Kubotek3D Product and Technology Blog

Free CAD Viewer Downloads - Think Before You Click

Free CAD Viewer Downloads - Think Before You Click

Problem:  You need to view a CAD file. 

More problems:  You need to view various CAD files. 

Problem magnified:  You need to view various CAD files day in and day out, but you can’t remember which program views which file. You have several to choose from, one for each file type. 

Okay, we get it. Most of those viewer programs you have were free downloads.  Everyone likes free, me included. Even Kubotek offers a free viewer called KeyCreator Viewer (formerly Spectrum Lite). In fact, our Spectrum Lite download page was viewed 42,225 times in the last couple of years. It gets downloaded close to 3,500 times a year. In the last six weeks alone, it’s been downloaded 422 times.

What those numbers tell me is that a lot of people are looking for CAD file viewers.  It also tells me a lot of people are looking for a bargain - something cheap, preferably free.  But even though you aren’t spending money, you are spending something else just as valuable: time. While you might get your KeyCreator/CADKEY viewer for free (because that’s all KeyCreator Viewer will open), I have to make the assumption that you’re also searching for, and downloading, CAD viewers for all the other files that cross your desktop. Hour glass on computer keyboard

Using the hunt and peck strategy to find the appropriate CAD viewer can be disruptive to your productivity mojo. You have to shift gears from the work you were currently focused on to search for, download, install and then run your free CAD viewer software. By the time that was all done, good luck figuring out why you needed the viewer in the first place.

And you know what? This all gets compounded when new file versions are released. Need to view the latest format? Start your CAD viewer hunt all over again. 

It’s also true that not all CAD software vendors even offer a viewer for their file formats. I’m not going to name names (CATIA, UG/NX, etc.), but your searching just got a whole lot more complicated if you want to view some formats for free.

Oh wait. Lest we forget!  Are other members of your team also using CAD viewers for quoting or planning purposes?  Boom – that time-suck just drained more of your resources. 

Let me point out a solution to this rapidly expanding problem. Why not own a single CAD viewer that can view, manipulate and print the most popular 2D and 3D CAD formats like SolidWorks, AutoCAD, NX, CATIA, Pro/E, IGES, STEP and many others? Think of the time and sanity you’ll save if you have a single go-to product to do all your CAD viewing dirty work, including the ability to measure and calculate mass properties. 

The pros of owning a single premier CAD Viewer are evident. So what are the cons? I can think of just one - you’re going to have to spend a little bit of money.  When you add up the cost of those hours spent looking for free software, you break even pretty quickly.

Depending on your need to view different format CAD files, you are looking at $29 - $79 per month for a K-Display View program. For software like this that will need frequent updates to read the latest formats, leasing makes total sense. If you prefer to own a permanent license, we offer that too. 

Consider K-Display View from Kubotek for all your CAD file viewing needs. Spend a little now, save a lot later.

(Updated September 2020)

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