Free CAD programs: best free drafting software in 2022

Best free CAD software Software

Intro

Among such numerous CAD software, it can be very difficult to choose exactly what will meet all your needs. This is not to mention that software that is free or offers a free version for a certain period or with limited features. Such drafting programs are indispensable for architects, designers, engineers, and many others. That is why we have compiled a list of the best free CAD programs. Read about the best free CAD software and select the option that is right for you! The information is relevant for 2022.

Best free CAD software

NameCostLevelOSUseLast version
FreeCADFreeFor beginners, professionalsWindows, macOS, LinuxParametric 3D modeling; mechanical engineering product design2022
NanoCADFreeFor professionalsWindowsEngineering and architecture drawings2022
OpensCADFreeFor professionalsWindows, macOS, Linux3D modeling for 3D printing2022
LibreCADFreeFor beginnersWindows, macOS, Linux2D design2022
QCADFreeFor beginners and professionalsWindows, macOS, LinuxTechnical drawings2021
TinkerCADFreeFor beginnersonline CAD drawing free software3D modeling2021
ZBrush Core MiniFreeFor beginnersWindows, macOS3D modeling and sculpting2021
Solid EdgeFreeFor professionalsWindowsSolid modeling, 2D and 3D drawings2022
AutoCAD$1,509/ year. Free trialFor professionals and beginnersWindows, macOS2D and 3D drawings and models2022
ArchiCADFrom $240/month. Free for students, educators, researchers, and schoolsFor professionals and amateursWindows, macOS2D and 3D models, architectural renderings, technical drawings2022
Fusion 360Free for personal useFor professionals and beginnersWindows, macOS3D modeling2021
3D BuilderFreeFor beginnersWindows3D modeling, 3D printing2022
DraftSight$199/year. Free trial version for 30 daysFor professionalsWindows, macOS2D drafting, 3D design2021
SolveSpaceFreeFor professionals and amateursWindows, macOS, LinuxParametric 2D and 3D modeling2021

Free CAD programs in details

1. FreeCAD

Freecad

Level: For beginners and professionals 

OS: Windows, macOS, Linux

Cost: Free

Use: Parametric 3D modeling; mechanical engineering product design, architecture and electrical engineering

Of course, it is worth putting in the first place of best drafting software free is FreeCAD. It is an open-source CAD software. FreeCAD has a simple and intuitive interface. Due to its clarity and rather extensive functionality, this free drafting app is suitable for both beginners and professionals. Free CAD drawing software also has many features.

FreeCAD is a cross-platform program. Now there are versions of the free drafting application for almost all popular operating systems. This free CAD program also supports export to DWG, DXF, SVG, PDF, and many other popular file formats. FreeCAD will be a great solution if you are well versed in the basics of CAD modeling.

Pros:

  • Work in interactive mode
  • Differs in a wide range of tools
  • Ability to create your own drawings
  • Supports various file formats
  • Has tools for designing the mechanics of objects
  • Free CAD software for Windows 10
  • Export/import data from other programs Cinema 4D, 3Ds Max, Solid Edge, and so on.

Cons:

  • As it is a drafting program free, it may seem too simple compared to a professional and paid CAD drawing app
  • To develop professional projects, knowledge of the Python language is required.

2. NanoCAD

Nanocad

Level: For professionals

OS: Windows

Cost: Free

Use: Engineering and architecture drawings

NanoCAD is a universal CAD software for designing and creating drawings. Among free drafting software for Windows 10, NanoCAD is the best solution. The free CAD program focused on the creation of 2D projects. The interface of this free 2D drafting software is similar to Autodesk products, making it easy to switch from one program to another. That drafting app free contains ready-made standard shapes. The functionality can be expanded using plug-ins, but they need to be purchased separately. 

Among other free drafting applications, NanoCAD offers a wide range of features, such as automatic construction of complex objects and their filtering, quick selection of the desired object, etc. That CAD drawing free software supports the most common formats of drawings and 3D models, including DXF, DWT, and DWG. There is a ready-made library of standard elements that can be changed to suit your needs. Although this drafting design software is free and easily available for use, you will have to pay for using the newest version or special add-ons.

