The package installs itself as a fully native desktop Linux application, including menu shortcuts and registering itself as the default application to open. DWG files downloaded by Firefox.
Still, for the most part I found the interface easy to figure out as I went along, thanks to status-area tooltips and some clean UI layout. Object transformation tools are on the right, for example, while object creation tools are on the left. Object properties are exposed in a structured sidebar to the immediate left of the drawing canvas, and quite simple to figure out. But that still leaves tons of features, including multi-layer drawings, transformations that are simple to perform by hand but have precise measurements, and a clean separation between the model and any output renderings you make of the model, which are placed into separate tabs.
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You can thus export individual layers separately, add text annotations, and so on. Considering the success of SolidWorks, after all, it might seem peculiar for Dassault to release a free CAD tool to compete with it. But the software company is marketing DraftSight at the low-end of the market, and emphasizing its usefulness for exchanging, editing, and sharing DWG files with other users. If you are simply looking to draw up a house plan, work out how to cut up plywood for your next project, or create other relatively simple designs, DraftSight is a good fit.
Furthermore, you can find tons of woodworking and architectural plans created by other individuals on the web, and That makes DraftSight a useful tool to have in your application menu. Make no mistake, however: DraftSight is still closed, proprietary software. You can decline to enter one, but reportedly the app will start asking again in six months, then again in a year, and so on. There are other, free software CAD programs for our favorite OS that offer partial or no DWG support at all, relying on their own format or on less widespread standards, like the reduced-functionality DXF format created by Autodesk specifically for information exchange.
FreeCAD and DWG Import
All this stems back to the need to reverse-engineer the DWG file format itself. Yet as is too often the case, the organization and product do not live up to their names. The Graebert Market for DraftSight will open in April and will let large and small developers as well as customers discover and promote solutions and applications. I spoke with the executive in the week before the SolidWorks World conference in San Antonio, where the marketplace announcement was made.
Graebert said that people were looking seriously at CAD on the Mac again.
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The Mac was now 10 percent of the DraftSight customer base and growing quickly. According to Graebert, the sales team had expected that most Mac customers would download the Windows version and run the program in Boot Camp. Instead, they went for the Mac-native version. Any Mac user, newbie or old-timer, could have told the company that this might happen. Who prefers to run a program in a virtualization environment or in the case of Boot Camp, take the time to reboot the machine? No, Mac users want Mac programs.
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Check Out: Engineering: The Mac is coming back. Graebert didn't appear to be sweating. In addition, Graebert is targeting a wide range of CAD tasks, including ray tracing. He said Lightworks was working on a Mac port.
Long ago in a time before Mac OS X and Intel-based Macs, Apple made forays into several technical, architectural and engineering markets. But Windows-centric purchasing policies in government and enterprise stopped the platform's progress.
Apple retrenched around more-profitable markets in 2D design and video. Now, without any help from Cupertino, it appears that the Mac will elbow a place at the engineering and CAD table.
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2D 3D CAD Software Download | DRAFTSIGHT™ - Dassault Systèmes®
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