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Thumbs up to DraftSight free 2D CAD software

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Technical Ted

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#1
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
 

4gsr

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#2
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!
 

mickri

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#3
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
 

Technical Ted

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#4
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
 

SEK_22Hornet

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#5
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).
 

Technical Ted

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#6
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
 

vtcnc

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#7
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!
 

vtcnc

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#8
Ask me...I'll probably be able to help!
 

4gsr

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#9
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.
 

sgisler

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#10
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.
Right click in the 'ribbon' and select 'customize interface'

View attachment 225110

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


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:

Technical Ted

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#11

4gsr

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#12
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
 

Technical Ted

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#13
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
 

4gsr

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#14
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
 

sgisler

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#15
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
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
 

4gsr

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#16
Stan, that is exactly what I do for DDEDIT now days. Actually I like it better in some ways too. Thanks.
 

Doodle

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#17
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

I understand your frustration. I have never found any instructions that helped me learn CAD. The first thing I want to know is how do I draw a line. Try to find an answer to something so simple. I started using CADKEY, got pretty good with it. Then my new job required TurboCad and I got through it Ok. I am pleased with Draftsight. I strongly recommend people doing machine work learn CAD to make measuring, copying, and turning dials to make stuff so much faster and easier.
 

T Bredehoft

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#18
When I used to use AutoCad, I could change a line from solid to dashed by using a command which I can't find on Draftsight. I'd click on the sample, (dashed, or whatever) then click on the solid line and it would change. What's the command for Draftsight?
 
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4gsr

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#19
When I used to use AutoCad, I could change a line from solid to dashed by using a command which I can't find on Draftsight. I'd click on the sample, (dashed, or whatever) then click on the solid line and it would change. What's the command for Draftsight?
PROPERTYPAINTER ? I use the icon from the tool bar.
 
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