AAA Drafting Blog

A SolidWorks designer talks about stuff related to CAD and mechanical design

Friday, November 12, 2010

Will free drafting software cause problems for AutoCAD ?

For years AutoCAD has been the most popular 2D drafting software. AutoCAD's one program for everybody approach and backward version compatibility has always been appreciated by mechanical, civil, structural and architectural drafters and designers alike.

To compete with AutoCAD, other CAD software firms use the same file format that Autodesk created and even go as far as copying commands word for word in their software. I cant think of too many industries where the competition virtually duplicates the look and feel of an existing piece of software.

Companies such as Dassault Systemes are now giving away 2D drafting software for free. Their new DraftSight 2D CAD software product is a fully functional CAD drafting program. Google's Sketchup continues to enjoy wide acceptance by the architectural world and its 3D “push-pull” features are even being copied by AutoCAD in its latest 2011 release.

The key here will be whether Google and Dassault can maintain consistent releases of their free products and provide the support to keep their user base happy. To the extent they do, they will gain the trust and of the CAD community. Without that support, CAD users will probably stay with what they know best.


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