Free 2D CAD Software?

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Dick_Morris
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Free 2D CAD Software?

Post by Dick_Morris » Tue Dec 31, 2019 9:34 pm

The free version of Draftsight has served me well for a number of years, but I lost my copy when one of my hard disks failed. Unfortunately, Dassault Systems no longer offers the free version and says all free versions will cease to run after 12/31/2019.

Many of my CAD needs are now met by Freecad, a 3D program, but sometimes 2D comes in handy and it would be nice to be able to open and edit my old drawings without a lot of extra effort. Are there any recommendations on a free 2D CAD program with capabilities and feel similar to the free version of Draftsight or the early versions of Autocad LT?

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warmstrong1955
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Re: Free 2D CAD Software?

Post by warmstrong1955 » Tue Dec 31, 2019 9:59 pm

I hear ya. Need some 2D cad, but at this point, how much should it cost?

I have been using Draftsight, since they came out with the first beta. When I switched to Win7, my AutoCad LT 2004 could not go with it. That's a shame, because LT 2004 is a perpetual license. Seems the new rage is 'pay for view'. I don't like that. That's when I installed Draftsight.
So now, with Draftsight ending tonight, I looked into alternatives, free ones, and some free trials, and tested several.

I am now using NanoCad Free, and, it's free forever. For what I do, it's fine.
Not as good as Draftsight or AutoCad, but it opens all my old and new .dwg files, without corruption or distortion. That was my first concern.The same was not true for all the others I tried, including TurboCad, which is not free. I opened files, and things like dim's & arrows were scattered all over.
I had to find where a few things were on NanoCad, like how to tune dimensioning, and how to plot views or plot to pdf.....but it's all doable. I just had to figure it out.
Good thing is, that the prompts, are all the same, (unlike QCad) and the toolbars are pretty much the same too.
It was not a big learning curve.

https://nanocad.com/products/nanoCAD/

Works for me, and free is a very good price. :) You might give it a shot.

Bill
Today's solutions are tomorrow's problems.

Glenn Brooks
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Re: Free 2D CAD Software?

Post by Glenn Brooks » Wed Jan 01, 2020 1:56 am

I never learned CAD - focused almost exclusively on the GIS world, but have heard a lot of encouraging talk about Autodesk Fusion 360. It’s free to individuals and small business users, I think. More complex than simple 2D work, and probably involves some serious learning curve. But Autodesk seems to have made a strong commitment to support legacy file formats and particularly to give you a way forward as they continually upgrade and add stronger new functionality.

For my money, the real strength in software systems is each vendor’s willingness to support your legacy data and drawing files forward, as they continually upgrade and expand their code base.

Glenn
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Chris Hollands
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Re: Free 2D CAD Software?

Post by Chris Hollands » Wed Jan 01, 2020 9:49 am

Autocad offer free 2D and 3D just signup as a student , if you want 2D then go on the autocad site and you can download versions from various years up to 2019.
Once you have it and do the screen setup you can open / save various files including draftsight - DXF /autocad lt / autocad 2004 etc .
I was use to the older version of autocad so you will have to adjust your thinking a little bit but it is still basically the same as the older versions .

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BAdams
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Re: Free 2D CAD Software?

Post by BAdams » Wed Jan 01, 2020 10:22 am

You can check out LibreCAD: https://librecad.org/

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Greg_Lewis
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Re: Free 2D CAD Software?

Post by Greg_Lewis » Wed Jan 01, 2020 10:24 am

For the Mac users out there, I'd suggest Cadintosh. It's not free, but $30 is a very fair price for what it does. And the guy who wrote it responds in a day or two to questions and suggestions.
Greg Lewis, Prop.
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ChuckHackett-844
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Re: Free 2D CAD Software?

Post by ChuckHackett-844 » Wed Jan 01, 2020 10:58 am

Fusion 360 is free as long as you certify that you make less than $100,000 :)
Regards,

Chuck Hackett, UP Northern 844, Mich-Cal Shay #2
Owner, MiniRail Solutions, RR Signal Systems (http://www.MiniRailSolutions.com)
"By the work, One knows the workman"

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BigDumbDinosaur
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Re: Free 2D CAD Software?

Post by BigDumbDinosaur » Wed Jan 01, 2020 1:49 pm

ChuckHackett-844 wrote:
Wed Jan 01, 2020 10:58 am
Fusion 360 is free as long as you certify that you make less than $100,000 :)
I suspect that would describe most of us around here. :roll:

Happy New Year...and no, it's not the start of a new decade. :D
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Tim B Guenther
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Re: Free 2D CAD Software?

Post by Tim B Guenther » Wed Jan 01, 2020 4:59 pm

I have been using Linux since I retired, so I am always on the look out for functioning open source software. I recently discovered QCAD. It is free and works very similar to my recollections of Autocad for DOS circa 1990. Their website https://qcad.org/en/ says it will work with Mac and Windows as well.

FKreider
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Re: Free 2D CAD Software?

Post by FKreider » Wed Jan 01, 2020 6:42 pm

Fusion 360!
-Frank K.

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Dick_Morris
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Re: Free 2D CAD Software?

Post by Dick_Morris » Wed Jan 01, 2020 9:54 pm

When I selected 3D CAD software I was put off by Fusion 360 not being on my own computer. Not being able to get it to operate on my computer sealed the deal and I went with Freecad. Does Fusion 360 support 2D CAD as well as 3D? NanoCad looks interesting, but I'm a bit reluctant to put Russian software on my computer.

Thanks for all the responses. One of these should work for my occasional needs.

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Fred_V
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Re: Free 2D CAD Software?

Post by Fred_V » Thu Jan 02, 2020 8:47 am

Tim B Guenther wrote:
Wed Jan 01, 2020 4:59 pm
I have been using Linux since I retired, so I am always on the look out for functioning open source software. I recently discovered QCAD. It is free and works very similar to my recollections of Autocad for DOS circa 1990. Their website https://qcad.org/en/ says it will work with Mac and Windows as well.
Not free any more.
Fred V
Pensacola, Fl.

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