Any "AutoCad" Substitutes for OSX?

Discussion in 'Mac Apps and Mac App Store' started by Josh2022, Sep 10, 2005.

  1. Josh2022 macrumors member

    Aug 16, 2005
    Im in CAD1 this year for school, were learning the basics of autocad the first sememster, mostly 2D drawings. But the 2nd Semester, were going to be working with all 3D. My teacher gave everyone a copy of the Educational Edition to bring home with us just incase we are absent for a long time and fall behind. But i only have a Mac computers at my house, I was thinking of VPC but i read the reviews on that with AutoCad and it was ungodly slow, so i said forget that.. are there any other Mac CAD programs that can import/export Autocad files (.dwt/.dwg) and be able to work with them also?
  2. Ben Kei macrumors regular

    Oct 30, 2002
    London UK
    you could give vectorworks a go..

    Taken from the site "Easily integrate VectorWorks into your firm, even if you already have a CAD system. A stable of import/export options, including DWG, IGS, STL, EPS, TIF, and JPG, makes it easy to share files between popular desktop publishing, presentation, analysis, and other CAD programs. Plus, because both the Macintosh and Windows version of VectorWorks is created from the same core code, you can easily run projects concurrently on Windows or Macintosh machines. We recognize the importance of compatibility, which is why VectorWorks is a founding member of the OpenDWG® Alliance and has a dedicated team of engineers to ensure DXF/DWG compatibility."

    I have to deal with Vectorworks at work occasionally, although only from a reprographics side so not sure how it handles as a CAD application.. Results-wise it's practically the same as AutoCAD.

    They have a free viewer on the site, download it and open some .dwgs to see how it handles, not sure if it'll make a complete alternative but it might be your best bet on the Mac.
  3. Peterkro macrumors 68020


    Aug 17, 2004
    Communard de Londres
    You could have a look in the forums over at Architosh for some more information.
  4. Macky-Mac macrumors 68030


    May 18, 2004
    another place to search is at>made4mac>2D/3D Graphics & Animation......then do a search for CAD and you'll find a number of products to consider

    I have a work associate, an architect, who uses vectorworks and he regularly exchanges files with his engineering consultants who all use autocad.....he says it works just fine for his 2D work

    vectorworks is not expensive as CAD programs go but it isn't cheap either.... they do offer an academic version if I remember correctly

    there are other less expensive Mac CAD products that allow you to import/export in dxf/dwg format......I was at an Apple retail store this last week and noticed that they had TurboCAD for $99

    one thing to consider is that if you're learning autocad at school and want to use a Mac program at home, then you'll have to learn a second program......which might be more than you want to deal with since you're in school.....or maybe would actually be good for you to have experience with a second CAD program but that's another discussion

    and back to the VPC option.....sure there are always people who say it's too slow but there are definitely people who use it with some light autocad.....since autocad is what you're learning at school, you might want to reconsider VPC
  5. Josh2022 thread starter macrumors member

    Aug 16, 2005
    Thankyou for all the input, my Cuz has VPC, he cant quite breakaway from windows yet, ill borrow it from him, and ill give it a shot then, if that doesnt work theres always the vector cad to try!
  6. Josh2022 thread starter macrumors member

    Aug 16, 2005
    What would be the best windows version to install, i was thinking 98 since it will use less recources? On VPC that is.
  7. mpw Guest

    Jun 18, 2004
    I use AutoCAD 2004 LT at work on a 2.8Ghz P4 with 768RAM and it's sometimes very slow with larger drawings. I imagine it would mind numbing to use it through an emulator.
  8. Josh2022 thread starter macrumors member

    Aug 16, 2005
    ...Life sucks. LOL.

    Im really about to just go out any buy a cheap windows computer, i mean seriously. I have no windows computers at home. And i have XP on VPC now, its its like >.< slow
  9. ITASOR macrumors 601


    Mar 20, 2005
    Oneida, NY
    Hahah same thing here. We used Autodesk Inventor 9 in school last year and I needed to do something at home, but obviously couldn't run it in VPC. :(

    I just gave up because there are no good Mac cad programs.
  10. mduser63 macrumors 68040


    Nov 9, 2004
    Salt Lake City, UT
    I think this is one of those situations where it makes sense to buy a really cheap PC, just to run AutoCAD. You can use Microsoft Remote Desktop Connection for Mac to connect to the PC (assuming you get XP Pro). I do this occasionally to run some PC software, and it works well.
  11. Macky-Mac macrumors 68030


    May 18, 2004
    that's nonsense
  12. Macky-Mac macrumors 68030


    May 18, 2004

    people seem to say to avoid XP and use something older like 2000

    if you're going to do a lot of autocad at home then a cheap windows box is not a bad idea...........or if you're one of those people that need SPEED SPEED SPEED and cant imagine anything else, then maybe a windows box is for you

    but seriously, people do use VPC despite the usual "oh it's too slow" crowd.....if you do a search for VPC here you'll find lots of people who say it works for them
  13. Josh2022 thread starter macrumors member

    Aug 16, 2005
    VPC + Autocad = :(

    I borrowed VPC fromo my cuz. Installed AutoCad, which took AGES IMO, it just takes forever to load. When you get in it, its OK, until you start drawing a lot then it goes laggy.

  14. Makosuke macrumors 603

    Aug 15, 2001
    The Cool Part of CA, USA
    VectorWorks really isn't that bad--the lab I administer has used it for years and it's gotten the job done for engineering purposes, along with being cross platform. It's not SolidWorks, but it certainly covers all the 2D and 3D necessities.

    If you do end up deciding to go Win, you might consider getting a bargain basement hardware PC and setting it up using either VNC or MS's RDC so you can control it from your Mac. That gets you full PC speed without having to leave your desk. VPC is nice on a laptop or an environment where you're working with the same set of files in both environments (for example, when I preview a website in IE Windows that I'm editing on a Mac), but for something like CAD it's going to be dog-slow.

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