10 Best CAD Software to Download

CAD software is a must-have tool to have in most enterprises to reduce fatal flaws in the design that may show up during production.

If you’re in an industry that relies a lot on CAD tools, you probably already know that getting good CAD software can be quite costly. And if you are a student who is just starting to dip your toes into CAD software, this will be a problem.

There is, however, a second option: free alternative CAD software. We have done the legwork and looked for the 10 CAD software you can try for free to design your next 2D drawing or 3D modeling project.

Here are, but just 10 of this software and the links to download them for whichever operating system you are currently on. If you know of more, do share them with us in the comments section.

Free Plans OS
ZWCAD Windows Linux
Shapr3D Windows Mac
ZBrushcore Windows Mac
SketchUp Make Windows Mac
DraftSight Windows Mac Linux
FreeCAD Windows Mac Linux
OpenSCAD Windows Mac Linux
KiCAD Windows Mac Linux
QCAD Windows Mac Linux
LibreCAD Windows Mac Linux



ZWCAD is professional and user-friendly CAD software that supports both 2D drafting and 3D modeling. It finds applications in a wide range of fields, including civil engineering, architecture, structural design, mechanical engineering, and more.

In addition to comprehensive drawing tools and powerful 3D rendering capabilities, it offers intelligent features to enhance productivity, such as mouse gesture-activated commands. Besides, ZWCAD supports customization features, allowing you to tailor the software to your specific needs using APIs such as LISP, VBA, ZRX, and .NET. In terms of performance, it ranks among the best. Not only can it quickly open large drawings of several gigabytes, but it also can maintain smooth operation even during prolonged and complex modeling tasks. While the software isn’t completely free, it does offer a 30-day free trial period with no usage restrictions.

This allows you to explore and familiarize yourself with it before deciding whether to subscribe or make a one-time purchase.

This app supports: Windows, and Linux.


Shapr3D is a CAD software like no other. If you’ve ever felt limited by existing CAD tools, then it’s definitely one to try. They have a completely free version, but we’d recommend checking out its premium version (14-day free trial).

They have an intuitive UI that makes it easy to design new parts and always have your favorite features at your fingertips. This allows you to create accurate models with ease, and significantly speed up your process flow.

Alongside this, they are available across a range of platforms with designs synced in the cloud so you can always pick up where you left off. If you’re looking for a 21st-century CAD application then look no further.

This app supports: Windows, macOS, and iPad


Sculptris is a professional yet free 3D modeling program that is made by one industry 3D expert, Pixologic. You can use it to easily design your own version of a troll, dragon, or even Godzilla itself through their rich sculpting toolset.

If you’re bad at playing around the geometry and polygons to create your own surface, worry not, because Sculptris surface contains countless of triangles that are automatically built into your 3D model surface.

This app supports: Windows and macOS.

SketchUp Make

One of the most popular 3D modeling software, SketchUp Make, is used mostly for architectural purposes and sometimes for other niches in the 3D design market.

If you’re looking for a complete 3D modeling software for your professional career with all the tools included, minus the price tag, then SketchUp is for you.

This app supports: Windows and macOS.


DraftSight is a free 2D CAD editor that is good for professional CAD users, students and educator, especially if you need to create, edit and view your project in the native DWG file format.

It comes with a nice set of features that allows you to generate professional-looking plans using lines, polylines, dimensions, text and others. The interface is relatively dull, but this may appeal to those who prefer a minimalist and simple CAD software.

This app supports: Windows, macOS, Ubuntu and Fedora.


This project is 100% open source and is aimed directly for mechanical engineering and product design uses, but also can be used for architecture or other engineering industry that relies a lot on parametric 3D modeler.

Although it is open source and free, FreeCAD is on par with other popular CAD programs due to its capability in creating real 3D solids, support for meshes, 2D drafting, right hand coordinate system plus many more features.

The program itself is extremely modular, where you can opt for very advanced extension and customization.

This app supports: Windows, macOS, Ubuntu and Fedora.


For those who want to work on the specifics, especially engineers, OpenSCAD is your ideal 3D modeling platform. It does not have interactive modeling for you to design your model, but instead relies more on what you defined in the parameters through the script files.

If you’re looking to build a machine parts instead of designing your next game character, OpenSCAD is the best fit that purpose.

This app supports: Windows, macOS and Linux.


Want to design your next Printed Circuit Board (PCB) and don’t know where to start? Check out KiCAD. KiCAD is a free and open source PCB design tool that includes a project manager and 4 main software such as schematic editor, printed circuit board editor, GERBER file viewer and footprint selector for component association.

There are also additional software tools, a 3D viewer to render your PCB in 3D and 2 library component editors to allow you to create or modify schematic and footprint components.

This app supports: Windows, macOS, Linux, and Ubuntu.


QCAD is the application you should use if you’re looking to create technical drawings be it for buildings, mechanical parts or even schematics and diagrams.

Since it is open source, QCAD’s focus is more towards modularity, extensibility and portability. Its 2D CAD platform is powerful but yet easy to use even for a beginner who has little to no experience in CAD applications.

This app supports: Windows, macOS and Linux.


Here’s another high quality 2D-CAD modeling platform, LibreCAD, an easy-to-use software with a lot of high quality features included in it. LibreCAD has features such as snap to grid for drawing, usage of layers, measurements inside your drawing and plenty others to make your life easier when you’re drawing on a 2D-CAD platform.

If you find it hard to get started on LibreCAD, they have included a manual here on their wiki page.

This app supports: Windows, macOS and Linux.


If you’re looking for other CAD tools that comes with full .dwg support, nanoCAD is next on the list. Although you can use it for free, nanoCAD still comes with many benefits that you usually need to pay for at a premium price, such the famous Command Line tool, SNAP and ONSAP, large number of precision tools and many others that you may find useful.

Whether you’re just a beginner or already a power user, you will find nanoCAD a good alternative.

This app supports: Windows.