AutoCAD is a great program, but there are many CAD tools available that perform the same functions you need – most at a fraction of the cost!
The flagship product from Autodesk, AutoCAD, has been available in one form or another since the 80’s. It’s a versatile tool for engineers, architects, graphic designers, city planners, project managers, and more. Currently, the price tag is nearing £2,000 per year and is no longer available as a perpetual licence. For some professionals, the cost is worth it…but why pay over the odds when there are significantly cheaper alternatives with equally impressive features and a supporting infrastructure?
A true alternative should include the core features of AutoCAD like 2D drafting and 3D modelling tools, as well as BIM file handling, rendering capabilities, and a network of community and developer support.
Taking that into account, we’re going to take a closer look at DraftSight, and why it is a worthy alternative to AutoCAD.
What is DraftSight?
DraftSight is an advanced CAD drafting solution from the team behind SOLIDWORKS – Dassault Systèmes. Featuring powerful, time-saving functionalities, and an API to help bring your designs to life quickly and easily, DraftSight helps users create, view, edit and convert drawings including DWG, DXF, and DGN files.
The DraftSight team see their product as an affordable alternative to AutoCAD, to the point that they feature “The Capabilities of AutoCAD and More at the Right Price!” in their marketing.
DraftSight provides an easy transition from AutoCAD due in no small part to the familiar user interface. In fact, it shares a similar 2D drafting layer system that facilitates version control and revisions, and it also natively works with AutoCAD’s dynamic blocks. DraftSight can easily compare designs, add hardware symbols, and even append PDF files to the project file.
DraftSight is supported on both Windows and MacOS.
Check out Dimensioning Options in DraftSight.
What’s the Difference between DraftSight Versions?
Professional (and Enterprise *)
This is the base version of DraftSight. Note, this option does not contain 3D tools.
- Read & Save in DWG
- Create & Modify in 2D
- Mechanical Toolbox: Parts Library, Holes, BOM, Revision Table
- True Licensing Flexibility
- DraftSight API for LISP automations or .dll and custom script loading
Premium (and Enterprise+ *)
DraftSight Premium builds on everything included in Professional, and adds
- Advanced 2D Constraints
- Sheet Sets
- PDF Import
- Dynamic Blocks Editing
- 3D Support
The Mechanical package features industry-specific tools for designers and engineers along with everything included in Premium.
- Mechanical Layers Manager & Layers Groups
- Part References
- Advanced Mechanical Bill of Material
*Enterprise and Enterprise+ are identical to Professional and Premium respectively, with the addition of network licensing and a deployment wizard.
How is DraftSight Licensed?
DraftSight Enterprise and Enterprise+ are available as perpetual and annual subscription-based licences.
Professional, Premium, and Mechanical are only available as subscriptions, either by themselves, or as a part of the 3DEXPERIENCE platform.
Drafsight is available now at CAD Software Direct .com