As technology hurtles forward, CAD software made a breakthrough, unleashing mobile power at a truly steady pace. Online CAD software developed as a means of meeting the convenience of users. Providing many of the same features as traditional ones, they run in in a local browser or through a web or mobile app. Unlike previous manipulation, you can work online on any device with no downloads required. If you’re looking for one, here are the answers you want. We’ll introduce the most popular freeonline CAD software in 2023 and their capabilities. Above all, they are all FREE!
AutoCAD Web deserves ranking with the best in this list. With an AutoCAD or AutoCAD LT subscription, you can use its web version. Additionally, you can download the mobile version on the Apple App Store and Google Play Store.
Covering multiple platforms, it offers all the basic tools and commands for drafting and designing to serve different levels of users. In a simplified interface, you can quickly access and update DWG files anytime from anywhere. Even beginners can smoothly get the desired results. In the time of COVID-19, this free online CAD software supports cloud collaboration for remote work. It is truly a trustworthy choice for your 3D creation. Honestly, AutoCAD Web probably is the best and quickest solution for existing AutoCAD users.
TinkerCAD is a beginner-friendly web-based 3D design application. It works on the principle of dragging and dropping 3D shapes onto a working grid and then modifying them. Besides, it offers many video tutorials to help start 3D visualization. Therefore, both teachers and students prefer it to start STEM learning. This free online CAD program perhaps is the simplest online software that could fall into the catalogue of CAD software. With TinkerCAD, you can enjoy a faster and smoother 3D designing process on different systems. What you need is the fast network speed and an input device (e.g., mouse, tablet, even a laptop trackpad).
It is worth mentioning that it allows team members to work on the projects together. Not limited to creating individual designs, you can edit others’ finished models. Its compatibility also enables us to import, edit, export and print models from other programs in STL, OBJ and SVG format.
SelfCAD is another software ideal for beginners and amateurs. You can learn how to use it under step-by-step guides. Its easy manipulation of 3D rendering and modeling is based on a polygonal mesh. The easy-to-use feature makes it possible to grasp in hours. Besides, it supports operation on different web browsers and systems (even in the cloud). With a library of images and objects, you can create anything from mind to design with ease.
Additionally, this free online CAD tool features some unique functions such as mesh modeling. It gives its users a different experience on top of regular CAD capabilities. For example, it has a large list of compatible 3D printers to use when you’re a new comer to 3D modeling or printing.
Familiar to most designers, SketchUp Free also adds online services. Online version is available in any modern web browser. No strings attached. No more operating system requirements. You can edit, render, save and collaborate easily on the streamlined interface. Trimble Connect enables you to post 3D design online, which supports successful telecommuting.
And the intuitive tools for precise navigation and modeling make it easy for beginners to learn 3D printable modeling from scratch within hours. Using the same core technology as its desktop app, this incredible free online CAD software also has a large collection of 3D models in the 3D Warehouse or uploaded by other users. To sum up, beginners or intermediate users can use this online CAD software before exploring SketchUp Pro.
Vectary features a combined capability of standard mesh modeling, subdivision modeling, and parametric plugins. It is so powerful that you can make custom 3D experiences for exploring and personalizing with a 3D configurator. And its optimized 3D design interface helps you concentrate more on your creative process. What’s more, it speeds up communication and inspires cooperation. It provides a community platform where you can share and customize photorealistic 3D products.
Also, if you need more than that, for example, more interactive, Vectary can cover you as well. With its online AR viewer, this CAD design online free software allows you to see your design in the real world. Interesting and incredible, isn’t it?
SmartDraw is a versatile Online CAD software where you can create over 70 different diagram types from flowcharts to floor plans with thousands of templates and symbols. You will never have to start with a blank page on this app. Powerful automatic formatting ensures perfect layouts in minutes. The AutoCAD-like annotation layer makes it possible to draw and print architectural and engineering diagrams to scale. It even works with MS Office, Google apps, Jira, AWS, Teams, and more.
