You have received a file in DWG format, you would like to view it but on the PC you are currently using there is not a copy of AutoCAD installed?
Do not despair! There are several software that can solve your problem and many of them are completely free.
Yes, you read correctly! If you do not have AutoCAD installed on your computer and you do not plan to purchase a new copy of the software, you can open DWG files using free DWG programs that you can easily find online. There really is something for everyone and, more importantly, for all operating systems. Of course they do not include the editing and creation of the files included in AutoCAD, but for the visualization of the projects (in 2D or 3D) they are perfect.
Take five minutes of free time, try to find the software that is most appropriate for you and download it using the link in the article.
DWG TrueView (Windows)
DWG TrueView is the best free DWG program. It is produced by Autodesk, the manufacturer of the very popular AutoCAD and is therefore based on the same engine as the latter. It allows you to view DWG and DXF files for free by having the ability to print them and track changes to 2D and 3D files. It also allows you to convert DWG files to PDF in an extremely easy and fast way. The program is only available for Windows but it is very easy to use.
FreeCAD is a very useful free alternative to AutoCAD that allows you to open and edit files in .DWG format. It has a very well structured user interface that is familiar to those who have used programs like AutoCAD. Entering more specifically, it is a free and open source 3D parametric modeling software designed to draw objects of the real world of any size. It is compatible with Windows, MacOS and Linux and supports many different file formats: STEP, IGES, STL, SVG, DXF, OBJ, IFC, DAE and many others.
OpenText Brava! DWG Viewer (Windows)
As its name quite easily suggests, OpenText Brava! DWG Viewer is a free program that allows you to view files in DWG, DXF and DWF format. It is very fast, easy to use and in addition to displaying them, it also allows you to measure and print AutoCAD files. Supports Xref, displaying layers and blocking file attributes. It also includes a Web browser. It is also very easy to use even for non-experts.
It is compatible with all major Windows versions, including 64-bit versions. Download from here.
SketchUp is a well-known free software known previously as Google SketchUp that allows you to model houses and other elements in 3D. It is very easy to use, thanks to the tutorials and internal sample files that allow you to easily learn the main commands of the program, and supports all the major design file formats, including those of AutoCAD DWG. It is available for Windows and macOS. It is also available in a paid version with additional features (which can still be tried for free for 30 days).
To download SketchUp you must enter your email address and you must indicate the purposes for which you will use the software (eg educational or professional). Download from here.
DraftSight offers a free, highly efficient and easy-to-use tool for creating, editing and viewing DWG files on all major operating systems. It has a very simple user interface that is particularly user-friendly for those who have already used programs like AutoCAD in the past. The software is free but to use it you must register on its official website and receive a code to be entered during installation via email (otherwise it expires after 30 days).
It is compatible with all major versions of Windows, with macOS and with many Linux distros. Download from here.
eDrawings Viewer (Windows/Mac)
eDrawings Viewer is a free software for Windows and macOS that allows you to view files in DWG and DXF format extremely quickly. It is very intuitive and includes all the features you might want from an “essential” application of its kind: project opening, zoom, rotation, animation, navigation, etc.
It does not allow modification or create new projects, but for this there are other more advanced solutions..
AutoCAD 360 (Android / iOS)
As mentioned in the opening of the post, there are also programs for free DWG compatible with smartphones and tablets. One of these is AutoCAD 360 which is available for both Android and iPhone and iPad.
The application is free, but some features like creating new projects and support for large files are only available in the paid Pro version. To download AutoCAD 360 just open Google Play or App Store and search for the application.