DraftSight--Cost-Effective Solution for Professional Drafting Needs!
Updated December 30, 2020

DraftSight--Cost-Effective Solution for Professional Drafting Needs!

Marc Clamage | TrustRadius Reviewer
Score 10 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User

Software Version

Paid

Overall Satisfaction with DraftSight

I am a one-man shop providing architectural visualization and graphic design to small architecture, engineering, and real-estate development firms. My motto is "cheap is good, free is better." I do most of my 3D work in SketchUp, but a CAD program is essential in my line of business and DraftSight fits the role admirably.

I began using AutoCAD in the 1980s. As a result, I preferentially use keyboard commands to perform CAD operations. DraftSight's commands are identical with AutoCAD's. Consequently, when I made the switch from AutoCAD LT to DraftSight, there was zero learning curve--none. The transition was utterly seamless and I was able to continue to concentrate on doing what I was doing without having to learn a new set of procedures.

I have recommended DraftSight to a number of clients, including a local tradesman specializing in rear decks to whose secretary I taught sufficient drafting to do the necessary drafting and details herself. I have also recommended DraftSight to other small-scale architectural operations where cost is a serious issue and paying $99 a year for DraftSight for features identical to AutoCAD LT's at $400/year represents a significant savings.

DraftSight is all upside, no downside. I heartily recommend it.
  • Provides basic 2D drafting capability comparable to AutoCAD
  • Is inexpensive
  • Fits a specialized niche in the building community
  • Excellent for students and amateurs
  • File command is hidden behind an icon. One of the few instances where AutoCAD keyboard commands don't work!
  • Inconsistency between DraftSight and AutoCAD print windows.
  • Has same weaknesses as AutoCAD. Will someone ever make printing/plotting make sense?
  • Positive--saved me money. Has already more than paid for itself.
As noted, DraftSight is an excellent substitute for 2D AutoCAD. I haven't used it for 3D work, but then, no one uses AutoCAD for 3D work anymore, do they? It's all SketchUp, AutoDesk Revit, or some other BIM program. Large firms are unlikely to commit to DraftSight because there is a certain prestige to AutoDesk programs. Most high-end clients insist the latest version of every software be used--it demonstrates the financial soundness of the architect that they have money to waste on fancy software. That may change during periods of economic uncertainty--like this one--but generally speaking, fairly or unfairly, DraftSight will remain the preference of down-to-earth small-to-medium-sized firms.