I am not all for pirated software, but the consumers are not always to be blamed. When a product is priced out of reach from the average consumer, it only encourages people to pirate it. Adobe realise this and moved to a subscription based model, with an average subscription fee of approximately USD10, one can enjoy the latest version of Photoshop. Even Microsoft took this router with their lucrative Office suites. Autodesk on the other hand appears to be on the greedy side.
Almost every students pirate their software, and it is understandable due to the lack of purchasing power. However, once a person graduates and found a job, especially those into freelance or starting their own business, my personal view is they must purchase the original software – no amount of excuses is acceptable. You’re running a profitable business, at least have a decency to pay for the ‘tools’ that enables you to put food on your table. Programmers don’t run on rain and sunshine like plants. Without further ado, here are 3 AutoDesk’s AutoCAD alternatives.
↓ 01 – LibreCAD | 2D | Windows | macOS | Linux
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. It has layers, blocks, splines, polylines, ellipse tools, advanced tangent line & circle tools, transformation tools, an advanced snapping system and more. Because LibreCAD focuses on 2D geometry it is fast and lightweight, with an installer of less than 30mb.
↓ 02 – FreeCAD | 2D & 3D | Windows | macOS | Linux
FreeCAD is a parametric 3D modeler made primarily to design real-life objects of any size. Parametric modeling allows you to easily modify your design by going back into your model history and changing its parameters. FreeCAD is open-source and highly customizable, scriptable and extensible. FreeCAD is multiplatfom (Windows, Mac and Linux), and reads and writes many open file formats such as STEP, IGES, STL, SVG, DXF, OBJ, IFC, DAE and many others. Who is FreeCAD for? A couple of user cases:
- The home user/hobbyist. Got yourself a project you want to build, have built, or 3D printed? Model it in FreeCAD. No previous CAD experience required. Our community will help you get the hang of it quickly!
- The experienced CAD user. If you use commercial CAD or BIM modeling software at work, you will find similar tools and workflow among the many workbenches of FreeCAD.
- The programmer. Almost all of FreeCAD’s functionality is accessible to Python. You can easily extend FreeCAD’s functionality, automatize it with scripts, build your own modules or even embed FreeCAD in your own application.
- The educator. Teach your students a free software with no worry about license purchase. They can install the same version at home and continue using it after leaving school.
↓ 03 – NaroCAD | 2D & 3D | Windows
NaroCAD is a fully fledged and extensible 3D parametric modeling CAD application. The goal of this project is to develop a fully fledged and extensible 3D CAD software based on the concept of parametric modeling of solids, comparable to well known solutions. These functionalities are interrelated through Model Associativity and are exposed through a GUI. The general usability specifications like saving, importing are described in General functionality specifications.