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Need basic 2d cad, cheap

snowman

Diamond
Joined
Jul 31, 2004
Location
Southeast Michigan
I'm turning in to an old man.

I refuse to pay an annual subscription for autocad. It does not bring me $60 / month worth of joy.

For 90% of what I do, I could set up the old drafting table. The only thing I need cad for is to be able to send dxf's to the laser cutter.

Is there a reasonable substitute? I am so old that I do everything from the keyboard.

Anybody got an antique machine with a copy of R14 on it?

Goddamn kids better get off my lawn.
 

memphisjed

Stainless
Joined
Jan 21, 2019
Location
Memphis

Unless you somewhat used to autocad it is not the direction I would recommend. Viacad is graphical based like drafting, not command line.
 

snowman

Diamond
Joined
Jul 31, 2004
Location
Southeast Michigan
I'm very used to autocad. I can draw much faster with a keyboard than graphically based software. Circle, offset, copy, line, group, ungroup, etc etc
 

mjr6550

Aluminum
Joined
Oct 7, 2012
Location
Lansdale, PA
I'm turning in to an old man.

I refuse to pay an annual subscription for autocad. It does not bring me $60 / month worth of joy.

For 90% of what I do, I could set up the old drafting table. The only thing I need cad for is to be able to send dxf's to the laser cutter.

Is there a reasonable substitute? I am so old that I do everything from the keyboard.

Anybody got an antique machine with a copy of R14 on it?

Goddamn kids better get off my lawn.
I think that I have a copy of R14 on floppy disks, unless I threw them away.
I use draftsight. I think it costs $199 a year. Used to be free. The commands are very similar ti AutoCad, so it was not hard to learn.
 

Freedommachine

Hot Rolled
Joined
May 13, 2020
As mentioned previously, Freecad isn't terrible for 2D stuff. I found it to be difficult to use for 3D though. I run in on Ubuntu operating system, idk if it's available for windows or not.
 

Halcyon

Plastic
Joined
Jul 17, 2022
As mentioned previously, Freecad isn't terrible for 2D stuff. I found it to be difficult to use for 3D though. I run in on Ubuntu operating system, idk if it's available for windows or not.

LibreCad is a good Linux compatible version. It might be available on windows also not sure.
 

BOB-OO

Aluminum
Joined
Dec 5, 2010
Location
NE PA
Draftsight is not expensive- $150 one time, I don't use it but an old time AC user was very satisfied. Worked almost the same and uses it all the time for our 2d stuff.
 

Strostkovy

Stainless
Joined
Oct 29, 2017
QCAD is $39 for a lifetime, with no licensing server or internet connection required. It's just a raw EXE download (mac and linux are also included). I use it for all of my laser stuff.
At my old job shop job it was what I would use to go from a customer supplied doodle or cardboard cutout to the laser. We made a profit with $40 minimums (and we did a lot of minimum jobs, word gets around when you do onesie twosie stuff cheap) so you can see we were using it very productively. It is the most bug free, well polished software I have ever used.
At a minimum I highly recommend getting the free community edition.
 

wdevine

Aluminum
Joined
May 17, 2010
Location
Massachusetts
I recently started using BricsCAD. It's so close to AutoCAD if I'm trying to figure something out I usually just look up the question for AutoCAD instead. It's like 600 bucks for a forever license.
 

cnctoolcat

Diamond
Joined
Sep 18, 2006
Location
Abingdon, VA
SolidEdge 2D is a very powerful and capable drawing software, and is similar to NX's CAD, as Siemens owns both. SE 2D has blueprint templates, and you can create professional prints with this software. Dimensioning is easy and powerful, and is associative---change the dimension value, and the physical dimension-trait on the part changes with it.
Siemens gives SolidEdge 2D away for free, enticing users to pay and upgrade to 3D later on. In my opinion, SolidEdge 2D is by-far the best software for CAD drafting available for free or low cost.

ToolCat
 

BoxcarPete

Stainless
Joined
Nov 30, 2018
Location
Michigan, USA
Draftsight is not expensive- $150 one time, I don't use it but an old time AC user was very satisfied. Worked almost the same and uses it all the time for our 2d stuff.

Unfortunately it's $100/year now. I use it and think it works quite well, I've used a couple others suggested and among them DraftSight is the closest drop-in replacement for AutoCad 2d.
 
Joined
Feb 8, 2013
Location
Northeast Tennessee
For what it’s worth, a lot of the CAD softwares listed are built on the InterlliCAD consortium platform. This video is a bit long and is focused on Carlsons adaption of IntelliCAD but the beginning of it goes over the history of the “alternative” CADs. Intellicad Overview Link.

For my day job I manage around 100 CAD licenses to the tune of around $300k per year and can say I absolutely hate Autodesk. I use Fusion for all my machining work because you can’t do better for the price, but for 2D I would go to BricsCAD or iCAD.
 








 
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