About QCAD

The History of QCAD

The Beginning

The project QCAD started in October 1999 as a fragment of CAM Expert, which is a CAM System for engraving and LASER cutting. CAM Expert was capable of enough CAD functionality that a spinoff for an independent CAD system made sense.


QCAD 1 was an overwhelming success. Within about two years it had an estimated user base of about 70'000, probably more. Its user interface was available in 20 languages and it received top ratings and awards on several occasions.

However, while QCAD kept growing, it became clear that there would have to be a major redesign at one point to allow further extensions. That's why QCAD 2 development started in May 2002. The main goal of this ambitious project was to make QCAD more productive, more user friendly, more flexible and increase its compatibility with other products.


QCAD 2 was first released in September 2003. It has been designed with modularity and future extensions in mind. Moreover a couple of interesting libraries and side products evolved out of the QCAD 2 development process: the QCAD libraries, dxflib and vec2web.


In August 2011, the first beta version of QCAD 3 was released. QCAD 3 comes with a new and improved CAD engine which improves performance (spatial index) and allows for advanced property editing and future extensions (dynamic properties). The other major addition is a powerful and complete ECMAScript interface. New interactive tools can be developed with a few lines of ECMAScript but even entire new applications can be developed using QCAD technology. QCAD 3 is also the first QCAD version that fully supports the DWG format as well as various different versions of the DXF format.