15 Best Autodesk AutoCAD Alternatives

Best Autodesk AutoCAD Alternatives

This article will explain what is Autodesk AutoCad and what are the best Autodesk AutoCAD alternatives used in the architectural, electrical, mechanical, and engineering fields.

What is Autodesk AutoCAD?

AutoCAD is a popular CAD (computer-aided design) software widely used in the architectural, electrical, mechanical, engineering and design fields. It was previously accessible under a perpetual license but only available via subscription. That membership includes cloud-based storage for easy access to designs across devices, as well as ongoing development and feature upgrades, of which there have been many.

AutoCAD, which began as a 2D CAD application for PC desktops, has been enhanced with advanced 3D modeling, visualization, and rendering tools and is now accessible for Mac desktops, mobile platforms, and even as a web software for use on any device with a contemporary browser. The 2D tooling has also been considerably enhanced, and a rich API allows for the creation of extensions and new objects to expand its use cases.

Autodesk AutoCAD Alternatives

In this article you will know about the best Autodesk AutoCAD alternatives you should use for 2D, 3D modeling. These are the best available applications used in engineering.

1. FreeCAD


FreeCAD is a parametric 3D CAD modeler that may be used for various purposes. The development is entirely free and open-source (LGPL License). FreeCAD is primarily geared at mechanical engineering and product design, but it also has a broader variety of applications in engineering, such as architecture and other engineering specializations.

FreeCAD has tools comparable to Catia, SolidWorks, or Solid Edge and fits within the MCAD, PLM, CAx, and CAE categories. It is a feature-based parametric modeler with a modular software design that makes it easy to add new features without altering the primary system. It is among the best Autodesk AutoCAD alternatives.

FreeCAD is also completely multi-platform, and it presently runs perfectly on Windows, Linux/Unix, and Mac OSX computers, with the same appearance and functionality on all platforms.

2. DraftSight

DraftSight Best Autodesk AutoCAD Alternatives

DraftSight is a professional-grade, open 2D CAD tool designed for users who desire a more efficient method to read, create, and distribute DWG files. DraftSight is easy to use and is free to download and activate for professional CAD users, students, and educators.

DraftSight has a modest footprint, should take less than a few minutes to download, and runs on several operating systems, including Windows XP, Windows Vista, and Windows 7.

3. LibreCAD


LibreCAD (formerly QCad, then CADuntu) is a free and open-source 2D CAD program for Windows, Mac OS X, and Linux. It is built on Qt, a popular cross-platform application and user interface development toolkit.

The most recent Nightly release, LibreCAD, can read DWG files (among others). It can output SVG, JPG, PNG, PDF, and other formats in addition to DXF files. Layers, blocks, splines, polylines, ellipse tools, sophisticated tangent line & circle tools, transformation tools, an advanced snapping system, and other features are included. LibreCAD is fast and lightweight since it concentrates on 2D geometry, with an installation that is less than 30Mb.

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4. SketchUp


SketchUp (formerly Google Sketchup) is a 3D modeling computer program that can be used for various drawing applications such as architectural, interior design, civil and mechanical engineering, film, and video game design. It is available in a freemium version, SketchUp Make, and a paid version with additional functionality, SketchUp Pro.

SketchUp has a 3D gallery to browse for models and contribute your own. These may be any form of the model you can think of: furniture, homes, automobiles, statues, and so on. If you enjoy decorating and sketching, SketchUp will be an excellent fit for you.

5. BricsCAD

BricsCAD Autodesk AutoCAD Alternatives

BricsCAD is the first all-in-one CAD design solution in .dwg that addresses all of your requirements, including 2D drawing, 3D modeling, mechanical design, and BIM. BricsCAD® products provide a low-cost, multi-platform CAD solution for Windows, macOS, and Linux.

BricsCAD is offered a perpetual/perpetual license and a subscription license for networked or stand-alone machines. You may also add All-In Maintenance to make it easier to stay up to date.

6. nanoCAD


NanoCAD is a professional-grade 2D CAD system with native DWG compatibility and complete customization. It is entirely free to use for commercial, professional, or personal reasons. It is fast, light, and competent, and, unlike other free CAD applications, it is entirely unrestricted and best Autodesk AutoCAD alternatives.

