A recommendation for budding architects and engineers
Pros & Cons:
I examined a number of traditional CAD packages that are offered for free use, each with its own particular flavor of licensing restrictions and/or functional limitations. I've settled on progeCAD Smart! as a recommendation for the budding architects and engineers among our readers. Yes, there are a few features trimmed out, as compared to progeCAD's Pro edition, features such as PDF conversion, raster image insertion and photo-realistic rendering, but the package is still truly awesome, and it's yours to keep forever, free of charge. The main licensing restriction is that the software be used for purely personal pursuits and not for business production.
Oh, and one other thing to keep in mind with this is that any DXF file format revisions beyond 2009 are not likely to ever be supported. If you can live with those terms then by all means download this nearly 100 MB colossus and put it through its paces. You'll find it an exceptional utility, feature-packed, fully 3D savvy and incorporating some nifty extras, such as Wintopo for vectoring raster images, plus availability of the entire ALE libraries of more than 11,000 pre-drawn blocks. I could go on about the many features of this highly-advanced drafting package, but I'll just finish by giving my earnest assurance that you will not be disappointed.
One the downside, this application has some compatibility issues for Windows 7 but there are some workarounds you can try out such as here.
progeCAD Smart! was reviewed by Gizmos Freeware on