AutoCAD alternatives

Through the years, I have had the opportunity to work with CAD (Computer Aided Drafting) systems besides AutoCAD.

One of the more impressive softwares is called AcceliCAD.   Through years of experience opening drawings with AutoCAD, closing them, working on them in AcceliCAD I can say this software is native DWG and FULLY compatible with AutoCAD–at around $700 for the software-it is a no brainer really.  Recently, though, AccelliCAD announced it will be focusing on other aspects of the CAD industry and time is growing short to purchase a copy of this excellent software.  The learning curve to adapt from AutoCAD to AcceliCAD was around 2 hours for me.

AcceliCAD is phasing itself out has led me to look into other CAD softwares.  Don’t get me wrong-I still own and use AutoCAD software, but when strange things happen (often times due to Windows 10 changes) I like having a second software to work with.

Enter NanoCAD.  NanoCAD is very simple software that has proven more robust and never locked up on me.  I still need more hours to really get the hang of it.  Many AutoCAD features (like 2 key commands) are apparently not available (or I haven’t found the right way to access them yet).  So far I use it to plot AutoCAD drawings when AutoCAD plots them funny,  and I also use NanoCAD to make simple drawing changes.  You CAN’T beat the price-NanoCAD is still giving away 2006 versions of it’s software.  WOW!!!.

A long time ago-I used CADVANCE.  CADVANCE is still around.  Our CAD manager fought long and hard to keep CADVANCE around but when the industry focused on AutoCAD, the company became worried about possible future translation problems (of which no major problems had been encountered in years of use with 14 workstations).   There was a learning curve-about 18 hours to move from CADVANCE to AutoCAD but I don’t ever recall CADVANCE locking up.  It is too simple a software to lock up yet has what we need to quickly produce 2D drawings.   I have downloaded a trial copy last week and look forward to trying it out again.  I see there is now a simple 2D version and a more complex version with 3D capabilities.  CADVANCE is way less expensive than AutoCAD.  I believe the rugged simple 2D version is around $400 for a copy of the software.  That’s right-own it without having to perpetually rent it every month for an outrageous fee.

Below is an example of an AutoCAD file I opened with DeltaCAD.  DeltaCAD is very affordable (around $40 I think).  it is very simple and I have not been able to produce quickly with it so far but I have only toyed with it on four occasions.  I like simple software-it doesn’t lock up nearly as much as complex AutoCAD type software and doesn’t do the strange things that AutoCAD does.


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