FREE Fluid Power schematic design software

Article Updates:

Aug 31, 2019. Since Comotrol is part of Danfoss, Comatrol Easyvalve is not available anymore, so info about this software was removed.
Sep 25, 2019. URLs were updated in this post.
Dec 29, 2019. Info about QCAD was replaced with LibreCAD.
Oct 14, 2020. Info about nanoCAD has been added.
Oct 24, 2021. Info about Dassault Systemes DraftSight has been removed since there no free versions of DraftSight anymore.

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For my work I use AutoCAD LT or ePlan Fluid to draw hydraulic, pneumatic, lube and P&ID schematics. Companies where I worked and where I have the work now, provide this software because the price of them is unbelievably high for the regular individual.

One day, after reading of this article I decided to try to find something absolutely FREE for Fluid Power schematic design.

All software what I found, I divided into three categories:

  1. FREE Generic 2D CAD software
  2. FREE specialized Fluid Power design software for PC
  3. FREE specialized online Fluid Power design software

FREE Generic 2D CAD software (Most popular only)

Most companies use 2D CAD software for their mechanical design and combine regular drawings design with the schematic design. For that, fluid power designers create own symbols libraries or use free and ready to use libraries from different suppliers, for example: (as an symbol library from EATON or symbol library from SUN Hydraulics).

1. AutoDesk AutoCAD, version for students

The link: http://www.autodesk.com/education/free-software/autocad

“Free Autodesk software is for personal use for education purposes and is subject to the terms and conditions of the end-user license agreement that accompanies download of the software.”

AutoCAD 2017 Screenshot

AutoCAD 2017 screenshot


  • This is the AutoCAD – the best software in the world for 2D design. You can use it not only for schematic design but for any drawings you need.
  • Free license for 3 years. After 3 years you can renew your license or get a new one for the new version of AutoCAD.
  • No any limits in compare with the commercial version


  • Legally you can use it for education purpose only
  • You need to create a personal symbol library or try to find a free download of it somewhere on the internet.
  • Version for Windows only.

2. nanoCAD from Nanosoft

The link: https://nanocad.com/products/nanoCAD/

“nanoCAD is a professional grade CAD tool. It has a familiar interface, powerful drafting and design tools, native DWG compatibility, and an open API. And it’s totally free to use and share.”

nanoCAD 5.0 Screenshot

nanoCAD 5.0 screenshot


  • This software is very close to AutoCAD by the functionality and drafting method. If you worked/working in AutoCAD – you almost do not find any differences.
  • I think, currently, this is the best FREE alternative for AutoCAD and I use it on my personal PC.
  • Small size (400 Mb) and works pretty fast.
  • Works with ALL AutoCAD files formats!


  • Little bit fewer functions than AutoCAD has but more than enough to use it to draw circuits/diagrams.
  • You need to create a personal hydraulic/pneumatic symbols library.
  • Version for Windows OS only.

3. LibreCAD

The link: https://librecad.org/

LibreCAD is a free Open Source CAD application for Windows, Apple and Linux. Support and documentation is free from our large, dedicated community of users, contributors and developers.


LibreCAD screenshot


  • LibreCAD was developed as a fork of QCad Community Edition but has more efficient core and better quality of UI
  • Most of the interface and handle concepts are analogous to AutoCAD
  • Read and write support for DWG/DXF files
  • Versions for Windows, MAC add Linux.
  • More features…


  • You need to create a personal symbol library or try to find a free download of it somewhere on the internet.
  • Some specific drafting manipulations still required, different from AutoCAD.

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FREE specialized Fluid Power design software for PC

Above was the most popular 2D CAD software only (which can work with DXF/DWG format). And, there is a lot of other free 2D CAD software that you can use for schematic design. I don’t want to repeat others, you can google and find a lot of them.

But specialized products are more interesting for us. Let see what we have for today.

