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Thumbs up to DraftSight free 2D CAD software

Discussion in 'DRAWING, LAYOUT & CAD' started by Technical Ted, Jan 20, 2017.

  1. Technical Ted

    Technical Ted United States Active Member Active Member

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    I know this is old news to most, but I've been looking for a free 2D CAD program to use at home now that I'm retired. I used AutoCAD when I worked and wanted something that gave me that type of capability. Well, after discarding some programs I tried, I came across DraftSight. In functionality, it's a very close clone of AutoCAD Lite and I am very satisfied with it for my home use.

    Just thought I'd throw this out in case someone else is looking for a very capable, powerful and easy to use free CAD application. You can work with .dwg files and most of the hotkeys and shortcuts are the same as AutoCAD.

    http://www.3ds.com/products-services/draftsight-cad-software/

    Have fun,
    Ted
     
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  2. 4gsr

    4gsr Global Moderator Staff Member H-M Supporter-Premium

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    I have two seats of Draftsight Professional I use almost daily in my business. Highly recommend it!

    Now, I've got to make the transition over to Solidworks! What a world of difference it is over 2D cad!
     
  3. mickri

    mickri United States Active Member Active Member

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    I am not an engineer. I tried to learn how to use Draftsight 2D CAD and gave up after trying off and on for about a year. Prior to that I had tried a 2D CAD program called Turbo CAD. I am usually pretty good at mastering computer programs and it is actually a little embarrassing that I was not able to master Draftsight. During this same time period I had been using Google Sketchup. I found Sketchup to be very easy to master. Using Sketchup for me was just like drawing with pencil and paper and you end up with a 3D model. Maybe this was the problem. I found Sketchup to be so easy to use that maybe I didn't try hard enough to master Draftsight.
    Chuck
     
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  4. Technical Ted

    Technical Ted United States Active Member Active Member

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    There's a user manual for DraftSight that may help some: http://www.3ds.com/fileadmin/PRODUCTS/DRAFT_SIGHT/PDF/GETTING-STARTED-GUIDE.pdf

    Being retired and a hobby machinist I'm only looking for free programs. I was familiar with AutoCAD and DraftSight is so similar learning it wasn't an issue for me. I really would like a free 3D program to play with as well. I've played some with FreeCAD, but from my experience it doesn't seem to like to play in inch units well... metric is fine, but I couldn't get everything to display inch units correctly. I've downloaded a program called DesignSpark and hopefully will play with that some soon.

    Any suggestions for a free 3D program (Windows 10) that will work well with DWG files in 2D as well?

    Thanks,
    Ted
     
  5. SEK_22Hornet

    SEK_22Hornet United States Active User Active Member

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    For 3d I am currently learning Fusion 360 from Autodesk. It does not do 2d drawings (Other than to document the 3d models you create). For 2d I am using Draftsight. There are already a couple threads on Fusion 360 so I won't go into details here - just wanted to throw the information out to answer your question. Both are free to Hobbyists and the advantage of Fusion 360 over something like Sketchup is the built in CAM module, if you do CNC (I do).
     
  6. Technical Ted

    Technical Ted United States Active Member Active Member

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    Thanks for the heads up Dan! I downloaded it and am starting to play with it and learn. I don't do CNC work, just trying to do some 3D modeling and drawing. I was playing some with FreeCad, but my first impression is that Fusion 360 will be more to my liking.

    Thanks!
    Ted
     
  7. vtcnc

    vtcnc H-M Supporter - Premium Content H-M Supporter-Premium

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    I learned CAD on AutoCAD 12 in 1996. From what I can tell, DraftSight is not much different than that. I still remember text commands from 1996 that work today:

    PEDIT: polyline edit, allows you to join lines to make one continuous profile,

    CP = copy,

    M = move,

    C = circle,

    Too many to list.

    When I found this, I was thrilled!
     
  8. vtcnc

    vtcnc H-M Supporter - Premium Content H-M Supporter-Premium

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    Ask me...I'll probably be able to help!
     
  9. 4gsr

    4gsr Global Moderator Staff Member H-M Supporter-Premium

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    How about a list of the keyboard commands. I miss using a few of them and don't remember them. At least I haven't looked too hard for them.
     
  10. sgisler

    sgisler United States Active User H-M Supporter-Premium

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    Right click in the 'ribbon' and select 'customize interface'
    [​IMG]
    View attachment 225110

    Opens a dialog with a staggering array of commands + mouse actions + keyboard shortcuts. All of which are customizable.

    [​IMG]
    View attachment 225111
    There are a lot 'in-built', the ones I use most are
    Trim - TR/enter (or space bar)
    Extend - EX/enter
    Fillet - F/enter
    Line - L/enter
    Offset - O/enter
    Move - M/enter
    Stretch - S/enter

    I created Get Distance - ctrl + D

    One could spend as much time as one cared to setting up all the customizations possible.



    Stan
    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

    PS: sorry for the terrible screen pix, knew they would be bad but thought they'd still help
     
    Last edited: Jan 29, 2017
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  11. Technical Ted

    Technical Ted United States Active Member Active Member

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  12. 4gsr

    4gsr Global Moderator Staff Member H-M Supporter-Premium

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    Stan,

    Your pictures are not showing.

    I like the built in ones that are already available in the software. I'm not much into creating my own short cut tools, but I could I supposed.

    Ted,

    The short cut tables you have reference to are ok, most are not useful to me. It may just be me, too.

    On of the issues I have is when I upgraded to Windows 10, you loose your function keys like F8 and I miss that one badly. Also back in older releases of AutoCAD, you had dimension edt commands like dimaso and others, they are no longer supported in Draftsight, I miss those too.

    Thanks for your inputs, Ken
     
  13. Technical Ted

    Technical Ted United States Active Member Active Member

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    Ken,

    This may or may not help, but here's a listing of the AutoCAD commands. I've found many (most of the ones I use) of these work fine on my PCs with Windows 10.

    http://www.autodesk.com/store/autocad-shortcuts

    Also, my function keys work properly too and both of my machines are on Windows 10. On my laptop, originally I had to press the Fn key with the function key to get them to work, but I found I could change this behavior in the BIOS, so I did and they work fine now.

    Don't know if this info is useful to you or not. Maybe someone else can get some benefit from it. Just thought I'd throw it out there in case it might.

    Good luck,
    Ted
     
  14. 4gsr

    4gsr Global Moderator Staff Member H-M Supporter-Premium

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    Ted,

    Thanks, this is more of what I'm looking for. I'll find time to go thru them and pick out the one's I need and try them on Draftsight.

    Ken
     
  15. sgisler

    sgisler United States Active User H-M Supporter-Premium

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    DDEDIT works for dimension edit, but I usually forget that one and edit from the properties panel, since I'm usually editing more than the text
    I'll try reposting the pix

    Stan
    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
     
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  16. 4gsr

    4gsr Global Moderator Staff Member H-M Supporter-Premium

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    Stan, that is exactly what I do for DDEDIT now days. Actually I like it better in some ways too. Thanks.
     
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