Draftsight = Value. A solid design tool at a great price point.
November 05, 2020

Draftsight = Value. A solid design tool at a great price point.

Paul Kirill | TrustRadius Reviewer
Score 6 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User

Software Version


Overall Satisfaction with DraftSight

Draftsight is used by our Technology & Data department - though our department does a lot more than just IT. Draftsight is our tool of choice for documenting our network infrastructure due to the ability to save in the common DWG format (as opposed to proprietary Visio format, for example). But in addition, we support the Facilities team with space planning, providing building plans, office/cubicle locations and assigned staff, and asset locations, etc. Beyond that, because of the unique experience of some of our staff, our department is has the privilege of designing and fabricating custom projects throughout the year. These include things like traveling exhibits, portable POP displays, a mobile USB charging station with digital signage, compressed air t-shirt cannons, etc. Most are fabricated in-house, but some parts and pieces are outsourced. We could not do any of this successfully (and on budget) without Draftsight.
  • DWG compatibility is perfect and critical for our projects. We have never had an issue sharing a file with anyone using a different CAD program (e.g. AutoCAD, BricsCAD, Vectorworks, etc.).
  • The interface and command structure is so similar to AutoCAD that adoption is very easy. The learning curve is minimal and the only real differences you see are when you are digging into the background settings like dimensions styles, plotter setup, and display settings.
  • The Draftsight UI focuses on getting work done. From version to version, the new features are actually improvements, not visual fluff that just gets in the way.
  • The activation process needs a complete makeover. I work on three different computers - a laptop when I'm mobile, a desktop at work and another desktop at home. The current process requires me to remember to deactivate it on the computer I used previously in order to reactivate it on the current computer. I totally support anti-piracy measures, but I'd like to see the ability to sign in to each workstation. At the very least offer the ability to deactivate other installations remotely (like Adobe does with creative cloud licenses). Or perhaps an option for "automatic deactivation on-close" would also do the trick.
  • The ability to download previous versions I was licensed for. As a non-profit, we can't always afford upgrade to the newest version. We did it, though, because we could not download a previous perpetual version we paid for. I think we are on subscription now, however.
  • The UI is beginning to look a bit dated - specifically in the icons department. Still fully functional and clean, just a bit dated.
  • Draftsight Standard and Pro are essentially a "maker's tool." It's hard to recommend Draftsight for true commercial application due to the difficult management processes (activation, email-only support, etc.).
  • For us, Draftsight has been fine. We do not use it for revenue generating activities. There are many alternative products/tools we could use for our tasks and projects and chose Draftsight because of the low cost and that I was already very familiar with AutoCAD.
  • The troublesome activation process has had a negative impact on my work causing delays in productivity. For example, working on a design at the office and then continuing design at home in the evening is not possible if I forgot to deactivate at the office.
  • Draftsight Standard is $99/year for one license. AutoCAD LT is currently $420/year. Draftsight Premium is $499/year and AutoCAD is current $1700/year. It would be hard to justify the additional expense of the Autodesk products in a small environment.
Draftsight Standard is a fine CAD tool. If you need more customization or 3D then Draftsight premium is also a good choice. Draftsight has all the tools you need to design, create, share files, document your work, etc. in a familiar UI that won't break the bank. That said, the support, training aids and opportunities, and market share of the other products all work against using Draftsight as a primary design tool in larger production environment.
I believe Draftsight's best use case is for "makers" or people with AutoCAD experience who are not generating revenue from the use of the product. In an individual or very small team scenario, Draftsight is good choice. It is relatively inexpensive (Standard and Pro versions) and has solid file compatibility through DWG & DXF options. I couldn't recommend it to firms with larger teams who depend on it for their livelihood. The learning curve, minimal customization options and lack of robust technical or account support, though fine for a individual, would have a negative impact when spread across a larger team. Onboarding new hires would be particularly difficult. I can't speak to the enterprise level, however.