Are you taking your first steps in the world of technical drawing and would you like some advice on the programs to use? Have you recently started a course of architecture or engineering studies and would you like to test your computer skills?
So I really think you’ve come to the right place at the right time. As you may have already guessed from the title, in this guide I will show you what in my opinion are some of the best technical drawing programs currently available on the square.
Although AutoCAD (you find it also listed below) is the software of the most popular category, of programs for technical design there are also many others, both free and paid, both for Windows and for MacOS (as well as for Linux). The choice of which among the following technical drawing programs to use, however, is only and only up to you, based on what are your actual needs and preferences. I, for my part, can not help but indicate to which ones you use a given software can be more or less appropriate. The last word, however, remains yours.
In short, all you need to do is identify the solution that best suits your needs, download it and install it on your computer. To deepen the functioning of each software, I suggest you consult the official documentation or search for online guides. In this regard, I already anticipate that these are programs with a fairly long learning curve and that, consequently, using them without adequate preparation is practically impossible, or almost.
FreeCAD (Windows, MacOS and Linux)
Thanks to its potential and the ability to expand with browser-style extensions, FreeCAD manages to be an excellent solution for students and small professionals who want to realize technical 2D and 3D drawing on the computer without spending money.
Among the main functions of the program we find support for many file formats in and out (es.STEP, IGES, OBJ, DXF, SVG or U3D), complete access from Python and the ability to perform complex operations with graphics 3D.
FreeCAD is compatible with Windows, MacOS and Linux and is free. Click here to download the software right away on your computer.
BRL-CAD (Windows, MacOS and Linux)
BRL-CAD is an open source program for technical drawings and geometric modeling that includes geometric analysis, distributed framebuffer support and various tools for geometric functions and image processing.
It is not very easy to use but by studying its functions and structure well, the professionals and students who need this kind of programs will find it useful.
BRL-CAD is usable on Windows, MacOS and Linux and is free. Click here to download the software right away on your computer.
LibreCAD (Windows, MacOS and Linux)
As its name suggests, LibreCAD is an aspiring free alternative to AutoCAD, a good program that allows you to create technical 2D drawings on your computer.
At the moment, it does not offer many features and the lack of 3D makes you feel, in any case thanks to its simple user interface turn out to be a good starting point for those who must approach the world of digital technical drawing.
LibreCAD is compatible with Windows, MacOS and Linux and is free. To download your computer software right away, click here.
OpenSCAD (Windows, macOS and Linux)
OpenSCAD is another of the technical drawing programs that I think is the case that you take seriously. Probably not one of the most intuitive of its kind but includes several features that make it really very interesting.
Going more specifically, OpenSCAD is a 3D compiler that reads scripts that describe the objects to be rendered in 3D. In other words, we are not in the presence of an interactive modeler in the strict sense of the word, but of a more advanced solution aimed at giving maximum control to the user (as a consequence, it requires quite advanced knowledge).
OpenSCAD is compatible with Windows, MacOS and Linux and is free. Click here to download the software immediately on your computer.
Kicad (Windows, macOS and Linux)
Kicad is a design software for drawing printed circuit boards (PCBs). It is comprehensive of a convenient 3D viewer that can be used to control your drawings interactively.
The software allows you to rotate when disengaged and to move within the various schemes to analyze all the details. There are also several rendering options available to the user.
Kicad is compatible with Windows, MacOS and Linux and is free. Click here to download the program immediately on your computer.
AutoCAD (Windows and macOS)
When it comes to technical drawing programs, one can not fail to mention AutoCAD, the most famous and used software for technical drawings in the world. It includes all the possible and imaginable functions for drawing in 2D and 3D and consists of an extremely customizable user interface.
It is not among the lightest programs in the industry, but when it comes to designing houses, buildings and structures of various kinds, has very few rivals. Basically a must-have for engineers and architects (or students of these subjects).
AutoCAD is compatible with both Windows and MacOS and is paid. Eventually there is also a free trial version that allows you to test all the functions without limits for a period of 30 days, after which you must purchase a license if you want to continue using it. To download the software (and possibly also the purchase) immediately on your computer click here.
Sketchup (Windows and macOS)
Google Sketchup is the well-known software for technical drawing and 3D modeling realized by the colossus of research on the net. It makes it possible to create drawings in two and three dimensions focusing mainly on houses and buildings.
Thanks to a series of tutorials included in the program, even the less experienced users who have to deal with technical subjects can learn how to use it easily.
SketchUp is compatible with both Windows and MacOS and is available in two versions, a free and a paid version that allows you to model 3D buildings more efficiently, perform photo matching of various models, manage geographical locations and much more yet. To download the software (and possibly also the purchase) immediately on your computer click here.
CadSoft ExpressView (Windows)
CadSoft ExpressView is a software with which you can create models of houses in 3D. It represents the ideal solution for architects who have to design new homes, professionals who have to renovate the interior of a house and enthusiasts of the material who do not yet want to invest large amounts of money in more complete solutions.
To download the program, you must fill out a form with your data. The link to download the software is sent via e-mail.
CadSoft ExpressView is compatible exclusively with Windows and is available both for free and in more complete and paid versions. Click here to download immediately (and possibly even purchase) the program on your computer.
HouseCAD is an Italian software to design homes and furnish homes in a simple and immediate way. The program has a well-designed interface that allows you to create fairly detailed plans and plans.
The designed houses can then be displayed in 3D or exported to all the most common CAD programs and it is also possible to import other properties into the projects you are working on.
HouseCAD is compatible only and exclusively with Windows. The program is subject to a fee, but a free trial version is available to test its potential for up to 7 days. Click here to download immediately (and possibly even purchase) the program on your computer. It should be noted that in order to work correctly, the Microsoft .Net Framework 3.5 and the DirectX 9.0 libraries must be installed on the PC.
3DCrafter is a real-time 3D modeling and animation software with which it is possible to create complex drawings taking advantage of the included tools, which make it possible to carry out any type of work, including the final graphic rendering.
The operation and use of 3DCrafter is extremely simplified thanks to drag and drop. The software interface is also highly customizable.
3DCrafter is only compatible with Windows and is available in both a free version and two paid versions. Click here to download immediately (and possibly even purchase) the program on your computer.