2D CAD Remains Popular for Mechanical Design 

”CAD vendor Graebert broke new ground in 2022 by offering compatibility with these special objects.They now provide ARES Mechanical at $1,048, which comes with a perpetual license; annual licensing is also available. Several 2D CAD products fully support the basic AutoCAD DWG format. However, only Graebert provides a solution compatible with these mechanical custom entities. Graebert prefers the term “mechanical entities.” 

Therefore, substituting AutoCAD, particularly its Mechanical version, with a less expensive option isn’t a straightforward comparison. Despite this caveat, there are several alternatives, all employing technology from the Open Design Alliance (ODA). This technology is broadly acknowledged for its complete compatibility with AutoCAD’s DWG format.

The ODA is developing a mechanical software development kit for its members that will provide compatibility with AutoCAD Mechanical Toolkit. Graebert is the only ODA member to ship a product using the technology (much of which Graebert wrote). Unconfirmable reports (industry gossip) suggest two or three more companies will have Mechanical Toolkit compatibility to some degree in 2024.”

Read more from Randal Newton at digitalengineering247.com