AutoCAD vs. DraftSight

Overview
ProductRatingMost Used ByProduct SummaryStarting Price
AutoCAD
Score 8.7 out of 10
N/A
AutoCAD is a CAD product from Autodesk. It allows designers to work in 2D and 3D, and is available on Windows and Mac, but with extensive online collaboration tools.
$245
per month
DraftSight
Score 7.0 out of 10
N/A
DraftSight is a 2D and 3D CAD solution for architects, engineers and construction service providers, as well as professional CAD users, designers, educators and hobbyists. DraftSight lets users create, edit, view, and markup any kind of 2D and 3D DWG file with greater ease, speed, and efficiency. Its familiar user interface helps to facilitate a quick transition from other CAD applications. DraftSight Offerings: DraftSight Professional: the advanced 2D CAD drafting…
$249
per year
Pricing
AutoCADDraftSight
Editions & Modules
Monthly Subscription
$245
per month per user
Yearly Subscription
$1975
per year per user
3-Year Subscription
$5925
3 years per user
DraftSight Professional
$249
per year
DraftSight Premium (3D)
$549
per year
DraftSight Enterprise
Contact sales team
DraftSight Enterprise Plus
Contact sales team
Offerings
Pricing Offerings
AutoCADDraftSight
Free Trial
YesYes
Free/Freemium Version
NoNo
Premium Consulting/Integration Services
NoNo
Entry-level Setup FeeNo setup feeNo setup fee
Additional DetailsDraftSight Professional, and Premium are available to purchase online directly. DraftSight Enterprise and Enterprise Plus are available to purchase through local resellers.
More Pricing Information
Community Pulse
AutoCADDraftSight
Considered Both Products
AutoCAD
Chose AutoCAD
In all honesty, DraftSight is more of an Autocad LT competitor. TurboCAD is pretty decent but has a completely different interface. In the end, Autocad winds up in offices all around the world for three reasons; 1. Name recognition, your boss & the purchasing agents might not …
Chose AutoCAD
DraftSight is a very good complement to Solidworks, it looks a lot like AutoCAD, but my preference for AutoCAD is based more on emotional ties and very pleasant memories, with AutoCAD I have many years of experience, I started there.
Chose AutoCAD
AutoCAD has been around for over 30 years. AutoCAD was one of the first CAD programs that ran on a PC.
Intergraph ran off a mainframe until MicroStation came in a PC version at a later date. By this time, AutoCAD had a market on smaller companies because of the cost and colleges …
Chose AutoCAD
AutoCAD is definitely a more robust program than DraftSight. It provides much more stable features and flexibility with configuring the program. The support is much better as well, both from the official Autodesk support but also from community groups online. This is mainly to …
Chose AutoCAD
All of the alternatives above work well if you are starting from scratch and are in the market for new software. DraftSight is no longer free. If you have any legacy AutoCAD drawings you are going to encounter problems as we did. Sometimes old files won't open or save …
Chose AutoCAD
AutoCAD is the industry benchmark and standard, it is easy to use and understand, the Graphic User Interface is fairly intuitive with icons that make sense, shortcut keys make drawing super fast, blocks prevent or at least limit costly mistakes.
The drawing exchange format (DXF) …
Chose AutoCAD
AutoCAD is still the top choice although the software subscription is more on the costly side. Time saved on every mouse stroke justifies the value of AutoCAD. After using AutoCAD for a while, other competitors' less expensive copycat versions feel very inefficient and not …
Chose AutoCAD
AutoCAD is the best of the bunch, but the older versions are easier to learn. We choose to stay with AutoCAD because the learning curve to switch to another software product would not be.
DraftSight
Chose DraftSight
DraftSight is very similar to AutoCAD. If you know how to use AutoCAD, it takes no time at all to transfer over to DraftSight.
Chose DraftSight
The initial cost has AutoCAD LT beat. Draftsight functions similarly, It has been a number of years since using AutoCAD so I don't have the current experience to compare them. We selected Draftsight because, for our small business, it made no financial sense to continue with Aut…
Chose DraftSight
