The cost of a professional 3D CAD software package drafting program is way above budget for most people. This means that the availability of free CAD drawing software is important for people, who operate small businesses or are learning their trade as a CAD drafter. Although most education institutions use AutoCAD or Inventor, there are some great free CAD systems around, which will be discussed in this article.
What to look for
Whether you are looking for a CAD Program for MAC or CAD tools for use on a PC, there are many options out there. The nature of free programs does though come with its pitfalls and limitations. Most good CAD engineering or 3D drawing software will have a limited version for personal use or that can be used by students. This kind of drafting software will usually be much better, than the open source packages, which can be downloaded for free. What platforms are best? CAD computers have traditionally been made by Apple, but with the amount of freely available software for the PC platform, the majority of computer drawing is now done in a PC. This has made it easier for CAD designers to get into the business, as they no longer need to have an expensive CAD machine.
Some suggested software packages
While there are many drawing programs available for the budding computer designer, some are better than others, when it comes to getting in to mechanical drawing. The following two titles are some of the best CAD drafting titles available for free today. Creo Elements/Direct It used to be known as CoCreate and is a great package, that is used widely by professionals, because of its versatility. The paid for version is much better than the free version, but the free version is still a very powerful piece of kit, with wire frame modeling and an easy-to-use drag and drop interface. T-Flex Student It is a fully-functional Computer Aided Design software package, that handles all sorts of design drawing. The downside of the student software is that anything you produce can only be used in the student version of T-Flex. This is to ensure that you aren't producing CAD plans for clients, which is great if you just want to use it for in-house development.