If you are in the designing and drafting industry, you must know that CAD software is the backbone of this vast field. Computer-aided design and Drafting have changed the picture of the designing world for all architects and engineers. You can now design in an automated manner that earlier used to be manual. CAD software has made life easier with the options to maximize efficiency by drafting construction documentation, exploring new design ideas, visualizing various concepts through photorealistic rendering, and simulating the performance of products and projects in the real world. The features of CAD software allow you to create, design, and print 3D models, but what holds most designers back is the cost of CAD programs. To make your life easy, we have listed down a number of CAD software here that are totally free for you to use anywhere, anytime!


FreeCAD as the name says it all, is free CAD software which is not only open source but is also flexible. Having an open-source code allows you to use it without worrying about violating the copyright. This parametric, 3D modeller can read files in numerous file formats and is best for Linux users. Mechanical engineers around the globe trust FreeCAD for creating 3D projects because of the comprehensive tools it offers. Tools like fine element analysis, product design and robot simulation modules make it the go-to program for every designer. Although the interface of FreeCAD is complex, its growing community consists of experts who can help you design easily and keep the software up to date.


LibreCAD is another free, open-source CAD software that gives you the opportunity to draft and design 2D plus 3D models. It can be used for personal as well as commercial use, as the vast toolbox gives you the leverage to elaborate your drawing, use raytracing for rendering and analysis, practice layer measurements inside your drawing, etc. This software has a customizable interface that is flexible and user-friendly.


Moreover, QCAD which is a free 2D drawing software, is very similar to AutoCAD. It should suit you best for architecture projects; create and develop technical drawings, schematics, diagrams and blueprints with it efficiently. Like QCAD, there’s a software called “DraftSight” which has comparable functions. This 2D CAD program is particularly used by engineers, architects and designers because you can easily create, edit, view and review any DWG file in it without compromising on your speed, efficiency and ease of adjustment. It has a super easy-to-learn interface, and users love its free as well as the paid version.


Other popular software includesSolve Space, “eMachine Shop”, and “Heeks CAD”. “Solve Space” is a parametric 3D model program that makes the modification of dimensions and shapes stress-free. “eMachine Shop” is practised in professional settings as it analyzes the design critically and points the probability and possibility of impractical shapes in your design. Likewise, “HeeksCAD” is used by mechanical engineers for 3D solid modelling. All of these programs help bring your designs to life!


NanoCAD is also free software, valued by a number of designers far and wide. It suits well to experienced users who understand advanced 2D and 3D functionality and CAD tools. The interface is relatively easy to use and the software stays up to date as it is highly competitive. One of the benefits of this program is that it supports automation features which make it easy to transfer drafts and documentations from app to database. However, you would need a powerful machine to render the designs afterwards.


In addition, OpenSCAD is intuitive software that uses textual description language to create 3D CAD objects. It works on the principles of Constructive Solid Geometry(CSG). This software is the best fit for designing simple shapes and is extremely developer-centric because of its easy user interface.


A few other software that you can use free of cost are “BlocksCAD”, “LeoCAD”, “K-3D”, and “3D-Crafter”. “BlocksCAD” was developed for educational purposes, and it has a block-based interface. This cloud-based software has computation thinking and the concept of coding at its foundation. Cloud-based software helps retain the data without losing any progression. Similarly, “LeoCAD” was also formed for educational purposes. It helps build virtual designs using LEGO Bricks. LeoCAD is extremely resourceful for beginners because of its interface and open-source coding.”K-3D” is also an ingenious, flexible, and open-source program that allows you to create 3D models and animations for free. The undo/redo system shortens the span of revisions and helps retain the data effectively. It is a greatly artist-oriented program, and features like parametric workflow and visualization make it perfect for architectural design.


Additionally, significant CAD software is On Shape! It is cloud-based, which allows one to pace up the business’s product development process. You can make 2D and 3D designs on this platform. Use it to create complex solid and surface models just from a browser since this software does not require powerful hardware for it to run. What’s the catch? Everything is auto-saved, so you literally don’t lose any data. Furthermore, its robust revision features protect your business against any sort of data loss. That’s not all about the program; it has other useful and effective designing tools like parts, assemblies and drawings that make this software popular. Other features like release management, workflow management, and real-time collaboration tools make it a personal choice for a lot of designers.

“Sketchup” is also free CAD software that architects use for designing infrastructure. For advanced tools, one needs to use the paid version, which is a premium version of Sketchup. “TinkerCAD” is free as well; it has a friendly interface and is packed with abundant educational resources for beginners. With this software, you can design, program, and simulate 3D models. For the ease of designers, it can also be connected directly to a 3D printer.


So, which free CAD software are you inclined to use in the future?

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