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Detailed Information about AutoCAD and other CAD Program Options

There is no way to obtain AutoCAD 2021 for free. To have access to the complete version of AutoCAD one has to buy it. There is a trial version of the software which acts like a test run. There is also an educational license available for teachers and students. Through this article we will guide you through the light version of AutoCAD and other programs with similar features. There are also other free alternatives for AutoCAD.

AutoCAD Free Trial Versions And AutoCAD LT 2021

AutoCAD is commercial 2D and 3D computer-aided design (CAD) software developed by AutoDesk. The desktop application has been available since 1982 whereas the mobile version was released in 2010. AutoCAD has various features making it a highly versatile tool. AutoCAD is used in various industries ranging from architecture, engineering, graphic design, management and others. Due to its extreme demand AutoCAD is not free.

AutoCAD provides a 30-days trial version available from AutoDesk’s website. To download it go through the following steps:

  1. Click Download free trial
  2. Select preferred version. Click Next.
  3. Read the system requirements notice. Click Next.
  4. Choose the type of user from the drop down menu. Select your language. Click Next.
  5. Enter your personal information and create your AutoDesk account.
  6. Enter business information (if any). Click Next.
  7. Read the trial notice and press BEGIN DOWNLOAD.
  8. Install and start using the trial version of the software.

How to Install the Education Version

The educational version provided by AutoDesk is meant for students and teachers. It can run on a maximum of two personal devices for three years. To access the free education version of AutoCAD follow the following instructions:

1. Go to AutoDesk Education Community.
2. Choose AutoCAD from the software list.
3. Create/Sign in to your AutoDesk account. If required set up your educational profile.
4. Click DOWNLOAD NOW.
5. Choose your desired version, your operating system, and your preferred language.
6. The displayed serial number and product key are sent to you via email address. After which click Browser Download.
7. Install the free version.
8. When installing the CAD software, enter the serial number and product key to unlock it.
9. Activate the license when you start the program for the first time.

AutoCAD LT 2021

AutoDesk provides a lighter version for users who enjoyed the 30-days trial version but cannot afford the subscription amount for the entire software. The subscription cost for the light version is cheaper ($420 per year) though it goes without saying that the lighter version does not have the entire advanced features that the AutoCAD original version has. The lighter version does not support 3D modeling and visualization.

AutoCAD Mobile App

The AutoCAD mobile version is for those who like to view and modify design on the go. The AutoCAD mobile version is also extremely versatile. The cost of the mobile version is extremely affordable costing just $55 per year. One can open and view DWG files, make accurate measurements and view coordinates; you can also zoom and pan your drawings, store those in the cloud and even share your designs with your colleagues. Along with these features, you can draw, edit, move and scale objects as well. It is obvious that the mobile version does not have all the features of the AutoCAD original but at the same time it is an affordable option and can definitely be used for designers on the go.

AutoCAD 2021 Trial Version and the AutoCAD LT Version 2021

Available Features

Amongst all CAD software AutoCAD is perhaps the most affordable option considering the advanced features it provides. The software completely supports parametric modeling. This allows users to make substantial changes to their designs by applying rules and constraints governing the structure. If the numerical value of one such constraint is changed the entire design will be modified accordingly. The AutoCAD software has evolved with time. Now it even provides industry specific features along with intelligent objects specifically designed according to field such as architecture, mechanical engineering etc.

The new features packed into the latest version of AutoCAD makes it the best CAD software in the market at the moment. Here is a list of all the features provided by AutoCAD 2021:

  • Drawing history
  • Xref compare which helps to see changes and difference in external references
  • Improved workflow integration across desktop, mobile and web
  • Cloud storage connectivity
  • Dark theme for user interface
  • Performance improvements to increase save times and install times
  • Quick measure
  • Enhanced Blocks palette feature, which allows users to insert blocks from a most recently used list with visual galleries

System Requirement for AutoCAD LT 2021

Stated below are the system requirement for AutoCAD 2021 and AutoCAD LT

  • OS: 64 bits windows 8.1 or higher, macOS 10.13 or higher
  • Processor: 2.5 GHz or higher
  • RAM: 8Gb or higher (recommended)
  • GPU: 1 GB DirectX11 compliant, or Mac native graphics card.

AutoCAD Mobile Application

  • (No specification) compatible with iOS and Android.

Price of AutoCAD 2021 Free Trial Versions and AutoCAD LT 2021

The pricing of AutoCAD varies with each version. The prices also vary according to billing subscription, with options for monthly, yearly and three years plan

  1. AutoCAD 2021: $210/month, $1,690/year, $4565/3 years
  2. AutoCAD LT: $55/month, $420/year, or $1135/3 years
  3. AutoCAD Mobile App: $5/month, $55/year

Free AutoCAD Alternatives

The pricing of AutoCAD original might not be affordable for everyone which is why we are also mentioning free CAD software which offers comparable features. Most notably FreeCAD, OnShape and nanoCAD.

FreeCAD

FreeCAD is a highly extensible, open source, free 3D CAD software. The reason why FreeCAD can be compared to commercial software such as AutoDesk’s AutoCAD is because it also offers full support to parametric modeling.

FreeCAD because of its parametric modeling capability allows you to make changes in your 3D modeling design by going back to your model history and make changes in its dimensions.

Since FreeCAD is open sourced it is oriented towards the community. At first FreeCAD might be overwhelming but give it enough time and you will be able to enjoy all the features it has to offer.

The FreeCAD software allows plugins to be mounted on the core application. It also allows a Sketcher with constraint-solver which will allow you to sketch 2D shapes; a robot simulation to study robot movements and a Path model dedicated to mechanical machining like miling (CAM).

LibreCAD

LibreCAD is a free software. It is lightweight 2D drafting software derived from QCAD. Compared to AutoCAD is much simpler to use but also provides good tools to design 2D design work.

Though LibreCAD is popular amongst Linux users who wanted a lightweight program which could read DWG files, it can be used on Windows and Mac as well. The interface for LibreCAD is similar to AutoCAD though it is much simpler making navigation across the program easier. Due to its lightweight feature it can downloaded and used by users who do not have computers with certain high range specification. Therefore, LibreCAD is easy to use for beginners as well as experienced users.

LibreCAD uses DXF files by default and is fairly interchangeable among other CAD programs. It also supports more than 30 languages.

nanoCAD

NanoCAD has a similar interface to that of AutoCAD. Therefore, shifting from one to other will be a smooth transition. The software supports parametric modeling which allows one to revisit models and make changes without much difficulty. It also comes with a useful spreadsheet editor much like AutoCAD. Due to its uncluttered appearance it is suitable for both hobbyists and professionals.

Plugins can be added to the software to increase its functionality. It is compatible with native DWG, it also has an accessible interface along with powerful drafting and design tools. It also has an open API.

Sadly, nanoCAD does not offer its free version anymore. There is a commercial version available called “nanoCAD Plus” priced at $180. Compared to AutoCAD it is much more affordable and can be a viable option when your free AutoCAD trial version expires.

Detailed Information about AutoCAD and other CAD Program Options
Source and Image Courtesy: all3dp.com