CAD on MAC?

Discussion in 'Mac Apps and Mac App Store' started by yoelf22, Nov 20, 2014.

  1. yoelf22 macrumors newbie

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    #1
    I have taken the liberty to share with you some thoughts about a serious gap in Apple’s Mac offering.
    It is the lacking presence in all things CAD (mechanical, electronic, simulations).

    Although the early days of the Mac platform saw a few vendors entering this space, it can be said that from the ‘90s on Apple has given up this battle altogether.

    There are several strategic reasons why would Apple step in to mend this gap:

    - CAD users tend to splurge on computing power, and there are tens of millions of them in the world. This is a large high end segment who would benefit of, and willing to pay for high-end Macs.
    - CAD software usually push computing platforms to their limits, with needs for large memory space, large and complex file directories, high requirements for interconnectivity, need for file-vaults and permission driven accessibility, work splitting and work sharing. While the Windows platform enables such solutions - by being open for 3rd party developers - Many of these capabilities already exist on the UNIX backbone of Mac OSX.
    - While the Mac dominates several domains in the publishing world, as well as increasing gains in web developers and programmers, the mechanical, electronic departments are populated by windows machines. This can’t be said on the Windows platform: You will find a mainstream solution in each and every domain. As a result, corporations tend to buy more PCs, doing without Macs even when they could benefit from it.
    - Interdisciplinaries, such as industrial designers, do benefit from a single platform, where they can run 3D, 2D, engineering and design applications. They can find these today only on the Windows platform.

    In my view, both Apple and the user community would benefit from bold moves in the CAD arena, Apple by bolstering its offering in this domain - together with prominent business partners, and the users, by getting access to a better computing experience in their professional domain, all this by willingly paying the premium Apple commands for its products.
     
  2. lowendlinux Contributor

    lowendlinux

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    #2
    Are you suggesting that Apple write a CAD program from scratch or buy one of the SW houses that write CAD SW? If you are suggesting neither then the Mac platform is there and the SW houses have chosen to ignore it and there is little that can be done about that. To complicate things further Apple like Linux gets a unified driver not the 7 or so available for each Quadro and FirePro. Who will be writing those drivers Apple or will you be expecting the Graphics card companies to do that? Keep in mind that we still have no AMD support at the consumer level for anything AMD and only a little from nVidia a requirement for special drivers would likely push them away which would require Apple to write them.
     
  3. yoelf22 thread starter macrumors newbie

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    #3
    No need to write scratch a CAD program, this may take years.
    However, Apple can - and should - lure CAD developers to convert their SW to run on the platform.
    Do note that some claim to do - via X-motif - but I think it kind of miss the point.
    By luring I mean:
    Explore and improve compatibility and speed issues, offering $ for conversion, opening a consortium for CAD on mac - Do whatever's required for major league, medium range etc to run happily on the Mac.
    This requires commitment, a clear road map, and certainty for developers, users, administrators, that it is not a passing fad.

    I do not understand yur comment about the unified driver, could you kindly elaborate?
     
  4. lowendlinux Contributor

    lowendlinux

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    #4
    With Apple and Linux you get one driver based on your chipset i.e. I used the same driver for my FirePro as I would use on it's 5770 Radeon cousin. With Windows you get optimized drivers based on the SW you are running the gains with this model and not small.

    Apple does not do road maps, Apple also doesn't update their pro computers on a regular basis, they can go years without an upgrade 2010-2013 in the case of the Mac Pro. Their portables have never shipped with any kind of graphics that would be suitable they always ship with mid range graphics gaming cards.

    I honestly can't see a market here worth the cost of input yes they might sell a few but CAD is taught on Windows and has run on Windows basically since there has been CAD Apple really can't bring anything to the table that could lure companies to switch if you consider the cost of retraing. On the HW side if a machine goes down here in my little operation the Dell or HP depending on the machine service man is here in 4 hours to fix it Apple cannot do that. The Mac Pro for all it's beautiful design is pretty sealed up where my personal HP has niceties like a tool less power supply as well as tool less everything else so if it were sitting in a shop the IT guy can do basic trouble shooting without hassle. Apple cannot support business in the way business needs to be supported and Apple knows that that's why it's not trying to go down that road. Apple is really happy and profitable with jobbers and consumers and that's the way it needs to stay.
     
  5. Tomorrow macrumors 604

    Tomorrow

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    #5
    My goodness, you were doing so well up to this point.

    Intergraph, long the darling of the federal government, has been going since at least the early 1970's. CATIA, another big player in the game, has been around since the mid-1970's. ProEngineer got its start around the same time as Windows, but was not available for Windows until Win95. CADKEY was also excluded from the Windows platform until Win95.

    CAD running on Windows is actually a fairly recent phenomenon. For years it ran on Unix or proprietary machines.
     
