for people that haven’t previously used a 2D drafting program. It is also robust enough to create complex 2D geometry that advanced users may need to create. It uses the familiar AutoCAD keyboard shortcuts that experienced users are accustomed to, yet these are fully customizable. This is a free download; this allows you to move away from subscription based 2D packages that may be keeping your company behind by tying up your CAD budget which could be used for investing in SOLIDWORKS.
Users do not have to start from scratch if they have pre-existing support files such as template files (.dwt) or menu files (.cui, .mnu, .mns.). DraftSight can use these and other support files.
DraftSight has the interoperability needed in today’s design environment. It can create binary or ASCII files, has the ability to attach image files and external reference drawings, supports multi page PDF creation and has the ability to publish to eDrawings or Drawings now. DraftSight can export to several different raster formats, including PDF, PNG, TIF, SAT and STL.