CAD software info needed, Please

Discussion in 'Design and Graphics' started by jmbasile2, Jan 17, 2008.

  1. jmbasile2 macrumors newbie

    Jan 17, 2008
    I am looking for some CAD software for my contracting business. I have looked at MacDraft and High Design and was wondering if someone has any feedback on both. I would be using software for floorplans and elevations for projects. Please help.
  2. mactastic macrumors 68040


    Apr 24, 2003
    AutoCad is the industry standard. Unfortunately, it's pretty pricey; but worth it for the ease of workflow; particularly on large projects. I've never used either of the programs you mention though. I've used VectorWorks on the Mac before, but that was a while ago. It was pretty good.

    How much drafting are you going to be doing? Occasional drafting, or intensive drafting? Will you be making pretty pictures to show clients, or just construction documents to build off of? Or both?
  3. CarlosG macrumors member

    Mar 21, 2006
    I wrote a long, well written post and lost it. The gist of it:

    AutoCAD-type software is best for your described task.

    Windows: SolidEdge2D -- excellent, free software
    Mac: TurboCAD -- best option for Mac but costs money.

    I really think SolidEdge2D is the best 2D package I have ever used.
  4. CarlosG macrumors member

    Mar 21, 2006
    Sorry, but I just have to comment on mactastic's remark that AutoCAD is worth the money. The first CAD package I ever learned was AutoCAD and I used it for five years in the mid-90s. I had to recently use AutoCAD 2007 for a contract, and I have to say that I was amazed that it had barely changed. I personally think AutoCAD is far overrated and honestly wouldn't part with any money for it. I may have some form of CAD snobbery in that I use Pro/E for work, but even free software is better than AutoCAD.

    Had to get that off my chest. Sorry mactastic, it isn't personal. I just think that AutoCAD is way past its sell by date. Check-out SolidEdge2D.
  5. mactastic macrumors 68040


    Apr 24, 2003
    What are you using AutoCad for? Are you, or were you, doing production drafting on 100+ sheet sets? If not, sure another program is probably a better fit. That's why I was asking the OP what level of drafting capability he needed.

    The recent upgrades to AutoCad haven't really added any basic-level changes, so if you aren't a power user, I'm not surprised that you don't think it's changed much. They've done a bunch of work on the 3D capabilities. Now, if that's not your bag, then an older version would work just fine. There are other much-needed improvements, like better layer management, easier xref management, the layiso command, dynamic blocks, the DUCS, allowing you to trim (but not extend - yet) hatches, the fillet command defaults to a radius of zero now, the copy command defaults to multiple now, and more mundane details that anyone not immersed in the field would probably easily miss.

    Now, you may not find those upgrades particularly appealing, but I can tell you from my time as a production drafter that they are all helpful in shaving time off your drawing speed. To say that AutoCad has barely changed is not at all correct. You may have missed most of the changes, but that does not mean they aren't there.

    And, as I said, it IS the industry standard.
  6. QuantumLo0p macrumors 6502a


    Apr 28, 2006
    I think it can do some things well but for mechanical 3-d the choices are much more clear. On the high end there is Siemens-UGS's NX, Parametric Technology's ProEngineer and Dassault's Catia. You just don't see auto makers, aerospace, F1 teams and other high end markets use much of anything else. I think the a key factor is the Product Life Management offerings from each vendor that may make the difference.

    Midrange CAD opens up a bit more with choices like Solidworks, SolidEdge and many more all for less money than the top tier, albeit with a capability hit.

    BTW, NX will be ported for OS-X when NX6 ships. Woo Hoo! The current version is NX5. I use NX4 and NX5 on Windows.
  7. fugate2140 macrumors newbie

    Jan 16, 2008
    I use Vectorworks 2008 on a 24" iMac for my design-build firm. Love it and is easy to use. I also use Sketchup to model structures & projects for clients - burn a DVD movie with iDVD and it becomes a great marketing tool. You can use the beta Layout program under Sketchup to produce/plot 2d drawings.
    Good luck.
  8. RM-Architect macrumors newbie

    Jan 28, 2008

    I use ArchiCAD by Graphisoft. It is a high-end program that does everything from 3-d visualizations to as floor plans and elevations. Costs about the same as AutoCAD, but does so much more.

    It can read files created in AutoCAD (which is a 2-d only program, and doesn't run on Mac).

    It has been available on the Mac for over 10 years.

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