Very capable and at the time, much less computer locking up than AutoCAD. Video introductions with some examples of on-screen commands and how to use them. This was great !!
It was free. The price was right for a one-person business.
Chose DraftSight
Draftsight is so close to the benchmark of AutoCAD it's uncanny. At a glance, it is AutoCAD. Comparing it to TurboCAD, Draftsight for me is far more user friendly, I’m a keyboard shortcutter--Draftsight and AutoCAD keyboard commands are the same. I would rather draw my plans …
Chose DraftSight
DraftSight is very similar to order versions of AutoCAD, so the learning curve was minimal. Of course the language and commands are different; which takes some getting used to. I still have to think "Sheet Mode" and "Model Mode". I haven't really used the 3D capabilities, but …
Chose DraftSight
Far simpler to use, and includes many of the same tools as AutoCAD. In our business, the ability to quickly get up and running without a long learning curve is of paramount importance. We are a startup, and don't have a lot of resources, which requires each of us to fill many …
Chose DraftSight
We selected DraftSight because Autodesk wanted too much money for their LT software. Initially, I was impressed with the seamless integration, I could use the command line just like AutoCAD. As I became more familiar with DraftSight, and also had more exposure, I started to …
Chose DraftSight
Lower price with similar performance and functions. It is extremely easy to use. I have no problem switching between Draftsight and AutoCAD. It saved me some time from learning a new software so that I can focus on the requests/tasks.
Chose DraftSight
Comparisons done with AutoCAD, FreeCAD & LibreCAD. Until DraftSight sales & support address a query raised on more than occasion, I am not willing to recommend full replacement of AutoCAD with DraftSight Pro.
Chose DraftSight
DraftSight is just as good, or better, than AutoCAD. Also at a price that is very competitive. Plus, DraftSight has new features every few releases.
Chose DraftSight
I have used the following CAD programs: VisualCADD, AutoCAD, TurboCAD, SolidEdge 2D, and DesignCAD. I have tried a few others that I didn't like. For me, drawing from scratch, the most efficient program is VisualCADD. No other CAD program I've tried so far have matched it. …
Chose DraftSight
Relatively identical interface to AutoCAD but at a much lower cost.
Chose DraftSight
DraftSight does not have some of the features that AutoCAD has, but for most users, they aren't needed. The price difference is a major benefit in favor of DraftSight.
Chose DraftSight
We have used AutoCAD in the past and it often had extended hang times when working on drawings.
DraftSight has cut that almost completely out, processing and rendering times are so fast.
The cost of DraftSight compared to AutoCAD was also a huge impact for us.
Chose DraftSight
Being a user for almost 10 years of DraftSight, the ease of use, the distribution of functions, etc. make switching to another program a bit painful and in need of a learning period.
Chose DraftSight
DraftSight is more simple and very economical to use.
Chose DraftSight
Draftsight has, for our organization, the capability we require that AutoCAD has but without the excessively over-inflated price. We have been using Draftsight for many years. If Draftsight stability and LISP integration were more stable, they could easily take over the DWG/DXF …
Chose DraftSight
overall my favorite since it was free. The interface is friendly and highly customizable, you can find a lot of resources on youtube because it is a widely used software, it has never betrayed me by crashing (and I have been using it for many years). I have no intention of …
Chose DraftSight
We use Draftsight in conjunction with the above products. Some users are primarily reviewing drawings and they use DraftSght while others need the 3D modelers for conceptual work and more detailed analysis.
Chose DraftSight
I picked DraftSight because I started with the free version and upgraded because it proved to have all the features I needed and the cost was great!
Chose DraftSight
More simple to use with self explaining menu without looking for functions for ages. DraftSight has everything in the right place.
Top Pros
Top Cons
TrustRadius Insights
AutoCADDraftSight
Highlights

TrustRadius
Research Team Insight
Published

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.

