9 Free Autocad Alternatives for Designers

CAD software is an essential tool for designers and can be expensive to purchase. Thankfully, there are 9 free Autocad Alternative available that provide many of the same features and options as Autocad for designing. Users can expect these programs to offer a range of features from simple drawing tools and object manipulation features, to more complex 2D and 3D modeling tools. Many of the programs also include helpful editing tools including Hatch styles, copying, pasting and mirroring functions, join operations, transform attributes, text styling capabilities and much more. With such powerful cad software now being offered free of charge, even small design businesses now have access to the same type of powerful cad software used by large corporations.

Is there a free AutoCAD alternative?

Yes, there are many options, but it depends on your needs.

Free Autocad Alternatives:


FreeCAD is an excellent alternative to AutoCAD, considering it is a free software available for anyone to use without any charges. This powerful CAD (Computer-Aided Design) tool provides users with a range of features and functionalities similar to AutoCAD, making it an ideal choice for those looking for a cheaper or cost-effective option. With FreeCAD, users can create and modify 2D and 3D designs, making it suitable for various industries such as architecture, engineering, and product design. The fact that FreeCAD is a free and open-source software allows users to not only save on costly software expenses but also benefit from its active community of developers, who contribute to the continuous improvement of the program. Whether you are a professional designer or an enthusiast, FreeCAD offers a great, accessible solution that can rival AutoCAD in terms of flexibility and functionality, all while being free of charge. OpenSCAD OpenSCAD is another free autocad alternative and open-source software that allows users to create precision-engineered 3D models. It is unique in that it uses a script-based approach, making it ideal for those with programming experience. With OpenSCAD, users can define their models using a simple and intuitive scripting language. This scripting language allows for the creation of complex geometries, parametric designs, and precise measurements. Users have complete control over the design process, as they can specify exact dimensions, angles, and shapes. Additionally, OpenSCAD offers the ability to combine primitive shapes, apply transformations, and even perform Boolean operations on the models. This enables users to create highly detailed and intricate designs, suitable for various applications including engineering, prototyping, and 3D printing. OpenSCAD also supports the import and export of common 3D file formats such as STL and DXF, allowing for seamless integration with other CAD and 3D printing software. Overall, OpenSCAD offers a powerful and efficient solution for creating precision-engineered 3D models. Its script-based approach, combined with its extensive design capabilities, make it an invaluable tool for professionals and enthusiasts alike.


With TinkerCAD, you can easily create 3D models and designs using simple shapes and tools. The platform offers a variety of pre-designed shapes that you can drag and drop into your workspace, allowing you to quickly build your desired design. TinkerCAD also allows you to modify objects by resizing, rotating, and grouping them together. This intuitive interface makes it easy for beginners to experiment and learn the basics of 3D design. Furthermore, TinkerCAD offers features such as alignment tools, smart snapping, and rulers, which help you create precise designs. These tools ensure that your models are accurate and well-proportioned. Another advantage of TinkerCAD is its collaborative capabilities. The cloud-based platform enables you to easily share your designs with others, allowing for real-time feedback and collaboration. This is especially useful for students or teams working on group projects. TinkerCAD supports various file formats, including STL, OBJ, and SVG, making it compatible with most 3D printers. You can seamlessly export your designs and bring them to life using a 3D printer or even send them to a professional 3D printing service. Overall, TinkerCAD provides a simplified and user-friendly approach to 3D design, making it an excellent choice for beginners. Its intuitive interface, collaborative features, and compatibility with 3D printers make it the perfect starting point for anyone interested in the world of 3D design. TinkerCAD is a great free autocad alternative.


Blender is a powerful and versatile software that is widely used by professional 3D creators and animators. It provides a comprehensive set of tools and features that allow artists to create highly detailed and realistic 3D models, visual effects, animations, and simulations. One of the main reasons why Blender is considered invaluable for professionals is its open-source nature. This means that the software is constantly being improved and updated by a large community of developers, ensuring that it stays up-to-date with the latest industry standards and trends. Blender also offers a vast array of modeling tools, including sculpting, texturing, and rigging, allowing artists to create complex and intricate 3D models with ease. Its advanced rendering capabilities, with options for ray tracing, global illumination, and realistic materials, help to create stunning visuals. Additionally, Blender’s animation tools are highly regarded, offering a wide range of features such as keyframing, timeline editing, motion tracking, and character rigging. This allows animators to bring their characters and scenes to life with fluid and realistic movements. Moreover, Blender supports various file formats, making it compatible with other industry-standard software and pipelines, promoting collaboration between different professionals. Overall, Blender’s extensive features, flexibility, and ability to produce high-quality results make it an invaluable tool for professional 3D creators and animators. From creating intricate models to animating captivating scenes, Blender provides the necessary tools and resources to bring their creative visions to life.

