#### soundlight

##### Well-Known Member
I'm looking for the best free CAD program/download out there for doing templates for lighting for my auditorium, as well as make up some basic "blueprints" for the auditorium, because the original ones were lost. The drama teacher and the principal spent a few hours looking through the records room, but they found nothing.

I've got this one right now: CadStd Lite

Anyone found any trial editions/free downloads that are pretty good for basic CAD design? I would like it to have a relatively easy learning curve, if possible...

As I will be going to college in tech theater next year (I got in to Bucknell!!!!), I would like to also find a low-price CAD program (with lighting/theater emphasis) that has native DXF Format to purchase for college.

#### dvsDave

##### Benevolent Dictator
Senior Team
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The learning curve is going to mostly be affected by the amount of time you have to play with the software, your aptitude for learning new software, and the quality of the training materials (built in help menu, third-party book, etc)

I would recommend finding a textbook for learning CAD. If you can swing AutoCAD with an academic discount, the textbooks for AutoCad simply are the highest quality of any that I've seen. You may also want to contact Bucknell and see what they use... that should simplify your decision

#### soundlight

##### Well-Known Member
Bucknell runs VectorWorks and AutoCAD, as far as I know, and they have a specific CAD lab just for theater students working on projects.

#### Footer

##### Senior Team
Senior Team
most schools have a "cad lab" that is used for both hand drafting (yes you will have to do it) and CAD, and sometimes is used as a design lab as well.... but haveing CAD on your computer is a really good idea so you can work in your room and in whatever space you are in...

#### soundlight

##### Well-Known Member
Yeah. The lab is the Theater Design Lab, and it has computers for CAD drafting and sound editing and drafting tables for hand drafting. Ironically, I find a certain satisfaction in had drafting. I've got a whole bunch of cheap plastic drafting tools, but they work, and that's what I've been doing my light plots on.

Senior Team