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DraftSight no longer free

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duncan webster24/09/2019 21:50:38
2591 forum posts
34 photos

As far as I know, all free versions of Draftsight will stop working on the anointed date.

No-one got back to Greensands query, I have had no problem opening dwg produced by Dratsight with other CAD programs, typically Qcad and Solid Edge 2D, I'm going to switch to one or the other.

mgnbuk25/09/2019 07:39:04
766 forum posts
60 photos

I had a look at the Drafsight website yesterday & see that the free version is no longer available - the "free" option now is for a 30 day trial, then an ongoing $99 a year. As I said initially, the "pop-up" that appeared for me which prompted this thread stated that all "free" versions would cease to function at the end of the year - nothing on the website suggests otherwise.

Nigel B

Rod Ashton25/09/2019 12:01:25
320 forum posts
12 photos

I switched to QCAD pro 4/5 weeks ago. It is amazing after a few hours of intro. what nice little touches there are in the workflow. Need to get used to the way of working. But finding new stuff all the time. I have been CAD/CAM ing for 40 plus years and that is the best £30 I have spent on software. No connection to the company whatsoever. Just a happy customer.

Andy Carlson26/09/2019 09:00:05
235 forum posts
97 photos

I've just found this thread. This is something I came across when the messages started to appear earlier this year. I think that several others have made the same decision as me.

I stopped using DraftSight straight away in order to flush out any problems while I could still fire up DraftSight if the need arose.

I now use QCAD free. I use the ODA file converter when I want to convert a DraftSight DWG into DXF. To answer a question posed a couple of weeks back, this can do batch conversions. I have not converted all of my files because converting isn't the full story - they also need to be checked one by one to see if any problems have occurred.

I have no major issues with QCAD. It is different and takes a bit of getting used to. I mainly use CAD for photo etch artwork. This is more about the 'colouring in' than the outlines and this is where I have found a few issues...

In some cases (maybe 5% or so) the conversion has resulted in fills that are not as they were in DraftSight. These have needed manual correction, usually by deleting them and re-creating in QCAD.

The other difference I've found is in the storage of colour info. DraftSight stores layer colours as index colours (red=1, green=3 etc). As far as I can see, QCAD will not do this. It stores all colours as RGB values. None of this causes a problem unless you want to use the colour info for some purpose (which I do). My workflow for the final photo tool uses AutoCAD DWG TrueView to produce two PDF files for the monochrome front and rear masks and this went wrong when I switched to QCAD. So far the only answer I've found is to manually modify the layers back to the corresponding index colours after opening the file in TrueView.

I'm not sure if any of this is relevant to more model engineering uses of CAD, but if you are using layer colours to convey info to another piece of software then it may.

Greensands26/09/2019 09:22:50
62 forum posts
3 photos

I eventually found that batch conversion of DraftSight files to AutoCAD2000 compatible could be carried out using AutoCAD DRW Trueview - all quite painless.

duncan webster01/10/2019 19:45:50
2591 forum posts
34 photos

I've just come across ProgeCAD Free, anyone know if it is any good?


Adrianh08/11/2019 21:10:31
11 forum posts

I use a free version of Nanocad for 2D work, you register as a hobby user .

Gerd Vanhaevere27/12/2019 16:36:16
9 forum posts

Draftsight users , team solidsquat -ssq has just released a fix that will

allow you to use draftsight beyond 31/12/2019 .

I don't think I'm allowed to post a link here , but search the net and you will find .

Be carefull though , there are "fixes" out there that contain nasty virusses and stuff ,

But as far as I can tell ,  this one is clean and does the job .


Edited By Gerd Vanhaevere on 27/12/2019 16:37:52

Greensands02/01/2020 10:26:00
62 forum posts
3 photos

Have just checked out access to my 2017 version of DraftsSght and nothing appears to have changed. All my drawing files seem to be readily accessible as before. I thought we were supposed to have had a problem come the new year?

Roderick Jenkins02/01/2020 10:53:16
1885 forum posts
481 photos

My 2012 version still works.


Andy Carlson02/01/2020 19:12:02
235 forum posts
97 photos

If you remember how DraftSight works... it pops up a re-registration form every so often (maybe once a year??). At this point I think it talks to the central site.

