CAD programs?


What programs are you fellers using? I'm looking for something relatively inexpensive but function packed....of course.

Motor City Mike

Well-Known Member
Draftsight. I design every knife in it.

There's a bit of a learning curve but it's not hard to get the basics down. Even the more advanced features aren't that difficult.

There's quite a few YouTube videos that can get you started if you have no CAD experience.

And the price is's FREE.
Fusion 360, is great as have migrated away from rhino 3D, for about 90% of my cad tasks! They use to have a fully functioning version (free) that was available for hobbyists I.e not earning my than 100K from memory. You had to hunt around for it, but certainly worth putting into the mix.

Sorry making an assumption above.. That you are looking for fully rounded cad program e.g assmbly etc. if you want only 2D probably a bit of over kill, but easy to use so may still be worth a look.

Good luck it’s always a bit of a bug bear to change cad and cam programs as the learning curve is always steep.


BossDog & Owner
Learn 2d CAD if you just want outlines and holes, etc. good for waterjetting or printing out paper copies and gluing on steel for a pattern. 3D CAD ramps up quite a bit in the learning curve and mostly applies to CNC ops unless you want a computer model or render to go by.

Lowest cost (free for non commercial use) for most features right now has to be fusion360. The community is active and tutorials are everywhere. The tutorials really matter when learning this stuff. The cloud based files can be tedious as well as constant patch downloads.

Draftsight is a free autocad clone rumored to be released by dasault to punish autocad for moving into 3D CAD. It also is a full featured CAD and will do a great job. I personally don’t like the autocad driven interface myself but it does a great job also when you get the hang of it.
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Well-Known Member
Right now I'm trying to learn Freecad. Has a lot of interesting features. But since I'm new to CAD the learning curve is huge. I think I'll give Draftsight a look



Well-Known Member
Ok. I downloaded Draftsight. Wow. It's awesome. I found a YouTube video that Mike Stewart (Ekim Knives) made. After about two hours I actually drew up a very rudimentary lock back knife. I like it.

I know there's problems with the design but I just wanted to get a feel for the Draftsight program.



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Drew Riley

Well-Known Member
I cut my teeth using AutoCad (mostly 2003 IIRC), and I have to say, that Draftsight is VERY close. There are some minor command differences here and there, but there's a lot of cross over, and it's very fully featured. For the price, (free) you can't beat it.

For 3d modeling, Fusion 360 (also free) has everything you could ever ask for as well, though I'd make sure your computer was up to snuff for 3d rendering, as it can be a bit of a resource hog.

There are plenty of forums and youtube vids if you get stuck on something..