Mac CAD Applications Compatible with AutoCAD

Discussion in 'Mac Apps and Mac App Store' started by ddrueckhammer, Nov 15, 2005.

  1. ddrueckhammer macrumors 65816


    Aug 8, 2004
    America's Wang

    I am a Civil Engineering Student and make extra money for school by designing 2-D concrete and structural steel plans. i.e. roads, foundations, ponds, culverts, etc. I am proficient in AutoCAD however, I don't really want to use virtual PC to run it as it would probably be slow compared to a native app. Before I learned AutoCAD, I used Microsoft's Visio for small projects, sadly, there is not an equivalent alternative for Mac for this program either. I really prefer a command-line interface for its raw speed but it looks like most of the available apps use point and click GUIs. I have scoured the Architosh website and found the following programs may suit my needs:


    I really don't need 3-D capabilities as I don't plan on doing any industrial/mechanical design work in the near future but I would like maximum compatibility with Autodesk's DWG/DWF formats. If anyone has any information or experience they could share it would be appreciated.
  2. Macky-Mac macrumors 68030


    May 18, 2004
    a friend of mine who is an architect uses VectorWorks and regularly exchanges drawings back and forth with his engineers who all use autocad. He exports his drawings either as dwg or dxf and then the engineers do their work and send him files which he imports back into Vectorworks. In the beginning, he spent a little bit of time setting up and coordinating drawing standards. He says it all works out just fine for his needs.

    for 2D you shouldn't have much of a problem making it work
  3. AdamZ macrumors regular

    Feb 15, 2004
    Vectorworks, Get the Mechanical, they have students discounts too
  4. joelb51 macrumors newbie

    Sep 21, 2005

    you could use archicad for mac . It also exports to DXF DWG ect. although it is mostly 3D based the 2D elements are better to draw with than the Autodesk apps, my opinion anyway.
  5. x86isslow macrumors 6502a

    Aug 10, 2003
  6. mduser63 macrumors 68040


    Nov 9, 2004
    Salt Lake City, UT
    Yes. AFAIK, the Pro version can read/write Visio files too.
  7. ddrueckhammer thread starter macrumors 65816


    Aug 8, 2004
    America's Wang
    Thanks for the suggestions. I am going to try to see if there are trial versions of VectorWorks and ArchiCAD. It would be interesting to draw in 3-D using ArchiCAD but I'm just not sure that I need that robust of a program. Also since I am eligible for the edu discount, I read that everything that you do with ArchiCAD has a watermark on the edu version....I really don't mind too much, but If a competitor doesn't have this I would be an advantage.

    FYI- Omnigraffle is a good substitute for Visio on the Mac but Visio enables you to do some light drafting (floorplans) as well as charts etc...Omnigraffle seems to be geared only toward flowcharts and graphs.

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