7 CAD Software Available for Linux

Computer Aided Design (CAD) is an essential part of many streams of engineering. CAD is professionally used in architecture, mechanical design, interior design.
A number of professional-grade CAD software like SolidWorks and Autodesk AutoCAD are not natively supported on the Linux platform. So today we will be having a look at the top CAD software available for Linux. Let’s dive right in.

1. FreeCAD
For 3D Modelling, FreeCAD is an excellent option that is both free and open source. FreeCAD is built with keeping mechanical engineering and product design as target purposes. FreeCAD is multiplatform and is available on Windows, Mac OS X+ along with Linux.
FreeCAD does not focus on direct 2D drawings but it’s great for design related to mechanical engineering. FreeCAD version 0.15 is available in the Ubuntu repositories.


2. LibreCAD
LibreCAD is a free, opensource, 2D CAD solution. Generally, CAD tends to be a resource-intensive task, and if you have rather modest hardware, then I’d suggest you go for LibreCAD as it is really lightweight in terms of resource usage. LibreCAD is a great candidate for geometric constructions.
As a 2D tool, LibreCAD is good but it cannot work on 3D models and renderings.


3. OpenSCAD
OpenSCAD is a free 3D CAD software. OpenSCAD is very lightweight and flexible. OpenSCAD is not interactive. You need to ‘program’ the model and OpenSCAD interprets that code to render a visual model. It is a compiler in a sense. You cannot draw the model. You describe the model.
OpenSCAD is the most complicated tool on this list but once you get to know it, it provides an enjoyable work experience.


BRL-CAD is one of the oldest CAD tools out there.
BRL-CAD was started in 1979, and it is still developed actively. Now, BRL-CAD is not AutoCAD but it is still a great choice for transport studies such as thermal and ballistic penetration.


QCAD is a commercially available open-source CAD software based on Qt framework.
The free community edition is open source and its source code is available. The professional version contains add-ons for advanced DXF support, DWG support and many extra tools and features.
In other words, the free community edition will be restricted to certain features.
QCAD may not be the best CAD software there is but the UI and the options get a lot of things done. So, if you are interested to try an open-source CAD software, you may download the trial version to test-drive it.


6. DraftSight (not open source)
If You’re used to working on AutoCAD, then DraftSight would be the perfect alternative for you.
DraftSight is a great CAD tool available on Linux. It has a rather similar workflow to AutoCAD, which makes migrating easier. It even provides a similar look and feel. DrafSight is also compatible with the .dwg file format of AutoCAD.


7. BricsCAD (not open source)
Yet another alternative.
This may not be a free and open-source solution. However, you will find it available for Linux when you purchase it.
It is a feature-rich CAD software available for Linux users. If you are curious, they also have a comparison chart on their official website with AutoCAD to let you know of its capability and features.


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