These features decide its growth among 3D visualization professionals whoever are working independently or working with a group. This CAD drafting software free online is more versatile than you think: architectural plans, landscape plans, floor plans, product drawings, interior space layouts, and even technical drawings are feasible using SmartDraw.
If you deal with product and detail design, this free online CAD software is your best option. This one is equipped with all the must-have capabilities of CAD program. You can use it from any device, even iOS and Android. As the only cloud-native product development platform, it includes real-time data management. What you do will be stored in the cloud immediately to avoid data loss.
Its collaborative work mode is also a highlight. Only Onshape enables real-time simultaneous collaboration – allowing all team members to work together on the same document at the same time. If you’re looking for a browser-based tool for CAD drafting and modeling that accelerate your work, this is it.
Check out our picks for the best online CAD software for CAD drafting and modeling in your browser in 2023. Most of them are free or free for students.
AutoCAD Web: Best all-round free online CAD software for all users;
TinkerCAD: Best drag-and-drop free online CAD tool for beginners;
SelfCAD: Best free online CAD software for beginners and amateurs;
SketchUpFree: Best all-round free online CAD drafting and modeling software for all users;
Vectary: Best AR free online CAD drafting tool for professionals;
SmartDraw: Best free online CAD software for team players and professionals;
Onshape: Best online CAD drafting tool for product and detail designers.
A proper software is a valuable tool to address your pain points during the design process. Hopefully this blog will help you make an informed decision about choosing the best free online CAD software in 2023. Didn’t find what you’re looking for? Don’t worry, see some of our lists of 3D modeling and CAD software below:
CAD, or computer-aided design, refers to the use of computers to design or technically document with an automated process. In the design industry, architects, designers, drafters, and engineers use 2D or 3D CAD programs to draft construction documentation, visualize concepts with photorealistic renderings, and preview the unbuilt.
Today, we’ll introduce some of the free CAD programs with their merits and features. Hope this article will help you meet the best free CAD programs to get amazing 3D models and 3D prints for your project!
Best Free CAD Software
Here we’ve summarized the information including the pros and cons of each free CAD software:
#1. Autodesk AutoCAD
Pricing: Free 30-day trial, or $1,865 per year.
OS: Windows, macOS, Linux, and mobile apps available.
Architects and designers use AutoCAD for both 2D and 3D designs. With free AutoCAD software, you can product design, do simulations of the structure, and create incredible accurate 3D visualizations. If you’re wondering whether this is the right software for your expertise, we’ll say AutoCAD is suitable for both beginners and professionals.
AutoCAD allows its users to set dimensions on the drawings, and build them automatically based on the given dimensions. At last, the result can be immediately printed on 3D printers, exported to any social networks, or just share by e-mails. On top of this, you can enjoy a connected design experience on any device, including desktop and mobile. The interface is user-friendly and easy to use, and we believe it is one of the best free architectural software.
OS: Windows, macOS, Linux.
FreeCAD is an amazing drafting program with an open source and a simple interface. Because of its extensive functionality, FreeCAD is a good choice for both beginners and professionals. However, it requires knowledge of Python language if you hope to develop professional projects. Therefore, it is one of the best drafting programs for simple and basic designs.
This free CAD program reads and writes to many file formats including DWG, DXF, PDF, SVG and other popular formats.
TinkerCAD is an online application, which means you can access it easily on your browser instead of downloading the program. Besides, it is super user-friendly because this best free CAD program has an easy-to-understand approach to shape 3D models. How it works is that you can create the object you want by placing blocks one by one.
The best thing of TinkerCAD is that it allows you to juice up your ideas without any 3D modeling or drafting experience. Thus, it is an ideal CAD program for beginners.
Pricing: 30-day free trial, or $699 per year.
OS: Windows, macOS, Linux, and mobile apps available.
SketchUp is a well-know and widely-used professional CAD software, especially for architects, interior designers, and engineers. It offers more than professionally-developed drafting, you can also enjoy creating 3D models and document 3D ideas in 2D.
