When 2D is Enough

Here I am writing about 2D on a 3D Blog. What’s up with that?  You and I both know there are still plenty of 2D CAD users out there, which can be mind-boggling to anyone who has fully embraced the world of 3D CAD.  Why would anyone settle for a 2D representation when they can have an identical virtual twin of their intended object?

With so much amazing technology available for designing in 3D (SOLIDWORKS), testing and validating your designs with simulation tools, and then 3D printing or manufacturing these same designs. So why would anyone resort to using 2D CAD?

And, yet they do.

There are many reasons that 2D CAD is still so prolific.  Many projects, including publicly procured projects, still require 2D deliverables.  Some industries are somewhat better suited for 2D over 3D, such as Electrical or Facility Management.  And last, but certainly not least, many companies are living happily ever after in their 2D world and have no desire to change.  The reasons are vast and varied – and the file format of choice is DWG.

It’s impossible to live in the CAD world without knowing about AutoCAD.  While getting close to celebrating its 40th birthday, it is still a fan favorite of many.  AutoCAD has just about all the bells and whistles a 2D CAD program could ask for (one could argue too many).  One area where a good portion of its adamant fans do not agree with, however, is the price.

Many argue that the price continues to go up while the number of new features appears to go down.  Gone are the days where you can outright buy your own copy of AutoCAD either, now everyone has been forced to a subscription model.  And, the icing on the cake: for those companies who have enjoyed the benefits of network licenses, this too is coming to an end.

No surprise that droves of previously content 2D CAD users are seeking an alternative to their beloved AutoCAD.  But who wants to learn an entirely new tool after all the precious time and effort that went into mastering AutoCAD?  Who wants to toss their coveted customizations and programming only to start all over again with another product?  Who wants to deal with possible file and library symbol incompatibility?  Nobody!

Enter DraftSight to the rescue.  DraftSight speaks AutoCAD, feels like AutoCAD (without “being” AutoCAD) so the learning curve is minimal.  DraftSight respects all the time and effort you put into your customization and programming routines making them easy to port over. And, your AutoCAD DWGs are going to get along splendidly with the DraftSight DWGs (so nobody needs to know!).  In fact, DraftSight saves back to more file formats than AutoCAD does as seen below.

All the file formats supported by DraftSight.

DraftSight actually recognizes the majority of the AutoCAD commands.   You simply type them in at the Command line (Hallelujah…there is a Command line), and they will automatically execute the corresponding DraftSight command.  DraftSight has a robust API and supports LISP so you don’t need to worry your pretty little head about all that time you spent getting your parentheses lined up.  And, guess what?  The DraftSight team is constantly adding new features with each release without changing the price or the pricing structure on you.

Do you want to buy a perpetual license of DraftSight (own your own)?  No problem.  Would you prefer Network Licensing?  Also no problem!  Would you like all of this for a FRACTION of the price of AutoCAD?  Absolutely no problem!  All of this can be yours with DraftSight!  And by the way, DraftSight fully supports 3D for those of you want it (so you are only confined to 2D by choice!)

P.S.  Did I mention that DraftSight has some cool tools that AutoCAD doesn’t have?  Think of it like the old fabulous Express Tools days.

Don’t take my word for it, however; you really need to experience it for yourself.  Nobody wants you to purchase a copy of DraftSight and then end up unhappy with your decision (I certainly don’t!).

You can download a copy of DraftSight and try it for free for 30 days – and that is exactly what you should do.  See how you feel using it, see if your customization ports across, see if the commands you use every day are working for you in a way that fits your comfort zone.  Do this when you have a month to really check it out.  And you don’t need a credit card so there is no fear of forgetting to terminate it like all those other “free” offers we are always getting!

Millions of people have already made the move to DraftSight from all kinds of industries, which should bring you some comfort.  It isn’t some fly-by-night product that could disappear tomorrow. It is a serious 2D CAD solution that is taking the market by storm.  Period.

So as I conclude this blog post on 2D CAD – I leave you with this.  While we do indeed live in a 3D World – there are many who are still thriving in 2D.  I say, thrive in whatever world you desire – but don’t spend extra money doing it!

Ready to learn more? Join Lynn Allen LIVE!

Technology Evangelist and AutoCAD expert Lynn Allen will host live webinars on Wednesday, April 14, 7 pm EDT, and Thursday, April 15, 11 am EDT as she explores DraftSight from the perspective of an AutoCAD user.

Join Us Live – Register!

From installation and exploring the familiar user interface to using key commands and features, Lynn will demonstrate how easy the transition to DraftSight can be. Join the webinar and see how you can maintain the same level of productivity for a fraction of the price with DraftSight!

Lynn Allen

In her 20+ year career as a Technology Evangelist, first for Autodesk and now at Dassault Systèmes, Lynn Allen has spoken to more than a half million professionals at events in over 50 countries. Her online presentations and videos have easily reached over five million individuals. Her passion and strength is connecting with users, helping them embrace change and shining a light on new technology. For over 20 years she wrote a column for Cadalyst magazine, and was the voice behind their popular videos –“Tips with Lynn Allen”. The author of three technology books - Lynn has over 21,000 followers on Twitter (Lynn_Allen) with over a quarter million impressions every month.