  6. CEmajr macrumors 601

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    #6
    I recently downloaded AutoCAD 2015 MAC for free on my Macbook. While it's good for some things, when serious work needs to be done I still have to Bootcamp and use Windows. The Mac version is close but still missing some features/functionality.
     
  7. satcomer macrumors 603

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  8. FX120 macrumors 65816

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  9. lowendlinux Contributor

    lowendlinux

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    #10
    Ok you made me do some quick googling..

    My old man taught CAD starting in '87 on Windows boxes so I knew it was pre-Windows '95. CAD on Windows was introduced in '82 which would have been Windows 1. How common it was I'm not sure but it probably wasn't very common I'm sure most it was done on big Unix machines.
     
  10. Tomorrow macrumors 604

    Tomorrow

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    #11
    Which CAD platform are you talking about? There are several, you know, and most were not available for early versions of Windows.

    Also, Windows wasn't released until 1985, so your old man's recollection of when he began teaching with it might be a bit hazy. Perhaps he was teaching something that ran on XWindows, but still that didn't come around until after 1982.
     
  11. chown33 macrumors 604

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    #12
    Or the CAD might have been running on MS-DOS, with direct access to a specific type of graphics card, like CGA or HGC. There was plenty of that kind of stuff before Windows appeared.
     
  12. lowendlinux Contributor

    lowendlinux

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    #13
    My old man taught in '87 and that's my recollection not his. Windows was very much out in '87. My recollection was windows out in '82.

    Yes there are many CAD programs and no I can't remember which was used 27 years ago. Which were popular then?
     
  13. Signal-11 macrumors 65816

    Signal-11

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    #14
    Pre-Windows 3.0 (3.11 really) Win 1 and 2 were basically toy graphical DOS shells. You dropped out of the GUI to do anything serious, which included stuff as simple as word processing. W1 and W2 had basically zero third party software support.

    CAD didn't come to Windows until the the early 90s and even then, you were asking for trouble.

    Maybe you are understanding your father because no one was teaching CAD on Windows in the 80s because such a thing did not exist. Maybe XWindows on a Unix, but that's something else entirely.
     
  14. localoid macrumors 68020

    localoid

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    #15
    A company called Autodesk introduced a program called AutoCAD for the IBM PC (running PC-DOS) that it demonstrated at the 1982 Comdex. The company released Version 1.0 that December. I believe AudoCAD Version 2.6 (released in 1987) was the first version available for Windows.

    Screen shot 2014-11-24 at 2.01.58 AM.png
     
  15. Signal-11, Nov 23, 2014
    Last edited: Nov 24, 2014

    Signal-11 macrumors 65816

    Signal-11

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    #16
    You're off by about six years and several release versions.

    You could run AutoCAD R12 in Windows as a DOS program. A native Windows release (R13) first came in 1993, to coincide with the release of Windows NT and the Pentium chip.

    Edit: Whoops, off by one. It was R12 in 1993. One way or another, pre-90s CAD on Windows simply wasn't a thing.
     
  16. localoid macrumors 68020

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    #17
    RE: R12... You're thinking of the first "full" Windows version. ;) I'll have to dig around a bit, but I think v. 2.6 (maybe it was 2.63) was available in a Windows edition, primarily to taking advantage of (Win. 1.0) drivers available for certain EVGA boards that could do resolutions higher than 640x480.
     
  17. Signal-11 macrumors 65816

    Signal-11

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    #18
    You might be thinking of the OS/2 version, back when OS/2 was to be the next big thing anointed by both IBM and MS to be The Way Forward.

    If you find any evidence of AutoCAD on a pre-3.0 Windows platform, I'd be happy to admit I'm wrong, but I don't think you're going to find any. While I can't claim perfect memory (it being over 20 years now), 1993 was my first year as a physics and engineering undergrad and I remember all of the hoops I had to jump through to try to get a CAD app, any CAD app running on my home system. My landlord's son had given me a copy of a book he'd written (the Microstation Bible) as kind of a going away present and I distinctly remember bumbling about on all the workstations in the computer labs trying to do something, anything without much success.
     
  18. dan1eln1el5en macrumors 6502

    dan1eln1el5en

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    #19
    Yup, Siemens NX 7.5 and upwards, I think NX8 was the first where also Teamcenter was ported to OS X.

    Haven't had the change to try it out yet though, but I know it exists.

    (also Apple uses NX for it's plastic molds)
     
  19. Rossatron macrumors 6502a

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    #20
    ermmmm, autocad is available for OS X as is Google sketch. No solid works, though, which is a shame.
     
  20. magnumpi macrumors member

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    #21
    I also miss Autocad Electrical and Altium... and even OrCad.
     
  21. michael2, Dec 4, 2014
    Last edited: Dec 4, 2014

    michael2 macrumors newbie

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    #22

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