15 Best FREE CAD Software & Programs [Windows/Mac] 2024

CAD software is a computer-aided design program used by engineers and designers to create 2D and 3D physical component models. Best free CAD software applications have a user-friendly interface, all basic features, advanced CAD tools, and a large library of 3D models along with an option to print on multiple pages.

We have invested over 120 hours in researching the best free CAD software tools that meet the needs of the present generation. After meticulous research, we have handpicked a list of the best free CAD software programs Windows Mac 2024 with their popular features and website links for readers to review. This list contains open-source (free) and commercial (paid) software.
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Top Pick
ZWCAD

ZWCAD is the best software for accurate 2D and 3D drafting. It serves people in various industries, including architecture and engineering, construction, and automotive. A mobile application also allows you to view drawings flexibly and conveniently anytime, anywhere.

Visit ZWCAD

Best Free CAD Software Programs for Windows PC & Mac

Name Supported Platforms Free Trial Link
ZWCAD Windows, Linux, Android, and iOS Life Time Free Basic Plan Learn More
Adobe Substance 3D Windows, Mac, and Linux 30-Days Free Trial Learn More
Planner5d Windows, Mac, Android, and iOS 3-Days Free Trial Learn More
AutoCAD Windows, macOS, iOS, and Android Life Time Free Basic Plan Learn More
FreeCAD Windows, Mac, and Linux Life Time Free Basic Plan Learn More

#1) ZWCAD

ZWCAD is the best free CAD software for accurate 2D and 3D drafting. It serves people in various industries, including architecture and engineering, construction, and automotive. The ZWCAD mobile application allows you to view drawings flexibly and conveniently anytime, anywhere.

Whether you’re a novice delving into design or a seasoned expert with years of experience, ZWCAD ensures an intuitive and comprehensive user experience that makes it easy to master its features and functionalities.

#1 Top Pick
ZWCAD
5.0

File Format: DWG, DXF, DWT, SAT, STL, PDF, IFC, JPG, PNG, etc.

Founded in: 1998

Supported Platforms: Windows, Linux, iOS, and Android

Free Trial: 30-Day Free Trial

Visit ZWCAD

Features:

  • Preferences migration: This free CAD software tool lets you easily transfer preferences and settings from your previous CAD application, including command aliases and hatch patterns.
  • Auto-generate surface table: It automatically generates the surface table with simple settings. Also, it highlights differences between the two drawings for easy file comparison.
  • 3D Measurements: The CAD software accurately and comprehensively captures 3D measurement results from real-world objects. It then seamlessly integrates these results into CAD projects for accurate modeling and design.
  • Faster communication: You can activate frequently used commands with mouse gestures on the workspace. To ensure faster and easier communication, you can add annotations using this CAD software.
  • Effective configuration: This best free CAD software comes with multi-core CPU acceleration that greatly improves the efficiency of reading and saving DWG files.
  • Memory management: You can precisely manage the memory resources using this free CAD software. It helps to increase the usage frequency, resulting in smoother software performance.

Pros

  • Provides a friendly user interface with common and advanced commands and aliases.
  • Supports third-party application development with APIs such as LISP, VBA, and . NET.
  • Use the Quick Properties panel to get information with a single click on the drawing.

Cons

  • Point Cloud is not available on the Standard version.
  • Photorealistic Rendering can be accessed only from the professional edition.

Free Trial: It offers a 30-day free trial version with access to all the features.

Visit ZWCAD >>

30-Day Free Trial


#2) Adobe Substance 3D

Adobe Substance 3D is a bunch of smart, creative apps, including Painter, Designer, and Sample app. These free CAD programs give access to thousands of customizable models, lights, and materials created by world-class guest artists.

Often regarded as the best free CAD software tool, Adobe Substance 3D helps you to build simple or complex models. It also lets you shape your model as you would in a real-world workshop. You can even set up assets, materials, lights, and a camera for virtual photography.

#2
Adobe Substance 3D
4.9

File Format: TIFF, IFF, JPEG, PNG, MOV, and AAC

Founded in: 1982

Supported Platforms: Windows, Mac, and Linux

Free Trial: 30-Days Free Trial

Visit Adobe Substance

Features:

  • AI experience: This tool allows you to create Augmented Reality (AI) experiences using assets you’ve designed in your favorite apps. This tool also lets users to include materials into 3D meshes and add textures in real-time.
  • Smooth Integration: Adobe Substance 3D requires 16GB RAM to seamlessly integrate with Salesforce, ServiceNow, box, MasterCard, and Veeva.
  • Supports multiple formats: It supports multiple file formats like TIFF, IFF, JPEG, PNG, MOV, and AAC. Additionally, Adobe Substances 3D comes with different sculpting tools like clay, undo and redo, move, rotate, pinch, zoom, and resize.
  • Auto UV unwrapping: This CAD tool provides Automatic UV Unwrapping, effects, physical size, smart materials and masks, subsurface scattering, and more.
  • 3D model sculpting: Using Adobe Substance, artists and designers can sculpt different 3D shaped models using virtual reality and on desktop environments.
  • Additional features: You can work with features like noise sculpting and virtual reality. Additionally, this tool can drag any object when working on a 3D model or paint and drop it on selected areas easily.

Pros

  • Provides 100GB free storage.
  • Includes prims, stamps, and brush tools.
  • You can design 3D assets, models, and materials.

Cons

  • The interface could be clearer for new users.
  • It takes time to load large files.

Free Trial: Adobe Substance 3D comes with a 30-day free trial.

Visit Adobe >>

30-Days Free Trial


#3) Planner 5d

Planner 5D is another important 3D alternative tool that enables you to create realistic interior and exterior designs in 2D/ 3D modes. This free CAD tool requires only 2 GB RAM and supports multiple file formats like JPEG and PNG.

Using Planner5D, you can use both 2D and 3D views to design from various angles and apply custom colors, patterns, and materials to furniture. The AI-based interior designs streamline your workflow, making collaborating with clients easier and less time-consuming.

#3
Planner 5D
4.8

File Format: JPEG and PNG

Founded in: 2011

Supported Platforms: Windows, Mac, Android, and iOS

Free Trial: 3-Days Free Trial

Visit Planner 5D

Features:

  • Intuitive interface: The intuitive and user-focused interface offers an easy design process without any tutorials or instructions.
  • Edit items: This tool lets you apply custom patterns, materials, and colors to floors, walls, and furniture items according to the style of the interior design.
  • HD visual rendering: The HD Rendering feature captures any design and provides a realistic feel by providing lighting, rich colors, and shadows. You get realistic 4K rendering with a simple click.
  • Project Gallery: Planner5D comes with 5000+ items categorized nicely in the Project Gallery. This user-generated library offers vast choices for everyone using Planner5D CAD software.
  • Additional features: Planner5D provides automatic room generator, AI plan recognition, automated furniture arrangement, enterprise solutions, and more.

Pros

  • You can design materials and patterns.
  • It lets you use the Snapshots feature to capture your design as a realistic image.
  • Offers 3D modeling, 3D printing, drag and drop, and VR options.

Cons

  • A maximum of only 5 textures in the free plan.

Free Trial: There is a 3-day free trial version available from Planner5d. For customized paid plans, you can request a quote from the sales.

Visit planner 5d >>

3-Days Free Trial


#4) AutoCAD

AutoCAD is one of the best free CAD software tools that architects, engineers, and construction professionals rely on to create precise 2D and 3D drawings. You can edit and create drawings in AutoCAD on virtually any device.

Using AutoCAD, you can access any DWG file with Autodesk’s cloud setup and display all nearby measurements in a drawing. It also offers 3D and 2D drafting, along with different VR options with a contrast improvement facility that reduces eye strain.

#4
AutoCAD
4.7

File Format: CAD, DWG, DWF, DXF, and DGN

Founded in: 1982

Supported Platforms: Windows, macOS, iOS, and Android

Free Trial: Life Time Free Basic Plan

Visit AutoCAD

Features:

  • Smart blocks: AutoCAD creates, edits, and views CAD drawings and can replace existing blocks with new ones automatically based on previous placements.
  • Compare drawings: Here, you can compare different versions of drawings to identify the changes made and provide useful tips to complete projects faster.
  • Floating Windows: This best free CAD software lets you display multiple drawing Windows simultaneously by the side. Alternatively, it can also display them on multiple monitors.
  • Smart collaboration: You can send any of your created drawings to colleagues and teammates to view them and, if required, can also edit them.
  • Additional features: This free CAD program provides efficient workflows, ensures fidelity and compatibility, draws History, blocks palette, and collaboration, and comes integrated with stamps, sculpting, and brush tools.

Pros

  • Remove multiple objects with easy selection and object preview.
  • Seamlessly integrates with Airtable, Asana, 360Sync, box, and Basecamp.
  • Offers multiple file formats like CAD, DWG, DWF, DXF, and DGN.

Cons

  • There are limitations when it comes to overlapping lines.

Free Trial: AutoCAD comes with a lifetime free Basic Plan.

Visit AutoCAD >>

Life Time Free Basic Plan


#5) FreeCAD

FreeCAD is an open-source tool to design a real-life object of any size. It is one of the best free CAD programs, which allows you to modify your design easily.

While designing models enables you to effortlessly create 3D designs from 2D. FreeCAD comes with add-on workbenches for adding additional file formats. It also has a built-in Python console and requires 8 GB of RAM.

FreeCAD

Features:

  • Create high-quality drawings: The free CAD software lets you sketch 2D shapes and use them to create high-quality 3D drawings with the option to adjust dimensions.
  • Multiple uses: FreeCAD is designed to fit your needs and has numerous usages like mechanical engineering and architecture, product designing, and more.
  • Customizable GUI: This CAD tool has a fully customizable/scriptable graphical user interface and runs as a command-line application.
  • Unique 2D Sketcher: It comes with a state-of-the-art 2D Sketcher to create geometry-constrained 2D shapes. These shapes can be used as a base for other object buildup.
  • Additional features: FreeCAD provides a multi-specialty ecosystem, a parametric constraints-based 2D sketcher, a wildly parametric environment, and more.

Pros

  • Can utilize drag and drop feature on 3D painting and modeling.
  • Supports multiple file formats like STEP, IGES, OBJ, STL, DWG, DXF, SVG, and SHP.
  • Graphical creation of planar geometry.

Cons

  • Not available on the cloud

Free Trial: It comes with a lifetime free Basic Plan.

Link: https://www.freecadweb.org


#6) Open SCAD

Open SCAD is a tool for creating solid three-dimensional objects. It is free and available for Windows, Mac, and Linux operating systems. This free CAD software for PC enables you to quickly preview the parts of objects.

This CAD tool offers easy to use GUI that lets you design models, import and export the SVG, AMF, and 3MF files, and supports shortcuts.

Open SCAD

Features:

  • Constructive Geometry: OpenSCAD provides a CSG (Constructive solid geometry) geometry engine for creating complex geometrical shapes and requires 8 GB RAM.
  • Supports multi-formats: This free CAD software supports multiple file formats like AMF, STL, PRT, and OFF when working on designing projects.
  • Advanced features: It comes with GUI interfaces, stamps tools, preview models, and CSG geometry engine. Additionally, there are also customization options that allow users to create parametric designs.
  • Design parameters: This tool can extract the DXF files and read the design parameters. It can also read from the OFF and STL file formats and develop 3D models.
  • Parametric designing: You can use it to make a parametric design by changing the parameters of objects. The hull modifier effectively combines the outermost bits into single object.

Pros

  • You can customize the software the way you want.
  • It can play sound notification on completing Rendering.
  • Seamlessly integrates with GIT.

Cons

  • View Edges sometimes stop functioning.

Free Trial: The Basic Plan is available for free. For paid plans, please get in touch with the customer support team.

