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Free CAD Software for Mobile Devices

20 Aug, 2014 By: Curt Moreno

Cadalyst Labs Report: Cadalyst Labs investigates free apps for CAD on the go.


AutoCAD 360 v2.2 (Android)
Mobile CAD editor
Overall Grade: A

Pros: Opens, edits, and marks up standard DWG files; produces and e-mails PDF and DWG files; offers an excellent touch interface; includes online storage.

Cons: Limits size of created files to 10 MB; less responsive to stylus input than finger input.

Price: Free

Autodesk
800.440.4198
www.autodesk.com

Highly RecommendedAutoCAD has been a major name in desktop CAD for many years, and Autodesk's AutoCAD 360 will not disappoint mobile users. AutoCAD 360 is a well-equipped, easy-to-use mobile CAD app available at a variety of price points and feature tiers for CAD users looking to work on the go. Formerly known as AutoCAD WS, AutoCAD 360 is now part of Autodesk's formidable array of mobile and cloud-based products under the Autodesk 360 umbrella.

AutoCAD 360 is available for both the Android and iOS mobile operating systems; I reviewed the Android version. Installing AutoCAD 360 is as simple as visiting the appropriate app store and creating a free AutoCAD 360 account. You can easily upload project files from the desktop, or create them on your mobile device in the Pro and Pro Plus versions.

While very different from the desktop experience, the AutoCAD 360 interface is very intuitive and quick to learn. The application operated very smoothly and responded quickly to multitouch gestures and was stable throughout testing. I found the app to be somewhat less responsive to input from my Samsung Galaxy Note 3 stylus than to my finger.

 

AutoCAD 360 lets users open a variety of file formats and use basic CAD tools, such as those in the tool ribbon at the bottom of the screen.
AutoCAD 360 lets users open a variety of file formats and use basic CAD tools, such as those in the tool ribbon at the bottom of the screen.


 
The markup tool ribbon in AutoCAD 360.
The markup tool ribbon in AutoCAD 360.

Free AutoCAD 360 is a well-developed mobile CAD app that lets users open a variety of filetypes, including DWG, DXF, PDF, and JPG, plus enables them to view and mark up files, and collaborate with others. Inquiry tools such as distance, area, and coordinate support, as well as basic layer support, are all included. Users can change unit types and also plot to PDF or DWF, then automatically e-mail the results to coworkers. The free version can produce PDF and DWF files, but file size is limited to 10 MB. Users can view and edit files stored in their included 5 GB of storage.

AutoCAD 360 Pro and Pro Plus expand on the features of AutoCAD 360 by adding drawing, inquiry, and layer management tools, plus they can create DWG files. Users also gain access to block library support, object properties, and other enhancements. Online storage is increased to 25 GB and 100 GB, with file sizes up to 30 MB and 40 MB, respectively. The cost for Pro is $4.99/month or $49.99/year, while Pro Plus is $99.99/year. Highly Recommended.

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About the Author: Curt Moreno


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