Pros:

  • Supports work with raster images and their conversion to vector
  • Allows to import and edit objects from other similar drafting programs
  • Customizable interface elements
  • Full-fledged work with 2D and 3D drawing elements
  • Regular software updates from the official website
  • One of the best free drafting software for Windows 10
  • DWG and DXF files support 
  • An excellent alternative to AutoCAD.

Cons:

  • The free version is reduced in functionality
  • To get a free license, you need to confirm the status of a teacher or student
  • The paid version of NanoCAD Plus 10 has more features.

3. OpensCAD

Openscad

Level: For professionals

OS: Windows, macOS, Linux

Cost: Free

Use: 3D modeling for 3D printing

OpenSCAD is an open-source CAD for the parametric (not visual) creation of solid 3D objects. This free computer-aided drawing program has an extensive level of documentation that can be very helpful for both newbies and future use of the program. Foremost, OpenSCAD is great free engineering drawing software. As far as drafting applications go, it comes with a serious learning curve. Using a text description language, programmers will be able to create CAD objects. 

OpenSCAD is available on various devices such as Windows, Linux, and macOS. You can also work with drafting freeware online directly on the official web resource without the need to download the program. This drafting app free supports various file formats.

Pros:

  • No need to install drafting software freeware (just download it to a flash drive)
  • Has an intuitive interface 
  • Simple design language 
  • Allow transferring projects to another CAD drawing software free or paid
  • The project can be saved in various formats: STL, OFF, AMF, DXF, SVG, CSG.

Cons:

  • Difficult to integrate with other systems
  • Only simple parts are available
  • Code management experience required
  • It is not easy CAD software
  • This drafting app free has a low scalability limit.

4. LibreCAD

Libre cad

Level: For beginners

OS: Windows, macOS, Linux

Cost: Free

Use: 2D design

LibreCAD is a free and open-source drafting software that allows you to make technical 2D drawings. LibreCAD is a modern and advanced free drafting app that allows you to design and create various drawings (including engineering and construction), as well as plans and diagrams. It is an easy drafting software based on the QCad project. The free 2D drawing software is a worthy replacement for the paid AutoCAD product.

LibreCAD is mainly used for 2D design, but in addition, LibreCAD software handles many tasks that are usually assigned to computer-aided design systems. This 2D drawing software free supports both DWG and DWF file formats and has its own file format called DXF, which was originally developed to exchange files with the AutoCAD package. It is free drafting software for Windows 10, macOS, and Linux. This simple free drafting program has support plugins as well.

Pros:

  • The interface is clear and easy to customize
  • Easy to use drafting software
  • Has a wide range of different tools for designing and editing drawings
  • Best CAD software for beginners
  • Layers, object grouping functions, snaps support.

Cons:

  • Lack of direct documentation
  • Features may be limited
  • Simple interface doesn’t include many tools.

5. QCAD

Qcad

Level: For beginners

OS: Windows, macOS, Linux

Cost: Free

Use: Technical drawings

QCAD is a computer-aided design (CAD) system free designed to create 2D drawings, plans, diagrams, and complex diagrams. The program interface consists of separate panels that can be freely moved and scaled. Among other free 2D CAD programs, QCAD supports export to DFX, DWG, DGN, BMP, SVG, and PDF formats.

Also, QCAD has a huge library of ready-made objects, a set of various tools, CAD sources, etc. Open-source CAD software also has about thirty font styles for text blocks. This blueprints software free uses the default DXF format for saving and importing drawings, but the paid professional version also supports DWG. In many ways, the QCAD interface and working methods are similar to free AutoCAD software. 

Pros:

  • This simple 2D drawing software comes with studying instructions 
  • Easy to use
  • Intuitive user interface
  • Extensive library of objects.

Cons:

  • Work only with 2D objects

6. TinkerCAD

Tinkercad

Level: For beginners

OS: Online

Cost: Free

Use: 3D modeling

TinkerCAD is one ofTinkerCAD is one of the best drafting apps for 2D and 3D Drafting. The main advantage of this free CAD drawing software compared to other drafting programs is that it is presented as an online application and does not require installation on a computer. Tinkercad’s functionality allows you to create 3D models of any shape and complexity. In addition, the editor’s library contains numerous blanks for creating various shapes (technical details, symbols, geometric shapes), as well as other objects.

