List of open source and free alternatives to AutoCAD

I got a lot of messages and questions about how to use open source tools to work with architectural visualization, or even technical drawing on Linux. Besides the questions about Blender that I got on my classes and presentations, the most often question is about an open source alternative for AutoCAD. People always ask that right after I show some of my projects on Blender and mention that they were completely created with open source tools. Since this is common question, I decided to put up a list with the tools I know that could work like a free alternative to AutoCAD.


(Screenshot from FreeCAD)


(Screenshot from PythonCAD)

Here is the list:

This list is for to show all tools. In fact, if you know any other tool that should be on that list of open source CAD softwares, please suggest it on the comments and I will add it to the article.

Do you know any other project or CAD alternative that should be listed here?

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  1. Ash says:

    I’m always read your blog with pleasure, thanks for it.

    There is new russian product called nanocad. It very powerfull, has some interesting tools for working with raster images, supports dwg. Its completely free (base Nanocad) for home and commercial use except more specialized satellites (those paid by year subscription and cost lesser than Autodesk products).
    You can watch it and download here

    But it’s only in russian (afaik). Btw international users can ask for english version on the forum
    Maybe its not the problem for making int. version.
    Google thanslate can help you.

    Best regards and sorry for my english.

  2. reezjer says:

    Doublecad XT – but Windowz only i think

  3. says:

    I recently started working with DOUBLECAD.
    I Thought I got it from your site, perhaps you forgot to mention it in your list or perhaps you changed your mind and don’t like doublecad anymore.
    I think it is the most complete compared to autocad.
    Even 3D works fine.


  4. Ejnaren says:

    Im not sure yet if this is a good program.
    I have not worked with it.
    But it is Open source and it is CAD…

  5. m.ardito says:

    I searched for some similar software in the past, but not limited to linux OS. I don’t know if the following should be there (never used/tried) but you can take a look at this too:

    for windows platform, there could be others…


  6. m.ardito says:

    This list can be helpful, too:


  7. heathenx says:

    It’s not open-source but it’s free and will be available to all three major platforms (Linux, Mac, Windows…for now Windows only) by the end of the year.

    DraftSight by Dessault Systemes (SolidWorks team).

    I have it installed on my Win7 box. Works great. Can export to SVG for Inkscape too. ;)

  8. Fred says:

    There is also HeeksCAD (but, I’ve never used it) :

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  10. Juan says:

    Thank you so much heathenx, I just have download draftsight and it works great on Ubuntu via wine!

    Thanks again!

  11. Andrés says:

    * QCAD -> Poor aplication. Whitout support.
    * FreeCAD -> Great work!!
    * BRL-CAD -> Only for military use and It has bugs.
    * Archimedes -> almost death…
    * PythonCAD -> I think it is a very early development stage.

    Doublecad XT is not Open Source, just free.
    Cademia is Open Source. Good work!
    NttCAD Versión: R_2009_11_07 Free but not Open Source

    Look this link

    I think this is a great blog!

  12. tobias says:

    What about NaroCAD?

    It’s GPL v2 as far as I know, uses OpenCASCADE (like FreeCAD and HeeksCAD).
    Probably Windows only because it uses C# and Ribbons.


  13. msentuk says:

    another alterntives is kedicad from pardus linux user:

  14. s manocha says:

    try progecad 2008 it is free it works similar to autocaad

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