CAD software

Discussion in 'Mac Apps and Mac App Store' started by powerdave, Jun 26, 2004.

  1. powerdave macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Apr 24, 2004
    Location:
    Hamburg
    #1
    I'm on the lookout for a CAD program. I've never used CAD before so I was hoping for some pointers from you guys!
    I'm currently studying for a degree in Aeronautical Eng and I've done a year so far. I'll be doing CAD next year, and as far as I know, the package they use is PTC Pro Desktop - at least to start off with. So can anyone recommend anything for me to get with that in mind?
    Really I just want to get a feel for it, but if I could find something where it'd be similar enough to the software I've gotta use for uni it would obviously be a plus.

    Thanks!
     
  2. MacsAreGod macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Apr 8, 2004
    Location:
    Okemos, michigan
    #2
    I dunno if its like what you want

    My dad is an architect and he uses vectorworks 11. I like to mess around with it. i dunno if its like that program you are talking about but i love vector works.
     
  3. Macky-Mac macrumors 68030

    Macky-Mac

    Joined:
    May 18, 2004
    #3
    check out www.architosh.com. While it's aimed primarily at architects using CAD on Macs, you'll find info on CAD programs that will be useful for uses other than architecture
     
  4. AdamZ macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Feb 15, 2004
    #4
    Vectorworks Rocks

    As an architectural student, I too needed some CAD software for use on my Mac. The architect community is still stuck in the horrible 2D world of AutoCad unfortunatly. Since AutoCad does not work on a Mac, I was forced to research other options. I have been using Vectorworks 10 for two years now and recommend it continuously to all my fellow students, as they see my plans and renderings. Vectorworks has different versions for what you may need to work on such as Mechanical, Architecture, or get all of them. CAD changed the world and got us to put our pencils down, programs like Vectorworks are slowly changing the face of drafting once again.
     
  5. frank5050 macrumors member

    Joined:
    Nov 11, 2003
    Location:
    way out west
    #5
    I've used Vectorworks (and it's predecessor MiniCAD) for some time and have been happy with it. I've worked with a few Architecture firms who use PowerCadd (by Engineered Software) but the overwelming choice has to be AutoCad (and it does do 3D). Too bad it's PC only.
     
  6. JFreak macrumors 68040

    JFreak

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2003
    Location:
    Tampere, Finland
    #6
    i have heard autodesk is planning a mac port, but has not decided about it yet. go to their site and ask for the mac version, and the more you do it the better - it would be a great thing to get autocad for macintosh ;)
     
  7. Doraemon macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Aug 31, 2001
    Location:
    Europe (EU)
    #7
    AutoCAD for MacOS X was reported to become reality over a year ago. Therefore, although I am still hoping, I don't think it will be released.
     
  8. JFreak macrumors 68040

    JFreak

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2003
    Location:
    Tampere, Finland
    #8
    in my knowledge, the report was about an evaluation whether the port would be beneficial for autodesk - not an announcement of a mac port. however the wording in that report made many (me included) to first think of a release announcement, but reading the report again made me realize it wasn't it.

    the decision is not yet made, so keep asking for it and it may become reality.
     
  9. Fender2112 macrumors 6502a

    Fender2112

    Joined:
    Aug 11, 2002
    Location:
    Charlotte, NC
    #9
    Vectorworks ...

    I started years ago with the 2D version Blueprint which evolved to MiniCAD and now Vectorworks. It's a really good program that has good user based (mail list and forum) support. It has good 3D and rendering support. I believe it's compatible with RenderMan which is Apples 3D/rendering software.

    The only drawback it the lack of builtin plotter support. If you have a plotter this is not a problem. If you use a plotting service you'll have to find a plot driver that is compatible with both the OS X and the service's system
     
  10. Maxicek macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Apr 23, 2004
    #10
    Pro-Desktop is a 3D solid modelling CAD package. Most of the suggestions above are 2D packages, so will not help you much. You will find more details on Pro-Desktop at www.ptc.com. The Mac CAD scene seems mainly focussed on architecture.

    I use Pro-Engineer at work on PCs. I don't think there is much choice in the Mac 3D CAD scene, Form-Z (www.autodessys.com) is one package that I know was around a few years back. Most 3D CAD packages are PC only. Ironically, back in the day when my aged 8200/120 was cutting edge I used Pro-Engineer on a Unix Silicon Graphics Indigo II Workstation. Now Macs are Unix based, but most of the big 3D CAD packages are still not available.

    One piece of good news though is that I did read one of the most popular 3D solid modelling kernels has been ported to OSX. But no news yet of someone developing a package around it.