1. Bosch Rexroth Scheme Editor

The link: https://www.boschrexroth.com/en/xc/product…editor/dc-scheme-editor

The Scheme Editor software is available to you free of charge and allows you to intuitively create pneumatic circuit diagrams. This software helps you create standardized pneumatic circuit diagrams, from simple designs to complex projects. CAD skills are not required.

Scheme Editor

Scheme Editor screenshot


  • drag&drop easy creation of pneumatic connections
  • Symbol Modelling Tool (SMT) enables creation/modification of user-defined symbols
  • user-defined symbols library
  • user-defined templates
  • more features…

This is a very interesting product because it very flexible: if you do not have specific symbol in the library – you can create it, if you need an own template – you can design it. Working with this software I found the next issues:

  • You have to be very careful with line connections: the lines can change their placement in strange directions if you move the symbol!
  • There is a pneumatic symbols library only.

Using Symbol Modelling Tool I’m creating my own hydraulic library (symbol-by-symbol each time by request of my task), so you need to spend time on that. I wrote the E-mail to the technical support about a hydraulic library and got the response: “We will release a hydraulic library in this year together with a new Scheme Editor version”. So, I hope it will happen! And when it happens, the Schematic Editor will be the best fluid power design utility!

Oct 10, 2016. The new version of the Bosch Rexroth Scheme Editor 6.2. has been released. And now it contains the Hydraulic library! Read more…
Jan 27, 2017. The new version of the Bosch Rexroth Scheme Editor 6.3. has been released. The major change is an extended Rexroth Hydraulic Library. Read more…

2. SMCDraw

The link: https://www.smcworld.com/select/pcds/en-jp/index.html

A pneumatic circuit diagram can be easily created by using the database for pneumatic equipment drawing symbols.

SMCDraw Screenshot

SMCDraw screenshot


  • Some simple calculation can be made after system design (full stroke time, max velocity, flow, Dynamic characteristics simulation, etc.).
  • Helps to select pneumatic components from SMC assortment only.
  • Has the symbol design tool, but very uncomfortable to work with it.


  • This software to design pneumatic schematics only.
  • Limited by SMC assortment symbols library. You need to create a personal symbol library.
  • Not intuitive and not comfortable design work.
  • Not easy to connect symbols even with snap to grid.

What I really like in this software – the idea of some components/system calculations. I think, the SMC team is selected the correct way, but the product is still too fresh for use. Hopefully, it will be more intuitive and more comfortable for work in future versions. And, unfortunately, this software is for the design of pneumatic schematics only.

3. HydraForce i-Design

The link: http://www.hydraforce.com/i-design.html

i-Design comes pre-loaded with everything you need to design a hydraulic schematic, featuring over 1000 configurable hydraulic components, including cartridge valves, pumps, motors and cylinders.

HydraForce i-Design screenshot

HydraForce i-Design screenshot


  • Based on the Automation Studio engine. Symbols and connections work perfectly.
  • Very intuitive and comfortable design work.
  • In addition to the schematic, you get the full package for manifold design.


  • First of all, this software is the utility to design hydraulic manifolds using HydraForce components only.
  • Very limited library: you can use HydraForce components only and you can’t add/create new symbols. For that, you have to use the Automation Studio software.
  • The HydraForce template title you can use only.

Theoretically, using this software you can try to design a generic schematic because some generic symbols like cylinders, pumps, motors, pressure gauges, and others also present in the library. But to make the design easily you have to use HydraForce hydraulic components mostly.

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FREE specialized online Fluid Power design software

What is really good with online design:

  • no any software needs to be installed
  • doesn’t matter what operating system you use
  • files are automatically saved at the server but you can export and download them in any format.

1. SUN QuickDesign SmartConnect

The link: http://www.sunhydraulics.com/abo…chematic-tool

Define your specs as you build your schematic. Submit to QuickDesign™. Get your custom integrated package design. Request a quote. All in a matter of minutes. In one handy, free online software tool. Seriously.