Link: https://www.openscad.org/


#7) QCAD

QCAD is an open-source application designed for CAD in two dimensions and lets you create technical drawings like building plans, mechanical parts, interiors, and diagrams.

This CAD program offers a library with more than 4800 CAD parts. QCAD requires 2 GB RAM and provides an easy-to-use JavaScript interface.

QCAD

Features:

  • Multiple formats: QCAD offers multiple file formats like BMP, JPEG, PNG, TIFF, ICO, PPM, XBM, and more. Additionally, it allows you to input and output DXF (Drawing Interchange File) and DWG (Drawing) files.
  • Additional features: Provides layers, blocks, 35 CAD fonts, various metric and imperial units, object snaps, brush, and Measuring tools. You can even add elements using the drag and drop feature.
  • Construction tools: This free CAD tool includes over 40 construction tools for constructing and modifying lines, ellipses, points, and arcs. They can also edit raster images, fills, dimensions, hatches, and more.
  • Intuitive interface: QCAD has a powerful yet intuitive user interface that promises users extensibility, portability, and modularity.

Pros

  • Offers sculpting tools like Move, Zoom, and Rotate.
  • This application enables you to print on multiple pages.
  • Support for TrueType fonts.

Cons

  • Does not offer any refund policy for paid users.

Free Trial: You get the Basic Plan free to use for a lifetime. You can request a quote for the paid plans from Sales Support.

Link: https://www.qcad.org/en/


#8) LibreCAD

LibreCAD is a free CAD program for 2D design that started as a project to build CAM capabilities. Developed by an experienced team and supported by a friendly community, it allows you to create a CAD project of a high standard.

This open-source CAD software supports multiple file formats like SVG, BMP, CUR, GIF, ICNS, ICO, JPEG, JPG, PBM, and more. It also includes many tools for drawing shapes like lines and circles.

LibreCAD

Features:

  • GitHub integration: This easiest free CAD software seamlessly integrates with GitHub and is available in over 30 languages. It requires 8 GB of RAM for seamless functioning.
  • Advanced tools: It provides drawing entities, advanced snapping system, custom toolbars and menus, highly customizable user interface, and more.
  • Export drawing: LibreCAD can export the drawings into image, CAM, or PDF format.
  • 2D Drafting: This free drafting software tool offers 2D drafting, 2D to 3D conversion, and enhancing the output using different VR options.

Pros

  • LibreCAD is compatible with DWG files.
  • You can use it for creating and designing 2D drawings.
  • Offers sculpting tools like rotate, zoom, move, undo, and redo.

Cons

  • It needs to be more satisfactory in printing accuracy.
  • Performance is slow, as per user review.

Free Trial: This is an open-source CAD Software tool and totally free to use.

Link: https://librecad.org/


#9) SketchUp Free

SketchUp Free is CAD software that lets you collaborate with others to make object diagrams without any hassle. The tool has a 3D gallery that lets you search for models and share them with other users.

It is one of the best free 3D CAD software that lets you visualize your ideas and helps you to customize the 3D workspace. SketchUp also offers different sculpting tools like undo, zoom, rotate, and move, requiring only 8 GB of RAM.

SketchUp Free

Features:

  • Seamless integration: This free CAD program seamlessly integrates with SYNCHRO, Trezi, Trimble, and CAALA.
  • Lightning effects: You can easily set lighting effects while managing the layers using Google SketchUp.
  • 3D Modeling: SketchUp offers noise sculpting, 3D printing and model designing, easy drag and drop, and supports multiple file formats like JPEG, PNG, and TIFF.
  • Advanced features: It provides Mobile model viewing, 3D Warehouse, Interoperability, Scan Essentials, Textures, Lighting effects, and more

Pros

  • Provides 10 GB free storage.
  • You can design models and materials.
  • Supports numerous plugins.

Cons

  • Offers limited number of pre-built 3D models.

Free Trial: It offers a 7-Days Free Trial without any credit card requirement.

