Free Drafting Software: 10 Best CAD Programs for Engineers

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Every engineer mastered his CAD skills with free drafting software. It helps them experience hands-on 3D modeling without paying.

There is free software that matches most features of premium programs. If you need one, then here is the top 10 free CAD software that you can download easily.





IronCAD allows you to import other CAD files made from other software. You can assemble or disassemble the parts of existing models and reuse the whole 3D data with use of drag and drop function. It saves your file in various formats like PDF, STL, and other 3D facet formats. It’s free to download with real-time support.



9. AutoCAD Student Version

AutoCAD Student Version

This is the official free version of AutoCAD which means it’s compatible with models made from premium versions of AutoCAD. It features full functionalities of AutoCAD except for the watermark. It includes the design tools necessary to create 3D models. You will also get an access to its real-time support features.



8. Google SketchUp

Google SketchUp

3D hobbyists find this program easy, fun, and free to use. It allows you to choose vector, raster, and simple-to-use rendering modes. It gives you accurate measurement with advanced camera tools. It uses built-in Google Maps, allowing you to add locations for more accurate results.



7. DraftSight


DraftSight is 2D CAD tool compatible with different operating systems. Its interface is almost similar to AutoCAD. You can use it generate models with full layers, dimensions, texts, polylines, and lines. It saves your data in .DWG which is compatible with AutoCAD software.





DRAFT IT features dynamic editing tools including snaps and visual handles. It has tutorial exercises, help system, text editor, and dimension tools. MS Office 2007 will find its interface familiar with zoom and pan functions. Its powerful designing tools include circle, arc, line, offset, rectangle, and arrays.



5. Rhino 5.0

 Rhino 5.0

Rhino 5.0 is the free drafting software that will help you make high-quality 3D presentations and models. It features a unique Rhino renderer with enhancements to lighting, views, animations, post-rendering effects, materials, textures, and mesh modifiers. It has new tools in its interface including toolbars with tabs, docking panels, and manipulation widget. The free version will have limited functionalities after 25 saves until you purchase a license.



4. Sweet Home 3D

Sweet Home 3D

Home design is never made easy with Sweet Home 3D. You can download the software for offline use but you can also use it online with no download requirements. It features free 800 premade models that you can use with real-time support from its community. You can also use thousands of textures to cover your designing needs.



3. Blender


This stand-alone 3D CAD program features a complete VFX pipeline for better output. It has built-in rendering engines that give you CPU & GPU rendering, HDR lighting, and external linking. You can easily transform a character model by using its fast rigging features. You will enjoy its animation toolset and sculpting tools too.



2. progeCAD Smart!

progeCAD Smart!

The progeCAD Smart! is very similar to AutoCAD. The similarities include standard commands, interface, menu items, font compatibility, and script. It features express tools and basic rendering toolsets. It allows you to export your 3D designs to JPG and PDF.



1. FreeCAD


This program is perfect for beginners because it features analyses tools in its 3D modeling options. It is an open-sourced tool, allowing you to download numerous plugins or modules that you can use in its modular architecture function. You can also import or export formats like IGES, STEP, OBJ, SVG, DXF, DAE, OFF, STL, and IFC. Tutorials and support are available from its online community.


3D designing is not easy. Unfortunately, engineers must have 3D designing skills. It’s rare to find engineers today who don’t know how to use a CAD program.


Premium software is no doubt perfect for both advance users and beginners. But, some free programs remain useful. You can start with free software before buying premium versions. Most free CAD programs feature easy-to-use tools and user-friendly interface. Try to familiarize how they work first before changing to more advanced software.


If you know better free drafting software than what we’ve listed, then share it under the comments section and tell us more about it.


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