Features

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.

Limitations

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.

Pricing

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.

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User Ratings
AutoCADDraftSight
Likelihood to Recommend
9.3
(82 ratings)
4.2
(414 ratings)
Likelihood to Renew
8.0
(3 ratings)
9.0
(22 ratings)
Usability
8.0
(3 ratings)
7.8
(19 ratings)
Availability
-
(0 ratings)
8.7
(7 ratings)
Performance
-
(0 ratings)
8.3
(6 ratings)
Support Rating
7.2
(14 ratings)
4.2
(14 ratings)
In-Person Training
-
(0 ratings)
9.1
(1 ratings)
Implementation Rating
8.0
(2 ratings)
8.4
(15 ratings)
Configurability
-
(0 ratings)
8.3
(6 ratings)
Ease of integration
-
(0 ratings)
8.6
(4 ratings)
Product Scalability
-
(0 ratings)
7.6
(7 ratings)
Vendor post-sale
-
(0 ratings)
7.7
(4 ratings)
Vendor pre-sale
-
(0 ratings)
6.3
(5 ratings)
User Testimonials
AutoCADDraftSight
Likelihood to Recommend
Autodesk
I think AutoCAD is great for creating precise site plans that show the layout of buildings, roads, parking lots, and other features on a piece of land. you can use it for designing roads and highways, including lane configurations, intersections, signage, and pavement markings, as well as for designing utility systems like water, sewer, and stormwater drainage. Engineers can create detailed layouts and profiles for these systems. However, I think it is less appropriate for advanced 3D modelling tasks compared to dedicated 3D modelling software, BIM (Building Information Modelling), advanced geospatial analysis.
Read full review
Dassault Systemes
We put it through its paces with our drawings and it works fine. We do a lot of wiring diagrams and industrial control panel layout drawings, so we use a lot of its 2D capabilities. I would not use it in a multi-user environment where you have multiple designers working on one project at a time. This software makes no provisions for allowing multiple users to work at the same time on the same drawing and has no native version control. And because of their poor software control, DraftSight many times put out versions that are "crashy", which would make a lot of people very unproductive very quickly. I would look at other products for larger projects like that.
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Pros
Autodesk
  • The tools are easy to use and the learning curve is fairly minimal to be able to create blueprints.
  • The 3D application is very fun to use and it is nice to be able to see your product instead of having to imagine what it will look like.
  • The speed and accuracy in which students can create plans is a huge bonus. Students can plan their industrial art projects out and use their own set of plans to build them.
Read full review
Dassault Systemes
  • You can easily bring in a dwg format drawing into the programme and it will display the information just as well as AutoCAD.
  • The programme supports shortcut features or one-click buttons for the most commonly used operations.
  • Script files can be used which is a bonus.
Read full review
Cons
Autodesk
  • It needs more help in 3D world, eventually some parametric support
  • Better connection with Revit or Inventor
  • Dynamic blocks could get some updates
  • Parameters can be more developed; excel capabilities could be added
  • Sheet set could be more evolved to support a workflow involving data management
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Dassault Systemes
  • Draftsight could run better on lower performace machines, even on high performance machines there can be some lag now and again.
  • There used to be a more basic subscription version which was perfect for our needs, now lowest subscription is more expensive. Bringing back the standard version would be great.
  • Including hash pattern files would be very useful.
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Likelihood to Renew
Autodesk
Because rarely we [would] rather wait for a whole year to update, sometimes the new updates don't bring many new features and we are still ok with the current version. Also the change of interface is always something that takes time for every partner in the company to get comfortable with. So those are the main reasons we may want to keep the same version.
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Dassault Systemes
It has given us, a small startup, the ability to compete effectively with far larger competitors by evening the playing field at a low cost.
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Usability
Autodesk
Is an extremely usefull and accurate software , yo certainly can do almost every task requiered to document a project drawings and specifications , the only is that to be confortable with it you need a little of practice and to be familiarized with the commands and the core functioning to get expected results.
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Dassault Systemes
