I have used Draftsight at work for several months now alongside my installation of Pro E. Although I don’t do any “creation” of parts with this package, I generally used to open .dwg files from vendors or colleagues. It’s done a very good job with the 2D files that I’ve been opening, but today I got send a 3D .dwg file that I assume was made with AutoCAD. To my surprise, Draftsight opened it up with no problem!
Here are some views that it generated, illustrating that you can pan rotate the image as you please:
I was very impressed with this, as I am with Draftsight in general. I even tried adding a shape and extruding it (using the “extrude” text command), which worked! For the price – $0 – you really can’t go wrong trying this package out. After all AutoCAD LT retails for over $1000 and doesn’t include 3D capabilities (although I’m not sure if it can open limited 3D drawings like this one).
One would wonder why Dassault is literally giving away their 2D package. According to some other web sites that I’ve looked at, it could simply be a way to encourage businesses that use 2D packages such as AutoCAD to switch to one of Dassault’s 3D packages. If this is the case, it seems like a clever strategy. I’m happy to take advantage of even if I do use ProE as my primary mechanical design package.
Update 3/31/2011 – A helpful shortcut to rotate images is control+shift+middle mouse button. Hit those three keys and it should be self-explanatory from there.
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