Help picking a good cad program

Weve had nothing but problems with fusion 360 does anyone know a program thats simole like auto cad but much cheaper

Freecad or Qcad might be good alternatives. Sometimes a program just doesn’t make sense to us but another one “clicks”.


I use FreeCad and Inkscape with Sheetcam to create toolpaths.

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Agree with @jamesdhatch and @ds690 the Freecad is worth looking at. In my search at the point you are at (or what I am guessing a moderate level of frustration) I also started to learn Solid Edge which seemed a reasonable learning pace.

Like David is suggesting, you will need to learn at least one other program and that is a CAM program. SheetCAM is high on this forum’s user opinion poll (if there was a poll). Fusion’s lure is that they have the CAD and CAM within the same single program.

Now you mention “cheaper.” You do realize unless you are business, Fusion is basically free.

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what do you mean by FreeCad and Inkscape? why do you need both

FreeCAD is more for basic shapes and mechanical designs whereas Inkscape is more for art and more freeform.

Even some of the Fusion 360 users have times they use Inkscape for some features that are more efficient for their designs rather than continuing in Fusion for everything.

Edit: I see from your other post on another “topic” you were having difficulty with Fusion crashing and tech support with fusion decided they could not help and refunded the money.

That information would be helpful for the others, that are trying to help you get an answer.

As you know, Fusion is Web based and needs to constantly do it’s calculations with the mothership. Programs like FreeCAD and Solid Edge would be on your computer. If your designs are really artistic, you may very well need to be going the Inkscape/SheetCAM route.


Librecad is what I use. It’s a 2D free program. SheetCam to create tool paths.

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Like Jim said, FreeCad is for accurately dimensioned parts and Inkscape is for the artistic designs. While doing artistic designs and lettering is possible with FreeCad, it is much simpler to do in a graphic design program like Inkscape. Both programs are free and Youtube has plenty of videos on how to use them.

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I wouldnt say they are super artistic. they are fairly simple. for instance i can use about 5 letters without much problems, but if i put say 10 letters it will start to crash. i just downloaded the free version to see if it was any better and its having the same problems. i dont know how to do anything else. learning fusion was super hard because last time i touched a computer was 2002.

Do you have a fairly decent internet connection? You will need a minimum of 3Mb/sec. As for crashing, is it during the design portion or manufacturing?

With regard to “crashing”… are your video card drivers patched/up to date?

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