The Number 1 DWG Alternative
Seamless CAD Alternative
ARES Commander is familiar DWG-based CAD designed to completely replace your need for AutoCAD. Get the power of full CAD at a fraction of the cost. ARES Commander is the alternative your company will applaud you for. The No. 1 alternative, trusted by literally millions of users every day.
“We’ve saved a great deal of money over the last few years without loss of productivity. Perhaps the best decision I have made in relation to CAD.” Dale Whaite, CAD Systems Manager
Designed specifically to make it easy for AutoCAD users to switch instantly without missing a beat. If you’re currently using AutoCAD, ARES Commander is the perfect tool to give you what you already have for a great deal less cost evey year you use it. Create, open and edit DWG files up to the very latest versions. You’re no longer stuck with only one choice of software. ARES is the No. 1 alternative world wide and is trusted by literally millions of users every day.
The decision to buy ARES in place of traditional CAD is now seen as the smart choice.
Trusted by millions of professionals including
Same smile on the dial
AutoCAD users quickly appreciate ARES Commander’s familiar interface and command structure. Keystrokes, command line entry, icon menus and drop down menus all closely resemble those of traditional CAD.
“It took me just a couple of hours to completely adapt to ARES Commander from the way I used to use AutoCAD. I can’t believe how familiar it is.”
How to compare ARES Commander with AutoCAD or other CAD software?
You will frequently find comparison tables listing features and shiny green ticks that compare one product to another, but the truth is that such tables do a poor job of answering efficiently the fundamental questions that customers are asking.
Such benchmarks were probably useful ten or twenty years ago when AutoCAD alternatives were still significantly behind AutoCAD. Nowadays, leading AutoCAD alternatives such as ARES Commander are able to fully replace AutoCAD. So the question is no longer “what I could be missing?” but “how does ARES Commander differentiate from AutoCAD and the other AutoCAD alternatives such as BricsCAD?“.
Any benchmark you see over only one or two pages cannot be more than an advertising flyer ignoring most of the commands and emphasizing only the sales pitch of the CAD vendor. You will find instead below an article emphasizing the strengths and weaknesses of each solution in a more comprehensive and detailed way. We hope it will help you to make a more educated choice.
1. Maximum compatibility with AutoCAD files and easy transition
Before getting into the pros and cons, the fundamental points to feel safe about the migration from AutoCAD to ARES Commander are:
1.1 ARES Commander is offering the highest compatibility with AutoCAD
Indeed, both products are simply using the same DWG file format. There is no conversion and therefore no loss of data when files are shared between ARES Commander and AutoCAD users.
Other file formats supported by both software include DXF, DWF and configuration files such as .ctb, .stb, .shx, .mln, .dim or .pcx (aka .pc3 in AutoCAD)
Both software are also able to import or attach DGN files, export to PDF and convert PDF back to DWG.
The N°1 alternative to AutoCAD
Graebert’s CAD technology represents the second largest installed base after AutoCAD only. Millions of professionals are working with CAD software powered by ARES. This includes, for example, three of the top 5 construction groups in Japan (Obayashi, Takenaka and Taisei). Besides, ARES Commander is available in 14 languages.
Users who are familiar with AutoCAD can instantly switch to ARES Commander without additional training.
Users transitioning from AutoCAD can even use the same keyboard shortcuts and commands given that aliases have been defined to match the ARES commands when they are different. The user interface is also significantly the same and we recently added an alternative ribbon workspace named “CAD General” to facilitate the switch for users coming from AutoCAD. We also provide a manual for beginners who have no experience with CAD.
2. What full AutoCAD has better?
NB: These arguments are true only for the full AutoCAD, not for AutoCAD LT
2.1 Full AutoCAD has a larger ecosystem of third-party add-ons
If you have developed your own routines in Lisp, Visual Lisp, or C++ they can easily be migrated to ARES with few or no modifications to your source code, however if you are using someone elses plugin you will need to check if that has been ported to ARES Commander.
Graebert is also offering a number of third-party plugins for a variety of needs such as real-time rendering, 3D point clouds, architecture, electrical, HVAC… etc.
