I’ve visited a few customers lately that have legacy 2D CAD data. The question always comes up “we want to migrate into a single source provider for our CAD software, do we need to keep a seat of “that other program” around if we ever have to view or edit this legacy data?”
Call me a bit biased but I tell them there is no need as we have multiple solutions to address that concern. Of course we have eDrawings and Solidworks where we can view and edit 2D files as required but everyone knows that. What I’m going to talk about is a different program Dassault provides called Draftsight.
When you open the program you will get an interface that you are already accustomed to:
This gets better, when drawing or editing within Draftsight no special training is required (drawing is done in the same manner as the “other guy”). For example, “L” opens the line command, “C” opens Circle, etc.
If you are like most (myself included) we all “grew up” with that familiar command “array”. The good news is that command also works inside of Draftsight but if we are still thinking in a Solidworks state of mind we enter “pattern” on the command line instead. Guess what, both work inside of Draftsight which means we don’t have to remember which one goes into which program…
Just for giggles, I went ahead and opened up one of the first 2D CAD files I created (for those that want a trip into the past, this was created with a DOS version on a 386 & CGA graphics - take a look at the date stamp). By the way, did I mention Draftsight has native .DWG & .DXF format support?
Yes, I know this is a very complicated part but hey, this was almost 20 years ago. The point is my legacy file opened without any compatibility or corruption issues (even after 20 years in storage).
So by now you are thinking this will be a huge benefit but in the end how much will this cost? Will the program cost as much as a seat of SolidWorks, Composer, Electrical, etc.? I hate to be the bearer of bad news but no PO’s will be filled out as Draftsight is a FREE product. Yes, I did say free, well almost free. You do have to provide an email address to register the program but that is all (for the record, I’ve yet to receive an unsolicited email from Draftsight).
Of course as with all things in life we have an option to upgrade (for a fee) to the Professional or Enterprise pack of Draftsight. I won’t get into details here but I encourage you to check out our website or give us a call for more details as you get a lot of bang for your buck with these two upgrades.