Does Your 2D CAD Software Cost Too Much?

Has 2D CAD software gotten too expensive for high school and community college drafting and engineering graphics programs to survive?  A community college professor came up to me last week at SolidWorks World and stated that he can no longer afford his 2D CAD software used in drafting classes.    Another high school teacher told me their entire county is dropping half of their technical education drafting classes because their software is too expensive and sticking just with SolidWorks. 

Although I can really appreciate every SolidWorkscustomer, I know there are hundredsof community college and high school instructors that have very vibrant CAD programs that utilize 2D drawing and sketching.  These educators teach orthographic projection, mechanical drawing and architectural layouts.  We just announced 2 million downloads of DraftSight at SolidWorks World.  DraftSight is professional software used to create, view and edit 2D drawings in .dwg format.  Even our new building layout was done in DraftSight.

DraftSight Water Building

After teaching Autocad for 10 years at Mass Bay Community College, with DraftSight, you can still use your existing lessons and projects – even the ones with relative coordinates and absolute coodinates – my students always found this challenging. 

If you need a network license for your school there is a small fee, but that also gets you CAD curriculum and technical support.  Licenses come in two flavors: 45 network or 200 network.  DraftSight does not stop working  in your school if you don't pay subscription.  I got shut off  teaching architectural drawing  when my school did not receive funding from the state. Now I am in a position to work with software engineers so that this action will never happen to our teachers in a classroom.

The 2D CAD software is free to download at  Over 2 million designers, engineers, architects, educators and students have downloaded DraftSight.  Anyone can try it out.  There are video tutorials on the DraftSight webpage and community support. 

If you teach engineering drawing and drafting skills, you can try out DraftSight before your 2D CAD costs too much and your program closes. 

To find out more about DraftSight in schools go to   


Marie Planchard

Marie Planchard

Senior Director, Early Engagement, 3DEXPERIENCE Works at Dassault Systemes
Marie Planchard is an education and engineering advocate. As Senior Director of Education & Early Engagement, SOLIDWORKS, she is responsible for global development of content and social outreach for the 3DEXPERIENCE Works products across all levels of learning including educational institutions, Fab Labs, and entrepreneurship.
Marie Planchard