Pros / ZWCAD works with both Windows and Mac operating systems.
Cons / It isn’t compatible with STEP, SKP or STL files.
Verdict / ZWCAD is less intuitive than some of the other CAD products we reviewed, but it has features that speed up the design process and a fair amount of 2D and 3D editing tools to tackle CAD projects.
Editor's Note: ZWCAD 2019 is now available. Clicking the “Buy” button will take you to this version for purchase. We will evaluate, rank and review the new version when we next update the CAD Software reviews. Meanwhile, enjoy our review for ZWCAD 2018 below.
ZWCAD is an easy-to-use CAD software for beginner and intermediate users, and you'll be able to create complex models and prototypes using this software. The interface is fairly intuitive and easy to navigate, which will help you be more efficient. ZWCAD has the added benefit of being compatible with both Windows and Mac operating systems, and the software also has great support options.
If you’re familiar with Microsoft Office programs, it should make learning this CAD drawing program easier, since the interface is laid out similarly. The command line and macros recorder will simplify the learning process even more. The macro recorder saves frequently used command strings and lets you use them at any time as a single command. This can save a lot time if a section of the design you’re working on is similar to something you’ve designed in the past.
ZWCAD’s layout has become more intuitive within the last few versions but, as with any CAD software, it will take some training and practice before you'll be able to find your way around the customizable tool palettes. On the right side of the interface you will find a calculator toolbar, which makes it easier for you to determine the dimensions you need without having to leave the program or open additional tools.
This CAD program has many of the editing tools found in other CAD software programs. You'll be able to edit text annotations and color, as well as add point markers. This program also supports extruding 3D models from 2D designs and has a layer manager, which will help keep you organized. However, while this program does provide lighting effects and photorealistic rendering, the 3D rendering isn’t as realistic looking as some other products, like PTC Creo. It should still be more than adequate for visualizing your work, though.
This software supports most of the file formats used in 2D and 3D imaging. Most importantly, it supports DWG files, so you can open, edit and save AutoCAD files without conversion or data loss. If you need to export a design as a raster image (which allows people to view but not edit the designs), ZWCAD’s export command allows you to save a file as a JPEG, TIFF, PNG, BMP or GIF file. The software also allows you to export DXF, DWF and PDF files; however, it doesn’t allow you to work with STEP, STL or SKP files. ZWCAD is also compatible with Windows 10, 8, 7 and Mac OS X operating systems.
ZWCAD comes with a standard help section, which can be accessed directly from the interface, and we were able to find answers to all of our questions by utilizing the help section’s keyword search. However, the ZWCAD website also has a FAQs section and learning articles to help you become more familiar with the CAD design software. Additionally, there’s a user forum, and you can request direct technical support via an online contact form. Technical support is included with your purchase, so you won’t have to pay additional money to get in-depth assistance; unfortunately, the company does not list local phone numbers for technical support.
You will need to contact ZWSoft in order to receive a quote for this software. If you want to test it out before purchasing, the manufacturer offers a 30-day free trial period. And if you happen to be attending high school or college, the manufacturer also offers a free student edition of their software. You will simply have to get in contact with the company.