This may be a very newbie question, but I need to draw many profiles/diagrams that would be something like this:

enter image description here

I images I need to make would usually be simpler than that, but I need to have a 45° angle view, like the isometric (iso) view in sketch up.

What software should I use to achieve this? What software do people use for this? I love SketchUp, but the lines always look so bad when you export to 2D. I've used LayOut 3, but I'm not sure that's the correct software for the job.

Thanks in advance.

Edit: Does anybody know specifically in which software such an image was created with?

  • 1
    SketchUp Pro has much more robust output options. Maybe look into that.
    – DA01
    Commented Nov 19, 2012 at 20:19
  • 1
    Rhinoceros is excellent for drawing 2d, it has a make2d feature for converting 3d to 2d with bunch of different views and you can also save the files to .ai. It's not exactly cheap though. rhino3d.com -- Here's a video of the make2d and saving to .ai.. youtube.com/…
    – Joonas
    Commented Nov 20, 2012 at 12:17
  • @Johannes Thanks for editing, as a level 1 user i couldn't add the photo to the question. Commented Nov 20, 2012 at 19:21

7 Answers 7


For very simple 2D CAD-style drawing like this, you could use a vector drawing app such an Illustrator or Inkscape.

I am not recommending this for CAD in general or indeed anything more complex than the example; more if this was a one off job and you already had these tools to hand.

  • You are correct, i don't really need anything too complex, this is mostly for mockups, but i also would like to display these in the company's website, so they have to look good. I'm taking a look at illustrator, i think that might do the job. Commented Nov 20, 2012 at 14:33
  • are you drawing from scratch? Are these more marketing-centric rather than engineering-centric? If the answers are 'yes' than Illustrator (or other illustration software such an Inkscape) might be ideal as they will offer a much more robust range of styling options.
    – DA01
    Commented Nov 20, 2012 at 18:23
  • Precisely. I would like to show the types of products we can do on our website, perhaps a catalog for download. But all of our work is custom, hence no need for absolute precision Commented Nov 20, 2012 at 19:09

AutoCad has a series of specialized CAD software, including AutoCAD Architecture:http://usa.autodesk.com/autocad-architecture/

  • Thanks, but i don't really need anything that precise, or complicated. This is mostly for mock ups of what our company can do. Thank you though. Commented Nov 20, 2012 at 14:32

You could easily use any vector drawing app to create such images - Adobe Illustrator, CorelDraw, Xara Extreme.

While a CAD app will work as well, I see no direct CAD features required in your posted sample.

Since you may already have one of the vector apps... I'd just use that.


Image was probably drawn in Autocad. However any vector software will do. I draw a lot of network bound stuff with Illustrator. Depends on what tool sets you nee really and how much money you have. Hree is an example i juts drew 5 minutes ago for engineering.se.

isometric drafting image

Image 1: A rotated isometric image done for an explanation of turning tetrahedra into a cube.

Suitable tools:

  • Autocad
  • Creo
  • Solidowrks
  • ...
  • Free CAD (opensource)


* Note the tutorial has a typo scale should be 86.602% not 86.062%


If you're on a Mac, here's a good list of CAD apps that would fit the bill.

  • Thanks, i guess is should've stated that i'm not on a mac Commented Nov 20, 2012 at 19:09

Based on your updated question with an example photo, the answer is: CAD software.

Which one? It's impossible to say, but nearly all CAD software can handle that.

The big one in the industry is Autodesk's AutoCAD. It's also one of the most expensive options and will involve quite a bit of gearing up to learn it.

But there are dozen's of other options out there. You're going to have to shop around to find what you want for the budget you have.


Autosketch 10 will do the job nicely and be much more straight forward to use than Autocad. Sadly, it's now owned by Autocad, so you'll have to go on their website and fight your way past their attempts to sell you Autocad in order to access it.


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