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Free 2D drawing programs

Computer program

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Ian Strickland 128/03/2019 17:46:52
4 forum posts

Can anybody help me find a free 2D drawing program so I can draw engineering plans of whatever I want to make or have made, so I can email them to whom ever, say MEW for an article I want to submit?

SillyOldDuffer28/03/2019 18:02:02
4421 forum posts
957 photos

I always vote for QCAD when this question is asked. Others have their favourites.

It can be downloaded from this LINK

Note there are two versions: QCAD-Pro costs about £30 and this includes 1 years worth of upgrades. The Community edition is free; it's not quite as whizzy as the Pro version but that won't matter for occasional use. QCAD Community is currently distributed in a bundle with a 15 minute trial of the Pro version; if you don't want to pay, the free version works.

Dave

AdrianR28/03/2019 18:34:44
229 forum posts
19 photos

I have just started to use LibreCAD It is a bit more basic than QCAD but is totally free.

Simon036229/03/2019 08:08:35
155 forum posts
54 photos

I use 3D almost exclusively now but still have SolidEdge on the PC - this is free for the 2D version and comes from Siemens and is a) pretty reliable and b) very professional. Was always very impressed with it.

Needs a new enable key every year and its a pure PC based solution (Mac & Linux, don't know).

Outputs in all the standard formats, don't think there are any restrictions at all.

Solid Edge

HTH

Simon

Peter G. Shaw29/03/2019 09:39:37
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966 forum posts
39 photos

There is a very old and unsupported 2D program called Draft Choice for Windows. This was the very first CAD program I ever used and I found it quite palatable and easy to use, especially as there was an excellent teaching guide to it, bearing in mind that at the time I knew absolutely nothing about CAD.

The problem that I had was that as I upgraded my computers, the program became more and more unreliable, however, I understand that it works absolutely fine on modern machines. Unfortunately, this unreliability meant I had to look elsewhere otherwise I would still be using Draft Choice.

Draft Choice was originally created by the same people (Trius Inc) who created the spreadsheet program As Easy As, however Trius changed direction some years ago, stopped supporting both programs and consequently made both programs completely free to download along with the relevant free licenses.

Peter G. Shaw

SverreE29/03/2019 09:46:09
22 forum posts
14 photos

There is a very good "AutoCad-like" program called Draftsight. The program is free, but you have to activate it every year (email etc.)

Another option is to go for a 3D program, I use DesignSpark Mechanical, and this can of course be used for 2D drawings. Free download here:

**LINK**

Regards Sverre

duncan webster29/03/2019 10:05:46
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2112 forum posts
27 photos

According to another thread Draftsight won't be free for much longer, and already installed ones will die.

death of Draftsight

the other thread goes into other programs available

Brian G29/03/2019 10:38:37
490 forum posts
9 photos
Posted by duncan webster on 29/03/2019 10:05:46:

According to another thread Draftsight won't be free for much longer, and already installed ones will die.

death of Draftsight

the other thread goes into other programs available

Can the moderators merge threads? It is as if two parallel conversations are taking place on the same subject.

Brian

Ian Strickland 111/04/2019 18:05:04
4 forum posts

Thanks to all who responded to my help about finding a 2D drawing program.

I have tried Solid Edge by Siemens but I found their tutorials not very helpful, in fact I couldn't really get started at all. It seems to be a very complicated program.

LibreCAD I could get to work but the tutorial seemed to be written for a slightly different version, also not all the functions worked or didn't work consistently. Also changes made to line thickness doesn't show up on the working screen only in the print preview which is not very helpful.

So what do folk think og QCAD? either the bought version or the free version.

Thanks again for all your help.

Ian Strickland

Bazyle12/04/2019 00:13:58
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4593 forum posts
185 photos

Have you looked at FreeCAD which is er free. It has multiple 'workbenches' which you can move between. So there is a sketch option, drawing option, architectural drawing, and 3D. I've only just started trying it but there are some examples on the forum gallery that look pretty advanced so it would appear to be quite capable.

Sandgrounder12/04/2019 07:10:47
162 forum posts
2 photos

There is this one, I've never used it though.

https://www.cad-schroer.com/products/medusa4-personal/

Michael Gilligan12/04/2019 07:19:08
avatar
13298 forum posts
578 photos
Posted by Ian Strickland 1 on 11/04/2019 18:05:04:

So what do folk think og QCAD? either the bought version or the free version.

.

A lot of folk like it, Ian yes

Hint: Try putting QCAD in the search box that's about half way down the home page of this site.

https://www.model-engineer.co.uk

MichaelG.

Edited By Michael Gilligan on 12/04/2019 07:22:14

Rod Ashton12/04/2019 07:19:41
284 forum posts
12 photos

I have been a CAD draughtsman for 50 years now. Unbelievable! Just enjoyed trialling the free and semi-free CAD & CAM offerings since hearing about the end of free Draftsight. For me Librecad for 2D and Freecad for 2 and 3D. I suggest if you "put your time in" to assimilate yourself to the particular way of working in Freecad you will be well rewarded and then quite intrigued by its constant evolution, as I have been.

John Haine12/04/2019 08:49:10
2548 forum posts
132 photos

Ian, unless you want to export your drawings to CAM then a free, reliable, and easy to use package is Open Office, which gives you "Draw" as well as word processing and spreadsheets.

fizzy12/04/2019 09:43:15
avatar
1580 forum posts
104 photos

I use autocad - very not free, and very not friendly! I have just tried QCAD and am completely converted. Its so simple to use and there is a plethera of online support - thanks chaps!

SillyOldDuffer12/04/2019 10:49:23
4421 forum posts
957 photos
Posted by fizzy on 12/04/2019 09:43:15:

I use autocad - very not free, and very not friendly! I have just tried QCAD and am completely converted. Its so simple to use and there is a plethera of online support - thanks chaps!

Loads of bells and whistles make AutoCAD difficult to learn. And it's over the top for even moderately complex mechanical engineering drawings, especially if you don't need 3D. I don't think it's a good choice for most Model Engineers unless the owner intends doing lots of complicated drawings against the clock. (Do you design spiral-staircases?)

QCAD is considerably simpler. It reminds me of Drafix/Autosketch. I find QCAD effective for 99% of my 2D drawing needs, which are usually of single parts, not assemblies. It's a good match to my 2D needs - capable and not too complicated! The free version is good, but once you get going the Pro version has a number of features worth paying for.

Dave

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