SketchUp Free

With SketchUp Free, users have access to a suite of powerful 3D modeling tools directly in their web browser. This cloud-based solution allows users to create, edit, and share 3D models without the need for any software installation or heavy hardware requirements. SketchUp Free offers a variety of features to assist in the creation of 3D models. Users can draw and manipulate shapes, apply materials and textures, add realistic lighting, and even animate their designs. The intuitive interface and user-friendly tools make it easy for anyone, from beginners to professionals, to bring their ideas to life. Collaboration is made simple with SketchUp Free. Users can easily share their models with others, allowing for seamless collaboration and feedback. The cloud-based nature of the software ensures that everyone is always working with the most up-to-date version of the model. SketchUp Free also integrates with other SketchUp products and extensions, allowing users to further enhance their modeling experience. Whether it’s creating detailed architectural models, designing furniture, or visualizing landscapes, SketchUp Free provides all the necessary tools to make it happen. Overall, SketchUp Free is a powerful 3D modeling solution that offers a wide range of features and accessibility from any device with an internet connection. Its cloud-based approach makes it a convenient choice for both personal and professional use.

Fusion 360 (free for hobbyists and startups)

Fusion 360 is a powerful and versatile software tool that is highly regarded by mechanical engineers, product designers, and fabricators. It combines a range of essential features and tools that make it indispensable for professionals in these fields. One of the key aspects that makes Fusion 360 a must-have tool is its comprehensive 3D modeling capabilities. It allows users to create detailed and realistic models of their designs, enabling them to visualize and iterate on their ideas before manufacturing. This feature is particularly valuable for mechanical engineers who need to ensure that their designs are functional and optimized for efficient operation. Additionally, Fusion 360 offers robust simulation and analysis tools that enable engineers to test the performance and behavior of their designs in various real-world scenarios. This capability helps identify potential issues or areas for improvement early in the design process, saving time and resources in the long run. Collaboration is another key strength of Fusion 360. It provides cloud-based storage and collaboration features, allowing multiple team members to work on the same project simultaneously. This promotes seamless communication and streamlines the design and manufacturing processes, making it an essential tool for product designers and fabricators working in teams. Furthermore, Fusion 360 integrates seamlessly with other software applications commonly used in the industry, such as computer-aided manufacturing (CAM) and computer-aided engineering (CAE) tools. This interoperability ensures a smooth workflow across different stages of the design and manufacturing process, enhancing productivity and efficiency. Overall, Fusion 360’s comprehensive set of features, its ability to facilitate collaboration, and its integration with other industry-standard tools make it a must-have tool for mechanical engineers, product designers, and fabricators. Its versatility and ease of use have established it as an essential software in the industry, enabling professionals to design, analyze, and fabricate high-quality products efficiently.


With QCAD, users can create precise and accurate technical drawings and schematics with ease. It offers a wide range of drawing tools, including lines, arcs, circles, ellipses, splines, and polylines. These tools can be used to create complex geometry and intricate designs. One of the key features of QCAD is its support for multiple file formats. Users can import existing drawings and schematics from various file formats such as DWG, DXF, SVG, and more. They can also export their drawings in these formats, making it easy to collaborate and share designs with others. QCAD also offers advanced features such as layers, blocks, and dimensioning tools. Layers allow users to organize their drawings and manage different components of the design. Blocks enable users to create reusable components and quickly populate their drawings with commonly used elements. Dimensioning tools help users accurately annotate and measure their drawings. In addition to these features, QCAD provides various options for customization. Users can customize their workspace, toolbars, and menus to suit their preferences and workflow. The software also supports scripting and automation, allowing users to create scripts to automate repetitive tasks or add custom functionality. Overall, QCAD is a valuable free autocad alternative tool for professionals in fields such as architecture, engineering, and manufacturing. It provides a comprehensive set of drawing tools, support for multiple file formats, and features that streamline the creation and management of technical drawings and schematics.