Link: https://www.sketchup.com/plans-and-pricing/sketchup-free


#10) NanoCAD

NanoCAD is an easy-to-use CAD application that helps you deliver a great user experience by providing high performance. It also comes with a classic interface, and supports multiple file formats like TIFF, BMP, JPG, etc.

This engineering design tool has been built to deliver design and project documentation for all industries.

NanoCAD

Features:

  • Easy interface: NanoCAD implements an efficient, easy-to-learn, classic-style CAD user interface. This tool also offers 3D modeling, two dimensional drafting, and VR based image enhancement options.
  • nanoCAD scripting engine: The nanoCAD scripting engine helps you automate everyday routine tasks and natively uses the industry-standard DWG (*.dwg) file format.
  • Editing options: It includes extensive tools for creating and editing 2D/3D objects. You can also remove multiple objects with easy selection and object preview.
  • Plot-settings: The tool also offers a plot settings dialog that allows you to set multiple plot areas. Additionally, you can also create multi-page plots for a more descriptive outlay.
  • Sculpting tools: This free CAD software offers sculpting tools like redo, zoom, undo, and rotate to help artists have better control and precision with their diagrams.
  • Additional features: It provides enhanced external references, batch plot tools, and relocating base points of blocks. Additionally there are also supportive features like enhanced groups, associative design elements, and more.

Pros

  • Reduce eye strain with contrast improvement.
  • Create, edit, and view CAD drawings.
  • Allows you to display all nearby measurements in a drawing.

Cons

  • Available only for Windows.

Free Trial: NanoCAD comes with a 30-days free trial.

Link: https://nanocad.com/


#11) SelfCAD

SelfCAD is an application that helps you to make a 3D sketch, sculpt, and model. It contains many artistic drawing tools. This tool enables you to share your work with your colleagues.

This free CAD software can be used by professional designers, self-taught 3D artists, and students to conveniently complete their 3D design projects.

SelfCAD

Features:

  • Easy to manage objects: Using this CAD tool, you can import, export, convert, and edit any object from images and share your design on social media networks.
  • Printable objects: SelfCAD supports three dimensional object painting, comes with stamps and brush tools to edit printable objects. It also lets you design printable objects right from the scratch.
  • Inflate Tool: SelfCAD includes the inflate tool that can be used to deform selected regions or figures by flattening them from either of the sides.
  • Simplify object: Using this tool, you can modify specific regions within an object or the entire object by minimizing the edges or faces.
  • Additional features: It has sculpting tools like Undo & Redo, Move, Rotate, and Zoom. It also provides Noise Sculpting, virtual reality, 3D model designing and printing options.

Pros

  • Provides Automatic shape, Screw, Nut, Spiral, and Image generators.
  • You can design assets, models, and materials.
  • Supports multiple file formats like STL, MTL, PLY, DAE, and SVG.

Cons

  • Sculpting and deforming tools are not available in the free plan.
  • Image to 3D is not possible in a free plan.

Free Trial: You get 10 days of free trial.

Link: https://www.selfcad.com/


#12) SolveSpace

SolveSpace is a 2D or 3D parametric tool that enables you to draw objects with revolves, extrudes, and Boolean operations. It allows you to export your drawing as PDF, SVG, and DXF (Drawing Interchange File).

This top free CAD software for Windows lets you export your drawing with an adjustable canvas size. SolveSpace requires 8 GB RAM and multiple file formats like DXF, EPS, PDF, SVG, HPGL, and STL.

SolveSpace

Features:

  • Analyze trace path: SolveSpace allows you to analyze the traced path to the spreadsheet and can also be used to draw a solid-shaped model.
  • Sketching options: It offers an adjustable snap grid for different texts and entities, along with tangent arcs, curves, and fillet lines. Additionally, there are tools like zoom, rotate, redo and undo, etc. for sculpting purpose.
  • Text copying: You can type text in TrueType font and export it in vector form. Alternatively, you can even cut and paste any text in a plane or from one work plane to another.
  • Advanced features: This tool includes sketch sections, constraints and dimensions, parametric and associative assembly. Graphic artists will also enjoy features like 3D modeling and printing, virtual reality, and image dragging and dropping options.

