Corel Enters The CAD Market With CorelCAD

Today Corel, developer of graphics and productivity software, announced its entrance into the CAD market with the launch of its AutoCAD clone called CorelCAD. CorelCAD is basically a rebranded ARES from Graebert. This is the precisely the same short cut that Dassault Systemes used to enter into the 2D CAD space with DraftSight.

CorelCAD is being offered for Windows and Mac. The ARES engine works on Linux as well. But it appears that Corel doesn’t see a great market for CAD software on Linux. Corel’s press release indicate the kind of companies CorelCAD will be marketed to.

“Competitively priced, CorelCAD offers small-to-medium-sized businesses and larger enterprises an affordable option for site-wide deployments, making it an ideal solution for day-to-day design projects that require a high level of precision and detail.”

So here is another heavy-weight doing its bit to chip away at Autodesk’s huge AutoCAD customer base. Corel has a community of more than 100 million active users in over 75 countries. I just have to assume that quite a few of them will be Autodesk users who now will start listening to the “affordable AutoCAD alternative” message from an entirely different quarter. This can seen from the press release in which Klaus Vossen, Product Manager for Technical Graphics at Corel said:

The high cost of many CAD solutions makes it a prohibitive expense for small-to-medium-sized businesses. CorelCAD represents a great alternative, particularly for technical designers seeking power and precision at an affordable price.

Unlike the free DraftSight which is limited to 2D editing, CorelCAD is a 2D as well as 3D product, complete with 3D boolean operations, revolves, sweeps, etc. Also unlike DraftSight, CorelCAD comes with LISP.

CorelCAD is available now in English, German, French, Italian, Spanish, and Portuguese at the SRP of €699 / £579 ($699 USD) excluding taxes. Registered users of CorelDRAW Graphics Suite X4 and Corel DESIGNER Technical Suite X4 or higher are eligible for cross-grade pricing of €499 / £419 ($499 USD). I won’t be surprised of Corel sweetens the deal for its customer who already have a license of AutoCAD.

Graebert is turning out to be a one stop shop for companies who wish to take on Autodesk. Just like how Graebert created a marketplace for DraftSight, they have also created a similar marketplace for CorelCAD. In fact, developers who create applications for ARES and DraftSight need to simply recompile their source code for their applications to work with CorelCAD. I am doing exactly that to make our ARES plug-ins work with DraftSight and will do the same for CorelCAD as well. I have been working closely with Graebert on this for quite some time now.

I am beginning to wonder who’s next. I am tempted to say Adobe. But I guess they had enough of CAD with their 3D PDF. Microsoft? Who knows? Frankly, it could be anyone. Graebert has created a CAD system that works on Windows, Mac and Linux that can be tailored for anyone in any way they please. Moreover, with each such OEM deal and the marketplace that they create for it, Graebert’s DWG based ecosystem just keeps getting bigger and bigger. Now all that is required for a company to enter the CAD market is to sign an OEM agreement with Graebert, pay them a license fee and they get a branded product which can be immediately extended by already existing applications developed by third parties in a growing ecosystem which just happens to be based on the industry standard DWG.

I am very curious to see where all this is headed. True, CorelCAD is just another AutoCAD clone. But taking a broader view of things, I can see Graebert slowly positioning itself as a gateway for all kinds of players to enter the CAD software industry. And that is precisely the part of today’s announcement that interests me the most.

You can download a trial of CorelCAD from

  • Well ADSK isn’t going to like this 🙂

  • murray

    There was an older CorelCAD, in 1997 or 1998, an Alibre-like parametric modeler. Not bad at the time for small stuff, apart from suffering a bit from early-ACIS-itis, it had CorelScript automation and better rendering built in than just about anything else in its market point at the time.

    • Brad Holtz

      According to the 5th edition of that glorious book, The CAD Rating Guide, Corel CAD 3D was the result of a 1996 acquisition by Corel from Numera Software.

      • murray

        The CAD Rating Guide? I’ve never seen a review or comparison of CAD apps that’s anything other than partisan. How does that Guide do it? And five editions, too?

        • murray

          I didn’t mean Deelip’s partisan, I meant that it’s almost impossible to get entirely au fait with an app unless you’re working with it for some length of time, and even then, there’s always more than one way to skin the proverbial.

  • bcbenton

    It looks like Graebert is the real winner here. They have Ares which is licensed as Draftsight and now also licensed as CorelCAD. They win. This is a good thing for graphic artists that use Corel. Now they can get a CAD program on the cheap, relatively speaking, and it’s 3D. I don’t think Autodesk has anything to worry about, yet. But, as you said, if more and more companies keep getting into the CAD market and are providing quality software at a much reduced price, then Autodesk might have to worry.

  • guest

    Since I’m a Linux user and have paid for Brics and have the free DraftSight 2D just for kicks, it is hard to see what Corel is after here. However, your theme – that it chips away at AutoCad – is a good one. But how much has AutoCad move to really being Revit? In the world of architecture, Revit has almost become a ‘must have’ skill. Clumbersome and overkill… but true.

  • AutoCAD is still a massive cash cow for ADSK…

    Bleed that cow dry and you strip ADSK of funds/resources to invest in other products….

  • AutoCAD is still a massive cash cow for ADSK…

    Bleed that cow dry and you strip ADSK of funds/resources to invest in other products….

  • “Unlike the free DraftSight which is limited to 2D editing,”

    So many make this mistake. Look more closely at Draftsight: it is very limited 3D but being able to created extruded 3D solids, assemble them using the Align command and draw in various planes set using a UCS command etc. seems to indicate to me it there is more to Draftsight than JUST 2D. At least that is what I have found in the Linux version.

  • Lewis Balentine

    “marketplace for CorelCAD” looks like a complete failure.

    Their premier product (Render plugin for CorelCAD) does not even support the current version (although Graebert GmbH makes it available for their own product line). That would indicate that the there is not a strong future for CorelCAD. It is likely in future that Corel users will be left with no route to upgrade their software when Corel’s agreement with Graebert fizzles out (as it appears to be doing already by the lack of a rendering package).