|Glyn Davies||04/03/2019 16:59:33|
|113 forum posts|
For about the last eight years I have enjoyed access to AutoCAD 2011 and have used it extensively for creating 2D drawings of parts to make, for importing images at scale and creating 2D drawings of from them and the odd bit of 3D modelling to create photo realistic images and to calculate surface areas to calculate anodising currents.
My access to AutoCAD has now been removed and I need something affordable that ideally is similar to use and at least gets me my 2D capability back. Are all CAD packages now subscription based (autoCAD 2019 is £1700 per annum!) or can I buy one for a one off price? Any help would be much appreciated! Thanks
|duncan webster||04/03/2019 17:06:06|
2267 forum posts
Draftsight is free and is very very similar to AutoCad
|4843 forum posts|
Depends on how full-featured you need 2D CAD to be but I find QCAD does everything I need. It's not an AutoCAD clone, but is reminiscent of AutoSketch. Although qcad supports isometric drawing, it doesn't do proper 3D. It calculates 2D areas and can import images over which 2d drawings can be placed.
Alternatively you might upgrade to 3D. Fusion360 is free for hobby use and Alibre is currently on offer with a MEW tutorial and support thread running on this forum. Both are able to generate 2D drawings from their 3D models. Not sure without checking if either can calculate the surface area of a 3D object, but I wouln't be surprised!
|Brian Oldford||04/03/2019 17:24:46|
582 forum posts
Very painless migration path from AutoCAD too. It will accept many AutoCad commands directly Pattern/Array f'instance.
|272 forum posts|
I dont know much about CAD software, so cant recommend one, but do you know about open source software? It is free to use and is written by users for users. Note this is different to free ware, that usually comes full of adverts or malicious code.
If you google for "open source alternative to autocad" you will find quite a few that you can then look at the features to decide what you like the best.
|Barrie Lever||04/03/2019 18:37:55|
|323 forum posts|
As Duncan has mentioned Draftsight is free and very much an AutoCAD clone, there is also Bricscad which is also an AutoCAD clone.
Draftsight is very unlikely to ever have a full 3D capability as it is made by Dassault who also produce Solidworks. Bricscad has resonable 3D capability.
Maybe think about Alibre, although not an AutoCAD clone still a nice piece of software.
|Brian G||04/03/2019 18:49:46|
|614 forum posts|
Best thing about Draftsight (apart from being free and "feeling" just like AutoCAD) is that although it has its own syntax you can type many AutoCAD commands and it recognises them as well.
|John McNamara||04/03/2019 21:50:02|
1309 forum posts
Anyway I did a bit of searching and found the following links.
|Brian Baker 1||05/03/2019 08:10:55|
94 forum posts
Plus one for QCad.
Worth buying the book as well.
|532 forum posts|
Another Draftsight user here. I used Autocad LT at my last employment & find I can use Draftsight in the same way & with the same commands & mouse clicks as Autocad. There is a requirement to re-validate your details annually to use it, but this is quick & easy to do if you are on-line.
I recently downloaded DesignSpark Mechanical 3D software from RS Components to have a tentative stab at 3D CAD, but have yet to find time to have a go. This is also free, though you need to set up a DesignSpark account to validate it. My PC doesn't meet the specs for Fusion 360 (32 bit OS), but DesignSpark Mechanical runs fine.
|Glyn Davies||05/03/2019 08:58:05|
|113 forum posts|
Well, as usual with this forum, an absolutely brilliant response to my question. Many thanks for the replies. I've just downloaded Draftsight free and have been having a play. It imports my AutoCAD drawings, so that's a relief, and as has been said, the interface is kind of familiar.
But I sort of feel that having lost autoCAD, my life has taken a slight turn for the worse, so, in desperation, I did an ebay search and, behold! - Autocad 2019 full 3 years subscription for £8.95! I'll give it a go and report back.
|Paul Lousick||05/03/2019 09:17:26|
|1212 forum posts|
£8.95 for a 3 year subscription sounds a bit suspect. In Australia it costs A$7,000 for a 3 year subscription.
Is it the software or just a tutorial/book. If software, check that it is not a pirate copy.
Edited By Paul Lousick on 05/03/2019 09:24:34
|4843 forum posts|
Could there be anything wrong installing a product on your computer costing £8.95 when the real thing is £4400+VAT?
