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.