Decent, affordable CAD software?

Analog Kid

macrumors 603
Original poster
Mar 4, 2003
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I want to design some basic word working-- what's a good CAD package to do that in for Mac? I've been fighting with ViaCAD and it's awkward to use, but also seems really buggy. I've played a little with SketchUp, but I'm looking for a more traditional 2D/3D CAD package.
 

Big Bad D

macrumors regular
Jan 3, 2007
169
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France
I would encourage a bit more trial with Sketchup. But don’t try to use it as a traditional cad drawing. Try modelling “solids” just as you would envisage crafting each of your woodworking components. Later you can then add dimensions and views.
 

Analog Kid

macrumors 603
Original poster
Mar 4, 2003
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Thanks for all the responses. OnShape (if I'm looking at the right package) and Draftsight seem to expensive. I love Lemke software, but they really struggle with UI-- still for $32, I'm going to give it a shot for a while. And maybe I'll play with SketchUp a bit more. I'm partial to the traditional drafting approach, but SketchUp does a good job at their approach.

ViaCAD is a disaster. The bugs are so egregious, I'm starting to wonder if I'm the only one who's bought a copy. Really, really basic stuff is just broken...
 

toke lahti

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Apr 23, 2007
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Helsinki, Finland
Remember, what you design in Sketchup, stays in Sketchup.
Exporting them from this trapware is more expensive than many software alone...

I draw very little, but have spent some time learning freeCAD.
Exporting to archicad seems challenging...
 
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EdwardC

macrumors 6502
Jun 3, 2012
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Georgia
You can also look at Q-Cad, even the "Pro" version that imports and exports in dwg format is like $30.00 one time.
 

Macky-Mac

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May 18, 2004
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Tempting, but it appears to be a free 1 year trial before reverting to a $60/month subscription. Is the 1 year trial renewable?
be sure to check the system requirements to make sure it'll run under the version of Mac OS you have and on whatever Mac you have (esp the graphics card)

it appears that you can indeed renew the personal user license;

Free startup and personal licenses for Fusion 360 are valid for one year but can be renewed annually.
link to renewal info

(Autodesk doesn't have the most user friendly website so you often have to be persistent in looking for information)
 
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Big Bad D

macrumors regular
Jan 3, 2007
169
75
France
Remember, what you design in Sketchup, stays in Sketchup.
Exporting them from this trapware is more expensive than many software alone...

I draw very little, but have spent some time learning freeCAD.
Exporting to archicad seems challenging...
True in theory, but I would not call Sketchup trapware. I personally have no need to export Sketchup models into other apps. It is a quite different app to traditional CAD, it is modelling rather than drawing - of course that may not match everyone’s needs and way of working.

If after a traditional CAD drawing app, a few years ago I tried High Design. It seemed to have good potential. Not sure if it still exists or anyone has other experiences of it?
 
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Macky-Mac

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May 18, 2004
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True in theory, but I would not call Sketchup trapware. I personally have no need to export Sketchup models into other apps. It is a quite different app to traditional CAD, it is modelling rather than drawing - of course that may not match everyone’s needs and way of working.

If after a traditional CAD drawing app, a few years ago I tried High Design. It seemed to have good potential. Not sure if it still exists or anyone has other experiences of it?
While it's past was just modeling, there are now plug-ins that add traditional CAD drawing features to Sketchup.

And the "free" versions of the program keeps getting trimmed back as the developers seem to have moved to a paid subscription model for much of what they offer
 
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