With LibreCAD, users can create precise 2D designs and drawings with ease. It provides a wide range of tools for creating lines, arcs, circles, and other geometric shapes. It also offers advanced control over dimensions, layers, and styles, allowing users to customize their drawings to their exact specifications. One of the key features of LibreCAD is its ability to work with multiple layers. This allows users to organize their drawings by separating different elements onto different layers, making it easier to manage complex designs. Users can also define different line styles, colors, and lineweights for each layer, further enhancing the visual representation of their drawings. LibreCAD also supports the use of blocks, allowing users to create reusable sections of their drawings. This can be particularly useful when designing complex structures or objects that consist of repetitive elements. By creating blocks, users can save time and ensure consistency in their designs. In addition, LibreCAD offers various annotation tools, including text and dimensioning. Users can add notes, labels, titles, and dimensions to their drawings, making it easier to convey necessary information and specifications to others. Furthermore, LibreCAD supports a wide range of file formats, including the popular DXF and DWG formats. This enables users to import and export their drawings to other CAD software and collaborate with users of different systems. Overall, LibreCAD provides a powerful yet intuitive platform for creating technical drawings and diagrams. Its wide range of tools, customizable features, and compatibility with other CAD software make it a valuable tool for engineers, architects, designers, and anyone in need of precise 2D drafting capabilities.


BricsCAD is a CAD software that provides users with fast and convenient design capabilities. It offers a wide range of tools and features for creating and editing 2D and 3D designs. With its cloud-based power, users can access their projects from anywhere and collaborate with team members in real-time. One of the key advantages of BricsCAD is its speed. It is built on a powerful engine that allows for efficient processing and rendering of complex designs. This means that users can work with large files and intricate details without experiencing any lag or slowdown. In addition to speed, BricsCAD is also known for its convenience. It offers a user-friendly interface that is easy to navigate and understand. The software provides intuitive tools and commands that streamline the design process, making it more efficient and productive. Users can also customize the interface to suit their preferences and work style. The cloud-based functionality of BricsCAD further enhances its convenience. Users can store their design files in the cloud, allowing for easy access and collaboration. This means that multiple team members can work on the same project simultaneously, making it ideal for remote work or distributed teams. Overall, BricsCAD offers a combination of speed, convenience, and cloud-based power that makes it an appealing choice for CAD design. It is suitable for a wide range of industries and professionals, including architects, engineers, product designers, and more.


If you’re in the design field, then you know Autocad is one of the most popular software programs. But what if you can’t afford the high price tag? Or maybe you’re just looking for something different. Whatever your reasons are, we have good news: there are plenty of free Autocad alternative programs available! In this blog post, we highlighted 9 of our favorites. Did we miss any? Let us know in the comments below!

If you are looking for a steel detailing software, we have a list here:

Still have questions?

Here is a short FAQ list to help you navigate through those.

Q: What are some free alternative to Autocad?

A: Some free alternatives to Autocad include LibreCAD, FreeCAD, QCAD, OpenSCAD, NanoCAD, and SketchUp Free.

Q: Are these free alternatives suitable for professional use?

A: Yes, many of these free alternatives are suitable for professional CAD use. They offer similar features to Autocad and can be used for professional design projects.

Q: Can I use these free alternatives on Linux?

A: Yes, most of these free alternatives have versions available for Linux. They are compatible with Linux operating systems and can be used as Autocad alternatives.

Q: Are these free alternatives open source?

A: Yes, some of these free alternatives are open source CAD software. This means that their source code can be accessed, modified, and distributed by users.

Q: Can I import DWG files into these free alternatives?

A: Yes, many of these free alternatives support DWG file formats, allowing you to import and work with Autocad files.

Q: Are these free alternatives completely free?

A: Yes, all of these free alternatives are completely free to use. They offer a cost-effective solution for those looking for a free alternative to Autocad.

Q: Can these free alternatives create 3D models?

A: Yes, most of these free alternatives offer 3D modeling capabilities. You can create and design 3D models using these software.

Q: How do these free alternatives compare to Autocad?

A: These free alternatives offer similar features and functionality to Autocad. While they may not have all the advanced tools and capabilities, they are suitable replacements for many CAD users.

Q: Which is the best free alternative to Autocad?

A: The best free alternative to Autocad depends on your specific needs and preferences. Some popular choices among users include LibreCAD, FreeCAD, and QCAD.

Q: Can I use these free alternatives for 3D printing purposes?

A: Yes, many of these free alternatives are compatible with 3D printing. You can use them to design and prepare models for 3D printing.

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