Pros

  • You can import parts and drag them easily.
  • You can perform repeat (pattern), rotate, or translate operations.
  • You can design models, materials, and patterns.

Cons

  • As per the review, some users have witnessed lag in performance when working with large files.

Free Trial: The SolveSpace basic plan is free to use.

Link: https://solvespace.com/index.pl


#13) LeoCAD

LeoCAD is an application that helps you create new models without hassle. It enables you to share and download from the internet. This is an open source software program that allows anyone to edit and include additional features to the virtual LEGO models.

This free AutoCAD program has a library of 10,000 different parts. The tool has a friendly graphical user interface that supports multiple file formats like LDR and MPD.

LeoCAD

Features:

  • Cross-Platform: LeoCAD is cross-platform tool and comes with an intuitive interface that supports Windows, MacOS, and Linux.
  • Always free: Since it is a free-to-use, open-source platform, you can recommend additional features and fixes to enhance its performance.
  • Better model designing: You can design models with advanced techniques and tools like VR, drag and drop, and 3D modeling.
  • Advanced features: LeoCAD is easy to use and compatible with LDrawStandard tools. It also offers sculpting tools like zoom, move, rotate, and more.

Pros

  • You can export flexible parts.
  • It takes less time to create new models.
  • Comes with a much improvised dialogue rendering.

Cons

  • The preview tab often fails to display a preview of selected parts.
  • Some Windows 11 users face compatibility issues.

Free Trial: It comes with a lifetime free Basic Plan.

Link: https://www.leocad.org/

Which CAD software should I learn?

It depends on factors like difficulty learning specific software, your experience level, software usage in the industry, popularity amongst the community, learning curve, etc. For example, if you are a beginner, you should always start with the best free CAD software that is easy to learn and has a faster learning curve. On the other hand, if you are among those advanced CAD users who want to get a good job out of it, then you should learn the best CAD software that is popular and widely used in the industry. However, it would help if you considered some popular CAD software like ZBrushCore, FreeCAD, BlocksCAD, TinkerCAD, Blender, Fusion 360, Clara.io, etc.

Why use CAD Software?

Here are the reasons for using best free CAD software:

  • Provides higher-quality designs.
  • It enables you to reuse and change the design with ease.
  • Improve accuracy.
  • Easily share the final design with other people.

Why is CAD useful in designing a product?

CAD is useful in many ways:

  • It allows for the easier development of products.
  • It also provides good direct modeling and a basis for making a virtual network.
  • Best free CAD drawing software is very important in engineering to design and develop products that customers use.

FAQs

CAD (Computer-aided Design) software is a computer program engineers and designers use to create 2D and 3D physical component models. It helps to create, modify, and analyze 3D objects. The best free CAD software application provides an easy-to-use user interface, tools, and a large library of 3D models. CAD software enables you to print 3D objects on multiple pages.

Best free CAD software enables designing to use many tools that help perform engineering analysis of any proposed system. They offer good accuracy and enable you to reduce errors drastically.

CAD and CAM both include the implementation of mechanical engineering knowledge with the help of software. The most crucial relationship is CAD design generated in CAD tools.

CAD is easy to learn. Design-oriented people can easily learn any best free CAD software tool. They need to become comfortable with UI and commands.

Here are the products that are made using best free CAD software:

  • Technical drawings
  • Blueprints
  • Floor plans
  • Building plans
  • Architectural designs
  • Parametric modeling

Best Free CAD Software Programs for Windows PC & Mac

Name Supported Platforms Free Trial Link
ZWCAD Windows and Linux 30-Day Free Trial Learn More
Adobe Substance 3D Windows, Mac, and Linux 30-Days Free Trial Learn More
Planner5d Windows, Mac, Android, and iOS 3-Days Free Trial Learn More
AutoCAD Windows, macOS, iOS, and Android Life Time Free Basic Plan Learn More
FreeCAD Windows, Mac, and Linux Life Time Free Basic Plan Learn More