    It's not a piece of advice that I like to give, but if your college course is CAD based, get your self a PC. I think you can download Pro-Desktop for free. A minimum spec PC 512MB RAM and a half-way decent graphics card is usually OK for CAD. Keep you Mac for everything else.

    Hope this helps.
     
  11. Studawg7 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    May 15, 2004
    Location:
    Cville, VA
    #11
    Being a mechE grad student who uses lots of 3D CAD/FEA software I totally agree. When it comes to CAD and CAE, its a PC world. Funny, I too learned Pro/E on Sun UltraSpark stations. They were slick, its unfortunate the PC started to take over in this realm b/c my comp at school, though blazingly fast and able, just isnt as stable, even with windows 2000.

    cheers and best of luck to you
     
  12. goodwill macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2004
    Location:
    London
    #12
    Do you think AutoCAD will ever be released on Macs! I sure hope so. I mean now with the 30in Display and the PowerMac G5 at 2.5GHZ and a 256mb Graphics Card, do you realize how much damage Apple could do to any cities skyline or any subdivision. We'd all be living in spaceships that hovered, floated and could transport us I'd think haha. Plus, imagine the chicks we could pick up. :)
     
  13. barnabythebear macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jun 14, 2004
    #13
    Hi,

    I use Ashlars Argon on the mac. It's a great program. Solids and nurbs surfaces. If also allows 2d draughting. You wern't too specific about what you intend to use CAD for. If it 2d detailing then Vectorworks is great but if you need to create complex 3d surfaces you really need one of the following:

    Solidthinking
    FormZ
    Argon,Zeon or Cobalt
    Pro Desktop

    ta

    nige.
     
  14. Snowy_River macrumors 68030

    Snowy_River

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2002
    Location:
    Corvallis, OR
    #14
    I would like to respectfully disagree with the description of VectorWorks as just a 2D drafting package. I'm a mechanical engineer, and I use it on a daily basis. It is a highly effective 3D solid modeling package. It also has excellent drafting capabilities, especially with the addition of viewports and 2D sheet layers. It also has extensive NURBS surface capabilities.

    Now, all of that said, it is not, necessarily, as powerful a modeling package as things like Pro/E, Inventor, or SolidWorks, but it's a pretty good match against AutoCAD, and even Mechanical Desktop, at a fraction of the cost.
     
  15. metfuel macrumors member

    Joined:
    Feb 13, 2002
    #15

    no it hasn't been confirmed. There has been an online potition for one I was selected by autodesk to fill out a questionarie asking how it would benefit autodesk to make the move. They emailed me back saying that there aren't any official plans to do it but wanted to collect the info. The only thing that autodesk has confirmed is an application that will read their drawing formats kinda like an adobe acrobat reader for drawings.
     
  16. metfuel macrumors member

    Joined:
    Feb 13, 2002
    #16
    A program that would run very smoothly using os x unix would be unigraphics. I used this at my college on sun microsystem stations that were slower than my powerbook and it performed well. Don't get me wrong when I say that cause UG is a very powerful CAD system.
     
  17. jaromski macrumors regular

    jaromski

    Joined:
    Jun 18, 2004
    Location:
    zion
    #17
    acadosx

    unfortunately, for me, i have been using autocad since the old dos release 12. now i am using autocad2002 but i have always been a mac guy at heart. the 23" cinema display on my cad workstation sure makes drafting seem less like work. i design homes, and the longer i use autocad, the longer i will use autocad. why bother once you have a few hundred drawings, kinda knocks the wind out of your sails if there is any migration cost, any at all, it just wouldn't be worth it.

    however, don't distress, for i think our collective salvation will come, but at a price. this is the price- virtual pc / vmware. i have successfully run autocad2002 under linux using vmware, and it isn't as snappy (well what is under emulation @ 1920x1280) but i was mildly surpised that it wasn't too dreadful, but pretty dreadful for production cad work. i think the next really big bump will come if the cell processor becomes an end user reality. imagine mac osx running on your own cell machine? but the g5 is a nice chip, and may just have enough juice to run acad acceptably under vpc. maybe.

    the other solution is remote display, but that is slow (i think the network latency kills it) i have tried remote desktop but that is even slower/choppier than vmware. i haven't tried win4lin (windows to linux bridgeware) but that seems the best non-windows acad solution at the moment. but why pay win4lin 90/machine, god may as well just buy win2k pro. (winxp bad) occum's razor gets ya there doesn't it.

    i was hoping somebody here had success running acad on mac, if somebody figures it out, let me know?

    jaromski
     
  18. Maxicek macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Apr 23, 2004
  19. Snowy_River macrumors 68030

    Snowy_River

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2002
    Location:
    Corvallis, OR
    #19
    For what it's worth, everyone that I know who's moved from ACAD to VectorWorks (regardless of what platform they choose to use, as VectorWorks is cross platform) has found that VectorWorks offers a better user interface, equal functionality (or better) for a fraction of the cost...