Given that there are genuinely good alternatives to AutoCAD I wouldn't touch an £8.95 'offer' with a barge-pole. At best it's a pirate copy, at worst it's stuffed with malware. Normally, it's quite hard for the bad guys to get their wickedness installed on the victim's computer. The very best way is to con an administrator to load it. Like as not this is a honeypot.
If you want to try it, don't install it directly. Instead set up a virtual machine like VirtualBox, VMWare or one of the others and install it on that. Then if 'ebay Autocad' craps on you the damage will be contained inside the VM, which can be deleted, and with minimum risk of contaminating your real computer.
|Glyn Davies||05/03/2019 09:32:03|
|113 forum posts|
Hmm.. The ebay listing gets seven glowing five star reviews and one one star review in Spanish that warns that you all get is a link to the free educational version of AutoCAD.
Ah well, as the atomic scientist said..
|Glyn Davies||05/03/2019 14:08:34|
|113 forum posts|
Just in conclusion - the more I play with Draftsight the more capability I find. Things like spline, rotate reference, scale reference, fillet are all there, just not on the main ribbon. So thanks again for the suggestion - life is good once more!
|Paul M||05/03/2019 14:17:18|
|30 forum posts|
I have used QCAD for a few years now. As an ex AutoCad user, I find it similar and very easy to migrate to.
Also starting using Fusion360 for 3D work.
Agree with others not to touch AutoCad at £8.95.
|4843 forum posts|
As a QCAD user I wondered what I was missing by not spending five thousand quid on AutoCAD 2019!
The answer is AutoCAD supports a wider range of drawing types plus many time-saving features useful to professionals. For instance there are huge libraries of industry standard parts the draughtsman can drop into his drawings rather than create himself. Also 'workbenches' tuned to particular drawing needs: Architectural, Plant, Electrical, Maps, Mechanical, and a combined 'Mechanical, Electrical, Plumbing' workbench. Each workbench is full featured, including automated drawing processes. A busy drawing office would benefit. An Office Block would be designed far faster in Autocad than, say, QCAD, not because QCAD doesn't have the primitives needed to produce the same drawings manually, but because AutoCAD is thoroughly 'power assisted'.
Apart from the price of AutoCAD, the other downside of high-end packages is the extended learning curve. In contrast, QCAD is moderately well supported with libraries, and although it has all the basic drawing tools needed to produce 2D engineering drawings, it doesn't have complicated extras. I'm happy with QCAD in the sense I don't need GPS, Radar, Air Traffic Control and a Flight Computer to get to my local supermarket! Quite likely a Model Engineer would never use AutoCAD's Plant, Electrical, Architectural, MEP or Mapping capabilities. Most of us I think would be content with a straightforward 2D tool.
318 forum posts
My old boss had a chum at Autodesk so we got a free copy up to r14 when I departed. I now use AutoCAD look alike ProgeCAD, not free but near enough when you compare prices with the real thing. One excellent feature is you buy it, Not too keen on that rental stuff even if I did buy 2 years for the price of 1 Fusion360.
|Brian H||05/03/2019 16:49:37|
1288 forum posts
I'm a newcomer to CAD/CAM and tried Fusion 360 last year but gave up because I couldn'd do anything with it.
Then I read about someone who was learning Fusion 360 with help from Lars Christiansens videos and decided to try again.
After only a short time I have drawn up the axleboxes for my next project and produced the shop drawing for them and the best part for we model engineers is that it is free and contains all the help you could ever need.
|Jeff Dayman||05/03/2019 17:24:08|
|1656 forum posts|
A while ago I was looking for a manual online for a particular machine's transmission, long out of production. I found lots of manuals from the usual US based sources at the $50-$75 price point. Seemed a bit hefty so I looked elsewhere and found a listing for one at $15.95 from one of the auction sites. Ordered it, and a couple of weeks later it arrived. It was a colour photocopy of the cover page of the manual - and no other pages. Total and complete ripoff.
Just mentioning it as a caution to beware the deep discount prices online. You may or may not get what you pay for.
Please login to post a reply.
Want the latest issue of Model Engineer or Model Engineers' Workshop? Use our magazine locator links to find your nearest stockist!
You can contact us by phone, mail or email about the magazines including becoming a contributor, submitting reader's letters or making queries about articles. You can also get in touch about this website, advertising or other general issues.
Click THIS LINK for full contact details.
For subscription issues please see THIS LINK.