Dassault has released the beta of a free 2D drawing editor that works like AutoCAD. It’s based on ARES from Graebert and is currently available for Windows with Mac and Linux versions in the pipeline for later in the year. So far, all AutoCAD clones have remained marginal players so it is to be seen whether this one can hit its target.
Here is Dassault’s description:
DraftSight is a professional-grade, open 2D CAD product for users who want a better way to read, write and share DWG files. DraftSight is easy to use and is available for professional CAD users, students and educators to download and activate for free.*
Based on advanced architecture, DraftSight has a small footprint, should take less that a few minutes to download, and runs on multiple operating systems, including Windows XP®, Windows Vista® and Windows® 7.
This could be really useful to architects and has probably been created by a couple of them. Basically, you and any number of collaborators can visually “chat” over the net. It works in your browser and no signup is required for the free version. This short video explains it best:
Edit: The website seems to be down of late.
If only all manufacturers were as concerned about having their products accurately and easily inserted into CAD drawings. Marvin sets the standard by giving architects not just basic 2D drawings (dwg and dxf) but 3D symbols for ArchiCAD, ADT, SoftPlan, Chief Architect, Home Designer and SketchUp!
Here is a freeware tool to create an unlimited number of seamless, high-resolution (or low-res if you like) textures and texture maps. It’s rather a steep learning curve but considering that there’s no cost attached, it’s well worth checking to see if it works for you.
Download: ~21 Megabytes
Go to: http://www.mapzoneeditor.com/ [LINK BROKEN]
Two tiny programs on this site are excellent for people who have loads of AutoCAD/IntelliCAD drawings on their systems. Sometimes you just want a preview before you open a large file – and the shell extension here works like a charm. Just right-click on the file in windows explorer and a thumbnail pops up in the context menu. There is also a stand-alone dwg explorer that works equally well. Have a look at both screenshots on the website. The downloads are less than 90kb each.
Go to: http://www.jmsware.com/
Edit | 24th July 2014
Unfortunately, the link is broken
The links point to major collections of 3D objects that can be used by Archicad or Artlantis. This is a very good idea and I only wish I knew a little Spanish. Of course I view the site in English so it shouldn’t really matter but still; it’s more fun to read something in the original instead of a machine translated version.
This is a single archive containing about 2000 seamless jpeg textures. It contains the usual suspects – brick, wood, parquet, concrete, tile – as well as some unusual ones like crates, frontages, trim and ornamental details. You can have a look at the thumbnail pages before deciding if this huge collection is for you.
Warning! File size: 124MB
Textures Photorealistic & Lego® or Megablock® bricks style
This Czech site (don’t worry, the link is for the English page) contains some useful software, routines, patches and fonts for AutoDesk related products. New uploads have their date highlighted in red so even if you check it once in a couple of months, it’s easy to see what’s changed.
For a site that’s been around almost two years, I would have thought there’d be more models to download but, well, it is a blog after all. Their models are in *.3ds format and there are 5 collections of textures as well.