Opensource.com’s resident Red Hatter Jason Baker has a roundup of a few notable open-source alternatives to AutoCAD – along with a few honorable mentions. (The article was originally published back in May 2016 but was recently updated with some new additions.) The blog’s subtitle sums it up nicely (and frankly applies to other genres of open-source software):
Open source computer-aided design software may not have all the functionality of proprietary solutions, but it may have everything you actually need.
Apply the same concept to graphic image manipulation programs (hint hint), audio editors, video playback, and you’ll find open-source software fairly competitive with proprietary offerings. Jason continues,
CAD—computer-aided design or computer-aided drafting, depending on who you ask—is technology created to make it easier to create specifications for real-world objects. Whether the object you’re building is a house, car, bridge, or spaceship, chances are it got its start in a CAD program of one type or another.
Among the best-known CAD programs is AutoDesk’s AutoCAD, but there are many others, proprietary or open source, out there. So how do the open source alternatives to AutoCAD stack up? The answer depends on how you plan to use them.