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DraftSight

There are lots of free CAD programs out there, but I chose DraftSight as the basis for my online course "CAD for Woodworkers". Why?

Firstly, because its basic commands and interface are very similar to AutoCAD's, which is the industry standard for 2D CAD software, and used throughout the world by professionals. This means that the drawings you produce can be opened, printed and edited almost anywhere you choose. The drawing skills you learn on this course will also be transferable and upgradeable, and you can take advantage of the wealth of information and support available for AutoCAD.

Secondly, DraftSight is published by a major corporation, Dassault Systemes, which also publishes the highly respected 3D modelling software Solidworks. DraftSight has been downloaded 2 million times since its release in 2011, and is set to become the leading light among free 2D CAD software in the same way that SketchUp has established itself in the 3D world. The resources behind DraftSight mean it is compatible with most versions of Windows, OS X on the Mac and also Linux, making it the only truly cross-platform free CAD software available. 9Overall9File share9Features8Platforms9Backing9Ease of use

You can download DraftSight here.