Easy if you know how to use CAD software. But is not very difficult to learn using DraftSight if this is your first CAD software. As soon as you get in to it the work flow will save you a lot of time and its simple interface is very nice.
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Reliability and Availability
Autodesk
No answers on this topic
Dassault Systemes
Other than a bug created by a VAR tech support that didn't get resolved until I installed the next version, DraftSight has worked fine.
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Performance
Autodesk
No answers on this topic
Dassault Systemes
In general it's very quick to load drawings...now it depends a lot on the file we're opening or working on.
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Support Rating
Autodesk
AutoCAD has the issue of crashing or slowing down the design procedure once a heavy design that includes several disciplines or multiple families/blocks is involved. Customer services gets the feedback from the crash reports but this issue seems like it has never been addressed in the software updates past several years.
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Dassault Systemes
Technical support seems to be overseas with broken English and difficulty to read English. I asked for a trial license to try the fix but it was declined. Ask pratiksha.dahotre and gayatri.keskar for details. In summary, they released a broken version, I helped to fix by providing feedback and error logs. They claimed it is fixed but I can't test it.
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In-Person Training
Autodesk
No answers on this topic
Dassault Systemes
Based on some knowledge of AutoCad, using Draftsight took a short time before I felt comfortable using it.
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Implementation Rating
Autodesk
the implementation was realy easy , to set up our workstation we pay for the licenses we are about to use , there was a little bit of delay to get the payment processed to receive the serial but after that the install runs without any problem , so you can fell secure there will be not issue with the implementation.
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Dassault Systemes
Take time to get used to where commands are and how the interface can be customized to suit your needs and work style. The keyboard commands are very helpful and can make work more efficient if time is taken to learn them.
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Alternatives Considered
Autodesk
I have experience with Autodesk Maya, and am familiar with their user interface with creating 3D objects. AutoCAD while from the same family, requires a steeper learning curve and more in-depth knowledge of the software.
I have experience with this software because it is the industry standard in the jobs that I applied to, and was required to the company that I interviewed for. Part of the interview process was a proof-of-work test to create a mock solution for a client, which would demonstrate knowledge and skill with using AutoCAD.
I have little experience with CorelCAD, but I found AutoCAD to be more in-depth with your options and what you could create.
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Dassault Systemes
While SketchUp is free, DraftSights cost is minimal and its abilities are much greater. It is so much easier to layout and modifies a system design. Since DraftSight is compatible with all versions of CAD, it makes it easy to collaborate with customers on their specific system design. We spend less time and see greater sales on our projects.
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Scalability
Autodesk
No answers on this topic
Dassault Systemes
As a startup, we really appreciate scalable software or tools, and because we use it for diverse types of projects, flexibility is key.
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Return on Investment
Autodesk
  • AutoCAD has helped our smaller firm produce lots of finished products matching that of a much larger size firm. With its many features, we have been able to do so much more and meet deadlines that much faster.
  • Since we do use AutoCAD, we're able to work with many other engineering firms to collaborate together to complete various building projects.
  • We have many clients now who expect us to provide for them at the end of a project not just printed construction drawings but also the digital AutoCAD drawing so they can in turn use it for future modifications themselves.
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Dassault Systemes
  • I have been able to save countless hours by making drawing corrections myself. Previously, I would have had to wait hours or days to get drawings back from our customers.
  • In the past year I would say that DraftSight has saved roughly 200 hours. That time would have been spent waiting for our customers to make corrections and then send them back to us.
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ScreenShots

DraftSight Screenshots

Screenshot of Plate InsertScreenshot of Image TraceScreenshot of 2D and 3D DWG filesScreenshot of HomeByMe Integration