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Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Free Drafting Programs

     Before I retired I worked in the engineering department for a manufacturing company doing design, estimating and drafting. My new laptop does not have AutoCAD installed on it, but having it would be very handy for various projects. I have AutoCAD on an old desktop, but it having it on my laptop would be better; unfortunately that's not possible.
     After some research I found a site which reviewed the top 5 best free drafting programs HERE
     I tried downloading the free Student Version of AutoCAD, but for some reason the Autodesk site would not allow it. In fact, I wasn't even able to create an account.  So, I downloaded a couple of other drafting programs to try them out and my preference is for the program DraftSight because it reminded me of AutoCAD...sort of like the way Open Office reminds one of Microsoft's Word & Excel.
     DraftSight is ideal for individual use. There are no fees or limitation on usage. The only requirement is that you need to activate the program with a valid e-mail address. DraftSight is a basic 2D drafting package that looks and feels very much like AutoCAD. It has all the drafting tools you'll need for generating professional looking plans and it uses the .DWG format as its file type, the same as Autodesk products, so you can open and share AutoCAD files. I have an AutoCAD drawing of our house on the old desktop and it loaded perfectly and I was able to work with it as I would on AutoCAD. You can download DraftSight HERE.

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