This best free 3D CAD software allows you to create objects from a base of standard shapes thanks to an easy-to-understand block-building approach. That free drafting program is quite easy to learn and use. Supports various file formats and integrates with other programs. So, it is the best free CAD software for beginners.

Pros:

  • Online CAD tool
  • The output of 3D files for printing
  • Allows you to create quite complex objects
  • Ability to create 2D SVG drawings
  • Integration with other Autodesk programs.

Cons:

  • Can’t design the model in 2D and then transform it into 3D
  • An internet connection is required.

Learn more about other Free online CAD software.

7. ZBrushCoreMini

Zbrushcore logo

Level: For beginners

OS: Windows, macOS

Cost: Free

Use: 3D modeling and sculpting

ZBrushCoreMini is top CAD software that focuses on 3D modeling and sculpting. That CGI software free has a professional and user-friendly interface, which allows you to master it in a short time. This simple CAD drawing software is available on macOS and Windows.

Features such as ZBrush navigation and standard level navigation will prove to be very useful for designing. Since ZBrushCoreMini contains only the most basic and important features of ZBrush, you can use various plug-ins to enhance the program’s capabilities and performance. If you are looking for free CAD software for PC, then ZBrushCoreMini is a great choice.

Pros:

  • Easy to use toolbars
  • Provides preloaded materials to make object design fast.

Cons:

  • Includes only the core features of ZBrush
  • ZBrushCoreMini is only about sculpting.

Use our Product rendering service to see real results.

8. Solid Edge

Solid Edge

Level: For professionals

OS: Windows

Cost: Free 

Use: Solid modeling, 2D and 3D drawings 

Solid Edge is computer-aided design software that improves every aspect of the product development process – mechanical and electrical design, manufacturing, modeling, data management, technical documentation, and collaboration in the cloud. With synchronous technology, this simple drafting software can be used for both direct modeling and parametric modeling.

Mastering this free mechanical drawing software is easy – a training block with exercises is built into the program. No matter what free CAD drawing software you’ve used before, you won’t lose your work with Solid Edge. With the help of synchronous modeling tools, you can also work with a model obtained from any CAD system.

Pros:

  • Contains a set of tools for creating drawings at any stage of the project
  • Combination of parametric and direct modeling
  • Sheet metal design
  • Advanced surface treatment.

Cons:

  • Difficult user interface
  • Lack of 3D drawing capabilities.

9. AutoCAD

Autocad

Level: For professionals and beginners

OS: Windows, macOS, Linux

Cost: From $1,775 per year. Free 30 – day trial

Use: 2D and 3D drawings and models

AutoCAD is a basic CAD system developed and supplied by Autodesk. AutoCAD is the most widely used architectural drawing software free in the world that allows you to design in both 2D and 3D environments. With free AutoCAD software, you can build 3D models, create and design 2D drawings, and much more. The program is generally used for manufacturing and architecture, but it also can be used for almost any type of drawing.

AutoCAD’s freeware allows you to put dimensions on the drawings, correct small errors in the finished drawing, and also build them automatically according to the given dimensions of the figures. Works with three formats: DWF, DWG, and DXF.

That drafting software for Windows has a large selection of drawing tools. Ready-made layouts can be immediately printed on a 3D printer, exported to social networks, or sent by e-mail. This free architectural CAD software also has a user-friendly and intuitive interface and saves a lot of time. One of the best free architectural drawing programs. AutoCAD is also suitable as Architectural rendering software.

Pros:

  • Easy to learn
  • Supports numerous import and export formats 
  • Plenty of online guides 
  • Unlimited technical support
  • Customizable workspace and toolbars
  • Publication of works in social networks
  • Powerful functionality
  • Stable updates from the official Autodesk website
  • Native DWG file format for saving projects.

Cons:

  • The free version is only available for 30 days
  • There are not enough tools for drawing complex geometric objects
  • High system requirements
  • Predominantly a Windows program 
  • Requires a lot of computer power.

Order our Exterior rendering services and see how it works.

