AutoCAD is the oldest and the most used CAD software there is. Engineers, architects, enthusiasts, critics, etc. have been using AutoCAD for a very long time.
Though there are many alternatives out there, still people prefer AutoCAD over other software. It’s because of trust and reliability. People trust the name; it has become a brand that everyone knows.
And Autodesk has been misusing this fame to make money. Similar software offers full time licensing with a very moderate amount.
But AutoCAD has a subscription-based licensing system. That means there’s no way for anyone to get AutoCAD once and for all. If you start using it, you will have to keep on paying Autodesk forever.
Also, many options for AutoCAD have become obsolete. Due to the traditional usability factor and as veteran architects still teach their assistants via AutoCAD, it’s still out there fighting.
But to be honest, there is now free CAD software that allows you to do more than what AutoCAD offers. Also, the interface is cleaner and more comfortable to deal with.
If you search for AutoCAD alternatives, you can find two types; paid and free. Let’s understand which one is better.
Paid AutoCAD alternatives
AutoCAD is the most expensive CAD software out there. No other software can or does charge more than them. So, technically any alternative is much more convenient than it.
But you have to go through the features to understand which ones more suitable to get. Owning AutoCAD is like owning an elephant.
If you work as a full-time engineer or you’re going through an apprenticeship under any highly qualified engineer, you would need a paid CAD software.
Anything paid packs more features and accessibility than the free versions. So, if you’re spending time on CAD as a source of your money-making regime, you should consider spending some money to geta a proper CAD software.
Free AutoCAD alternatives
AutoCAD always has been software with less accessibility but more price. There is free CAD software which has more features than AutoCAD. But you can’t take AutoCAD as a standard.
You have to measure how much work you can get done with the software you pick. So, if you get a free AutoCAD alternative, it will always have fewer features.
You should know when you need more features. If you are just an enthusiast, you don’t need more features than free software offers you.
But if you are a professional and your livelihood depends on it, you should never opt for free software. You can work on free software at first but eventually for complicated work you would need the premium features of a paid software.
AutoCAD has become an elephant that no one needs but cannot help feeding. That’s why more people are going for alternatives.
Which alternative you will go for totally depends on what type of user you are. If you are a professional, go for a paid one. If you aren’t, you can make do with a free CAD tool.