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Best Ways to Download AutoCAD Software for Free in 2020

Wish to get an AutoCAD free download version? And, do not know where to start? You have landed on the right page. Let us find out if we even have a free version that offers a full feature set to the users. But before that, why not get to know the app a little better?

The AutoCAD app has been coming down for years and has helped many designers and architectures to build beautiful 2D files.

However, with the inclusion of 3D designs, the app has gained immense exposure. Using the CAD software, one can create 3D files which then can be exported with STL extension for 3D printing.

With such huge potential, the app is bound to be making its way to the high roads.

And, that is why a lot of individuals keep searching for AutoCAD free download version. The good news is that there are ways you can enjoy the full features with the free version.

However, that does come with time restrictions. This means you may have to upgrade the plan to a paid version for further accessing the app with complete tools and functionalities.

Apart from this, you do can enjoy the AutoCAD student version. However, this again has few limitations. Well! It completely depends on what you expect from the app and how long you wish to carry on with your passion.

But, the matter of fact is that there are free download versions and you can enjoy working with this wonderful app without paying any penny.

So, let us explore the different ways by which you can accomplish the goal.

How to Get AutoCAD Free Download Variant?

Who would like to pay over $1600 in a click for an annual subscription without knowing what the app is all about? No one, I guess.

Some would even have problems keeping their budget close to that mark even after liking the software. For the same reasons, no wonder why the free versions are available.

autocad 3d modeling software

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Start Your Free Trial Version

The companies are very friendly when it comes to introducing their products to the users, isn’t it? We get free trials for many apps available for purchase. And, AutoCAD is no different.

The app is available for free with complete features to those wanting to try the software before paying thousands of dollars for a yearly subscription.

However, the AutoCAD free download expires after one month. With 30 days of a free trial, you do get a lot of time to explore the nuances of advanced tools the app offers.

And, you can even utilize this time to learn about the app, if you are a beginner. And, this won’t cost you a penny. Isn’t that quite a deal?

Moving on, if you wish to keep the subscription after the 30 days trial period is over, you must pay the fee. Let’s not just think about that right now.

If you want an AutoCAD free download version, its right there on its official website. So, let’s find out how to get access to the same.

  • Visit the AutoCAD website. Here you would find the free download version.
  • Click on the button that says ‘Download AutoCAD for free’.
  • It would ask you to select the operating system for which you wish to download the app, you just do that.
  • This will take you to the required notice. You must read it through and click on next.
  • Again, you will have to make a few selections. You will get the dropdown menu for selecting the type of user. Go for the business user and at the same time, it offers to select the language. After you are done making the selection, click on the Next button.
  • Now, you must enter personal information. From name to other details. This would help in creating your personal Autodesk account. Or, if you already have created an account before with the website, you can log in to the same.
  • It would ask for more information related to your business. Do the needful and click on Next.
  • Do not miss the scrolling and skimming through the trial notice. Once done, click on ‘Begin Download’.
  • Once the .exe file is there on your device. Double click on the same and start the installation. This would begin the free trial. And, right after 30 days, your access to the app would be ceased.

But you can always renew your subscription by paying the fees.

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AutoCAD Student Version or Educational Version

Now, if you think you have more cravings that using the free app for just a month, you can reach out for the educational version. This is for students as well as teachers. This app can work on two different devices for a period of 3 years. Yep, that long. It would help you in creating wonderful designs until you graduate if you are still studying.

Most probably, after getting a job, you can afford to use the software with a full version. But how could you download the AutoCAD free download for educational purposes? Let’s take you through the different steps involved in doing so.

  • Once again, you must visit the Autodesk website that says ‘Educational Community’.
  • You will find a list of the names of different apps. You need to pick the AutoCAD from the choices.
  • Here, you must create the Autodesk account to proceed. If you already have such an account with the website, you can use that too. Just login with your credentials to reach the download link.
  • And, here you would find the ‘Download Now’ button. Click on it.
  • You must select the correct operating system and language to proceed further.
  • The website will provide you with a unique serial number along with the product key. These details would also be sent to the email address you used for the Autodesk account registration.
  • Click on ‘Browser Download’.
  • After the download completes, install the app. While doing so, this will ask you for the serial number and product key. Enter the correct details you received on your email address.
  • The first time while using the app, you must click on activate to process it further.

After this, you would be able to work with the AutoCAD free download version for the next three years.

