Bricsys offering for educational users

While they still don't have the same popularity as AutoCAD, the Belgian team of Bricsys produces a solid and (mostly) homegrown CAD system: BricsCAD is a DWG-compatible drafting and modeling system, which could replace AutoCAD (LT) in many cases.

It is a low-cost alternative for accurate technical drafting and 3D modeling.

They offer their software now for free for educational users, as announced on http://blog.bricsys.com/2012/05/new-bricsys-academic-program.html

The programming interfaces, allowing you to develop add-ons in a variety of programming languages (Lisp, C++, .NET), should also be available soon. Currently, you can already apply for free access to the developers program. This is quite useful as some developers use this software as the underlying platform for a full CAD solution (add-on and CAD-system) at the price of the add-on.

BricsCAD runs on Windows and Linux and an OSX version is said to be in preparation.