10. ArchiCAD

Archicad

Level: For professionals and amateurs

OS: Windows, macOSCost: From $240 per month. Free for students, educators, researchers, and schools

Use: 2D and 3D models, architectural renderings, technical drawings

Many people forget about a program like ArchiCAD due to its purpose only for architectural design, but it still deserves attention in this list of the best free drafting software in 2022. ArchiCAD is a free basic drafting software that provides the user with a powerful 3D modeling environment and implements modern technology for working with objects. This free drafting program for Windows is designed specifically for architects: the programming toolkit allows you to build drawings and models from familiar objects (walls, columns, ceilings, etc.), and the program has an intuitive interface. As freeware drafting software, ArchiCAD allows you to significantly reduce design time while improving the quality of project documentation.

As a leader in the class of such affordable CAD software, ArchiCAD focuses on ease of use, ease of learning to work with the package, on the most complete and advanced libraries of materials and elements. Most often, free drafting apps provide only one type of the above information, and only ArchiCAD allows you to integrate data in a single file that is understandable to both the professional builder and the buyer. Such free drafting applications have everything you need to help you easily and without problems bring your ideas to life!

Pros:

  • A library with numerous architectural elements to build
  • Classic 2D drafting full-fledged toolkit 
  • The ability to network, work on one project for several specialists
  • 3D visualization of the created project
  • Unlimited scaling of both individual objects and the project as a whole
  • Simultaneous access to all data
  • Constructing both flat drawings and creating a 3D model.

Cons:

  • Limitations in the free version
  • Limited possibilities for creating objects with complex, non-standard geometry
  • Insufficient number of parametric GDL objects that are included in the program by default
  • Some extensions never update properly.

11. Fusion 360

Fusion 360

Level: For professionals and beginners

OS: Windows, macOS

Cost: Free for personal use

Use: 3D modeling

Fusion 360 is one of the best free CAD software for professionals and beginners alike. This free simple CAD program from Autodesk is used regularly in mechanical engineering and product design. This software is unique as it is a 3D CAD, CAM, and CAE at the same time.

Fusion 360 provides cloud file sharing, 3D printing, import and export of CAD file types. This open source CAD software has a wide range of functionality in the design method and 3D modeling. At the same time, the free 3D drafting software has a fairly simple and convenient interface, which will be very useful for beginners. You can customize and change the menu as you like. Autodesk Fusion 360 includes all possible and necessary types of CAD. The simple drafting app can be used for both direct and parametric modeling, and much more.

However, by using the Fusion 360 Free Hobbyist License, you agree that this is for personal use only. In doing so, you get access to all the most important functions of that best drafting software. Fusion 360 is also great 3D rendering software.

Pros:

  • Convenient user interface
  • You can share your projects via public links
  • Best free CAD software for students
  • Universal free CAD software.

Cons:

  • Free version for personal use only.

12. 3D Builder

Logo 3d builder

Level: For beginners

OS: Windows

Cost: Free 

Use: 3D modeling, 3D printing

3D Builder is a dedicated free 3D modeling and printing CAD software freely available for desktop PCs and other Microsoft platforms (Windows Mobile, Xbox One, and Windows Hololense). Users can upload 3D models created by other users from the cloud for modification and 3D printing. This free drafting tool allows both drawing and sculpting. Templates of finished models can be downloaded from various resources.

The free CAD software as a mobile application also allows the user to scan objects and convert them into 3D files using the device’s camera. With such free drafting applications as 3D Builder, it simply takes a series of photographs of an object from multiple angles, and the images will be merged to recreate the object as a 3D model.

Pros:

  • Easy to use free CAD program
  • The ability to configure a huge number of model parameters
  • In the absence of equipment, you can order a printout of the project via the Internet.

Cons:

  • Only for Windows devices
  • Some users find the program too easy.

13. DraftSight

Drarfsight logo

Level: For professionals

OS: Windows, macOS

Cost: $199 per year. Free trial version for 30 days

Use: 2D drafting, 3D design

DraftSight is a functional 2D and 3D CAD solution for architects, engineers, and builders as well as professional CAD users, designers, educators, and hobbyists. That is a user-friendly and easy-to-use computer drafting program for working with DWG files. With this free simple drafting software, numerous functions are available to you.

DraftSight helps you easily, quickly, and efficiently create, edit, view, and annotate any 2D or 3D DWG file. This all-in-one free technical drawing software provides a fast transition from 2D drawing to 3D modeling. Simple drafting software freeware offers a free 30 days trial. Free drafting tools like DraftSight allow you to create technical 2D drawings, compare designs, and more. This easy CAD software free is a strong competitor to SketchUp.