It *may* be that the appearance of this form will be the point at which it's game over for each of us. If so then it will happen at some random (and probably inconvenient) time in the future.

Derek Johnson09/01/2020 11:13:50
7 forum posts

Greetings All

I did not use Draftsight 2018 for 6 months. Early December I tried to do my last sketch, and part way through Draftsight stopped working. I could still view a drawing but could not work as the command line was missing with the print function disabled .

For the future l looked at Qcad but could not easily print parts of a drawing to scale, so this unfortunately was rejected.

I am now using Solid Edge 2D free to finish my sketch. This will print parts of any drawing to scale. As a bonus it will add imperial dimensions to the mm dimensions (as Draftsight allowed).

I was brought up in the imperial world but now hobby design in mm. My micrometers are all imperial.



SillyOldDuffer09/01/2020 18:18:55
5782 forum posts
1230 photos

Posted by Derek Johnson on 09/01/2020 11:13:50:


For the future l looked at Qcad but could not easily print parts of a drawing to scale, so this unfortunately was rejected.



Not a feature I use much but later versions of QCAD do that with 'Viewports'? Doesn't seem difficult to use and the dialogue allows any scale wanted. Not sure when Viewports first appeared, I only discovered them after coughing up recently to see what was new 3 years after my last free update.


Derek Johnson10/01/2020 11:15:31
7 forum posts


Printing to scale using Qcad

Many thanks for the Viewports Tip - It works !!! using Qcad professional version 3.22

What is confusing for a newbe like me is that under the Printing Help Instructions there is no cross reference to View Ports. Changing the scale under the Printing Command I think is only possible using the scale function on my cheap printer! (not easy).

As I have spent a lot of time on Solid Edge 2D I will stick with this at at the present.

Thanks again for your help




Edited By Derek Johnson on 10/01/2020 11:16:27

mgnbuk04/06/2020 13:30:07
766 forum posts
60 photos

Well my work copy of Draftsight has finally stopped working.

I tried to open it yesterday & got the "annual registration" pop-up. When I entered the required details the pop-up closed down but the program didn't start up. I did get an e-mail, though, demanding money to get the latest version as "Draftsight is no longer free" as they put it. That isn't going to happen, as I am not inclined to get involved with "annual subscriptions" for access to software and I am lead to believe that the latest version of Draftsight will not open drawings produced on earlier versions. Can't really understand Dassault Sytems thinking with this change - seems similar to the Photobucket "alienate your established user base to make big money" scenario and where did that get them ? But it is what it is.

So today's drawing was sucessfully completed with the perpetually free basic version of Nanocad. I have been able to configure the interface to be almost exactly the same layout as I had with Draftsight & all the same typed commands worked just fine, so no noticable transition time.

I dare say that differences will come up with more usage (and I am aware of the inability to draw "tangent to tangent" lines between two circles, which is a pity) , but my 2D Cad requirements at work are pretty straightforward and there is usually more than one route to the same end.

Nigel B.

Russell Eberhardt04/06/2020 15:01:01
2577 forum posts
85 photos

I recently received an email from Dassault asking me to complete a survey about Draftight. I told them what I think of them!


Barrie Lever04/06/2020 15:24:30
574 forum posts
56 photos

Fusion360 next !!

Jon Cameron04/06/2020 15:44:16
336 forum posts
90 photos
Posted by Barrie Lever on 04/06/2020 15:24:30:

Fusion360 next !!

I haven't used fusion for a couple of months now, when will this be happening, or is this an assumption/ possible forecast?


mechman4804/06/2020 15:44:41
2663 forum posts
410 photos
Posted by duncan webster on 01/10/2019 19:45:50:

I've just come across ProgeCAD Free, anyone know if it is any good?


Downloaded... got message 'this version will not work on this system' I am running WIN 10



John Hinkley04/06/2020 16:02:12
877 forum posts
293 photos


Follow Duncan's link and scroll down to operating systems requirements and it says that Vista is the latest version of Windows supported. There is a facility to run software in compatibility mode. I wonder if that would work?


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