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AutoCAD: The Best Auto CAD Alternatives in 2021

autocad alternatives

Free CAD software is a life-saving tool for every small business or individual to manufacture or test their products and AutoCAD It is one of them. Here in this article, I am listing the best alternative softwares of Auto CAD that are functional and useful.

What is the use of AutoCAD software?

Most of the professional categories related to design and construction (mechanics, architecture, electrical appliances) nowadays use digital tools that allow to design and virtually manufacture an object before embarking on its physical realization and AutoCad is used to perform these tasks.

This allows, among other things, to make considerable savings, for example, avoiding the production of very expensive and unsatisfactory prototypes. The AutoCAD software It allows to manufacture, adjust, test until the desired result is obtained before the final realization. Auto CAD it also allows the development of virtual environments, for example, in the context of video games or computer animations.

We have listed our best alternative softwares from AutoCAD for you.

Leopoly 3D

Created by the Zspace platform, this hybrid, a cross between 3D structure software and CAD software that is a suitable alternative to AutoCAD.

It is intended for students specialized in modeling. Users have at their disposal virtual tools that allow them to “sculpt” their product before printing it in three dimensions.


NanoCAD is a free alternative but it is also available in a paid version, NanoCAD Plus, which costs $ 180, which is quite affordable compared to Autocad's $ 1,470.

When comparing nanoCAD with AutoCAD , we can notice some notable differences.

NanoCAD does not offer dynamic input, library objects with behavioral properties, or 3D solid object operations.

However, it offers many features that AutoCAD does not have. These include raster manipulations, an Excel-style table editor, and a linetype editor.


Archimedes is an open source 2D software (released under EPL), developed in collaboration with professional architects, with the aim of creating a better program than Autocad for free.

Its functionalities include basic drawing tools, SVG export (export to other CAD formats is not yet available, although it is in development), XML import (and Arc), etc.

Archimedes is available free for Windows, Mac OS X, and Linux.


This computer-aided design tool was developed by the American Army in collaboration with NASA, so we are confident that it will answer the vast majority of your design and modeling needs in both 2D and 3D.

BRL-CAD offers multiplatform support, more than 400 predesigned utilities, applications and libraries that will serve you for the most diverse purposes. From 3D model creation, scene rendering, data processing and geometric analysis, etc.

The negative part of BRL-CAD is that it offers a somewhat different work system than what you find in AutoCAD, so the process of adapting to its tools can be somewhat more complex than in another free CAD software .


And continuing with alternative CAD software to AutoCAD , but free, we can talk about TinkerCAD owned by the same firm.

In this case, we are talking about a web application that we use from the browser with a multitude of functions and tools focused on modeling at a more domestic level than AutoCAD .

In fact, the program is based on offering us the possibility of joining some basic objects to create more complex elements.


Now we are going to refer to one of the best known alternatives to AutoCAD . This is Blender, an advanced and free design solution valid for all types of users. Of course, those who are starting in this field may prefer to opt for other alternatives before this one, oriented to a more professional market.

In fact, it is a software that over time has already been used by many specialists in the field, including animated films, video games, etc.

How could it be otherwise, it has a large number of functions and functionalities for modeling, mapping, editing, simulation, rendering, texturing, etc. It is also worth knowing that this free CAD software it even puts its own engine to create video games in our hands.


This is another freecad software that we can use from the browser. It is actually a powerful 3D CAD application that allows us to work and design objects, from the simplest to the most complex.

It has an intuitive user interface that will be of great use to users with less experience in these topics. It allows the upload of personal projects to start working on it and has several predefined elements that we can use in our new CAD creations.


One of the most widely used 3D modeling programs in the world is SketchUp, and it is due to its versatility, extensive functions, and features. It has a paid version that simply adds another layer of depth to the application.

In addition, the free version is fully functional and complete. The program's interface is quite simple to use, perhaps for beginners, it is a bit overwhelming due to the hundreds of tools and functions, but as the hours go by you get used to it.

With SketchUp you can make any type of design, a hotel building, houses of different dimensions, small gears or mechanical parts.

Without a doubt, it is the ideal choice for architectural and mechanical engineers looking for an alternative to AutoCAD No matter what operating system you use, SketchUp is available for Windows, Mac, and Linux.


A legitimate barrier for many users who use AutoCAD is its price. Therefore, SolveSpace is another quite useful alternative for professionals in the field of design. It is a totally free 3D parametric CAD program, capable of handling the most complex CAD drawings.

With SolveSpace you can model in 2D and 3D space, without worrying that your computer consumes resources since thanks to its interface it is quite minimalist and its consumption is very balanced. It has basic and comprehensive tools and is fantastic software for those who are entering the world of construction designs, parts, and more.

One of the most attractive features of SolveSpace is the ability to print projects on a 3D printer or make a part that you need at home and implement it.


This program is designed for all electrical engineers and for specializations in computer science and computer engineering, in order to have valid support in the creation of new electrical circuits and printed circuits.

Solid Edge 2D

Solid Edge 2D is a very valid free 2D CAD from Siemens, available in the latest 64-bit versions for Windows 7 and Windows 8 (if you have an older version of Windows, you should look for a more outdated version of Solid Edge, which is the ST6 or earlier).

It is possible to import existing 2D files, such as AutoCAD, through guided procedures, as well as to easily create 2D diagrams by dragging standard symbols (useful, for example, for electrical diagrams); 2D designs are designed in 1: 1 scale (multiple views are created on separate sheets and the scale of each can be resized according to our needs).

Solid Edge 2D is appreciated in various fields, but it is particularly appreciated for mechanics.


Sculptris is not actually a technical drawing tool, but it is still one of the best free programs for making 3D models. It is perfect for 3D modeling of sculptures, objects, faces or animals. It is available on both Windows and MAC. You will never go wrong with this free CAD software.


OpenSCAD is a different type of CAD software. Unlike others on this list, it allows engineers to use scripting programming to create exact designs of their machine parts. If you are good with scripting programming languages, this is the CAD software for you. It is available on Windows, Linux, and Mac.


This is possibly one of the best free CAD programs available.

DraftSight is amazing but free 2D CAD software that allows you to create, edit, and view DWG and DXF files.

It is perfect if you are looking for a replacement for the popular AutoCAD LT because it has a very similar interface.

This software is completely free, but you will be required to activate it with your valid email address within 30 days of registration. You will be asked to reactivate after 6 months and then annually.

DoubleCAD XT

DoubleCAD XT is perhaps the best free alternative to AutoCAD LT because, due to its similarity to the latter (both in appearance and in menus, commands and icons). AutoCAD LT users will have no difficulty making this software their own.

There is also a paid version (called TurboCAD LTE Pro) that offers other features, but the free version does the job because it has no limitations (ability to open and save DWG, DXF and DWF files and even use Google SketchUp and SketchUp Pro models).

Like DraftSight, to download and use DoubleCAD XT, you must also register by email. Please note that your email can be used for private and commercial purposes.

Summary: CAD software similar to AutoCAD

Of course, in addition to the software listed here, there are other programs that are free, but I think the ones listed are the best alternative software of AutoCAD (of course, each with its own advantages and disadvantages). Read and choose a software similar to AutoCAD .