Based on 317 reviews and ratings
Based on 894 reviews and ratings
AutoCAD and DraftSight are both extremely popular Computer Aided Design (CAD) programs. They both lead the category in ratings and reviews, both having over 250 each. Compared to most SaaS platforms, CAD software has been around for several decades. And while CAD software is most commonly used for engineering and architectural purposes, it has a growing variety of applications.
AutoCAD is a CAD product from Autodesk, a major software company specializing in design tools for various industries. On TrustRadius, most of its users are from mid-sized construction companies. This is in contrast to DraftSight which represents mostly small businesses and/or engineering firms.
In addition to running as desktop software, AutoCAD also has a mobile and web-based version for both Mac and Windows OS. Its major selling points are its pre-built architecture, electrical, and mechanical toolsets. AutoCAD’s key features set support 2D drafting, drawing, and annotation; 3D modeling and visualization; online collaboration; and issue tracking. AutoCAD allows users to access their drawing history, compare Xrefs, and remove and edit multiple objects at once as well.
Draftsight has 5 different tiers of pricing: Standard, Professional, Premium, Enterprise Plus. The key difference between the different tiers is whether or not they support 3D design. While Standard and Professional do not, Premium, Enterprise, and Enterprise Plus do.
Standard is best for non-professional use cases, whereas the other three tiers. The more advanced tiers feature APIs for integrating your ERP, PDM, and LISP tools. as well as complete tools for drafting, modeling, prototyping, manufacturing, laser cutting, and 3D printing. The Enterprise offers are best for organizations with many users across multiple sites.
While AutoCAD is extremely popular, no software is perfect. AutoCAD excels at 2D design, but reviewers on TrustRadius frequently call out that its 3D design tools require some improvements to be on the same level as its 2D features. AutoCAD in general seems to have a steep learning curve, so may be best for more experienced users. Reviewers also mention that AutoCAD is a bit slower than comparable programs.
With DraftSight, reviewers mention that it is not as customizable as they would like, and that often updates will add new features that make using the tool more difficult to use. When reviewers have ran into issues, they report that customer service with DraftSight leaves much to be desired and that online support is not useful for troubleshooting.
While AutoCAD is free for students and educators, its pricing starts at $1,690/year or $210/month. Buyers also have the option of committing to 3-year licenses at $4,565 total. AutoCAD can be installed on multiple computers, but can only be used on one station at a time.
DraftSight is marketed as being a cheaper alternative to AutoCAD. Its cheapest tier (Standard) starts at $99/year per user. Professional is $199/yr, Premium $499/yr, and Enterprise or Enterprise Plus tiers have customized pricing depending on the size your business and number of users. Expect to pay more than $500/yr at this tier.
Provided by the TrustRadius Research Team
Published on June 15, 2020
Likelihood to Recommend
DraftSight is not well-suited to three dimensional product or part models.
- AutoCAD is perfect to use when the graphic representation of objects are shown in multiple drawing locations. Then this graphic can be changed once and all occurrences will be automatically updated.
- Using AutoCAD to draw plans is so much more efficient than drawing by hand. This is especially true when it comes to having to make changes. Everything can be done on the computer. There's no need to redraw or retrace the plan because with one command it's so easy to just make a digital copy of it.
- AutoCAD supports not only two-dimensional drawings but also three-dimensional drawings. With a three dimensional model, a user can actually create walkthrus and flybys of the project instead of having to create a physical model.
- Repetition of items with great built in tools.
- Does everything a “basic” user requires without the big price stamp.
- Exports drawings in to other formats i.e PDF very easily with lots of options of making your exported document to look just how you would like it to look.
- The biggest downside of AutoCAD is absolutely the complexity of the product. Gaining proficiency (in my opinion) requires an in-person class with a skilled instructor that can guide a beginner.
- You need a pretty beefy machine with a newer-generation processor and top-notch video card to really use AutoCAD. Don't assume you can run it on just anything, as it will take forever for files to load and rendering will mean a lot of waiting around otherwise. We use machines that are well suited for high-end gaming with 256GB of RAM and a multi-processor CPU motherboard, plus dual video cards, so it's not cheap, but time is money so its worth it.
- You also need much larger than normal displays (like with any type of drawing work) and with a 4K/60hz resolution to reduce eye strain. Once again, not inexpensive but necessary.
- Customizing tool bars could do with a little improvement. e.g. the ability to drag a command out of a menu and drop it on the shortcut menus as a button, would be fabulous.
- Moving objects to the OCS (e.g. 0, 0, 0) is not always straight forward, and the error command is not really helpful.
Likelihood to Renew
Return on Investment
- AutoCAD is the function of our business. AutoCAD has made this company successful for over 30+ years. This company works, lives, and breathes AutoCAD.
- AutoCAD also has returned a good amount of investment over the years. Since we surround ourselves with AutoCAD daily, I can happily say that it has made this company a huge profit.
- One negative impact is the constant upgrades. Any time a new version comes out, we have to invest in the latest because let's face it, that's how business works! Which costs more money for the upgrade and the maintenance.
- Has allowed us to create a better visual representation of our project/plant visions through developing tangible drawings. This makes it easier for Board members to understand our proposals and helps instill project confidence.
- A great tool to review safety (egress; aisleways; etc)
Premium Consulting/Integration Services—
Entry-level set up fee?
AutoCAD Editions & Modules
- per month
Additional Pricing Details—
Premium Consulting/Integration Services—
Entry-level set up fee?
DraftSight Editions & Modules
|DraftSight Premium (3D)||$4991|
|DraftSight Enterprise||Contact sales team|
|DraftSight Enterprise Plus||Contact sales team|
- per year