    AutoCAD 2005 $3500
    VectorWorks 11 $800

    I think, regardless of which platform I was on, I know which I'd choose...
     
  20. metfuel macrumors member

    Joined:
    Feb 13, 2002
    #20
     
  21. mkrishnan Moderator emeritus

    mkrishnan

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2004
    Location:
    Grand Rapids, MI, USA
    #21
    Just to throw in a totally different suggestion...how fast is your internet connection? Do you need to be able to travel with the software?

    If the school uses Unix boxes for PTC, is there any feasibility in running a remote X11 session on your Mac, and just running PTC remotely? It might even be possible to do the same with boxes running NT or XP Pro using an RDC.

    The reason I bring this up is that my experience is that in the big engineering markets (automotive, aerospace, electronics), there is often a lot of pressure to certain CAD packages. Spending your time learning one like Pro-E, Catia, UG, etc, that is actually used in the field is probably a better investment than learning an equally good package the field doesn't use.

    I don't think this applies outside of the major biz markets though -- so if you don't want to work for/with the biggest aero companies like Airbus and Boeing, its probably not a big deal.

    Anyway, second reason is also, from what I understand of PTC they're moving more and more in the direction of engineering lifecycle management (with WinChill) and so there may be some big nuisances associated with moving back and forth between CAD systems.

    I don't know specifically about PTC, but with UG, importing 3D solids from other packages is a big PITA. :(
     
  22. abhishekit macrumors 65816

    abhishekit

    Joined:
    Nov 6, 2003
    Location:
    akron , ohio
    #22
    Its a good suggestion. but it may be slow. I used to run remote X11 session for running MATLAB on my office Linux box, from my iBook. But the 'windowing' was very slow, ie, it would take much time to change windows.
    And as Pro/E is much heavier than MATLAB, it could be even slower.

    I had heard long time back that AutoCad was being developed for Mac too. Don't know how far did that progress though.
     
  23. powerdave thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Apr 24, 2004
    Location:
    Hamburg
    #23
    Thanks for all the suggestions, guys. I read through a few other threads on different forums and it doesnt seem straight forward to get a good 3D CAD package.
    I only actually do one semster of CAD directly, I will have a module called Aircraft Design, but to be honest, I dont know what that will entail so i'm not thinking about it for the time being.. its not for another year or so anyway!
    My University isnt very Mac friendly, unfortunately. But on the other hand, my course has a dedicated lab with PCs running all the programs we need so it won't be too inconvenient for me to use them for things like CAD. They're all Win2000 by the way, so the Unix / X11 suggestion won't do unfortunately!

    I'll take a look at Form-Z anyway, all i wanted was a feel for it and maybe even get a bit of a head start for when i actually have use the PTC programs for my course. And thanks mkrishnan for the Aero related info, its all worth keeping in mind. I have the option of doing some coop work-placement around this time next year, and if I even got an interview with Boeing, its always good to to able to say you're familiar with the stuff they use, if only just barely!

    Anyway, cheers for the all the help!

    David
     
  24. mkrishnan Moderator emeritus

    mkrishnan

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2004
    Location:
    Grand Rapids, MI, USA
    #24
    Good luck!

    BTW, the software to do graphical remote login to windows is:

    http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/...91-d209-4b2b-82ff-beae4e20c09f&displaylang=en

    But AFAIK its not like X11 -- on Unix, pretty much any machine with X11 can accommodate remote login, unless its been disabled for security, but on Windows, I think the computer has to specifically run a service it would not normally be running.

    And like Abhishekit said, its prolly too slow.
     
  25. Snowy_River macrumors 68030

    Snowy_River

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2002
    Location:
    Corvallis, OR
    #25
    Hmm... and you can get educational pricing on VectorWorks, too. It's only $195 for the entire industrial series, VW Architect, VW Mechanical, VW Spotlight, VW Landmark, and RenderWorks. That's like getting Architectural Desktop, Mechanical Desktop, a photo renderer, and more. So far as I can see, no matter how you cut it, the only advantage the ACAD has over VW is marketshare.

    P.S. VW can read and write DWG/DXF.
     

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