2.2 AutoCAD has more advanced 3D features
ARES Commander includes a full set of 3D Solid Modeling features powered by the ACIS 3D solid modeler of Dassault Systèmes yet AutoCAD has a few more. For example, the ability to import and export IGES and STEP files. Generally however, users working frequently in 3D wouldn’t use AutoCAD or ARES but prefer working with other solutions such as IronCAD, Inventor, Solidworks, Rhino, Revit, ARCHLine.XP, ArchiCAD… because efficient 3D modeling calls for a different approach with assemblies, smart 3D objects, and parametric tools. DWG format and AutoCAD are mostly aiming at 2D drafting.
3. Finally, the key question is also how ARES Commander is better than AutoCAD or other AutoCAD alternatives?
3.1 The business model and licensing
AutoCAD is only sold as a subscription (term licenses of 1 year, to be renewed every year). Autodesk stopped selling perpetual licenses and even decided recently to stop selling network licenses.
ARES Commander offers a very flexible approach and a cost significantly less than AutoCAD (frequently 6 times cheaper depending on the region):
a) License types: You can buy Perpetual licenses, Network licenses and even term licenses (subscriptions) of 1 or 3 years
b) Upgrades and subscription renewals: Each Perpetual license includes 1 year of subscription (maintenance) for free. In case you don’t want to renew the subscription every year you can always buy an upgrade later, even if it is many years after.
c) Work from multiple computers: Each user gets a Graebert account with a login and password that allows him to work virtually from any computer. The license is following the user and there is a tolerance for up to two simultaneous computers for the same user (eg one PC at the office and one laptop on the go) to avoid to constant log in / log out from each device. Of course, the user can work on a third or more computers if he logs out from one of the first computers he used.
3.2 ARES offers Modern DWG Editing with significantly better collaboration
In addition to the features traditionally replacing the AutoCAD features, Graebert has massively invested in R&D to significantly improve productivity and collaboration.
a) Additional productivity features that don’t exist in AutoCAD
Work faster and easier with the most frequently used commands. Click on the links below to see some videos:
Power Trim, Dimensions palette, Quick Modify, Mouse gestures, Heads up toolbar
b) Other advanced features that don’t exist in AutoCAD
– BIM features: ARES Commander ambitions to be the best solution to document BIM projects with best-in-class DWG drawings. Click on the links below to see some videos:
BIM Navigator: to import and filter IFC and RVT files – Read BIM Object properties – Extract BIM data to tables or Excel
– Maps features: Professional Maps including satellite images and street maps with geo-referencing (requires to stay on subscription)
c) Modern DWG editing leveraging mobile and cloud to improve collaboration workflows between users at the office and the users working remotely or on-site.
See also these other videos:
– Share Drawing as a view-only link URL
– Synchronize files with One Drive, Google Drive, Box, Dropbox or private Internet servers via WebDAV
– Markups and commenting collaboration features
LEARN MORE – Read how cloud-based CAD systems from Graebert and Autodesk compare:
3.3 Possibility to customize for large accounts
If you are considering having 100 users or more you could be interested to learn about our ARES for Enterprise features. Even more than our innovations what makes the difference with large accounts is our ability to customize ARES. Some examples include:
a) Authenticate users with a third-party single sign-on (SSO) technology such as the Microsoft Active Directory Federation services – Users would log in to our products with this solution instead of using a Graebert Account.
b) Integration with your file storage systems: Admins can define which storage their users should use including local file servers (via WebDAV protocol) or secure access to Google Drive, Box, Dropbox, OneDrive for Business… etc.
c) Restrict user rights on specific features to increase security according to your organization requirements: some features can be disabled
In hopes this helps to clarify,
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ARES®, ARES Commander™, ARES Touch™, ARES Kudo™, ARES Map™, ARES Mechanical™, ARES Sketch™ and SiteMaster™ are trademarks or registered trademarks of Graebert GmbH. All other trademarks and registered trademarks are property of their respective owners.
