Which Free CAD Is Most Like AutoCAD?

When it comes to computer-aided design (CAD) software, AutoCAD is undoubtedly one of the most popular and widely used tools in the industry. However, its high cost can be a deterrent for many individuals and small businesses.

Luckily, there are several free CAD alternatives available that offer similar functionality and features. In this article, we will explore some of the best free CAD software options that are most like AutoCAD.


FreeCAD is an open-source parametric 3D modeling software that provides powerful features for designing real-life objects. It offers a comprehensive set of tools for creating complex designs and supports a wide range of file formats including STEP, IGES, and STL. With its intuitive user interface and extensive documentation, FreeCAD is an excellent choice for those familiar with AutoCAD.


DraftSight is another popular free CAD software that closely resembles AutoCAD in terms of functionality and user interface. It offers 2D drafting capabilities along with support for DWG files, making it easy to collaborate with users who are already working with AutoCAD. DraftSight also includes features like layer management, dimensioning tools, and command line input to enhance your drafting experience.


If you’re specifically looking for a lightweight CAD software that is similar to AutoCAD’s 2D capabilities, LibreCAD is worth considering. This free and open-source tool provides essential features like layers, blocks, snapping options, and geometric construction tools. While it may not have all the advanced functionalities of AutoCAD or other 3D modeling capabilities, LibreCAD can be an excellent choice for simple 2D drafting tasks.

BricsCAD Shape

For those interested in 3D modeling and creating architectural designs, BricsCAD Shape offers a free option that is quite similar to AutoCAD. This software allows you to create detailed 3D models with ease and precision.

It also provides a vast library of pre-built components and materials to accelerate your design process. While BricsCAD Shape is not as feature-rich as AutoCAD, it offers an intuitive interface and the ability to export your designs to other CAD software.


In conclusion, while nothing can completely replace the power and versatility of AutoCAD, there are several free CAD software options available that come close in terms of functionality and user experience. Whether you need 2D drafting or 3D modeling capabilities, the aforementioned options like FreeCAD, DraftSight, LibreCAD, and BricsCAD Shape offer viable alternatives for individuals and businesses looking for cost-effective CAD solutions.

Remember to choose the software that best suits your specific needs and skill level. Experiment with different options, explore their features, and leverage online resources like tutorials and forums to make the most out of your chosen free CAD software.