SUN QuickDesign screenshot

SUN QuickDesign screenshot


  • Drag&drop easy creation of hydraulic connections
  • Work field looks like AutoCAD
  • Very intuitive and comfortable design work
  • Easy to design manifolds


  • Very limited symbols library: you can use SUN Hydraulics components only and you can’t add/create new symbols.
  • The SUN template title you can use only.

I have already wrote the article about this online application. SUN created really nice online application. Very intuitive and comfortable work, minimum buttons, no any complicated menus. But again, you can try to design generic schematic because some generic symbols like cylinders, pumps, motors, pressure gauges and others also present in the library. But first of all this application developed for SUN Hydraulic components using only.

2. Danfoss (Comatrol) EasyManifold

Added Sep. 25, 2019

The link: https://easymanifold.comatrol.com/

EasyManifold’s intuitive user interface allows you to create your hydraulic schematic circuit by dragging and dropping from Danfoss ICS’s complete digital library and the software will generate the full 3D!

Danfoss EasyManifold

Danfoss EasyManifold

Starting November 16th, 2018, Comatrol is a commercial brand name belonging to Danfoss and Comatrol’s “Easyvalve” is not available anymore. Instead, you can use the Danfoss EasyManifold online tool. The tool is free for use, but you need to contact a local Danfoss distributor to make an account and get access. I do not have access yet and can not comment a lot. But after watching the video how to use it at their website, it seems to me the online tool engine is 1:1 what the SUN Hydraulics has. Therefore, I suspect the same Benefits and Disadvantages will be applied for Danfoss product. As soon I get access to the tool I will make a full review of it.


If be honest, from all of free soft what I found, AutoCAD and NanoCAD are still most preferred to use for schematic design. Hopefully, in the future, with a new version of Bosch Rexroth Scheme Editor (with integrated hydraulic symbols library) the situation can be changed. If I find something else, I will add all new applications reviews to this article. If you know something else what can help with FREE design of Fluid Power schematics – please let me know in comments below.


If you know more software for FREE design of hydraulic and/or pneumatic systems, please share this info in comments!


  1. Jenaro Garcia

    I congratulate you, this information is very helpful and saves you time, you have just enough to choose a software. Thank you

    1. Dzyanis (Post author)

      You are welcome!

  2. Softgudam

    thank you very much admin for your important news to share with us. And more thanks for i get best idea read this article about this topics. many more days i was searched this topics, finally i got it.

    1. Dzyanis (Post author)

      No problem! Thanks!

  3. Steve Thompson

    Great Resource. Thanks for taking the time to compile and update this list. I am an adjunct instructor at a community college & I’m always looking for low cost software to help introduce students to engineering. I’ve used SMCDraw in several classes and it’s a fairly easy to tool to use, although it’s limited by a quirky interface. The latest version is much improved and easier for students to draw complicated pneumatic circuits.

  4. Haral Serafini

    Hello! Congrats, great post! I believe that Bosch Rexroth Scheme Editor already includes the hydraulic library. I just started working with it and there is “hydraulics” menu just besides the “pneumatic” one.

    1. Dzyanis (Post author)

      Correct. As I already mentioned in updates on Jan 27, 2017 the Scheme Editor ver. 6.3. has an extended Hydraulic Library.

  5. Adam Russell

    Thanks for all of the info!!! We have always been a Eaton/Vickers end user. Does Eaton have their own schematic software?

    1. Dzyanis (Post author)

      Yes, they do. Eaton calls it “Circuit Design Software Studio” but again it based on Automation Studio software from Famic Tech. Right now, the symbol library is limited by Eaton products. But because Danfoss, Eaton, and Comatrol is technically the one brand now, I expect some merging of their products and increasing symbol library, but in reality, it can take for a while… Another issue, you can not easily download Circuit Design Software Studio – you have to make a request at Eaton website or call to local distributor to get the software. I filled forms on the Eaton website to get a demo and make a review but didn’t get any feedback from Eaton.

  6. Ansari

    Great job….