NanoCAD has a standard CAD application programming interface (API) that enables the development of separate nanoCAD-based applications and additional automation modules.


BRL-CAD Alternatives

BRL-CAD is a powerful cross-platform free solid modeling system with more than 20 years of active development 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, and libraries for robust geometric representation.


QCAD Alternatives

QCAD is a 2D computer-aided drafting tool. QCAD allows you to generate technical drawings such as building plans, interiors, mechanical parts, and schemas and diagrams.

QCad saves and imports files in the AutoCAD DXF file format, which it utilizes internally. AutoCAD DWG support is available as a paid add-on.


SOLIDWORKS alternatives

SOLIDWORKS is a well-known 3D CAD software used for design, analysis, and product data management. SOLIDWORKS products can help you increase efficiency, leverage intelligence, stimulate creativity and collaborate more effectively. The tools enable you to exploit 3D models throughout the company by bringing processes together, allowing you to get products to market faster.

10. Onshape

Onshape Alternatives

Onshape is a professional CAD system for Parts, Assemblies, and Drawings that includes version control and collaboration. Each Onshape plan (Free for STUDENTS, Professional, and Enterprise) includes unlimited CAD and data management features.

Onshape alters the way you work together. You can rapidly exchange documents while also working with your colleagues. It’s the world’s first full-cloud 3D CAD system. It runs on a web browser as well as on any mobile device. That’s why It is on our list of best Autodesk AutoCAD alternatives.

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11. pCon.Planner

pCon alternatives

The professional providing a 2D/3D-tool for everyone:

The pCon.planner is a free program that allows you to efficiently and professionally build complicated furnishing concepts and visualize them in photo-realistic quality.
File Extensions: dwg, dxf, 3ds, skp, etc.

English, German, Dutch, French, Italian, Portuguese, Romanian, and Spanish are available. It is the most excellent SketchUp alternative for architectural house projects or home design. It’s free and includes a render engine. Very nice software and, in my opinion, the most excellent alternative to Sketchup available now.

12. Shapr3D


Shapr3D is a breakthrough 3D modeling software designed specifically for the iPad Pro and Apple Pencil. It is the first mobile CAD app, providing a rapid yet exact solution to generate 3D models for engineering, design, 3D printing, and other applications.

13. Autodesk Inventor

Autodesk Inventor

Autodesk® Inventor® products provide a complete, versatile set of software for 3D mechanical design, product simulation, tooling production, and design communication.
By permitting you to design, visualize, and simulate your products, Inventor moves you beyond 3D and into Digital Prototyping. You can not neglect Autodesk Inventor as the best Autodesk AutoCAD alternatives.

Autodesk Inventor has a very identical structure to SolidWorks, right down to the Design Tree. With a somewhat similar structure to SolidWorks, you can import and export components, conduct assembly models, and so on; nevertheless, it is significantly less user-pleasant, in my opinion. It is also not the most cost-effective alternative because Autodesk does not support perpetual licensing (meaning, you have to pay every year to use the software).

14. CorelCAD

CorelCAD Alternatives

Improve your visual communication skills with the accuracy of CorelCAD’s exceptional 2D drafting and 3D design tools. It’s an ingenious, low-cost way for sketching intricate features in technical design. This computer-aided design software helps boost productivity and speed by supporting native .DWG files and optimizing Windows and macOS.

15. IronCAD


Last but not least, IronCAD is one of the top Autodesk AutoCAD alternatives on our list. IronCAD is the productivity leader in turning creative ideas into whole 3D reality, thanks to a groundbreaking Creative Design methodology that provides a degree of design flexibility unrivaled in the market today, allowing users to alter their design at any time point. IronCAD also offers a fresh alternative to today’s history-based parametric-only solutions by including a novel new drag-and-drop 3D environment that enables unrivaled ease of use and greater productivity.

So, this is our article on what is Autodesk AutoCad and what are the best Autodesk AutoCAD alternatives. What is your favorite app for 2D, 3D modeling and design tools? Share your experience with Technedo® in the comments section below. Also read our article on best Free Sketchup Alternatives.

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