Another merit of SketchUp is that it has hundreds of professional extensions to create an instinctive 3D experience. At the same time, this bestfree CAD software is equipped with an open-source library with a large collection of 3D models. In this way, you’re free to choose and use the right model for your project. At last, the SketchUp Free is a web platform which is totally free for personal use and students!
If you’re interested in SketchUp, you can check out our case study of using SketchUp here: A Mixed-use in Vietnam.
Pricing: Free trial.
OS: Windows, macOS, Linux.
First things first, OpenSCAD is not suitable for all CAD users. Instead of focusing on the artistic side of the result, OpenSCAD is more for elaborated CAD projects. That is to say, OpenSCAD is the ideal application when you are planning to create 3D models of architecture or machine parts.
It’s a sure thing that OpenSCAD is not an interactive modeler. As a user, you have full control over the modeling process based on descriptive language.
#6. Fusion 360
Pricing: Free for personal use, or $409 per year for business use.
OS: Windows, macOS, Linux and online.
Fusion 360 is the first and only integrated cloud CAD, CAM, CAE, and PCB software platform. As an all-in-one drafting software, Fusion 360 allows you design your idea while engineering and creating with comprehensive electronics and PCB design tools. This free CAD program from Autodesk is an ideal solution for mechanical engineering and product design.
Using Fusion 360’s generative design and simulation tools, you can get access to flexible 3D modeling and design, creating detailed visualizations of complex products, and connect your team and communicate in real-time to manage your exciting projects.
#7. 3D Builder
3D Builder is the perfect solution for 3D modeling and 3D printing. This free CAD program has incredible processing speed and pure simple interface. However, this free drafting program is only available on Windows platforms, and is not for heavy model-making.
Surprisingly, 3D Builder is able to turn 2D images into 3D files. On top of that, you can choose freely in the library among already-made projects. On the mobile version of this free CAD program (you can download one on Windows mobile), the application is able to scan objects and convert them into 3D files.
OS: Windows, macOS and Linux.
QCAD is an open source application for CAD to create 2D drawings. It is the perfect choice for you if you’re a beginner and working on architecture projects to develop blueprints. With this free CAD drafting program, you can create 2D drawings such as floor plans, mechanical parts and diagrams.
This free CAD software features over 40 construction tools and 20 modification tools. At the same time, it supports DXF and DWG input and output.
#9. Archicad GRAPHISOFT
Pricing: Free for personal use, or $240 per month.
OS: Windows, macOS and Linux.
As a building information modeling (BIM) solution designed for architects, designers, interior designers and urban planners, Archicad is available both in cloud-based and on-premise deployment options. Due to its name, many people believe it is a CAD program for architectural design. The truth is it deserves attention as one of the best free drafting programs.
The sober and uncluttered interface makes it easy to use. Meanwhile, you can manage several data in the same program. We believe it is the best free CAD software for small and medium-sized companies and studios.
#10. Solid Edge
Pricing: Free for Solid Edge Community Edition, or $75 per month.
Solid Edge is an engineering CAD software that helps design, simulate and assemble products in both 2D and 3D. The great thing of Solid Edge is that it allows teams to coordinate various aspects of the project development process by connecting digital 3D models.
With a simple and clean user interface, this free CAD program is great at importing and exporting other CAD files. Additionally, Solid Edge features cloud-based capabilities, which allows easy access across different devices.
In this article, we’ve summarized 10 different free CAD software that suitable for certain types of tasks. If you’re looking for a reliable free 2D or 3D computer-aided design to help your project, please choose any of these options:
Autodesk AutoCAD: 2D & 3D printing;
FreeCAD: Converting real-life products;
TinkerCAD: Best for beginners;
SketchUp: 3D drawing and documentation;
OpenSCAD: 3D modeling & 3D printing;
Fusion 360: Overall 3d modeling;
3D Builder: 3D modeling & 3D printing;
QCAD: 2D drafting;
Archicad GRAPHISOFT: 2D & 3D modeling and rendering;