THE ARES TRINITY OF CAD
Modern DWG Editing Across All Your Devices
Windows®, macOS® and Linux® computers
Android® and iOS® smartphones and tablets
Nothing to install, runs in your Internet browser
ARES Commander is desktop CAD for Windows, Mac or Linux. It offers you all the features you need to create or modify DWG drawings in 2D or 3D in a productivity-driven environment. Software will be fully installed on your computer and you can work even when there is no Internet. It is a direct replacement for your current CAD application and with it, comes the added bonus of ARES Touch and ARES Kudo.
ARES Touch is the natural extension of ARES Commander for smartphones and tablets so you can open, edit and mark up your DWG’s on the move, anywhere with your mobile device. Providing you a complete set of 2D design and annotation tools for tablets and smartphones, ARES Touch fits a variety of mobile use cases where your drawings need to follow you around and fit into your pocket .
RES Kudo is browser based CAD for creating, editing and sharing your DWG projects. With ARES Kudo you can access your DWG drawings from literally anywhere. Nothing to install nor upgrade: ARES Kudo runs directly in any internet browser to access DWG drawings online. ARES Kudo is also integrated with ARES Commander and ARES Touch to nicely synchronize files across all your devices.
Experience the agility of ARES Commander to create and modify DWG drawings in 2D and 3D on your computers. Leverage the drafting and design features that you've come to expect for your DWG files, at a significant cost savings. ARES Commander brings your productivity to the next level with smart productivity tools and a unique concept: The Trinity of CAD™
“Our entire office need to use our CAD drawings. Having up-to-date access on any device from anywhere has been a real bonus to productivity. Project managers,… well everyone really, is super happy.“
Ken Jones – CAD Manager
Its called the Trilogy of CAD because you get three distinct ways of accessing and working with DWG files; desktop, mobile and web browser. In addition all the files are syncronised and your one license can let you access any one of these at any time from anywhere. Now that’s flexibility.
Native .DWG Support
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What is the support like?
Compared to what you’re probably used to you’ll find the support amazing! We are renown for our excellent support response times and helpful expertise. Support subscription is recommended to get the most from your CAD investment every year.
Which operating systems can ARES be installed on?
ARES Commander can be installed on Windows, macOS or several Linux distributions
How many computers can I work from?
While using a single ARES Commander license, the same user can work from up to 2 computers simultaneously and even log out to work from other computers. You may even use computers under different operating systems.
What is the trinity of CAD?
When you buy ARES Commander you also get a 1 year subscription for ARES Touch (to work on your Android and iOS devices) and ARES Kudo our cloud-based solution. Upon expiration you are free to renew your subscription or withdraw.
Which file formats does ARES support?
ARES can import DWG, DXF, DGN, PDF, ACIS SAT and STL files.
Are ARES Touch and ARES Kudo included with ARES Commander?
ARES Touch and ARES Kudo are included with ARES Commander for the first year, then available for as long as users are on updates/subscription. ARES Commander licenses are perpetual for the current latest version of the software at the time of purchase.
How long is the ARES trial?
The trial for ARES Commander will run for 30 days.
What does the trial include?
A 30 day access to ARES Commander, includes a trial for ARES Touch and also includes trial access to ARES Kudo.
Own a lifetime license of ARES Commander
(Includes 12 months upgrades + ARES Touch + ARES Kudos)
Outright purchase in a single payment
Buy ARES Commander Online
Prices shown in AUD. Australian buyers add 10% GST
- Windows 10 or 8.1
- Intel i5 processor (i7 preferred)
- 64 bit machine
- 8GB RAM (16GB preferred)
- 1.5GB Hard Drive (SSD preferred)
- Mouse with scroll wheel
- Dedicated graphics card with 2GB+ supporting OpenGL 2.0 or later
- 1280 x 768 screen resolution or higher
- Mac OSX Catalina, Mojave, High Sierra
- Intel i5 processor (i7 preferred)
- 64 bit machine
- 8GB RAM (16GB preferred)
- 1GB Hard Drive (SSD preferred)
- Mouse with scroll wheel (not Magic Mouse)
- Graphics Card with 2GB+ supporting OpenGL 2.0 or later
- 1280 x 768 screen resolution or higher