Alternative AutoCAD for Energy Simulation Purpose

Hi, greetings to you!

I’m a student.

Currently, I’m using Rhino and Grasshopper as a GUI to display energy-used on buildings. And I’m also simulating building using EnergyPlus. Since I have a number of architecture drawings for my thesis purpose that comes up with a .dwg file extension. And I use it only for displaying and print it as a .pdf file. Do you guys, especially for energy-building profession, have alternative CAD software to open .dwg (maybe an opensource software) ? I’ve been using nanoCAD (, but for some reason there’s a feature I believe that doesn’t come require in nanoCAD to my needs.

So I use these CAD software to print from .dwg file. Then I import it to Rhino to make a building model. And yeah, while Rhino can open .dwg file, but it seems not friendly to see. Since I have .dwg file from third-party. Also, I can’t install AutoCAD since it takes alot of disk and it’s too heavy.

Thank you for reading my question.

Hi Fahad -

Perhaps this is the issue that you should be trying to solve? Can you post a dog file that is giving you issues and a clear description of what those issues are?
Also, please run the Rhino SystemInfo command and post the results here.

Hi Wim,

You are right. Yeah, it should be. But while I open the .dwg file, my PC runs too much lag

Last post

I’ve posted previously in this forum. Here’s what I got

Rhino 7 SR7 2021-6-9 (Rhino 7, 7.7.21160.05001, Git hash:master @ d2161989109d5dacba531310b5d345ce6f4da9f6)
License type: Evaluation, build 2021-06-09
License details: Cloud Zoo
Expires on: 2021-08-07

Windows 10.0.19042 SR0.0 or greater (Physical RAM: 5.9Gb)

Computer platform: LAPTOP - Plugged in

Hybrid graphics configuration.
Primary display: Intel(R) HD Graphics 3000 (Intel) Memory: 2GB, Driver date: 5-19-2016 (M-D-Y).

Integrated graphics device with 2 adapter port(s)

  • Windows Main Display is laptop’s integrated screen or built-in port
    Primary OpenGL: AMD Radeon HD 7400M Series (AMD) Memory: 1GB, Driver date: 2-26-2016 (M-D-Y). OpenGL Ver: 4.5.13417 Compatibility Profile Context 15.301.1901.0

Integrated accelerated graphics device (shares primary device ports)

  • Video pass-through to primary display device

OpenGL Settings
Safe mode: Off
Use accelerated hardware modes: On
Redraw scene when viewports are exposed: On
Graphics level being used: OpenGL 4.5 (primary GPU’s maximum)

Anti-alias mode: None
Mip Map Filtering: Linear
Anisotropic Filtering Mode: High

Vendor Name: ATI Technologies Inc.
Render version: 4.5
Shading Language: 4.40
Driver Date: 2-26-2016
Driver Version: 15.301.1901.0
Maximum Texture size: 16384 x 16384
Z-Buffer depth: 24 bits
Maximum Viewport size: 16384 x 16384
Total Video Memory: 512 MB

Rhino plugins that do not ship with Rhino

Rhino plugins that ship with Rhino
C:\Program Files\Rhino 7\Plug-ins\Commands.rhp “Commands” 7.7.21160.5001
C:\Program Files\Rhino 7\Plug-ins\rdk.rhp “Renderer Development Kit”
C:\Program Files\Rhino 7\Plug-ins\RhinoRenderCycles.rhp “Rhino Render” 7.7.21160.5001
C:\Program Files\Rhino 7\Plug-ins\rdk_etoui.rhp “RDK_EtoUI” 7.7.21160.5001
C:\Program Files\Rhino 7\Plug-ins\rdk_ui.rhp “Renderer Development Kit UI”
C:\Program Files\Rhino 7\Plug-ins\NamedSnapshots.rhp “Snapshots”
C:\Program Files\Rhino 7\Plug-ins\RhinoCycles.rhp “RhinoCycles” 7.7.21160.5001
C:\Program Files\Rhino 7\Plug-ins\Toolbars\Toolbars.rhp “Toolbars” 7.7.21160.5001
C:\Program Files\Rhino 7\Plug-ins\3dxrhino.rhp “3Dconnexion 3D Mouse”
C:\Program Files\Rhino 7\Plug-ins\Displacement.rhp “Displacement”

My PC is around 10 years old (yeah I need to change somehow)

Hi Fahad -

As Jim suggested in that other thread, you should really look into updating the drivers for your GPUs. But, yes, even with updated drivers, that machine is not well suited to run Rhino 7 and I can see why you would be running into problems with imported DWG files.

Since you also appear to have access to AutoCAD and that doesn’t work either, and are running into issues with nanoCAD, there’s not much else to suggest, I’m afraid. You could try FreeCAD and possibly the Autodesk DXF/DWG viewer?

From the AutoCAD clones, i found BricsCad to be the best. It has also fairly reasonable pricing.

BricsCAD, Draftsight, LibreCAD, QCAD, NanoCAD or TurboCAD, all are great 2D cad solutions as an AutoCAD alternative. Depends your budget and use case.