Brilliant Free CAD drawing application nanoCAD

If you are looking for a good and cost effective alternative CAD application to the all powerful AutoCAD by Autodesk then nanoCAD is maybe the app for you. They give away version 5 for nothing! All you have to do is register once a year but it is simple and costs nothing. Version 5 is a few years old but it has everything you could need for most architectural or engineering drawing. It is fully functional so far as I can tell and uses the .dwg file format although it will only open and save drawing files up to the 2013 version. If you are familiar with AutoCAD then it won’t be much of a learning curve to get productive on nanoCAD. I am not affiliated with the creator of this app, I discovered it myself after getting frustrated with the AutoCAD Web app (which costs £12 per month, Autodesk must be making a mint! Their AutoCAD LT Light version is currently £60 per month). I don’t know if my computer is too slow or what but I found AutoCAD Web unuseable. nanoCAD is great for anyone like me who very occasionally needs to put together a few drawings and doesn’t want to shell out £60 every time. nanoCAD also sell a .dwg 2018 format compatible up to date version which is much cheaper than it’s big rival.

I initally had a problem with the graphics crawling to a halt on the layout tabs with the mouse cross-hairs being very very slow to update. I found out it was an OpenGL compatibility problem with my crappy Intel HD 3000 video bios. If you go to Tools->Options->Graphic Settings->OpenGL Settings and tick Improved compatibility mode it will fix everything. Using DirectX also works but text looks poor when zoomed out so I preferred staying with OpenGL.