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Alternative Apps for AutoCAD Free Download

Although there are cheaper subscription plans for AutoCAD such as AutoCAD LT or AutoCAD 360 app, you may not find the depth and flexibility of designing that is available with its full version.

This means that you either have to compromise with your creativity needs or you can look for alternate free apps that are helpful in bringing your imaginative to the forefront.

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FreeCAD

FreeCAD 3d modeling software

If you want an app that matches the expectation you had from AutoCAD, the closest, then this is the one. Being the best alternative to AutoCAD, this app has already been popular for quite some time now.

FreeCAD provides an open-source community and is completely free to access. Apart from its immensely extensible features, FreeCAD happens to be the most user-friendly app too.

The best part is that the app is free to use. You can enjoy the advanced and amazing features that sometimes can even get as noisy as those available with commercial alternatives.

For that matter, even comparable with Autodesk’s AutoCAD. Not to forget, you get complete access to the parametric modeling.

FreeCAD focus, when it was released in the market was to give users an option to design real-life objects, irrespective of size constraints.

Using parametric modeling, users can change the dimensions of the designs with the snap of a finger. You can get to the history of the 3D design and make the necessary changes. That’s how easy it is.

You may have to look through the overwhelming feature set that is a result of the software being community-oriented. However, with time and proper effort, you can start working in the right direction.

This would help you highlight the associated features you have been looking for in a 3D designing app. Because FreeCAD is known to impress everyone in its way, you won’t be disappointed by any chance.

With this software, you get the modular architecture for designing. Hence, you can add plugins to be the main application. Moreover, it has Sketcher along with the constraint-solver.

Using this, users can design 2D shapes. Plus, there are various other features including robot simulation, CAM, and others. And, you can even adjust the G-code for 3D printing.

Nice to know that a single app is capable of so many wonderful applications.

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NanoCAD

nanocad software

Do you know what makes NanoCAD an interesting alternative? The software takes its inspiration from the Autodesk itself. The user interface seems familiar to those who have used the AutoCAD app before.

The basic version of the app is free for users. And, it seems to be a very impressive CAD application.

Like FreeCAD, this app has the support for parametric modeling. This helps in configuring the old models by just revisiting those. You can realize the changes and use them for the current task and this won’t take a lot of effort.

One more similarity that brings it closer to AutoCAD is its spreadsheet editor. The app is very friendly and makes a great choice for beginners along with enthusiasts and makers.

But do not worry thinking that the software isn’t good for experts. It does have amazing features and tools to help users from all skill levels alike.

Moreover, you can use plugins to improve the overall result of the software. It carries with itself an open API. Also, you can access the powerful yet friendly interface for drafting as well as designing amazing parts and components without any hassle.

And, you do not have to stop here. If you wish to explore more, you have the commercial version at your disposal.

The plan is known as “nanoCAD Plus” and you must pay $180 to use it. Isn’t that still a much economical option when compared to the annual subscription of AutoCAD.

Yes, it is. And, you can simply pay the amount to make use of a complete feature set and make even better designs without worrying about huge payments.

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OnShape

Onshape 3d modeling software

Before summing the list, here is the last option that would help you achieve closer results to Autodesk’s AutoCAD. OnShape is a popular alternative for AutoCAD and for obvious reasons.

You can consider this no lesser than the engineering-grade app because of the extensive features it embodies. A great work by the former developers from SolidWorks.

Using the idea of one app for a comprehensive solution, the team has designed this amazing app to integrate the complete workflow of engineering designing and offer it as a single app.

You get the complete feature set of parametric modeling. Moreover, it can also help you in simulating the proper assemblies of various complex designs as one part.

The best part is that the app is free and belongs to the open-source projects. Making it easy for professionals to realize the desired outcome without worrying about the huge fee requirements.

And, featuring the control and collaboration tools, the app gets even more interesting when working in a team with a large group of users.

To make this possible, OnShape is a cloud-based service. There are more perks to this design. You can use it on almost every possible OS.

With the collaborative function, users can access the same CAD workspace along with its associated CAD data saved on a central site over the cloud.

You can just access the master file without needing to work on the unnecessary and confusing different versions. Hence, making it one of the best tools for teamwork.

You will just fall in love with these features and all you have to pay is your efforts. This is the beauty of free apps.


For more 3D CAD softwares, check out our article: 10 Top Free CAD Software for Beginners in 3D Printing
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The Conclusion

You do realize that AutoCAD is not a free app, while it does offer a few plans that include restrictive features or time constraints. But you can always try the AutoCAD free download to understand what lies ahead.

Editorial Team

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