DraftSight Comes Out Of Beta

On 23rd February Dassault Systemes took DraftSight out of beta. According to this press release there were 400,000 downloads during the beta period which lasted eight months.

One of the readers of my earlier post titled “Dassault Systemes DraftSight Based On Graebert’s ARES Platform” posted this comment yesterday.

“… for a free AutoCAD-like program, it’s as good as they come. However, if I want to do my job, I won’t downgrade to it. The loss in productivity from any version of AutoCAD 2004 and above to DraftSight would cost too much. Then again, with as much as many people know about AutoCAD, they might not even notice a difference. I use dynamic blocks and fields like mad, but most of the people I support haven’t got a clue that they exist, let alone how to use them.”

To which I replied:

I get your point. People whose main work is 2D will not downgrade to DraftSight. But for those who have moved to 3D and still need a 2D CAD system to open/edit DWG files, DraftSight is perfect.

This goes back to why SolidWorks joined the ITC years ago to offer DWGeditor to former AutoCAD customers which they had converted to SolidWorks. In my opinion the main difference between DraftSight and other AutoCAD clones boils down to the product’s intended use which relates directly to who they are targeted at. Unlike the developers of other AutoCAD clones, I highly doubt Dassault Systemes is going after AutoCAD users who use AutoCAD eight hours a day. They will need a much more formidable 2D CAD product to do that. After all, AutoCAD has improved in leaps and bounds in the past few years, whereas the clones have done a horrible job playing catch up. To add to their miseries, Graebert has struck this wonderful deal with Dassault Systemes which basically gives a fairly decent AutoCAD clone to the whole world for free in the form of DraftSight.

I think it is fair to assume that almost all of the 400,000 users that tried DraftSight over the past eight months were people who had a license or subscription of AutoCAD or a clone. The real question is how many of them decided to not upgrade or renew their subscription. If you are one of 400,000 I would like to know why you did or did not decide to switch to DraftSight. Please leave a comment.

Download DraftSight here.

  • Kev

    I use Alibre for 3D and Edrawings to view and print customers drawing Draftsight seemed a good replacement for Edrawings with being able to edit at the same time but couldnt get the beta to print landscape drawings correctly but will try the new version soon to check if fixed.
    Still not keen on the Autocad style of things though 😉

    Cheers Kev

  • Flinstones Revenge

    I have AcadLT2008 for all 2D work & Solidworks for most 3D. (Solidworks 2D should be as good as Draftsight for 2D work, but it definitely is not!) I tried Draftsight but it failed to deal with some Acad2010 3D dwg files that came my way… so… rather than upgrade to the latest version of AutocadLT, Draftsight is now totally uninstalled and the cheapest version of Graebert Ares was purchased. Do I use Ares now? No, it is merely a file translator (to Acad2008 format) as the Ares interface is not as user friendly and is missing some functionality that I use in LT2008. Thanks Dassault for bringing Ares to my attention.

  • macray

    I use DraftSight and recommended it to many engineers in the company. It is used mainly for small changes in existing / clients drawings or to setup a basic layout that will be reworked and done more in detail by one of the draftsmen in the company in VetorWorks.
    For 3D I prefer to use MoI or VectorWorks directly. So DraftSight saves us some AutoCAD licences, though it is not replacing the few we own. More like supplementing, supporting and enhancing the availabilities of the engineers that mainly used the DWGTrueView till now to check on drawing and hand all the changes to the draftsmen. Now they can do small changes themselves – saving them time on sketching the changes, explaining them and then have someone else do it. Now they just do it themselves.

  • AZSunDevil

    I use Solidedge and Google Sketchup for 3D. I can’t see spending a lot of money for AutoCad if I only use it for 2D. DraftSight fits the bill — plus it’s faster and takes up less disk space too!

  • Dgallup

    We mostly use Pro/E & Solid Works but we have old AutoCAD files from AutoCAD 2000 and older. We long ago passed the point where we could upgrade AutoCAD, and we don’t really use/need it all that much. DraftSight fits our needs perfectly. It has been 100% compatible, using our old custom fonts and other customization perfectly. I have not seen any other AutoCAD substitute that works as well. We are starting to get Windows 7 boxes and our sysadmin could not get AutoCAD 2000 to run on them. DraftSight works perfectly.

  • fukawi2

    How about a link to the product website? No use talking about it without giving options for further research.

    • Thanks for the feedback. I just updated the post with a link to download DraftSight.