For all you Computer Aided Design (CAD) fans out there, it’s time to introduce you to another cool, free way to work on your technical drawings and designs. The newly renamed LibreCAD (a.k.a. CADuntu) began as an Ubuntu CAD client, but has since been released as a Mac and Windows port as well.
LibreCAD Beta 4 is a free 2D open source CAD client, which can be used for all manner of 2D design, including architectural plans, engineering drafting, graphic design and the design of mechanical parts. The LibreCAD client is quite advanced for free, open source CAD software, allowing layer control and complex item selection processes. We’ll take a closer look at the Mac LibreCAD client in this article, but keep in mind that it’s free for Windows and Linux too.
Side note: You’re possibly a bit of a designer if you’re reading this far. LibreCAD are currently holding a logo contest which you can join by following these guidelines (the prize is to be acknowledged in the ‘About’ dialogue). Or if you prefer, make some comments on the current best logo submissions.
Set-up is simple, involving a simple copy of the application to the Applications folder. The application currently is still shown as CADuntu, despite the new name change.
When you run the program for the first time, you can choose your language from a surprising number of language choices. This setting can also be changed later in preferences.
General LibreCAD Functions
At first glance, it’s easy to see that regular users of other popular CAD programs will have no problems working out how to get started and create a simple design. There’s a straightforward menu palette of basic tools to your left, layer options at the top and a blank template screen with little dots as guides. It’s very easy to jump in and get a feel for LibreCAD and piece together a simple diagram.
All other typical CAD functions can be found in the menu bar. There’s a number of different view options, selection and modification tools, drawing options, snap choices, dimensioning and information tools, plus layering and block options.
The layers support is vital for creating detailed models and keeping large sets of information separate from each other. The available selection tools are also sufficiently advanced to allow complex selection.
Below the drawing there is a command line, which allows you to enter diameters and other information as the CAD tools you use require. You’ll see the prompt for information if you have chosen such a tool.
More About LibreCAD
LibreCAD can be used for any 2D architectural drafting, engineering designs, mechanical parts drawing, construction, simulation, interior design, creative design work or other diagrams.
Files are saved as DXF format or can be exported to a number of picture formats, such as JPG or PNG.
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Have you tried LibreCAD? For your purposes, how does it compare to popular CAD tools and other free CAD software? Let us know in the comments!