2024 Buyers Guide to Drafting Programs

Here at DraftSight, we’re excited to provide you with a fantastic new resource on our website. It’s called The 2024 Buyers Guide to Drafting Programs and covers all you need to think about when considering a CAD program.

Obviously, there’s a lot to examine, so we thought we would present a shortened version here on the blog, hitting some of the highlights along the way.

Different Types of Drafting Programs

Easy-to-use drafting programs are a great way to get up to speed quickly. But just because they’re relatively easier than more advanced programs, that doesn’t mean they lack important features. For instance, most drafters can become proficient with DraftSight Professional in a short amount of time. Its interface should be familiar, and if you’re coming from a more expensive vendor’s software, most of your customizations can be easily transferred.

CAD programs tend to build on one another. An advanced program such as DraftSight Premium has all the features of Professional, but it also adds time-saving tools such as PDF Import, Batch Printing, Sheet Set Manager, and Custom Blocks. These advanced programs typically support 3D design as well. Not only will you have all the tools you need to create and edit 3D solids such as boxes, cones, cylinders, or spheres, but you can also leverage your 2D designs by transforming them into 3D objects with tools like Extrude, PushPull, Loft, and Revolve.

Drafting programs with parametric modeling take CAD a step further by automatically adjusting all the dimensions of a design when one parameter changes. In traditional drafting, it works just the opposite. The design is created, drawn, and dimensioned, then if a change is made, the dimensions update per the changes. A program like DraftSight Premium uses dimensional and geometric parametric constraints to accomplish this intent first approach.

Varying Licensing Models

Most CAD programs have become subscription-based, requiring businesses to buy seats for every user. They cap the number of users on a license or the number of workstations you can install the software on, and they no longer offer a network license alternative.

Think of a network license as a pool of licenses that users can “check out” whenever they need one. It’s highly desirable for companies that don’t have full-time CAD users. This licensing model allows them to purchase a fraction of the seats they need to fully support their users. Fortunately, DraftSight recognizes this need and offers network licensing in our Enterprise and Enterprise Plus offerings.

The future of design is collaboration and cloud-based 2D drafting programs let you save, edit, securely share data, and collaborate from anywhere, at any time, and on any device. When your 2D CAD program is connected to a common platform on the cloud you can easily share work with contractors, clients, and other members of your team, improving communication and collaboration. To fill this growing need, we offer 3DEXPERIENCE DraftSight to help you increase efficiency and speed up your design cycle.


Industry Specific Software

The 2D and 3D CAD programs we’ve discussed up until now are generally considered to be generic programs. That is, they can be used for any industry or need. Over the years, many generic CAD vendors have added to their line of products by offering industry-specific versions of their software. You can find specific versions of each discipline in the AEC industry, piping, HVAC, structural, or civil.

As DraftSight was created as a companion to SOLIDWORKS, we’ve included the Mechanical Toolbox for years. Recently, we’ve added DraftSight Mechanical to our product line, which gives you access to various industry standards, and applies them to a robust hardware library. Part references add intelligence to 2D entities so they will be treated as a separate part for bill of material tracking.

Make an Informed Decision

With all the options available, you can find a program that is purpose-built for your industry and 2D drafting needs. In 2024, there is no excuse for overpaying for 2D CAD that does not provide the functionality or seats you need.

If you have not explored DraftSight yet, you might be pleasantly surprised by how it stacks up against your current solution. With DraftSight, you can save money and enjoy comparable, if not greater, capabilities than alternative CAD products. Start your free 30-day trial of DraftSight Premium today and experience the benefits for yourself.

Proven DWG-file-based CAD at the best value on the market. DraftSight, brought to you by Dassault Systèmes, the 3DEXPERIENCE company, has been trusted by millions of users worldwide. DraftSight provides a familiar, intuitive 2D drafting experience with options for advanced productivity tools, 3D design capabilities, parametric constraints, and flexible licensing options including perpetual licenses and network licenses for organizations with multiple users or sites. DraftSight’s command and file compatibility and support for legacy drawings and data like Dynamic Blocks facilitate a quick transition from AutoCAD with a minimal learning curve. Visit DraftSight.com to learn more.