DraftSight used to provide a full free version of the software, but after the release of a new version of DraftSight in 2019, it was canceled.

Pros:

  • Convenient user interface
  • Rich functionality
  • Allows you to work with DXF and DWG files.

Cons:

  • Only a free 30-day trial is available
  • Some commands from AutoCAD do not work.

14. SolveSpace

Solvespace logo

Level: For professionals and amateurs

OS: Windows, macOS, Linux

Cost: Free

Use: Parametric 2D and 3D modeling

The last one among the best CAD programs free is SolveSpace. SolveSpace is an open parametric 2D/3D CAD system distributed under the GPLv3 license. This drafting app free provides 2D and 3D part modeling and printing, CAM data preparation, mechanism design, planar and solid geometry. Most of SolveSpace’s core features include sketches, constraints, extrusions, and Boolean operations. Unlike other free drafting applications, SolveSpace allows you to export a triangle mesh in STL format or another one that is used in most 3D printers.

SolveSpace is a free drafting application with mechanical modeling capability. Files to be opened must be in SolveSpace Models native text format (*.slvs). Flat and volumetric geometry in such drafting programs helps to create drawings of existing models without preliminary calculations. This drafting app free allows you to dynamically manipulate a model until it is fully constrained, both in 2D and 3D. This can be very helpful when studying a model or looking for its best shape.

Pros: 

  • Easy to learn
  • Modeling with the ability to export to PDF, DXF, SVG
  • Good tutorials
  • Checking the constructions’ correctness in a 3D
  • Open-source drafting program.

Cons:

  • Slow to numerous constraints.

Conclusion

All reviewed drafting and design programs free are suitable for a certain type of task. In this article, we have provided you with the top CAD programs free that promise to be the best in 2022. The description of these drafting programs for free is accompanied by information about the level of complexity, the year of the last release, and notes about the appropriate platform for use – Windows, macOS, or Linux. Choose the best solution among these free CAD programs! You also may be interested in our other article about the Best free rendering software.

Author of Applet 3D articles. In passion about art, so writing about design, architecture, the animation is a great chance to enjoy my work. Rule of life - set little goals but achieve big results.

Rate author

Comments are closed.

  1. Torile

    Having read this I thought it was very informative. I appreciate you taking the time and effort to put this article together. I once again find myself spending way to much time both reading and commenting. But so what, it was still worth it!

    1. Ira Maksymova author

      Thanks a lot for your comment! Is this article useful for you?

Get Price List
Form successfully submitted
Get Price List

Your form has been succesfully submitted!
Please, check if info you provided is correct:

Thank you!
Rating
5.0
Read our 12 reviews
What our customers say
Rating
5.0
12 reviews
Write a review
Cassandra Brunson
4 months ago
Applet3D has allowed me to present high quality and professional renderings to my clients. Emma and Julie are both quick to respond and go far beyond to help me meet deadlines. Communicating ideas are easy. They just get it!!!! My clients and I are extremely satisfied with their work. Applet3D has far exceeded my expectations!!!! Excellent Customer Service and Superior Talent!
Posted on Google
Brandon Neff
4 months ago
I have been using them for several months to help me elevate my design presentations and I couldn’t be happier with their work. Both Rene and Julie are a pleasure to partner with. Excellent quality renderings, great responsiveness to edits and special requests and very professional team. I recommend them highly!
Posted on Google
John Doran
3 months ago
Working with Julie and Emma was a pleasure. They delivered high quality renderings utilizing the exact furnishings we will be using in the model home for our new 26 home project. True professionals and great timely service.
Posted on Google
steve ashby
7 months ago
Working with Rene and Julie and the rest of the staff has been great. They are quick to respond with answers to questions and very professional to work with. I would highly recommend working with them. Definitely worth a phone call to hear what they have to offer. Very happy.
Posted on Google
Amanda Reid
8 months ago
I'm a designer and hired Applet3D to prepare some 3d renderings for my client and was beyond impressed. The renderings excellent quality and perfectly convey my design. The team was very responsive, professional and a easy to work with. Quick turn around and fairly priced. I plan to use them again and would definitely recommend them for all of your 3D needs.
Posted on Google
Show more