I know we can open .dwg files in ArchiCAD… but what if you just needed to open a .dwg file quickly without having to launch the almighty ArchiCAD or perhaps checking how your .dwg file might look like to consultants using AutoCAD after exporting. Maybe you want to open a .dwg file and print whatever layouts had already been established by the consultant. For the last couple of years I’ve been using DraftSight (free version).

DraftSight is a neat program created by Dassault Systèmes (creators of CATIA and SOLIDWORKS) that can pretty much do all of what I mentioned and then some. It’s a good D design and drafting solution that runs natively on a Mac and has a similar UI experience with AutoCAD. I also like the fact that they have versions for Windows and Linux too.

If I ever had the need to purchase AutoCAD for 2D drafting on a Mac, I’m probably more likely to purchase DraftSight.

Here’s a video that showcases some of DraftSight’s capabilities. It’s old (2010) but you’ll get the idea:

Note: If you’re using the free version, you may have to renew your registration every once in a while.

Honorable Mentions: