Free Libre 2-D CAD overview

This article is for AutoCAD 2-D libre alternatives available for Linux, MacOS and Windows. Other free CAD programs exist, but they generally require retraining for users coming from AutoCAD.

Libre 2-D AutoCAD-like

Libre 2-D AutoCAD-like choices include:

  • QCAD
  • LibreCAD

DWG for QCAD and LibreCAD is via the free ODA DWG ↔ DXF converter. FreeCAD is 3-D parametric modeling akin to SolidWorks. FreeCAD can import DXF or DWG using ODA DWG ↔ DXF converter.

2-D CAD comparison

itemQCADLibreCAD
LicenseGPLv3GPLv2
Registrationnono
DWGODA R2020read: libdxfrw R2017. write: ODA R2020
DXFnativenative

QCAD

QCAD has distinct paid vs. Community Edition features

  • DXF: native read/write
  • DWG: non-free (paid) library OR use free ODA DXF-DWG converter.

LibreCAD

LibreCAD:

  • DXF: native read/write
  • DWG read: through R2017 (R2013 format) libdxfrw
  • DWG write: use ODA DXF-DWG converter.

DWG <-> DXF

Free, non-libre ODA File Converter supports through R2020 DWG/DXF. ODA File Converter may be used to convert from DXF to DWG en masse as a first/last step. The OpenDesignAlliance is the same organization where QCad gets its non-free non-libre converter.