Autocad Alternatives Test

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Autocad Alternatives Test

Posted in : autocad, download, drawing, review on by : TruXter

Decided to try a few alternatives to AutoCAD and see if I can cut my next upgrade costs.
Here’s the list of programs I found that seemed like the best options for replacing AutoCAD
I tried a few but these are the only ones that made the list.

Specs for the test computer
Windows 7 Ultimate 64
16 gigs DDR3
AMD 6300 six-Core Processor 3.5 GHz

For test reasons I used one of my Fire Alarm templates. Since it is full of my most common blocks and xrefs. This allows me to see if I can operate normally (or better) without any slowdowns to my daily tasks at work. My template is in DWT format and 1=1 scale.The template has 4 layout views that have viewports set to 1/8 scale on print.
I design in 2d only. My job is for permitting process, so no need in 3d design software. So this is a 2d drafting and design test only.

ProgeCAD

ProgeCAD

ProgeCAD

Progecad’s website
Alternative to AutoCAD at a price range of just under $500
I installed the trial version so I can see if ProgeCAD has what I need for the drafting work I do
So far ProgeCAD does everything that autoCAD.

blocks inserted fine
Commands ran as they do in autocad

LibreCAD

AutoCAD vs LibreCAD

AutoCAD vs LibreCAD

LibreCaD’s Website
Free Drafting software alternative to AutoCAD
This is a much slower program and seemed to only work (kinda worked) with DXF files.
LibreCAD opened very slow and zero of my commands worked.
No idea why anyone would work with DXF, since DXF files load so poorly it makes you feel like you are in the middle of a memory dump.
LibreCAD wouldn’t load my blocks and would not load the DWT template file.
Lines were very hard to draw between hesitations and jumps in the program.

FreeCAD

FreeCAD

FreeCAD

Would not load a DWG file right away but would see one in folder.
Would not load DXF files and a message popped up saying to run some sort of importer, the first time I tried.
Import function in menu did nothing. Was not able to click that option.
I did however get a DXF file to open. Which opened very slowly.
The scroll function by use of the mouse wheel, worked smooth and fast. not hesitation whatsoever.
Weird thing is room labels and doors did not show up in the DXF file I used, though they are all there in other AutoCAD alternatives.
Could not copy symbols from autoCAD and paste them into FreeCAD.
No sign of layout tabs.

NanoCAD
nanocadvsautocad
Another Cad alternative that is on a “buy” only service.
I am currently using the trial version for testing and I have to say this one seems to run well and quite strong,
All commands and functions work.
If I want to insert a dynamic block, it inserts and the all of the options work as I designed them to.
NanoCAD looks like it has the best price range. From what I see the price starts at less than $200 and I see no higher prices so. NanoCAD seems to be the winner here.
Works with DWG and DWT template files. Good enough for me to like.
NanoCAD website.

Sketchup
Did not open dwg,dwt or dxf files
Sketchup is not able to be tested for my needs.
Inconclusive.

Fact is, for what I need, the free versions of AutoCAD alternatives just were not worth the download nor the install.

If I had to select one and someone else was buying, I would get the Progecad. The price is just a fraction of AutoCAD and every function I normally need is right there in ProgeCAD.
but if I was buying it for myself, I would pick nanoCAD. Everything just works flawlessly and the price is currently half the price of ProgeCAD.

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