  7. John Dickey

    After reading the reviews, I just downloaded and installed the Bosch program. It sounded like it would be great. It had a hydraulics library section besides the pneumatics one. However, only some of the libraries had symbols, others such as the valve library had no content. Do I still have to create more symbols? I thought this was going to be a complete program, ready to use and do some work. I can understand having to create some special symbols, but standard ones? What’s the situation here? I already sent an email to Bosch enquiring about this too.

    1. Dzyanis (Post author)

      Correct, you can create/design any of your own symbols with the Symbol Modelling Tool (SMT) that provided with BR Scheme Editor. You need to create your own library for the symbols that do not exist. BR working on new symbols but pretty slow – every new version of BR Scheme Editor has extended symbols library, but do not wait, just create what you need and reuse it.

  8. Jhon

    Thanks so much , I’m searching for free download version of Hydraforce , could you help plz

    1. Dzyanis (Post author)

      You need to contact the Hydraforce and ask about this. The contact form is placed by the link: https://www.hydraforce.com/products/custom-manifolds/i-design/

  9. ari

    you can give the software

    1. Dzyanis (Post author)

      working on it…

  10. Martin Spinks

    For those using Draftsite or Nanocadd it would be good to embed a symbols library as a drop down menu. A company called CADSYM sell such a menu for Autocadd (around $80) but it doesn’t work with Draftsite or Nanocadd. Problem with software developed by Bosch or Sun or whoever is that they only allow you to use their products. Understandable I guess but as an independant designer I need a comprehensive generic symbols library that can apply to any make. Do you have any ideas?

    1. Dzyanis (Post author)

      Soft like DraftSight or nanoCAD is a regular 2D CAD, like a sheet of white paper and pencil. They do not have a possibility of creating/add a symbol library. But what I usually do is a creating DWG template that contains the company blank with logo, all ISO symbols, all symbols that I used in the past (like specific pumps or valve schematics). This template has a prepared BOM and required parameters of the grid and snap to make a design process as quickly as it is possible in the 2D CAD software and the template can be used in any software that supports DWG format. Creating a new schematic is always started from this template and if new symbols occur – I always add them in my DWG template, so I have already a huge personal library.

      And what you said about Bosch Rexroth software is not true. It contains a Symbol Modelling Tool (SMT) that enables the creation of your own symbols and collects them in your own library.

  11. PWW

    Thank you very much for this post.
    I tried the free fluid software, I searched also for a couple other programms and regarding free and a user friendly interface draw.io is very good. The hydraulic elements which can be found on the lower left more shapes => Fluid Power and Proc Eng. are limited. But symbols and images can be added, there is a scratchpad and the workflow is very intuitive. I think it is worth mentioning.

  12. Saju Phillipose

    Have you tried Truecad? I find that symbols I developed in Old Autcad works well here with some lisp routines as well for speeding up circuit schematic design. For manifold design I used to use old MDT6.0 (Mechanical Desktop 6.0 from Autodesk no longer supported by them). Later changed to Pro/e and then now to Creo8.0 from PTC. The lisp routines were originally developed for MDT 6.0

    1. Dzyanis (Post author)

      Hello Saju, as per my understanding, TrueCAD (https://truecad.com/) software is not for free… This is why I didn’t add it to this article. The only thing I noted is not a high price for this soft – 149 USD only. If be honest IMHO from all listed above the best choice is nanoCAD. But it is just my opinion…

  13. Jordon Adams

    Great work putting this together.
    I have found that the Bosch Scheme Editor program doesn’t deliver the best quality when converted to a PDF, the line work can be average at best.

    Have you or anyone else reading this found this to be an issue too?

  14. Umesh

    thx guys for saving time for others

  15. Mark

    Are there good, extensive hydraulic symbol libraries for DraftSight? We make our manifolds in SolidWorks, and it would be helpful to import data from the schematics.

  16. Dzyanis (Post author)

    Mark, there is no free hydraulic symbols library in DraftSight, so you need to create your own library or download a free package from any free source on the internet.


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